Unforgivable Past: Ronda

Unforgivable Past: Ronda
Ronda can't get over a relationship she had nearly 20 years ago.
Ronda was just 17 when she dated and slept with Vince, who was 20 years her senior. "I never told anyone about my relationship with Vince," she says. "I had a tumor on my ovary and had to have it removed and he came to visit me. He walked in to my house and my mother and him looked at each other and their jaws dropped. Shortly after meeting my mother, the relationship abruptly ended."

When Ronda was 20, her mom dropped a bombshell: Vince is Ronda's biological father. "I was devastated. This is a man I had slept with for a year and a half, and my own mother had an affair with him and I was the result. My whole life fell apart," she says.

Ever since that revelation, Ronda has been stuck in an emotional rut. "Things have been horrible for me. I cannot get my life together," she says emotionally. "There is nothing for me to look forward to. I've slept with my father! It's sick. It's just totally sick!"

The only thing that keeps her moving forward is her children. "I'm hoping that Dr. Phil will be able to help me put this where it needs to go so I can move on and be the best mother I can be," she says. "I've already wasted 23 years crying for Vince. I don't want to cry anymore.""There's a possibility in your mind that he knew that you were in fact his daughter," Dr. Phil observes.

"I was told he knew. He'd seen me until I was 12. I was a dancer and my mother would take me out to eat afterward and he would be there," Ronda reveals. "I thought my parents were my parents, and I was shocked when my mother told me I had a different father."

"So how can you expect yourself to know that this Vince was actually your father?" Dr. Phil points out. "Are you just creeped out by this or do you think you've done something wrong?"

"I should have never been in a bar. I was a young girl," Ronda argues. "Had I not been there, this would never have happened."

Dr. Phil begs to differ. "That's a different level of transgression than sleeping with your father. You can't ball those up into one. You have to be rational enough now in your analysis and deconstruct the situation and recognize that there's a big difference between, 'I went out drinking when I was 17 and shouldn't have,' versus having this relationship that has such a taboo that it's crippled your life."
Ronda has been wrestling with shame, guilt, anger, loss of identity, confusion and hopelessness. Dr. Phil tells her: "You have to unravel this ball of yarn and realize that there are a lot of different strings in here and one of them you have ownership in. And that is that you went out drinking when you shouldn't have. You were underage and you were rebellious and you went out and did this. You shouldn't have done it ... You don't control Vince. You don't control whether he knew or didn't know. You don't control whether they told you that the man that raised you was your biological father or not. You did not make a conscious decision to sleep with your biological father. You made a conscious decision to be rebellious and go out and drink, to be promiscuous at a young age and have a sexual relationship."

Dr. Phil continues, "You need to do whatever you have to get this out of your heart, your stomach, your mind, your body. If you need to write him a letter, if you need to go talk to him, if you need to file charges against him — whatever you need to do to feel like you have stood up for yourself and spoken for yourself, then you need to do that."Ronda is to blame for being out drinking at 17, but she should not hold herself accountable over her cruel twist of fate. Dr. Phil wonders if she's using her past as an excuse. "It's like, 'I'm going to sit here on the sidelines and feel sorry for myself for something that happened and blame myself for it and put myself down for it,'" Dr. Phil says.

"I don't want a connection with Vince. I want Vince to own this," Ronda declares.

"Then you have to do what you have to do to make that happen," Dr. Phil suggests. "You made a mistake ... It was an indiscretion of youth. It wasn't something for which you should serve a life sentence."