Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kimberly at Gentle Spirit Ranch (From the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)

This statement was found on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora. All rights belong to the original author named Kimberly

As I said above there were three “counselors”, Armina, Melanie and a woman whose name I can’t remember. There was also the “teacher” whose name I believe is Donna, she lived in a trailer that was further away from the main house and she smelled terrible. Close to the end of my stay there were only a few girls for a time, and there was one weekend where Mark and Ginny left for some reason and Donna was in charge of us. We went over to her trailer and the placed reeked. For some reason that really burned in my head. I think that Armina and the other counselor were fired, even though I didn’t know it at the time. When they came to tell all the girls they were leaving they were equally sad as us and crying right along with us. Melanie stuck it out for awhile with us, even though she was the only counselor and I cannot recall whether or not she was even there in the end. We did not get along very much, but then again I was 15-16 and not a nice little girl, I was pretty much angry at the world just because it existed.

Mark and Ginny were rarely around, and they were busy doing who knows what. I remember seeing them on any outings we had, and then also on the days that we didn’t go to church but they held “church” in the house. There was one or two rare occasions when we were allowed to go into their “house” (pretty much an apartment that was the second story of the main house) and that was so we could do their housecleaning. I remember thinking even then, considering who I was and all I had done to get myself there, that their daughters had some serious issues. They wouldn’t walk everywhere, they trotted like horses. Now I know little kids do this when they are playing, but they stop to go to other activities and then at a certain point they stop all together and grow up. These girls were 6 and 7 I think and they were trotting everywhere, even outside. Looking back, those girls needed some serious socialization with kids there age and maybe the horse thing was a coping mechanism.

The girls that I remember are limited unfortunately, I have a hard time remembering a lot of my childhood, I guess that was my coping mechanism. Ok well there were more than the 6 girls that they said they always kept it at or wanted to keep it at. If I remember correctly, There were 4 bedrooms in the main house that the girls had and also a trailer that a girl had that had been there for a long time. I remember a girl that we all called Daisy, I cannot remember her real name, and she had bleach blonde hair and seemed real normal to me. She shared a room with a girl that left shortly after I got there and then a girl named Jessica came and shared the room with her. When Jessica first came she told all of us that her name was something different all together and she ended up alienating herself in a way. I had the room next and I shared it with a girl named Jamie, who I became fairly close to simply because we were roommates and that she lived close to where my aunt did. I remember a girl named Brenda that was 13 and she was so funny, a very shy girl and her father worked for Frito-Lay. She had a room with a girl that ran away and actually got free. There was also Tabitha who I remember quite a bit about, she was my best friend there and I really would like to know how she is doing. I remember she lived in Humboldt at the time. She had a roommate that was Mexican with long hair that was straight and really pretty, she always wore baggy sweatpants. The girl that lived in the trailer by herself had been there for over a year and her name was Shar (short for Sharlene I think.) I got close with her as well. I know that there were other girls there but I cannot remember their names at all.

We went to a church that was in Temecula and the drive was terrible because the ranch literally was in the middle of nowhere. We were called the Hidden Valley Ranch girls by the people there; it was absolutely humiliating to go out anywhere. Depending on how new you were to the ranch or how bad you acted you had to stay no more than 2 arms lengths away from an adult, can you imagine how difficult that became at certain places? There some other activities that we got to do that were quite fun despite the situation, we went to another ranch and were taught vaulting with a horse. We saw a Cirque Du Soleil show that involved horses- Cavalia.

We did go to school for a set amount of hours during the day and we were all told that it was accredited. Well, when I came back to the real world I found out that it was not and had lost almost a whole school years worth of work. I was a junior in high school, but I had to work twice as hard to make up for those lost credits. We read the bible a lot- 3 times a day to be exact. When you woke up after you did chores and then got ready you read for an hour. We also read when we first got into the school room and then again at night before bed by ourselves. We had to cook our own meals and clean up after ourselves. We had work hours which were pretty much extra chores like cleaning up the horse pens if you misbehaved. We would get a trailer or truck full of food once a week, that I’m guessing came from one grocery store or a few and it was the reject stuff. We would sort through it and take out what we wanted and the box up everything else and sale it. They took away any personal belongings that you came with and locked them away for example when I came, I came with very little but I had a yearbook, medication that was supposed to help level my moods and various other things. My yearbook was gone through and censored, yes censored. Anything that they felt was inappropriate was blacked out with a marker, I still have the yearbook and there is barely anything to read in the thing. The medication was taken away from me and I was not allowed to take it, they believed that medication was unnecessary and against their religion-Christian. And it’s but at the time what bothered me about them taking away the meds were that they were taking yet something else that was mine that I felt I had rights too, I could care less that I wouldn’t be able to take the meds, I felt like a zombie on them anyway. Unfortunately, I quickly became a very angry person that didn’t know how to control my anger and soon I was screaming at everyone uncontrollably, throwing things at walls and people, putting holes in the walls and doors, at one point my anger was so intense that I was laying on my bed thoroughly upset at something and I started to hit my head up against the wall, until I couldn’t do it anymore. I also cut myself while I was there, it was amazing how easy it was to hide and get away with.

The ranch did not give me one tool to help me learn or cope with my emotions. I didn’t learn why drugs or alcohol was bad. If anything one bad habit was taken away only to be replaced so quickly with something else, like anger and food. I came to the ranch sometime when it was warm, I do not remember the month of course and I remember leaving for Easter break and never coming back thanks to the allegations. I refused to speak to my father (who was the reason I was there) up until my last month there, and the only reason I did speak to him is because he said that I would leave. Neither he nor I knew that it would be that soon. Now I know that I may sound like a spoiled brat or typical troubled teen that blames her own problems on other people, but I am very honest and very realistic about things. I do not sugar coat and I certainly accept when blame is mine. My father was a drug from the high school and still is actually, he beat me whenever he was clean. I was on a downward spiral and I was going fast. I was cutting myself a lot then, I was using drugs and drinking a lot and I didn’t use pot, it was pills and crack and anything else I could get my hands on, the same with the alcohol, it was usually straight vodka because it was easy to get and clear. I was very promiscuous and in general didn’t care about my life. My father certainly didn’t seem to care about his life or mine so why should I? I called the police on him and CPS many times during my childhood, the police couldn’t do anything because he usually had consumed all the coke by the time they came and then hey no evidence; CPS wouldn’t do anything because there was a roof over my head and the place wasn’t infested with rodents. The events that lead directly up to me going to the ranch are something that I will never forget, although I wish I could. I was 15 a sophomore in high school and one day I was outside my apartment sitting on the curb hanging out with some friends. My father came home and was mad that I was outside even though I asked him if I could be outside, he told me to go inside. He grabbed his belt and beat me until my rear had bloody welts and puss welts. My downstairs neighbors heard me crying and screaming and called the police. When the police came, my father said that he was just taking care of a bratty child. The police came and spoke to me and I broke down completely, I showed them my arm where I had cut the word “DIE” into it from my wrist to my middle of my forearm. I begged them to take me out of there and take me anywhere else because I was going to kill myself soon if this stuff didn’t stop. The police were completely unaware of the beating I had just gotten and did not know about my rear. The police officers went and spoke to my father more and I heard him just saying that I was spoiled and starved for attention, the police officers and father thought it would be a good idea to teach me a lesson, so I was handcuffed, arrested and admitted into a hospital where I had pictures taken of my rear for proof. I spent the night there where I was later evaluated by a psychiatrist and my grandmother also came to see me in that condition. Everyone kept asking me what happened and when I told them, I was told that I was a liar, by everyone. I was later admitted into the mental hospital where I stayed for two weeks and was put on the medication because the psychiatrist there said I had about 6 different mental issues. I really was starting to believe I was the crazy one and at one point my father told me that I was so crazy that he could have me locked up forever in a straight jacket. The other option was to go to the ranch. Now like I said earlier the ranch didn’t teach me anything about how to deal with my family or life in general and a lot of what I was going through was normal stuff but intensified by other factors. I believe that maybe if someone would have showed me that I wasn’t crazy but I was just trying to deal with my life in the only way I knew how then maybe things would have gone a little more smoothly. When I left the ranch I still really hadn’t learned from the past and I still continued to use drugs, drink, be promiscuous and hurt myself. I eventually came to a point where most people come to where they learn to grow up. I needed to learn that I am the only person that can change me.

I am certain that I would not be here if it wasn’t for the ranch though, but the only reason I believe that is because it was a change in scenery-nothing more. I truly hope that the other girls have found their way in life. Every day I think about the path that I took to get where I am and hope they are as fortunate as I am. So that is a little bit of my story and some of what happened at the ranch. If I remember more I will be sure to add more. I am also looking for a photo album that was given to me while I was there, when I find it I will scan some pictures and put a link up of them. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask or email me. I have no problem talking about my past, in some ways it helps to get it out. I keep hoping that I will start to remember more of what happened in my childhood but who knows.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Canadiangrizzly at Robert Land Academy

This testimony was made on LiveJournal. All rights goes to the original author known as Canadiangrizzly:

I would like to start out with saying, I am not very good in sticking to any particular order in a story and it will more than likely jump around in time and content quite a bit, here goes it…

It all started when I was a young lad, my mother was unable to handle my ADHD (Attention Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder). Her was of dealing with it was lots of Diazepam and sending me off to specialist to find out, what she referred to as “What’s wrong with that boy, I know something is wrong with him”
I have quite a good memory, well at least had one; my first memories go way back to being bathed in the kitchen sink in the townhouse on Jane St. I remember the complex I grew up in very well.

Even though I was a loner, I remember having quite fond memories of my childhood, even though I suffered from Night terrors and wet my bed till the age of 12.
I always had problems relating to others around me, I wasn’t really interested in others,
In socializing, or pretending to be other people, or in typical boyish “Kill them all games”. more of exploring the world around me, I preferred to spend my time in nature, or taking things apart to see what made them work.

I was always disruptive in school, mostly because I couldn’t handle being number 31 in a large classroom, later they would discover I learned more on a one to one basis.
They eventually placed me in special education classes, where I remained, until they finally removed them from our local education system.

I grow up in a typical suburban family, (At the time, Typical) a mother, Father, Much older brother, older sister, a dog and a cat.

Now going back to the specialists, I rather enjoyed the tests they gave me to perform and would rather enjoy doing them as fast and best I could. I remember my mother being told I was above normal intelligence. My father was never at any of these appointments.
In growing up in his German background, was taught work above all else.
So most of my childhood, he was off at work.

All was fine, until that one specialist, from Sick children’s hospital, in Toronto, A Dr Mc Govern, I believe his name was. I don’t really remember much about the man, other then he kept referring to some kind of monkey on my back. I thought he was rather a strange man.

Well turns out he was on the board of directors for this new type of school that opened up, So of course he recommended that I went there, for improvements. It was on a military based system. Everyone was reduced to a last name and lived the typical military themed lifestyle.

Now of course, to make my transition easier, I had never lived away from home at this point. At least that’s what I will assume for the moment. I was sent off there ASAP, to the summer camp. Now the summer camp and school had absolutely nothing in common, quite contradictory to each other, in fact.
The Summer Camp was for mentally challenged kids, arts and crafts orientated.
I rather had some fond memories, even though I also couldn’t relate to any of these kids either.

After the summer ended, I went home for a brief period, till the start of the school year at Robert Land Academy.
As for this children of this school, they were the ones that were either sent their by the courts, for punishment, or sent there by their rich parents who were also unable to control their children. My parents on the other hand forked out $13,000/year to send me there.

Now this is where everything went down hill in my life, I have had nightmares of this place for many years after.

I remember arriving there on the first day; I was very scared to be in a place surrounded by so May strange people around me. Everyone was in a hurry to get sighed in and find out where they were assigned to sleep.

Now in a military theme, a person enters as a recruit, after completing 6 weeks of training, are given a medal for their barrette, and given the lowest possible rank, cadet.
Now I was having problems right from the very start.

Ok this is how the routine went, as much of it as I can remember.
For the first 6 weeks, every day we were to wake up at 5:30 and run to the stop sign and run back, I of course would be one of the last to return, I will assume for this, the stop sigh was about half a km away, maybe even 1.5 Km. Once we returned to our barracks, We had 30 min to shower, get dressed and make our beds, hospital corners and all.
The night before we were to have shone our boots, ironed everything to perfection and have everything put away with absolute perfection.
I of course always had at least one or two things wrong.
I would end up having double creases in a shirt or two, my boots I could never get that spit shine polish, I still can’t do one to this day. And let’s say for the argument, my bed, sheet fold over was 4 inches too much.
Well I would be made to run around a lap track, at first I would be given 5 laps.
Which at the time, would take me a long time to accomplish, now since I was not able to complete the laps within a time limit that made them happy, so many laps were not counted. So I would end up running around in circles for hours on end.
Now, most of the time I was running these laps, was at times like Lunch, Study hall time or even when I was supposed to do my evening prep.
So of course I would end up not having my homework done, or my kit up to regulation standard.
Now this is where the military style kicks in. In order to try and “Motivate me”. They would punish everyone in the barracks I was assigned to. Thus making everyone hate me in the end, even pull nasty pranks on me when the officer’s heads were turned away (Of course).
I was bounced around from barracks to barracks, until no one wanted me to be in theirs.
So in the end I was stuck in a barracks that no one else was in. all by myself.
In the meantime, the 6 weeks had ended.
I saw everyone else, become cadet and advance up to the lowest rank, I however not only managed to remain a recruit after the 6 weeks but, also ended up keeping that rank for the entire time I was enrolled at this school.

I tried keeping up with everyone else, but I would just end up getting something wrong. Everything I did just was never good enough.
All I ended up doing was running around a lap track, most times even with a vest with sand bag weights, When something would become a bit easier, they would make it harder. Every time becoming harder and mush more difficult. Their punishment style would also change. At first it would be laps, then laps with weights, then a 14 and finally a 19.
As well as the above mentioned punishment, we would have to do certain physical exercises for punishment during lunch. Push ups, thrust squats, stand with our arms up and our palms up in the air.

Now even in the middle of all of this going on, I managed to have one best friend in all of this. He was the first boy I ever experimented with sexually. He was the one person who made it not so bad to be stuck in a nightmare place, like it was.

Now, in the meanwhile, the punishments would grow and grow, I was given only bread and milk for most of my meals, I was running around a lap track with weights most of the time and no one wanted me to be in their barracks.
I also had this one teacher who, of course had to make it that one bit harder.
His name was Mr. Sue. This teacher was a classic of corporal punishment.
I remember things like one kid asking to go to the bathroom during class was denied and of course ended up wetting himself in his very seat. I remember he would ask me math equations and I remember when I would get the answers wrong, would pinch my cheeks and ears till they would bruise. I was very much afraid of this man as well as every officer on the campus.

I remember my mother asking me what happened and in self defence I told her I fell down. She of course accepted the answer I gave and never looked into it any further.

By this point I needed to get away from this environment as soon as I could.
So I arranged for my only friend and I to run away one night, my parents thought this was the best place for me, even though they never stopped to ask any questions or even try surprise visits during this time that I had bruises on my cheeks and ear lobes.
I mean a kid would have to fall not only repeatedly, but the places my bruises were, would have only resulted from one reason.
So back to the AWOL, We woke up very early in the morning, ran through the back woods and walked down the train tracks till we were eventually stopped by the police.
I remember they pulled their guns out and told us to stop and remain were we were.
I at this point was more that ready to just continue running, and let them shoot me if they so wanted to, but my friend told me we should just do what they say.
So back to the school,
Of course we were given even more punishment for attempted AWOL. My parents never even came to ask me why I tried running away or what was going on at this point.

This was the point I thought there was only two ways out…
We both discussed the idea and both decided my way would have been less painful.
His idea was to drink bleach and end our lives that way, mine was to mix Kwellada and orally ingest this combination.
I remember being called away to the office and made to stand with our faces against the wall what seemed to have been for hours, they would come out and ask us again, did we really ingest this stuff, I would say “yes sir” and not say anything else.
Finally they must have believed us and we were rushed to the emergency room and given activated charcoal.
After we left the hospital gets a little sketchy but, what I do remember is not only did the school put the blame all on my friend, but I was to remain at this school for another year and a half.
All traces of attempted suicide all hushed up, my parents never even asking me why, no Dr’s asked; I was not placed in any psychiatric care. Instead I was sent back to “Hell” for another year and a half, but this time, my best friend was kicked out.

If you were to look back at my history, you will see most of it was erased. I was never allowed to be in any year book pictures, no one wanted to know I existed any longer.

After a while everything just becomes a blur. Days melted into each other. I finally realized there was no escaping the nightmare I was in. So I just became numb.
Finally I was kicked out due to not being able to conform after 3 years and was sent home.
As yes a recruit.

I have brought all this up many times to my family.
My mother chooses to go into denial mode, she never knew.
My father’s response, one night at supper, he let me know I deserved everything I got in this place.

After leaving this place, it took me many years till I was finally able to trust anyone else.
I went to shrink after shrink; I even went to a teen youth treatment centre in the country.
Still in the back of my mind was to act like they want you to act and they will never get inside of your soul ever again.
Yes, there was one other suicide attempt.
After the years of nightmares and my parents denying knowing anything that happened, but when I would mention legal issues against the school, they would tell me to forget the idea and go back into denial mode.

I had a few relationships, but I never really connected with the other person, it was always a battle,
Just as I would start to let my walls down, they would do something to cause me to raise them again…

Finally I met him.
I remember the first night we connected. Going back to his place, he pulled out this book and asked me to answer a few questions. I was like, sure what ever gets your attention. It was the Myers Briggs Please understands me” book.
I remember he tallied up the results and came to the conclusion I was an INFP, something he said was %1 of the population and he was as well.
I became very interested in this individual. I was very much in awe at first, loved him right from the start, finally someone who wants to know me for who I was. I remember after a few days, telling him “I understand why someone would be in love with you”.
It was my way of testing the waters.
After a few weeks, I finally told him how much I loved him. I remember every time I would tell him I loved him, he would tell me I was not really in love with him and he didn’t believe me. Finally after 6 weeks went by, he came up to me in the kitchen, crying his heart out, there was something he was wanting to tell me, but too afraid to say anything, he though everything would change and I would not want to be with him any longer. I told him no matter what he told me, I would never leave him.
This is when he told me he had AIDS and knew for only a year at this point.
Even though I was a very confused man at this point in my life and had a hard time looking after myself, I knew I would never leave him.
If I could keep one promise ever in my life, it would be to be there for him.
Over the years we had our rough patches and I had made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I never stopped loving him.

I to be honest up until I met him, never though I would have connected with anyone else, I thought I would try and just get through life, just living was the basis of my drive.
Just make it through today and you will have survived yet another day.

Being with Lawrence taught me there is much more to life, more too just living another day. I finally felt wanted for the first time in my life.

We built up a home and I tried putting all my energy towards our home, but there was always this struggle.
He couldn’t deal with the fact he was poz and always saw his oncoming expiry date approaching.
This mixed with what I believe a fear of me catching what he had, put barriers up between us that I was unable to understand or deal with at that time in my life.

After a while, he found it very uncomfortable to touch me sexually and I at the time took it personally, thought he was no longer attracted to me, or even the balance of sex vers love shifted.
In gay relationships, men first connect by their sexual preferences, then try and make the personal connection based on that, then personality come in at second place.

I have met many a men where we would hit it of sexually, but I just wasn’t what they wanted in a relationship, or the opposite, we would get together and hit it off but, “Sorry, we are both bottoms and you will never be able to please me in bed”.

So my point is I would find myself start to wander towards other men. I love Lawrence very much, but all I wanted was for everything to go back to how it was at the beginning.
In that process I made quite a few mistakes.

We went through periods of breaking up and would get back together again.
I would eventually end up giving in to the no sex policy. I would have done anything at that point to remain with him.

The Story of my life, till now... (The original testimony from LiveJournal)
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