My appearance on Iyanla Vanzants "Fix My Life!"

Iyanla fix my life_bernettastyle.com

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.



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  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Bernetta,
    I didn’t watch the show, but saw the clips you posted here. I’m sitting here at my desk in tears, because what you communicated to your mom is exactly how I feel about mine. She wasn’t there for me the way I needed and wanted her to be, and it has too, left me broken hearted. But, the difference is that we (as young moms) have the power (and the tools our mothers didn’t) to break the cycles and start a new chapter in our family history. I don’t expect to be a perfect mom to my daughter, but I expect to be the very best mom I can be. I applaud you for and your family for taking the steps toward change and being brave enough to do it on the world’s stage. Blessings to you!

    • Reply
      Kimilia Thornton
      September 10, 2012 at 5:26 am

      Well said! A lot of times we don’t know how to break the chain…. But, we have to start somewhere like you said.

    • Reply
      February 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Wow, I commend you for sharing a part of your life with the world! I was raised by my grandmother, and my mom and dad were in and out of my life my entire childhood. I think grandparents do the best they can with the hand they are dealt. My father died almost 8 years ago, on my graduation day, but I am glad I was able to make peace with him and come to terms with any hurt that was left behind from my childhood. I know it’s always a growing process. A book that was instrumental in helping me with childhood issues was Louise Hay’s “Love Yourself, Heal Your Life”. I highly recommend it.

  • Reply
    The Dumpy Duchess
    June 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    what a beautiful post. I missed the show but I will watch the clips when I get home from work. What an awesome opportunity to tell your story!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you Amber & Dumpy Duchess!
    I am not sure if and when they will reply it, but I will be on the look out. And yes Amber I totally agree, we have an opportunity and tools to break the cycles and start a new chapter in our family history. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • Reply
      Kimilia Thornton
      September 10, 2012 at 5:23 am

      Bernetta I really enjoyed the table show. My mom, grandma and I have that same relationship and it sucks. I think it was very crucial that Iyanla spoke sternly to you all including your grandma because there was a lot of beating around the bush. However, I think there should’ve been a follow up with a counselor or whatever but like Iyanla said you have to do the work!

    • Reply
      September 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Kimila for your reply. I never knew so many people were in this similar situation until the show aired.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I thought the show was an eye opener especially for families in the African American community. Iyanla is very very outspoken and I don’t know if I can take that because I know she would be very harsh on me cause I am not the best when it comes to mediation. I don’t know the whole story of your family so I can’t give you a fair opinion but I will say I am proud of you for facing things and seeing things in a different light.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    You already know how I feel. I can imagine the process wasn’t easy but you guys did it and that took courage!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 1:22 am

    What’s stopping you from doing your own follow-up since you want so badly to “heal”? Exactly. You’re full of it. You sat there with a nasty smirk on your face and enjoyed watching your obviously-not-right-in-the-head mother reveal her pain. Your grandmother is a trip. She’s a meddler, an instigator, and enabler — not to mention a cruel and neglectful parent. Hmm, just like her daughter turned out to be. Only thing is, you can’t or won’t see that because you two are on the same side. I see where you get the self-righteousness from. You wanted Iyanla to let your mother have it. You thought she was going to tell her that she was all wrong but that’s not what happened. You know why you can’t get along with your mom? JEALOUSY. Point blank, period. Stop being jealous of your mother. You obviously want to be the star of the show as well but unfortunately, you can’t hold a candle to her charisma in real life, so you take a lot of pictures and post them online. Ugh. It’s really pathetic. All three of you got on my nerves but none more so than you – playing the Victim. There’s nothing more despicable than a hateful “victim”. Guess what? Everyone has mommy issues or daddy issues or self issues. You’re not the only one. Get over it and grow the hell up. You finally got the attention you so desperately crave. Now deal with it. It’s not your mother you hate so much, it’s yourself. Why am I all up in it? Well dear, you put it on tv.

    • Reply
      September 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Hello “Angela” Thanks for visiting the blog. But do we know each other? If not, it seems like you found my blog QUICK after the show aired and your reponse seemed very angry. It was almost like the show ended and you ran to the computer to find me so you could ummmm “let me have it!” Well, I went over my response to you in my head about what I was going to explain, but in the end I am not explaining anything. This show was taped 7 months ago and you have NO IDEA what has happened since then. You have NO IDEA why I had a smirk on my face (and there was a reason). You have NO IDEA who me, my grandmother or my mother really are OR maybe you do after watching a 60 minute show ON ONE PARTICULAR TOPIC. Chile Pleaseee!!

      The only thing I will say is about your “GROW UP statement.” If we made you SO sick, you should have turned the channel instead of watching the whole show and finding me just to tell me your opinion which is DEAD WRONG! If EVERYBODY has mommy/daddy issues, I guess Iyanla should cancel her show because 90% of the people she helps this season will have problems because of mommy/daddy in some form or fashion. But wait… you are probably going to find them and tell them to GROW UP too!

      Yep, I put it on TV and WHAT! I am fine with it. Again, thanks for your comment it’s a free speech country and that’s why I published your post. I will not go back and forth with you after this reply. So if you have something else you feel you need to say, you can email me. If you found the blog, I am sure you can find the email.

      Continue to LIVE GOOD!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Bernetta, I really enjoyed the segment you appeared on with Iyanla. From the sound of your blog, you and your family have come a long way since the show was taped and are on the road to recovery! Congratulations! Thank you for airing your dirty laundry. You will never know how many families have been touched by your story. I know I was forced to examine some things in my own life and I appreciate your transparency. We can only take one day at a time on our road to recovery. Keep being an inspiration!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I am currently living abroad and just watched a rerun of your story. I related to you in so many ways. My grandmother raised me and she is my Mother!!! My aunts have often said my grandparents were wrong for raising me as their own but I know God had this in the plan for my life. Today my own biological mother will roll her eyes at me and tell me “I don’t like you sometimes”. I lost my grandmother so please love yours and never let her forget how much you love her. I wish you luck, no one can relate to the heartache unless they have lived our lives.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Thanks Gina. Things are better now for all of us. I will pray your situation as well.

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