2009 Shows

(Original Air Date: 04/01/09) America is teeming with people who are frustrated by rising unemployment, lack of affordable health care and mounting foreclosures. Dr. Phil talks to children who say they are silently shouldering their parents’ rage. He meets with two sets of siblings -- sisters Kelsey, 12, and Courtney, 13; and sister and brother Skyler, 17, and Shane, 15 -- who say their mother's anger has them walking on eggshells. What do the kids say are their biggest fears? Next, Dr. Phil sits down with Kelsey and Courtney’s mom, Lisa, alone. Lisa says her Jekyll-and-Hyde personality causes her to verbally attack her daughters. Find out what incident caused her to fly into a rage and kick one of her kids out! What’s behind the mom’s fury? Dr. Jim Sears, renowned pediatrician and co-host of the hit show The Doctors weighs in. Then, Skyler and Shane’s mother, Shawnda, says she’s on edge every day and fears that rage is slowly killing her. She says she cusses like a sailor in the home and calls her children horrible names such as bitch and retard. Can Shawnda learn to get her temper under control? Plus, don’t miss Dr. Phil’s eight coping steps for verbally abusive parents. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: bethree5 on Mar 3, 2016, 12:17PM
In case someone else like me  just saw this show re-aired today...  Dr Phil's show was good for providing a wake-up call, & hopefully Spurs similar Moms to get help (therapy). But as one whose husband can rage in this way (he would NEVER on his kids, only to me) it's not really helpful to tell someone to cut out sources of stress (like work) in order to have better control at home. Someone who vents like this will do it on vacation too. 

Our path was complex & it will differ for every family. The first clue I got was when I quoted something to my husband he'd just said (yelled) the day before, & he replied he'd not only never said it, he disagreed with it & didn't think that way. I suddenly realized that when he was raging he wasn't thinking, & didn't remember his words. 

Sometime later I picked up "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene to help w/my youngest, & realized I was reading about my spouse. Fortunately I was seeing a therapist regularly. I was finally able to explain my spouse's outbursts in a way that helped her hone in on how to deal with it. Obviously family counseling would have been a lot quicker but a person who rages like this is often not likely to understand they need help.
Replied By: dgonzalezrios on Apr 14, 2015, 11:47AM
I know this is an old show but I wish I had been able to get help when I was a child.  My mother was like these moms.  When My parents separated my mother took it off at us kids.  She would throw things and at times at us.  She would insult us, threathen to give us up to families that would treat us worst than she, beat us, shake us, push us around and then make promises not to do it again.  I feel I thought the worst end of it for two reasons.  One I was the oldest and would ague back.  Second I would fend her off my younger brothers.  She had hit me over the head with pots and pans.  She has broken a broom on back.  The abuse was so bad she attempted to kill me by choking me to the point I had an out of body experience.  It has been about 15 years and I still live with the fear of my past.  It has haunted me even into motherhood.  I have trust issues when it comes to my mom. I get neverous when my mom asks me to leave my kids with her for a week or so.  I have had her involved in my childrens life but I consently have my guard up.   I dont know if it will ever fully get better but I am trying to get past this.
Replied By: bluetigeraj on Mar 11, 2014, 7:07PM
Dr.phil I watched this story on tv yesterday afternoon and I finally got to a place to join an dwrite you. As I watched this all I thought of was a movie I watched years ago on life time called "a killer amongst friends" an everything that happened to this young girl happened to skyler. I broke down in tears. I wanted you to help me contact that family and swnd all my condolences and love.
Replied By: lizawren on Jun 9, 2012, 10:56AM
This could have been me on this show. For over 10 years, I raged at my husband and kids. Turns out, I had Hashimoto's Syndrome, a thyroid autoimmune disease. It was compounded by my getting a major dose of radiation as an infant for treatment of a facial birthmark. The radiation caused my thyroid gland to become cancerous, and I had it removed when I was 48. After recovering from the surgery, my anger level went from 10+ to about a 3. I started taking a low dose of Prozac for residual irritability (almost always during PMS times), and I have gone from highly abusive outbursts several times per day to a couple per year of much less intensity. I had been in therapy off and on during this time, but made no real progress until after the surgery. After surgery and meds, I was able to make huge progress on issues resulting from being raised by a dysfunctional, screaming mom - who also turned out to have Hashimotos, as does my sister. Now, five years later, we have a quiet, happy household. My family relationships are great except for one grown son who refuses to speak to me. He won't give me another chance, and I respect his choice. I hope that maybe one day that will change. I guess my point is, check yourself out physically if you are having issues with self-control and irritability. All the therapy and resolve in the world could not help me curb my abusive temper for long, and the people who bore the brunt of it were ones I loved the most. I knew what I was doing was wrong after I did it, but when I was in the middle of an outburst, I felt completely justified. This made it very hard to control, as Dr. Phil asserts it should have been possible - at least for these other women - to do. The combination of adjustment problems coupled with imbalanced brain chemistry can be a tough issue to change. A thyroid peroxidase test coupled with a TSH level can give insight as to whether thyroid disorders may be contributing to the situation. I wish I'd gotten my cancer much earlier - it might have saved a lot of wear and tear on my family. I also wish Dr. Phil would not act as though he absolutely knows these women have complete, 100% control in these situations when he has not walked in their shoes. That said, I'm glad that he offered these families some help.
Replied By: catman77046 on Apr 13, 2010, 4:06PM
While I think there is some benefit/service provided by Dr. Phil, there is no way he can know this person's or any person's true issues and deal with them in such a short period of time.  Only general helpful hints can come of this.  This show is such an example.  I know this person.  I was married to her.  While what she was/is doing is not good or to be condoned, we have all seen much worse.  The question is what is the underlying issue that causes this?  More serious follow-up counseling is what is needed.  Good person,  Just has issues that have hope of getting better.
Replied By: lafcal on Jun 28, 2009, 10:49PM
Dr. Phil, I watched this 2nd airing of this show and was moved as much this time as I was the last. The only problem is, I can't  take any useful advice fromthis show  for my own situation. I am a working Mom (outside of the home) and feel overwhelmed with kids, and all their actiivities,and life in general. I admit that I really need help, but I am way too cowardly to come on your show. It's embarrassing  that my children are exposed to my daily wrath.I know that you would say this is a choice, but I feel so out of control when I am in these rages.You advised your one guest to cut down on her hours to do whatever she had to to make her family her priority. I love my children, but this is not an option for us. We already live in a very modest3 bedroom ranch,drive 1 used car and have a car payment on a second used car and are living from paycheck to paycheck. I guess I can't see any room for scrimping.Perhaps you could offer more advice via this blog. I hope so and thanks.
Replied By: cinderella3 on Jun 28, 2009, 7:11AM - In reply to cstrauss
I have been there too. I had an extremely passive husband who didn't think of any way to help out during the marriage. I was the "owner" of all household chores, all planning, all responsibility, and all care-taking of our son. I also worked a full time job and I was exhausted for more that 10 years. He would "help" if I asked in a way that he thought was appropriate and then do a crappy job. He would play "golf" 4-5 times a week, always on Saturday and Sunday. He would "have" to go because there were "tournaments" and people were waiting for him. He couldn't stand it if I did something for myself. Even after I had surgery he had to go play "golf". Now he can't work a real job because he has to play his "music". Alway a diversion.

These type of men are extremely passive/aggressive and are checked out of the marriage from the beginning. He was raised in an alcoholic home (mother) and wanted me to be his mother. I was looking for a husband and partner. From the outside and even with my family, it appeared that I was the problem--and that he was the good guy--so much fun, so pleasant to be around, and so nice to talk to--he was such a narcissist. Men like this look for a hyper-responsible spouse--this way they can sit back and gripe about their spouse as a defense mechanism to get out of doing work. I was miserable for more than 20 years of marriage and boy was I angry and yelling. It got to the point where he didn't even want to work. I felt that I had to fix everything, that everything was my fault and I was the bad guy.

I am trying to work on my problem--it must be co-dependence. Now I realize that my boyfirend is also very passive.

This is why I have sympathy for Kate, because Jon is the same way--I can see it and I have lived it. Kate is handling everything while this guy sits on his lazy butt waiting for her to do everything and figure everything out. Then he has the nerve to blame her and most people buy it. She is a dynamo and is taking care of her kids in the best ways she knows how. If she didn't have the show she would be succeeding in some other manner. Again, he would be sitting on his butt and acting passive. I pray that Kate can find her way through this problem. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Please Dr Phil--come on--wake up.
Replied By: ddaniell on Jun 27, 2009, 8:37PM
I also have a son with autism and had to make the choice to place him in an environment where he would get the structure that he needed.  I was a gut wrenching decision and I was angry with everyone for suggesting it.  I felt like they wanted me to just throw away my son (and my heart and soul) just because he wasn't normal.  My son's behavior towards me started to get violent and I needed help but, as a Mom I just felt like I should be able to handle my own child.  The problem was that he was so familiar with me that he walked all over me and I was at the end of my rope.  He had all the power.  I worked with the Department of Human Services to have him placed in a loving, caring environment where I could see him whenever I wanted and gain some power from his new caregivers.  This really does work, but it is so hard to let go.  My son was 15 when this happened.  He is now 20 and our relationship is so much better.  I worked full-time and took care of him full-time.  It was a lot of stress and he did not sleep well so I would go days without sleeping.  I even contemplated suicide because I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Then I decided that the best way to help my son was to help myself so I would be around to protect him for as long as God wanted me to do this.  I accepted help and I deal everyday with wanting that control over every aspect of his day...but I made a deal with God that I would accept the help that he sent my way and realize that ultimately he is the keeper of my son's destiny and I am his instrument.  I still have all the say on who is caring for my son, I see him several times a week and he spends one night a week at home with me and I know I can go get him any minute of any day.....but I don't because I know that he needs the structure that his program provides and our time together is so much better because of the program he is in.  I appreciate the professionals and care givers because they are making it possible for both me and my son to be happy and enjoy our time together.  The mother child bond is so strong that it makes the decision to seek help very difficult, but you also need to realize that the time that you have away from each other helps you to be a better caregiver when you have your child with you, and your time a part gives you back a piece of your life.  After all these special angels need us for a life time......not just 18 years.  You have to pace yourself and don't allow yourself to get worn out.  the way to do this is to accept the help.  Trust God to take care of the things that you cannot control.  You will probably beat yourself up about the decision at first but when you see the difference it makes in your son's life, and your life....you will know it was the right thing to do for your child and ultimately whenever you make the right decision for your child you are making the right decision for yourself.  I miss him this very moment, but I also remember that God gave my son a mission too, and even though I like to believe that the universe revolves around me, sometimes my son's mission does not involve me.  God created him just as he is for a reason, and he has touched so many lives, more than I will probably ever know, and I have to believe that God knows what he is doing and will protect him when I am not there to do it.  You are not alone!

Paul's Mom
Replied By: lavenderrose3b on Jun 27, 2009, 2:01PM
We often get lost in the world of what we don't have how we are going to feed our children how are we going to pay our bills and what will happen. We forget to see like I do at times what we do have. I have three wonderful kids yet they are affected also. I share my concerns though they may not understand everything that is happening  they do see it affecting Mom or dad. I share with my boys and husband  that I am frustrated and scared what will happen .
Replied By: cr9180 on Jun 27, 2009, 10:24AM - In reply to cstrauss
Dr. Phil is not stupid. He knows there is 2 sides to every story. And they told the other side on the show. He recommended the one lady working 40 to 60 hours get a smaller house and stop trying to keep up with the Jones' so to speak so she didn't have to work so many hours to cut back on her stress. He said treating the kids good and being a happy family was more important. Like you said the abusive parent should get help of whatever kind is needed. And delegation. Does the garage HAVE to be clean? What if the car isn't washed? Lots of parents just close the childrens' bedroom doors if the rooms are a mess. Are those things really worth verbally or physically abusing children? If the kids or husband refuses to help, don't wash their clothes. After they have to wear dirty clothes a few times they may be more willing to help. My interpretation of Dr. Phil's point of the show was to try to get parents to come up with ideas to try to change the situation. Use the brain to try to figure out resolutions to the problems. No way will I ever agree those are good excuses to abuse children.
A good example of resolutions is a joke on the internet now about going camping with a very loud snorer. The 3 men each took turns sleeping in the same tent as the snorer. Short version is the 1st two got no sleep. The 3rd woke up all rested with no problems. They asked how. He said before they went to bed he tucked the snorer in, told him he loved him and gave him a big wet kiss on the cheek. The snorer was afraid to sleep that nite! Anyway I think Dr. Phil is trying to get parents to either get professional help, ask advice from  friends or whoever, or be smarter than the kids and husband and come up with ways to get them to help out. There are people out there who know how to better control kids, like the Nanny. Everyone is good at something and everyone needs help or advice with other things. No way would he ever say oh ok, just be stressed and then it's ok to abuse the kids. Otherwise what was the whole point of the show? In the beginning you talk about being abusive but at the end you act like it's just bitchy. There is a big difference between the two.
My opinion is people who have done this in the past are not bad people. They just don't know better, are just reacting to the situation and not thinking clearly at the time. I feel they also have no clue how it is affecting the children. But please don't give the parents that are currently in this situation and looking for excuses not to change, what they might think is an ok excuse for an easy way out. From my experience--I HONESTLY believe it could cost someone their life! Have you read my previous post that explains how I was the child and believed all the things my mom said and thought I was worthless and tried to commit suicide? From my lifelong struggles of trying to overcome the consequences, I just hate to see anybody put anything on this site that might give parents an excuse to continue this type of behavior because I know from experience some children might commit suicide from the consequences. That's just one of many, many horrible problems that kids have to deal with for many, many years if they live.
Thank-you anybody for reading this.
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