Risky Reunion?
"I was raised by a single mother, and I was told that my father was killed in a missile accident when I was just 6 months old. But at my wedding reception, my half-brother and half-sister told me that my dad had not been dead all these years, and now I'm furious at the man who knew about me and abandoned me," says Tammy on videotape. "Now I've learned that my father died about five years ago, so I'm never going to get a chance to meet him. My mom always told me that he had two other children, and I think I've actually found them. I have their phone numbers, and I'm wondering what would happen if I actually did contact them. Dr. Phil, I really want to know the truth about my background, about my father. Am I ready to call the family who doesn't know I exist?"
Dr. Phil faces Tammy. "There's a really simple way to get to the answer to this," he says. "What is your expectation?"
"I know they're not going to be ready for it, and I know they don't know about me. I'm sure of that. I think they'll hang up on me," she replies.
"If they do, how are you with that?"
"I guess I'm OK, because I'll have given it a try," Tammy replies. [AD]
Dr. Phil says that Tammy needs to make sure that her expectations are realistic. "What you have to do is call and say, 'Look, I'm going to explain something to you that you may not know, and I didn't know until recently, but we are related in some way. I don't want anything from you except information. I don't want to interrupt your life, I don't want to intrude on your life, but it would be very helpful to me if we could chat at your convenience," he advises. "But you also have the right to reach out."
"I want to," Tammy says.
"Do it."