2014 Shows

Twenty-five-year-old Letty and her 24-year-old sister, Francesca, say that growing up, their mother, Stephanie, chose drugs and alcohol over them -- and even drank and abused methamphetamines while pregnant with Francesca, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. The sisters say they were bounced around among family members and then placed in foster care for nine years, and they resent their mother for abandoning them. Francesca says she has also struggled with intellectual disabilities and a long list of health issues -- all due to her mother’s “selfish” decisions. Stephanie, who has been clean for 18 months and now runs a sober living house, insists that she has worked hard to turn her life around and make amends with her daughters -- but says Letty and Francesca refuse to let go of the past. Dr. Phil enlists the help of professional locator Troy Dunn, author of the new book, Family: The Good F Word, to get this fractured family on the path to healing. Will Stephanie gain insight into her daughters’ pain? And, can Letty and Francesca get past their resentment toward their mother and find forgiveness?

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: booellis9 on Apr 26, 2014, 3:28PM - In reply to viviowos
destructive to society? how can you speak so meanly about something you obviously know nothing about? yes this mother is so screwed in the head it's not even funny. she makes all recovering addicts look awedul and maybe that's why you made such an aweful comment. but i myself am a recovering addict. i have children who saw me go through nothing a child should ever see. i've been clean for 8 years now. i got clean for my children. they are 15 and 12 and when my oldest was 7 i had enough of what my decisions were doing to them. then went through so much and i still can't forgive myself for what i put them through. when my oldest was 10 i sat down with him and explained why i did the things i did. i told him that i made a bad choice by starting to do drugs in the first place. i tried to explain to him how what i did was not his or his brothers fault at all. after i explained myself i sat quietly for what seemed to be hours and let him explain himself and everything i put them through. he said some really hurtful things to me but he needed to do that. he needed to know that he nor his brother we not at fault for my decisions and that he has every right to hate me, blame me, and resent me for what i did.

what you don't understand is that addiction is a very powerful thing. yes we are selfish, careless and would do anything to get that drug. i was addicted to pain pills or you can call them opiates, which is the same thing that herion is made from. when you don't have that pill you get really sick, and when you feel like that you can either choose to fix it by asking for help or helping yourself. i choose to help myself by continueing to use the drugs. i choose the drugs over my children until i had enough of hurting them. they say that you need to get clean for yourself first and not for anything else. that's not true becuase it was my children who saved my life. i couldn't bare to see my actions hurt them. my point is that you can't always assume that things are a certain way. you are so judgemental and honestly if youv;e never had to deal with it or had anyone go through it then you don't know how it is.

this mother is so selfish. she has only been clean for 18 months which hardly considers her to be a recovering addict. she needs to think about the things she said on this show and that should show her that she has a long way to go. i would think that seeing yourself on tv saying that you tried to kill your baby by using more drugs and then being stuck with her, would change her views on how she is still hurting her children. but by her reply to this forum shows she learned nothing. she needs to stop with the 12 step lingo and stop trying to "make amends" with her daughters. she needs to just sit down with them and explain herself as i did, and then just sit quietly and let them get all of their feelings and bad memories out in the open. but she clearly does not see things this way. it is so sad that she puts those addicts over her own children. it's all the same really as she put addicts over her children when she was using just like shes doing now.

Replied By: viviowos on Apr 25, 2014, 12:55PM - In reply to boogercat_
its like you took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you for your reply. It's so frustrating that this person thinks so highly of that mom. her empathy is very misplaced. the crazy drug addict mom should be empowering her daughters now. But like all addicts, they are all selfish And destructive burdons on our society. 
Replied By: imperatrice on Apr 25, 2014, 12:00PM - In reply to ellejay70
Seemingly no one needs to as you've done enough of it for all.  Others have responded to your post - I leave it to them as they have all expressed it quite well.  If I didn't know better I would think you and Stephanie know each other quite well …...
Replied By: upsydasy on Apr 25, 2014, 10:03AM - In reply to ellejay70
As I tried explaining many times before this story is not about Stephanie, which is a concept that she doesn’t seem to grasp yet.  When I agreed to meet my birth daughter for the 1st time a little over 2 years ago, it was for the sole purpose of answering any lingering questions that she had concerning the circumstances of her adoption.  I gave her a photo of her ultrasound and a pearl necklace that her birthfather had given me.  Although she immediately burst into tears when she first saw me, I remained very calm because this was her journey, not mine and I didn’t want to make her responsible for my feelings.  I listened very carefully to her questions and answered them truthfully and continue to do so to this day.  Stephanie could do so much for her daughters if she would only listen to them instead of being so defensive, which is definitely a form of cowardice. 

It isn’t up to them to visit, console or support her in her efforts with her new life, her group home or her sobriety for that matter.  They didn’t chose to be born to a drug addicted mother or to be robbed of her love and wholesome nurturing within a stable home, which every child deserves.  As you pointed out they may be 24 and 25 now, but a huge chunk of their lives which should have been theirs by rights is unaccounted for and it’s Stephanie’s job to try and make things right even if it takes the rest of her life to do so, not theirs.  If I were sitting across a kitchen table from Letty and Francesca, I would advise them to be patient and try to lower their expectations. Based on what we saw on the show as well as the comment she made here in this forum, Stephanie still has a very long way to go before she can truly be a positive and uplifting force in their lives.  Consequently, if they decide to maintain contact, I would suggest that they keep their conversations and visits with Stephanie brief and simple for now and to steer clear of their mother’s propensity for histrionics and self-pitying, because at this stage of her recovery that’s all she seems capable of.
Replied By: boogercat_ on Apr 25, 2014, 4:05AM - In reply to ellejay70

"How often do we watch this show and when don't  Dr. Phil put someone down?"

Dr. Phil doesn't put people down. He simply identified a trait that Stephanie was displaying.(Cowardice.) That word means that she's not brave enough, or finds it too much work, to face something difficult.

"Why did these girls want to be on this show?"

To get closure by having their mother FACE, accept, have insight and genuine remorse for her actions which caused profound pain in their lives. You are not even considering the DEEPLY profound pain that comes from knowing your mother (purposely!) tried to kill you with drugs. If Stephanie carries on with this attitude, they will never get closure from her. Sometimes, others can give us a tremendous gift by helping us achieve that closure. That's a wonderful thing to do for someone else. If she is too selfish and self-centered to help her daughters achieve closure, they will have to work on closure for themselves. But my, what a wonderful thing if their mother was a part of that closure and peace. Right now, Stephanie doesn't seem at all willing to help them do that, because she's too selfish and she's got emaciated insight, if any at all.

"To embarrass their mother who is in recovery who is helping others."

Two beautiful, intelligent girls were damaged by their mother in a profound way that you don't seem to grasp, and you're worried about Stephanie being embarrassed?

As for helping others, as I said in my previous comment, it's easier for her to deal with persons who she hasn't damaged. It's easy and there's a payoff: public laudability. There's no such payoff with her daughters. She doesn't get public kudos as being "compassionate" by helping her daughters, because that's more private. And here you are, lauding her publicly for her "compassion". You've just given Stephanie narcissistic supply. In my opinion, she cares more about "helping others" because it feeds her public image. To me, making right with those I've damaged is more important than public image.

"Look at their motives."

Really? Have a look at Stephanie's motives. As I said before and I'll say it again: public laudability. And it's kind of disgusting. "Look at how I'm helping others!" while her daughters are in need of her. It's easy to be nice and impress in public. But private acts of kindness, generosity, etc., are often much more valuable and genuine. I can see she's impressed you in some way. Maybe because you identify with her, have something in common with her?

It's not about being a perfect parent, it's about the fact that she abandoned her children and one of them has gone through life with the full knowledge that she was the victim of attempted filicide by her own mother. Have you any idea, any inkling, of what that feels like? Those girls have every right to ask for closure, which means being honest and it means work. But because it's not as easy as impressing her addict group, and people like you, the mother declines. And I retch.

"So when you comment negatively from watching a television show think of the negative impact you can be causing to the people whose lives this is a reality for."

So when you give someone support for doing the wrong things, and blame their victims, think of the negative impact you could be causing those who actually suffered and are suffering the brunt of someone else's selfishness. Also think of the validation you're giving someone who shouldn't be given validation for their actions, but accountability. That she's impressive to her group, and to you, means nothing to me because I see past Stephanie's actions. Those girls have to face their histories every day, their mother gets off scot free she hasn't faced ANYthing.

"I applaud the mother in her recovery and in her compassion for helping others"


Are you THAT easily impressed? Seriously? Try to kill your unborn child using drugs as your poison and somehow she's compassionate because she's leading an addict group? You have GOT to be kidding me. I don't think you grasp the severity of the situation.

"and to the two daughters I would have to say. If you don't want her in your life clean and sober and compassionate for others"

That's the point, isn't it. Misplaced compassion. Where's the compassion for her daughters? It's EASY to be thought of as compassionate publicly by those who have not been inflicted with you as a mother.

"and only want to blame her for the past...then I am sorry for your loss."

Uh. It's HER loss, not her daughters'. They may be damaged, but they seem awesome. I would love to have two beautiful daughters like those girls. Few would volunteer for a Stephanie as a mother, though. Not if they knew what those girls do.

What I would tell the daughters is this: give your mother a chance. Not for her, but for yourselves. She may be able to help you achieve closure and peace, if she gets the right help. If she, however, doesn't have insight, and isn't able to obtain any, unfortunately you may have to get peace and closure for yourselves, and leave your mother in the dust, playing a part (like in a movie), PERFORMING with her addict group.

Good luck girls. You deserve to be at peace. Hopefully your mother can be a part of that.
Replied By: boogercat_ on Apr 25, 2014, 2:51AM - In reply to amysgrangran
Thanks so much for your reply to my comment. And I'm glad that someone else can see what I see. =)
Replied By: sagechild on Apr 24, 2014, 5:16PM - In reply to ellejay70
You don't have to insult others to disagree with them (check out the headings you used for your posts), and this post is not meant to insult you.  It seems inconsistent and illogical to state so vehemently no one can judge given what you wrote.  People offer advice and opinion based on observation, experience, assessment and judgments. You actually offered assessment and opinion and made judgments in your posts.

Let me list just two of them:

1. Why did these girls want to be on this show? To embarrass their mother who is in recovery who is helping others

2.  These two daughters seem to be jealous that their mothers life does not revolve around them. 

This is a message board for a TV show, so I think most people, including the guests, will realize there'll be some mix of criticism (which actually could be helpful in understanding another's position and thought processes) and support.  It might even prompt others to wonder what they are not seeing or acknowledging.  You know, what their blindspots are.   Personally, I wonder about the motivation of  a person who put forth his or her assessment of a situation he or she saw on a TV show while suggesting others should not. Your posts strike me as  both hypocritical and presumptuous, but who knows maybe they will help someone right now or in the future.
Replied By: booellis9 on Apr 24, 2014, 4:02PM - In reply to ellejay70
first of all i think it's awesome that your child with a disability is very independent as well as your other children but if you have never been in a situation then how are you to judge either way. i've seen it both ways as to the fact that my mother was addicted to drugs when i was little until i was 15 and i have children and i was an addict myself. the thing i found most updetting was hearing that women state that she tried to abort her daughter then when she had her that she was stuck with her. she almost seemed to brag about it. th worst part was that she openly spoke about it in front of her daughter. how would you feel if that was you? my mother never said she was sorry for what she did to me and i'm 36 years old and it still hurts me. i have forgiven her but it took me a long time to do so. these girls are still young and i'm sure it will take them time to understand and forgive their mother. you know maybe you are right but what if your wrong? what if they truly did go to that show in order for help? sometimes we see an opertunity and take it. we all have the right to our opinion which i respect but when you go and speak so meanly about a situation you don't understand, what does that say about you?
Replied By: heathur74 on Apr 24, 2014, 3:15PM
I hear of mothers who are addicted to drugs but they don't use them to try and abort there babies, they need help and it does take over your life, these people are just plain weak, if being pregant does not make you stop doing drugs then nothing will but the woman's story is different, she tried to kill her baby with the drugs, I could never forgive her for that or speak to her again, she does not deserve her kids at all but what im glad about is that the girl lived and now everyday her mom has to know what she did and face her for the rest of her life, she claims the drugs made her act the way she did but its an excuse, drugs would not make you try to abort your baby on purpose....wonder what kind of drugs it was?? was is LSD did she think the baby was a monster.. I think NOT.
Replied By: ellejay70 on Apr 24, 2014, 12:17PM
These two women yes women are no longer children. They are 24 and 25 and they are still blaming their mother....Stephanie owns up to her mistakes and her wanting to have an abortion. I have children who are grown, my children live on their own and make their own way...Frannie has a disability...I have family members with mental disabilities they receive a check, pay rent and bills and buy food...they live their lives. These two daughters seem to be jealous that their mothers life does not revolve around them. Do they call her regularly? Do they visit without wanting something regularly? Or at all? What do any of us do for our parents who gave us life? Do they do any of these things. i never once heard them say that they were happy or proud or recognized that Stephanie was clean and sober. This is not reality television...this is the Dr. Phil Show. Stephanie is after attention and recognition...said by her daughters who tried to make her look bad...So anyone who helps anyone else is after attention...really? I guess since that is what many of you believe..The DR. PHIL show is after attention and recognition! Correct?
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