Leah says her mother, Dora, may appear to be sweet, but she’s actually a narcissist, hypochondriac, drama queen and a liar — and Leah’s tired of the chaos Dora creates. Dora denies Leah’s accusations and says she has medical records to prove her illnesses are real. She says she’s been rejected by her daughter and that the depression she feels as a result makes her ailments worse.
Can Dr. Phil and Troy Dunn, star of The Locator, help this mother and daughter find a common ground to rebuild their relationship? And, Carrie says her 61-year-old mother, Paula, has been meeting strangers online and having sex with them, and she’s embarrassed and disgusted — but also worried for her mom’s safety. Is Paula’s behavior cause for concern? This program contains sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.
Playing the Victim?
“My mother is a narcissist and only thinks about herself,” says Leah. “She’s gone back and forth with my dad at least 20 times. She’s moved us to different states, all at the cost of being with my dad.”
“The kids wanted him back. Dad was the yes man,” says Dora, Leah’s mother. “I was the only disciplinarian in their life, and they looked at it as nothing but a controlling, psycho, Jesus-freak mom.”
Leah also says her mother is a hypochondriac — and has even lied about having cancer — to elicit sympathy from others. “[She’s] always in and out of the hospital and always posting Facebook statuses about her new illnesses,” she says. “When my grandfather died, my cousin emailed to let us know when and where the funeral was going to be, and my mom’s response was that she didn’t have a voice, and she was very sick, and we should all pray for her … My mom pretends to have all these illnesses so people will feel sorry for her.”
“I’m sick because I’m rejected by my own children, and that depression is brought on by the severe broken heart, and that adds to a lot of other problems that I have,” Dora explains.
Justifying Her Behavior?
Leah says her mother takes no responsibility for her behavior and has even stolen Leah’s identity, leaving her with bad credit. “My mom always blamed everything on my dad, that it was his fault that we didn’t have good credit,” she says. “Because of her bad credit, when she needed a new place, and electricity and a phone, she would put them in mine and my sister’s name. My mom also had $5,000 on a credit card in my name. My credit was so bad, when I got older, I was denied a car.”
“There were so many times that we had to move because of not being able to pay the bills. That put me in a bad pickle, because my credit and his credit were scored together,” Dora says. “I feel like I am blamed for the turmoil that Leah has said was her childhood, and all of this wasn’t my fault.”
Troy Dunn — father of eight, star of The Locator and frequent Dr. Phil contributor — performs an experiment with Dora and Leah to find out why the two don’t see eye to eye.
Dora has been married and divorced to Leah’s father, Russ, twice, and she says that the two have broken up and gotten back together somewhere between 20 and 50 times. Dora says that Leah doesn’t know the details of what happened behind closed doors between her and Russ.
“After their second divorce, my mom would tell us that our dad beat and raped her against her will,” Leah recalls. “She’s always blamed everything on my dad. That did not seem believable to me. I don’t think that my dad was abusive or manipulative.”
Troy meets with Dora and Russ and learns the truth about their relationship.
“In the bedroom, there was sexual abuse,” Russ reveals.
“There was stuff that I did that I never wanted anyone to know about,” Dora explains, fighting back tears. “And I’ve forgiven him, but I haven’t forgotten.”
Troy asks Dora, “Why did you keep coming back?”
“I believed that nothing was impossible with God. That eventually, he would get the help that he needed, and our marriage would work, and our family would still be together,” she says.
Russ admits that he spent money on porn, instead of paying household bills.
Troy asks Dora, “Do you regret dragging the children in and out of this relationship 20 to 50 times?”
“I do, at this point, because I have been held back from seeing my grandchildren,” Dora says. “The irony of the whole thing is [Russ] has gotten to see them, and most of the reasons why I can’t see them is because of things that he did.”
Carrie says her 61-year-old mother, Paula’s, sex life is out of control. She says her mom meets men of all ages on the Internet and has sex with them, and she’s embarrassed, disgusted and — more importantly — worried for her mom’s safety.
“My mother has had a different guy Monday through Friday,” Carrie says.
“After being on a dating website for one week, I received 50 or more messages. The age range of the men was 23 to 55. I didn’t realize that I was in such demand at my age,” Paula shares. She reveals that she prefers younger men, and the youngest she’s been with was 19 years old. “It takes a 20- or 30-year-old to be with me, because I have a high sexual drive.”
In studio, Dr. Phil asks Carrie, “What’s your fear?”
“She’s going to get hurt,” she replies.
Troy asks Paula, “Do these [encounters] take place at your house, at their house or hotels?”
“It’s usually at my place,” Paula says.
“You’re bringing them to your house?” Dr. Phil asks.
“Not all of them,” Paula says. “I’m trying to be as careful as I can.”