Evelyn Opens Up About Her Childhood and Her "Complex" Relationship with Her Mother

Season 1 Episode 103
Aired on 07/25/2015 | CC
After hearing that her mother, Sylvia, may be struggling after a recent divorce and sudden layoff from her job, Evelyn decides to fly her to Los Angeles for a visit. "I love my mom, but my relationship with her is a little complex," Evelyn says.

As a girl growing up in the Bronx, Evelyn and her sister were primarily raised by their mother. Evelyn says her mother and father were never married, and they broke up when she was just 2 years old. "She was a single parent, and, you know, at times she struggled," Evelyn says. "My mom didn't grow up with a dad—she doesn't even know who he is—and my grandmother wasn't the greatest of parents."

Evelyn admits that her family had issues, and when she got pregnant with Shaniece at 16, she set out to break the cycle. "I'm not saying that my childhood was terrible; I feel like we have certain patterns in our family with teenage pregnancy, fathers not involved in their children's lives," she says. "There were breakups, children by other men, domestic violence."

Watch as Evelyn shares how Iyanla helped her deal with her past—and how she plans to help her mother do the same.

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