Time Does Not Heal All Wounds
December 14, 2012
Can time really heal all wounds? Erica says her mother, Jackie, looked the other way when she was being molested as a child — a claim Jackie denies. Erica faces her mom for the first time in five years. Can they put the past in the past? And, Karen meets the recipient of her deceased daughter, Kyleigh’s, heart. Plus, best-selling author Mitch Albom shares advice on how to stop wasting time — and start living life!
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Painful PastErica says she hasn’t spoken to or seen her mother, Jackie, in more than five years. “She is a selfish person, a drug addict, evil — if there’s something stronger than hate, that’s the way I feel [about my mother],” Erica says. She claims that as a child, she tried telling her mom that she was being molested, but it fell on deaf ears — and the molestation continued for four years, occurring every other day.
“I did not turn a blind eye. I just did not know,” Jackie responds. “If there was any time that she did tell me that something was going on, I did something about it.”
“She knew about it but did not care,” Erica retorts. “She always lies.” Erica also claims that when she was a teen, her mother beat her with a belt, punched her in the face and slapped her. “She says she only hit me once; that’s not true.”
Erica says her mother wants her back in her life because Erica has a 2-month-old granddaughter, whom Jackie has never met. “I will never allow my child to ever be in her life,” she says. “She will never put her eyes on my child.” She continues, “The things she did to me are unforgivable, and I’m not going to move on and act like it never happened.”
“The quality of any relationship depends on how well it meets the needs of the two people involved,” Dr. Phil tells Jackie, adding that she’s chosen a combative role. “That just doesn’t advance the ball,” he says.
Dr. Phil tells Erica that putting up a wall of bitterness, anger and resentment doesn’t make her stronger — it changes who she is. “The only way to ever be free of that, is to forgive [your mother],” he says. “Forgiving somebody doesn’t mean what they did is OK.” He says forgiving others frees you from negative emotions you're carrying. “It would do your heart good to pray for her soul every night of your life, that she find peace, and that she find a way to come full circle and be at peace in her own life,” he tells Erica.
One Life Lost, Another SavedKaren says her life was changed in the blink of an eye when her 21-year-old daughter, Kyleigh, was killed in an attempted robbery on May 26, 2010 — and she was faced with the difficult task of donating her daughter’s organs.
“There’s no way to prepare for [the death of a child]. It’s not the natural order of things,” Dr. Phil tells Karen.
“When you lose a child, I think that, obviously, it’s the greatest devastation that can take place in your life,” Karen responds. “I remember you saying that on a show that it was one of your biggest fears [to lose a child], it was mine too,” she tells Dr. Phil. “We always did everything together, and she would call me 10 times a day.”
At the same time Karen and her family were preparing to donate Kyleigh’s organs, another woman, Dawn, was dying of heart disease and in need of a transplant. Dawn says at age 34, she was planning her funeral and was near death when she received Kyleigh’s heart.
“The decision to donate Kyleigh’s organs was a huge decision,” Karen says. She explains that she’s struggled with her choice.“Dawn was expected to pass away, she had a heart condition from early on; and here’s my happy, healthy, beautiful Kyleigh, who was just enjoying her life as a college student.” She asks, “Why was Dawn able to live and my daughter had to pass?” She says making the difficult decision in a time of conflict and grief, after her daughter had already suffered so much physical trauma, made her feel like she was subjecting Kyleigh to even more trauma. “My son said, ‘You know, she was so giving and so loving that I think she would want us to do that,” she explains.
“So, the decision was consistent with her value system, which she got from you,” Dr. Phil tells Karen.
“Don’t let the sun set on you another day without saying or doing whatever needs to be said or done with the people you love in your life,” Dr. Phil says. He turns to Karen and adds, “And you said it every day to your daughter.”
“That’s my saving grace,” Karen responds. “She wrote me notes, she wrote me letters [saying], ‘What a good mom you are,’ and ‘I love you so much’ and ‘We’re best friends;’ and my last Mother’s Day card from her was a beautiful letter that said, ‘Thank you for coming to see me and for meeting all my needs and loving me as much as you do.’ So, that’s peace for me.”