Kristie tearfully cries and shakes as she describes the ordeal that left her in jail for the night and unable to explain to her confused children. She says Michael has also taken her to court on four different occasions, trying to obtain full custody of the children, leaving her with only supervised visits.
"I've done nothing wrong," she says.
"Why does no one believe you?" Dr. Phil asks. "Is there anything you can change that calms this situation down?"
Kristie is unable to provide much of an explanation.
[AD]"I want these children to have both parents in their life," Dr. Phil says. "I know the impact if they don't."
Michael interjects that Kristie is addicted to pain pills for phantom back pains, neglecting her responsibilities to care for the children.
Areva Martin is a family law attorney who steps in to deliver a stern message to the two parents. "Cut it out! I'm surprised the court hasn't appointed a guardian ad litem for these kids. They need one so desperately," Areva says.
Dr. Phil asks both Michael and Kristie, assuming everything they're saying is true, if they're handling co-parenting in the best way. Kristie says she wants better ways of handling it. "That's why I'm here," she says.
"Are you not better off sitting down and saying, â€˜We were married, and it didn't work. It wasn't all negative because we've been blessed with these children,'" Dr. Phil says.
Dr. Phil implores them both to see that the children need them both in their lives, and neither are as bad as the other believes.
Dr. Phil reads excerpts of a letter the eldest daughter wrote to Michael in therapy, but were never shown to him until now. In it, she says:
[AD]- "You treated me like garbage..."
- "...watched you try to hurt my mom. "
- "â€¦never treated me like a daughter after Taylor was bornâ€¦"
- "â€¦made my life a living nightmareâ€¦"
- "â€¦makes me sick to think I loved you when I was little."
- "You are a very abusive and angry person."
-" â€¦ugly Michael comes out when we're home alone."
Dr. Phil says it doesn't seem, based upon the sentence structure, that an 11-year-old child wrote the letter. Kristie says she was helped by her therapist.
Dr. Phil also thumbs through her journal, which he doesn't read as to not violate her privacy. However, he says, it's more in the vernacular of a child. "I have a hard time believing these were written by the same people."
[AD]As Kristie begins to weep, Dr. Phil says the theme of the daughter's writing is very negative. "That should tell you two that what you're doing isn't working," he says. "It's just not working. I'm already seeing the impact on the children. This isn't a victory [that] she's writing these things about her father."
Dr. Phil promises to help find a guardian ad litem for the couple's girls. Otherwise, he says, whoever prevails, "the loser will be your children."