Motherhood is a powerful thing. It can make the lowest rise up or break the backs of kings.
Dr. Lisa Masterson of the successful daytime TV show, “The Doctors,” opened up recently on the show about her painful childhood, her mother’s death from breast cancer and the deep depression she fell into after her mother told her on her death bed, “I don’t love you.”
In a tearful videoed confession that was aired on the show as well as chronicled in her new memoir, Paper Dollhouse, Masterson reveals how poor she, her mother and brother were after her parents separated following a horrific argument.
“At 3 years old, I took sides, and I took my mom’s side,” explained Masterson on the video. “It really didn’t matter to me. I was going wherever she was going, and we were a team.”
Masterson also suffered severe discrimination in ultra-segregated Louisiana and even emotional and physical abuse from her own mother, who would often have terrible meltdowns from ongoing stress and bouts of depression then get drunk. Through the difficult times, she continued to love, support and empathize with her mother, who did whatever she had to to make sure Lisa had the best education in private schools and exposure to successful people in the community.
“I scoured the earth to find out any cures. I started IVs on her and went through chemo with her,” Masterson said, trying to fight back the tears and recalling when she learned her mother had only one year to live. “Here I was a doctor and couldn’t save my own mother.”
After her mother’s words and death soon after, Masterson became severely depressed, stopped eating, stayed in her room and lost her will to live. It was her son, Daniel, who helped to save her.
“He came into my room and just said, ‘I need my mom back. I need my mom,’ ” she said. And that was the start of her healing. She realized that she had to bounce back and be there for her son … her lifeline. –arnell pharr