Teen Rocked By Tragedy
"I was in the foster care system since I was 10 years old. My whole life, I've always been afraid. My stepfather would beat me with a 2 x 4. We were taken out of the home and placed into foster care. The police came and informed me that my stepfather had killed my mother. I felt that I was all alone, and that I lost my best friend," reveals 19-year-old Stacy on videotape. She says her home life became unbearable. "My biological father requested custody of me and my sister. My father would rape me on a daily basis. If he was supposed to be my father, how could he do something like this?"
Stacy was removed from her father's house and placed into the foster care system. "Last year, my foster mother died of cancer. I aged out of the foster care system. I now live with my pregnant 17-year-old sister. I feel responsible to help take care of the baby. I worry about buying baby clothes, diapers " everything that a baby needs. I've always had a lot of questions toward God: Why would he allow the abuse to go on? Why would he take away my mother? Why would he take away everything I had in my life?"
In his studio, Dr. Phil addresses Stacy. "As a child, what do you say to yourself when you are beaten with a 2 x 4?" he asks.
[AD]Stacy replies, "â€˜Why me? Why did I have to go through these things?' Sometimes I would wish that I wasn't even alive. The only reason why I'm here today is because of my brothers and sisters. I just wanted to stay there with them, because I knew they had no one else, and that I was basically their mother. Without me, I feel as if they wouldn't be as strong as they are today."
As Stacy recounts that her mother was murdered by her stepfather, tears well in her eyes. "I lost all hope because I was hoping one day that I would go back to her," she says. "I just kind of gave up. It was very hard. My mother was my best friend."
"She was your one soft place to fall," Dr. Phil sympathizes.
Dr. Phil introduces Michael Piraino, CEO of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Dr. Phil and Robin are national spokespersons for his program.
"That's right. It's not putting up with a system's inability to give a young woman like Stacy what she needs, and making sure that that kind of experience doesn't happen," Michael replies.
"What can I do to help you?" Dr. Phil asks the teen.
[AD]"The hardest thing would be dealing with my mother's loss," she replies.
"Have you ever allowed yourself to really grieve? Do you even know how to do that?" he asks.
"It's not something that comes naturally. My whole life, I've kept everything inside. I had to be the strong one," she admits.
Dr. Phil offers to get professional help for Stacy.