Finding Alex: Kim

Finding Alex: Kim

"When Alex first came home, we were really excited to have her home. Everything was good for the first couple weeks, but then it all started rapidly going back to all of her old habits," reveals Alex's mother, Kim. "She started sneaking out of the house to go meet people. She would come home hours late after she was supposed to be home. She stopped going to school. She was getting picked up for truancies. I found a letter written by her saying one evening she had gotten drunk and five guys took advantage of her."

 

Kim tried to curb Alex's bad behavior by taking away her cell phone, tightening her curfew and forbidding her to use the computer, to no avail. "Alex went from loving me " I was the best mom in the world " to she hated me. I was the devil," she says.

One night, Kim noticed a light on in her garage. When she opened the door, a boy ran out. She and Alex got into a verbal argument that turned physical, and Kim called the authorities. "The police told me that they didn't believe in my parenting skills. The police also informed Alex that if I was to ever grab her, she could have me arrested," she recalls. "It kind of made me feel really small, like I had no control over my daughter any more."

The next month would prove even more frightening for Kim. "I dropped Alex off at her job " I periodically would check on her during the day " and she was gone. So I drove straight home after combing the area and called the police department. I panicked. I was in complete anxiety mode," she recounts. "I went through her trashcan in her bedroom where I found a letter she had written to me. Alex said in the letter that she loved me, and she was always trying to make me happy, and I was just never happy, and she was nothing but a failure to this family. Alex said in the letter that she would contact me as soon as she could to let me know that she was OK. Alex never called me."

"You called us because you had no idea where she was, right?" Dr. Phil asks Kim. 

"I had no clue. She just vanished," she replies. "It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's impossible."

"What went into your decision to call us to look for her again?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Because I'm all alone, Dr. Phil," she replies. "I have nobody. I'm one person. I only have so much strength, and you've helped us before, and you did a great, fabulous job helping her the first time. You're my only hope."

Dr. Phil praises the work Kim put in at the The Dr. Phil House, and reminds her that he arranged for Alex to be placed in a therapeutic environment for eight months. "My staff tells me that you haven't been happy with anything we've done. Your sister-in-law says you've come to her and said, ‘I want you to join me in a lawsuit to sue the Dr. Phil show for not helping us.' You've called our staff and said, ‘Why have you turned your back on my daughter?' I don't know what else we can possibly do that we haven't done to help, and I'm still here helping!" he points out. "I'm curious what you're upset about. If we're going to work on this, we need to do it cooperatively. We don't want to be at odds with Alex in the mix. That's why I want to talk to you about this up front. All I can do is what I can do. I make no promises. I can't tell you what's going to happen with her."

Dr. Phil mentions that men in their 30s and 40s solicited Alex for sex. "Did you see any of that early on?" he asks Kim.

"We had decided to get her a cell phone so that I could keep in touch with her at all times. So I said, ‘We're going to give it a trial run to see what happens.' Next thing you know, guys are coming out of the woodwork again, just like last time," Kim responds.

"I am happy for you to talk about this for every mother in America [to see] how fast they come out of the woodwork when a young girl gets on the Internet and gets on some of those sites," Dr. Phil says. 

He shows a graphic of Alex's MySpace page, pointing out that Alex listed her mood as 'horny.' "It's almost like a porn site, so that's why they swarm that," he tells Kim.