Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bekah at Tranquility Bay (From

This story was originally written on a webpage called, which sadly is not online anymore properly because the boarding school closed sometime in 2009. All rights and credits goes to the author Bekah, who posted the original story on

Well, it's been two years already. For some reason, I can't stop thinking about TB. I've been all over the internet, constantly looking for more on it. Trying to find some of the girls from my family- trying to find someone to talk to. This time, two years ago, I was learning the ropes of TB. I was finally getting accustomed to waking up at 6am, and taking cold showers, and always being hungry. It was tough. I kept my journals from TB. I keep looking through them, I can't stop. I keep thinking that it was just a dream, being down there- yet while I was down there, I kept thinking that my "life" was a dream. I had forgotten everything about everyone, including my parents! It's amazing how quickly you can forgot small, simple things about someone.

I missed my family the second I got on the plane. And when I arrived in Jamaica, I was so scared, I didn't know what was going to happen to me. Luckily, I wasn't the only one arriving on April 2, 2003- there was another girl. For some strange reason- we didn't talk to each other the whole time we were waiting/ driving to TB. When we got to TB, it was around dinner time. The upper levels went through our stuff, putting our names on everything that we owned. I had a cd player- which wound up getting stolen- and they laughed and said "your not going to be listening to music for awhile" I couldn't help but cry. Why the hell was I being put through this? Well- I skipped school, smoked pot, and was really not doing anything with my life. Never had any trouble with the law, I wasn't even a "bad ass". It was either TB or a psych ward in the hospital!!! I WASN"T EVEN CRAZY!! I JUST SKIPPED SCHOOL. Anyways, for dinner that night it was dumplings- the nastiest food in the world. I almost puked just trying to chew it down and swallow!!! I eventually got used to the dumplings..but on the nights we had dumplings, cabbage, and hardly cooked yam- i was hungry. It was funny, because, before dinner on my first night there- my family "mother" and the nurse asked me if I were allergic to any foods/if i couldn't eat any foods. I heard the other girls talking about the dumplings- saying how nasty they were- and I was about to say dumplings- but I kept my mouth shut.

They also had me get naked so they could see my body and see if there were any marks/ to write down all the markings on my body (so they had a sheet saying everything on my body- so if they did abuse me-which I never was restrained- they'd have "proof" that it was already there) It was humiliating, to stand there, bare-assed in front of 2 Jamaican ladys. After that, I took a cold shower, in wooden stalls with hardly any water coming out. It was really nasty, because I stood on the wooden board, that was moldy and rotting away-I found out later it's good to wear sandals in the shower cause who knows what the girl in the shower before you did.... I was then held in OP-not the OP that you lie down on your face- but just so the staff could see how I acted. I slept for all day for three days. I also didn't pee for three days. I was so scared and intimidated to ask for tp(toliet paper) that I just held it. I finally got over it- and I couldn't hold it anymore!

While I was down there, I developed severe bronchitus. It was so hard for me to swallow anything at all- I had had it before I went down, and then I got down there and it came back. I asked the nurse if I could get medicine, or what I could do about it- she only replied that "everyone is sick. you'll get over it. go sit down." For about 2 weeks, I had to just let it go away by itself, enduring the pain of just trying to swallow my spit. It was terrible. Anytime that anyone wasn't feeling well, the nurse would tell you go sit down, or that in a couple of weeks, you could go see the Jamaican doctor. I learned how to deal with pain down there.

I did really well down there. My parents only sent me down there for three months. I got to level 2, with level 3 points- but I had to wait till Focus seminar came around to advance to level 3, but I left before I could go. I never went to op- one time I came close- a girl told staff that there was blood on my face (I popped a pimple) and that's considered self inflicted injury- cat 5- and I started flipping out... I ended up not going to OP- because 1) I was doing good.. 2) I "scratched" my face and accidently "popped a pimple" . --One of my many talents that I learned quickly down there was how to talk your way out of a consequence. One time- my family mother defended me against another family's mother because I was looking out on the Ocean, and the other staff was going to give me a cat 4- run plans, but my family mother(we were real close), told the other staff that it wasn't run plans!

I didn't experience any of the restrains, I was willing to "work the program"-- I knew I was gettin out in July! I DID hear the SCREAMS, I DID SEE THE RESTRAINING, but I never went through it. The whole time I was wishing I could be home, everyone does. When I did return home, I dropped out of high school, got my ged, and I am currently attending college to be an R.N- I have a great job, I am getting along with my parents really well, and I am engaged to a wonderful man. My mom keeps asking me what I learned down there, and really- I can't think of a thing. I guess I learned that it sucked to be in Jamaica and not even being able to go and be in the water- and that Jamaicans don't have any child abuse laws (one staff was asked why there wasn't any Jamaican kids in TB- and the staff said that is was because they could beat their children...) Anyways, TB didn't turn my life around. It just wasted $10,000 of my parents money. I am who I am now because I decided that it's my life, I don't need to lead it the way "society" thinks that a life should be led. Honestly, all my friends now have babies, no ged/hs diploma, no job, no drivers license- but hey- everyone's different. Now, to the parents thinking of sending their child down there- don't. It's crazy to think that some of the girls down there have been there for years!!! WHO IN THE HELL SENDS THEIR CHILD TO JAMAICA AND LEAVES THEM THERE FOR 3+ YEARS??????? Not a very good parent. I always think back and think that my parents had a problem (me) and they couldn't deal with me, so they give me to someone else so they can solve the problem. It sucks to think that about yourself and your parents. I was so scared that my parents were going to "suckered into the program" and keep me there until I finished the program. But they didn't. And I am who I am today, because I want/like the way I am. Teenagers are rebellious. But they shouldn't be sent to Jamaica to be abused so they come back like a perfect angel-- like in the movies from the 50's- everyone is so respectful and polite. Well. It's 2005. Times have changed. I just hope someone reads this and thinks twice about sending their child to TB. It's not a dumping ground for a teenager. YOUR RUINING THEIR LIFE. They will never forget it, they will never forget that you sent them their- THEY MIGHT SEND YOU TO A RETIREMENT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Datasheet about the boarding school from Secret Prisons for Teens
The original story (Cached version of - may take a while to load)

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