I've thrown pieces of my story around this sub a couple of times, but nothing too memorable, so I'll just leave it short and sweet by saying I had an extremely abusive childhood, coupled with absentee parents, and was eventually put into two separate "troubled youth" facilities - one for 41 days which wasn't bad minus transport and solitary confinement and the other for a year and a handful of months, which was abusive, demeaning, and awful - for running away from home to avoid being sent to a clearly neglected - we took a tour together - facility in my home state for, as my parents stated, "someone to do our parenting for us" - yes, verbatim. I never had a drug problem, never committed any crimes, and was simply trying to take control of my life before they continued to beat me into the ground any further - wouldn't recommend it, but in my situation it was all I could do. I needed something to change.
Anyway, It's been quite some years since I've been in either facility, I'm an adult, I've moved past it - for the most part, some PTSD and anxiety still sticks around but it's nothing I can't live with - and I'm trying to make up for the time I lost. Unfortunately, due to financial hardship, I've had to move back in with my parents temporarily - with someone else, no worries, he keeps me sane - and it's been rocky but bearable. Today, however, my mother brings up that one of the program directors of the abusive facility I attended emailed her to check up the other day, and she was going to forward it to me so I could maybe have a nice chat and give him an update? To which I say - a little rudely, today has been excessively rough for a sea of reasons - "Why on earth would you forward me that? Why in gods name would I want to look back on that time in my life?" She then tries to change my attitude. "Oh brother. Why not start looking at that time as a positive, instead of sitting in self pity?" This has been a constant point of disagreement for us since I left the program. I've taken accountability for the things I did to get myself there - running away isn't acceptable, our lack of communication was all of our faults, etc. - but I refuse to believe that sending me there was the best/their only option. As well, I've gained some knowledge and changed some traits because of my time there, but I refuse to see that experience as a positive. Nothing about what I witnessed there was acceptable, respectful of the clients, or in-line with my morals. I was ripped from my bed in the middle of the night and driven three states away with a single bathroom break, no food, no water, no explanation, and constant bullying from the transporters. I was subjected to cruel and rather unusual methods of punishment, and made to feel like I wasn't a valuable human being - nonetheless a human being. Sure, I graduated high school early, but that's a small upside to the situation overall. Along with that, my parents are now in a pool of debt whilst unemployed because they spent both my and their savings on this place that is admittedly dishonest to potential customers - they'd even have us clients feed hopeful parents stories to keep their interest.
She scoffs at me any time I try and explain to her why I try and ignore that period of my life, and won't look at it as a good thing. Is it just denial, and her trying to feel alright with her decision, or is there just no hope for getting parents to believe the wrongdoings of facilities that convince them their kids are manipulating when they explain the troubles they face from these programs?
tl;dr: went to two programs, try to discuss how awful they were with parents years down the line as an adult, constantly belittled and told i'm dramatizing it. no hope to reach the same page?
- Parents who expect you to look on your time in these facilities as a good thing? (Reddit troubled teen - link with the original testimony)
- Factsheet about the facility (Fornits Wiki)
- Other facilities (Safe Teen Schools)