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Topic : 07/22 Child Caught in the Middle

Number of Replies: 71
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, January 30, 2009, 02:16:36 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/04/09) Divorce is well known to be a source of pain, bitterness and often conflict. When parents who have split up carry their fight beyond the courtroom, the child is usually the one caught in the crossfire. Dr. Phil sits down with Ronald and Cathie, who say they both love their 15-year-old son, Matthew, tremendously, though what they feel for each other is a different story. After a tumultuous divorce, Ronald says Cathie abandoned Matthew and has been out of his life for nearly 10 years. Cathie says Ronald is the one responsible for that separation. She claims he did everything he could to get in the way of her relationship with her son. Now, Cathie is back in the picture, but Matthew is having a hard time adjusting. In fact, the stress is making him literally sick, and he vomits up to 40 times a day. Matthew has a list of pressing questions for his mom, including why she has been gone for so long. With Dr. Phil’s help, will this young man get to the bottom of the mysteries in his life, and can he ever trust his mother again? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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February 4, 2009, 3:50 pm CST

2 sides to the stories

I believe that the mother was not given a chance to tell her story and there are so many situations that divorcee woman have to fight for. Her Ex husband has much to do with the lies. Its very easy to manipulate your sons view when you make your ex wife look like the loser. I believe the mother should of had more of chance to tell her side of the story. instead of being interrupted for every answer. Both sides of the story should have been told and then the son should have brought in with just the mother and not the father.
Im not totally defending her but it  wasn't equal.
February 4, 2009, 3:55 pm CST

she is not horrible

Quote From: keyvaca

I'm just sick watching this show. This boy clearly is craving love from his mother and all she can do is rant and ramble about "your dad" this or "your dad" that. This boy deserves a medal of honor! I can only imagine what he has had to endure during his life.  All he could do was turn to his mother or lean in to her w/nothing but love in his eyes. I want to reach in and hug him. I want to send him a PS3 I want to take him to a haunted house....I want to tell him that he is loved.  I'm just sick and my heart goes out to anyone who has gone through this.  I wish I could do something for him....thanks for reading...Someone...anyone for God's sake, say "I love you Matthew, I am a horrible selfish person and I don't deserve you, I'm sorry for all the lies and broken promises."  THAT'S ALL HE WANTS TO HEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
many times she said she loved her son and im sure she loved her son, but I do believe that the ex husband was apart of the lies. they never gave her a chance for her story. no she wasnt perfect. but when she had the money she tried. if u were pushed away after a fight for your son u basically have an emotional break down ...and a sense of disconnecting.
February 4, 2009, 4:06 pm CST

Hang in there Mathew

I can hardly believe there are only 6 pages of comments...

Mathew is so smart and loving and mature and his mother does not get it.  I really hope Mathew can get through this, it's clear he is desperate for a mother and his capacity to love is HUGE! I just hope someday when he gets older he can meet a really warm caring girl and make a new life for himself.  Someone made a comment earlier that maybe he could get a big sister.  I sure hope he looks into it.  Here's a BIG hug from me Mathew!!! *hugz*
February 4, 2009, 4:17 pm CST

Fathers part in this!

Dr Phil, come on I was really disappointed in the out come of the show, the fact at the mother was required to step up to the plate. But we have the father admitting to doing some very harmful things in the relationship. So it is easy to see how you needed to hold the fathers feet to the flame as well, to stay out of the mother-son relationship. Come on the fact he won't let the young man talk on the phone with out being in the room is just wrong. If the father is not doing any thing to damage the relationship then allow the two of them to have private conversations and create the depth of a relationships they should have. Also why does it require the father to be present for anything the two of them do. To me the only thing that does is support or repress what the father had done so long ago. A way of intimidate the mother. A relationship can only happen if that father steps back, his negative feels also effect the home and the sickness of the boy. I have compassion for both side, but I do understand Maslows order is that some people can only progress on the first level, when they are so depleted. In an ugly divorce can drain the best of us, and I have no doubt that this man was angry and hurt and he was in not way going to have compassion. I mean come on, he thought she aborted a child, instead of giving compassion that she had just lost a child. The show is a true light of what people put their children through. But please the future of the relationship between the mother and son, is honestly depended on if the father steps back in a postive way. He can step back and create back last as to how the son is feeling if he feels treatened.
So in contact with the father please check that he stays out and at least, his stepping back is supportive! Thanks and I do appricate that fact you did this show! My love to his young man who has never felt the love of a mother. I am a mother of five whom I love very much, but I do how ever through the years have had contact with these kids who parents mess up out of selfish behavior! Have a blessed day!
February 4, 2009, 4:54 pm CST


 I'm disappointed in Dr. Phil. 

 I don't think Dr. Phil was hard enough on Matthew's mother. Her replies to Matthew's questions lacked REAL answers.  She skirted his questions with apologies, gave lame excuses (or no excuses) for her 10 year absence.     No wonder Matthew is having a hard time trusting her.  Poor kid!


February 4, 2009, 5:07 pm CST

my 2 cents

I would like to put my 2 cents in,  advice I got from a gal friend of mine when my son's dad and I separeted.  My son was 3. divorced mom with 4 boys   She said "I dont have to make my boys dad look bad, he does a good job at that all by himself."  It doesnt matter how bad mom is.  Dad needs to help son deal with her.  Every child needs to feel loved by their parents.  My ex did a lot of screwing up too.  It wasnt until my son was 12 that I told him things that his father did to me.  Up until them I told my son that his father loved him and he was having a rough time.  It would pass and they would spend time together in the future.   We see him once or twice a year.  limited visitation I drive my son for 2 hours there and 2 hours back to see his dad.  Why because it makes my son feel good.  I have went as far as paying for monster truck night at the palace so they could have a good time.  I can honestly say i have not had the best situation but have made the best of it.  for my sons sake.  Maybe dad is just still hurt about the past.  but I help my ex in any way shape or form I can. Why because he is not capable of being a part time parent.  So we take what we can get.  Is it accepable? no but we have no choice.  I do believe kids need to know your side but not until they are old enough to understand.because the truth is the truth.  We dont know what the future holds but keeping in touch with his dad is a priority for my son and I will help in any way shape or form  His dad loves him and tells him all the time.  My son just cant stay with him for his dad is an alcoholic.  My advice to others is the stereo typical parent that is divorced cant be defined. What ever works for the situation and what ever is best for the child. We have families in all different shapes and sizes.  Ours is My son, myself, 2 cats and a dog.  They are our family and we are very happy. 
February 4, 2009, 6:00 pm CST

Mother seemed unmoved by sons pain

As a mother of 3 boys and two of them being twins I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new born child needing your attention 24/7 and no time for self much less any intimacy,,,, but there is still a internal voice and need to love and take the best care of that child who is your gift especially a healthy one with no special needs except to be loved. Hummm, I am by no means a self professed DR PHIL, but I watched the moms body language and she did not seem moved by her sons anguish she kept very little  physical contact with her son during the show and had just a few token tiers. During the show the husband  mentions several attempts at self abortion or miscarriages might mean she just does not have the ability to cope with sharing her time, showing emotions, or  she might know how to show love. I pray for her and her son that  they find a way to love each other and to stop hurting. God Bless and best wishes.
February 4, 2009, 6:28 pm CST


Matthew, I'm a psychologist. I just watched the show and I have to tell you... YOU are amazing. It's so obvious you are intelligent, gifted, articulate, courageous, and you have a good heart. And Matthew, you deserve a good mom.

Millions of moms watched the show and thought, "I would love to be his mom." Millions of moms watched the show and realized you must have been so hurt when you saw how other moms were.

YOU deserved a mom who volunteered in class, made cupcakes for school, created Halloween costumes for you and took you trick-or-treating. You deserved a mom who took you to all your soccer practices, cheered you on at games, laughed with you, played games with you, made cookies and let you lick the beaters even though you're not supposed to. You deserved a mom who was a shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to, and someone who created a joyful home, loving you and your dad. And you deserved the mom who would drop everything and rush to the hospital, gripping the steering wheel in a panic, frustrated that she just COULD NOT get there fast enough. That mom would be by your side every minute ANY time you were in the hospital. That's what a healthy mom does. That is the mom you deserved.

I'm sorry you did not get this mom. Life can be so hard. I'm sorry your mom has problems. I know you'll get through this - you will be okay. And you are SO courageous! How many of us would have the courage to do what you did here? You held her responsible... and Matthew, you helped a LOT of kids today, and some moms! Your courage and character shine are so strong... how remarkable you are!

I know YOU are going to be a wonderful father. Your children will be so lucky! And they will have a terrific grandfather in your dad. Many dads would not be supportive of your seeking the relationship with your  mom. I'm so glad yours is! I'm sorry you have to go through this, and it looks like you have some realistic expectations. Good for you! Please know - in even the darkest corners of your heart - that you deserve a good mom... the mom you did not get. She may or may not change for the better and she may or may not continue on a better path. We all hope she does, but based on my twenty seven years of experience, I do not expect long term change. Not much change, anyway.

You will get through this and you'll be okay. You'll grow into adulthood and you will have the honor and integrity that shines so brightly in you now. The world is lucky to have you! We all are lucky to have you.

Thank you, Matthew, for having the courage to be on the show. You did more good today than you can know. And keep the knowledge that you are strong and wise far beyond your years. YES, I said STRONG. You will be okay.
February 4, 2009, 7:18 pm CST

God Bless This Young Man

My heart literally feels like it's breaking when I listen to this young man reach out to his mother.  I don't understand how she can deny his pain with her excuses and continue to put herself first.  My own mother did the same thing to me and finally killed herself when I was twelve years old.  I made some bad choices in my life and chose the easy way out alot, but when I had a child of my own that changed.  At some point don't you look at your child and feel the pain your putting them through and make it want to stop?  The mother on your show shows a blatant disregard for this young man.  I am so angry that she continues to deny him and herself of the love that a mother and child should feel for eachother.  It's not fair to him.  I want to stand up and put my arms around him and tell him he's worth so much more than that.  I will continue to pray for him and other children being treated this way.
February 4, 2009, 8:19 pm CST

Maybe this can help a little

I feel so bad for this young man. It angers me to see what he is going through and how sick he is. I really hope somebody see's this and looks into a condition called CVS Cyclic Vomitting Syndrome. From everything he said he has all the symptoms. My son has it, I have it, and it is just as bad as he has described. They are abdominal migraines. They are caused, in large part, by stress. Please, somebody look into this and see if he can get some medical attention for it. I hope his dad sees this, as he is the one whom seems to care, and looks into it. It is usually a gastrointerologist who will diagnose it.

Please, help him....

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