Now 26 years later, Sharon believes the alleged exorcism ruined her life. She got pregnant at 14. "My father called me a pig. I had my first son when I was 15. I got pregnant after that and I had my second son. When I was 18, I decided to rent an apartment. My father told me that nothing good was going to come out of it. I moved into my apartment and three days later there was a fire and I lost everything. I felt my father had cursed me."
When Sharon's mother died of ovarian cancer, she felt responsible for it. "I always felt it was my fault because I brought sin into my family. It's caused me to feel like there's a little devil on my shoulder. As far as I'm concerned, this is the worst thing that somebody could ever do to a kid. I feel like a freak," she says, doubling over in tears.
"Do you believe that you are possessed of demons?" Dr. Phil asks Sharon.
"Do you believe that you needed an exorcism at the age of 9?"
"I probably did."
"When you say that this has ruined your life, tell me what you mean?" Dr. Phil probes.
"I've walked through life terrified."
"Do you believe you're cursed?"
Sharon ponders the question. "I believe that I am somewhat cursed, yes," she replies. She recounts for Dr. Phil how fearful she was of being brought down into the living room the night of the alleged exorcism. "I was terrified in my room. I was terrified of noises I heard. I was terrified all the time. It's no wonder I was. Listening to that every night. I just want to know if I'm supposed to have this follow me for the rest of my life. I've been insecure. I've been promiscuous and I feel like it all comes down to what happened to me when I was little."
"If I were you, I would take whatever steps necessary to make sure that I was doing what I could at a mental, emotional adjustment level to not be controlled by those thoughts and those feelings," Dr. Phil advises. "What I hate is for people to take an external locus of control, which says, 'The destiny of my life — the outcome of my life, the quality of my life, the experience of it — is controlled by something else."
"I'm talking opinion now. I don't talk about religion. I don't talk about politics and I don't like to drive people's opinions on social issues on this show," Dr. Phil declares. "I'm just going to tell you what I think and believe. I've been doing this for 30 years, and I'm looking you square in the eye, and I think you are a sweet spirit. My advice to you is to find a church home where you can be spiritually fed. And I think you should couple that with some diagnosis, some counseling [to determine] where you are mentally and emotionally ... Don't make a decision. Cover all your bets."