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Topic : 07/17 Mommy Dearest

Number of Replies: 326
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Created on : Friday, March 31, 2006, 12:44:40 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/03/06) Marri and Jessica both want to confront their mothers, who they say were neglectful and abusive during their childhoods. Marri has put up with her mother, Marilyn's, addiction to crack cocaine for 18 years, and she's ready to shut her mom out of her life for good if she doesn't admit she has a problem and seek help for it. Marilyn says her drug use is the solution, not the problem, and she can be a good mother and still smoke crack. Then, Jessica says she had to care for herself when she was a little girl. Her mother, Deana, was never around, and when she was, she was bringing strange men home for sex. In a ploy for attention, Deana committed her daughter to a mental institution -- three times! Tired of holding in her anger, Jessica demands her mother take responsibility for what she's done. Will these daughters get some emotional closure on their painful childhoods? Share your thoughts here.

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April 1, 2006, 4:16 am CST

i was a "girl interrupted" too

the jessica part of the 'mommy dearest' show told my story.  my mother did not act out sexually  and was not physically abusive . she was verbally and emotionally abusive and unavailable due to much work and volunteering for good causes. ths gave her 'look good' to the world but she was just as unavailable as a drunk mother would be except that she did not drink but was a workaholic. i cried when i watched dr. phil get jessica and her mom to the point where they both made a committment to accept help. my mom passed away when i was 30 ,before healing was possible.    in the late seventies,my family was rocked by the tragic death of my dad with whom i was very close.  no help of any kind was offerred so when i got away to college, i experimented with drugs.  my mom had me unjustifiably committed to  a county hospital where i survived abuse and torture,which at that time passed for treatment. after i was a bit sedated,i was transferred to a nicer facility. i admit i needed help but what i got was abuse and torture and forced drugging which i believe enhanced my tendency towards drug use.  after earning a b.a. in psychology, i thought i was going to be o.k. but fell deeply into drug addiction in the eighties. now in twelve step program recovery for 12 years,i am only beginning to heal at age 50.   thankyou dr. phil for helping jessica and her mom in time and for contributing to my healing.                                                                                            peace,rahima barbara marie halajian                                             
April 1, 2006, 6:27 am CST

Mother/Daughter Betrayals follow-up

The Mommy Dearest show sounds similar to a show Dr. Phil did 1/21/00 when he was still doing his weekly segments on Oprah.  I'm curious to know if Dr. Phil's intervention with one particular mother-daughter relationship has led to a resolution of the issues that brought them to Dr. Phil.   


Lucy was the mother who chose to stay with her husband, the stepfather who'd been molesting her daughter, Pam, and another daughter, over the course of eight years.  Lucy had written to Dr. Phil because she couldn't understand why Pam couldn't understand that she'd had no other choice but to stay with the stepfather (Lucy's explanation) and therefore forgive Lucy.    


Watching the show then, I was struck by how earnest Lucy was about wanting to understand why Pam had such a terrible time not being able to forgive her, but was completely clueless as to her own responsibility for Pam's struggle.  It seemed to me that Lucy was looking for absolution, not forgiveness.  (I firmly believe there is a huge disparity between forgiveness and absolution, especially on the part of the one responsible for the behaviors needing to be forgiven.)  I often wonder if Lucy ever finally "got it", and if that helped Pam get to the point where she was able to forgive Lucy and begin to get on with what she needs for her own healing journey.  You cannot forgive a moving target who's trying desperately to evade the responsibility for her own choices, no matter how much Pam might have needed to be able to forgive her for Pam's own well-being.  Even if Lucy was never up to the task of self-accountability, was Pam able to forgive her for her own sake and move on?  


What's the status of their relationship now, six years later?  Are there lessons they learned that could help other mothers and daughters look forward to being able to put their divisive pasts behind them and know that there's hope on the horizon for healthy relationships in the future?  Or perhaps lessons they learned that made accepting the reality that they may never see eye-to-eye possible, but still be able to move forward despite that?   

April 1, 2006, 5:43 pm CST

The emotional scars are here to stay

I had a mommy dearest, who says she never beat her children. My brothers and I know different. I was the target out of 4 children. I look like my mother, but she seemed to be jealous when my dad showed me attention. Look, between dad and I it was nothing sexual. It was strictly a parent/child bond. That is different from spousal love. My dad was so protective, he would not let that happen to me. I was belittled, thrown, beaten, hair pulled out all at the hands of my mother, and I remember. I spent time in rehab as a teen for anger problems. I still have social anxiety and othe emotional scars that seem to follow me thoughout life. I will never be totally "normal", but I am doing the best I can.
April 3, 2006, 3:42 am CDT

She made it anyway.

When I saw today’s show, I couldn't believe my eyes. Marri was a girl that I went to school with my entire life. We went from K-high school together. I remember that she had a hard life but she always kept her head up. I remember the few times that I went to her house, her mother seemed a little out of it but now I understand why. Marri was never into drugs or alcohol during school. She always made excellent grades and strived to be better. I think we could all learn a lot from Marri. Even when you are given a difficult life, you can still choose to rise above it all. I wish her twin brother Marcus could have learned this. He was in trouble from the get go. He was still a great guy but made bad choices in life. God bless them both. And I hope her mother realizes what she has before she looses it all.  



April 3, 2006, 4:43 am CDT




Please do not under ANY circumstances allow your children to be alone with your mother. I have worked in child welfare for 14 years, and have seen many, many children removed from their parents for this. There is a criminal charge called "failure to protect", where a non-offending parent can have the children removed and placed in foster care. Once this happens, you will not have your children for a minimum of a year. Also, please be aware that children have a 3x higher chance of being further abused once they enter the foster care system. 


Allowing someone you know to be a crack user to be alone with your children falls under this legal category. You seem like a smart, resourceful woman. Your mother is in deep, deep denial, and she is a danger to your kids. I don't know that Dr. Phil hammered this point home, but it is imperative that you protect your children by not allowing them to be alone with her (not even alone in the same room while you're in another room). You cannot and must not trust your mother to make choices that are in the children's best interest. Because of her addiction, she is incapable of doing so. If it were me, I would not allow them to have contact with her at all. Sadly, what they are already seeing of her anyway is the drug, not their grandmother. 


Best of luck to really seems like you have used this to make you a stronger person. 

April 3, 2006, 4:56 am CDT

A Lifetime of Wounds

How can a woman have a baby and not want it.  Well my mother did just that and told me throughout my childhood that if it wasn't for my father then I wouldn't be here.  How is a child suppose to take that.  When I was very young my mother tried to starve me.  I have a younger brother, who got all the good attention, and three cousins who I used to play with and out of everybody I was the smallest but the second oldest.  My grandparents knew what was going but didn't know how or what they could do.  But I remember going to their house and eating like no tomorrow.  When I got older it grew into jealousy because my father who tried to love me grew apart from me because of my mother.  I grew up with love for my father and hatred for my mother mostly because she took my father away.  And now I have no relationship with either of my parents.  You grow up trying to find purpose in this world.  I am in my fourth marriage and it is going well, for now until all the little demons start showing up telling myself that I'm no good and this person is going to leave me.  I have tried counseling to no avail.  I'm still trying to find purpose.  For now my purpose is my 4 sons. 

April 3, 2006, 6:26 am CDT

I am crying...the pain is this girl eyes

I HATE CRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You see this is what I do... I counsel those addicted to crack I wish Dr. Phil would get our ministry info to this family... you can see our websites in my profile.  Dr. Phil is right crack is a huge problem... I deal with daily and it saddens me so much it makes me want to attack even hard then I already do!  


Crack can be conquered! 




April 3, 2006, 6:39 am CDT

to familiar of a story

I am too sad to say that your story today of the mother drug addict,once again is a mirrored story of my daughters life.I am raising her three children here because of her drug/aclohol addictions.these children could tell many sad ,horrifiying stories of what they lived in,lived through,prior to coming to live with us.We have not seen my daughter in over 19 months,when she calls,she is either high  and crazy or totally depressed and crazy.My husband and I have given up our life to see that these children have a safe,happy,secure,loved life without the dangers of drug addicts around.Sure the children are sad that their parents love drugs more than them but at least they know now they are safe and loved.My oldest granddaughter tells me she not only lost her mama,she lost her grandma,me,because i have to be her much sadness is involved when people choose to live this way,as Dr. phil just said, the scarring last a life time,not just for the children but for me,my daughters mama.Five years ago my husband and I had secure jobs, a secure bank account and looking forward to these days when we could be a couple doing things in our middleaged years,now we are parents all over again and the bank account is gone,Nevertheless, I would not take anything for the opportunity to give these children a new life, its just hard going to bed at night knowing my daughter is out there doing drugs all the time,at any cost.
April 3, 2006, 6:57 am CDT

We can persevere

I also have a mommy dearest.  I think my Mama had a nervous breakdown when she turned 30 or so.  My younger sister was born right before that.  My normal life stopped there.  I became Mama's mama after that in a lot of ways.  My dad is an alcoholic and workaholic as well so that made things much worse.  I always had to referee with them and Mama would have me search the house, vehicles, and yard for liquor bottles to dump them out from as early as 8 years old.  Sometimes we did not have food because my dad would be out of work for weeks at a time. Almost all the time there was rotten food all around and if I would try to clean, Mama would freak out and make me stop.  I never could have friends over because things were so horrible and nuts at my house.  I've always had problems connecting to people and fitting in but always thought it was part of my personality.  I always made really good grades in school though and I suppose I am quite intelligent.  I ended up doing pretty well for myself considering the circumstances because they taught me how not to live and how not to treat my kids.  I never realized how much they affected who I was until I went to talk to a therapist.   My marriage ended right after my second child was born (he was born mentally handicapped) so I finally had to talk to somebody.  It was there that I found a pamphlet on codependence that described me at that point to the letter.  I realized then that I could change and I have.  I have a couple of friends now and my exhusband and I reunited.  I still talk to my parents and I am rather close to my mom and sister.  My dad is still there, but still a workoholic/alcoholic so we do not speak to much.  I still deal with some bitterness though I realize they probably did the best they could.  The worst thing right now that I have a hard time dealing with is the realization that the rest of my family did not have anything to do with us because my mom would tell so many lies about them and she alienated us.  My mom is still a pathological liar.  I wish she would get counseling.  But I cannot make her I suppose.  I do wish though that I had a chance to be a child.  I do have kids of my own though and I make sure they have all the things and get to do all the things that I did not. 

My point is though, you do not have to let your childhood define who you are.  If there is a will to break the cycle, you can do it and have a good life.  You also have to let go of the bitterness or it will poison you.  Forgiveness is very important!
April 3, 2006, 7:35 am CDT

You really do have to be your own mom

The tears are rolling down my face as I listen to your stories. My mom also used drugs and to this day will not accept the pain she inflicted on her children. My heart is heavy everyday, and sometimes I think it will never get any better. I needed a mother so badly, but found that while I was mothering my own children, I had to mother myself. It was the only way I could give my children all the things I never had.  

The pain never goes away, but by accepting that your mothers most likely will never be able to give you what you need, you can become a stronger person. You can then begin to forgive the short-comings of your mothers and make your part of the world a little bit better for you and the people you love and who love you. 


Your not alone, 

Ramona, Bell, Florida 

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