Is Mom Playing Favorites?

June 12, 2013
Twenty-eight-year-old Lynn says her mother, Anne, has turned her entire family against her, and now she feels like she's the "black sheep." She says her mom calls her names, has hit her in the past and favors her younger brothers so much that she's even turned them against her. Anne says her daughter’s narcissism and lies have made her an outcast. She claims Lynn will stop at nothing to get attention — even lie about a pregnancy and miscarriage. Can Dr. Phil stop the mudslinging long enough to get to the root of their disagreements and mend these family ties?







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LynnAnneTomLynn and her brothersLynn and her parentsLynn and Tom's father and Tom

Addicted to Drama?

Anne says her daughter, Lynn, will lie about anything to get attention. "My daughter Lynn is definitely a narcissist — it’s almost like she’s addicted to the drama," she says. "Lynn has lied so much that it has torn my family up. Lynn never takes accountability for anything that she does."

Lynn says her mom is far from the perfect mom. "I am the black sheep of the family. My mother doesn’t take responsibility for anything she’s done to hurt me," Lynn says. "When I was 4 years old, my father was killed in a drunk driving accident. That would be the marker for where things started going wrong. Two weeks after my father was killed, my mom found out she was pregnant with my brother. She feels like Todd was her little miracle. My mom treated him differently."

Lynn says there were times when her mother treated her terribly. "My mother would make comments to me when I was younger, like, ‘Get your fat ass up and start cleaning.’ I’ve been in a lot of verbally abusive relationships. I think it’s a direct result of what I went through as a child," she shares. "There was one time she went into a rage. She started hitting me. I had marks on my shoulder and my neck, but still, to this day, my mother will not admit to that."

Anne says Lynn's claims of abuse were unfounded. "Lynn told her high school counselor that she was being abused and Department of Human Resources, they came to investigate. There was nothing to warrant her claims. It was very hurtful," she says. "Lynn lied a lot, but I think it got worse as she got older and today, I think it’s the worst it has ever been."

"My mother constantly accuses me of lying. Nobody else in my life thinks I’m a bad person like my family does," Lynne says, wiping away tears.


Dr. Phil takes Anne to task for the way she speaks of her daughter. “I could not find one good thing you say about her.” And, Lynn shares what she wants from her mother.”

Was Lynn Pregnant?

Lynn says she was devastated when she recently suffered a miscarriage. Anne says because of the lies Lynn has told, she doesn’t believe her daughter was even pregnant.

"I found out I was pregnant about five months ago," Lynn shares. "I was three months pregnant when my baby’s heart quit beating. They had to take the baby out of me surgically."

"Lynn told everybody on Facebook every detail about her supposed pregnancy. She asked me, ‘Mom, didn’t you have a miscarriage before?’ I thought that was kind of strange," Anne says. "The next thing I know, she’s miscarrying, on Facebook. She had not even told the family. She was telling the world first. I just felt like Lynn was trying to get everybody to feel sorry for her and give her that attention she craves so much."

"My mother hasn’t said anything since I miscarried my baby. She hasn’t even called me. It was definitely the last straw for me," Lynn says.

"I really don’t believe that she was pregnant at all," Anne says.


“When I ask you, ‘What if you’re wrong?’ Your answer was to criticize her nine more ways.” And, how will Anne react when she finds out the truth about Lynn's pregnancy?


A Family Divided

Hear from Lynn's brother Tom. Why does he say he sides with their mom?

"My sister and I were really close until she reached her teenage years. That’s when I remember the lying starting to skyrocket. She might feel like she always has to compete with me, and so she’s always trying to one-up me to make herself sound better," Tom says. "She’ll lie about the color of the sky, and a lot of times, I feel like she really believes it."

"My mom has created a wedge between me and my brothers," Lynn says. "My mom told my brother I was bad-mouthing him and his fiancée, which I wasn’t. Then my brother starts sending me text messages cussing me out because of what my mom told him."

"Lynn blames me for turning the whole family against her," Anne says. "I don’t have to say a word; they’ve formed their own opinions."

"I am very worried about my sister. I feel like she’s going to burn all of the bridges that she has with our family, if she hasn’t already," Tom says. "If she doesn’t change, I don’t think she’ll ever truly be happy."


Tom explains what Lynn’s done to hurt him and why he may not invite her to his wedding.


Does Anne play favorites? “We do cheer for Tom and Nick. They haven’t made bad choices.”


An Event that Changed Their Lives

When Lynn was 4 years old, her father was killed in a car accident, and she and Anne witnessed the tragic event, one that would change their lives forever.

"Lynn and I were coming home and we came around a curve in the road, and we saw a truck that was torn up. I realized it was my husband’s truck, and I just lost it," Anne recalls.

"I still, to this day, remember my mom screaming, ‘You can’t do this to me!’" Lynn says. "I remember the fire department using the Jaws of Life to get him out. I remember that sound to this day. They let me lie next to him when they took him to the hospital ... That was one of my earliest memories, and I was Daddy’s little girl, so that was really hard." Through tears, Lynn continues, "I don’t feel like my mom was really there for me. I had to learn how to grieve on my own. It felt like my whole life, I was standing on a rug, and it kept being pulled out from under me."


Dr. Phil attempts to show Anne how Lynn may have felt growing up.


Dr. Phil gives the family steps to take to start rebuilding their relationships. "The past is over. The future hasn’t happened yet. The only time is right now.”