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Topic : 08/24 Reunited

Number of Replies: 50
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, August 19, 2005, 03:17:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original airdate 04/20/05) Dr. Phil looks at the pain of being separated from someone you love. Susan was only 15 when she placed her baby for adoption. She soon returned to high school, where she was then tormented by her classmates. After 27 years, is Susan emotionally prepared to confront the classmate who she says made her life hell? And where is her daughter now? Join the discussion and share your thoughts.

 

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

Read previous messages in the archived discussion.


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August 28, 2005, 9:19 am CDT

EJ Not Telling The Truth...

I don't believe EJ for a minute. I think she is not telling the truth when she says she doesn't remember tormenting Susan.  

 

I could not believe that EJ did not say, "Yes, I remember and it was terrible and I'm so sorry. And, not an excuse because nothing excuses what I did, but an explanation of the reasons I behaved the way I did included my own self esteem issues that caused me to put others down trying to elevate myself and trying to make me feel better about myself. I'm sorry for doing what I did to you and I'm sorry for having caused you the pain I caused you. You did nothing to deserve the way I treated you."  

 

But, EJ did not give a sincere apology. She pretended not to remember what she surely KNOWS she did. She did not take responsibility for her actions. She did not do all she could do to help Susan to begin healing from the wounds she'd caused. Instead, she sat there like a lying child with deer in the headlights wide eyes, keeping the wall up, and keeping her social mask on-- a mask she thought no one would see through. But...she was as transparent as a piece of clean glass. 

 
August 30, 2005, 1:03 pm CDT

Reunited

Again ~~  

   

The show was presented to me as a mother who gave her child up for adoption and how she feels now.  Judy........... remember her? 

  

  

"I" did NOT call EJ out.  The Dr Phil show invited her.  She came willingly.  Everything you saw happened at that moment.  EJ and I had not talked since 1979.  

   

Please watch the follow up show on Aug 31.  Some of your questions will be answered.  

   

Also, I attended the previous reunions because I had grown out of being the victim, and wanted to actually talk with EJ.  Her friends kept her away because, as one said, "I thought Susan was here to kick your a$$!".  

   

I wasn't.  No one asked me.  

   

I had about 4 friends and 2 boyfriends in high school and I didn't have the opportunity that the previous poster "cheerleader" had to see her friends anytime.  I moved to another town.  At least my mother thought to save face and give me a new start.  No longer labeled the "un-wed teen mom" which was hard enough.... I was the "un-wed teen mom that had to give her daughter up for adoption".  In the new town, I was just the "new girl". 

  

It breaks my heart about Judy.  It's like painting a beautiful amazing portrait, and going blind before you can see the final work..... then giving the painting to someone who could not paint for themselves.  They cherrished the painting and kept it safe from harm.  28 years later, I regained sight and wanted to "see" the painting.............. she's BEAUTIFUL.  I only wish I could look at that painting again. 

   

By the way, EJ moved away after high school, too.    

   

Watch Wed Aug 31, and then place your comments.  

 
August 30, 2005, 11:36 pm CDT

Susan's Dilemma--> Needs Serious Therapy

I'm abit confused as to why anyone would carry such a burden upon themselves over  

childish high school games?  Weve all been there, popular or not, beautiful or not, on the giving  

or receiving end.   

How can she  

blame another for her shortcomings in life? Susan made these choices, not E.J.  

I wanted to reach through the TV and wake this woman up!   

I cant think of one person (that I know anyway) who held themselves back from future/personal  

accomplishments due to high school teasing? I think it's a copout for Susan.  

And, I dont think being on the Dr. Phil show, talking to EJ or having her daughter back in her life  

will magically cure such a pitiful soul as Susan.  Therapy girl and looking deep within your own self!  

I know this sounds horrible and for that I am sorry. I just dont buy it or into Susan's "Ohh poor me's"....  

   

   

   

 
August 31, 2005, 3:24 pm CDT

Susan...................

I'm so glad that Dr. Phil did a follow up with Susan/EJ and Judy...even though Judy wasn't in this episode unfortunatly. 

I'm sad to see people posting things like Susan just needs to 'get over it' and those kinds of comments-- what you've got to realize is that what she endured wasn't just being picked on here and there, she was tormented every day after living through a traumatic event (giving birth and placing the child up for adoption).... anyone who has to deal with ONE of those issues during their teens is going to have self esteem issues.  

When I saw the first episode, I thought that EJ's memory was just fine and that she was a total fake- but in today's episode, it appears that she has redeemed herself. Susan needed closure so badly, its so awesome that she has some peace in her life. Its beautiful to see Susan and EJ working together to plan a reunion!!  

Susan, if you are reading this, I wish you all the best, and I hope that Judy will contact you soon. She is a beautiful young woman, she has personal issues that she can't speak of at this time, but I hope that she will come to terms with her pain and reach out to you and create a relationship. You both deserve happiness and to be fullfilled. 

Best wishes, 

Jen 

 
August 31, 2005, 3:34 pm CDT

Susan...

Quote From: suethedj4u

My #1 wish was to meet my daughter.  I got my wish.  

   

  

There’s no guarantee that I will be here on earth forever.  It was time.

   

  

   

  

I was in the dark about the show happenings until they actually happened.  It took a lot for me to go in to this with blinders on.  I kind of thought that the show had found EJ since that became a big topic in our pre-show discussions.  The Dr Phil show felt it would be good to get the ghosts out of my closet.  Don’t you agree?  I was able to do that by confronting EJ.  I wasn't looking for an apology from her.  I wanted her to know how bad she had hurt me and get it off "my" shoulder.  Sometimes when you just confront your enemy, your issues are resolved, as were mine.  I don't think that I held on to it as self punishment; I think that it was just a bad memory that I needed to confront.  I “got over it” years ago.  I was over it at the 10 year reunion and didn’t get a chance to talk to EJ.  I was over it at the 20 year reunion and didn’t get a chance to talk to EJ.  At the 25th reunion EJ wasn’t there so I went on a search for her.  The Dr Phil show gave me the opportunity to help both of us by getting us together in a controlled environment and treating us like adults.  “Getting over it” doesn’t make it stop hurting.

   

  

 

   

  

Also, I had no idea that the show had found Judy.  I was completely overwhelmed and stunned to finally meet her.  It still brings mixed tears to my eyes.  The show taping was in March 2005.  Judy has not contacted me at all.  I have to give Judy time.  I’m not interested in disrupting her life.  I’d just like to know her.  Perhaps as Judy grows and as Judy’s daughter grows up, her heart will change.  In the meantime, I am grateful that she has had a good life, is healthy, beautiful (and very pretty!! I can see a lot of me in her.) and that she cared for me enough to attend the show. That had to take a lot of courage on her part.  

   

  

Keep your VCR’s tuned next week.  There’s a follow up show on Wednesday August 31st.!  

 

I was reading through past posts and saw one that you made and felt I had to comment-- you said: 

 

“Getting over it” doesn’t make it stop hurting.  

    

That is so true-- that is exactly what I was thinking while reading other posts. I hope that you have found closure, and I wish you a happy and fullfilling life! 

Jen 

 
August 31, 2005, 11:16 pm CDT

Get REAL!!!

Quote From: miraclegrl

This was a very powerful show for me personally, as a survivor of bullying in the elementary and middle-school years.  I was saddened to read some of the “get over it” comments which seem a harsh response to a person who is so clearly hurting.  Bullying victims are susceptible to what is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is not unlike what veterans of a war go through.  The target of bullying (notice I don’t use the word “victim”) “soldiers on” through the trauma (usually isolated by their own silence and shame), but the experience hurts them at such a deep level that it is not unusual or unreasonable for it to continue to haunt for many, many years.  It is not as simple as “get over it”—wouldn’t we all love to get over everything quickly?  It’s a healing process, and it takes different lengths of time for different people.    

 

   

No one who has ever suffered a traumatic experience should add to their pain by blaming themselves for not “getting over it.” Ongoing emotional pain can actually create chemical changes in the body which induce depression, anxiety, and other reactions which might indicate a need for medication for a short period of time.  In addition, therapy or other forms of healing (such as massage or meditation) can help.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be particularly useful in trauma situations so seek out a therapist who uses that technique: if you’re not sure, many hospitals and psychology departments at Universities have clinics or can refer you to cognitive-behavioral psychologists or counselors.

    

 

 

  

   

From a perspective many years since my experience, I can see that Dr. Phil is absolutely correct when he says, “hurting people hurt people.” The boys who tormented me for so many years were themselves the product of abuse and terrible home situations.  I believe there’s a reason for everything and that any experience can be used to strengthen oneself.   My experiences led me to focus on my education and succeed professionally, pursuing a career in the helping professions, and gave me more empathy and compassion for other peoples’ suffering.  I am less tolerant of inappropriate behavior from others and I have learned to set boundaries.  I also believe in my own ability to survive anything- I am quite strong for having had the experiences I’ve had in life.

    

 

 

  

   

There were some key, telling moments in this show which particularly caught me:  

  •  I thought both individuals were sad in their own ways: Susan is still caught in her pain- and probably experiencing it daily, and EJ apparently hasn’t grown much emotionally since high school. 
  • I found EJ’s comments insensitive, lacking in genuineness, full of denial, and cruel.  In my opinion, EJ’s denial of Susan’s experience was simply more bullying on her part.  I find it impossible to believe that she didn’t remember Susan or the situation.  Her own statements about the class reunions point that out. Not to mention her history: it’s absolutely believable that someone who had her own feelings of shame and anger at her mother (and those feelings are normal- they don’t mean she didn’t love her mother) would project her pain onto a person who most resembles that mother--Susan.  Susan became a target for EJ’s unresolved feelings and anxieties about her own situation.  Dr. Phil was clearly being professional and trying not to open up a can of worms (there’s an axiom in psychology: you don’t open doors you can’t close).  Hopefully, EJ will seek help herself and deal with her own issues when/if she chooses to look at herself honestly.
  • Dr. Phil made some very insightful and helpful comments: his statement about “30 years and one day” of suffering being worse than 30 years was so true. Susan has a lot of work to do emotionally, but the payoff will be well worth it.  I also found his statement about the internal conversations we all have in our heads very helpful.  He’s right-- people who’ve experienced trauma replay it in their heads long after it’s gone and then proceed to become their own worst enemy—often bullying themselves much harder than anyone else.  People who are targets of bullies do have a role in the situation—but as children they often aren’t equipped to deal with it.  But we do contribute to it either by not fighting back, speaking up, feeling helpless, etc.  This is not “blaming the victim” but rather acknowledging that in any situation it takes two to tango.  If you’ve been the target of bullying you  have to look at your role so that you don’t keep repeating it.
 

 

  

   

Thanks for reading this.  And thanks to Dr. Phil for continuing to cover this very important subject. 

    

 

 

  

 

   

    

I can't believe you compare bullying victims with veterans of war.  You can't be serious!  Are you a veteran yourself?  Are you some kind of doctor who works with PTSD?  There is no comparrison!  There is a BIG difference!  

   

Definition:  PTSD is a medical diagnosis, established in 1980, defining symptoms that last at least a month after experiencing a major trauma. These symptoms include remembering or reliving the trauma when you do not choose to; feeling numb and withdrawn; and, having forms of anxiety that interfere with daily life.  

   

I agree that soldiers and veterans suffer from PTSD, but a victim of bullying, come on!  

   

I don't think Sue suffered from PTSD (your diganosis) just because EJ bulled her.  I am sure she had a very traumatic experience when she became an unwed pregnant teen, topped with a certain group/clique led by EJ who picked on her and said and did nasty things to her while she was there in school.  Plus you add in the hormones of a pregnant girl and a teenager who had to make the choice to give her child up for adoption, what a combination.    

   

But surely, you can't compare that to a young soldier who leaves his family to go to a foreign country to fight a war.  A soldier who is on high alert every second of the day, fearing for their lives in battle, wondering if today might be their last.  Will they see their parents, spouse, children, family, or friends again?  Bombs, bullets or gernades going off near you all of the time.  Missing the birth of your first child.  See your battle buddy loose a leg, arm or life when a bomb explodes.  Not to mention how it must feel to kill someone, even if they are your countries enemy, that is not an easy task to live with for the rest of your life for some of the soldiers.  

   

Do you still think that a bullying victim is like a veteran of a war who suffers from PTSD?  

   

   

   

 
September 1, 2005, 7:52 am CDT

PTSD

Quote From: beopen

I can't believe you compare bullying victims with veterans of war.  You can't be serious!  Are you a veteran yourself?  Are you some kind of doctor who works with PTSD?  There is no comparrison!  There is a BIG difference!  

   

Definition:  PTSD is a medical diagnosis, established in 1980, defining symptoms that last at least a month after experiencing a major trauma. These symptoms include remembering or reliving the trauma when you do not choose to; feeling numb and withdrawn; and, having forms of anxiety that interfere with daily life.  

   

I agree that soldiers and veterans suffer from PTSD, but a victim of bullying, come on!  

   

I don't think Sue suffered from PTSD (your diganosis) just because EJ bulled her.  I am sure she had a very traumatic experience when she became an unwed pregnant teen, topped with a certain group/clique led by EJ who picked on her and said and did nasty things to her while she was there in school.  Plus you add in the hormones of a pregnant girl and a teenager who had to make the choice to give her child up for adoption, what a combination.    

   

But surely, you can't compare that to a young soldier who leaves his family to go to a foreign country to fight a war.  A soldier who is on high alert every second of the day, fearing for their lives in battle, wondering if today might be their last.  Will they see their parents, spouse, children, family, or friends again?  Bombs, bullets or gernades going off near you all of the time.  Missing the birth of your first child.  See your battle buddy loose a leg, arm or life when a bomb explodes.  Not to mention how it must feel to kill someone, even if they are your countries enemy, that is not an easy task to live with for the rest of your life for some of the soldiers.  

   

Do you still think that a bullying victim is like a veteran of a war who suffers from PTSD?  

   

   

   

There are many levels of PTSD, many different causes...so why is it so impossible that a person who experiences trauma every day of their life in high school can't have PTSD? Its very possible- it has caused Susan anxiety that interferes with her life.  

  

"Bullying victims are susceptible to what is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is not unlike what veterans of a war go through.  The target of bullying (notice I don’t use the word “victim”) “soldiers on” through the trauma (usually isolated by their own silence and shame), but the experience hurts them at such a deep level that it is not unusual or unreasonable for it to continue to haunt for many, many years. " 

 

 

She isn't saying its exactly like being a soldier in war! You are twisting her post around. 

 

 
September 1, 2005, 5:02 pm CDT

Not twisted

Quote From: jenoc99

There are many levels of PTSD, many different causes...so why is it so impossible that a person who experiences trauma every day of their life in high school can't have PTSD? Its very possible- it has caused Susan anxiety that interferes with her life.  

  

"Bullying victims are susceptible to what is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is not unlike what veterans of a war go through.  The target of bullying (notice I don’t use the word “victim”) “soldiers on” through the trauma (usually isolated by their own silence and shame), but the experience hurts them at such a deep level that it is not unusual or unreasonable for it to continue to haunt for many, many years. " 

 

 

She isn't saying its exactly like being a soldier in war! You are twisting her post around. 

 

You are right there are many levels of PTSD.  Sue as far as we know was not diagnosed with this disorder. 

  

I didn't get the writers message twisted she stated that bullying victims suffer from PTSD, which is not unlike what veterans of war go through.  You yourself said that there are many levels of PTSD. 

  

Do you think that a bullying victim who is diagnosed with PTSD is the same as a veteran of war who suffers from PTSD? 

  

The writer made a bad analogy!  That was my point.  She wasn't even comparing an apple to an orange.  It was more like an apple to ground beef. 

 
September 13, 2005, 1:51 pm CDT

Lots of double talk

It was a fine day for double-talker EJ as she denied any possible involvement in harrassing Susan in high school. "I couldn’t have done that" she said and quickly followed it up with "I am responsible for your pain."    

    

"I don’t even remember you – neither did my friends at the 10 or 20 year reunions." Really? If they didn’t remember her, how did they know to discuss her at the reunions? Please. Well, at least this cheerleader found a way to turn her high school cruelty into a television appearance so she could create an emotional scene and somehow make it all about herself. So Susan – does this recap help you see that you’re still a better person than she is? And kudos to you for making the great sacrifice of trusting your daughter to a family who could provide for, love and raise her in ways you were unable to at the time.   

   

 
December 8, 2005, 10:26 am CST

I was ennoyed with EJ

Hi, 

I watched the show today for the first time (it aired in Holland today for the first time). I was very ennoyed by the way EJ behaved. At first she tried to be the therapist, by saying Susan had to get over it.  

Then she tried to be the victim "I was teased too". I think she lied by not remembering. Especially when she said: nobody remembered Susan. How did they do that at the reunion? "Remember that girl Susan" "No, I don't" "Well, me neither". 

I think EJ had to aknowledge that she was a bully, and than she had to say she was sorry for her behaviour. 

Sorry for my clumsy english, 

greetings from Holland, 

Caroline 

 
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