"You Do Not Make Him Angry"
“Tom would always criticize my weight and criticize how I looked. I ended up becoming anorexic when I was around 16,” Tanya recalls. “The lowest weight I went was 93 pounds. He had me doing exercises: crunches, squats. I couldn’t easily do that stuff because I had to memorize in that room every spot that creaked on the floor. My natural hair color was a dark blonde, but he wanted a bleached blonde, like a Barbie doll. And when his parents were sleeping in the middle of the night, he would take me down in the kitchen to dye my hair. I was his trophy. I was his Barbie doll. He wanted me to be perfect. And I tried my best, but I couldn’t be perfect for him.”

“Take me to that moment when it hit upon you that you weren’t a guest, you weren’t a girlfriend, you weren’t a partner; you were a hostage, you were a captive,” Dr. Phil says.

[AD]“It was about two months into it. That’s when I told him, ‘I want to go home. I miss my family.’ The whole time at that point he’s telling me, ‘Nobody cares.’ He’s still working at the school at this point, and he’s saying, ‘Nobody’s saying anything about you.’ Nobody’s looking for me. Nobody cares,” she says. Tanya says when she told him she wanted to go home, he threatened to kill her.

“So, for eight weeks, you stay there, and you don’t bring up going home?” Dr. Phil says.

“No,” she says. “He promised me a lot of things. ‘I’m going to get my own apartment, we’re going to live together, eventually we’re going to get married.’ Broken and empty promises constantly.”Dr. Phil shows a photos of the room Tanya lived in. “How do you feel, looking at that now?” he asks her.

“I can’t believe what I went through, and I can’t believe that I was there, held captive for so many years,” she says tearfully.

“You had to go to the bathroom in a bucket,” he says.

“Yeah,” she says.

“And his son was how much younger than you?”

“Two years younger,” she says. Tanya explains that Justin was sent from the room when she and Tom had sex and always seemed to know when to stay away. In the beginning, they were having sex two or three times a day. “I had to do a lot of horrible things,” she says.

Dr. Phil addresses the calendar that Tom made her update with their sex activities, which he would then take to the school to show to coworkers and brag. “Nobody ever said anything about this guy? The guy’s bringing around a sex calendar, and he’s head of security around children and young girls, and nobody raises an issue?” Dr. Phil asks.

“No,” she says.

“And his son goes to this school.”


[AD]“And you’ve disappeared. Nobody has any idea that it’s you that is actually filling that [calendar] out, under his command, and you’re the one being abused in that way,” he says. “What did you say to yourself when you did these things?”

“I just did what I was told. He was the type of man — you don’t make him angry. You do not make him angry. He threatened to kill me many times,” she says. “I didn’t sleep for a long time, afraid that in the middle of the night, he would.”
Dr. Phil points out that the house they were living in wasn’t very big, and Tom’s parents lived there too. “How does somebody live in a house, and people don’t know you’re there?” he asks.

“You tell me,” she says. “I had to memorize where the floor creaked and not step on that spot when he wasn’t home.” Tanya says she coughed and sneezed into pillows. She feared that if she was discovered by his parents, he would kill her like he threatened.

“Did you start to go crazy in that room?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Yes, I did,” she says. Tanya explains that she developed obsessive-compulsive behaviors, including counting everything. “Anything that made a noise, I knew how many times it made that noise. I had one bottom drawer of his dresser, and I would constantly take my clothes out and refold them and put them back in there. And then it got to the point that is so sad, that I started to have conversations with myself. It’s embarrassing to say now, but I did. I used to talk to myself.”

“What would you say?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Anything that came into my head. And then I would imagine that I was talking to my old friends from growing up,” she says, a tear running down her face. Tanya says to quell the loneliness she felt, she would put her head against the furnace vent so she could hear his parents’ conversations when they were downstairs.

Dr. Phil asks about Tanya's diet.

“I ate what was leftover from his dinner,” she says. Tanya says Tom dictated to his parents what he wanted to eat for dinner every night, and his father would go to the store to buy the ingredients, and his mother would prepare it. 

[AD]“Were you hungry?” he asks.

“Oh, very much, yes. He wanted me thinner than what I was when I was first with him,” she says.