How Being Slapped in the Face as a Child Forever Affected Marie

Season 4 Episode 405
Aired on 10/22/2016 | CC
Long before winning $188 million in the lottery, 27-year-old Marie Holmes struggled in her relationship with her mother, Fontella. Their difficulties stretch back into Marie's childhood, she says, including something Marie has been holding on to for years.

"I never understood why I was the only child that always got slapped in the face," Marie says to Fontella. "I questioned, like, if anybody would every genuinely be there for me if I don't even have my own mom there."

As Marie's tears fall, she explains how seeing her siblings receive better treatment made her question her entire relationship with her mother. "None of them ever got hit in the face, and it made me feel like there was a problem with the relationship that we had, like it wasn't strong enough," she tells Fontella. "I never understood; like, why did I get treated that way?"

Fontella says this psychological impact hadn't occurred to her, which prompts Iyanla to explain exactly why slapping someone in the face can have a long-term effect.

"A slap in the face is the ultimate act of humiliation because your face is how you show up in the world. It's who you are," Iyanla says. "So when someone slaps your face, what they're saying is, 'I am degrading you. I am diminishing you. I am humiliating you.'"

Watch the above clip as Fontella expresses her regret to her daughter, while Iyanla tells both women what they need to know to begin to move forward today.

Another moment between mother and daughter:
Fontella makes a shocking confession about Marie's lottery win

Catch up on full episodes of Iyanla: Fix My Life on the Watch OWN app.