Marsha says she fought for — and won — custody of her grandsons because of what she has called her daughter's dangerous, drug-using lifestyle. Now she says her relationship with her daughter, Brooke, is filled with mistrust, false accusations of abuse and bitter resentment. Marsha says she’s afraid to be around Brooke because she claims Brooke is often violent, and that she has called the police on her three times. Brooke admits to having used drugs in the past but says she is trying to make up for her mistakes and be a better mother — but Marsha makes it difficult. She claims Marsha is abusive to the boys, locks them in the basement and isolates them from friends and family — all of which Marsha denies. Dr. Phil sits everyone down in search of answers — can this mother and daughter resolve their conflict?
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War of Words
“My mother, Marsha, is a monster, because she is conniving and evil,” says Brooke. “Marsha has stolen custody of my kids. Marsha is always trying to paint me as an unfit parent, constantly making up lies about me that I’m a prostitute, do drugs, sell drugs, that I sell my children to child molesters. It’s absolutely absurd. Because of all the things Marsha has said about me, I left town and moved away.”
“I do not badmouth Brooke in public,” Marsha says. “Brooke moved six hours away, because she met this guy, and two weeks later, she moved in with him. It makes absolutely no sense to me.”
Brooke claims her mother tries to alienate her kids from her by telling them she doesn’t love them, which Marsha denies. “Visiting my sons was like going to a prison with Marsha as the warden,” she says. Brooke says her mother monitors everything she does with her sons and demands a letter two weeks in advance of when she wants to see them, even though the court doesn’t require that.
Marsha says, “Brooke has been very inconsistent with her visitations. She expects me to change the weekends, not to give notice.”
“Marsha is a narcissist, and she’s on a crusade to ruin my life,” Brooke says.
“Brooke is not fit to raise her sons,” Marsha says. “She’s abused drugs in the past, she’s been in abusive relationships with men and Brooke hasn’t abided by the court’s ruling for her to drug test and take her parenting classes. In 2009, I suspected they were being abused, and that’s when I stepped in.” Marsha says she got temporary custody first, but eventually won full custody of the two boys. “Brooke had to show the courts that she could be a fit mother, and she did not do that.”
Brooke says her sons cried when they learned Marsha was awarded custody. “It was the worst feeling ever,” she says, wiping away tears. “Marsha did not try to get custody of my kids because she thought they were in danger. She tried to get custody to split me and my kids up.”
“Brooke needs to understand that I am now raising her children," Marsha says, "and if she wants to see them more, she needs to get the help that she needs so she can get more liberal visitation.”
Brooke says Marsha is abusive toward her sons, which Marsha denies. Brooke’s stepmother, Vera, speaks up. What does she say she witnessed at Marsha’s house?
Brooke’s children share how they feel about their grandmother and mother. Tune in to see why Dr. Phil remarks, “Out of the mouths of babes …”
Dr. Phil reviews a list of what he thinks Marsha should do if she truly has the children’s best interests at heart.
Dr. Phil shares what he thinks Brooke should do so she can be an active presence in her boys’ lives, regardless of custody.
Tune in to see Dr. Phil’s offer of help to Brooke. Will she accept?