Ghost Mothers


Healing Journey

I wrote the book Ghost Mothers: Healing From the Pain of a Mother Who Wasn’t Really There to validate the experience of growing up poorly mothered, to offer hope and introduce the benefits of facing the pain and moving beyond it.

This book was written for women struggling with issues that may be difficult to understand or make sense of. If you’re drowning in a confusing, painful relationship with your mother, you’ll find answers here.

If you had a difficult childhood and can’t move past it, the book GHOST MOTHERS shows you how to do so. If you experience feelings of discontent but can’t identify the core cause, this information will help you understand yourself in new ways.

This is the healing blueprint I wish I’d had on my journey. It’s based on my personal and professional experience and incorporates the stories of other ghost daughters. You’re not alone; this book shows you how to heal and can change your life.

Buy Ghost Mothers at


Summary of the healing messages in this book:

  • The impact of growing up ghost mothered is significant.
  • Know that others share your pain and have learned how to heal from it.
  • It’s crucial to stop chasing your ghost mother.
  • You are not defined by your past, but by your reaction to it.
  • Surviving a ghost mother points to strength, not weakness.
  • This journey is ultimately not about your mother; it’s about you.

Book Reviews

“Ghost Mothers is specifically written for the daughters of narcissistic mothers and includes much of the author’s long struggle. Her choice of ghost mother is apt, as much of the material in the book is about the damage done by mothers who appear to the outside world to be very functional but who are unable to give their daughters any real nurturing and guidance.”

CA Society for Clinical Social Workers — Reviewed by Stephanie Williams, LCSW

“For a child their whole world is their parents, especially their mother.  Mothers are there to take care of you emotionally and nurture or love you when you need her to.  A mother reflects back your beauty and accomplishments and offers much-needed guidance and unconditional love.  Ghost mothers are physically around but they, due to their own conditions, aren’t there for the needs of the child, they are there for their own needs to be met.  Kathryn Rudlin knows what this is all about as she grew up in this kind of household.  Ms. Rudlin knows the pain, the fears and the deep emptiness that Ghost Mothers can cause.  Ms. Rudlin also knows that there is not only hope but healing.  You may not be able to help your mother but you certainly can help yourself and Ms. Rudlin provides six strategies that are designed to bring about healing and move you forward in your life.  If you had a Ghost Mother in your life then this book is for you.  If you know of a person who had a Ghost Mother in their life then you need to give this book as a gift to them.  It is much-needed help for a highly painful subject.  Thank you Kathryn Rudlin for addressing this need.”

5 star rating by Vic’s Media Room

Total Must Read! Kathryn pens “Ghost Mothers” based on personal experiences and of those she has counseled. A wonderfully written book that will help you to heal and understand what was happening as you were growing up with a ghost mother. Although I don’t fall into the category of having a ghost mother, I can relate to the book in many ways. This book is highly recommended, 5 stars!!!”

By My Cozie Corner {Book Reviews}

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Praise for the Book

I am delighted to know Kathryn Rudlin; she is a bright, warm and talented clinician who captures the essence and the elements of healing the hurts caused by narcissism in her beautiful book, Ghost Mothers.
Wendy Behary, LCSW
For any daughter who has grown up with an emotionally unavailable or abusive mother and who has searched for understanding and comfort, Ghost Mothers is a courageous and powerful book of personal experience and professional insight. This book is a “healing balm” for women who have longed for the sacred touch of a nurturing, empathic mother.
Dr. Patti Patton
It is brave and inspiring to draw on one’s personal, and often painful, experiences to help others reclaim their lives. She shares her story, and those of others, to build the foundation for renewal and hope, beautifully blending the personal with the professional, she places healing at the core of the narrative.
Dr. Betsy J. Blunsdon
I am very proud of how Kathryn decided to take her painful experiences and turn them into a positive opportunity to help others heal. This book combines her challenging personal experiences and all that she has learned from counseling others in a compelling and personal way. You will have no choice, if you are willing, than to create the kind of powerful life you want.
Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat
It is clear that he author has undergone a remarkable journey and wants generously to share what she’s learned with others who are similarly impacted. I think many will connect with her story and those of her patients, and hopefully begin their own journeys of healing.
How wonderful you can help so many heal by being dedicated to healing yourself! It takes tons of courage to share your truth, knowing that your mom, family and clients will be able to know you. Vulnerability allows for freedom, what courage!!
Karen Abbott, RYT
Ghost Mothers is a fantastic book! My first impression was how I appreciated the directness without big, complicated words and overall had a positive tone like no other.
This book shines hope and a bright light into the future. Ghost Mothers is now an aid to my practice in helping young women come to grips with their identity when it has been so long in the shadow of a narcissistic parent.
Fran Cooper, L.M.F.T.
I have read your book 3 times now… I LOVE it! It is very helpful and there are such healing words in there.
Ghost Mothers is an incredible book! If you want to explore why your life has too much suffering, Kathy gently guides you to find the answers and take action for healing. You will not finish Ghost Mother without being forever changed for the better!
Rebecca Williams, PhD
Reading the book is like turning a light bulb on in my head, I don’t have to live out the patterns I learned growing up. Kathryn does a beautiful job showing many ways we can access our own power and release our pain from the past.
I deeply appreciated your vulnerability, which allowed me to identify with you as a daughter and therapist. I think what hit me the hardest was to stop chasing the ghost; we must quit the pursuit!
Candy Crawford, LCSW
Ghost Mothers is a well-written and easy to follow account of the negative consequences of growing up in a household where mother is physically present, but not emotionally available.
Ginny Pugh, LCSW
Thank you for writing such a compelling book, I am sure it took a lot of thought on how to deliver the message, you did a great job; it sure has changed, and helped my perspective.
Dr. Joni Labbe
“I finally found a way to illustrate not only the pain, but also the strategies needed to heal from the pain of a ghost mother, to share what I’ve learned on my journey; what it takes to come to terms with who your mother is, and who she isn’t.”