Teen Trouble (2012) s01e05 Episode Script


You have abused your mother for the past four freaking years.
I'm Josh Shipp.
When a teen is out of control and the parents are out of options She's making my life hell.
I get the call.
Tonight on "Teen Trouble" I'm not scared to die.
I've got one shot to save 14 year old Lexi.
Did I ask you to clean this up? Your default is nagging.
What is the condition of this bathroom? Still messy.
Excuse me.
Welcome to my home.
Open your eyes and look at him when you touch him.
I'm prepared to have you stay the night.
That's extreme.
Think about what you're doing right now.
Lexi, is there anything else? I know what it means to be a teen in trouble.
I was one Abandoned, abused, addicted but I beat the odds.
I'm a teen behavior specialist.
My approach is gritty, gutsy You can to lie to everyone else.
You will not lie to me.
And in your face.
You're acting like a spoiled brat.
It's ridiculous.
My mission is to wake these teens and their parents up Here's a condom.
Here we have a beer can.
Before it's too late.
I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you throw away your life.
This week, I'm in fort lauderdale, Florida, where 14 year old Lexi is partying recklessly Doing dangerous drugs And running away from home.
That's not a (bleep) reason.
Her mother is desperate Don't (bleep).
And has no idea how to control her.
Well, she's definitely making my life hell.
Stop trying to get everything on that (bleep) damn camera! I started smoking weed in seventh grade and I still smoke it to this day.
I really like the feeling it gives you.
You don't have to worry about anybody else but yourself.
I've smoked weed, I've drank alcohol, I've taken ecstasy.
I love to go to a party and get wasted.
I first took ecstasy at raves.
It's so fun, like, with the lights, short clothes, and electronic music.
I just want to be free to party and have fun.
My first experience with triple c is I was 13 and I was with my friend.
We both took 18 and kept on increasing the doses until we got up to 42 pills each.
I, like, had to literally hold the walls from falling down.
I'm impulsive.
I'm really impulsive.
Like, one time we went to Miami.
I ended up smoking some weed with my friend, but it turned out to be laced with meth.
I don't really remember much of it.
And I didn't come home for a couple days.
I didn't come home until I saw the missing posters up.
She was gone for three days.
She called me to say that she was okay, but it's, like, that's not okay.
To not know where my daughter was, it was awful.
I'm honestly not proud of my relationship with my mom, but I don't want my freedom to be taken away.
You're grounded for a week, so until next week Wednesday.
And that doesn't faze you at all.
I do not have a clue why she does not listen to me when I ask her or when when she's grounded, that she stays put.
She's gone off into the night.
Son of a gun.
What?! It's time for bed.
Get off the computer.
I said that an hour ago! No, you did not.
Don't (bleep) lie! Get in.
I'm tired of asking for the past two hours.
So scary.
After fighting with you for three hours? It has not been three hours! Now it's three hours! Just a minute ago it was two! It's like I'll be damned if I do, damned if I don't.
Every single night, this coffee table is full of your stuff.
It's in my living room, and I want it out.
Did I ask you to clean this up? - Okay.
- And what is the condition of this bathroom? Still messy.
Still (bleep) messy.
How do I deal with a kid that is ungovernable? How about doing up the dishes? - No.
- What do you mean, no? - No! - Give me one good reason.
Because I said so.
That's not a (bleep) reason.
Lexi, come back.
Lex! Growing up, my relationship with my mom She was just there.
She was just my mom, but I didn't really have any special connection with her like I did my dad.
Lexi was daddy's little girl.
She would actually follow him around like a little puppy dog.
No matter what he was doing, she was right there behind him.
She is such an intelligent girl.
She loved chemistry.
Tim had got her a chemistry set that they used to do together.
I tried it with her a couple of times, but I guess they they had that special connection, you know, father-daughter.
Oh, I was a spoiled little girl.
My dad spoiled me.
Anything I wanted I would just say, and he would do it for me, like, going to rehab when I asked him to.
I remember the night when it happened.
He was reading me a bedtime story, and I fell asleep, and then he fell asleep next to me, and then I woke up to the alarm going off, so I shook him and then he still wasn't waking up.
And the day before that, he had just taught me C.
because he was a paramedic.
So I tried starting to do C.
on him.
It is the most horrific thing that I've ever been through.
I just kind of couldn't believe it.
I didn't want to believe it.
Um, after my dad died, my mom She just, like, kind of fell into depression, like, she would just, like, lay in her bed all day and not do anything, so I had to basically grow up pretty fast so I could do stuff for myself, and that's when everything changed.
My grades started to slip, and I would always get in trouble.
It would just be, like, skipping class, cursing out a teacher, getting into fights.
Sometimes I think that I'm sleeping and I'll wake up and I'll be 9 again, and my dad's still gonna be here.
I'm gonna have a perfect life and I won't have to worry about anything.
But getting into trouble it sets my mind to think that yeah, this is reality.
This isn't a dream.
Like, I'm not scared of anything.
I'm not scared to die.
It happens to everybody.
There's no way to escape it.
You live once, so enjoy your life now.
We all eventually have to die.
Why not go out with a bang? I really don't know how to help my daughter.
I need Josh to help me because I'm tired of living like this.
I'm in fort lauderdale, Florida right now.
Alicja reached out to me.
She's concerned about her daughter Lexi, 14 years old, involved in a lot of negative behavior.
Honey, come on out.
Lexi, open the door.
Lexi, we're going to do this.
In Alicja's, like, mothering toolbox, the only tool she has is nagging.
Let me in.
I need to give the mom the tools so that when I leave, she has the ability to communicate with her kid.
All right.
She's gonna get dressed.
We're on.
The thing about Lexi is I don't feel like she understands the price of the choices that she's making, and right now, she does not care if she lives or dies, and that really concerns me.
So somehow this week, I need to shove death in her face so she embraces her life.
- Please have a seat.
- Thank you.
So thank you so much for having me in your home and in the intimate details of your life.
I genuinely appreciate you, uh, allowing me to be here.
I really don't think I had much of a choice.
It was her.
I understand, but I'm really excited about your potential, and I would not be here if I didn't believe in you.
Now here's what I will promise you.
Number one Lexi, if you change, it will be because of you.
If you don't change, it will be because of you.
I can't make anyone change.
I don't have a magic wand.
Everyone is personally responsible.
But I can promise you that if you trust this process, your life can be different.
What you guys are doing is not working.
I think you've got about one tool in your toolbox, and I want to begin to give you some different tools.
So for this week, I'm in charge.
And I don't care whether or not you like me.
I hope you do, but what's most important is that you trust my process.
My process is very unconventional, very unconventional.
Uh, I've tried the conventional way, and it doesn't work, so Yeah.
I'm going to be putting both of you in situations that you are going to be uncomfortable in.
The truth is is that change is difficult, and no one changes until they're uncomfortable.
And my fear for your family is that you guys have begin to accept this as normal, because what else are you gonna do? Otherwise you're gonna wake up every day and drive yourself crazy.
But part of my process is making you uncomfortable, making you frightened.
It's gonna be a crazy, unconventional, exciting week, so brace yourself.
The way you treat her shame on you.
This is out of control.
There's a condom.
Your default is nagging, and that could be deadly.
I want to spend some one-on-one time with Lexi so I can get her to open up to me and begin to earn her trust.
Talk to me about are you proud of who you're becoming? Sometimes I wish that I wouldn't have made some of the choices that I made to get me here today, but I think about it, and I'm like, why not have fun? We only live life once.
We only get one chance to do it.
And we're all gonna die eventually.
And where does your philosophy on death come from? I mean, you have, like, a very clear opinion about it.
Why is that? My dad died when I was young.
There was nothing anybody could do to stop it.
So death happens when it happens.
This is one of the things that does concern me about you.
You know, what happened with your dad is horrible.
I'm sorry.
It's awful.
Like, no kid should have to go through that.
But that said, yes, we all are going to die at some point, but, you know, don't you want to live a life that matters? You know, I'm not saying lose your desire to have fun because a lot of that is a good, pure thing but also, some of that could cause you to put yourself in situations that aren't the best for you.
So let's go chill over here.
So part of, like, my secret mission in my head this week is look mother, daughters Like, you know, they're always gonna clash That thing's gonna happen But I want you guys to have a good relationship.
So, like, if I could, on your behalf, wave a wand and fix something about your mom that drives you crazy, what could I do to, like, make you happy? Hmm.
You like this one.
I do.
One thing? The nagging.
Like, I've told her this the more you nag me, the less I'm going to want to do it.
All right.
But kindly, may I say, the way that you are treating your mom is unacceptable.
She's not perfect, but she does love you, and the way you treat her? Shame on you.
But I want to give your mom Like, I'm totally gonna, like, lay the smackdown about the nagging.
- Cool? - Great.
So this week, I need your 100% commitment.
May I have that? I am committed, but there are things that I am scared of about this.
I will not move forward with you unless you at least, for the week, take a leap of faith and are 100% committed.
I can try my best to be.
Now that's an honest answer.
I'm very excited about this week.
I have agonized over every single detail of exactly the process that we're going to put you through.
Everything is meant to help you, even though at times you may question it.
- Yes.
- All right.
The next step in my process is to go through the teen's room.
It gives me a lot of clues as to what they're up to.
Oh my gosh.
This is a clear indicator of chaos, of rebellion, and of being out of con this is out of control.
I guess I'm so used to it that I just don't come in here, but yes.
And there it is.
I think that's how you've been parenting Lexi.
Exactly how you described her room.
It's just such a mess.
I don't know where to begin.
All right You know, so obviously here, we have a beer can.
Truth is, she's 14.
It's illegal for her to be drinking.
Here's a condom.
I've seen kids put ecstasy pills in here.
That smells like there's been alcohol in there.
These things on the floor are definite red flags to me, but the biggest concern here is that the mess of the room, the state of the room, really speaks to the state of her as a human being.
With your daughter, you can't just shut the door and not see the mess.
You know, to clean this room is gonna be a pain.
It's gonna require getting your hands dirty.
Same thing is required right now from you as a parent getting your hands dirty, making yourself uncomfortable, facing the mess, so that eventually, you'll be happy with the end result.
All right? Lexi's room is a clear representation of the chaos in this home.
What I need to do is sit down with Alicja and give her some effective parenting tools.
Now Lexi shared with me that she feels like your default, as a mother, is nagging.
I pulled out a few minutes of you and Lexi conversing, if you will, and I want to show this to you.
What?! It's time for bed.
Get off the computer.
I'm tired of asking for the past two hours! You've been sitting on your ass all day doing nothing! - No! - Excuse me! Just a minute ago, it was two! You're gonna have everything done by What do you mean, no? Lexi.
Miss perfect in every single way.
Thoughts? That's not the type of parent I want to be.
Here's the truth When you nag your daughter, you are training her to tune you out.
Well, what advice would you give me? Here's how I want you to for for example, the dishes.
I want you to make your request and make it once.
If she does the dishes by the end of the day - Mm-hmm.
- Compliment her.
If, you know, come morning time, it's not happened, there is a consequence.
It's just that simple.
But you don't keep badgering her about it, 'cause if you do, you rob her from the opportunity to figure it out herself.
What happens when she's an adult and doesn't pay her rent? Is someone gonna be there every day? "Lexi, pay your rent.
Lexi, pay your rent.
" - No.
- No.
- No.
- She gets kicked out of her apartment.
So you have to prepare her in your home to take responsibility.
As parents, we cannot lose the influence we have with our kids.
And if you continue to nag, you will lose all influence, and that cost could be deadly.
I'm very regretful for what has occurred But I feel very hopeful that somebody's willing to help me.
You guys are gonna help me And I truly believe that.
Do you have any idea what you're doing to your mom? This is where they dumped her body.
I hate hearing depressing stories.
I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you throw away your life.
Lexi's reckless partying and Alicja's overbearing parenting are leading this family down a path of destruction.
My plan for today is to show them what can happen if they don't change.
Are you not gonna talk to me? So let me introduce you.
This is Gary karp.
I reached out to him.
His story that he's gonna share with you today so closely parallels yours, it's scary.
And today in particular, this is for both of you.
Gary, why don't you tell us about your daughter? Well, let me just say that my daughter Marissa she wasn't really much different than probably you were growing up.
We had a very, very close relationship.
I think daddies and daughters are always closer.
We used to go to gymnastics, we used to go and groom horses together and in the beginning, her grades were great.
I mean, looking back, there's so many good times that we had together.
Then my whole life was turned upside down in a matter of hours.
You got to a hospital.
How do you explain to your children that their mother has died? My daughter took it really hard, and from that point, I noticed changes in her behavior, changes in her attitude.
You know, a kid that would get perfect grades was now starting to spiral downward.
She couldn't handle the boundaries, so she decided she would move in with grandma.
Grandma would let her do anything she wanted.
She came and went as she chose, not coming home, not calling, just doing whatever she wanted to do, and she was definitely hanging around with the wrong kids.
That is what I am experiencing.
Do you have any idea what you're doing to not only yourself, but to your mom? Gary's daughter will go away for days at a time and not check in.
You go away for days at a time and don't check in.
Gary's daughter did some drugs, hung out with the wrong people, made some wrong choices.
You do some drugs, hang out with some wrong people, make some wrong choices.
You're truly walking side by side Gary's daughter and you.
And Gary's gonna take us on a journey today, 'cause I want you to see where that leads.
And I hope it'll be enlightening.
This just goes on for Miles and Miles? Yep.
So when I tell you that there's a journey, this is really where the journey ended.
I got a phone call, and it was my mom and my mom saying to me, "Marissa's gone.
" I said, "gone as in not coming back or just gone and we don't know where she is?" She says, "no.
" "Gone" "As in not coming back.
" She was beaten up.
She was shot in the chest, dragged out in the middle of the night, put in a garbage bag, and this is where they dumped her body.
This is where it ended for me.
She was 17.
All I have is pictures.
All I have is memories.
There is no going back from this.
My life changed on August 19th.
It will never ever Be the same.
What do you wish you would've done differently that you would pass on to Lexi's mom? Well, let's just say this I've excelled at just about everything that I could possibly excel at, but I could have been better at being a parent.
You know, ultimately, I'm responsible for what happened.
There were so many times that I knew that things were really not going right, and I refused to accept 'em.
My mistake cost my daughter her life.
17 years old.
Too young to die.
I am so sorry.
And I appreciate that.
It seems like Alicja's starting to realize the consequences of checking out on Lexi.
Now I need Lexi to understand exactly how dangerous her choices are.
Let me in a little.
Tell me really what's going on.
Honestly, I really don't want to do this.
I just want to go home.
I hate hearing depressing stories.
It's sad and I don't like being sad.
People were just pushing me to cry, it felt like, but I don't cry for a lot of things.
I didn't cry at the hospital when I found out my dad was dead.
Here's the issue You are running away.
You are leaving the house for days at a time without your mom knowing where you're going.
In the next 24 hours, 3,500 teens will run away from home.
I've gotta have this sink in.
I'll be damned if I'm gonna stand here and let you throw away your life.
In your life, you have trusted people, and those people have left you.
Those people have disappointed you.
Your father died in front of your own eyes.
Your mother checked out for a few years, and you felt abandoned by her.
But right now, you've got to let this experience in, to let us in.
You gotta let us in.
We're rooting for you, we care about you, and we don't want to see you end up in this river.
Lexi will be safe, but she needs to feel terrified.
Open your eyes and look at him when you touch him.
I'm prepared to have you stay the night.
That's extreme.
All right, so let me talk to you about tonight.
One of my major concerns about Lexi is that she does not realize how grave and dangerous her choices are.
She does not value her life.
Honestly, from me to you, it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when she's dead, if something does not change.
So the next part of my process is that I want to shove death in her face so she begins, hopefully, to embrace life.
So in full disclosure, tonight I am taking Lexi to a mortuary and I want you to join us.
I don't want to go to a morgue.
Why? What's going on in your mind? It wasn't enough that her father passed right beside of her? I know death is something that's very sensitive for you and I respect that, however in this county alone, a hundred teens die each year from drug use, and that's just one of the five risky behaviors she's involved in.
The truth is is I'd rather you see Lexi inside of a funeral home tonight than inside of a casket a few weeks from now.
I'm gonna be there with you.
Lexi will be safe at all times, but she needs to feel terrified.
So this is not some sort of game.
This is the truth, and you can delay but not avoid the inevitable.
And if things do not change, this is the inevitable She is dead.
So you're cool with this? I'm I'm on board.
I have your permission? I'm not real happy about it at all, but let's do it.
Lexi needs to stop glamorizing death.
I need to put her in touch with exactly what death means.
She needs to touch it, smell it, and feel it.
All right, so one of my concerns is that you don't value your life.
Bill is a part of my network And I reached out to him to help me get through to you, Lexi.
I'm gonna leave you with him, - and you and I are gonna go.
- Okay.
Come back this way.
Welcome to my home.
I want to go rescue her, get her out of there.
The truth is if she doesn't start making different choices, you won't be able to rescue her from death.
So from what I understand, you're not afraid to die.
Here are some kids.
See what it says? Heroin.
Oh, oxycontin.
How old are you? 14.
Friends bought ecstasy.
You ever heard of ecstasy? She drowned in her own vomit.
I'm tired of seeing people your age on my table.
Everybody at the age of 14, 15, 16, 17, high school, should come to a funeral home to see what death is all about.
She's already seen so much death in her life.
But she needs to see this.
Now in the case of a kid, they didn't die of natural cause.
They died because they overdosed.
So now as a medical examiner, why? How'd this person die? That's what their job is.
It's gonna be pretty easy to tell when a 15-year-old girl is on a mortuary table who was found down in South beach or down in a canal or in a car.
Who knows? So now the medical examiner makes an incision.
It's called a "Y" incision.
Gives the doctor the ability to open up, cut your rib cage, remove your chest plate, and remove every single organ in your body.
That's what's going to happen in your case.
They weigh it, cut it, some goes off for toxicology for study, the rest they keep in a container, and then when I get you, there's a red bag with everything in it chopped-up pieces of your organs your brain, your heart, your lungs, your entire intestines.
Whatever they don't keep comes here.
This is what we're doing to kids.
That's extreme.
Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.
All right, so what I'm gonna do first is let you do this with me.
You know how to take a shower.
Don't you? Come on.
Your turn.
Come on.
Let's go.
Stand over here.
Come over here.
Hold this.
Let's go.
I'm gonna turn the water on.
You ready? Hold this.
Go on the other side.
See? Gonna wash his hair.
Got it? Wash his hair.
Go ahead.
Open your eyes and look at him when you touch him.
It was kinda, like, not sinking in what I was doing until I actually touched him.
Then it finally hit me that they were cold and dead and real.
This is reality.
This is a deceased.
It doesn't know you're in this room.
Lexi's definitely grossed out right now, but I don't think she's getting the lesson here.
I need to amp up the intensity.
All right.
So I think I'm gonna go in - and talk to her for a minute.
- Okay.
So Shall we talk about the the next part? I'm ready if she is.
Let's walk over this way, Lexi.
Here's the situation there's a lesson for you in this room.
I'm not 100% convinced you've learned it yet.
Now here's what's gonna happen next bill and I are gonna leave this room, and we're gonna leave you in here.
I'm prepared to have you stay the night, but you have the option for that not to be the case.
I'm willing to let you out of this room, but what I need to hear from you is what the lesson is, what you're gonna do differently, and how.
This room is rigged, and so I'll be able to hear you.
And when you've proven to me that you got out of tonight what I intended, I will come get you.
If not, I will see you in the morning.
You said you trusted me.
You said you were 100% committed.
Where I need you to start is by climbing in here.
Now the choice is up to you.
If I put her through this, she doesn't get the lesson, it's a waste of her time and mine.
Is she gonna just lay there? I don't know.
She seems far too comfortable.
I need to be convinced that she's got it.
Come on, baby.
Get it.
When I was laying down in the coffin, I was thinking about my dad.
If I keep going on the road that I'm on, I may end up dead, just like him.
I do not want to ever see my mom hurt like that again.
I think it would just destroy her, and I've done enough to hurt my mom, so I don't want to do that anymore.
What do you see in her face? Despair.
It's happening.
And that Those words I've never heard out of her mouth Ever.
You've never heard those words out of her mouth? Ever.
I can change.
I can and I'm going to.
How do you feel right now? It's like, wow.
Really, wow.
Are you convinced? I'm convinced.
Shall we go get her? Yes.
Yeah, I'm okay.
I just don't ever want to see you there.
I don't want to see myself there either.
See the lip? Holding back information.
Lexi, is there anything else? I have one more crucial step to this process, which I call the summit.
I need Lexi and Alicja to come clean about everything in their past so they can move forward into their future.
How you feeling, Lexi? A little tired.
I've put you through a lot.
I'm proud of how you've responded.
So far.
We're not done.
This part may not seem like a big deal, but in truth, it is.
I'm gonna ask each of you to do the following three things number one, confess what you need to confess.
Second, apologize.
Ask for forgiveness, and third, I want you to commit to change, to doing something different.
So, Alicja, you're the adult.
I'll begin.
Lexi, I'm sorry for not being there all the time But I wasn't there for me either.
At one point I was so bad I was gonna commit suicide.
That was how desperate I was.
It scares me to death that I even considered that.
I can't take that moment back, but it will never happen again.
Would you please forgive me? Of course.
It's not your fault.
I promise to change.
I will make that step in my life.
I'm really proud of you for telling your daughter.
I think that truly the things that have hurt us the most are actually the things that can bring us together the most.
So many people see vulnerability as weakness, but I really think it's strength.
There are things that I know you need to confess.
I know there are things that your mom does not know.
Remember the party I went to, like, two weeks ago, that I asked you to come pick me up from? Mm-hmm.
I smoked weed with my friend, and it was apparently laced with meth.
I'm sorry.
Did you know about this? What else does your mom not know? You already know about the ditching school.
Well, some of it.
I'm not sure if I know all of it.
I don't like school.
Do you think it's okay to skip school even though I think about what you're doing right now.
This is not confess, nag, lecture time.
Well If you nag your daughter every time she brings something up, she will eventually stop talking to you.
You need to remember when Lexi comes to you and tells you the truth, your job is to listen.
Lexi, is there anything else? See the lip? Nervous.
Holding back information.
Can you please forgive me? Of course I will.
I'm committed To changing, to not running away anymore.
And I'm gonna start telling you more things that I thought I would have to keep inside of me.
'Cause nobody else was there to listen.
I love hearing that.
I love you.
I love you, too.
How does it feel? It feels good to let everything out.
Has your mom ever known 100% what's going on in your life? This is the first time? I don't even feel a need to cross my arms anymore.
- It's weird.
- Wow.
Like, it feels weird going like this now.
You're cure.
My work is done.
See you later.
So someone can decide to change in a moment, but true change takes a little while.
And that's why I'm committed to you guys long-term in helping see you through that process.
What I have for you is a proposed 90-day follow-up plan.
Oh, my gosh.
How do I thank you? You thank me by working this program.
You thank me by, when I check in with you in 90 days, both of you are doing better.
Thank you.
Thank you, Josh, so much.
It feels good to get along with my mom and communicate differently, because I've never had that before with her.
The experience that Josh gave us it changed the way that I look at things.
We have a plan in place.
I'm definitely excited to move forward.