A Family Divided: Erin Explodes at Alex: Rage on Tape

"You Act Like a Slut!"
Dr. Phil talks to Erin and Alex about their reactions to Erin's yelling match with Alex.

After catching Alex in the water with a boy she just met, unsupervised and quite a distance from the Hyatt beach area where she was supposed to be, Erin loses control of her temper. Back in their hotel room in the Cayman Islands, Erin's rage is caught on tape.
"You have to take responsibility for your actions," Erin tells Alex.

"And I do. I know what I did was wrong," Alex says.

"Then why did you do it? I haven't even heard an apology from you."

"Well, I haven't heard one from you either, Mom."

When Erin questions why she needs to apologize, Alex mimics her mother: "'You're acting like a slut, Alexandra. Did he enjoy it? Were you his first?'"

They argue about exactly what was said, and Erin tells her daughter, "I am very disappointed in how you are turning out right now. You have had the world of help for you, and look at you. You're choosing to sit there and be on birth control and kiss boys that you don't even know. I give you one inch of freedom and you take it a mile and blow it."

"So calling me a slut is OK?" Alex retorts.

"You act like a slut, Alexandra!" Erin yells. You desperately want a man to love you and care for you, and you think that by being sexual with him that it's going to get you where you want. And that's why Dr. Phil sent you on this trip so you could find enjoyment and power in other things. By using your brain instead of your body."

An emotional Katherine interjects. "I felt really hurt because you just ditched me for a bunch of guys ... I look up to you as my sister. I love you a lot. I look up to you a lot."

Alex doesn't buy Katherine's earnesty. "You know what, Katherine? At the end of the day, you're just like everybody else. You always find a way to manipulate me and put me back in a hole."

"Alexandra, you're putting yourself in a hole with the choices that you're making," Erin points out. "I'm terrified that I'm going to end up with another baby in this household ... I will make sure that I make your life a living hell if you get pregnant again."

When Alex reiterates that Erin called her a slut, Erin apologizes then becomes enraged.

"I'm trying to pound it into your head that you are making wrong choices!" Erin screams. "And for God's sake, Alexandra, you just seem to think that having sex is like shaking somebody's hand. And it infuriates me that you are making such stupid, asinine choices. I do not get it. I know that I am sorry I never divorced your father when you were younger, because maybe we wouldn't be in this damn boat today. Now you're out there and you just kissed some guy you don't even know, after having sex with guys that you don't hardly even know. While I am away, you just sneak out and have sex with people you don't know, and you're pissed off because I said, 'Alexandra, you act like a slut' ... I am angry and furious with your behavior. You act so stupid and you are so smart. And it kills me every time you make stupid choices like that."

"You've said a lot of hurtful things, and you deny that you say them," Alex says crying. "I don't want you or [Katherine], because all you do, you come at me with knives."

Addressing Erin and Alex, Dr. Phil says, "Tell me how y'all feel about that when you take a step back and look at that combativeness?"

"I think it was really horrible," Erin says, crying. "I totally lost my temper ... I mean, I just was so horrible to Alexandra and I feel terrible about it."

When Dr. Phil asks Alex the same question, she says, "I don't have the words to describe it."

"You are the mother here. You are the parent," Dr. Phil says to Erin. "If you're right, your method of engagement is ridiculous."

He tells Alex that she plays a role as in the incident as well. "You have to own what you do," he says.

Dr. Phil tells Erin that how she dealt with Alex is unacceptable. "If the fight gets to character assassination, name-calling and personal attacks, nobody with any dignity, nobody with any spine, nobody with any self-worth or self-esteem is going to put up with that very long."

He tells Alex, "I've been working with you all year ... you've got to change your game."

Dr. Phil asks Erin, "How long are you going to beat your head against the wall before you figure out you don't control anybody?"

Erin sees the error of her ways. "I completely went with my anger. I was 13 years old, and allowed my rage to completely come through and I had not done that in months," she says. "But it was inappropriate and wrong. I shouldn't have done it."

"Have you ever wondered that if there is no drama, if there is no crisis that requires you to be the fireman that you wouldn't like it?" Dr. Phil asks Erin. "Have you ever wondered if things got really calm that you would be swallowed up by your life and just have to live with your choices?"

Erin admits that she had never viewed her life like that. "I certainly will think about it," she tells Dr. Phil. "I mean, I kind of hope for calm. Maybe I'm not really hoping for that."

"I wonder if in fact you thrive on crisis so you feel a purpose," Dr. Phil probes.

"Oh, maybe I just need to feel something," she says.

Turning to Alex, Dr. Phil asks, "Did you have sex with that boy?"

When Alex shakes her head no, Dr. Phil says, "Do you acknowledge that's not okay? Do you acknowledge that when your mother walks up on the beach and, having told you could go down there with your sister to this kind of festive area, instead sees you bobbing around in the ocean out there with some boy that she's entitled to object to that?"