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Topic : 02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Number of Replies: 193
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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!

Find out what happened on the show.

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February 1, 2007, 3:16 pm CST

Giving your self the POWER

I read many of the messages about how ppl could not understand why Erica would want to confront her father.  Please take a min and understand her perspective.  When others hurt us as much as Mark hurt his daughters, sometimes we have to confront those feelings before they can be valid.  What I mean is Erica had to confront him in order to allow herself to have the power over him.  His actions ruled her whole life  even though she had not seen him since she was two.  What he did to her mother made her into the person she is today.  By confronting him she took the power he had over her life away from him. 

I know from personal experience how hard it is to confront an abusive father and even be able to have a relationship with him as an adult.  I had to tell my own father when I was 13 not to ever hit me again while he was drinking or I would kill him.  Then I preceded to tell him where around the house where knives and other weapons hidden.  At 13 I truly thought I could kill him, because unconsciously I came to a point where I knew it was him or me.  He has never hit me or even threatened to hit me since and he has never tried to rule over me.  On the other hand I have a sister who never would confront him or stand up to him and when I was 17 and she was 21, I had to tell him not to threaten to hit her.  As a result she cannot interact with any of the family.  Her contact is very limited and she says she cannot understand why I can still talk to him.  I tried to tell her that he now longer has the power to hurt me, but she doesn't understand that.

I think this is why I can understand Erica's need to talk to her father.  She needs to take all the control away from him.

I wish her the best!!:)

February 1, 2007, 3:27 pm CST

02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Quote From: amylynn529

I understand from the get go, after reading all of these messages, that I am going to be in the minority and receive a great deal of flak for what I have to say.


I have a great respect for Dr. Phil and what he does for people but I have never been so angry or enraged after watching an episode as I was today. I think the way this was handled was completely wrong and improper, especially for Mark. I am in no way trying to discount what he did and make it as though it never happened, but everyone makes mistakes. Obviously there is a broad spectrum of mistakes and his is at the far end but that is the destructive power of drugs. I have respect for him because he is willing to admit what he did, even though people keep saying, including his daughter, that he won't admit to it. I heard him say, "I killed her mother" I don't know how many times.


Maybe there is something wrong with me or my wiring but I feel bad for him and the onslaught he encountered on the show. He had to know it wasn't going to be easy and expected confrontation, but he has tried to make himself a better person and was willing to stand before his daughter and explain his actions and take responsibility for them.


When this story first was aired, I could associate myself with it a great deal. I am adopted and have found both of my birth parents. Growing up I knew my father had chosen drugs over my mother and myself and because he chose heroin over us, my mother couldn't raise me on her own, there by having no choice but to give me up. I grew up with same anger and confusion that Arica has. Obviously, my father didn't kill my mother, but because of his choice of drugs over us, I lost both my parents. So when I grew up and I found my mother in 2002, it was not a priority at that time for me to find him. It was a thought in the back of my head but I had the past 26 years of anger and resentment keeping me from him or even the want to find him. It just so happened that in 2004, my mother found him. I was then presented with the ability to meet him. I realized he made a mistake and that mistake affected everyone around him. I choose to give him a chance and to hear his side of the story. He is a great person, has admitted to his mistakes, just as Mark did, and wants nothing but the best for me. I am glad I gave that chance to him and myself.


Maybe I'm crazy here, or like I said, wired wrong, but last I knew, EVERYONE makes mistakes. Why is it okay for some to get a second chance when they haven't earned it, and those that are trying or have changed their ways and admitted their wrongs, don't get one. Again, don't get me wrong. I am not saying what Mark did is right in anyway, and that he shouldn't have done time, and even not have contact with his daughters, but at least he has realized and admitted what he did was wrong, has gone to rehab and is sober and people are treating him like he was sitting on that stage saying, "I did nothing wrong, I was wrongly convicted and I'm a great humanitarian."  I have great respect for him coming to show and facing his girls and the animosity that I am sure was eminating from the audience that day.

February 1, 2007, 3:35 pm CST

angry in illinois

I understand that they wanted some closure in there life about this and it is such a tragic experience but in my own opinion, what did she really expect. The father did come on the show and admitted to killing her and apologized over and over again for it, what else can he do? What I really dont understand is I have seen other people on the dr phil show that had a drug addiction and everyone always blames the drugs, well how come no one is blaming the drugs in this case? He did wrong and he will have to live with it for the rest of his life and so will his daughters but none of this is going to change the fact she is not coming back and he killed her. I just got so angry for some reason about this show. I was angry at him of course and I was also angry at her. He said what he needed to say and she wanted more even though she said she has no expectations from him. I understand she is hurting but there comes a time in your life that you have to realize its time to begin the healing process and some time people do make mistakes that they have to live with for the rest of there life but no matter what answers you get its not going to change the fact. This man has served his time and has to continue living his life just as well as they do. Its such a tragic experience in there lives that they all lost someone they loved. Im not defending him in anyway i just feel that he has a bad addiction that takes peoples lives everyday  and if the circumstances were different everyone would feel bad for him. You cant feel bad for one drug addict and have sympathy for one and not the others for what they have done. Dont you think thats contradicting? I guess the bottom line is I really feel bad for all people that are involved in this. they all have lost people they loved and they all have to live the rest of there lives dealing with it. Another thing that is bothering me is that No one will ever know the whole story behind this relationship. Know  one will ever know all the facts. Everyone talks about abuse and everything else, well was she also doing the same to him. Anyways there is no answers to all this I just feel that instead of jumping down his throat give him the chance to say what he wants and not what people want him to say. He also deserves that chance just like everyone else. Im sure you all might not agree with me but thats alright, everyone is entitled to there own opinion and I am just speaking from my own experience that has so many similarities to this story so I do  to know how it feels. Thanks so much for your time


February 1, 2007, 3:37 pm CST

NA promotes accountability & responsibility

Quote From: tawnysavage

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.

You have a long way to go to understand what Dr Phil did on that stage. We, I am sure, only saw an edited version........but the first step to accountabilitity is acknowledgment of who you wronged......yeah he is a baby in that walk and yeah to some degree he should be 'handled' with kid gloves.........but this wasn't a 10 dollar bill he stole or maybe a car he wrecked.......he was a long term abuser of his wife and children. he killed thier mother and their sens of family, wholeness and safety and innocence ..........

Maybe in a perfect world given more time and more gentle handling he would have been more upfront. BUT we live in an imperfect world and those kids have been through enough.

When you see blood on the walls and time stops for you part of your soul stops and a very real part of your soul never grows beyond that age. They were 2 and 4 , adult or not a very real part of their soul needed healing and it was a child's soul . How long were those girls gonna have to wait? He is/was their father and finally he stepped up and they needed closure NOW

If I waited for shangrila and all to be perfect to start my healing I would still be hurting.

I broke, like a POW at the age of 8. Do you know what that feels like? Do you understand the depth of degradation you have to face at 8 to break? I stopped fighting for survival and broke... Those kids were there too. They faced the horrors of the evil this world can throw at you and they needed healing and you stand on your soap box angry because he was mistreated...

Drugs didn't kill their mother. He did. He chose drugs and he killed her. That is the truth.

Hard to read? Hard to say? Truth is hard to face. My mom drank and did drugs to avoid the truth, so did my brother. He started at age 7. But even in the midst of searching liquer houses for my brother and bars for my mom and all the hell I saw I saw him make choices as did I.......Choices that led to life, truth and peace or death, destruction and terror.

Get off your soap box have no idea what happened on that idea. Real Courage and I for one am so proud of those girls and Dr. Phil. Not to sound condesending, but I am so proud of what Dr Phil did.....He made life decisions in the midst of death and grief.........YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD THAT IS.........

February 1, 2007, 3:37 pm CST

To Erica

You don't have to listen to me or anyone else on this board.  These are very difficult choices about forgiveness and whether to have a relationship with your dad.  It isn't wrong at all to have a relationship with your dad if you choose to, nor is it betraying your mom to forgive him.  But the choice is up to you, this is a major thing that is going to take a while to come to terms with.  You don't HAVE to have a relationship with or forgive him, but it seems like a lot of pain to carry around, I wish you didn't have that burden on your shoulders.  I wish you nothing but the best with the reunion and feeling good about your choices.  Good luck, and God bless!
February 1, 2007, 3:50 pm CST

True Enough

Quote From: margitka

Hi, I am a woman beeing  beaten  for 12 years every week, till I was bleeding everyhere!!

I lived in a country where was OK. to hit a woman, that time.

I had 2 small daughters one year a part, and many times I was in blood after beeing beaten, and run to the next house for a help, with them in my arm, but nobady vanted to get invald in family violace, not ewen a police, so I just washed up myself and suffer from a pain and abuse till the next time came agein.

What I am trying to tell you here is, I have a very hard time to belive  you  how much you   remembe  the day your mother was killed.

Only what you where told over the past 20 years, that is what I belive.

I ask my daughters  so many times and try to remind  them what was happeng in our life when they where 2-3-4- years old, and they had no memories from that time at all, only when they got much older.

Also your way of shaking your hand , the way you cry is not so..real to me,  and  you were to worrie about your well done make up also.

And talking about what you where going thrue in that age it is to hard for me to belive.

I fell sorry for you a lot ,but I been thrue, Hell in my life and today at 53 I am  a free woman reased them alone, by escaping from my country with then only the clouts on my back and a shoes on my feet, and started a new life, with them in a country I have , no family no freinds no support of anykinde!!

 On the today show, you father told you  he is sorry ,what he did he admited it was wrong , what more he can tell you?? What more you vant from him to do today??He can not take it back!

I do belive in my heart your fellings are not as real as you tring to show to us, just something about you does not  seems real to me, maybe you just vanted to be on the show!

Sorry for my hars words, but I have a problem with you to belive the hurt you showing, you Can Not remember as much as you telling us at 2 years old, that I know! 

And if you real why did not do this without Dr.Phil help??

Move on just like my daughters did ,life is not easy, at least you have a sister and your family  who  Loves you!!

You were an don't know what it feels like to carry around all of that.......when you witness blood on the walls it scars your soul,even if you don't rememeber or even know why.

Shame on you.

You don't know

February 1, 2007, 3:51 pm CST

02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Quote From: tawnysavage


you dont know if hes sober or not. NOT

February 1, 2007, 3:54 pm CST

02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Quote From: flthomcat

Just because YOU didn't need this type of closure doesn't mean others don't. We are all individuals with different wants and needs.


I carried brick (of hatred and resentment) on my shoulders and into all my relationships until I decided to FORGIVE my father. For me, it's what changed my life for the better. He no longer controls me, I finally appreciate all the good that was in him (he made horrible mistakes, but his love for me was always evident...he just didn't know how to parent!) and I wake up with a clean slate (of happiess) every single morning. I also have a great relationship w/ a dying man who now has a daughter that has forgiven him and moved forward. I LOVE my father. I hate what he did to me, my sister and my mother, but I still love him. Forgiving does not mean forgetting.


See, we are all different. Dr. Phil didn't miss any boat. You apparently have missed out on the part about people being individuals with different needs (different needs to be ABLE to move on). Please don't look down on others for needing something different than you do.  The daughter deserves credit for being strong enough to face the man who killed her mother.

I understand people need closure.  But in a situation like this, the chances of getting anything comforting from it are nil.  On the other hand, the chances of becoming embroiled in the life of a man who is dangerous and toxic and really ruining your life are very real and much more likely to happen than anything good coming out of it.  My belief is that murderers should never be allowed to influence anyone ever again, much less their vulnerable prior victims.  I have every sympathy of Erica.  I know she is trying to ease her pain.  I just think considering being a part of this man's life is the very opposite of the way to do it.  I hope that at least her getting to express to him her pain will help her some way.   Erica, please know I am not attacking you.  I understand your impulse.  I just don't think it could have come to any good end.  I hope for your sake it does.
February 1, 2007, 3:57 pm CST

Maybe I am at the wrong place

Look I came here to see others who dealt with grief and needed to heal and maybe really find others so I wouldn't feel alone


But here I thought , surely here I would see others that were working towards a goal and healing and sharing, discussing




I'm signing off today......I think I'm gonna start on that book I keep thinking about. Geez, I have to DO something.........People , GET A GRIP! People who come hear need support, not crap.

February 1, 2007, 3:59 pm CST

02/01 A Difficult Reunion – Part 1

Quote From: kidsarekool

You were an don't know what it feels like to carry around all of that.......when you witness blood on the walls it scars your soul,even if you don't rememeber or even know why.

Shame on you.

You don't know

I think this lady was a little harsh but i do agree with some of whayt she said.  From readings I've done you cant remember anything before the age of 3.  After that is when so memories start.  Maybe in a case like this could might remember the day your mother died and you might now.  Even so i can see why it would be hard to get over.  Everyone who tells you stories about what happened they are all telling it from their point of view and everyone remembers things differently or the way they want to remember the event.  I don't think what your dad did was right.  I also dont think he had the intent to kill your mom.  I'm sure the drugs did play a part.
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