Basketball star and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw had a tumultuous childhood. Her mother's alcoholism left Chamique feeling abandoned as she was forced to look after her younger brother, and the children were eventually put in the care of their grandmother. Though Chamique's mother, Bonita, is now sober, the mother-daughter relationship has never healed from the anger and resentment of the past.
This is the family dynamic Iyanla Vanzant discovers when she travels to Atlanta to help Chamique and her mother repair their relationship on an episode of "Iyanla: Fix My Life." It's clear why Chamique harbors resentment toward Bonita, but in the above video, Iyanla wants to hear the mother's side of the story.
Bonita begins by telling Iyanla about her broken relationship with her own mother, the woman who raised Chamique for seven years. "She didn't treat me good," Bonita says, crying.
Iyanla makes the observation that both Bonita and Chamique grew up like motherless children. Though she encourages Bonita to forgive her own mother, Bonita firmly says it's Chamique who she's angry with.
Iyanla responds, "But you said to me today that you wish your children had been in foster care rather than with your mother."
"Yeah, I wish they would have because then I would have been seeing them more," Bonita says.
"But how do you know that would make your relationship with Chamique any different today?" Iyanla asks. "Chamique is just mad because when she needed her mommy, her mommy wasn't there. Her mommy was drunk!... That don't have nothing to do with your mother."
In the video, Iyanla then dives deeper into how Bonita's drinking began at age 14 and also explains the cycle that has brought both mother and daughter to their current damaged relationship. "The same hurt little girl that's in you is in Chamique," Iyanla says.