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Topic : 02/02 A Difficult Reunion – Part 2

Number of Replies: 337
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Created on : Friday, January 26, 2007, 02:00:37 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
After 20 years, Erica finally gets the chance to ask her father, Mark, all of the questions that have tormented her for years. Then Dr. Phil comes at the recovering drug-addict with some tough questions of his own. Refusing to let Mark walk away from his daughter after all she's been through, Dr. Phil goes backstage to confront him and convince this belligerent ex-convict to quell his anger and continue the conversation with his adult daughter. Sparks fly among Dr. Phil, Mark, and Erica, but when Erica's older sister, Rachel, and Aunt Denise decide they are also ready to confront Mark, this explosive emotional reunion is something you have to see to believe. Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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February 2, 2007, 7:24 am CST

Forgiving a Murderer

I'm glad that these two seemed ready and able to move forward.  At least her father seems to have some remorse over what he did.  I, too, had a family member murdered back in 1981.  The man who murdered my brother is in prison in Californi and only pretends to have remorse.  I have never met him, but would like to someday just to put it all behind me.  At least this woman was able to reclaim a member of her family.  I cannot.  My mother died in 1976, my brother was killed in 1981, my other brother died as a result of alcoholism brought on by these two previous deaths, and I lost  my last sibling to cancer just 2 1/2 years ago.  I applaud this woman's bravery and compassion and ability to move onwards.
 
February 2, 2007, 7:34 am CST

Join The crowd

Quote From: ape_bug4

I feel the same way.... Thank you so much for posting this... I can not understand why it hasn't been explained to Erica the evil of drugs... A person never really understands anything unless they have had first hands..... She may never have  a daddy daughter relationship, but I feel that forgiving is the best medicine.... For your own self!!!
I agree with both of you.  Yes, he is to blame for the murder.  He chose to get involved with the drug.  By the same token, however, meth will have an enormously powerful effect on a person and distort their judgment beyond belief.  This is not just "doing a drug".  It is one of the most dangerous things out there.  The tragedy is that he chose to try this drug.  That is where his guilt lies.  Think for a minute about his sister in law saying she knows he loved her sister.  The drug took over and left him a violent and unreasoning being.  Because of the result of his decision, he and his innocent children will pay forever.  The world is not black and white.  Being a parent is no guarantee of being a good parent.  But, people can change.  If he truly changes (the drugs), Erica will be shown to be his savior in this life and maybe the next.  What a courageous girl she is.
 
February 2, 2007, 7:36 am CST

Not Happy !!!!

Not Happy with the fact that the law has let a Murderer go free....where is are justice !   This man refused to admit to his daughter that he abused his wife in front of his young children ,  (all in the name of drugs).  An  Eye for an eye,  this person who calls him self Mark...took a life...the mother of his children......he should still be sitting in a prison somewhere ,  or better yet ????     I am shocked that our justice system has let this family down as they have done !   My heart goes out to Erica and her sister.     
 
February 2, 2007, 7:38 am CST

To Erica

This may be posted 2x. If so, I apologize.

 

Hi Erica,

 

I truly understand how you feel about wanting your father back in your life.  My father left when I was 3 and I had always felt the emptiness without him.  It didn't help that my adoptive father was abusive and I was scared to death of him.  The important thing was that I had remembered my daddy and wanted to feel his love again.  I had convinced myself that I was unlovable because he didn't love me.  I believed that if he had loved me, he wouldn't have left or he would have stayed in contact with me.

 

I was 36 when I found him.  We've made some mistakes along the way but we're still in each other's lives after 11 years.  It's not the "Daddy/Little Girl" relationship that I had envisioned but we're still connected and that's important to me.  I understand now why he left.  I don't understand why he never contacted me but I had to let that go in order to have what I wanted, a relationship with him.  I know that we love each other to the best of our capabilities.   Meeting his mother, sister, and his 4 "new" kids were a thrill for me.  I no longer feel lost and wonder who the person was who helped form me. 

 

You are so right about forgiveness.  It is crucial.  You can not move forward if you're always looking back.  I don't think that people quite understand that forgiveness is not condoning what the person did.  It just means that you're releasing your own energy about what he did and being able to look at the person without the act that was performed.  It's not easy to do this but is very freeing.  I wasted a good deal of my life blaming my misgivings on the fact that I grew up without him.   I can see things differently and see my part in my own outcome.  By the way, it sometimes sucks having to admit my own responsibilities!  My weight is the responsibility of me, not of him.  :)

 

I do some volunteer work with a long term drug and alcohol rehab center for women.  The women stay for up to 18 months and I have seen the miracles that recovery brings.  Not everyone succeeds and many take several "practice runs" before finally reaching  the serenity of staying clean.  The optimist in me sees the potential.  Please remember that if he does backslide, it is not your fault even if he tries to blame you.

 

I'm excited for you and your journey.  It's going to take a lot of work from both of you and I'm confident that a relationship can be formed with a lot of help.  Just remember that when it comes to getting what you want, giving up is never an option.

 

With love,  Jerri

 
February 2, 2007, 8:01 am CST

National Television

Erica, you said that you didn't understand why so many people were responding so negatively.  You chose to have your "reunion" on National Television, with a drug addicted, murdering man - that generally would evoke negative emotions, especially when performed on National Television.  Your own sister chooses not to be positive about this man.  She holds the majority of the memories for the two of you and obviously feels no need to "forgive" this man for killing her mother.  I do think tht it is important for each person to follow their own path, but it is equally important to understand that not everyone will be understanding or supportive of your choices.  Best of luck on your journey.
 
February 2, 2007, 8:10 am CST

Memory of 2 &4 year Old?

 Do Children of such a young age truly have memories of this event or have they been conditioned through the years?
 
February 2, 2007, 8:18 am CST

02/02 A Difficult Reunion – Part 2

Quote From: jdinterest

Erica, you said that you didn't understand why so many people were responding so negatively.  You chose to have your "reunion" on National Television, with a drug addicted, murdering man - that generally would evoke negative emotions, especially when performed on National Television.  Your own sister chooses not to be positive about this man.  She holds the majority of the memories for the two of you and obviously feels no need to "forgive" this man for killing her mother.  I do think tht it is important for each person to follow their own path, but it is equally important to understand that not everyone will be understanding or supportive of your choices.  Best of luck on your journey.
its a easy thing to have a negative attitude when your life seems to have been a very sheltered one with no tragedy or drugs in it at all, we should all be blessed this way but unfortunately that doesn't hold true for every one, for the ones that have to live a life such as this child has had to live its a wonderful thing to be able to turn to Dr Phil for some help in showing the world the power a forgiving heart truly holds, with its wisdom comes the power of healing.
 
February 2, 2007, 8:22 am CST

Does It Really?

Quote From: ultimo

Not Happy with the fact that the law has let a Murderer go free....where is are justice !   This man refused to admit to his daughter that he abused his wife in front of his young children ,  (all in the name of drugs).  An  Eye for an eye,  this person who calls him self Mark...took a life...the mother of his children......he should still be sitting in a prison somewhere ,  or better yet ????     I am shocked that our justice system has let this family down as they have done !   My heart goes out to Erica and her sister.     
You say your heart goes out to Erica, but I question that.  If it did you would show some respect for her feelings and choices.  As far as letting a murderer go free is concern, thankfully we are a nation of laws and not rule by mob.  I shake my head when you make a biblical reference (an eye for an eye).  Try reading the New Testament.  Better yet, keep your religion to yourself.  Whether you like it or not, the man has served his time.  He spent 20 years in prison.  What, the judge forgot to ask your permission?  Further, you plainly know little to nothing about drugs. I think we can as sleep better at night knowing you are NO ONE'S JUDGE.
 
February 2, 2007, 8:27 am CST

And I

Quote From: pemequid1219

I'm glad that these two seemed ready and able to move forward.  At least her father seems to have some remorse over what he did.  I, too, had a family member murdered back in 1981.  The man who murdered my brother is in prison in Californi and only pretends to have remorse.  I have never met him, but would like to someday just to put it all behind me.  At least this woman was able to reclaim a member of her family.  I cannot.  My mother died in 1976, my brother was killed in 1981, my other brother died as a result of alcoholism brought on by these two previous deaths, and I lost  my last sibling to cancer just 2 1/2 years ago.  I applaud this woman's bravery and compassion and ability to move onwards.
I am in agreement with your feelings about forgiveness.  I have also had tragedy in my family by way  of murder.  I would like to add that, while I join you in your applause, I extend it to you as well.  I am truly in awe of your own courage and compassion.  You make the world a better place. 
 
February 2, 2007, 8:27 am CST

02/02 A Difficult Reunion – Part 2

My very best to you Erica....thank you Dr Phil and Robin for choosing to help you through this.  I also send my best to your sister and Aunt.  You've made this step now take it day at a time....see where it goes....I'm sure just confronting your fears will be a great reward to yourself.

 

Honey, none of us know where our life will take us....what dangers we'll put ourselves into....especially for love.  Its evident that your Mom and Dad did love each other at one time...your Aunt stated that...they all had fun together at one time.  The sad part about it is....in the real world other things get involved....like the drugs and alcohol....not to give him any excuse....but that combination can ruin a family, a person.....hopefully, you and your sister will make sure such a thing will never invade your lives....hopefully, you seek the counceling along with your father and peace with yourself as well as him.  Take it as it comes.  You'll not only be in my prayers and thoughts....but I'm sure many viewers who tuned in to watch.  God Bless you and your family....I think you are a very brave person and that, you should be proud of!

 
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