June 2012 we (my granny, my mom and I) appeared as guest on the new Iyanla Vanzant show, “Fix My Life”, on the OWN network. The show was about the dynamics of my relationship with my mother & grandmother. Did you see it? What did you really think? Well I wasn’t able to view it because I was in Las Vegas with my husband on a business trip, but believe me I got the calls, text, fb, twitter and more! I went online when I got back to the resort but they still didn’t have the show on in it’s entirety. I was able to see about 5 clips. I then went to Iyanla’s, OWN & Oprah’s facebook and twitter page to read the comments, bracing myself for what I was about to see. And to be quite honest 97% of what I read was positive. There are a few things I would like to set straight though…..
1) It appeared from the viewers comments that most people thought I lived with my granny all of my childhood and my mother came back into my life 6 years ago > FALSE > My mother did NOT ABANDON ME! I have lived with my mother my entire childhood (birth thru 17). The first 7 years we lived with my grandmother and we moved out when my mother got married ( I was 7). It’s just that in those first 7 years, my grandmother was VERY INSTRUMENTAL in my development. And continued to be hands on when we moved. In 2006 (6 years ago) my brother was killed and my mom moved to GA 3 months later and that’s where the unbalanced truth of our relationship was now front and center.
2) Where was my father? He is alive! He just didn’t have a hand in raising me. I still talk to him often. He still lives in Chicago, but that is another show. He also knows how I feel about him too! We have had our talk about his lack thereof. And you can’t cover everything in one hour. 3) My grandmother! I got feedback from friends that really know me & my family that they didn’t like they way Iyanla spoke to my grandmother. I would have to agree. While we were taping, that really made me uneasy because, I wasn’t expecting her to take it there. My grandmother did what she thought to do at that time. I am blessed because my grandmother stepped up. I actually thought the show was going to be more about me and my mom, but my grandmother ended up being a BIG part of the process. I do understand how.
4) Me DE-Friending my mother on FB > My mom knows why I did it when it happened. I was surprised that was even mentioned because you all didn’t know the WHY. We are FB friends again, if that matters (which it shouldn’t) for all the masses that cared.
5) Was there any follow up/assistance with us after the show? No. (Besides the 6 week check-up) A few comments that really stuck in my head were that of a good friend (and a few fb post)…. they mentioned that it would have been beneficial if we were given follow-up. Follow up by Iyanla or even recommending assistance from someone in our local area. But to allow all that came out and just go back to your lives could hurt more than help. Very interesting point indeed ……
6) Do you regret doing the show? No. Why? I learned some things. I learned something MAJOR about my mother that I never knew. And after that revelation, I looked at her totally different. Different in a good way. I have a new understanding.
7) Do you love you mother? Absolutely!
8) Do I appreciate what my grandmother did? AB-SO-Freaking-Lute-LY!
9) Do I want a better relationship with my mother? YES! That’s why we went on the show. I have a great respect for Iyanla and have read so many of her books (even saw her speak in person YEARS AGO). So when the chance came around for her to help us work on our relationship, I thought it was pretty cool. The assistance just happened to be on TV. People can say whatever they want (good or bad…but this is for the ney-sayers >) everyone deals with something. Whether it’s a parent, spouse, friend, secrets or just life situations….everyone deals with something. Whether you choose to air your issues on tv (or worse never confront them head on) or not, that up to you. This was our step 1. And like I said, 97% of the feedback was GOOD! So many people said they saw themselves in our story. We are not alone in our M/D issues and we are not alone in the process of trying to make it better.
Again they have not aired the whole show online but they do have clips.