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September 10th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Homecoming

Photo Credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns

Photo Credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns

One night last month, I happened to be awake quite late and flipped on the television and started watching the movie Twister, which is about a group of storm chasers in Oklahoma and Kansas.  The story is kind of simple, but fun, although for me the cinematography was nostalgically spectacular.  I grew up in those wide-open farm flatlands where you can see for 100 miles on a clear day.  The wide roads and Dairy Queen-type drive-ins featured in the movie took me back to a simple and comfortable time.

I remember thinking that as I get older, more and more is nostalgic because my past is getting longer and my future is getting shorter! It was a pleasant feeling, and I recall finding it odd to be moved by something from my past.  Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.  Little did I know that I was about to really get my “nostalgia socks knocked off!” I was about to go back to where my television life all began.  I was headed back to Chicago to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time in over seven years.

Now, I have known Oprah for many, many years.  Despite the totally fabricated fantasies that you read in the tabloid rags about my relationship with Oprah, the truth is, we are great and dear friends, as well as close business associates.  She and Robin are great friends, and both Jay and Jordan have grown up with Oprah in their lives.  Outside of my family, there are few people in this world who are more important to me than Oprah. To this day, I have trouble putting into words how she has changed my life and that of my family.  But although we have always stayed personally connected, I had not been back to the stage where it all started.

So, a few weeks ago, off I went.  Like so many times before, I packed a suit and flew to Chicago to do her show. I thought you might like to know what I was thinking and feeling, so I actually made some notes along the way.

I landed and was driven to the very same hotel in downtown Chicago (my home away from home) — in fact, into the very same room — where I had stayed during my five years of doing the show. (At that point, I thought about how I was doing what probably 8,000 to 10,000 guests on my show have done. Interesting role reversal.) I got out of the car and the same bellman who was there seven-and-a-half years ago said, “Welcome back, Dr. Phil.” Talk about stability. I have to say, I was feeling like I had been there just last week.

I dumped my bags and headed off to one of my favorite restaurants in the world. Wow, Cathy was still there at the front desk and hadn’t aged a day!  We had had a running joke, she hadn’t forgotten. Without missing a beat she said, “Hey, get in here and we will put the feedbag on you.” She did! Then, back to hotel to prep for the show and off to bed.  So strange how the pattern kicked in like autopilot.

At 7:00 a.m., we turned onto Carpenter Street and pulled up to Oprah’s famous Harpo Studios. Wow, all of a sudden, I had this powerful feeling of coming home.

Photo Credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns

Photo Credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns

Inside, so many friends from days gone by.  Good folks. But the one person I did not see on arrival was Oprah herself. I knew I wouldn’t see her before the stage.  She taught me long ago to not to EVER see your guests before the show so you are both fresh when things get underway.

The real nostalgia kicked in when I stepped into what had been my “quiet zone” for five years of Oprah shows. There’s a long, wide hallway outside the studio where the show is actually shot, and at the end of that hallway are big, thick metal doors. It was in this hallway that I had always had my alone time; time to totally shut out the rest of the world and focus on the important work ahead. Without ever talking about it, Oprah’s staff never engaged me once I stepped into that hallway.  It was my place and my time, then and now.

I realized that they had suddenly, as if on cue, disappeared. They still remembered that I needed my time in that hallway. They knew I needed to step into that zone.  Now, the feelings were powerful. I swear, it was like I had never been gone: I am in the moment, ready to go. The assistant stage manager steps in.  Eye contact; time to go.

I walked through the metal doors and saw a newly refurbished stage. But incredibly, the aroma of the stage area was the same. Everything, in fact, felt the same. And there was Oprah, standing up, waiting to greet me. The producers played a taped piece of some of the more memorable moments during my appearances on her show over the years, and I was so overwhelmed.

In a flash, however, I was beside Oprah. To the world, she’s the most powerful figure in television – a clarion voice for all things good. But to me, she’s my great friend. And just like that, it was like two friends talking about the most interesting times in which we live. She’s the best there ever was or will be.

And what did we talk about? As Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story, tune in to Oprah. You will not be disappointed.

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62 Responses to “Homecoming”

  1. Tsukihime says:

    Wow, I am glad this was shared with the Dr. Phil website. I wonder if you realize how lucky you are to have a close friend like that, I don’t know if most people do. I think most people are lucky to have close acquaintances but not “true friends”. Cherish them!

  2. Toukie says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I loved reading your notes on your experience. It’s great to “come home” after being away to spread your wings. And I can’t wait to watch this show.
    Lots of love and hugs
    Toukie

  3. Jen Hoffmann says:

    I am first just commenting to see if you actually are writting your fans yourself. I would take a response form Robin as well..Have a blessed week and Thanks for your time.~Jen

  4. Dena says:

    Hi Dr. Phil! Thank you so much for your new season! The “taking it to the streets” is awesome, and so real! I just wish I could see you in person. If you ever come to Ohio, I’d love to know so that I could see you live, in person! I admire you! You and your staff keep up the good work!

  5. About to watch your son, Jay McGraw’s show THE DOCTORS and will watch you behind the scenes on Oprah and in NYC today on your show then ON OPRAH today on Oprah.

    http://www.montfordinn.com/

    BTW: Dr. Phil, Helen Hunt stayed at above B&B while filming “The Twister”. The National Weather Service is there at North Base where Westheimer Airport is. You’d love Westheimer Airport. Quaint with a little quaint 60’s like cafe w/great breakfast. Montford in has been rated 5 stars I think since opening in 1994 and takes up entire etc. are.

    Most visiting speakers at OU stay at Montford Inn so breakfast that comes with room is quite fascinating as they converse with one another. Queen of Persia has stayed there, astronauts yet I don’t think you and Robin have yet. Queen of Persia had her own cottage with body guards I was told. They have four or so private cottages then rooms in main house as takes up entire block across street. One block from Andrew’s park and a couple of blocks from my childhood home.

    I go there for my birthday sometimes and would be great to live in Homesteaders room. Hope to have my own state-of-art energy efficient home in home town there (maybe even w/ own water well) nearby Montford Inn, senior friendly with bathroom like Morning song room yet more pastel colors like Lindley House Rose Cottage in Duncan, OK. Bout the size of Montford Prairie House cottage.

    University of Oklahoma in walking distance which Robin would love. Stop by and visit former Senator Boren at Boyd & University Blvd. President’s House. Many are unaware that Lloyd Noble Center has concerts and even Elvis and Frank Sinatra have performed there. Smaller Concerts now at Riverwind Casino yet never been there. Lloyd Noble is owned by Unviersity of OK. Oh, if y’all ever go there ask if person, Charles Stephenson I think… who donated to have STEPHENSON RESEARCH CENTER built at OU any relation to Logan Stephenson or Andrew Jackson Stephenson or cousin to John Stephenson.

    OMG! There’s not one Dairy Queen in Norman now. Remember footlongs and hamburgers 5 for a dollar in early 60’s and Mr. Misty slush drinks before 7-11 Icees and banana splits for 49 cents was expensive then LOLz? My mom made 50 cents an hour working at TG&Y there and at Shepard Mall in OKC. No TG&Y anymore either nor Rexall Drug with wooden phone booths w/closing door for privacy or coke machines with metal lever for bitty cokes for a nickel. Dem were “duh” days DOC! Sound like my grandparents.

    Sincerely,
    SEA

  6. ~Dr. Phil, thanks so much for sharing the intimate details of your life with us. I enjoy your shows, but also love reading your blogs—gives some insight as to the person behind the “celebrity”. I can’t wait to see this show!
    Love, Peace & Nimkee blessings,
    Melissa, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

    p.s. Have a great day EH!

  7. Paradoxis says:

    Reading this, I could feel the warmth and feelings of nostalgia and homecoming you describe so beautifully. I could feel your gratitude and appreciation. It made me smile to read this. Thankyou. :D

  8. Maureen says:

    Hi Dr. Phil

    I was literally forced by my best friend to start watching Oprah regularly right around the time when you made your debut. I don’t have a “gushing-star-struck-over-the-top-crazy-stalker-fan” type of personality but just thinking about today’s show has brought me a little closer to that edge. I am a cynic and I used to scoff at the advice given on talk shows but I have to admit that I am amongst those who can honestly say that something that you and Oprah talked about one day completely changed my life. So thank you. Sincerely.

    P.S. My best friend is from Witchita Falls, Texas. Her home was destroyed by the 1964 Tornado. Were you living there at the time?

  9. barb linton says:

    It is amazing how the years melt away when you talk to a good friend.

  10. grammiesWI says:

    I remember Dr Phil during Oprah’s “Change Your Life” period (oh, to hear “Run On” again in its entirety!!) and miss having my perspectives challenged and changed. I learned a lot about myself (there is no reality, only my own perspective, etc.) and how I related to others. Now, I don’t know if you’ve moved away from learning experiences on your show, or if you’ve taught me all I needed to know at that time (starting my 40’s.) I DO know I miss the Phil-isms!! (Jordan is a lil stinker, ain’t he?)
    I’m hoping this season you come back to the real America, you know, flyover country, and reconnect with what we all fell in love with – “Tell it like it is, Dr Phil.” The majority of the US was not directly affected by what the media reports and I hope Dr Phil can shine a bright light on our successes. I never hear reports of people dying to cross European or Asian borders, unless it’s to find their way to America (what a country!)

  11. Barbara says:

    I truly enjoyed sharing your nostalgic voyage. I’ve had many similar experiences in the last few years and am inclined to believe it does have something to do with age! Oprah is not one of my favorite TV host (I like your show much better) and I could argue with the “a clarion voice for all things good” statement, but I did enjoy the read. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Shelley says:

    I am SO glad you will be on Oprah today Dr. Phil because we no longer get your show here in Houston. I am NOT happy about that. I’m not sure what to do about it though – KPRC is airing Dr. Oz, who is great, but I miss your show.

  13. Joanne says:

    How lucky are all of us here on this earth to be blessed to have you both touch our lives in such positive, positive ways? I cannot thank you both enough for all that you have taught me, and continue to teach me in my life. Thank you so much for the article….what a great read.

  14. Awwww man!!! Dr Phil why did you have to say ‘wait for the show’ just as I was really getting int what you were saying!! I live in South Africa, going to have to wait a year to get to see that Oprah show!! :(

  15. Haider Nawaz says:

    Hi Dr. Phil I wanted to let you know that Iam a big fan of your show and that I watch your show everyday and I enjoy it very much

  16. Brownladyblue says:

    Dr.Phil……Good to see…..GRIEF GRIEF GRIEF-COULD YOU PLEASE DO A COMPLETE SHOW ON GRIEF-THE PROCESS- THE SHOCK- THE AFTERMATH…ESPECIALLY CHILD LOSS GRIEF. I LOST MY PRECIOUS ANGEL,ALEX AT 12 YEARS OLD IN A FREAK ACCIDENT AND I’M FINDING THAT I AM AN AD HOC “DR. PHIL” ON THE STREET YET I NEED HELP MYSELF!

  17. Caroline Rodrigue says:

    Hello Dr. Phil,

    As I loved the fact that you and Oprah were back together again, I could not help but think about my email to you yesterday about Michael Vick. You were talking about a serial killer today and said that any one who could hurt a pet is a sign of severe danger yet this man is back to playing football !!!! I can not say enough about this decision, yesterday I compared him to Pete Rose who NEVER hurt anyone, the only person he hurt was himself, yet was never given what he deserved so much…………..and is still shut off from baseball forever. What a shame…………………..

    Caroline

  18. Donna says:

    I wish you’d do a show at some point on PTSD relating to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Particularly those of us whom will never get any “justice” because
    we have just figured out/remembered what happened to us and conveniently, the abuser is now deceased. I am under the care of a physician and a psychologist and have medication but I am ANGRY and at this point feel as if I always will be.
    I would like to dig the perpetrator up and shoot him…….(and no, it was NOT my Dad. It WAS, however, a close trusted family member whom took advantage of the fact that my Dad wasn’t around anymore to “protect” me after my parents divorced, and molested me for the next 5 yrs.)

  19. ronda wood says:

    more and more things remind us of ‘the good old days’. being a child of the ’50’s things like howdy doodey and elvis on the ed sullivan show are great reminders of my youth. do you remember the little wax coke bottles filled with sugar water. and jaw breakers. you don’t have to go ‘home’ to remember all these wonderful things of our youth.

    i am a struggling artist in cranbrook, bc., and can’t go home very often because both finances and health limit what i can do. but i can still remember and enjoy my memories.

  20. Karen says:

    This is an amazing way to learn about you and Oprah, both of you were/are
    so instrumental in changing the way I thought about things. Straightened me
    out about many things. I especially like the story of how you and Oprah met in
    the first place. I tell people that story all the time. Oprah was upset about the
    court case with the Texas businessmen about how unfair it all was. You told her
    that you understood all that but/and we have to move on from that thought process and deal with the situation. We have situations in life like that everyday. Unfair
    but reality. I think life is realizing what you will and won’t do AGAIN. Thank you
    for being real with us.

  21. Karen says:

    Dr. Phil,
    It is so nice to get to know a little bit about you as a person, rather than just the Dr. Phil we see on TV. I’ve been married to a military man for 15 years, and your relationship with Robin has long been an inspiration to me. Your shows always make me think, they challenge my views, and often make me cry. With all the war going on in the world these days, the lives of military families are so stressful. Our troops get a lot of love and support, and we are so grateful for that, but the families left behind tend to fall through the cracks. I’m not complaining, because I have a great family of military wives on whom I rely to get me through my days. It would be wonderful to see you do a show on the people “behind the scenes”, the support staff behind the military men and women who go off to fight.
    God bless you and your wonderful family. Thank you for what you do. Our world is a better place with you and Robin coming into our homes five days a week!

  22. Kim says:

    Dr. Phil – I’m so amazed with your show this year and I love that you are “approachable” just like the rest of the world. You always have the best interest of all those who cross your path. Some day I’ll be ready to ask questions… as we all have “stuff” to deal with in our lives. Thank you for all you do!

  23. Barbara Lewis says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I have recently moved to New Mexico and was so taken with your comments about Oklahoma. My heart is Oklahoma – I often think of ‘home’. I miss ‘home’ but most likely will never go back. Yes, Nostalgia is wonderful. We can go there in our minds and hearts when so far from home. I too have more memories than adventures ahead in my life. We have retired to New Mexico to be with our grandchildren. I am still trying to find my place and that makes it even harder to adjust in a way, but I know that God has me right where I need to be. Yes, I use this thought to keep me going and up positive so I am so proud to see an ‘Okie’ to be such an influence to others. May you have many more years ahead of helping others. Blessings.

    Barbara Lewis

  24. Shirley Skolaut says:

    Dr. Phil, The show about the serial killer and his daughter, I have a question. What did her father say to her at the restaurant, when she got up and went to the restroom and felt sick to her stomach. My husband answered the phone about that time with his LOUD voice, and I missed it. I want to know what he said to her. That was such an interesting show. Thanks for helping so many people. My two shows in the whole wide world is Dr. Phil and Oprah. So see I am a fan. This was the show 9-17-09.

  25. sandy levine says:

    Thank you for including The Carnegie Deli as part of your New York City show.

  26. Ruth Thomas says:

    I am glad that you could help the lady with the serial killer dad. I was married to an abusive person for 26 years. I blamed myself for years for the rotten things my ex-husband did. It took courage and encouragement from family and friends and some counselors to get past those feelings. I am now married to the nicest man you could imagine. God bless you, Dr. Phil, for caring about others.

  27. Nancy W says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    I am really enjoying your first week back in NYC. You look like you are really having a wonderful time. Watched today…I can’t believe you could eat that sandwich!
    And Robin, you look amazing!
    So glad to see you blogging. I love to blog…I call it “my comfort food” although I do love chocolate!!

    Someday, I would love to talk to you about a family matter…and ask what you would do if you were me…

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful season.
    Take care,
    Nancy

  28. Kathy Ledbetter says:

    I loved seeing you back on the Oprah show! I really enjoyed it! It was like getting a double dose of Dr. Phil! I also have loved your show this week! It’s great seeing you meeting with the people on the streets! It is also a humbling reminder that we all have problems and you can always find people that are in greater need than yourself if you are willing to open your eyes!

  29. Peggy Chamberlain says:

    Just to give you a poke, Dr. Phil….I couldn’t help but notice how your hair has ‘lightened’ in the years since you were on Oprah…Tee hee. I began watching you in 1999 when I was bed-ridden from an horrific car accident in which I broke one of everything. Some of your sage advice helped me greatly during my recover and even though I’ll never be ‘whole’ again, my attitude is great. Thanks. I’ve been a fan ever since and, in fact, was in the audience one year on my birthday. It was sooo fun. I’d love to do it again someday.

  30. marian says:

    I watched your show with Oprah. Just wanted to say my father was not a serial killer but he was a sociopath and resident evil. I said and knew this long before I saw this show. I have 6 brothers and 4 sisters. My dad molested daughters and terrorized sons and beat and terrorized my mother. I never saw my dad one day that he was kind or decent. He let us all go with out food to feed his drinking. But drunk or sober he was always the same. Horror and sex and degradation. Many years ago one by one at young ages we left home and we created our own lives. I am proud to say that none of my siblings or I followed in his footsteps and none of us let him know his grand children. I don’t go with the belief that this is hereditary. There was a time at about the age 12-15 that we all individually could have become like him by bad choices. We didn’t make them. My mom has passed sadly. We did not all make great choices all the time except one. We all raised our children to be good, kind, loving gentle people and told them our father was evil and none of them have ever tried or wanted contact with him. It is good they trust what we say. . My father’s evil is still there and he is old. He will die evil. We have no contact with him but we still here from people. The weird thing that most don’t understand is that we still ask about him. I believe like the girl on oprah. We as humans have a drive and a need for our parents no matter what age we are to get one crumb of love. We know it will never come from our dad. But we still crave it. I know we probably shouldn’t. but I think you have to live this insane of a childhood to ever understand why that need is there. I don’t have a question and my dad will die alone without family. My sense of decency is sorry for that but we should all stay away from evil. to the lady on the show. Take it from a family of 11 kids and 49 nieces and nephews and on and on. No matter how much you want that crumb of love, he fathered you, only. Let your husband show you what a read dad is. Evil never changes that’s why it is Evil.

  31. Hi Dr. Phil and Robin,

    Glad to see you back for a new season. I believe I have asked before but figure there’s no harm in asking again. Your viewing audience knows no bounds when it comes to age. How about a show or two or three about seniors and all the issues they face at retirement age…..such as health, finances, retirement, widows and widowers and having the ability to face the golden years with a smile. I have not done a very good job of preparing myself for what lies ahead. I am of retirement age (67), I am overweight (200) pounds, I am a widow living on SS and I have some serious health issues (some of which are fixable if I could get my act together). I doubt that I am unique. I do know that unless there are some immediate changes in my life that I won’t have to worry about all the tomorrows because my bad choices will get the best of me. I cry about this and still don’t manage to get it together. I would be so ever grateful if you could offer some advice to help me move in a more positive direction. As an intelligent productive person, I am wondering why I am having to write you instead of heeding something I heard you say last season. You were talking about weight loss…it was something like “do it once and be done with it.” Thanks for listening. MTDC

  32. Dr. Phil,
    I know this has nothing to do with the blog you wrote, but you really need to check out this video on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0
    This is an amazing young women and I am impressed to say the least. You really need to watch it, I think you will be impressed. Please let me know what you think!!!

  33. Thanks for reaching out to your fans Dr. Phil, I think this is great and really Personalizes what you do. Many of us (I feel safe in speaking for more then one as I’m sure I’m not the only one) feel like your reaching directly out to us individually.
    I have the highest opinion of your show, and watch it faithfully.
    Dr. Phil, you’ve caused many fights in my home hahaha…I’m serious…My husband is a very stubborn negative person and I bring your words of wisdom to him and it drives him insane…why you ask, well he HATES it when I’m right…and when i watch your show, i tend to be right ALOT……

    He won’t admit it in the middle of an arguement but always calls later to admit he was wrong hehehe….so THANK YOU for being that extra voice for me….someone to back me up around here :)

    Anyways time has a way of making us feel old, I don’t mean to be rude but i do mean to be kind of funny…..Your age showed with your hair color from the clips Oprah showed on her show with you today hehehe….and THAT made ME feel old…..I saw that old clip and thought What in the world have I really been watching these people THAT long?! Are u kidding me…..but seriously I have…it s unk in …I’m old….THANKS DR. PHIL :)

    All that aside, my heart goes out Melissa, the trials and tribulations she’s gone through…..wow….what shocked me even more watching the show…I HAD NO CLUE THIS HAPPENED RIGHT NEAR ME!!!!
    I saw her dad is in WA…..I’m in OR…..I googled the happy face killer and saw just how close to me he was…..VERY VERY scary…….

    Thank you Dr. Phil for all that you have done and continue to do, you help so many people……I’m just one person, but you have my appreciation if that counts for anything :)

    Your fan,
    Charity

  34. Joyce Long says:

    Great to read this blog and to see you reunited on Oprah….. That is the reason I never, ever read tabloids, always full of bull and lies.
    Cherish that friendship because as someone on here said you a very lucky to have friends like that, and are lucky to have a few aquantiances. I know I sure dont have any other than the great people on the Dr Phil boards, but none in real life.

  35. hcg5 says:

    I, like so many others, enjoyed the show with you and Oprah together again.

  36. Kelly says:

    Dr. Phil!

    It was great seeing you on Oprah! The woman in that story was courageous and brave. I can never imagine going through something like that. I have seen the movie “Twister.” I have to say I relate to you in some way. I live in Minnesota, where some of the towns can be consider just fields and land. We have the Dairy queen drive throughs as well :) . Many years ago, a tornado touched down in the town I lived in. It was right down the street from our house. Luckily nothing was damaged, only a few cobs of corn! I was mad I missed it though! LOL. We were on vacation during that time. It s moments like that that make you grateful of what you have. Thanks for all your advice! Your shows will be TVIO for years to come!

  37. Hello Dr. Phil…. I AM YOUR #1 FAN!! I watch your show every day and tape it also so that I can return to the show that deals with issues that come up in my life ! Matter of fact, I work only on Saturday and Sunday of each week so that I do not miss a show !! I am not a crazed fanatic….only a married Louisiana, hard working nurse with an 18 year old son, a 5 year old daughter and my first grandchild (a girl) due in November !!! Needless to say…..I live in drama EVERY day !!

  38. Hi Dr. Phil, I love this opportunity to just chat with you, after all you’ve been coming to my home for years now & I feel like you are one of the family!
    I wrote & illustrated a poem about you, yes & I actually drew a picture of you (you inspire me that much!) If you’d like to read it I will type it out for you. OK?
    If I knew how, I could scan & email the illustrated version but I’m a bit challenged computerwise. I hope you’ll check out the art on my website, also my video on youtube the Art & Voice of Carole Stevens Bibisi. (put my name in the search box) I wish you could do something on your show to help promote & foster the efforts of thousands upon thousands of starving gifted artists who’d love to make a living with their art. Schools major on sports & academics, while limiting, cancelling & de-valuing art courses. We need the balance of artistic self expression. Give us our own graffitti boards!
    I heard you say today that you were actually a shy person, I completely understand the introvert extrovert personality. We’re empathetic, sensitive, service orientated people, who will work tirelessly to create change for the better.
    Well it’s getting late, nice to chat with you Dr Phil, keep doing what you are doing to make the world a healthier place mentally, spiritually & physically.
    Hugs,
    Carole.

  39. Lucky says:

    I watched with great interest Oprah’s show with you as guest, especially the segment with the serial killer’s daughter. Several times it was mentioned that her father killed animals and that most killers start with animals. I am again begging you to do a show on this subject. It is so very important for animals and humans.
    Please. Lucky

  40. Barbara says:

    Dear Dr. Phil:
    I have been a fan of yours since you and Oprah came to Amarillo, Texas for the beef trial. I grew up in the Plains of Texas and know about the twisters. Now I live in Louisiana and know about Hurricanes especially Hurricane Rita. I agree wth Karen about a show dealing with senior citizens and their problems. I love your show and have watched you on Oprah and now I enjoy your show. That is my time when you are on TV. I really do like the new season where you are going to the people. I have read your books and have given them to my friends and family.
    I like the Doctors that your son is directing. I like the infromation they are telling us.

  41. marion a says:

    I saw the show and needed to be in the audience. Twenty eight years, and four months after the birth of my daughter, her father was arrested and subsequently convicted of first degree murder. I thought she needed to know her incarcerated father so began the visits with my young innocent child for death row visits. Oprah’s interviewee commented she took her family to meet their father-in-law, and grandfather. I was touched when she said her young daughter clung to her. It brought back memories of how on a visit to see my daughter’s dad she clung to me as well, terrified. I thought I would introduce her gradually to her father’s imprisoned life in order to answer questions later. I knew she would be questioned by adults later in life, and teased to tears by children in the neighborhood, and in school. I listened to the former wife of the convicted serial killer also say she did not know how to talk to her children. After all no precedent had been set or books written on the subject. Dr. Phil, I later came to reget taking my daughter as well as myself into that prison. My daughter and I travelled about four hours for home after one visit. Upon returning homeI got her ready for bed, and I settled myself into bed with the newspaper. My daughter came to my bed, asked if she could sleep with me and began to cry. When I asked what was wrong she replied,”You know”. She was right I did. I knew the moment she clung to me. That was the last time I visited the prison. Emotional and psychological problems developed throughout her school years. I did seek counselling from psychologist and psychiatrist. Dr. Phil you were questioned about the young mother’s decision to introduce her family to her convicted serial killer father. You said you were invited in so you answered that was not a good idea. Young and immature mind should not be surrounded by so much evil. My daughter is twenty eight years old now, and throughout the years she’s been told of God’s goodness and His plan of salvation for us. She was told she did nothing wrong it was her father who disobeyed God and cocmmitted an evil act. I don’t know if I want to write a book to perhaps help someone along the way, but I will certainly avail myself to you should you write one.

  42. Samantha says:

    WOW!!! I would love to believe you had this “great” experience in time travel when you last visited Oprah. However, it’s crap! Everyone in this world is experiencing a very hard time right now with this crappy economy. Somehow, YOU seem to turn our focus on YOU and how great YOU are “now” and were “then”.

    I am in the automobile business and my life has changed tremendously in the last 18 months. I am a SINGLE MOTHER of 2; ages 2 and 12 who works 12-14 hours a day to get by. I struggle everyday to make sure my girls do not know how bad I am actually struggling. “Children need structure and stability” is what my Mother told me before she passed in 1992 of cancer. I am trying my best to keep my chin up (as you would say).

    I have never been a lucky person; never won a lottery; never given anything “just because” and NEVER been on welfare, however I am still pushing myself day after day and it is getting old. I work my butt off for everything I have and then here comes you with just plain simple luck and off to stardom you go. SERIOUSLY!!!!

    “When do the real people of America get a break and a “toast” to go along with it?”

    Maybe after you loose your career, home, stability, wife and job then you can understand where I (WE) are coming from. Taking it from a girl who has matured into a great mother and woman….Dr. Phil, You are all about YOU.

    I just relocated to another state for a better position within the automobile industry. It’s horrible to up-root your children from their familiar surroundings, family and friends. I lost nearly everything, however my girls never skipped a step.

    I live in a rental home now and I am lucky to have a job; just not lucky enough to keep my home and cars. I visited my family in California 20 months ago. I have not been able to go back due to lack of funds. My sister and brother send me pictures of my niece and nephews….nostalgic? NO; hurtful? Yes.

    Happy to hear YOU are doing well. I am sure my daughter who lost her spot on the cheer squad because we had to move will be happy to hear YOU are happy.

    Samantha
    Texas

  43. Tawnya says:

    Dr.Phil,
    I had to go home for a funureal and was hoping to see some of the old things that I loved but few were actually still there. The one that was still open and running (still the same old place) it still had the ice cream cones I loved as a teenager and brought back fond memories. It was a hamburger joint right down the hill from our high school and we would stop there on our way home to get that hamburger or ice cream. My dream is to live in a little town where everyone knows everyone yet have some peace and quiet. I love the idea of having a village help raise your kids. Thank you again for taking me down memory lane.

  44. Jane Bonville says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I love the show format. I loved the trip to Philli – cheese steak wars and world peace decided all in 15 minutes, wow! Maybe we need to send you to Korea, just kidding.
    What touched me more was your meeting with the young soldiers mother and how your reaction to her emotional turmoil was so very real. I was so taken back that you were almost in tears yourself. For those of us who have been brought up and lived in the military arena it cuts us to the bone each time we see a family member go through what she was going through (whether we know them personally or not, makes no difference). I think mainly because we don’t know what to do or say to help them in the way you did her. Or we aren’t sure which avenue to take, so we don’t take any. I mainly thank them for their sacrifice and listen to what they have to say and offer to be there when they need anything. But you are amazing -you took it to the next level by letting everyone know about her sons last request. You rallied the troops better/faster than any General could. Thank you for supporting our service man and women, it means so much more than you know. My only now hope is that some of that support that you have mustered will spill over onto the military veterans that are here at home, having already served and are not getting the help they need.
    Thanks again Dr. Phil –
    Jane

  45. Hey Dr. Phil,
    You looked very dapper yesterday on the tube. I was wondering seeing how you work for ABC could you find out if ABC cancelled the Ellen showz? Please? She use to come on right after you now nothing… I mean in your spare time and all…
    Sincerely
    Cathy

  46. Travis Vining says:

    My father is a serial killer that is currently on Florida’s death row. Unlike yesterday’s story my father did confide in me while he was killing people. He used me as a “go for” during his killing spree and it has taken me years to recover, but I now have a family of my own and I am living a happy peaceful life. If you think my experience might be helpful in her recovery please contact me.

  47. Happy Kat says:

    Thank you Melissa for being the courageous woman that you are and being willing to express, to share your story for you reminded me that I am not alone. My father is a sociopath too and sometimes I feel like the world just doesn’t get it – the wishing and remembering past glimpses of good in our father as children and holding on tightly to these memories, the confusion over the love we have for our father, wanting more than anything a “normal” family like everyone else, knowing when to cut off all communications and being ok with that decision, feeling so different when others talk about the joy love and importance of family, feeling like the past should be kept secret and never spoken about.

    Thank you Melissa for shining a light into this dark and secretive sociopathic world. Should you ever want or need a friend who “gets it” I am here.

  48. Blgspc says:

    Now, Ya know….if I didn’t already know the public persona of Dr. Phil and Oprah, as well as their history, I’d say, ‘Now, there’s an unlikely duo.’ Both, Oprah and Dr. Phil are very well defined and strong characters. And yet, there they are…. and the two of them seem as natural together as Honey Grahams and Milk, Collards and Cornbread, Butter and Grits….Great Show Oprah, Dr. Phil! I have to go now and eat….y’all made me hungry!!!

    Loving Regards From Just One in The Massive Group of Fans-Land!

    BG :-D

    P.S. I’m with Oprah, Dr. Phil…..How DO you, ‘Sneak Sunrise passed a Rooster’?
    As the chicken said eyeing a massive grub on the ground, ‘Now, I ain’t swallerin’ THAT!’ Ha!

  49. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    I wrote on the other blog I was miffed at myself because all week I wanted to watch you and Oprah and I snoozed all the way through.

    I am thinking back when you were first brought to our Country’s attention and Nobody yet knew your greatness!
    It wasnt until I read all your books I truly understood the man behind your powerful words and HOW I was able to help myself with the 10 LIFELAWS etc.

    If you never had that info a person just doesnt get it or know.
    I recommened your books to EVERYONE I MEET and talk too.

    Your not just a sound bite YOU HAVE ALOT OF GREAT STUFF to teach and to help others.

    PLEASE STAY FOCUSED AND IN THE POS THE POSITIVE ENERGY AND FLOW!
    xox
    S

  50. Mhyrianna says:

    Dr. Phil,

    thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences in revisiting Oprah in Chicago. It was wonderful to watch and even more personal and touching to read your blog and thoughts about the experience. It’s amazing how much you care for people and how we learn and grow with you and your family. Thank you for demonstrating, always, the kindness and humanity and simple times you enjoy and think we should all bring to our world still :)

    It’s easy to follow such an example lived so well by you and your family. Much love from California, Mhyrianna Root

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