Bravotv.com: When Britney finally opened up about why she was upset with you, what was your reaction?
Marcus Tankard: Cyrene had already given me a heads up that Britney wanted to talk about our childhood, but I had no idea that she wanted to bring up such a dark segment of our lives. So as she is relaying this to me, I found myself reliving some of those painful moments as I was listening. Sometimes you think that you are "over" something and then a conversation, a song, or even a color will spark something, and you will find yourself recalling some distant, dark memory. I believed that I'd processed and healed very well from the craziness of my childhood, but when Britney confronted me with some of her concerns, it made it quite clear that there were still some tender areas. Jewel says it best: "We are all in process." Although part of me was angry that she waited so long to say anything to me about it, I was glad and relieved that we were finally able to have a constructive conversation about it, so EVERYONE can move forward.
Bravotv.com: Do you feel like opening up to your sisters about your own childhood was a healing moment?
MT: Absolutely! I assumed that they were aware that our experiences were the same. Having an open dialogue about our childhood enabled us to express their thoughts, experiences, and perspectives clearly. I think that when everyone comes to a conversation like this with open minds, honest hearts, and a desire to move forward, healing can immediately begin. The hardest part is actually having the conversation. It takes guts to stand up and say, "Hey, everything is not ok! I'm feeling some kind of way and we need to have a conversation." So I commend Britney for coming forward.
Bravotv.com: Has your relationship with Britney changed at all since having the conversation?
MT: My relationship with Britney has definitely changed for the better, but I'm careful not to try to rush anything or manufacture something. I have a different relationship with each of my siblings because they have different personalities, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, goals, etc. So moving forward, my goal is to get to know Britney and allow the relationship to evolve into something beautifully unique. I trust that a strong sibling bond will develop over time as we stay committed to our family values.
Bravotv.com: How did you feel hearing your dad apologize for being “asleep at the wheel"?
MT: Honestly, I felt so bad for my dad. This isn't the first time he's apologized to me about it. He apologizes all the time for his mistakes. I don't want him to ever have to wear his remorse over his past mistakes like a "scarlet letter." God has forgiven him, and that's really all that matters. As for me, when I forgave my dad for what happened in my childhood, I was finished with it. I forgave him FOR ME, not him. I don't believe it's wise to put your life on hold because you have a grudge against someone else. It was tough to forgive, but I eventually did. Yes, he was asleep at the wheel, but how many different ways can you say "I'm sorry"? Having to apologize repeatedly over the same thing can be very taxing on a person's emotions and relationships. It's time for us all to heal and move forward. It's easier said than done, but conversations of this nature are the first step.