Internet Mistakes: Pam and Mary

Daughter in Peril?

"I don't like that Mary Elizabeth is on this site," says Mary's mother, Pam. "The site itself, to me, is degrading to young women."

"If there was a picture of me wrapped around a toilet, and I was getting sick at the time, I would
post it on my Facebook, and I wouldn't think there was anything wrong with it," Mary says. "Me and my friends are proud that we drink."

"I think Mary Elizabeth has to have enough common sense not to put inappropriate things on Facebook," Pam says. "I don't think I want to venture a guess as to how often Mary Elizabeth drinks."

"Every weekend I drink," Mary reveals. "I feel that I'm in control of the situation."

"The first time that I caught Mary Elizabeth drinking, she was 15, and that's when she had fallen and hit her head and ended up in a coma," Pam explains. "The second time that we caught Mary Elizabeth drinking, things got out of hand, and the police had to be called."

"I didn't think going to the drunk tank for the night was a very big deal. I just thought it was kind of a joke," Mary says.

"She, you know, uses her judgment, I'm assuming," Pam says. "We haven't caught her other than those two times, really."

"I am applying to colleges in the near future, and I'm not worried that I won't get accepted because of what I wrote, or that I'm in the group," Mary says. "I don't think there's anything anybody could say to me that would make me want to leave the Facebook group or stop drinking."

Dr. Phil addresses Mary's mother, "Pam, are you learning any new information about her activities today?"

"I'm happy with Mary Elizabeth that she hasn't
put any pictures of herself on the site, drinking," Pam says. "So, no, I haven't really learned anything that I didn't know before."

"Did you know she was drinking every weekend?" he asks.

"I don't think she is drinking every weekend," Pam says, and Mary agrees, saying she drinks only when there's something going on.

"Now, you've fallen and hit your head and been taken to the hospital. You've been arrested for underage drinking and spent the night in the drunk tank. You've been in two drunk fights," Dr. Phil says to Mary.

"Mary Elizabeth suffers from ADHD and depression," Pam interjects. "The first time that we caught her, that she bumped her head, she hadn't been diagnosed with either one of those yet, so she had poor judgment, and she was a risk-taker, which goes along with ADHD."

"You seem to be clearly knowledgeable about depression and ADHD, so I assume you're knowledgeable of the interactions of those medications with alcohol, and the affect of alcohol on those disorders even without medication," Dr. Phil says to Pam. "I don't hear any acknowledgment of the fact that you've got a problem here." 

"She shouldn't be drinking," Pam says.

Dr. Phil goes over some of Mary's comments. "‘I have drunk pictures on Facebook but don't keep track of what's on there. I would post a picture of me wrapped around a toilet and be damn proud of it. I would never hide my life to get a job. Nothing anyone would say would get me off Facebook or to stop drinking. I love to drink. I started in the eighth grade at age 13. Every time I drink, I get really drunk.'" He looks to Pam. "I'm very concerned if you say you knew all that before you got here," he says.

"No, I didn't," she says. Pam is also surprised by the messages her daughter has been sending Amanda.

Mary says that she was called names as well. "I just want to point out that I'm sitting up here while she's saying what she thinks about me. I came up here with good intentions," she says, looking at Amanda, "and I'm sorry that I did use curse words in the things " "

"I appreciate the apology. Thanks," Amanda says.

"But I liked the fact that when I came up here to sit down " what was it? ‘Dirty slut' was whispered under your breath toward me. So I'd just like to point out how I'm being picked on and being called immature, but you're calling me a dirty slut," Mary says.

"No, that didn't happen," Amanda says. "I said, ‘Oh, man, we're going to tear you apart.'"

"Let me say one thing: [Amanda] doesn't speak for me," Dr. Phil tells Mary. "I'm not here to tear you up. I'm not here to criticize or demean you. I actually think you have some really poor judgment. I think you have a drinking problem, frankly. I think you've got a problem with that, and I think you're at an age where you need to get this under control right now."

Dr. Phil turns to Pam. "Your daughter is not distinguishing herself in a positive way on the Internet, and the gentleman sitting next to you, who is a professional, is telling you that college recruiters, job recruiters, everybody has now turned to an age of technology, and when they want to know something about somebody, they know that there is an endless stream of information out there," he says.

He looks to Mary. "And the first time you want to get that great job that you love, or get in that college you want, they're going to write back, ‘Love your grades, but I'm afraid we're going to have to pass at this point,' and you're going to go, ‘Dang! It wasn't that I just got drunk. I had to publicize it. I had to tell the world about it. I had to put it out there for everybody to see my poor judgment,' which is further poor judgment, and you're going to feel terrible."

"I'm not ashamed of that " " Mary starts.

"You're not now because you're 17," Dr. Phil points out.

"No. If somebody turned me down for that, then I wouldn't want to work for them. There would be something else out there for me," Mary says. "It's a part of your life. I'm not ashamed of anything that I've done."

"I'm not saying that you should be ashamed of anything that you've done " although it's illegal and wrong and counterproductive to your overall health " but nonetheless, you don't care now, but you're going to care in the future," Dr. Phil tells her.