Who Am I: Savannah and Peggy

Who Am I: Savannah and Peggy

"Oh, my God," Savannah cries as her mother stands up and joins her onstage. They engage in a tearful embrace.

"Peggy, thank you for being here. Tell me what you're thinking and feeling right now," Dr. Phil says.

"I'm angry with Ed for the story he's told," Peggy says, wiping her tears away. "The last day that I saw them, I was doing laundry for them because they didn't have clothes to wear. I was dating a certain set of people that he didn't feel were appropriate for the girls, and he told me that if we did not get back together, that I would not ever see the girls again, and I never saw the girls again."

"After 20 years of feeling abandoned and separated from your mother, what is the first question that you want to ask her?" Dr. Phil asks Savannah.

"Why?" she asks her mother. "I don't believe you … If that's true, if that's what you're saying, why didn't you call the police? Why would you let us be with a man who threatened you like that? Why would you want us to live like that, with a man who was that scary?"

"Because he was a good father," Peggy says. "He was a very good father. I'm not trying to take that away from him. He was very good to you girls, very good with you girls, always was from the day you were born."

"Answer the question!" Dr. Phil interrupts. "One day you were there, and then one day you were not. Is that a fact? One day you were there, and then it's been 20 years?"

"No," Peggy says. "One day I was there, and then I was told that I was not allowed to see the girls anymore. I tried to call the girls, and he told me he would not be there if I came to pick them up."

Dr. Phil wants her to take responsibility. "I am shocked at what you're doing," he says.

"What do you want from me?" Peggy asks Dr. Phil.

"I want you to answer the question," Dr. Phil insists. "Your daughter is sitting in front of you saying, ‘Where have you been for 20 years? Don't tell me somebody told you you couldn't see me anymore. You are my biological mother. Why, in 20 years, have you

not found me? Why have you not reached out to me? Why have you not been there for me?' That is the question. Come on!"

"OK," she says. "I did look for them. I tried to find the girls," she says, turning to Savannah. "I paid a private detective to look for you."

"My name has never changed," Savannah argues tearfully. "All my family still lives in the same area that you know … We didn't leave. We didn't go anywhere. I don't believe you. I just want you to admit that you were wrong … I didn't just drop off. I typed my name into a computer two days ago and all my information came up, including my phone number. That's how we found you, was through the Internet. And if you tried, you should've tried, and tried, and tried and tried. I don't understand how you could move forward and not have anything to do with three children!"

Peggy explains, "Because after a certain amount of time, I didn't know if he told you that I was dead or if I was alive " "

"My father never said one bad thing about you. Never … And you're going to come on this show and say horrible things about my dad when he has never left my side. He has been my father for 27 years," Savannah tells her.

Dr. Phil says, "Peggy, whatever happened then was then. This is now. I think what Savannah is hearing is " "

"Excuses," Peggy finishes for him.

"Excuses and defensiveness," he says. He wants Peggy to forget about her issues with Savannah's father and just focus on her daughter.

"I'm very sorry for not doing more," Peggy tells Savannah.

"You didn't do anything at all," she responds.

Dr. Phil asks Peggy, "Could you have found her if that had been your mission, if you woke up every day and said, ‘That is my child and there ain't a mountain high enough, or a river wide enough or deep enough to keep me from tracking her down'?"

"Probably," she says.

"Have you walked through this world or gone to bed at night wondering what she was doing, what she looked like, what she was thinking, or feeling, or needing?"

"Yes, yes," Peggy says.

Savannah says, "You moved on and have a whole other family."

"Yes, I do. I had to move on," Peggy says.

"Oh, God," Savannah says, covering her face and sobbing. "You just moved on like nothing. Robbie was 6 months old, and you just started a whole new family without finding the other ones who were grown. I'm 27 years old. Renee is 30. Robbie is 21. You have babies. You have little children. How could you move on without knowing your kids? And it wasn't your fault the way you left Robbie either. You never admitted fault to this. You blamed it on my dad and Robbie's dad."

"I do have fault in it," Peggy says.

Dr. Phil arranges for Peggy and Savannah to continue their conversation backstage. He reminds Savannah to have no expectations because she might never hear what she wants so desperately to hear from her mother. He tells Peggy, "You've just got to tell her the truth, and if it's an ugly truth, it's an ugly truth. She is a grown woman, and she's entitled to hear that if you're willing to give it."