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Topic : 09/07 Dark Family Secrets

Number of Replies: 216
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Created on : Friday, September 02, 2005, 11:04:45 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1

After years of suffering in silence, a family turns to Dr. Phil for help on a forbidden topic. Their silence stems from years of incest that took place between all five siblings. Becky, the oldest sister, is terrified those years of molestation and pain could cause her younger brother, Kenny, to die on the streets as a homeless drug addict. Find out what happens when Kenny faces his brothers and sisters as they confront their incestuous past. Plus, Alexis wants help with a heart-breaking secret. Her father got her pregnant eight times, beginning when she was just 15. Her children don't know that their grandfather is also their dad. Should Alexis tell them? Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.


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September 7, 2005, 5:59 pm CDT

Thank You

Quote From: guaran

I think you're so smart for doing so much research.

Having been at this for twelve years  (during which there have been improvements), I commend you for being careful about a therapist.   (Some continue to believe in "borderline personality disorder" rather than PTSD; IMHO, run, don't walk, away from those.)

My own expereince is that drugs and talk therapy work best.   Also, I went to a fourteen-week incest group therapy which was invaluable; that cured me of guilt quick.    Deep breathing therapy is fantastic.   But the most  important is the talk therapy.    The drugs, should you opt for them (and most people recommend them) will help you manage the symptoms you have now and get through the therapy.

Right now I'm looking for something called "social skills therapy."    As Dr. Phil said, one remains frozen at certain points and fails to mature.    I think the social skills therapy would help with this.

Don't fret.   I feel like I'm three, seven, six, fourteen, forty and eighty.   It's inevitable.    You're so smart though; and cautious too.    You'll no doubt know the right choices for you.

For some reason God has gifted me with passion on this issue...I really dont' think I will ever be silent on this topic...I always used to lie around crying "when is this going to end?"... "when will I ever be over this?"..."when will I be happy?"  ..."why me?" ...until i changed the way i think about it...I stopped wanting it to "not be" and embraced it and the reality that I need to go on a healing journey...then I started moving forward ever so slowly...I know I have a very dark tunnel to travel through but i now can see the light at the other end and am not so fearful...still scared but not "unwilling" to "look" at it even though it hurts a lot. 


I also stopped wanting validation from my family...which is like looking to the fire to heal your burns...i had to accept it is not going to happen.   Maybe that is why i get so much satisfaction from reading and doing research that validates's my support. 



September 7, 2005, 6:02 pm CDT

I think that was an insensitive comment to make

Quote From: missjane2

To me this show was TMI:  TOO MUCH INFORMATION  I think it is really sad.  I can't remember when stuff like this started coming out of the closet.  There was a time when it wasn't discussed and then all of a sudden was.  I know when I started having kids I was protective of my children and haven't had any incidents.  If I would have caught someone hurting my child in this way I probably would have hit them (although I am not a violent person).  If I had any reservation about my babysitters or the young boys they babysat... I wouldn't let my kids stay there.  Kids should be playing with toys and not having sex.  And this is something I think about this family:  as children they should have been playing with toys.  I feel bad about hearing it.  I don't want to know it.  I think the hard thing is that our society gauks these people which I think PREVENTS their recovery.  And now they did this as children, and are TALKING about it as ADULTS....  I think they should regress and do the things they should have been doing as KIDS like:  Play putt putt golf, swimming or bowling or things like that.... hobbies....  I just hope they don't carry it the rest of their lives.....and can get past it........

I think you totally left out empathy for the people on this board who are victims, survivors, and maybe even abusers. 


By telling people to put it away and not talk about it is the reason so many myths and stigmas surround stuff like this. 


many people are threatened with their lives or lives of loved ones if they tell. By standing up against the abuse is a big step and then to have someone come say they shouldn't talk about it is VERY RUDE. IMO 

September 7, 2005, 6:13 pm CDT

Good Night

Today was a good day.  A great incredibly courageous family who shared a most painful secret...I admire you all...and are special...don't ever forget it.  I'm emotionally exhausted and I love it.  I will sleep like a baby tonight.  To all who shared on this message board today...Bravo! Keep sharing tomorrow and everyday after that...We can always strengthen each other if we refuse to be silent. 


September 7, 2005, 7:06 pm CDT

09/07 Dark Family Secrets

Well I don't know who to respond to first.....  I didn't mean to offend you all in my comment.  I am sorry for that.   I still think if you read the script..... It is too much information.  I do think you should deal with it.  I don't think it should be ignored.  I guess I think it should be dealt with in more private counselling.  I just don't want to know it, but you don't want me to say that....  I want to know them as whoever they are in there life and how they serve the community without knowing that.   I have over the years talked to my kids about the subject.  I think it has help protect them.   You may think that's rude, but that's how I feel and I don't mean it to be rude.  And I hope the best for you and healing of your heart.                    
September 7, 2005, 7:55 pm CDT

Silence, Secrecy and Sickness...

This silent epidemic thrives in darkness and concealment. The reality is molestation, incest, the perpetrators and the victims often live in silence, which actually aides in enabling these abuses to continue. I believe that to NOT begin addressing these issues in a MORE public arena, is a mistake that comes at to high a cost.   

Keeping this mammoth issue shrouded in silence and secrecy maybe more comfortable for some, but what kind of society are we when we do this to comfort those who feel too sensitive to view this kind of topic. THAT’S WHAT THE REMOTE’S FOR!!!   

Dragging this ugly issue into the clear light of day, takes it out of the darkness. Putting a spotlight on this, enables victims to more clearly see their way out of the shadows.    

As I watched today’s show and listened to this family’s painful history, I was reminded of a quotation. I think that it was Virginia Satir who described the dysfunctional family saying, ‘No one ever talks about the great big grey elephant in the middle of the living room.’ While I think that she was referring to a different kind of family disorder when she said that, I thought of how fitting it is for this, as well.   

September 7, 2005, 10:03 pm CDT

I say, "good for you"

It very courageous of this family to go on the Dr. Phil show and talk about what happened. Dr Phil says that monsters live in the dark. And if you're always hiding this and never talking about it, it will fester and eat away at you. He also said that millions of people are affected by incest (or maybe he just meant sexual abuse) and so I think this is an excellent way to instigate others to bring the skeletons out of the closet. I really feel for Kenny. All of them actually, but Kenny the most. To me he seems so compassionate and like this thing that he did just devastated him. Just ruined him. And he really hasn't taken anything lightly. I hope that he can forgive himself and that he really has forgiven his brother. I don't know him at all but he seems intelligent to me and I think that he would have so much to offer others around him in the way of his caring, tender, intelligent way. Katie, you're a beautiful girl. I hope that you will find healing. Be open and honest about your feelings and ready to talk. Becky I think it's wonderful that you've brought your family to the show. You're very motherly to them all. I think you're a very strong and devoted person. You got tagged but you didn't pass it on. Chris I hope you can heal. I hope you will be open, be forgiving to the person who did this to you, and be forgivable to those you did it to. I know Dr Phil said this isn't about forgivness but that is necessary too. I wonder why Matt (the youngest?) didn't come on the show. Didn't Dr Phil say they all came? God will give you strength and anything you need for salvation sake if you ask Him.
September 7, 2005, 10:03 pm CDT


 I think this show was amazing. It took so much courage to do what they did in telling their story. FAR too many people are being abused by someone they are related to... and it never goes away. In some form or another, it hinders their daily life if they dont acnowledge or release it.  I feel for this family. Seeing their pictures as little kids, gave it such a raw feeling, and it made you think. Kinda triggering tho, if you were dealing with your own issues...
September 7, 2005, 10:31 pm CDT

Thanks to Dr. Phil

Quote From: hunneybear

It is so amazing to se how many people have experienced the same problems. I really thought I was alone. The fact that so many people have spoken up in just a few hours says that as hard as it had to be for those who had to be all worth while. right?? I know after dealing with an incestuous relationship with my father, I didn't want anyone to know about it. I can't say I feel better, but it is so reassuring to know that your not the only one.   


I have recently begun my therapy, and it is amazing how much better you can feel when you get the help you need, and have the support from family and friends. Knowing your not alone is the key.  


Anyways, I am so glad that Dr. Phil has brought some light to this issue, and the realization that it really is happening, and that you can't close your eyes to it. the people living the nightmare do need a voice and it's about time that we had one. So thank you Dr.Phil, for bringing this out in the open and giving those who can help the chance. God Bless  

I agree - I too have long awaited a show that speaks to what I experienced as a young girl for a few years. 


Having shared my experience with only my mother and my husband i have not felt any real support until I started reading the posts on here.  It is a terrible thing to experience - though somehow it makes me feel better knowing that so many out there are also living with this in silence. 


I was abused by an older brother for 3 years and until the age of 24 felt like my memories were some sort of bad dream.  One day I spoke to my sister about it and discovered they were real memories.  I've been struggling with it ever since - hearing things like "that's just experimentation" or "that was because my brother had the same thing done to him".  Needless to say that doesn't help me much and after watching the show and reading the posts...I realize I have much work to do to resolve this for myself. 


I always felt like it would just 'go away' someday I suppose - it hasn't and the posts and experiences shared on this site have helped me realize just  how much this has affected my life.  In my case I have a great relationship with brother now and don't wish to lose that - or my family by confronting him about this.  I forgave him a long time ago - just can't get past some of the issues I'm left with....fear and guilt primarily...guilt because the day I finally said 'no' he took my younger sister in to his room.  I have guilt for that - and also question why I didn't stop it sooner.  My brain tells me I was a little kid - but somehow it still keeps nagging at me. 



I didn't mean to write so long - just has been a long time I've waited to encounter a group of people who have such experience and empathy for my situation.  Funily enough I was reading the posts on here when a nephew of mine showed up - I talked with him about what I was doing and he shared that he too had been abused as a child.  Was a great opportunity for us both to begin sharing such a dark secret that isn't often acceptable to talk about. 


Northern Fan 


Thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences and advice here -  

September 7, 2005, 11:46 pm CDT


 I held my breath as I watched the show about the family secrets. I am scared to open up and talk about my childhood sexual abuse. The secrecy is because all during those years I was told that it was my fault. I did something to cause this invasion of my body. I am tired of being scared all the time. I am tired of feeling dirty and hating the fact I was born a female. I feel like a prisoner in my own body screaming to be set free and scared to come out. I need a safe, non judgemental enviroment to deal with this issue. I am 52 years old and I am scared of the dark. I can't enjoy sex with my husband. I would love to get over this and live. But I feel a part of me has died. What is so hard to admit is the numerous times that I froze in fear around men in my teenage and young adult years leaving me vulnerable to controling men who raped me. I don't want to be scared anymore. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to get this much out.
September 8, 2005, 12:02 am CDT

Get past it.


 I was abused by an older sister when I was around 7, 8, 9, 20+ yrs ago. Does my family know? nope. I dont see what point, or what good dwelling in the past would do. No I do appreciate what happened, but I see nothing good out of bringing it up know. The only person I have told is my dh. I agree that this is TMI for a tv show, something this private and personal, IMO, doesnt belong on national television. As for kenny, HE has control on wether or not he is homeless, using drugs, etc. He needs to let his past go and get on with his future. We are all responsible for ourselves. No one can run our lives for us. Life is too short and too fast to be dwelling on the negatives of 20 yrs ago, enjoy your life while you can.  

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