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Topic : 02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

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Created on : Friday, January 26, 2007, 01:59:13 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Dr. Phil follows the continuing story of Erica, who as a little girl survived the unthinkable. At just 2 years old, she witnessed her father, Mark, murder her mother. Her father spent nearly two decades behind bars for this heinous crime. Now that he has been released from prison, Erica will be reunited with him -- the father who murdered her own mother -- for the first time in over 20 years. In the first of two parts, Dr. Phil arranges a powerful reunion that Erica hopes will bring answers, but instead raises many more questions. When Erica's curiosity turns to anger, her emotions are too much for Mark to bear, and he walks right off the Dr. Phil stage! Tell us what you think!

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February 1, 2007, 2:54 pm CST

02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Quote From: big40_red04_59

  I do not agree with her one bit if my father murdered my mother I would not want anything to do with him much less try to find him.

You don't know what you'd do
February 1, 2007, 2:57 pm CST

Thanks Dr Phil

I am 41. I am a survivor of long term negect, physical and emotional abuse and rape at the age of six. I still have flashbacks, but I live so much more honestly now that I have faced the truth. I know what it is like to face the world alone

and I must say the world without a protector is heartbreaking and shattering. As a survivor, in a little way every time I see a wounded person protected it soothes my heart and gives me hope. The world is not very kind and to see examples of kindeness and protection touches me at my core. I wept. I don't cry easilly and to see an example of whats right it means so much.

Thank you

February 1, 2007, 2:57 pm CST

I know how you feel.

Quote From: rosie52

Erica, I haven't read any posts from anyone who has been through what you've lived through. I can't tell you how much I respect your bravery and conviction to see this through. I can only imagine how nervous you were,because I was nervous watching. I'm glad you did it the way you did because I felt that you were safer by being in a controlled environment. At least you can control what kind of relationship you may or may not have with your dad. It's not out of your control like it was 20 years ago. And who knows, maybe he will clean up his act. Whatever you decide to do in your heart of hearts will be your own decision. I wish you the very best.

I think I know what you might be going through, in 1985, I was 8 and brother was 4, we went through almost the same thing!  On a tuesday night, in september, we were getting ready for bed and my daddy came in with two guns.  They were separated, but he still had a key to the house.  Before he came in he cut phone lines, so we had no way to call for help.  My mama just froze and started begging him, please dont hurt us.  I started fighting him, trying to get the guns away from him and praying it was the gun that I had remembered him having that wouldnt kill anything. The gun he used to shoot to get stray dogs out of the yard.  I was wrong, I ended up getting my nose almost broke from getting hit with the gun and sometime after that he shot my mama while she was sitting on the couch.  My brother was sitting with her and the bullet grazed his head.  She got off the couch and made it outside to her car, and told me to get her keys, when I went inside to get the keys, he was in the living room floor, dead.  He had shot himself.  When I got back outside she had fell beside her car, I bent down beside her and could hear a rattling noise, I realize now that it was her trying to breathe.  She got shot in the chest,  the noise scared me so I got my brother and we ran down the road about a mile, to my aunts house, and she got help.  I feel so bad for leaving her now that I realize she was still alive because I never got to see her anymore except at the funeral.  I knew he was in the floor, hurt, but when we took off down the road, I took his guns and threw them in the woods, I guess I was trying to keep him from hurting anyone else.  Anyway, now I am 29 and my brother is 25, were doing ok, but I have always hated him, and wondered what I would do if I had the chance to ever talk to him, I wish there was someway, I could hurt him like he hurt me and my brother. Before they seperated he used to beat her, burn her clothes, it's like the same exact story.  I think I hate him worse now than before, because I have two kids, and they will never know her,  Im watching the show right now, I just wanted to tell you I think you are very brave to try and meet him, and you have someone in south ga that knows what your going through.  I'm sorry.

February 1, 2007, 3:06 pm CST

No Clue!!!!

Quote From: big40_red04_59

  I do not agree with her one bit if my father murdered my mother I would not want anything to do with him much less try to find him.

You really have no idea what you'd do. You THINK you do but you don't
February 1, 2007, 3:08 pm CST

He said he was sorry

First and foremost, I am not minimizing what this family went through.  It it a horrible tradegy that can never be "gotten over".  I'm upset with Erica.  She said she wanted him to say he was sorry.  That was the very first thing he said when he came out on stage.  Not prompted by Dr Phil.  He said he was sorry for killing her mother repeatedly.  Is she deaf?  I know she's angry and hurt, but he did exactly what she claimed she wanted, and she still wasn't satisfied.  I think she needs to be a little more honest with what she really wanted.  This man could apologize all day every day for the rest of his life, and it would not be enough for her.  If this man has truly found God as he claims, then he is forgiven by God.  The bible says if we do not forgive, then how can we expect to be forgiven for our wrongdoings?


I hope this family can find the healing and forgiveness it needs.

February 1, 2007, 3:08 pm CST


erica if you believe God you should forgive!!!!




you are one strong gal, i wish i was like you , ive learned alot from you and im sure many have too.




I dont know what i would of done because its easy to say forgive but very hard to do it.


Only if you have love in your life will you be able to forgive.


Even without your parents, you grew up with LOVE and that for me is EVERTHING!!!


You are in my prayers

February 1, 2007, 3:09 pm CST


As a recovering addict AND an X-convict, I am appalled at the way Dr. Phil let this young lady treat her father, who has done a twenty-year prison sentence and attended a rehabilitation center to "get clean" in order to reconcile and apologize to his daughter for his actions.  I think Dr. Phil could have encouraged her listening to her fathers' words.  I believe it would have helped both parties to move closer to understanding what took place twenty-some years ago.  Instead America watched as a desperate father and his long lost daughter never got a chance to connect.  This was a loss for all.

Yes, he has done horrific damage.  He has taken something that was not his to take.  He was wrong and has caused others indescribable pain and anguish.  However, this was a meeting OF TWO people, human and aware of each others doings.  Please don't mistake, I am not saying this young lady could have been prepared for her emotions, because that would have been impossible.  What I am saying is that her lack of compassion for his sincere apologies and admission of guilt is as unforgivable as his act.  How much more remorseful could he have been?  That is in fact how he started his communication with both the young lady and the audience.  "I'm sorry", he repeated.  "I'm so sorry".  "Why?" was the question she asked of him, when he answered her with honesty, "I didn't mean to kill her it was that drugs took over."  It was like she didn't even hear him.  Hello, has anyone out there suffered with a friend or family member who has struggled with drugs?  Statistics say one in five suffer.  Well different people, with different levels of addiction, create different levels of havoc and harm.  Mark, admittedly used a drug that was administered intravenously, making it more powerful than if used in a different manner.  If alcohol or any other drugs, prescription or otherwise, were used in cahoots with the injected drugs, blackout more than likely occurred.  Still I am not making excuses for Mark, myself or any other addict, it is just that what did she want him to do?  He cannot bring her mother back.  He is sorry AND willing to say it however you wanted him to say it, but he was not willing to go unheard or ignored.  In order for healing, I believe Erica must try again and this time be prepared to forgive.  It is the best gift she can give herself and she could possibly have some kind of relationship with her father, if not for herself for her child.  We have all done terrible things that have hurt others, some are really terrible, but we must choose forgiveness or not.  If she was not going to forgive maybe she should not have arraigned to meet with her mothers' killer.

February 1, 2007, 3:09 pm CST

Forgiveness for the Victim and the Abuser

Quote From: lievie007

What about forgiveness. Without it there will never be peace, or inner Peace within a person. What happened 20 years was aweful, and the fact that he his behind his disease was horrible, but doctor Phil antaganized the situation in my opinion by not allowing the man to appologize. He said it, and had Dr Phill let it go, so would the girl. To allow the other girl to not talk to her dad is fine, but to not also try to coach them into the spiritual fact of forgiveness, and allow them to bath in the victim mentality is sad to me. It is okay in this society for almost everybody to hide behind there diseases of addiction, obesity, yet, when the man does the same thing pretty much any fat person does out there, and hides behind his, wow onto him. I was raped too, never became fat or addicted, but forgave the rapist, even took some of the responsibility. The girl deserves a father in her life, it is what she said she was hoping for, and I feel dr Phil did pretty much what he could to make sure that would not happen. I believe he preys more on the ratings these days then to come to good solutions that we can learn and grow from. I think it was awesome the girl wanted to see her father, and feel sorry for the older sister,. for the hate she still has in her soul. What the dad did was aweful, no excuse, but forgiveness is the key to life, love and inner peace. When have we become the judge.

I am not religious, nor have I lived an easy life, especcially with my parents.

Emotions aside .......Forgiveness is the only way. My father was bipolar, an ex Marine(with all that scarey mind game control)...and delusional. For the first 20 years after I left home I only contacted him by phone. When I became a parent I refused to allow my daughter to see him, not because of hate but the knowledge that he wasn't healthy for me or her.

Now she is 13 and she knows he is mentally ill, charming, but ill.. We have a limited relationship, but it is there. For many resaons forgiveness of the abuser leads to forgiveness of accept humanity of the abuser and of self and THEN and only then can you accept the past as the past. You stop trying for that utopian picket fence life that you never had and probably never have the possibility of having. You have a life and only one it is a treasure given by God. Forgiveness without knowledge is trite and superfical. Forgiveness, Love and Charity are built with blood, sweat and tears.......It is extremely difficult and heart rendering to truely walk as a Christian. It takes years to walk in forgiveness and years to understand how you fit into the world and into relationships. Without that knowledge, without that true maturiity and truth it wounds all







The victim must forgive her/him self or they will eventually self destruct slowly and waste most of their life or become a long series of failures and slowly die inside


forgiveness of the abuser has to be made for their sake and for your sake.

That means accepting him/her where they are crap and all.

TRUTH is the only escape from hell.


February 1, 2007, 3:12 pm CST

My heart goes out

Erica - having watched the first part of the show today my heart goes out to you and your sister.  I can't imagine being in your shoes.  Don't let others and what they say affect you.  I think I too may have wanted to meet a father seeing that you were only 2 when everything happened.  I just hope you have found peace with your decision and the results.  Nobody should say something about another unless they've been in that person's shoes.  I wish you all the best and I'm glad Dr. Phil was there to help you through it.  Good luck.
February 1, 2007, 3:15 pm CST

You don't know

I was in their mothers place at one point in time in my life.  My boyfriend was on Crystal Meth when he attacked me one day (not the first time) and held a gun to my head with my 4 yr old daughter in the next room.  If the cops had not been called by the business that was underneath our apartment due to the noise, I would be dead right now.  But, I have forgiven my ex boyfriend for that because it was not him at the time.  If you knew anything at all about the drug that man was on, you would know that when someone has been on it for awhile, they are not the person they were before.  It causes major changes in the way your brain processes thing because when you are up for so long, your brain is tired starts shutting down on its own.  Nothing seems the way it is and you make decisions you would have never made if you were not on it.  Now, this is not an excuse because he should have never been doing drugs in the first place, let alone if he was a father and a husband, but because he was there is reason to forgive him.  It is kind of like temporary insanity.  Please, just know that he was telling the truth when he said he was not thinking.  He was not capable of rational thought and everyone should put themselves in his and his wifes shoes.  She knew he was on that drug and obviously she was too or else she would not have put herself and her children in that situation.  She is not without fault in this situation and those girls should not put their mother on a pedestal like that.  I believe that their mother has forgiven him because she knows it was her fault too.  I know it was partly my fault for putting myself and my precious daughter in the situation we were in because I was not thinking clearly.  I was not on the drug at the time but I had been for a while.  We were trying to quit.  My ex  boyfriend is not a bad person he just had bad habits that caused him to become violent.  He has turned his life around and although we are not together anymore, I do see him and we get along very well.  I do not believe that their father is that bad of a person.  He just needs to get off of the drugs.  It is ten times harder than any of you could ever imagine to quit but it is so easy to get started.  You have no right to judge because you are not God.  You leave it up to him.  As for his daughters, I can see being upset and hurt and angry, but they cannot judge either especially since they have no idea what really happened.  They were too young and they obviously have never been through a drug addiction like their parents.  I am sorry to them though for the life they lived.  I know how hard it is to live without parents although I did not lose mine the way they lost theirs.  I just think they should give him a second chance. 

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