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Topic : 06/28 Family Troublemakers

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Created on : Friday, February 10, 2006, 12:50:54 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 02/17) Too many of us have a relative who stirs the pot. Meet a family who feels held captive by their youngest daughter, Marcie. Russ and Cheryl say every day is tension-filled because Marcie's "Jekyll and Hyde" outbursts have them living on the edge. Russ and his oldest daughter, Carrie, issue Marcie an ultimatum. Then, Amy and Leesa believe their mother, Myra, is the quintessential "drama queen." They say her overbearing behavior and sharp tongue make family gatherings a living hell! Find out the New Year's resolution Myra made that rubbed her daughters the wrong way. Talk about the show here.

 

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February 17, 2006, 8:30 am CST

02/17 Family Troublemakers

I agree that we teach people how to treat us and I don't care what has happened in a persons , there is absolutely no excuse for the way Marcie treats her family. The girl is an adult and she needs to get out of that house and get into her own place that she can call her own and do as she pleases instead of wrecking every one elses lives. The counseling is good and she as well as the whole family needs it but she can do the counseling outside of this home, I know I wouldn't tolerate it, I and my husband make the rules in our home, not our children, there are boundaries that are not to be crossed and though my children are still very young, they are learning that when boundaroies are crossed,t here are consequences and there is no way they will get away with talking to mom or dad the way this gorl does, it is didresepctful and shameful, parents really do need to stand up to their kids and not allow things to get this out of control, I hope this family get sthe help they need and Marcie gets her act together, it won't get better of she doesn't change her ways, believe me, I have a sister who went down this path and it has ruined her and if she had the opportunity, she would do the that to the rest of us but because of boundaries, she doesn't come around for she knows I for one will not tolerate her obnoxious behaviour in my home or around my children................................... you want respect then give it.
 
February 17, 2006, 8:34 am CST

FAMILY TOPICS

Quote From: rdslots

 Affter seeing the show this morning (9:00 a.m. EST), I was a little disappointed but I guess I forget Dr. Phil is entertainment and not counseling.  I don't know exactly what I expected.  Dr. Phil didn't disappoint me, however.  He speaks with such candor and honesty, and what I would call good, old-fashioned advice.  I felt reassured in having disengaged myself -- emotionally and physically -- from the biggest single negative factor in my own life, my mother, who regrettably refuses to seek help for mental problems, and subsequently subjects any and every one around her to her mood swings and irrational behavior.

I hope the mother and daughters will follow through with his advice to disengage from the combativeness and ugly talk and behavior.  I have never understodd what it is that makes some family members, or entire families for that matter, think a family is equated with abuse.  I can step onto the street and be abused by anyone who chooses to.  Family is supposed to be a refuge from that kind of behavior.

I am from a family that makes these on the show today look "normal," but I was lucky enough to marry into a family that was the epitome of the Beaver Cleavers.  There are families out there who love one another unconditionally, support and help, and nurture each other, who raise beautiful children who go on to follow suit and actually better mankind.  The ones like what I came from I often question why they are even on this earth, but I have come to the conclusion it is to make us appreciate the good.

I would suggest to the mother and her daughters that they pick a date on a calendar, circle it, and from that day forward, move on.  Nothing from before comes up ever again, gets re-hashed, said or done again.  My family might've stood a chance if they could've done such.  I would also ask them to consider whether the examples they set for the children (grandchildren) were what they hoped the next generation would emulate.
> I AGREE WITH YOU. I know how it is to have a controlling Mother. I have had these same problems and it is not that easy to walk away. BELIEVE me. I come home crying a lot from my mothers. My husband has told me the same exact thing Dr. Phil said don't take it. RIGHT!!!!!! HELLO, this is my Mother I love her. I want to know she Loves me!! What if she drops dead and I am left with all the guilt????
 
February 17, 2006, 8:39 am CST

It IS OK

Quote From: wyohos

That family was either on their best behavior or not even close to as horrible as my in-laws are. And at least they all cared enough about each other to show up and go on tv with it. My husband and I have tried more than once to get the family together to talk things over....and no one even shows up. We have tried one on one meetings, and again, no one shows. They just want to tell everyone they run accross how horrible I am and what a looser I am and how our marriage is never going to last. I think this show may have helped some people, but I think Dr. Phil needs to do a show with people who's family members behave that way (or worse) and will not come to the table and try to work it out. How do you explain to a child why grandma, grandpa and the aunties hate mommy? What about hollidays or family get togethers? Do you go and try to be part of the family and be involved, and go home feeling worse for having attended? What if you would rather not? At what point is it OK to protect yourself and your feelings and our children and just not have any contact with those people? 

 I was over 40 years old before I decided I needed to completely disengage myself from my mother who was abusive both emotionally and physically.  When the attacks were directed at the granddaughter, I came to the realization that enough was enough.  I did not want my child to grow up with exactly what I had been exposed to, nor did I want such behavior modeled for her.  This is not how NORMAL people behave, and that was the crux of the problem -- my mother is not normal.  You have an obligation to your children, first and foremost, and I decided I would no longer subject mine to such behavior.  It wasn't what I wanted her to remember of her childhood, or her grandmother, and I refused to let another family gathering, birthday, holiday, anything be colored or ruined by what one manipulative person could accomplish.

It is still painful because all I ever wanted in life was a close, loving family and  while I don't have it with my own, I do have it with my in-laws, close friends, and my own little family.  I feel I am a better mother and person for having disengaged myself from the continual harrassment and abuse.  I tell my daughter that I still love my mother, wish her well, and would never elect to hurt her, but I choose not to be around her because of the behavior, and while I love her instinctively because she is the person who gave birth to me, I would never choose her for a friend.  I think our family should be our friends.

While I'll tell you it is OK to want to remove yourself from such, and more than OK to want to protect yourselves and your children, it does not come without a price nor is it easy.  My sisters and I are unable to enjoy most holidays because of the ultimatum my mother gives, "it's either your sister or me there," and my relationship with my father, at best, is awkward.  I limit what I do with him because I do not want him to have to suffer the repercussions from my mother.

 
February 17, 2006, 9:15 am CST

Maintain the relationship or not?

Quote From: rdslots

 Affter seeing the show this morning (9:00 a.m. EST), I was a little disappointed but I guess I forget Dr. Phil is entertainment and not counseling.  I don't know exactly what I expected.  Dr. Phil didn't disappoint me, however.  He speaks with such candor and honesty, and what I would call good, old-fashioned advice.  I felt reassured in having disengaged myself -- emotionally and physically -- from the biggest single negative factor in my own life, my mother, who regrettably refuses to seek help for mental problems, and subsequently subjects any and every one around her to her mood swings and irrational behavior.

I hope the mother and daughters will follow through with his advice to disengage from the combativeness and ugly talk and behavior.  I have never understodd what it is that makes some family members, or entire families for that matter, think a family is equated with abuse.  I can step onto the street and be abused by anyone who chooses to.  Family is supposed to be a refuge from that kind of behavior.

I am from a family that makes these on the show today look "normal," but I was lucky enough to marry into a family that was the epitome of the Beaver Cleavers.  There are families out there who love one another unconditionally, support and help, and nurture each other, who raise beautiful children who go on to follow suit and actually better mankind.  The ones like what I came from I often question why they are even on this earth, but I have come to the conclusion it is to make us appreciate the good.

I would suggest to the mother and her daughters that they pick a date on a calendar, circle it, and from that day forward, move on.  Nothing from before comes up ever again, gets re-hashed, said or done again.  My family might've stood a chance if they could've done such.  I would also ask them to consider whether the examples they set for the children (grandchildren) were what they hoped the next generation would emulate.

I too was looking for ways to handle the 'relationship' with my mother. I'm with the others here have said, "that could have been my family on the show today!" I first began my interest in this website because I was looking for answers to this type of family situation. My research on this site last year led me to believe that my mother is most certainly a passive-aggressive individual who will always argue - just to be right and in charge. It's been about a year now since I stopped reacting to her. I am so grateful that we do not live near each other as we're 8 hours by car. I used to call her once a week, now I call once a month and let her say what she wants and do my very best to answer any of her questions in a manner that won't anger her. The sadness of having a mother who is this type of person is so hard to live with. To survive my own emotions, I try to imagine that the mother I want is dead and the mother I actually have is a distant friend or relative. It helps me emotionally. Instead of dwelling on her and what could or should be, I dwell on how I can be the best mother I am capable of being to my own children. I can either be like my mother or learn from my mother. I choose the latter. 

  

Our 'fights' have stopped because I have refused to let them start, as Dr. Phil suggested today. Yet, nothing else whatsoever has changed. She still lacks the self-motivation to acknowledge our birthdays on time, or sometimes even at all. She has 7 great-grandchildren. The oldest is 8 and not one of them has a memory of her because she does not send cards, call, visit, or in any other way, shape, or form, or acknowledge their existence for one pitiful excuse after another. Everything from: she can't afford it (yet she travels to visit her sisters), she's sick, she's working so hard, etc. etc. After reading about passive-aggressives, I can see that this type of behavior will never change unless something happens to her someday that causes her to acknowledge her true self. 

  

Is there any sort of 'pattern', such as passive-aggressive mothers, that tends to run in families with the type of behavior we saw on this show? Even Dr. Phil wouldn't or couldn't decide who was at fault. If those families are fortunate, the counseling they will receive will reveal problematic personality issues, but where does that leave the audience? I think the main message was to disengage rather than fight, which is great and definitely helpful, but what next? Whoever really is at fault - their behavior still continues and both conversations and family events remain something to be tolerated, not something that's enjoyed. 

  

My oldest granddaughter actually thought her great-grandmother was dead since she has no mmory of her. Not knowing what else to say, I told her that her my mother is very, very sick and that's why she doesn't hear from her. My mother is so accustomed to her self-pity and excuses, as if life is hard only to her and her sisters, that like one of the mothers on the show, she doesn't comprehend it when she is told that a friend or relative (other that her sisters) are very ill. Then she's shocked when they've died of cancer or some other serious thing has happened and gets all the colder towards us because she actually believes she hasn't been told or else she would have been more understanding or compasionate.  

  

Unfortunately, I also have a daughter-in-law with the same personality type as my mother. Everyone zips their mouth shut because she'll blow her top and even threaten never to visit again. My mother told me last year that she'll never visit us again and as mentioned, already has never visited her grandchildren or great-grandchildren, of course not on purpose - she promises to someday... So how do we learn not only to not argue with these types of individuals, but also not to enable? Especially when the result seems to be that the other individuals tell you to accept them and their personalities the way they are or else they'll have nothing to do with you? They're family! 

  

Is this when you DO say, oh well, on with my life and never mind them? What message does that send to the younger generations? Personally, I visit every other year and call once a month. My thinking is that the younger generations will see firsthand that there are all types of people on this earth and that we can't change them all and make them into caring individuals, but we can still love them, tolerate them, and move on with our lives. Any other ideas out there? 

 
February 17, 2006, 9:29 am CST

He did help them!

Quote From: herchevy

I don't think Dr. Phil gave them any advise. He told them their problem but WHAT TO DO?????
He did help them. It took a whole show to identify the issues, then he got both families to commit to professional counseling. One day was not going to fix these folks. They need many sessions with a professional, alone, and as a group. And that was the culmination of the show. That's actually more realistic than the families that appear to get "fixed up" in one show. I thought is was a very hopeful and promising ending. I hope they all followed through like they said they would!
 
February 17, 2006, 9:41 am CST

02/17 Family Troublemakers

Quote From: wyohos

That family was either on their best behavior or not even close to as horrible as my in-laws are. And at least they all cared enough about each other to show up and go on tv with it. My husband and I have tried more than once to get the family together to talk things over....and no one even shows up. We have tried one on one meetings, and again, no one shows. They just want to tell everyone they run accross how horrible I am and what a looser I am and how our marriage is never going to last. I think this show may have helped some people, but I think Dr. Phil needs to do a show with people who's family members behave that way (or worse) and will not come to the table and try to work it out. How do you explain to a child why grandma, grandpaand the aunties hate mommy? What about hollidays or family get togethers? Do you go and try to be part of the family and be involved, and go home feeling worse for having attended? What if you would rather not? At what point is it OK to protect yourself and your feelings and our children and just not have any contact with those people?

What if you would rather not? At what point is it OK to protect yourself and your feelings and our children and just not have any contact with those people?  

****************************************** 

  

I appreciated Dr. Phil's comments at the end where he advised not to talk about topics, but talk about the issues instead.  Such as... the topic being money but the issue is feeling violated.   So true!  I'm going through a similar case with this.  My mother has always looked out for herself and whatever man she was with at the time (I could give many instances where she chose what was good for her man rather than what was good for her children).  One huge instance is when she divorced her husband several years ago.  She had one son to that man (yes.... there were 6 of us kids and there were many fathers).  Well, in separating the property, that man said he wanted to give his half of the home to his full son (who was only 13 at the time).  That was the agreement so he wouldn't contest the divorce.  They divorced and she remarried.  The boy who was to get his father's share of the property was thrown out of the house after he turned 18.  She sold the property and gave it all to her new husband to pay off his debts.  She personally told me, the oldest daughter ,that she never had any intention of giving a kid that kind of money.  Didn't surprise me cuz that has been the way she was my entire life of knowing her.   

  

Now it is 15 years later and I asked my younger brother who was to receive his father's share, if he ever did.  No he never did.  Word got around to my mother that i was looking into this again and she used a false pretense to get me into her house (she said she wanted  to see my dog since she never did before, so could I please bring her in.), and then on the way out she pulled me onto the porch so her new husband wouldn't hear... she explained that she didn't give the boy the money cuz he would have just blown it away at that age, but she gave him money and stuff through these years that eventually added up to what she owed him.  I questioned my brother and he said no.  So while she wanted to talk about the money... the real issue is lying  again, and the deceit and betrayal my brother felt/feels. 

  

Just to give a little more insight into the personality of my mother... she divorced my father when I was very small.  When I turned 40 years old she gave me a letter that he wrote.... thanking her for not getting rid of me like she threatened him with the divorce.  I can't understand how a woman can either use her child to get even with a man whether she was serious or not..... nor why on earth did she save the letter of many thanks from him for not disposing of me, then giving me that letter (which I did not know this had happened)!   

  

So... to end this long post... one of the last things I heard on today's show was something about we need to have a standard for those we will deal with and those we won't.... those we allow in our lives and those we don't.  I chose to end any further dealings.  I can't live with constant negativity around her or out of her mouth, it actually drains me.  My grandmother (RIP) was more of a mother to me as I grew up and am I ever thankful for that.    So in answer to your question about protecting ourselves and our children and not having contact with *those people*.... I say yes do what you need to do and feel at peace with it. 

 
February 17, 2006, 9:43 am CST

You owe it to yourself

Quote From: herchevy

> I AGREE WITH YOU. I know how it is to have a controlling Mother. I have had these same problems and it is not that easy to walk away. BELIEVE me. I come home crying a lot from my mothers. My husband has told me the same exact thing Dr. Phil said don't take it. RIGHT!!!!!! HELLO, this is my Mother I love her. I want to know she Loves me!! What if she drops dead and I am left with all the guilt????
 Not only was my mother controlling but she was abusive, emotionally and physically.  I would tell you that you need to stop coming home in tears, and if that means having nothing to do with her, then so be it.  The last time I spoke to my mother, now 10 years ago, I told her that things did not have to be the way they were -- there are professionals, counselors, others, who can help, and that medications for people like her were no longer "goofball pills."  I offered to go with her, be there for her, tried overlooking and/or ignoring things including insults, slaps and shoves, ducked from thrown objects, got out of the way of moving automobiles.  Her attitude has always been that others could learn to deal with her.  Well, I did.  I chose not to, but I felt the choice was hers as well in that she chooses to be what she is, and to act the way she does.  I have as much of a right to choose not to subject myself to it.

I was helped with the guilt by a supportive husband (sounds like you have one), a professional who I hardly needed to tell me my mother was the "single most negative thing in my life," close friends who were aware of the situation, and a clergyman who helped me dismiss the guilt of it being MY MOTHER (I get it) by telling me that maybe her "being here on earth had everything to do with her and nothing to do with me."  If she dies tomorrow, I can go to her funeral, comfortable that I did everything I could short of sacrificing myself for her.  Perhaps that was selfish, but I do not believe children make such sacrifices for a parent;  by contrast, I would sacrifice anything, including my own life, for my own child.

If you cannot disengage yourself from the abuse for yourself, can you do it for your child(ren)?   If you have no children, what about the 'child' in you? 
 
February 17, 2006, 9:58 am CST

02/17 Family Troublemakers

Quote From: kimputing

I too was looking for ways to handle the 'relationship' with my mother. I'm with the others here have said, "that could have been my family on the show today!" I first began my interest in this website because I was looking for answers to this type of family situation. My research on this site last year led me to believe that my mother is most certainly a passive-aggressive individual who will always argue - just to be right and in charge. It's been about a year now since I stopped reacting to her. I am so grateful that we do not live near each other as we're 8 hours by car. I used to call her once a week, now I call once a month and let her say what she wants and do my very best to answer any of her questions in a manner that won't anger her. The sadness of having a mother who is this type of person is so hard to live with. To survive my own emotions, I try to imagine that the mother I want is dead and the mother I actually have is a distant friend or relative. It helps me emotionally. Instead of dwelling on her and what could or should be, I dwell on how I can be the best mother I am capable of being to my own children. I can either be like my mother or learn from my mother. I choose the latter. 

  

Our 'fights' have stopped because I have refused to let them start, as Dr. Phil suggested today. Yet, nothing else whatsoever has changed. She still lacks the self-motivation to acknowledge our birthdays on time, or sometimes even at all. She has 7 great-grandchildren. The oldest is 8 and not one of them has a memory of her because she does not send cards, call, visit, or in any other way, shape, or form, or acknowledge their existence for one pitiful excuse after another. Everything from: she can't afford it (yet she travels to visit her sisters), she's sick, she's working so hard, etc. etc. After reading about passive-aggressives, I can see that this type of behavior will never change unless something happens to her someday that causes her to acknowledge her true self. 

  

Is there any sort of 'pattern', such as passive-aggressive mothers, that tends to run in families with the type of behavior we saw on this show? Even Dr. Phil wouldn't or couldn't decide who was at fault. If those families are fortunate, the counseling they will receive will reveal problematic personality issues, but where does that leave the audience? I think the main message was to disengage rather than fight, which is great and definitely helpful, but what next? Whoever really is at fault - their behavior still continues and both conversations and family events remain something to be tolerated, not something that's enjoyed. 

  

My oldest granddaughter actually thought her great-grandmother was dead since she has no mmory of her. Not knowing what else to say, I told her that her my mother is very, very sick and that's why she doesn't hear from her. My mother is so accustomed to her self-pity and excuses, as if life is hard only to her and her sisters, that like one of the mothers on the show, she doesn't comprehend it when she is told that a friend or relative (other that her sisters) are very ill. Then she's shocked when they've died of cancer or some other serious thing has happened and gets all the colder towards us because she actually believes she hasn't been told or else she would have been more understanding or compasionate.  

  

Unfortunately, I also have a daughter-in-law with the same personality type as my mother. Everyone zips their mouth shut because she'll blow her top and even threaten never to visit again. My mother told me last year that she'll never visit us again and as mentioned, already has never visited her grandchildren or great-grandchildren, of course not on purpose - she promises to someday... So how do we learn not only to not argue with these types of individuals, but also not to enable? Especially when the result seems to be that the other individuals tell you to accept them and their personalities the way they are or else they'll have nothing to do with you? They're family! 

  

Is this when you DO say, oh well, on with my life and never mind them? What message does that send to the younger generations? Personally, I visit every other year and call once a month. My thinking is that the younger generations will see firsthand that there are all types of people on this earth and that we can't change them all and make them into caring individuals, but we can still love them, tolerate them, and move on with our lives. Any other ideas out there? 

 Children are more intuitive than what we give them credit.  I admire you for thinking you are teaching the next generation 'tolerance,' but I would rather they have 'no memory' of the woman than bad ones of holidays, spoiled, birthdays overlooked, etc.  My mother sat at the Christmas table at my sisters, demanded to know where her presents were, why such-and-such a dish hadn't been prepared, and had not so much as wished her grandchildren, sitting there at the table with her, a "Merry Christmas."  I was tired of having to explain, "Grandmother is sick," and wanted things to be different for my child.

I have worked hard at letting my own daughter know that if I could've done things differently, I would have.  I do not speak ill of my mother, and I think she knows I love my mother.  I model for her, instead, what family means, and over the years it has paid off in a wonderful, loving relationship -- what I always wanted with my own mother but never had.

Oh, and the daughter-in-law?  If she never visited again, would you be any the worse for it?  Would the son not see to it that the grandchildren got to visit the rest of you?  I know those children's lives must be miserable, which brings me back to my original point -- children understand a whole lot more than maybe adults sometimes want to acknowledge.
 
February 17, 2006, 10:10 am CST

02/17 Family Troublemakers

Quote From: jenkev91

He did help them. It took a whole show to identify the issues, then he got both families to commit to professional counseling. One day was not going to fix these folks. They need many sessions with a professional, alone, and as a group. And that was the culmination of the show. That's actually more realistic than the families that appear to get "fixed up" in one show. I thought is was a very hopeful and promising ending. I hope they all followed through like they said they would!
 Sometimes Dr. Phil will bring people back to see what's happened.  These would be two interesting families to follow in the coming months.  I'd place bets as to who'll benefit from his help.
 
February 17, 2006, 10:33 am CST

my daughter

I have recently had a run in with my daughter. We have always been close, but since she has been on her own we have started butting heads.  

She was a college freshman the summer of 2004, was doing pretty well in school until the spring semester of `04 at that time she was put on academic probation. She entered the university this year, Aug. 2005 knowing she was on acedemic probation.  My husband & I attempted to get her to seek professional help with her inability to know how to study for tests, etc. On her own she decided that she would not seek the help. In the mean time she was released from the university for failure to maintain the grade point average that they expect of their students.  

What I am getting at is........she has been trying to deal with her own failures. I have tried to help her through it, I am a parent of only one child so this is something that is all new to me. We are once again trying to seek help for her in order to get herself figure out. She called me last night, she says that I am part of her problem.....that I am the reason for some of her bad feelings she has deep inside. She is blaming me for things I have done in the past. Things that I can not do anything about now......because they are IN THE PAST. She says I have said things that are hurtful to which I don't know what that would be, because I asked for examples and she can't seem to remember the exact things. AYeyyeyeye........what am I to do? She gets mad at me when I try to explain myself, then when she shoots me down.....I get upset and don't say anything in fear that I am going to say the wrong thing AGAIN! 

THANK GOD for the Dr. Phil show and for the show that they had today about family troublemakers.  This show has helped me to realize that I am not the psycho that she has pegged me to be! One more thing.......she is turning 21 yrs. old in July......Dr.Phil says that the reasoning side of a childs brain is not fully developed until 25 years of age. I HAVE 4 MORE YEARS OF THIS CRAP!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes 

 
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