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Topic : 08/20 The Dr. Phil House: Saving Grace, Part 2

Number of Replies: 723
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Created on : Friday, April 13, 2007, 03:09:57 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/16/07) Dr. Phil continues his work with a family torn apart by a 6-year-old girl’s secret: she was molested by her grandfather, and her grandmother failed to report it. Cat and Todd have cut off all contact with Todd’s parents, Steve and Anne, and haven’t seen them since they learned the horrifying truth from their daughter, Grace, over two years ago. Steve has served time for the assault and is now a registered sex offender with a protective order keeping him away from Grace until she’s 18. After secretly watching Dr. Phil’s interview with Steve and Anne, and learning the details of what really took place, will Todd and Cat ever feel comfortable with letting Grace’s grandmother back in her life? Dr. Phil sits down with both couples as they confront each other for the first time face to face. Then, Dr. Phil addresses Cat and Todd’s marriage, which has started to crumble under the stress. How can they get back on track for the sake of their daughter? Next, Grace wants to ask Dr. Phil some questions. See what this brave little girl wants other kids to know. Plus, Dr. Phil has an update on this family one month later. How are they now? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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April 16, 2007, 9:32 am CDT

Does Anyone Realize the Real Damage?

Does anyone think about the conditioning this sets into a child? Do they think about how it teachs them to lie, that they are not allowed to say NO to sex, that a show on T.V. can bring back the pain they felt when he held her hand on his privates to masterbate him? Does the Grandfather know that she will have low self esteem the rest of her life. does he know how ashamed he has made her feel, how guilty that she feels? It won't matter that everyone tells her it wasn't her fault. Grandfather went to jail because of her, at least thats the way it is in her mind (and the grandmothers mind as well, it seems) It just seems to me that very few people look beyond the "sex" and see the real damage
 
April 16, 2007, 9:45 am CDT

lil rant.

I have a hard time reading these boards and watching shows like this.  The pain in these messages is heartbreaking.  I guess if any goal should be in place I would like to find out how we can change this, rehabilitate molesters and stop it from happening.  My ex almost molested my son he was walking through our house humming and went into my sons room in the middle of the night. I was alarmed because he was not a loving father he didn't do bedtime stories or bath time or change diapers, I did all of that I didn't even leave my kids with him to go to the grocery store.  My son was 14 months old and I walked into his room And found my ex laying next to him in his toddler bed. I slept in his room from that moment until we left a week later. I told my ex our son wasn't feeling well. He and I both knew what I was doing but there was no way to safely confront him.  He'd been hitting me for a couple of yrs and he had raped me right after my daughter was born but I don't have proof, I don't know how I knew I just knew. So I left him.  I didn't have anywhere to go, I didn't have family to live with or a good job to fall back on and I was so terrified all the time that I ruined everyones lives for nothing.  My ex and all his siblings were molested by his father his father was put in jail for life.  They took care to get the molester put in jail, but what about my sons father. Who took care of him? He didn't get counseling or therapy or help and he turned out exactly like his dad.  I don't care enough about him to subject my children too him, in fact hes seen them once in 10 yrs for a few hrs and he doesn't pay child support and I don't ask for it.  Its the only way I know to keep my kids safe, he doesn't ask for visitation and I don't ask for money. Both of us understand without words the reasons.  One man 30 yrs ago changed the course of all of these lives, my children have grown up without a father.  Without grandparents or extended family. Without a lot of money and with a mother who was broken inside from making the choices that had to be made.  Calling these people perverts and monsters is so pointless we can say these things till we're blue in the face.  My ex didn't just turn out that way that has to be acknowledged.  I don't hate him for who he became, I don't know how he could have become anything different.  I have empathy for his situation, I tell my children that their dad was smart and had a lot of potential but he got molested and it ruined his life. It made him sick in ways that can't be treated.  I let them know that a mother always loves the father of her children and I love the good things in them that are like their dad. I let them know that I had to leave because I was given 2 beautiful children and my biggest responsibility is them, but most importantly I cherish the opportunity to be their mom. I didn't get here easily, it wasn't simple.  I'm not angry at my ex for turning out that way, for hurting me and them. I don't blame myself for not seeing at first how bad a choice I was making when I chose him.  He learned from the best how to hide it.  I had to forgive him, to love my children unconditionally, it was my only option.  I can't love them and hate the person who was half of their creation.  My son looks just like him but hes not him.  He's loving and sweet and has the best sense of humor. I don't approve of what their father did I didn't allow it but if people think choosing the right path is easy you are just as pathetic. You think you couldn't be fooled? Wouldn't that be lovely. If everyone was exactly who and what they said. The entire point is you could be fooled, anyone could be. 30 yrs ago my ex was ruined by his own father and everyone suffers. Its clearly wrong to molest children but a part of me will always mourn the loss of the lives my children might have had.  With 2 loving parents and grandparents. Its been lonely. How can I not question how an entire society blessed with so much given so many opportunities can turn their faces away and simply write off the molesters we helped create. Every time we called them names and said well that won't happen to my kids. Every time we left a child unprotected while we went after the grown up who was apparently just supposed to know better. Every time we were so focused on hating and judging that we couldn't see our own connection to each other. Every time we cared so much about what someone else thought that we didn't trust our own instincts. When I see statistics like 1 in 4 I think its fairly obv that we have a long way to go. Its not someone else's problem. What if there was a way to actually help my ex and make him better?  I certainly don't know how but I do know thats the better option.  The general opinion is that its impossible.  But anyone who's overcome a difficult challenge knows nothing is impossible. And thats where I think we need to go from here, everyones talking about it now.  Most of us realize there is no shame in admitting someone did something ugly to us. The next step is to figure out what to do to stop this.  We're supposed to get better as a general population we need each other.  Witch hunting is for the small minded.
 
April 16, 2007, 9:55 am CDT

Former molested person form my g-pa

I am 29 years old I was molested from the age of 5 to around 10.  I was also moledtes by my g-pa. "I had a alot trouble geting over the fact that I was mlolested by him i know that one thing is right I lived in  arealy loving family who was christians. They taught me how to love and forgive my g-pa wharn i was little. I thoght that I had forgiven but until July of 1998 he had finally passed away.  I realy never got to hear hom say I am sorry but I know that deep down in my heart he was sorry. You will always havwe the issue in your life but you can move in your life i did. Also My g-pa was never put him in jail he was put in house arrest. I still love my g-pa. He is still my family. it also took alot of time for my familiy to heal on my fathers side of family since it was his dad that did it me. With help of God I was delivered from all of my problems with this.
 
April 16, 2007, 9:56 am CDT

How can the grandparents act like that?

I'm sorry but its all I can do to not go find this guy and hurt him!

How can the grandparents act like that? They have no conscious what so ever!

I can't believe what the grandfather said. For him and the grandmother to sit there and act  the way they did is one of the sickest things I have ever seen. They should never be allowed access to the child again.

I was molested as a child many times by a step father. No one in my family knows this happen. It happen many,many years ago. The only thing is, they still talk about him like he was a great person. I want to say something but I don't.  Even though I believe something should have been done to him then. I was scared little child and he told me not to talk about it. As I got older I decided he got what was coming to him when he passed away and had to stand in front of God and answer for what he did.

This child will remember this the rest of her life. I know she will. When she gets older and really understands what happened I am sure she will not want to be around either person.

He served a few months which was no where long enough and acts like this should just be forgotten and go on like nothing happen. UNBELIVEABLE!!! JUST UNBELIEVABLE!! Because of the way they acted. Like it was't that bad. They should never be allowed access to any children ever!!  

There is no excuse to do this to anyone! To even try and make a excuse is sick.  To me sick is the wrong word. I don't believe they are sick. There needs to be another word for it because saying they are sick to me is like putting them in the same list as someone who is sick from a desease or injury or etc. So no, sick isn't the right word. We need to put them all on an island away from anyone else with sharks all around it. Give them nothing just drop them off. Then let all of them fight it out. This is one thing I think we should do to them I will not write the other.

We need to get the people we elect to change the laws where they help the victims not the criminals.

Like me and others, this little girl was sentence to a life sentence with this. I will pray she can get through this and doesn't let it control the rest of her life. The people who do this and this grandfather I believe just act like it was nothing. Serve their time if they get any and go on with their life. Thats not right.

Something needs to change when someone like him serves only 8 months. There are some who get no jail time at all.

May God be with this little girl and her parents and help them get through this.

 
April 16, 2007, 10:19 am CDT

Don't ever let Grace alone with them

I think the message that should be clearly stated to all parents, and anyone with a child is this: If you even suspect child abuse of any kind, NEVER LET YOUR CHILD ALONE WITH THAT PERSON! Even if there is no proof, and you have a gut feeling, keep your children away!!!. WE ( those who love our children )are the only defense between them and these preditors. IT IS OUR JOB, IT IS OUR OBLIGATION!!!!

Another important fact: Don't ever believe that a molester can be cured. It's simply too great a cost to take a chance by allowing the "cured" person access to a child. I personally DO NOT believe molesters can be cured...and that once a molester, he or she should NEVER be left alone with a child.
 
April 16, 2007, 10:26 am CDT

Saving Grace

I am sitting here in the middle of studying for my law school exams - time is extremely precious for me right now -but I know that I have to say my piece in regards to Grace's situation. 

 

I, too, am a sexual abuse survivor.  My story is about generational abuse.  My mother was abused by her father, and I am a survivor as well.  Don't get me wrong... this is not a story to induce pity...it is a story to show that people can have control again.  And so it begins....

 

My mother met my step-father when I was four.  I remember being little and in front of the TV the first time "it" happened.  The attacks carried on for six years.  In that time, my mother was oblivious to the abuse.  It should also be noted that in that time, my mother also would send me to her father's for the summer (yes, the same man who abused her), and I was abused by my grandfather as well.  I do not know why my mother sent me to him, all I remember was that everytime after I visited my mother would have new furniture, we would have new bikes.... everything new.

 

My mother discovered the abuse and kicked my step-father out of the house.  He was out of the house for a week.  It was a blurred week.... the tests, the physicals, the police interviews.... everything was a blur.  Then he was back.  Everything stopped, she dropped the charges, everything.  We started family counselling, and I had to go to victim's counselling as well.  Only, "he" would take me.  She thought it would be a way to mend the family.  She wanted me to be "daddy's little girl".  I felt sick to my stomach.  He looked like a monster to me and I wanted nothing to do with him, but I was 10 and I had no voice that anyone would hear.  this was when I met my father.  He was like a blessing in disguise for me... so I thought.

 

Then when I was 12 the locks on the bathroom disappeared.  There were time that my step-father would "accidentally" walk in to the bathroom when I was having a shower.  I would tell my mother, but she would say that I was being mean to my "dad".  I stopped talking to her.  I tried to tell my biological father, and when he found out about the abuse all he and his family said was, "so you are no longer a virgin... how embarassing... what will the community (meaning the people in the Catholic church) think.  I was sent back to my mother.  I stopped talking to my father.... I was devastated!!!

 

My teenage years came and little "accidents" would occur more frequently.  I started feeling like someone was watching me shower.  I could never prove anything.  Then one day I saw HIM...I froze... I was so scared.  I finally found my voice and I called my mother - my protector - and told her what I saw.  She confronted him and I thought, "finally... she believes me."  He started crying and said that it was not him, and she believed him.  That day, 16 years old, I came home from school and I found two garbage bags on the front porch and the house was locked.  I WAS KICKED OUT OF THE HOUSE... SHE TOOK HIS SIDE!!!

 

I was devistated.  But life moved on.  I graduated from high school.   I left the province with my best friend in the world, and eventually started a life with him.  We have two beautiful daughters (13 and 10), and he has encouraged me to go to law school... and here I am.  I do not allow my mother to see my children.  I have tried to establish a relationship with her, but she refuses to respect my boundaries that I set.  The boundary that is non-negotiable, the one that she refuses to abide by, is that my children are never to be alone with my step-father.  She always wants to take the girls herself, and when I object she brings in every excuse to say that I am denying her rights as a grandmother (sound familiar).  The only reason I do not allow my children to be unsupervised is that I know that she cannot protect my children.  She could not, and did not protect me.  I am a firm believer that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.  He was a predator, and he will be a predator.  Don't get me wrong... it hurts to see my girls without a grandmother.  I see the pain in their eyes, but I chose to absorb that guilt so long as I know that my children are safe. 

 

An abuser is a predator... like a wild animal.  They search for the most vulnerable, and they attack the vulnerable.  the predator sometimes has a form of bait - this is what grandmother is - bait.  A predator always finds ways to fine tune his hunting skills.  If he is not successful in one way, he will change his hunting and adapt his ways.  He will not stop.  Do not allow Grace anywhere near that man, or his wife (yes I deliberately chose this language as I do not find that they can be defined as grandma and grandpa.).  If she did not protect Grace once she will not start protecting her now.  You need to be strong for Grace.  I tell my girls that you have to stand up for what is right  even if that means standing alone. 

 

I hope that this message helps in any way.  Please do not get me wrong.  I did not tell my story for pity - I tell it as a warning.  I have dealt with my past.  In all the "bad" that has happened in my life, I would never change it for the world because I would never have met my best friend, I would never have fallen in love, and I would not have the two beautiful, spirited, and funny girls that I have.  Well back to studying... I have an exam in two hours....My thoughts are with you and your family right now.  Grace will survive - she will be okay - just allow her to have a voice. 

 
April 16, 2007, 10:27 am CDT

Molested Child

As the mother of a child who was molested by a stranger 22 years ago when she was eight years old - I must say that I can not believe that the parents would even consider letting their child or children spend time with this man.  I can tell you that we went through all of the proper channels and the man who plead guilty spent less than 5 years in prison and I do believe if I had it to all over again, I would probably take matters into my own hands.  The "sentence" for the molested child and the family is never over.  It has been 22 years and I am still just as digusted and angry that this could happen to my little girl and that the legal system would not do anymore than they did.  I would never let my child be exposed to this man or woman ever again.  He did it - but she is just as guilty for covering it up.
 
April 16, 2007, 10:28 am CDT

Respectfully, Closer to 2-2 1/2 yrs.ago

Quote From: flrat69

The grandfather was in jail.  I heard no mention of the length of his sentence, but it was woefully brief.  This happened five years ago (I believe).  The child's mother and father have not ignored this.  They have done what was available to them.  The grandmother is the one who neglected her duty because she was aware of the abuse and said nothing.  I'm sure he is registered.   I am concerned also that this may not have been the first child he has done this with.
We agree about this show. It's hard to keep up with details sometimes. On "Did he or didn't he?" it was 5 years ago. For some reason, I always feel like I have to respect you flrat. Of course I respect all the posters, sometimes messages are so outrageous I forget my manners.
 
April 16, 2007, 10:29 am CDT

Molesters

Quote From: twistypri

I have a hard time reading these boards and watching shows like this.  The pain in these messages is heartbreaking.  I guess if any goal should be in place I would like to find out how we can change this, rehabilitate molesters and stop it from happening.  My ex almost molested my son he was walking through our house humming and went into my sons room in the middle of the night. I was alarmed because he was not a loving father he didn't do bedtime stories or bath time or change diapers, I did all of that I didn't even leave my kids with him to go to the grocery store.  My son was 14 months old and I walked into his room And found my ex laying next to him in his toddler bed. I slept in his room from that moment until we left a week later. I told my ex our son wasn't feeling well. He and I both knew what I was doing but there was no way to safely confront him.  He'd been hitting me for a couple of yrs and he had raped me right after my daughter was born but I don't have proof, I don't know how I knew I just knew. So I left him.  I didn't have anywhere to go, I didn't have family to live with or a good job to fall back on and I was so terrified all the time that I ruined everyones lives for nothing.  My ex and all his siblings were molested by his father his father was put in jail for life.  They took care to get the molester put in jail, but what about my sons father. Who took care of him? He didn't get counseling or therapy or help and he turned out exactly like his dad.  I don't care enough about him to subject my children too him, in fact hes seen them once in 10 yrs for a few hrs and he doesn't pay child support and I don't ask for it.  Its the only way I know to keep my kids safe, he doesn't ask for visitation and I don't ask for money. Both of us understand without words the reasons.  One man 30 yrs ago changed the course of all of these lives, my children have grown up without a father.  Without grandparents or extended family. Without a lot of money and with a mother who was broken inside from making the choices that had to be made.  Calling these people perverts and monsters is so pointless we can say these things till we're blue in the face.  My ex didn't just turn out that way that has to be acknowledged.  I don't hate him for who he became, I don't know how he could have become anything different.  I have empathy for his situation, I tell my children that their dad was smart and had a lot of potential but he got molested and it ruined his life. It made him sick in ways that can't be treated.  I let them know that a mother always loves the father of her children and I love the good things in them that are like their dad. I let them know that I had to leave because I was given 2 beautiful children and my biggest responsibility is them, but most importantly I cherish the opportunity to be their mom. I didn't get here easily, it wasn't simple.  I'm not angry at my ex for turning out that way, for hurting me and them. I don't blame myself for not seeing at first how bad a choice I was making when I chose him.  He learned from the best how to hide it.  I had to forgive him, to love my children unconditionally, it was my only option.  I can't love them and hate the person who was half of their creation.  My son looks just like him but hes not him.  He's loving and sweet and has the best sense of humor. I don't approve of what their father did I didn't allow it but if people think choosing the right path is easy you are just as pathetic. You think you couldn't be fooled? Wouldn't that be lovely. If everyone was exactly who and what they said. The entire point is you could be fooled, anyone could be. 30 yrs ago my ex was ruined by his own father and everyone suffers. Its clearly wrong to molest children but a part of me will always mourn the loss of the lives my children might have had.  With 2 loving parents and grandparents. Its been lonely. How can I not question how an entire society blessed with so much given so many opportunities can turn their faces away and simply write off the molesters we helped create. Every time we called them names and said well that won't happen to my kids. Every time we left a child unprotected while we went after the grown up who was apparently just supposed to know better. Every time we were so focused on hating and judging that we couldn't see our own connection to each other. Every time we cared so much about what someone else thought that we didn't trust our own instincts. When I see statistics like 1 in 4 I think its fairly obv that we have a long way to go. Its not someone else's problem. What if there was a way to actually help my ex and make him better?  I certainly don't know how but I do know thats the better option.  The general opinion is that its impossible.  But anyone who's overcome a difficult challenge knows nothing is impossible. And thats where I think we need to go from here, everyones talking about it now.  Most of us realize there is no shame in admitting someone did something ugly to us. The next step is to figure out what to do to stop this.  We're supposed to get better as a general population we need each other.  Witch hunting is for the small minded.

I'd like to begin by thanking you for a post full of thought and reason rather than just anger.  Don't get me wrong, I do understand people's anger over this case.  It is more than justified.  But, when facing any problem, the first step is to introduce reason to the equation.  I think you did an admirable job of that.

 

It seems everyone has a story of either their abuse or that of a loved one.  It is unforgivable that we aren't doing more to find out how to predict this behavior.  One of my sisters was molested by an uncle and I had a man try to molest me.  The problem is that these people don't fall neatly into one snug category that allows us to see this coming.  Many of them have friends and family that are stunned when this comes to light.  Yes, we punish the offenders and put their names on a list.  Many will do time in prison.  Some will die there when the other inmates find out why they're in.  All of this is reactive though.  The damage has been done.

 

I have no easy answers to this.  I hope that continued studies of how the human brain functions will open the door for us.  There are many behaviors that we have already found out are dictated by the brain formation.  Perhaps this behavior is as well.  If so, that would be a big step toward finding out how to prevent the onset of the behavior.

 

Let's just hope that, as you say, we can get to the point of acknowledging the behavior in time to prevent any actual harm coming to an innocent person.  We do have to be willing to be open minded and work together.  Thanks for a great post.

 
April 16, 2007, 10:55 am CDT

Grace .............

I have read a few of the comments on this subject.  I also watched most of the first show.  I have so very mixed feelings about this subject.  My first instinct was to jump through the TV and kick the grandfather in his groin then tell him the "Devil made me do it."  Then I prayed for Grace.  I wanted to give her a hug.  If I were allowed I would tell Grace that she is so innocent and so loved.  She is a VERY precious child.  Never allow anyone to tell you differently.  I also wanted to give her parents a hug and tell them that I hurt for them and am very proud of them for taking a stand for their innocent daughter.  Because they stood up for her, she will still be able to find a true love.  A love that is more like their love then like the "love" your grandfather showed her.  For the grandmother - yes, the Bible says for wives to be submissive to their husbands.  But it also says "as to the Lord."  In other words, if your husband is doing something sinful or asking you to do something sinful you are NOT to be submissive.  For the grandfather - it is more correct to say that "this is who he is without GOD!"  The devil doesn't make you do anything!  He will tempt you.  But the decision to allow the temptation to become full blown sin is your choice, not Satan's or God's.  You own the sin.  Yes, it is sin.  I don't care that it is illegal, giving into your sinful nature is your decision.  Sin separates us from God.  People who willfully live in sin will NOT inherit Eternal life.  I said "willfully" because we all sin, the difference in willfully living in sin is when you sin do you claim it as your sin and ask God for forgiveness or not?  From the grandfather's statements, I would have to say no he doesn't.  He thinks that the sin is Satan's and not his.  He did not seem sorry that he did what he did, he seemed sorry that he got caught and sorry that he had to do time.  But he did not seem sorry for what he did.

 

As far as should the grandparents be allowed to see Grace, I think Grace should be allowed to say yeah or nea.  If she says yes the visit needs to be supervised by the parents or another VERY responsible adult - not the grandmother.

 

I am praying for Grace, that God helps her heal and helps her to love others.  I am praying for the parents that they heal and give all the anger and resentment to God.  God will handle the rest.  I am praying for the grandparents that they see what they have done for what it is - horrible ugly sin!  That they meet Christians from a Church that believes in taking ownership of one's sin.  Christians that will help them to see what their sin has done to those they love and what that sin does to their relationship with God.

 

Dr. Phil, you are so awesome!  You keep a level head and tell it like it is.  I have learned so much about how to handle myself by watching your show.  I especially love Robin, she is a very strong example of what women can be.

 
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