Stephanie and her mother, Cyndi, say that Stephanie’s cousin Bonnie came to stay with them for what was supposed to be a few days and has never left. The women claim that since Bonnie moved in, she’s had what they call “manic episodes” and angry outbursts that are only getting worse. Stephanie and Cyndi say it’s not surprising that Bonnie has issues because her upbringing was filled with bullying, abuse, sex trafficking, and drugs. “No one in my family knew what Bonnie was going through,” says Cyndi, claiming that at age 15, Bonnie’s mother pushed her to marry an almost 40-year-old man - and she later ended up in the adult entertainment industry. Stephanie and Cyndi say that Bonnie hasn’t been able to handle her painful past in a healthy way. They claim that after getting clean from a prescription pill addiction, she is stuck in a what they describe as a “manic” state, and they don’t know what to do. Can Dr. Phil help? This episode, “Traumatic Past and Odd Behavior: Is My Cousin Having a Breakdown?” airs Wednesday. Check your local listing to find out where to watch. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: A family/relationship divided?
- When I was a little girl, my parents did not allow us to spend any time over at Bonnie's house. Her mom was an alcoholic, a drug addict. She was abusive. She cussed at her, hit her. It wasn't safe there for us.
Bonnie had a really tough childhood. She was bullied a lot at school. She was unkept, not taken care of. Bonnie didn't have any supervision. She would be on the streets all hours of the day and night. Bonnie moved 75 times with her family as an adolescent.
- As little girls, we spent a lot of time together. Bonnie would come over and spend the weekend. I remember she threatened to throw herself out of the upstairs bedroom window if we made her go back to her mom's house.
- We found out later that Bonnie's mom would have sex with men while Bonnie was in the room. When Bonnie was eight or nine, her mom took her to the gynecologist because she was accusing her of having sex. No one in my family knew what Bonnie was going through.
When Bonnie was 15, she met this man that was 38, and he asked to marry her and her mom actually agreed to it and signed the papers. They just got rid of her like a piece of garbage.
- I thought it was weird and creepy.
- My daughter wasn't even allowed to date yet. I was horrified. I found out about 10 years later that she was prostituting and dancing at strip clubs.
- I completely believe that her childhood contributed to where she is right now.
- Now, Stephanie and Cyndi are really the only family that Bonnie has, and they say Bonnie hasn't been able to handle her painful past in a healthy way. And that's really no surprise. I mean, that's really a painful past that starts at a really young age. They say she's now stuck in a manic state. They don't know how to get her out of it.
- I need to not be judged anymore. I do not like it at all. God forgives me, Aunt Cyndi. If you can't forgive me, then you don't get to be in my life.
- Since Bonnie has been living with us, I have noticed that she is very erratic. Bonnie will have meltdowns, and she'll lash out and attack one of us for something very minor. Just last night, I came into the kitchen to Bonnie verbally attacking mom.
- Aunt Cyndi and I don't like having to yell at you, but you know what? You won't
- Listen, you won't listen to me at all! Because I think that you're being a fake Christian and I don't like that.
- Bonnie has been clean for six years from a severe opiate addiction that lasted longer than a decade.
- Now she does the mushrooms and marijuana. Bonnie thinks that mushrooms make her think straight, but it prompts her manic episodes.
- You know what? I've been going through a lot lately, but I mean, if you want to, you know, come down on me like that, you want to be narcissistic to me, I'm sorry.
- We went to get our nails done together, and she lashed out at the nail technician completely unprovoked. This outburst lasted 1 minute, and she went back to looking at her phone. And a few minutes later, she gives a nail technician a $100 bill.
- We went to the store. Her items wouldn't scan as fast as she was trying to scan them, and so she just went crazy saying it was [BLEEP] hard. She had to get the [BLEEP] out of there.
- I would have been better off just disappearing and nobody would have been able to say [BLEEP] to me.
- I know that you are talking to people that you meet online, that you don't know, and I'm so scared that you're going to get taken advantage of.
- I'm a smart enough girl. I've been out on the street my whole freaking life. I'm a tough kid.
- I'm worried because when she leaves our house, she'll hook up with someone that she's met online and would get raped or murdered.
- You two say her mother traded her for sexual favors at seven years of age.
- Right. I didn't know that until she actually told us that.
- So I had no idea of what was happening when she was growing up.
- And what did she say?
- She talked about memories of waking up in a house with a lot of people there using drugs and doing things, and a strange man asking her to come out and have ice cream with her. She talks about how her mom would say you can either go and get candy or you can be locked in your bedroom.
- OK, and--
- And that was--
- --what would happen to her when she went over there?
- She would be violated sexually.