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Topic : 12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

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Created on : Friday, September 12, 2008, 01:17:09 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 09/16/08) Are you prepared for the unexpected? Life is not a success-only journey, but when you're faced with difficult days, you don't have to become a victim. In his new book, Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life, Dr. Phil teaches you how to prepare for a crisis before it arrives, and how to get back to better days. One of the most challenging days can come the day your heart is shattered, especially if you experience a loss. Amber says she was living the perfect life. She and her sisters dreamed of marrying a man like their dad and having a great relationship like their parents'. She says they were totally blindsided on Father's Day when their dad told their mom he wanted a divorce. Hear their emotional story and learn what you can expect to feel when you lose something precious to you. Plus, find out Dr. Phil's action plan to help you get through the difficult period. Then, Sylvia is a mother to 4-year-old twins and is seven months pregnant. She was married to a Marine sergeant for seven years who tragically lost his life —  not on the battlefield — in a car accident when he returned home. Now, each day is a battle for Sylvia. Dr. Phil shares his action steps for grieving, in an effort to help the mourning mom move forward. Today, Sylvia is struggles to pay for her basic necessities. Don't miss Dr.Phil's amazing surprise for her! Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 23, 2008, 3:04 pm CST

12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

I have had a great deal of loss in my life but not once did I  get a new car out of the deal and a shopping spree, I divorced, lived with my parents at 32 years old and soon after my son was diagnosed with Autism. I am 43 and I am still in the same situation that I was in when I divorced. Although I live in my own apt, I had to uproot my life from NYC to Cheyenne Wyoming because this is where my sons father is from. I am not happy in Cheyenne and want to go home to NYC. The job opportunites here are terrible and I have no way to get around. I had a 20 year old vehicle that finally broke down and now I have no way to get my son to and from his appoinments and have to depend on others who are not my family for transportaion.  I know that it is not like the loss of a spouse to death, but I still stuggle the same as anyone.
December 23, 2008, 3:08 pm CST

12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

Quote From: debbra1956

It is clear that most of these posts refer to the woman who is a widow; however,  I can truly relate to the woman who is going through divorce.  I have been married 26 years, have 3 girls (23, 21, 17), and my husband filed for divorce without telling me.  I found out, fortunately, by accident before it was printed in the paper. He filed 3 weeks before Christmas, during finals week for my 3 girls.  Please don't downplay the pain divorce inflicts on the unknowing children of divorce.
I understand where you are coming from, divorce is like the death of a marriage. It is financially difficult on the person, most of the time it is the woman. There are many men out there that dont pay support and dont have anything to do with the kids. It is a loss like any other loss and shold not be downplayed.
December 23, 2008, 4:10 pm CST

So close yet so far

Some of you may know my story, as I have a "Shared Diary" posted titled "I know life isn't fair....but HELP STOP THIS FAMILY FEUD" posted on this website.


The loss that I am suffering and dealing with on a daily basis is the loss of my grandchildren.  The tragedy is mostly related to a money issue and my daughter's anger.  Because my daughter is mad at me, and no longer needs me financially, she has forbidden me to see my grandchildren SOLELY due to her anger.  A mutual friend of ours spoke with my daughter just a couple of weeks ago and asked her what she told my granddaughter about "Bubbie" not coming around anymore, and my daughter said that she did tell my granddaughter, when she asked, that she (my daughter) was mad at me and didn't want me to call or come over or have anything to do with me.  My granddaughter's response was, "But I'm not mad at Bubbie". 


So why is my daughter punishing her children (my granddaughter and my grandson) because of her anger at me?  She is using them as a pawn to punish me.  She did claim that she told my granddaughter (who does still remember me and clearly wants to see me) that "when she becomes 18 years old she can do what she wants".  My granddaughter just turned 8 in October and has asked questions as to why I am not at birthday parties, and my daughter just told her that I wasn't invited.  My granddaughter, who knows the truth, or at least as much as she can understand, said to her mother (my daughter) "THAT'S A LIE". 


So how do I deal with the loss of my grandchildren when they are so near, yet so far.  They only live 30 minutes away, and I cannot contact them for fear that my daughter will take her anger at me out on them, as she has done in the past.  There has been physical abuse involved and my daughter was investigated by Children and Youth Services but, of course, my daughter played the "perfect mother" role for them and no further action was taken.  I have personally witnessed the physical abuse, however, I am NOT the person that reported her.  I do need to take responsibility for allowing the abuse to go on, it was selfish of me not to report her because it was the only way I was able to see me grandchildren at the time and keep an eye on how they were doing.  Now, it has been an entire year since I have seen or spoken to them and my heart is breaking and I don’t know how to deal with the loss.  For the most part of the last year I was beginning to get on with my life, then came my granddaughter’s birthday on October 22nd, and then Halloween, a holiday that I used to dress up and go over to my daughter’s and see the children.  Now it is the holidays in December and I am just so devastated that I am not able to see the children and I know that my granddaughter is missing me and wondering why I am not able to share these things with her.  My grandson turned 5 in July and I don’t even think that he remembers me.  That is the only reason I have not mentioned him as much in this story.  I miss him just as much, but I sincerely doubt he even remembers who I am. 


My daughter is not even allowing me to send gifts anymore.  When our mutual friend said that I would like to give the children gifts for the holiday, my daughter’s response was, “NO. If she wants to do something for the children have her (me) buy bonds and I will hold them until they get older and use them for school.”  The only problem I have with that is, it always comes back to money that my daughter wants to control.  What is so wrong with the children getting some pleasure from me giving them gifts now?  Even in the past the “instructions from my daughter” was that if I wanted to give them anything I was not allowed to put my name on it, so she would take the credit for buying the gifts.  There was even a time when I did give them something the last time I saw them that my daughter didn’t allow them to have that day, and the next time I spoke to my granddaughter she said, “Guess what Mom Mom gave me?  She gave me play dough with cookie cutters to make shapes.  Well, that was what I had given her but my daughter would not let her open it because it was from me.


I just don’t understand why she is punishing the children because she is mad at me.  THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG.  Clearly there is emotional abuse continuing and there is nothing I can do about it.  I fear even attempting to see the children.  I was going to go to my granddaughter’s dance recital last May (which my daughter said last year I COULD attend as long as I didn’t sit near them).  When the day came and our mutual friend called to find out the directions, my daughter went into a fit and started screaming that if I showed up she would call the police.  WHY???  There is nothing that I have done!  Had she called the police they would have laughed at her, but the reason I didn’t end up going was I didn’t want to cause a scene in front of my grandchildren, something my daughter has no problem doing. 


I don’t know if I can wait 10 years to see my granddaughter.  I don’t know if I am strong enough to hold on that long without allowing her and my grandson to have the love that they do not get from their mother.  It is completely heart wrenching knowing that my granddaughter wants to see me and is missing me and there is not a single thing I can do about it.  There are no grandparent’s rights in the State in which I live, so there are no legal avenues for me to pursue.  It just breaks my heart knowing that my granddaughter wants to see me as much as I want to see her, yet my daughter’s selfishness and anger, and her need to control is preventing this from happening.  I desperately need some help dealing with this loss.  They are so close, yet so far and I cannot begin to explain the pain I am in from all of this.  My daughter could very easily drop the children off at our mutual friend’s house so the children could see me, but she is insistent on having that control over me to punish me for “everything that is wrong in her life that is my fault”.  Those poor children are the ones that are suffering the most, especially my granddaughter who aches to see me.  I pray for strength and all I get is more trials to deal with.  I pray for my daughter to find peace, and she seems to get more and more angry – even though there is no contact.  I just don’t know what to do at this point.  This time of year is the worst. 


My birthday just passed and my friend even gave me a card which she signed from my grandchildren and in the upper left hand corner she wrote a note that I cannot print here in public, but I cried when I saw my grandchildren’s names even though I knew it wasn’t really from them.  I NEED HELP DEALING WITH THIS LOSS.  I know my story is a little bit different than what was on the show today, but HOW DOES SOMEONE DEAL WITH A LOSS THAT IS ONGOING, THAT IS STARING THEM IN THE FACE AND NEVER ENDING?  A loss that continues to hurt every day.  HOW DO I GET OVER THIS???



A heartbroken grandmother

December 23, 2008, 5:11 pm CST

broken hearts

I can relate to the family who was devasted by divorce.  Although I knew that my marriage was not perfect, I had no idea that my husband of 23 years was having an affair with a woman at work.  This woman had acted like she was my friend!  She and her husband had been at our house for work parties (my husband was a manager at his place of employment.)

We had recently bought a newer, nicer, bigger house. We should have been feeling so happy, yet I knew that something was terribly wrong.  I thought maybe he was depressed, or ill in some other physical way.  I asked him so many questions about how he was feeling and told him that I could tell there was a problem.  He always just told me that I was "crazy".

We had friends who had been unfaithful in their marriages over the years and my husband always professed to be completely disgusted by this kind of behavior. He even refused to associate with a couple because of the man's infidelities.  This scenario was far from my mind for us.

We were very active in our Cathiloc church.  My oldest daughter, 22, was in college, engaged, and working as the youth director at the church.  Our other 4 children were teenagers, ranging from 13 to 19 years old.

I soon discovered the affair.  He moved out.  She left her husband and 2 small children and the 2 moved in together.  Did I mention that she is 15 years younger than me?  That contributed to my feelings of inadequacy and depression.

My children took this very hard.  4 of the 5 were treated for situational depression. The priest shunned us after awhile.  I sought his counsel at first, but I felt that the help I needed had to come from other places.  He only called me when I got behind on my tihe agreement.. My daughter was fired from her job at the church.  I have since found spiritual peace and another church.

It is 7 years later.  I have recently remarried a wonderful man.  In this relationship, I have found a true partner and true happiness.  My children admire and respect him.  His children are outstanding people.  We are truly blessed.

In the last 7 years, the kids and I have had so many good times.  There have been sad times also, but the good part is the most memorable these days.  My middle son told me in the beginning of "our new normal" that we were going to be all right.  He was right.  We have much to be thankful for - each other.

I wanted to share my story of sadness to happiness.  It is a story of faith and love.




December 23, 2008, 5:47 pm CST

real life: Heart Shattered

I now know after seeing todays show, that my higher power is working with me. Not seeing it before but going through the same situation as the first woman. Now on the eve of Christmas Eve, I sit alone with my feelings and my dog. My husband of 24 yrs. walked out a couple months ago to go live with his old girlfriend. I was in total shock, did not know of the affair via telephone and other ways. He broke our family apart for completely selfish reasons. None of us could believe he would do this. I did not think I could live through it. I have had all the same feelings, had to go on doctor's care. He was the breadwinner and now I have nothing. It is a very scary place for a woman my age to be. I pray that one day I will wake up and be my old self again. Right now I don't see that happening any time soon. The holidays will never be the same for me and my family. This behavior of his is so wrong in so many ways, it should not be allowed to happen.
December 23, 2008, 6:18 pm CST

Does God really take our loved ones?

I caught the last half of the show today, first time I have ever watched Dr. Phil,  Silvia was talking about being confused about why God took her husband. Why did he go through so much, truck flipping several times, living through that and then drowning, He didn't deserve that kind of death, why couldn't he just die in his sleep if god was going to take him.  It really upsets me that people believe that god needs someone in heaven so he just takes our loved ones when its "their time".  I guess that is what people are taught at whatever church they may belong to or are told by their parents. Does this really make since? If god views us as his children then why would he do that? Why would he put us through all the pain? He wouldn't.  If god needs someone in heaven for whatever reason he has the power to create them.  What about babies? What about young children? If you question this as well, please read your bible and use your reasoning skills and search until you find the answers.  One person for sure that would like you to blame God for taking your loved one away is SATAN.  If God doesn't take your loved ones when they die, How do you think this makes god feel when people say,  "Well god needed them in heaven, it was their time"?  PSALMS 37; 9-11,  Revelation 21; 1-4  This is a good place to start, I will be happy to help with any questions.   Thanks for your time.      Excellent show,  Dr Phil did a great thing helping these families during their hard times.  Will watch again 4 sure.  :-) 

December 23, 2008, 6:43 pm CST

I'm just here

I would like to first start off with, Dr. Phil is absolutely correct. It makes a world of difference to be prepared for life changing events. In September of 2007 I got a very very strong message from God that 2008 would be the biggest year of my life. I WAS EXCITED. I could not ignore the message because I got it over and over again. Well needles to say I thought it was going to be a great year. Well to make a long story short. My mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer and she became very ill. My father was diagnose with liver failure. I purchased my first home and my son graduated high school. Well here it is. My mother passed away in June. I lost my home in July. My father passed away in September. I'm the only girl with 4 brothers and two of them were locked up during this time that I absolutely needed them most. I just want to say that I'm lost. These days I don't know if I'm coming or going and I can't give up because everyone is depending on me to hold things together. But I just can't do it anymore. I know there will come a day that I'll feel better but right now I just can't do it. I ask that everyone and anyone please pray for me to regain the strength that I had before, to be an leader for my family. But I must say without the warning from God I would have been completely blind sided and I think I would have had a nervous breakdown.
December 23, 2008, 7:09 pm CST

For Sylvia

I watched the show today and your story brought tears to my eyes, as you are me, 30 years ago last month. My husband died as a result of a drug/alcholol overdose while sitting in a car in his garage to keep warm on a cold November night. I was left a 24 yr old widow, with a 5 yr old son, no job, no money in the bank, no family to assist us financialy and $37 in the bank. I had no idea how I was going to pay for his funeral, never mind 'grieve' and still keep a roof over my head. My rent was $320 a month. Dr. Phil is right, you have to be able to 'accept' help from others at this time, whoever they might be. You will be surprised who will help you if you let them know. Look what happened on the show, but you've got to let people know. You're going to need all the help you can get to get on with living, and you will move on, when you're ready. For me, it was one day when I woke up and realized that I had been getting a friend of mine to walk my son to school for me ever since his father died, feed him his supper, bathe him and keep him occupied while I laid in my room smoking cigarrettes and crying non stop. That day I cried again, realizing that if I didn't get my butt out of that bed, my son was going to lose both his parents and I wasn't about to let that happen! My son was everything to me and he gave me a reason to get out of bed, so I did. It didn't happen overnight and I'm not a wealthy woman today, but I have a well adjusted son, who is now married and 2 beautiful children of his own. So grieve while you still have tears to shed and in time you won't cry every day, you will always have days where you will remember him, but as time moves on you will realize, he would want you to get on with 'living' for the sake of yourself and your children. My son is now 36 yrs old and he still remembers things about his Dad from the few short years they had together. By the way, my husband always wore a 'hat' when he went out the door, to this very day, my son will not go through the door without a ball cap on his head! He's a lot like his Dad, mostly the good side of him and I thank him for that! You Will make it through this, but it's not going to be a 'walk in the park' so dig your heels when you're ready and get yourself out there. You can do it!!
December 23, 2008, 7:50 pm CST

12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

You never get over loss. You learn to live with it, or you die. Some people need outside intervention, and some just handle it themselves. Whatever works for you is the best course. Personally all the support groups and talking to strangers just makes me uncomfortable. I am very self reliant and private, so talking to a stranger would do more harm then good. I do recommend professional help to friends and employees, and for the most part that has gone very well. The major problem I have encountered is people being afraid to be labeled as useless, weak, or crazy. There is no shame in asking for help.
December 23, 2008, 9:17 pm CST

12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

Quote From: bridger

I now know after seeing todays show, that my higher power is working with me. Not seeing it before but going through the same situation as the first woman. Now on the eve of Christmas Eve, I sit alone with my feelings and my dog. My husband of 24 yrs. walked out a couple months ago to go live with his old girlfriend. I was in total shock, did not know of the affair via telephone and other ways. He broke our family apart for completely selfish reasons. None of us could believe he would do this. I did not think I could live through it. I have had all the same feelings, had to go on doctor's care. He was the breadwinner and now I have nothing. It is a very scary place for a woman my age to be. I pray that one day I will wake up and be my old self again. Right now I don't see that happening any time soon. The holidays will never be the same for me and my family. This behavior of his is so wrong in so many ways, it should not be allowed to happen.


      Well, now that you have complained about his behavior, what are you going to do next?  When you allow yourself to stay home and feel sorry for yourself day after dreadful day, boo-hooing endlessly, you are going to miss all the Christmas activities.   The sun is going to rise,  You are going to miss a beautiful winter sunrise. 


     Take your dog out for long walks.  Depressed people worry their dogs, ever notice?  And while you are outside, making your dog happy, be sure to notice all your neighbors lights out on display.   It's a fine day, at least attempt to enjoy your life. 

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