Desperate for My Daughter: Onstage Showdown

After watching a video of Angela meeting with Bishop Jakes, Adrienne presses a handkerchief to her eyes.

"Tell me what you're thinking and feeling right now," Dr. Phil says.

"I just wanted this girl " my baby " just to be perfect. She's my only daughter," Adrienne says, fighting tears. "I didn't have people tucking me in at night. I didn't have a father figure. When she talks about those men " I've been married. This is my third marriage. The second time I got married was only " I want to say 50 percent was so they could have a father figure."

Dr. Phil addresses Bishop Jakes. "Do you think there's hope in this situation?" he asks.

"I absolutely do. I think it's going to be a difficult road back," he replies. He faces Adrienne. "The thing she wants the most is a relationship with you. The thing that she fears the most is living with you. In spite of your intent " and your intent may be totally legitimate and pure " somehow, in her mind, she perceives that you preferred the men to her, that she was not important to you. And evidently, there was some big altercation that occurred between one of your exes and her where he became physically abusive, and she says you didn't take up for her. For her, that was a major turning point in her life."

"He pushed her, because she was cursing in his face," Adrienne explains. "But I was standing right there. Let me tell you. I'm a Southern girl. If somebody is beating up on my baby, he's going to get it."

After a five-month estrangement, Angela reunites with her mother onstage. Adrienne embraces her daughter and kisses her on the cheek. Angela gives her mom a tentative hug.


Dr. Phil turns to the teen. "Tell me how you feel about seeing your mom," he says.

"Well, she still looks the same," she says with a smile.

"You talked to the Bishop yesterday, and he asked you what you really wanted. If you aren't with your mother, what will you do? Where will you live? What will be the rest of your pregnancy?" he asks. "Are you pregnant?"

"Yes, sir. I am," she says. "I'm positive."



"What will the rest of your pregnancy be if you're not at home with your mother?"

"If I'm not at home with her, I will be living with my baby's father," Angela replies. "He's taking care of me right now. I haven't been into prostitution ever since I've been with him. It seems like I have freedom now. I'm happy where I am."

"You've always had freedom. You've stopped allowing me to be a mom since you were, like, 13 years old, Sweet Love," Adrienne chimes in, her voice quaking. "I have not been perfect. No, I can't say it. I have misunderstood you, but you just left me to think about you for six weeks and three months at a time, not even calling me, as if you were just trying to punish me. But you've been through so much. I feel like you know I would have protected you. You know I would have protected you from the beatings of these men."

"Have you been beaten and abused since you left?" Dr. Phil asks Angela.

"I have," she replies. "These are guys that I didn't want to be with, but it seemed like I didn't have a choice to leave because they were holding me against my will. My last boyfriend, my ex, he's in prison now. He used to put his hands on me all the time until I finally left him. When I did leave him, I found my recent boyfriend."

"How old is this boyfriend you have now?"


"He's 21."


"And you're 17?"

"Yes, sir," Angela answers.

"Does he know how old you are?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"Yes."

"You have a fake I.D. that says you're 22, right?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Actually, I don't own that anymore. One of the guys that I was seeing in the past took it away from me," she replies. "He said that he didn't want any form of I.D. Just in case he murdered me, he didn't want anyone to know who I was."

"In case he murdered you?"

"Yes."

Visibly shaken, Adrienne says, "Every time somebody was about to take your life, who did you call?"


"I called you," Angela replies.

"I was honored to be there for you," Adrienne says. "But I cannot hop in my SUV and turn around, and just make a block to get you when you are three states away, Baby. It was just God's grace that kept you alive for me."

"Do you think she's hurting right now?" Dr. Phil asks the teen.

Angela is unmoved by her mother's tears. "It looks like she's hurting right now, but you never know," she replies coolly. "I'm sure that's how she's been feeling for a while, but I'm sure that if I were to open myself back up to her, I know that the same things would go on as it did in my childhood. I'm afraid to let that happen." 
 

Dr. Phil consults with Bishop Jakes. "What I hear her saying is, ‘I've been on the street prostituting myself, I've been beaten, I've been held against my will, I've been threatened, but that's safer than being with [my mom].'"

"That's mind-boggling to me," the pastor says. He mentions that Adrienne is an abuse survivor and may have been strict with her daughter to prevent the teen from being mistreated, but her plan may have backfired. "As long as you don't have any trust between each other, it's impossible to build a bridge," he tells the women. "This is down to a life-threatening situation."


"Every mother in America right now is saying, ‘What in the world is going on that this beautiful young woman is here with a mother who is doing everything she can to try and heal this situation?' Yet you are cold, closed down, shut down and uninterested in what she has to say," Dr. Phil tells Angela. "What has she done that has caused you to be so cold toward her, and so walled off from her, as you sit here today?"

"In the past, just living with her and being with her every day, it seemed like hell to me. It seemed like I was caged. I'm a human being. I deserve to at least get the freedom to do something," Angela replies.

"What is your ownership in the circumstances of her having to put such controls on you? Have you lied? Have you been deceitful? Have you bucked the system? Have you gotten involved in sex, and drugs and relationships with older men? Have you done things that would cause any parent to say, ‘Hey, I've got to stop this'?"

"When I was younger, I experimented with a few things, tried a few things, but it never lasted."

"Are you making good choices in your life now?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"Right now, yes," Angela answers. 

"And you're a month pregnant," Dr. Phil notes. "Are you smoking?"

Angela falters. "Actually, not really," she replies. "I might hit something now and then."

"You asked our producer for a cigarette this morning!"

"I asked if I could go on a smoke break really quick, because I was nervous."


"You can't smoke and be pregnant," Dr. Phil says sternly. He addresses another matter. "You were just saying to your mother at the break, ‘You told me this isn't what this was about, if I came here. I can't believe you're doing this to me.' What are you talking about?"

"I said, ‘I can't believe you lied to me.' She made me want to come on the show because she said, ‘Oh, this isn't about you running away. This isn't about any of that. We're not even going to discuss that.'"

"That's not true," Adrienne interjects.

"Yes, you did say that," Angela fires back. "If you didn't say that, I wouldn't have come on here, because I wouldn't have wanted my business to be put out."

"Did you think you were coming to a swap meet?" Dr. Phil asks, perplexed.

 

"I thought we were coming here just so we could get some communication."

"I think you need some help, going forward, with this baby. I want to help you make the right decisions. I want to help you feel safe and know that you don't have to stay with somebody who doesn't treat you right. I want to help your baby. I want to get you medical help " whatever you need," Dr. Phil tells Angela. "I'm willing to help you do that, but you've got to be willing to plug in and say, ‘Yes, I will take help for me, and for my baby and for my future.'"

Angela admits that she's at a crossroads. "I can't go on like this. It seems like I'm letting myself down. I shouldn't have to do that," she says.

"Who is this guy you're living with? Does he have a job?"

"Yes."

"Has he been to school? Does he have an education?" Dr. Phil probes.

"Yes."

"And he's an ex-gangbanger," Adrienne chimes in. "You told me that he stopped hanging out with his boys ""

"I said that he stopped hanging out with his friends now that he has me and a new baby on the way," Angela says firmly. "Therefore, he's directing all his attention toward me, and his child and his job."


Dr. Phil admonishes Adrienne. "I asked her if she wants help and is going to get help, and I'm actually doing pretty well. I've actually got her to say, ‘Yes, I need help. I'm a mother now,' and before I can finish the sentence, you jump in and say, ‘No, no, no. He's a gangbanger,'" he says.

"I don't understand why I can't speak with the guy," Adrienne says. "I just want to make sure she's safe."

 

"Mom, you've got to pick your battles," Dr. Phil cautions.

"As a parent, my heart goes out to you. I know how difficult it is to raise children," Bishop Jakes commiserates with Adrienne. "The little girl you're looking for is gone. I don't think you understand that. I think you're looking for the little girl that you had at Easter Sunday parades with barrettes in her hair."

 

Adrienne dabs at her eyes as the preacher's words sink in.

 

"This young lady has been in adult situations " so many, and so diverse and so unimaginable " that I don't think you'll ever pull out of her what you are looking for," the pastor continues. "That doesn't mean that there's not a wonderful person sitting here. It's just not the person you have in your mind. I think there's a great opportunity for you to get to know who she is now. She's 17; she's about to be 18. In a minute, you won't be able to have any legal recourse. If love doesn't tie the cord, there won't be a cord, and you'

ll lose her to the streets forever."

After the show, Dr. Phil says that the mother and daughter are on the road to reconciliation, but he wants to help them avoid the bumps. He turns to Bishop Jakes. "At the break, I asked both Adrienne and Angela if they were willing to accept some help and counsel to prepare them to come together," he says. "I think there needs to be some individual work done with these two at this point. Do you agree?"

"Absolutely. Totally," the Bishop replies.

"We're also going to see after that baby and be sure you have the right information, and the right help and support to make sure you're taking proper care of that baby," Dr. Phil assures the teen.