Friday, November 19, 2010
When the strangers in the car finally told me where we were headed, my whole world stopped. I knew exactly what thye meant when theyb said, Montana. I instantly thought of the worst, my parents friend’s son had already been there about a year, and I hadn’t heard a word from him since he left, he seemed to kind of just vanish off the face of the earth. I quickly rearranged my thoughts and realized this boy, Mason was also an alcoholic, hippie weed smoking violent run away. I never did anything like that. In fact why was I going there anyway?? My parents must be overreacting, do they know what they are doing, I hadn’t been an ideal daughter, but I didn’t do anything to warrant this. I noticed the bag in the trunk my mother must have packed while I was gone, it wasn’t very big just a small weekend duffel bag. I instinctively asked what the shortest amount of time I could be there if I was compliant was. Three weeks is the minimum, three weeks ok a little longer than I had hoped, buit not horrible ill just follow all the rules and get out of this ‘program’ as soon as I came in, ill just say what they want me to say and be back with my boyfriend Jason in no time, this wont be too bad I tried to tell myself. Between my sobs and gasps for breath I asked more questions, can I use their phone? When do I get to talk to my parents? Do I have to wear a uniform? How long will it take to get there? Every single question that came out of my mouth I later learned was answered with a flat out lie. The only thing I believe they did tell me that was true was the mace and handcuffs they had incase I ‘gave them any trouble’
They offered me some chips and normal snack food, during the 12 hour ride, but I was in such shock I couldn’t even consider eating and wanted to talk to them as little as possible, I decided to just try and sleep, maybe in a few hours I will wake up from this dream.
Never had I felt so dependant and untrusted. Child locks on the dorrs, escorts to the restroom, and the first time I could ever remember not having my cell phone with me, I didn’t know how to react. Finally at about 3 or 4 the next morning they announced we had arrived. I was so nervous not knowing at all what to expect, I tried to take it all in but my mind was occupied by my extreme need to urinate. We parked the car and I could hear one of the escorts talking to some woman outside. They were clearly talking about my and I was slightly relieved to hear him say “she was very compliant, no problems at all.” Id started out on the right foot, just play my cards right and ill be out in a matter of weeks.
I recalled my immediate urge to use the ladie’s room, so another lady walked me down the road to a colorful cabin, where I was informed a group of girl just got the privelage of painting it – there were handprints everywhere with names underneath. I didn’t know what to think until I went into the stall , as I was preparing relieve myself I examine this place….. it could hardly be called a restroom, thank good ness there was plumbing that worked most the time, and there was no pressure in the sinks, I didn’t think it appeared too bad until I noticed the feces stains on the floor and walls, and the used tampons in hidden nooks and crannies, I thought I was going to gag so I did my business as quickly as I could and left.
That night really was a blur, some things I remember as though it were yesterday others I couldn’t recall if was paid to. So ill tell you what I do remember. We went inside this trailer on the side of the road which appeared to be some sort of office, that is where we began the first part of my ‘intake’ the strangers and the car I arrived in suddenly disappeared and I was left alone, somewhere in Montana, in the middle of a forest.
I remember getting my picture taken, I refused to smile at the camera and I looked like death after being in the car for so long and so late at night, there were questions that never ended and a few I didn’t understand the purpose of. They stripped me of any money, identification, and jewelry. The staff members constantly talked to each other as though I wasn’t in the room, when in fact I heard every word they said. Despite the circumstances, my naturally optimistic outlook on life tried to bring in some comic relief, whenever I said anything they looked at me as though I had just shot the president, then ignored my comment and continued with their conversations.
It wasn’t much later I was being escorted with a laundry basket full of necessary items my mother had sent with me such as a toothbrush and undergarments. We walked at 3 in the morning to a cabin where I would join the ‘charity family’. There were approximately 6 girl and 6 boy familys in the lower levels (1-3). All with names that describe characteristics we were to be striving to aquire: destiny, innocence, courage, dignity, integrity etc.
Once we arrived at the cabin they showed me my bed, or more like a board with an 2 inch mattress. And went to wake up a another girl on the top bunk, named Randi., she became my ‘intake buddy’ they put me through odd procedures, I didn’t even have to go through when I was at a mental facility a year earlier. I was required to take off all my clothes, and jump up And down to make sure I had nothing hiding in any….cavaties I then took a shower and learned how to make my bed, and was given permission to go to bed…at 3 or 4 in the morning on march 3rd 2005.
It would take an eternity to go into detail of my every day while staying at SCL yet I feel as though it would be hard to fully express my feelings towards this ‘residential facilities’ without it. I’m in a bind and don’t know how to find a solution, ill just begin and say what I can.
I spent countless sleepless nights….due to many different factors. One night we had streakers, often girls acted as though they were at a 7th grade sleepover and ran around our cabin squealing and having pillow fights, we’ve been invaded by ‘support staff’ because they were determined to pull a young girl from off of her top bunk, because she ‘needed to go to intervention’, often I couldn’t sleep because my ‘bunk buddy’ above me was moving and moaning while pleasuring herself in the middle of the night.
These things don’t sound to be pleasant, but by no means are desired. That’s the point. Things that we did to each other weren’t all that bad, the problem is when the staff intervened, for often no particular reason “Tough love” that’s what they called it. Tough, ok I get that part but when does the love come in?
My parents as well as thousands of others have fallen into the trap of a helpless parent at the end of the road, they didn’t know what to do- and I cant blame them. I really was out of control, and they didn’t know how to handle me, yes I was disrespectful to them, myself, and my body. I was 17 and thought I knew everything. I wont try to deny any of it I know how I acted, and I did need help. They thought they were giving me the help I needed, after I finished being so angry I was actually glad to receive their help…the only problem was my parents weren’t giving me what I needed.
These schools, programs, facilities, camps, whatever they call themselves manipulate and lie. Not just to the students, but to our parents, the media, and to themselves. They use many if not all of the same brainwashing techniques as cults do which can take months to reverse the impractical thinking processes.
Maybe it wouldn’t even be so bad if we were forced to go and eventually sent home, but the reality of it is you never go home. Ever since that summer in 2004 I will never be the same. I as well as many others suffer from symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder, both from the actual program I attended and the sudden ‘kidnapping’ of the strangers that charge my parents thousands of dollars to unexpectedly force me to get into their car with threats of handcuffs and pepper spray if I didn’t comply; then lie to me the whole way there and drop me off somewhere in the middle of the woods.
Its hard to recall the experiences I had while attending Spring Creek Lodge Academy, one of the WWASPS programs in north-west Montana, because I’ve spent so long trying to block out the painful memories of mental abuse. I must say, I did get out lucky. I never was physically hurt by staff, and was able to go home only 4 months after being there, nearly a record compared to my fellow prisoners.
Many people consider it a good thing I was never physically harmed, and I am grateful but I’m not always sure I’d prefer mental abuse, especially when I already had deep emotional problems. The theory was sort of a ‘break you down to build you back up’ idea. I never really understood why I had to be broken to be made whole again instead of just starting from where I was.. But I complied for awhile because I knew it was the only way to get home. I honestly believe some of the staff members there got more joy out of the ‘breaking down’ part than the ‘building up’.
Every day for months I was reminded that I make mistakes but wait…doesn’t everybody? no, just me. Just us the ‘program kids’ we ruined our families lives, we made them go bankrupt paying for our ‘rehabilitation’ we hurt them so badly with the ways we treated them. They used the term ‘accountability’ often….and often in places where it wasn’t appropriate, YOU must be accountable for the guy who raped you, it was your fault for ‘being in that position.’ There was a certain ‘lingo’ or type of jargon to the different camps, they used awkward words different from people in the normal world, I would often write my mom and she would respond asking what half my letter meant, I was beginning to sound like a zombie, a clone, a robot…..exactly what they wanted.
The industry distorts figures saying ”this many percent of all parents are satisfied with their child’s success” sure our parents our satisfied, at these prisons we didn’t get ‘fixed’ the only things we got better at was hiding our unwanted actions. By some sort of miracle I was able to find just about all the girls that were in my ‘family’ up at SCL. And I can only think of one of them who haven’t at least gone back to their old ways (including myself) and most have only gotten worse. I’ve now been out for 2 and a half years and being one of the older girls, I’ve been able to witness myself and my friends grow up. We do learn from our mistakes, it just takes some more time than others. At that point in my life, I wasn’t happy. I did the things I did for various reasons, and my parents knew I had clinical depression. They sent me away hoping they would help to solve my problems the way the mental hospital did years earlier with my problems of self-mutilation, and bulimia. What that hospital did for me in four days, could never compare to the months I spent in Montana.
Many girls were raped, and I understand the need for talking about it, and getting through that emotional problem, but what help will it do to hold her down while a man comes in pretending to rape her while people are screaming in your ear, “you whore! Slut! I cant believe you are just letting him do this to you! You skank!” This kind of ‘therapy’ does not help anyone and has been proven to be harmful. Meanwhile Karlye in the cabin over has just hung herself and you are forbidden with severe consequences to speak her name or anything about her or the incident. If we ignore it do they think her memory will just go away. Well I wont let Karlye or her life be ignored any longer, children are going through this type of abuse everyday and most of America doesn’t even know it exists, I’ve committed to do all I can to stop other youth from going through these traumatizing experiences
+If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem+
Spring Creek Lodge Academy closed sometime in 2009
Datasheet about the boarding school at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Note: My time at TAR was voluntary. It resulted from my expulsion from a traditional boarding school that I loved, as a prerequisite for re-enrollment. Also, as an Elan history buff, I was curious about this industry. My experience took place in late Winter to early Spring of 2002.
I went to Turn About Ranch for "the minimum" 60 days because I began a letter-writing campaign to the educational consultant at the Department of State, my dad's employer. While she did not do anything besides force a stop-payment, it was still welcome.
TAR really ought to be shut down. It isn't brutal in the sense of WWASPS, but it's still incredibly twisted. The isolation, forced labor, antiquated gender roles, and mandatory Baptist instruction are sickening.
For the uninitiated, here's a general break-down of the system:
1st level: IMPACT/ROUNDY
During the first day at Roundy camp students are strip-searched, have their shoes taken away and replaced with old size 14 rubber boots (without laces). They are then told to sit in the dirt, surrounded by a 4x4 circle of rocks with a firepit and a plastic tarp/lean-to supported by cedar branches. They sit there from before dawn to well after, until the Level 2's are sent to bed.
This is called "impact".
During this time they are not allowed to talk (except to ask for water or food) and are forbidden to sleep except when the staff tells them to. They eat breakfast (oatmeal, cooked over their personal camp fire in an old coffee can), lunch ("trail mix," which is shredded coconut, Cheerios, and raisins), and dinner (which can vary from beans & lentils to Ramen noodles, depending on availability and behavior).
They are issued to blue Level 1-2 binder. At this time their only work is to write a letter to their parents, a letter to themselves (to be opened upon graduation), and to wait. Wait until advancement.
Level 2: ROUNDY
The students get their shoes back. Nor do they have to shit under supervision anymore, but it's still in the same port-o-potty (Staff, Boys, and Girls toilets are there, but are unlabeled so humiliation and punishment can be used against anyone using the "wrong one")
Usually after about 3 days the students are taken off of impact. A bath (in a galvanized tub with boiled water, a bar of soap, shampoo, and a disposable BIC razor) is provided. They are now Levels 2's or "twos," but keep the same binder. Their responsibilities are much greater than on impact. They spend most of their time milking cows, carrying water from a creek (punching through the ice if you're lucky enough to be there after November and before April), washing utensils/dishes, collecting eggs, feeding pigs, and doing push-ups twenty five at a time (if they say anything as horrible as "dude"
or "god"). Anywhere on the calendar remotely near winter, they chop firewood. Cords, as they call them, are a necessity for advancement in the Blue Binders. A quota is listed and enforced.
Level 3: The Barn
You get your Green Binder! And a mid-term meeting with your parents, who just might screw you over more if you're not careful. Better slap on a Utahn accent and bury that mouth firmly in between their ass cheeks!
At The Barn, oligarchy rears its ugly head. There is a syllogism to it. Not all students are snitches, but all snitches are students. You have to watch your ass in an entirely new way.
You are allowed to drink flavored beverages now (Kool-Aid, milk, soft drinks as infrequent rewards). You are allowed to see clocks and watch certain movies (The Emperor's New Groove, E.T., The Bridge Over the River Kwai, etc.) during "movie nights" and also you eat more complex food (burritos are a perrenial favorite). However, your mail is still (as always) regulated and newspapers/TV are out of the question.
Your average day will be spent feeding cattle off the back of a truck, feeding goats/chickens/geese/sheep, or even helping an employee move their furniture to a new house. You are free labor and therefor expendable, don't forget that. On Sundays, you're ushered into TAR vehicles and driven to Escalante's Baptist Church for the mandatory services(supposedly not, but on asking not to be included I was threatened with a "level drop").
During this time you will also be included in "groups." During Group you will sit on plastic chairs in a semi-circle and watch people be accused of things, mocked, and subsequently have insults screamed at them. Maybe you'll get to participate in Max Stewart's (the burly Mormon who runs the place) challenge to run from your chair to the corral fence and back again just for the hell of it. If you look at the girls too much he'll accuse you of wanting to make a "TAR baby." To Mormons, sex without reproduction is a foreign concept.
Or in my case, you might get taken for a ride in Stewart's pick-up truck for some personal attention. He told me I was a drug-addict for requesting a continuation for my prescription Eskalith (lithium citrate, for Bipolar Disorder). Thanks for curing my organic brain disorder, Max!
Level 4: The BARN, SOLO, GRADUATION
As a Level 4 you get to serve yourself a plate before anyone else by going behind the counter and scooping slop onto it while helpless Level 3's drool. You also get to sit in on "leadership meetings" in which troublesome students are brought up and solutions are devised. It's a sweet position, but make sure you kiss the right ass or you'll level drop.
During this time you're supposed to complete your Red Binder, which includes assorted equestrian bullshit and anti-drug propaganda from 20 years ago (by the way, these binders are counted as High School credits for some reason).
Eventually, after tormenting your underlings in Levels 1 to 3, you're sent to Solo. Now, Solo isn't as harsh as it used to be. It's still the same one-room, black-painted cabin out in the middle of nowhere that it used to be. The only difference is you don't have to sleep there. Instead you spend your time completing the Solo Binder, which is a reflection on just about everything. You can almost (kinda) get a tan out there, too. This is also the perfect time to smoke any cigarette butts you've found (or sage-brush rolled in notebook paper if you haven't learned to trade well). What, no matches? You should have stole them from the meds booth, you retard, GAWD there's only a fucking basket of them!
But I digress.
This isolation will last perhaps 2 days at the most. Then you'll be welcomed back to The Barn in hushed, secret anticipation of your graduation. Sometimes this is delayed for more than a week, other times it happens within 24 hours. You're then led into a circle outside (or one in The Barn) where your "medicine pouch," some feathers, and some other Indian bullshit are given to you. Then everyone says some stuff and your indulgent, well-fed, affluent parents cry and welcome you back into their (YOUR) family.
You are now free. It took 90 days of no music, no "slang," forced Christianity, having to sing while using the bathroom, hard manual labor, and ingenious mind-games... but you're free. What's in store for you? If you follow Turn About's suggestion; a life of piety and no friendship. Better than smoking weed and premarital sex, right??
Some of the conditions the author is mentioning has changed based on public pressure due to the boarding schools partipcation in the TV-show "Brat Camp". The boarding school was also involved in a court case where a girl had been sent to the ranch by her mother and the family intervened so the girl could leave and live with her family in another state.
Datasheet on the boarding school from Secret Prisons for Teens
The original thread on Fornits
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I really want to save kids' lives, the humiliation, the inhumanity, the conditions and treatment. If I suffer just a little more, It's a small price to pay.
I loved my life that I had going for me. I was a sophomore with decent grades, a really cute boyfriend who treated me like a princess and some really awesome friends, I was always at the parties, I had made a name for myself, everyone knew Jennifer.
I was born and raised in a small town not from from Seattle, called Poulsbo, Washington. I was raised by my mother and had very little contact with my Father. They had been divorced for quite some time now. I attended school there and was considered part of the popular crowd. Life was good. I came down with a mental illness called PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) on top of being bi-polar, and having depression. and started smoking marijuana all when I was 14 years old. It wasn't documented until over a year later when my doctor told my mother that I was a good kid, I just had some issues that could be taken care of with the right dosage of medication. My mother and I were fine for awhile but soon things were back to the way they had been before. Her and I started fighting more, and I was losing the good reputation I had worked so hard to achieve. I was slumping into average and since I had always been an "A"student with all the popular friends, my mother got worried, and when she worried, I suffered the consequences of her fears. The fighting went off and on for 2 more years. I continued to use, and looked for comfort in the back seats of cars. I didn't know how to communicate with my mother anymore. Maybe it was me finding my own path, maybe it was the fact that I was jealous of my little sister, maybe my medication dosage wasn't high enough, I don't know where it all went wrong. But it did.
Soon, we couldn't stand in the same room as each other and I told her I was going to live with my father again. Something we had tried a few years prior, but was an unsuccessful attempt. My Father being more of a child than I was at that time. My mother and I had our final fight, and I left in the middle of the night to my fathers house. When I arrived at my Dad's house, he said understood what had happened. but he didn't want my Mom to worry so he called her and told her where I was. She wanted to talk to me but I refused. She told my father the cops would be there soon to pick me up, and not to tell me. So I left, I went to my boyfriends house who lived within walking distance from my cousin who was also my best friend. I went back and fourth between their houses for a little over a week. I quit my job so the cops wouldn't be able to find me there and I worried what I was going to do when summer was over and I had to return to school. I had no where to go, little time and no money to devise a plan. I went back to my cousins house one morning to talk to her about my options. I later found out that my mother had manipulated her into telling her where I was. Her and I were sitting down watching "The Never Ending Story" when there was a loud knock at the door. My Aunt went to get the door and she slowly walked to the living room. "Jenny, it's for you." she said in a dis-hearted tone and she looked at the floor, her eyes refusing to meet mine. I think at that moment my heart stopped beating as I looked upon the officer that stood in the doorway. I couldn't move, I couldn't think, I couldn't breathe. All time just stood still and I knew my life was about to change drastically. I wish I hadn't been so right.
The officer talked to me for awhile and I just got more and more angry the more I heard. In Washington State a child can legally run away from home at the age of 16. If a parent wants that child arrested, they have to have an imagination. As they took me out of the house to the police car waiting in the driveway, my Aunt pleaded with me how much my mother loved me and how she was just trying to help me. I turned and looked my mother in the face, who had been parked just down the street, and without and remorse, told her that I hated her. That was the first time I had ever told my mother that. I was taken from my cousins house to the nearest juvenile facility, and held in CRC, a place for apprehended runaways When they realized they had no reason to hold me, that I never tried to kill my family, the reason I was arrested in the first place. I sat in CRC and stewed ways to get back at my Mother. I refused her phone calls and sat quietly.
One day I was taken from the room and put in a conference room with my Mother, Father, and Step-Father, and a few mediators. I pleaded to go live with my father because the relationship between my mother and I was not healthy and I felt like I couldn't forgive her for what she had put me through the past few days. She said, "I haven't decided what I am going to do with you yet, but you living with your Father is not an option." My Father and I both pleated again. Again with no prevail. I was escorted back to my room in CRC. where I spent the rest of the day. The following morning I awoke and thought to myself, whats the worst she can do? That was the LAST TIME I ever even thought that about my mother. I got a phone call later that day from my Mom. She had made special arrangements for me to stay in CRC for a few extra days while she got the "details" set up. I asked her what she was talking about and she hesitated... "I'm sending you to a boot camp in Montana." I asked her what she was talking about and she began to explain, but every word she spoke made my blood boil hotter and hotter until The sound of her voice made me sick. I hung up on her and thought about my life and how it was going to change. I wasn't too upset because I thought it would give my body that edge I was looking for, I thought of it as a 24 hour live-in gym. And I wasn't too angry with the idea. I still thought it was unfair of my mother to do that to me. I felt like she was just tossing me out like a dirty diaper. My life was none of her business, but she was determined to make it hers.
The next day the phone was for me again. It was my Mom, and the CRC staff recommended that I hear her out. I obliged. She told me she changed her mind and a smile swept over my face. But before I could say anything she quickly added, I'm sending you to a behavioral program in Mexico. I threw the phone off the desk and it hit the floor. I screamed a few choice words and ran up the stairs to my assigned room. I had heard about these places, the places that really bad kids go. I kept thinking, all I want to do is live with my Dad. She came by to talk to me and I recommended to the staff that they NOT place us in the same room because they didn't want to deal with an assault charge on my record. I knew I wouldn't be able to control myself. So she dropped off the pamphlets and left. I read all about how "wonderful" Casa by the Sea was, In A beautiful part of Mexico, I can have the best schooling, meet life long friends, and be a happier person. I eased up on the idea. Okay, so my boyfriend and I would have to spend some time apart but I could still call him every night and write him and my friends. I was told "It's just like college, but your not supposed to leave" I thought, cool, college? sounds alright, a few parties, maybe a little drinking, some cute boys for eye candy, catch a nice tan. And above all else, I didn't have to see my Mom. I was wrong. I wish I would have known how wrong I was.
But still in a defiant mind frame I told my mother they'd have to drag my dead body there, because I wasn't going. She said that she had already arranged the transportation. I was extremal confuse when she said she had hired Rudy and Maria for $2,000 + expenses to escort me there.
Early one of the following mornings, August 11th 2001 my room was unlocked and one of the staff members called my name to come get ready. It was about 4:30am, but I hadn't slept. I quickly showered, got ready, and waited until 6:00am for Rudy and Maria to show up. Rudy talked to me calmly and told me I could make this as easy or as hard as I wanted. I told him I would comply and he held my belt loop on my pants and I was told to put my hands in my pockets. I did as I was told and walked to the car, my mother was behind me crying and saying, " I love you Jennifer, I only do this because I love you." I shot her one last dirty look and got into the car.
"So are we driving all the way there?" I asked. They laughed from the front seat. "No silly were flying." Maria replied. She was a very pretty Mexican who in the next 10 hours, I would really enjoy spending my time with. I was excited, I had never been out of the state, let alone out of the country, never been on an airplane, I was like a kid in a candy store, they kept saying all day long that they had never had an escort they liked as well as me. During our layover we went to In-and-Out Burger, and Krispy Kreme doughnut's. I had a blast that day, until we crossed the boarder and began the journey into Mexico. All around me was poverty, naked children, and boxes made into homes. I began to appreciate what I had left in the states.
"Were here!" Maria said. I looked at the gates in disbelief. "Your joking right?" No. I wish they had been. We drove in and I was taken immediately and stripped of my belongings.My clothes were taken down to my underwear, in front of another student and a staff member. Everything was taken from me, and I was put into a uniform and placed into a classroom. everyone looked at me but everyone looked the same. The student introduced me to the staff member in charge, but I didn't understand her. "Does everyone speak Spanish?" I asked. The student laughed and said you do too. Good luck kid, this is Ginger, your new buddy, you'll do fine here, just allow yourself to change. Ginger asked the woman in charge something in Spanish and was given permission. She looked at me and said, "Okay we have permission to talk. This is the rule book" she pulled out a collection of about 20 papers that were in a folder, "you can have mine I've memorized it, and I don't need it anymore. She began to try to explain the rules to me. I was very confused. Soon I began to catch on though. She explained that Levels are gained by attitude the level of change that has taken place within that person. It felt like a cross between a perfection contest and a cult. The prize? Everything you have ever known and loved.
I had never seen so many kids behave in such a fashion before. It was like they were programed. It was very scary. The first week I was there, they couldn't find me a water bottle, so I didn't get any water until 9 days later when I was finally given one, It was Mexico in August and I was denied water! But that was just the beginning.
The night I arrived happened to be uniform night, where we turn in out dirty uniforms and get new ones. I was in line to get a new uniform when the girl in front of me was not paying attention and fell behind in line. I whispered loudly, "Run!" so she would not get in trouble. Little did I know that the staff would interpret that was a Category 4 rule violation, run away plans. Before I could understand what was happening,I was sent to "R and R" more commonly known as "room restriction" I was there for 2 days until I was dismissed by the headmaster.
In R and R you are to sit with your nose one inch from the wall, with your legs folded under the weight of your body, your arms are to be held behind your back, they cannot touch the floor, your back or your other each other your back and neck must remain rigid and straight. Sooner than you might think, your arms fall asleep, your legs fall asleep, there is no blood going to them. They ache so badly it puts you into tears. They throb and just when you think you are going to collapse and endure the consequences, you get a bathroom break. 3 bathroom breaks. 3 meal breaks. Many people say, If I were you I would have just told them to screw themselves, but I've heard the screaming that comes for R and R sometimes. I never found out what happened that made the girls scream like that but I never wanted to find out.
You are supervised by 3 staff members who socialize in Spanish all day long. They do not talk to you, nor are you aloud to talk to them. You may not request permission to do anything. If you have to use the restroom you wait until it is offered. Besides, these 3 particular staff members didn't understand English anyways so it would have done me no good.
When I finally got out, people looked at me like I was a trouble maker, like I didn't fit in. I felt like an outcast. Everyone seemed like they were perfect. I didn't understand the rules, the society, or the language. I hated my life. Every day I would daydream about another suicidal fantasy but one in particular still etches itself in my brain. My favorite of all my horrible mental illusions was getting as close to the window as I could quickly grabbing a chair and breaking the window to dive face first through the window onto the the cement 2 stories below. It seemed to be the only thought that made me happy for months. I knew I could do it. But I wanted so badly to come home and be with my best friend and my boyfriend again that I never did. I regretted my decision every night when I layed down in my bed and a staff member monitored me while I cried myself to sleep. I honestly can't tell you why I never did it. I heard of a girl that killed herself in Tranquility Bay, Jamaica, another one of the W.W.A.S.P. (World Wide Association of Specialty Programs) and I closed my eyes and watched her face become mine as I lived out my dream again in my head. I found out later. Thats exactly how she died. Apparently I wasn't alone.
I could tell you hundreds of stories of how, when it would rain maggots would cover the ground and it was impossible to take a step without squishing them under your feet as you walked to the commodore to eat your meal's of mystery meat, rice and beans. The malnutrition and stress either made you lose incredible amounts of weight, or gain obscene amounts. I went from about 115 to 168 in 8 months. (I gained more than twice as much weight in the 8 months that I was there, then the 9 months I was pregnant) Or how you were to undress in front of 30 girls, and be monitored while you were given 5 minutes to shower under a steady drip of cold water. If you drank the water you were to be given a category 5 (the highest consequence) and put in R and R for drinking the water, because it was considered a self inflicted injury. The toilet paper was not to be flushed it sat in a bucket next to the toilet where it ofter spilled over onto the floor.
The sleeping quarters had huge amounts of mold behind the beds and made many girls sick. The fungus grew so rampid, girls constantly got diseases on their feet. I got one. I asked numerous times for medical treatment and was given none, still to this day I don't know what I had, but it ate away at the skin on my feet until they cracked and bled. I was switched from a top bunk to a bottom bunk because I was unable to get in and out of bed anymore and walking and exercising was difficult but expected none the less. Nothing was done and it just got worse until I got home and was able to properly bandage my feet with sports tape and neosporin. A few weeks and a daily foot bath later. It was gone.
Some of the worst experiences I have ever had to endure took place in that facility but I think the worst ones were when our bathroom privileges were taken away, because either we were "abusing our privileges" by using the restroom too often or we were on code silence (where the whole facility is not to talk at all, for no reason what so ever) Since talking was our only means of communicating, with permission mind you, because ANY form of non-verbal communicating, from nodding your head to smiling was NOT PERMITTED. So when we went on code silence how were we to communicate that we had to use the bathroom? We didn't. We sat there until we were asked if we had to go. Many girls wet themselves. Myself included, on 2 separate occasions. When we were denied our right as human beings to use the bathroom. It's humiliating to be a teenager and have to wet yourself in front of all of your peers.
Seminars were held every month and a half. From watching videos, and reading about cults, looking back I firmly believe thats what it was. A very intense 3 day brainwashing. They fish for what they want to hear and convince you of things that you have never thought of before. Some of it makes since I guess but most of it is completely crazy, and I feel so naive for falling for it. It makes me feel completely ignorant looking back on it.
In my opinion, Casa by the Sea is a brainwashing facility and a mirror image of a cult. I could write for days about the horrors going on in those facility's but if you haven't lived it you will never know. You'll never know whats it's like to be taken from your life against your will. To be brainwashed, stripped of your personality only to be replaced by someone that somebody created and placed in your head. To be abused mentally, emotionally, and in many cases physically. To be publicly humiliated and broken.
The horror doesn't stop there. I was pulled from the program when I was 17. When I turned 18. I knew my Mother could never send me back and I was like a loose tiger escaped from the circus. I went crazy. I dropped out of school, got in the worst fights of my life with my mother and with random people. I lived on the streets, did more drugs than ever before, and became a dancer to support my new habits. I self destructed and destroyed everything. I know everything I did was my choice. But I believe that it was a direct result of what I had gone through.
These Programs are bad for the children, in the long run, bad for the parents, and awful on society. I still don't understand why someone would pay a facility to abuse and neglect their children?
It's hard to tell you all of this. It brings up nightmares for me even now, More than 2 years later. I have a family of my own, I'm married with a beautiful baby girl. On the outside, I look fine. But I still cry in my sleep. I know that this will always haunt my life and my dreams.
However, W.W.A.S.P on the other hand thank you. You taught me many things, I appreciate you opening my eyes to the horrors that children endure, thank you for teaching me that I can trust no one. That everyone is out for themselves, and that everyone will stab you in the back sooner or later. But above all else thank you for teaching me that I can do ANYTHING if I fight hard enough. Cliche isn't it?
Casa by the sea was closed by the authorities in Mexico due to suspicion of child abuse.
Datasheet about the boarding school (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora Wiki)
The original story (Cached version of tbfight.com - may take a while to load)