After her parents died, Terri had to take care of her little brothers Rick and Jeff. Terri married Dr. David Arnett but he died soon after their marriage. Terri joined her brothers in Port Charles and dated Dr. Mark Dante. But soon she would learn that he was married and his wife was in a wheelchair. Terri's brother Rick married Leslie Faulkner, and Jeff married Monica Bard who was in love with his brother Rick. Jeff felt hurt over this and had an affair with Heather Grant. She became pregnant, but Jeff refused to leave Monica. However, it quickly became clear that Monica wanted to be with Rick. Deeply hurt, Jeff shot himself in the head. Rick blamed himself and Terri feared that Jeff would die. Terri had a secret that had to be revealed before Jeff did pass away and it involved Steve Hardy. Terri went to Steve and told him that while her mother Helene was on her deathbed, she said that there was a letter in a safety deposit box that revealed that Steve was Jeff's father!
Mark's wife Mary-Ellen, newly released from a sanitarium, was determined to break apart Mark and Terri. She had the brakes of Terri's car tampered with, which caused Terri to crash. Mark performed the surgery to save her. Terri eventually remembered a confrontation with Mary-Ellen, and Mary-Ellen slashed her wrists in desperation. Mary-Ellen eventually sunk back into a catatonic state and Terri moved to Los Angeles to pick up her singing career.