Teen Dating and Abuse: Coryn, Melody and Brian

Teen Dating and Abuse: Coryn, Melody and Brian

"My 17–year-old daughter, Coryn, has an abusive boyfriend. He's very controlling, manipulative, jealous, and he stalks her. Brian is ruining Coryn's life. She stopped doing her

sports and activities. Teachers noticed [the] personality from this bubbly girl was different," says Melody. "When you first meet Brian, everybody likes him. He's charming. And then they slowly start finding out he makes up stories and lies."

 

"People have figured him out all wrong. He's a good guy," says Coryn. She says her mom liked Brian at first, but that changed when she found out they were sexually active. "She said he was abusive. Why would someone do that to him? He's not like that." Coryn says that she and Brian rarely fight. "He

does have a little temper, but I feel like my relationship is healthy and normal," she shares. "He's never laid one finger on me. I mean wrestling around and stuff, but not in a hateful way."

 

Melody admits she was upset when she found out they were having sex. "He was very abusive in the words that he was saying to her: 'When are you coming over so I can f*** you again or

bend you over?' Every letter would start at the top, 'Suck my di**,'" she explains. "He'd leave nasty messages on my answering machine, screaming at her. If he can't have her, nobody can. 'Burn in hell.' She would tell me it's just normal teenage fighting. There was one time that Brian had broken up with her, and I saw him grab her arm and it scared me. I'm afraid that Brian has been physically abusive with Coryn."

 

After she found the letters, Melody filed a restraining order against Brian. Brian also has a restraining order with his previous girlfriend. "After I filed the restraining order, Coryn was very angry, that she didn't want to live if she couldn't see Brian."

Since the filing, Coryn isn't allowed to e-mail anybody and can't leave the house. "I have to be on 24-hour supervision. I feel like I'm in

lockdown," Coryn shares. Through tears she says, "It hurts. I just feel like she doesn't want me anymore. She tells me she's counting down the days until I get out of here."

 

Melody also says that Brian has been stalking Coryn. "Brian would start driving by our house, showing up at work. He showed up at her gymnastics. He would go to the school. She just didn't know where he was going to turn up," she explains.

 

Coryn isn't worried about Brian's behavior. "I was just going to wait until I was 18 to go and take the restraining

order off. I am in love with Brian, and I want to see if me and him will work out," she reveals. "I think I'm old enough to know what a good relationship is."

 

Melody worries about the future. "My greatest fear is that when Coryn turns 18, that she can get this restraining order off, and that she will end up with Brian, and that I will get a phone call some day that she's lying dead in the ditch somewhere," she shares, turning to Dr. Phil for help. "Can you help me to show her that this is an abusive relationship, and that she needs to get out?"

"I recognize that you don't want to acknowledge much here, because if you do, that's kind of admission of guilt. That's like saying, 'Mom is right,'" Dr. Phil says to Brian. "You

can be mad at your mom for what she's done, but God bless you for stepping up and doing what you have done," he says to Coryn and Melody respectively. He continues speaking to Melody. "Right or wrong, if your perception is that there is someone preying on your daughter, it is your job as a parent to step in and protect her, whether she likes it or whether she doesn't," he tells her. "I agree with your perception. I think you are exactly right."

Dr. Phil addresses Brian. "I think you have a problem with control. I think you are immature," he tells him. "What do you think is going to happen if you continue in this way?"

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you," Brian replies.

 

"One of two things is going to happen," Dr. Phil says. He faces Coryn and says, "You either have so little self-esteem that you believe that if you have somebody you better hang on to him because you'll never

get anybody better." He turns to Brian. "But if she has a backbone, if she has any pride, any integrity of self, then she'll send you packing," he says. "You're going to wind up being miserable." He points out that people often think anger is a sign of strength. "You're never weaker then when you're angry, because to be angry, you have to decide you're a victim," he tells Brian. "If you're in control of your environment, if you're taking care of business, then you won't be angry, you'll be mastering your environment." Dr. Phil warns Brian, "You're headed for trouble, and you don't have to be." He can learn to manage his emotions and change his behavior, but Dr. Phil reminds him that he can't change what he doesn't acknowledge.

"I've acknowledged it. Being away from Melody and having this restraining order has taught me a lot," Brian says. "I'm a lot calmer of a person. I'm a lot more understanding toward things."

Melody points out that Brian is still violating both restraining orders by going by the high school.


"You have the tendency to play the victim and say that you're being conspired against, and I'm saying that I think you can and should get professional help," Dr. Phil says to Brian.

Brian says that he is getting help on a regular basis. "I'm going to two, because I've got domestic violence classes I've

got to go to, and then I set up my own classes."

"Is it helping you?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, it is," Brian says. 

"But you told our producers that you had signed up but you hadn't gone yet," Dr. Phil says. "The one you signed up for with your own money, are you going in there and getting help or not?"

"No, I haven't started," Brian says, but notes that he is going to the domestic violence classes.

Dr. Phil asks Brian if he is willing to sign a release so Dr. Phil can talk to the class leaders and find out if Brian is attending and how he's doing. Brian agrees.

Dr. Phil addresses Coryn. "I would like to arrange a woman counselor for you to see, who never talks to your mother," he tells her. "Somebody that you go and sit down where it's all private. You don't have anything that you have to try to cover. You don't have any accountability to [your mom], but you have an opportunity to talk and describe what's going on in your life and see if she can offer some food for thought for you."

Coryn agrees to go.

Brian shares his view of the situation. "Coryn is everything to me," he reveals. "The worst thing I've ever done to Coryn was hang up on her

and not talk to her. I've called her an a**hole a couple times, but that, to me, just wasn't that bad, because I didn't say it in a derogatory way." He notes that it's normal for teenagers to fight. "Fifty percent of a teenager's relationship is fighting and arguing and getting through stuff, and the other 50 percent is all the passionate love and going out to dinner."

Brian says Melody got the idea to file a restraining order against him from his ex-girlfriend's mom. "My ex-girlfriend said that I had hit
her and abused her and yelled at her, and every bit of it was a lie," he says. "I would love to sit down with Coryn's mom, one on one, and be able to hear no lies, just the true, straightforward answer of why she doesn't like me."

 

When Coryn turns 18, Brian says they plan on picking up their relationship where it left off. "I have her father's OK. I, at this point, don't care about her mother's. When she turns 18, she's legal to take the restraining order off, and if it's in her heart that she still wants to see me, I'm more than happy with it," he explains.

But, he says, Melody is planning on making it difficult. "She's told Coryn time and time again that she's going to do everything she can to put me in jail before she's 18."

 

Brian thinks Melody is trying to control him. "She doesn't want to see me have a little bit of control in a relationship. I do wish she would just let us go about our business and go away," he says, turning to Dr. Phil for help. "Coryn and I are two teenagers in love. Can you help Coryn's mom realize this and leave us alone?"

Because Melody has a restraining order against Brian, Dr. Phil asks her if she will allow Brian to join the show and sit

onstage with them. Melody agrees. Brian walks onstage.

 

Dr. Phil addresses Brian. "Do you really think it's appropriate for you to say, 'I have her father's permission. I don't care what her mother thinks'?"

"No, I don't think it's appropriate," Brian admits.

Dr. Phil points out that Coryn's father just got out of prison after serving time for having a relationship with his girlfriend's 14-year-old

daughter. "I don't know the man, but I've got to tell you, that's not a real good resumé for justifying, 'OK, we've got Dad's approval.'"

"Just because he's been in prison and he did something wrong, doesn't mean he can't change," Brian says.

 

Dr. Phil addresses Coryn. "What could Brian do to be a better boyfriend?" he asks.

"That's hard to say," Coryn replies. "He treated me amazing. I thought he was amazing, and he still is amazing. I don't know what he could

do."

Dr. Phil is surprised to hear this and explains that, even though he and Robin have been married for 30 years, she could come up with ways that he could be a better husband. "He's left you messages, he's written in letters, 'I'm sorry I hurt you. It won't happen again. When are you coming over so I can F you? You can suck this. I was a steroid-freak A-hole.'" He turns to Brian and asks, "Were you being amazing then?"

"I don't believe anything that's written right there," Brian says. 

"Did you leave nasty messages that say, 'Burn in hell'?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"No," Brian replies.

"'If I can't have you, nobody can,'" Dr. Phil continues.

"Nope. Never left that," Brian maintains. "She's free to do what she wants. If she wants to find another boyfriend, that's fine with me, as long as she's happy."

"Brian, she can even be with her male cousins and you're jealous," Melody says, joining the conversation. "She can't be with any boy. Your letters state, 'Did you talk to any boys today? Do you have any boy friends that I don't know about?'"

 

Pointing out that he is not accusing Brian of being abusive, Dr. Phil asks him, "If there is somebody who is abusive to their girlfriend, how

would you feel about someone who did that?"

"I don't agree about anybody hitting a girl. That's wrong," Brian says.

 

Although Brian has said he would like Melody to mind her own business, he didn't always feel that way. "At one point in time, I was happy with the relationship that I had toward Melody. She was involved in it, and it was really good, because there's a good person inside Melody," he explains. "One day, Coryn and I had a pretty good heat-up of a moment of an argument, and that's where it all started."

 

"What happens when you let your temper get the better [of you]? What do you do?" Dr. Phil inquires.

 

"I usually, pretty much, just shut myself down," Brian says. 

Dr. Phil points out that not very many people have restraining orders filed against them, but Brian has had two. "I have a hard time believing that they've done those because when you get angry you just kind of shut down and withdraw," he says. He addresses both Brian and Coryn. "If you were being honest, if you were being completely candid about everything, then we would have something to work with here, but the fact that both of you come in and say, 'He's wonderful. He's amazing. I can't even tell you one thing I would want him to improve on.' Do you realize that that's just totally non-credible?" he asks Coryn.

"That just tells me that you're in complete and utter denial about it."

 

Dr. Phil asks Brian why he got a restraining order in his previous relationship.

Brian explains that it was an agreement, because he and his ex-girlfriend had classes together and they weren't getting along.

"Weren't there five witnesses that said you dragged her out of the classroom and threw her up against a railing on a stairwell?" Dr. Phil asks. Brian denies he did that.

 

"Did you ever get physical with her?"

"I'll admit, a couple of times," Brian says. "She made me upset, and I grabbed her shoulders — not real aggressively — just grabbed her shoulders and held her there so we could talk. And there were a couple of times I had to get physical, because out of nowhere she decided she was going to wail off and start hitting me, because I said a rude comment to her."

"So you were just a victim in that?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yeah, a couple of times," Brian says.

Dr. Phil addresses Melody. "What's your objection to this guy?" he asks.

"That he is so controlling and possessive and manipulative. When people meet him, if you saw him on the street, you'd think he's the nicest guy," Melody explains. "If you do every single thing that Brian says, he's a nice guy. But the minute you tell him no, the minute Coryn cannot go or cannot answer the phone, he goes off. He sits here and he lies. He does not even know that he has a problem. He tries to put it back on everybody else." She says that Brian knows what's written in the letters because they are in his handwriting. "Every letter talks about, 'I'm sorry I hurt you. I won't hurt you anymore. I won't threaten you anymore. I'll change my ways,'" she explains. "When I talk to her friends and they tell me that they're
scared for Coryn's life, and when I talk to the police officer at the school, and he saw all these incidents that happened with the last girlfriend, and he told me that Brian will be a wife beater and that 'your daughter's going to be laying in the ditch some day.'"

"What did he tell you about the classroom situation in the stairwell?" Dr. Phil asks.

"He picked her up and tried to carry her out, and she was kicking and screaming. Kids were trying to help, and Brian took her and threw her against the railing," Melody explains. "There was another incident where he actually attacked her car and tried to pull this girl out through the sunroof."

Dr. Phil addresses Brian. "There were five witnesses who are in the records on this and the police report about the classroom situation. And then also a description of what happened in the sunroof," he says. "Are you saying those things are just totally made up? And if so, why are people conspiring against you to paint you with this ugly

brush?"

Brian explains that during the classroom incident he didn't drag her out, but he pushed her out. "It was more or less my hands were on her back, and I was walking with my body weight, and we went outside and talked. I never dragged her out of a sunroof out of a car," he says. "Another part of it was, there are a lot of people at [school] who don't like me. They would love nothing more but to see me go down to the ground."

"Why would they single you out like that?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"If I'm such a horrible person, then how come Melody's older daughter and her grandkids love me to death?" Brian asks.

"Probably because you're nice to them," Dr. Phil says. "Let me be very clear; I don't like what I think you do, but I don't think you're a horrible person at all. I think you have some impulse control problems. I think you could learn some skills that would allow you to manage yourself a whole lot better, but I don't think that you're willing to get real enough to do that."

Dr. Phil asks Brian to stand up and show him how he helped his ex-girlfriend out the door of the classroom. Brian pushes Dr. Phil from behind. Dr. Phil asks Coryn to stand up. He points to Coryn and asks Brian, "Do you think that you can overpower somebody like that?"

"Oh yeah, without a doubt," Brian says.

"Do you think it's intimidating if somebody big gets up in your face?"

"Yeah."

"And you've done that to [Coryn], right?"

"No."

"And you've done that to [the other girl], right?"

 

"I did do it to [the other girl]. I did get up in her face. I will not lie or deny that," Brian says.

Coryn's friend, Cory, sent a video message for Coryn.

"I wanted to let you know that I really miss hanging out with you, and I think that Brian has torn apart our relationship. You've turned your back on all your friends and now your family. I think you're in a situation that you can't handle, and I'm afraid that in the end you're going to be hurt emotionally and physically. I am really
scared for you.

 

"When you're with him, you're a completely different person. I love you. I want you back, and I just don't want you to be hurt. Get yourself out of this situation."

With tears in her eyes, Coryn shares her thoughts. "First of all, me and Cory haven't been friends for a while," she explains. "I think she is just trying to help out my mom. She didn't like Brian to begin with."



Dr. Phil repeats his question from earlier in the show, "What could Brian do to be a better boyfriend?"

 

"He's trying to help me, to keep me away from the drinking and all the stuff I used to do," Coryn says. 

"I've got a suggestion of what I can do better," Brian chimes in. "My attitude. I have an attitude problem. I have a problem with people telling me what to do. I'm not too fond of people just coming up to me and telling me, 'No, you can't see this person. No, you can't do that.'" He admits that his temper can come up fast.