Follow-Ups: Mollie and Allene

Follow-Ups: Mollie and Allene

When Michelle first appeared on the show, she was searching for her missing teenage daughters, Mollie and

Allene, who had been taken by their father a year prior. Dr. Phil put private investigator Harold Copus on the case. He located the girls in the jungles of Belize hiding out among a group of local Mennonites, whose believers shun all modern conveniences, including running water, electricity, television and education past the eighth grade. Both girls returned home with their mother.  


"It was very difficult, at first, when I came home to live with my mom. She wanted everything to be like it had been a year ago," Mollie, the older

daughter, says. "I did have some problems with anxiety, mostly being in crowds really bothered me, the traffic, the people. It was very strange." Mollie no longer practices the religion of her father's church. "I have changed my life by being more normal, I guess you would say," she says.


Michelle says she and Mollie have had their ups and downs. "Mollie has had some issues with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression," she reveals.


When Allene returned home, she continued to wear her uniform, but slowly star

ted dressing more like her sister. "She's a natural with makeup and fashion, so she was always figuring out how to look like the girls she saw in the magazines," Michelle says. "At Allene's eighth grade graduation, she decided she wanted a picture of herself with what she saw herself driving someday." She took pictures in front of convertible sports cars. "I think she started feeling guilty, like she was somehow betraying her father."

After a year of living with her mother and her sister, Allene moved back in with her father and returned to living the German Baptist lifestyle. "When Allene comes over, she watches television and she plays video games. Allene comes from one world with her dad and comes into my world and assimilates just fine," Michelle says. "I feel very worried that she is split almost into two people. She's trying to please her dad and still be a kid."


"I support her 100 percent, but I really do miss her," Mollie shares.


Michelle says that Mollie and her father fight at times about her appearance. "Michael wants Mollie to look as close to a German Baptist as he can get her to look," she says. He wants his daughter to wear skirts, but she prefers jeans.


"I stayed with my mom because I wanted my education to be a top priority. My dad expects me to not want to have a further education. He feels that a woman is supposed to be at home with her children," Mollie says. "I think I'm doing extremely well. I hav

e gone back to school. I am a junior in high school." She wants to be a forensic pathologist.


Michelle says her life is pretty normal today. "I am so glad to have my daughters back, and I am very thankful to Dr. Phil for giving me that opportunity," she says.


In his studio, Dr. Phil asks Mollie, "Did you guys know we were looking for you?"

"In a roundabout way, yes," she says.


Dr. Phil asks Michelle, "Do you have a relationship with [the girls' father], Mike, now?"

"We talk when we have to talk, because we, right at the moment, have joint custody. I have physical custody of Mollie. He has it of Allene," she explains.

"Is Allene going to school?" Dr. Phil asks.

Michelle says she is currently a freshman.

Michelle says she is having a difficult time handling Mollie's anger. "Mollie is angry at both Michael and

 me. The only thing Mollie remembers about her dad and me is that we fought," she says. "Some of Mollie's anger is directed toward me. Even though she knows her father and I did not work together, if I hadn't left him, if I hadn't sought custody before he took them to Belize, things might have gone smoother for her." 

Mollie shares, "I get angry with both my parents about their inability to talk to each other civilly. It makes me feel that they're
very immature. They're going to act extremely childish and petty just to make themselves feel better."


"Mollie blames me a lot. She says, ‘You and Dad ruined Allene's and my childhood,'" Michelle shares.

Mollie says that her parents' families dislike one another. "My dad thinks my mom's family is controlling, conniving. He calls them the Man-Hater's Club. He

's called my grandmother a troll and a witch," Mollie says. "I try not to straighten them out because there's nothing I can really do or say. They don't want to listen to me."

Michelle turns to Dr. Phil for advice. "I would like Dr. Phil's help in figuring out how to help Mollie get rid of her anger, and get rid of it so she can go on with her life," she says.

"What is it that you want to see happen now?" Dr. Phil asks Mollie. "There comes a point when you have to stop complaining and start asking specifically for what you want."

Mollie says that she wants her parents to talk civilly to each other during the custody exchange.

"Do you guys clash when you do the handoffs?" Dr. Phil asks Michelle.

"Michael, in my opinion, isn't very willing to work with me," she says.

"Do you have to do that in front of the children?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I've tried to do it by telephone," she says. "We've tried, for some of these issues, to have our lawyers talk between each other then come to us, so we didn't have to have an argument about it."

Dr. Phil turns to Mollie and says, "You're right. You shouldn't be caught in that crossfire. It isn't fair to you." He addresses Michelle. "Y'all should not be doing that," he tells her. "Somebody's got to step up and say, ‘We're g
oing to stop doing this,' because you understand, neither of these children chose this." He suggests that she and Michael find a way to communicate without putting their daughters in the middle of the fighting. "Don't engage," he says. "If he was here, I'd be telling him the same thing I'm telling you."

Dr. Phil asks Mollie, "Are you comfortable where you are, doing what you're doing?"

"I am absolutely comfortable with what I'm doing. I'm very happy with my decisions," she says with a smile.