Reminder - Dr. Phil today

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Calamity Jane, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Just want to let you know Dr. Phil's show today will be a follow-up with Alexandra (who has been in rehab for several months) and her parents.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the reminder. I have been following this story from the beginning and I did remember to set the dvr last week so even if I forget I will have it saved. I wish I could have Dr. Phil send all our kids there.

  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Today was only Part I - didn't realize that! Tom'w (Fri) is the conclusion.
  4. Watched today's show. What did everyone think? He says this is the final conclusion tomorrow? Somehow I think they'll be back again. Hopefully not because Alexandra is using but maybe for a 'where are they now' show.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    My impressions from today's show:

    - Very interesting what Dr. Phil said about never giving up on the addiction - never letting it win.
    - Alexandra reflecting back on her lowest moments, like shooting up with puddle water, etc., and can't believe that she allowed herself to do that.
    - Dr. Phil kind of beats up parents. Their family dynamic is so complicated due to the 3 grandkids, and Alexandra's whole addiction and everything that entails. If they were reacting to and interacting with-Alexandra so poorly, he should've insisted they also go into treatment instead of mortifying them on national TV.
    -If it's true that your emotional growth stops when you begin using, then Alexandra is about 15 y/o emotionally. If Alex should keep on relapsing, she and her kids are going to be the same emotional age before she knows it. Drugs are a thief.
    - We'll see what happens tomorrow.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't see how this can be the final conclusion because addiction and recovery never ends.

  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad this thread was started because I felt the need to start one after watching yesterday and honestly couldn't even figure how to do so....thanks CJ.

    Yesterday was my introduction to this family. I took it very personally and wished I had a skype or direct connect to the show so I could interject with questions. Mainly I wanted to say "Why are you berating the parents after the fact instead of guiding them prior to their missteps?"

    I have been there done that with a dysfunctional adult daughter (although not a drug addict). Of course I have also lived over ten years with a substance abusing former easy child/difficult child. I know both sides of this story....and the suffering that comes to the parent who tries to pick up the pieces. When Dr. Phil said "God bless you for providing a safe nurturing loving home for your grandchildren" I immediately thought about how many sincere people have said that to me over the past twentyfive years. I was 46 when easy child/difficult child was born. I'm guessing this Mom is likely early forties. She and her husband likely think there is an end in sight. The children are well cared for and safe. The couple wtruggles each day to keep their marriage intact. Their daughter is in a fine treatment center and has over one hundred days sober. The Mom and Dad got reemed out???????? Not fair.

    The Mom tries to keep in contact with her now sober daughter. She is confronted with "how do you think that makes your daughter feel to hear her children in the background?" WTH! The Mom tries to keep the daughter in touch with the children by letting them speak on the phone and WTH she is accused of causing her daughter pain??
    The Mom tells the daughter, evidently, "it will be great when you can come home to Florida" and WTH Dr. Phil says she can never go back to that environment.

    When the Mom cried and said "I have been doing my best and didn't know I was making mistakes 'Why didn't you tell me?' so I wouldn't do or say anything wrong?" Basically (by that time I was subjectively involved) the response was "You have to stop being controlling."

    I'll watch today. I want to know why it was "controlling" to let GFGmom talk to and see her children. Truthfully I wish I had found a way to keep her 100% away from both boys but legally I couldn't get that done. I'm eager to hear Dr. Phil say "you and your husband have these boys for life and leave your daughter alone to find a life free of drugs". Parents like most of us who are "lovinvly controlling" would follow any step by step manual on how to love your kid but raise their children with-o stress. Boy, can you tell I am chapped off?? DDD
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD I can see how you would have this reaction if this was the first time you have been exposed to this family. Dr. Phil has been working with this fmaily since Alexandra was 15 years old and pregnant. She is now 24 years old and has three children all by different fathers and two of them born while she was actively doing drugs, the last one born addicted and they had to withdraw her as a newborn. This family has a very complicated history. Everything Dr. Phil said to Erin is true. She is very controlling and she thinks she can control Alexandra by making her feel guilty (it won't work I tried). Marty is very weak and has not stepped up to the plate for his family. He has enabled Alexandra so many times and refused to see what was in front of his eyes. So many times I wanted to shake him and ask him if he was there, you know what I mean? Katherine, the younger daughter, is fed up with everything and all the chaos it has caused and has her own problems.

    The parents mean well. They have taken in their three grandchildren and are raising them and doing a great job. I could not do what they are doing. But Dr. Phil is right, Alexandra cannot come back to that area and her parents want her to come back and be a happy family together. It won't happen and I doubt whether she will ever be able to care for her kids. Erin and Marty will most likely raise thsoe kids themselves until they leave home and based on the drug history of all the birthparents involved, the deck is stacked against them.

    Erin needs a reality check. She means no harm and Dr. Phil loves this family, he has been there for them for nine years now so he is not saying this to someone he just met. He has given this family more support than anyone ever. I wish we could get him to give our difficult child some of that support.

    I have watched every episode of this family for nine years now, that is scary. It is like I am watching my own life on tv and my heart goes out to Erin because she tries to control the situation and she can't and it's so hard for her. Dr. Phil knows that about her and he also knows he can push her and she will listen.

  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I know! I really got the same impression, but there's obviously a lot more to the story than they can cover in the short time between commercial breaks. To me, those parents need to be in therapy themselves. I get the impression that they're not permitted to express any frustration with their situation to their daughter, lest she will relapse. Anything they say can, and will be used against them! on the other hand, I am impressed Alex is 5 mos. sober, and needs to reconnect correctly and slowly re-integrate herself in a healthy way without unnecessary stress. If her FL neighborhood is filled with-triggers to re-engage Alex's use, then I think her kids are going to be staying with-Grandma & Grandpa for quite a while longer.
    Is it me, or was that tattoo thing at the end of the show bizarre? A gun with pearls wrapped around it, and the words, "Mama Tried." WTH? She was acting like a giddy kid. I just don't get it. Well, lets see how the show goes today...
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Most all of the well respected treatment centers say the same thing about not going back to where they came from. They all encourage the addict to start a new life in a new location, usually around the area where they were in treatment because hopefully they have built up some support among people they have been attending meetings with. If the addict goes right back to their previosu environment it's a disaster waiting to happen. Every time she went near an old drug house or saw an old druggie friend or read about something in the papaer it would be a trigger. Alexandra has been around, quite a lot. She was in a well publicized drug bust in a town near where her parents lived and she was living with some serious drug dealers who were not only dealing but manufacturing drugs. She really can't get away from her past by staying there.

    I don't have much hope that Alexandra can stay clean and sober. I already see signs of relapse and so do her parents and Mom goes back into reactive mode and I know that only too well. Erin is scared and when parents get scared they try to control the situation and Alexandra will rebel. Dr.Phil knows that.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I didn't see yesterday's show but did see a few of the much earlier ones about this family over the past couple of years. That mom/grandmom was VERY controlling. Now that doesn't mean I couldn't see where she was coming from but there is a fine line between rewards/consequences and trying to manipulate grown kids to do what you want them to do and it's often easily crossed, in my humble opinion. It's one thing to draw a line in the sand and have healthy boundaries but it's another to try to bribe adult kids into doing what you want them to- that is actually trying to control them- and those parents did that a lot before Alex got into tx this time. I know in their minds they were trying to encourage tx and discourage continued drug use and poor choices but they were going about it all wrong. They couldn't see that the way they were going about it was just as dysfunctional as Alex was acting.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Your input puts a slightly different read. Plus, of course, I can not look at this objectively. on the other hand most of us have admitted that we are controlling to some degree. Most of us do not have evil streaks. Our lives are dominated by the substance abusing or dysfunctional child that we love. If there are no grandchildren added to the mix then you have alot more choices on how to cope with your difficult child and poor choices. When there are multiple babies from multiple biological fathers unless you say "no" and turn your granchildren over to the are embarking on a life of chaos.

    I have not seen the early years of this family but I'm betting they did their very best just like each of us have done our very best. I also bet they were not perfect. BUT haven't each once of us "wished" that there was a book we could follow step by step to make the best decisions.

    So (being hardheaded I guess, lol) if the treatment team "knows" it is not good for the children to be on the phone why wouldn't they call the Mom and say "having the kids talk on the phone makes your daughter feel badly and could endanger her success so we advise xyz would be best". That Mom would not tell them "you are wrong and I'm going to go it my way" way. She wants to do the best things possible. When GFGmom told me that she had not had her tubes tied like she swore she had and that she really wanted to have a response was word for word what the Mom said. "If you want to parent why not figure out how to help parent the children you already have?" It was not a "gotcha" just seemed logical and she does not think things thru. Of course, GFGmom did have a third child by a third man and at that point I bowed out of helping. on the other hand her choice to give birth gave her a way to get her sons more attached to her as they "had to love their baby sister".

    Lastly, if Dr. Phil and team told the parents that their daughter could never return to their hometown I doubt the Mom would have mentioned it. Maybe, however, she mentioned it like a normal Mom would say to their normal daughter. "We hope to share your life as soon as you're well."

    I've shared with the family a number of times that the most painful part of the s.a. road with then easy child/difficult child was when the Counselor told me "you will never have your child back as he is no longer that person". I have a tear in my eye this minute because that pain from ten years ago is still so real. He was right. If the experts have never told those parents "you will never have your child back, you will spend the next twenty years or more raising three grandchildren and you have to avoid saying anything to your daughter that might make her feel badly or she will be using needles again"...maybe the parents could move on. DDD
  13. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I don't watch Dr. Phil regularly - but I recall this family. (he's been replaced by Dr Oz & Ellen here)

    And I am putting KLMNO's phrase under a microscope - which isn't fair and IS NOT directed at KLMNO in any fashion.

    I guess I am just personally feeling the pinch of somehow my kid is free to screw up however he wants yet as a parent I am supposed to walk this uber fine line between acceptance and detachment and doing too much and not enough and letting go and directing without controlling and helping without enabling and I am so sick of it!

    I always took Carroll O'Connor's advice (after his son od'd) to "DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET BETWEEN OUR KID AND DRUGS" to heart.

    And sometimes I have resorted to begging and pleading and crying and yelling...and if I could figure out a way to manipulate him to stop using, I would probably lower myself to trying it.

    And I think of someone like Alexandra or my son or TL's son or Nancy's daughter or PG's daughter or Kath's daughter etc and I want to shake them. We know where are kids are going and it ain't pretty. And just like we would have jumped in front of a moving car to save them - we will lower ourselves to whatever is necessary to try to get through to them because our only hope is that somewhere, somehow something or someone will get through to them and save them from the destructive choices they are making. And I can't even imagine if there were innocent grands in the mix.

    I won't go so far to say doing any of the above is the right thing but expecting mothers to be these mythical perfect creatures isn't right either.

    I know if I KNEW what my son needed to flip that switch I would do it in a heartbeat. But I don't. No one can tell me. So I try the best I can.

    Anyone of us could wash our hands completely of our kids (grands too) and probably catch less flack for it.

    Again KL - not directed at you or your statement.

    I am just tired of it being open season on moms (in society - not here)
  14. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    It's just a crazy observation, but if someone called General Patton controlling, he'd say, "thank you." That's called leadership. If a woman tries to corral the three ring circus called her husband and kids, she's a controlling you-know-what. Oh well, nothing new.
    The only controlling woman I can think of who wasn't demonized was Mary Poppins. She flew into that house and whipped everyone into shipshape, and then flew out again, and everyone was grateful!
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL CJ

  16. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion the fine line between controlling and correcting or sending on the right track or what ever you want to call good parenting is intention. If the intention is to have someone become independent, then it's good parenting. If the intention is to keep a child doing whatever it is you want them to be doing, then it's just controlling and manipulating. THAT kind of parenting can push a child to drugs because it is emotionally abusive, SO if controlling moms are a factor, they need to be addressed.

    Good moms who are doing anything and everything they can to get their kids to be independent, may recognize some controlling mom actions in themselves, but should know that although the action is the same, the intention is not.

    From the outside looking in, it's hard to tell the difference.
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is why I would never do the Dr. Phil show. He always seems to come down on the moms the hardest. I remember watching that family's story at the beginning. It is sad that things have gotten worse instead of better. I thought at the time that she might turn around and have a productive life.

  18. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    OK I haven't watched the show and never watched Dr. Phil... and I guess I am not going to. I am not sure I could stand watching something where the parents are blamed for their kids drug addiction right now.... because I am sure it would just give me more doubts about myself and my own parenting.... and right now I just need to remind myself that I have done the best I can.

    Sig I agree with everything you said. My son has accused me of being controlling and to some extent with him I see it....although interestingly my easy child daugther doesn't think I am at all controlling!!

    Truth be told I am working on letting go and detaching because nothing else has worked. I am convinced we need to let our son find his own way because that is the only way he will ever get better.... I would do anything i could to help him recover from this horrible place the horrible drugs he is using. What I have come to realize is the ONLY thing I can do is to let him find his way.... with maybe a few suggestions and options from me.... but it absolutely HAS to be his decision. I am done trying to control him or what he does.

  19. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Quick observation about today's (Friday's) show:
    Dr. Phil didn't rip the parents a new one for a change. He was also great with Alexandra's sister.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry that some of you are getting the wrong idea by this show because he really is not blaming the parents at all. I guess you had to watch from the beginning I feel like I know this family personally. I wish you would watch TL so I could get your perspective. She is living the life of our difficult child's.