Parental Abuse?: Amy

Debbie and Amy
Debbie says her 31-year-old daughter, Amy, first started physically abusing her when she was 16. “She kicked me, she pulled my hair, she slapped me,” Debbie says. Sobbing, she confesses, “Sometimes, I just wish I could put a pillow over her head, make her go away. I just don’t want her to live with me this way, and I don’t want her to live in the world this way.”
 
“My mom is mean, and nasty, and a psycho,” Amy says. “She doesn’t realize how critical she can be.” She says her mother tells her that she’s white trash and treats her like she’s inferior. “I’ll never be good enough,” she says. Amy denies ever slapping, punching or scratching her mother. “I’ve only pushed her against the wall to get out of the way and get away from her.
 
“My mom is a pathological liar,” Amy says, regarding accusations that she pushed Debbie down a staircase. “I don’t remember that.” Amy claims that when she was 16, Debbie caught her with a pack of cigarettes and got so angry that she threatened her with a knife, said she would kill her and burned her with a cigarette. “She can be a raging bitch,” she says.
 
Onstage, Debbie is in tears. Dr. Phil tells her, “I sense that you disagree with a lot of what was said there,” and she agrees.
 
Dr. Phil tells both Debbie and Amy that they need to be honest in order to quickly reach a resolution. “Because I assume you want this to change,” he says to Amy.
 
“It has to,” Amy responds. “I’m going to end up in a mental institution if it doesn’t.”
 
“Are you prepared to be completely honest here?” he asks Debbie.
 
“I’m willing to be honest. I know I’m not perfect. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m here to try to figure out what they are and how to move forward,” Debbie responds. She denies ever going after Amy with a knife.
 
“She said you held a knife to her throat; that’s a life-threatening action,” Dr. Phil tells Debbie. “That’s not something that gets lost in the background of your life. If you hold a knife to your child’s throat, you don’t forget that.”
 
“You saw in the video, she wants me dead,” Amy adds.
 
“No, I don’t want you dead, Amy. I love you,” Debbie tells her daughter. “I want the pain to stop.”

Dr. Phil asks Debbie whether she burned Amy with a cigarette, and she says if she did, it was an accident.

Amy says her shirt was burned, but she believes her mother's intention was to hurt her.
 
Debbie denies Amy's claim. “We have to agree to disagree,” she tells Amy.
 
“If we can’t be honest, this is not going to happen,” a frustrated Amy responds.
 
“Let’s see where you are on the honesty scale here,” Dr. Phil tells Amy. “Did you threaten to burn her house down?”
 
[AD]“Yeah,” Amy confesses with a huge grin. “I mess with her a lot.”
 
“Why would you say that grinning ear to ear?” Dr. Phil asks Amy.
 
Amy says she can never get her mother to listen to her. “She can hurt me and hurt me all she wants, and I can do nothing,” she says.
 
Dr. Phil asks Amy to explain why she’s still living with her mother if they don’t get along.
 
Find out why Amy says she has no choice but to live with her mother.
Dr. Phil asks Amy whether she’s doing drugs, and she says she did about 10 years ago but isn’t anymore.
 
Debbie says she recently found crystal meth in Amy’s purse.
 
“What were you doing with the crystal meth in your purse?” Dr. Phil asks Amy.
 
“Being stupid,” she responds.
 
“So, you were doing drugs?” Dr. Phil asks.
 
“For a day,” she claims.
 
“I don’t know if you can just do crystal meth for a day,” Debbie interjects.
 
Amy insists she’s clean and could pass a drug test if necessary.
 
In a previous interview, Debbie claims that in the last 12 years, she has spent more than $100,000 to support Amy and her children. “If Amy didn’t have kids, she would not be living here,” she says while explaining her frustration over Amy's lack of help with household chores. “I don’t know where she’d be — on the street, some guy’s couch? I don’t care.”
 
Back onstage, Debbie admits that she does care about Amy’s well-being, and Dr. Phil asks why she said otherwise.
 
“Because the more I help Amy, it doesn’t seem like it helps Amy,” she responds.
 
Emotions run high when Amy’s parenting skills are brought into play.

 
Debbie accuses Amy of taking about $1,800 from her business' cash register over the past year, which she classifies as theft.
 
Amy claims that she took the money out as an advance and paid it back through tips or by having it deducted from her paycheck. She says she needs money to hold her over until she receives her next paycheck.
 
When asked why she feels she’s entitled to take money from her mother’s business, Amy says she's not, but admits that she took it out of anger.
 
See who storms offstage while being questioned by Dr. Phil!

 
“You’ve got to let her know that you believe in her,” Dr. Phil tells Debbie.
 
“I do,” she insists.
 
“It doesn’t help if you know it; what helps is if she knows it,” he replies.
 
Dr. Phil offers to get Debbie help in order to rebuild a better relationship with Amy. He points to Amy’s empty seat and says, “The issue here is: She’s not proud of where she is in her life right now, and she doesn’t need you to rub salt in that wound; but boy, you are quick to do it.”

[AD]After the show, Amy explains why she stormed offstage: “I’m not interested in fighting with my mom,” she says. “She wants me dead, she wants me to vanish — I can never forgive her for that.” She says being on the s how gave her the motivation she needed to leave her mother’s house. “When I get home, my bags will be packed. I don’t see reconciliation as a possibility; she needs to take a good look at herself before I’m willing to do that.”