Man this series makes no fucking sense
Was JUST thinking that.
Man this series makes no fucking sense
Was JUST thinking that.
Holy shit….really though.
THIS POST GOT BETTER
This is…shit, my head.
Greyhounds can get a little cold, here is Nike’s new outfit to help keep him warm! nicolas6006
The 3 most attractive men doing attractive things with their faces. I am not sorry.
I could watch these all day and night.
Rami Kadi III
these are dresses for a wicked stepmother, which is not something i wanted to be until i realized they had a uniform like this.
All of these…stunning.
"Disney Villains Perfume" by japanese artist Ruby Spark.
i saw that one was missing
Why isn’t this a thing? This NEEDS to be a thing!
Aaaaand, now I need a towel.
"Gavin just drove by on his head."
Sooo, as most of my minions know, I went to Atlanta to visit my boyfriend this past weekend, thanks to the generosity of my mother. <3
In short, it was a wonderful trip. It invigorated my will to just be and do something more with my life. I’m aiming to move down there in September.
This is a HUGE decision for me. For those that don’t know my meticulous mind, I am not really a spontaneous person. I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist, but I do like to know the where and the when and the why to most every decision that I make, especially the big ones. I like plans, and backup plans in case the originals fall through. But, for once, I’m listening more to my gut than my head. This just needs to happen.
Chris and I have been in a long distance relationship for most of our time together (6 years in March, which means we’ve been at least 5 years apart). In a romantic scope, we deserve this. In a practical scope, we need this. Yes, it will be horrifying and different and beyond anywhere that I thought I would be right now, but you know what? The best advice came from my parents, whom are more practical than myself: “Sometimes, you just have to dive in.”
Chris has already signed the lease with an awesome guy for a townhouse, so they’ll be moving in in March-ish; the roomie’s awesome, knows so much about the industry that Chris is in, and maybe can point me in the right direction. But mostly, I look forward to being surrounded by like-minded individuals in the creative field.
And Atlanta is HUGE. So much going on. I love Richmond. I really do…but I’m drowning here. I do appreciate my job, and any little opportunities that come my way…I’ll even admit to not grabbing at every creative outlet, because my own fears held me back. But something about ATL just felt so right. I’m going to grasp at this chance to rebuild myself.
People rebuild themselves every day. Some crumple and fall. Some rise up and prosper. Some are a combination of the two. But I just know in the root of everything that I am, that if I do not try, then I’ll simply never know what I’m capable of.
I’m aiming to thrive. I’m aiming to succeed. Whether it means I’ll crash and burn, or fly like no one else has, I don’t know. But I have to try. Honestly, I don’t give failure the rear view mirror; I have the love and support of my family/friends and my future roomie/boyfriend, and that’s all I want and need.
This is going to happen. This is going to determine where I’ll go in my life.
And I couldn’t be more excited.
… As Daphne was,
Root-bound, that fled Apollo.
Arthur Rackham, from Comus, by John Milton, New York, London, 1921.
In short order I learned some terrifying truths about an industry dedicated to taking America’s at-risk youth and messing them up in the worst way possible.
YEPPPPPPPPPPPPP all of this and more is true (i speak from personal experience)
this is actually real… holy shit
very real. if anyone has questions, talk to me. this needs to be common knowledge. i have mixed feelings about it so i’m a pretty good person to come to for balanced, unexaggerated information. (right now, it might seem like i’m anti-treatment but i’m just having one of those nights where i vacillate towards anger/fear/frustration/powerlessness. sometimes i veer into gratitude and nostalgia. i’m usually relatively fair.)
THERAPEUTIC BOARDING SCHOOL MINI-FAQ:
what’s a residential therapeutic boarding school? what’s a wilderness program?
a residential therapeutic boarding school is exactly what it sounds like. it’s a boarding school whose curriculum, school philosophy, and rules are therapeutically-oriented. the goal of facilities like this is behavior modification. students live on-campus full-time. within the schools, there are rigid power systems and you are brainwashed and physically, mentally, emotionally, and linguistically isolated using textbook cult methodologies, psychological processes, and staff- and peer-based conditioning. some are good. some are bad. most are a mixture. they are total institutions so their methods are very effective. first, they take away your agency and break you down. then, they build you back up and make you dependent and convinced until you perpetuate your own subjugation. you believe in it, you reinforce it, you make sure that others stay in-standard too.
"going to the woods" or "getting sent away" means that you enter a wilderness therapy program, usually for 2-5 months (my woods experience was 94 days). during that time, you live in the woods full-time (no showers, no change of clothes, no contact with the outside world, no speaking or interacting for a varying portion of time, no anything). weather doesn’t matter (100+ temperatures, frozen and snowy, my group and i were once in a fucking TORNADO and the staff’s big concession was letting us huddle under an outdoor yurt for a few hours).
most boarding schools require that you go to the woods before you enroll. this is partially because many (if not most) students have drug problems so being in the woods is a form of detox. supposedly, it’s supposed to calm you down and help you prepare for your journey at boarding school. but if we’re being honest here, the biggest reason is because it breaks you. by the time that you get to your school, you’re so giddily grateful just to have soap and a roof over your head that you don’t cause as much trouble as you would if you came straight from home.
where is this happening?
most american therapeutic boarding schools are located in utah, montana, and virginia. it’s no coincidence that legal loopholes re: child abuse laws, guardianship sign-over requirements, and therapeutic documentation/regulation laws are laxer there. i don’t know as much about programs outside of the us, though i do know that eastern europe has a significant number. from what i’ve heard and read, those are more abusive than american ones but i might be wrong.
some therapeutic residential boarding schools (the bold ones are those that either i and/or my friends personally experienced):
- Academy at Swift River
- Bromley Brook School
- Carlbrook School
- Copper Canyon Academy
- Cross Creek Programs
- DeSisto School
- Diamond Ranch Academy
- Eagleton School
- Élan School
- Family Foundation School
- Greenbrier Academy
- Grove School
- Heartlight Ministries
- Hidden Lake Academy
- Island View
- John Dewey Academy
- Julian Youth Academy
- King George School
- Lake House Academy
- Logan River Academy
- Monarch School
- Montana Academy
- Morava Academy
- Mount Bachelor Academy
- New Horizon Christian Academy
- New Leaf Academy
- Oakley School
- Shortridge Academy
- Sorenson’s Ranch School
- Stone Mountain School
- Vanguard School
- Wediko Children’s Services
- West Ridge Academy
some wilderness programs (suws and second nature are where most people go):
- Aspen Achievement Academy
- Open Sky
- Pacific Quest
- Second Nature
- Redcliff Ascent
- True North
why is this happening?
this is an INDUSTRY. they’re out to make money. ed consultants get kickbacks when they recommend students, boarding schools make BANK. my parents ended up paying almost half a million dollars in tuition, endless batches of “in-standard” clothing, travel fees, etc. the schools don’t need to hire many workers because they make the students do all of the cleaning/groundskeeping/manual labor and pay their teachers shit so basically all of that money is going into the salaries of the board members and advisers. at my school, we admitted a new student, on average, every 3 days, meaning that they about a million a week. meanwhile, we (the students) were living in trailers and our parents were paying the school money for us to do maintenance work. it’s a genius business plan.
even in this economy, the one thing that people will always shell out money for is their children when they’re afraid - they convince the parents that their children are on the verge of death and prey on their fear and ignorance (for fuck’s sake, the giant tagline on the redcliff ascent site is “your child is safe tonight” like be more obvious guys). they hold back graduations so that your parents have to pay more. and the entire time, we’re being abused. not the best product value.
what do they do to the students?
it varies from school to school. i can only speak from my experience. in terms of therapy, 5 workshops lasting 2-5 days straight, individual therapy every day, group therapy 3 times a week, 4-5 family therapy sessions. therapy was also integrated into daily life (classes, meals, dorms, privileges, punishments, social interactions especially). in terms of punishments, crews, action plans, suspension, bans, getting sent back to the woods, getting sent to a lockdown, getting medicated up, losing our futures (college chances, parental support, high school diploma), our lives.
couldn’t you just disobey them? what’s the worst that could have happened lololol
slow down there, champ, don’t go marky mark on me. you have no idea what you’re talking about. look, man, we were brainwashed, okay? you’re not as special or strong as you think you are. you would have done the same.
omg you poor thing ur so brave~~
no. i just got through it. there was no other option. there was nothing noble or brave or strong about it. i just…got through it. what else could i have done but get through it? like, good job, me, way to…still exist…? i threw people under the bus, other people threw me under the bus, i hid, i lied, and (most importantly!) i bought into it. i was brainwashed. completely. my brain wasn’t my own. it still isn’t. i’ll never really leave my school, you know? but yeah, i tried to fly under the radar and when that didn’t work, i just eased into being controlled like a warm bath. it was pathetic. i’m much more of a follower than i thought i was. it’s disappointing. it’s embarrassing. it’s terrifying. it’s who i really am.
but another really important thing is that we were the (relatively) “lucky” ones. yes, the ones who had to go to our own funerals; who screamed in group until the blood vessels in our eyes popped because it was a status symbol/demonstration of your “work” to arrive at dinner splotchy and red-eyed and freckled in little red squiggles; who were kidnapped from our homes; who were forced to relive our rapes over and over and over (sometimes with super fun props and acting-it-out scenarios); who were abused especially in workshops until we cried (always), screamed (always), hit (usually), vomited (sometimes), bled (less frequently), wet ourselves (i saw it happen to other people three times) or even broke our bones (i saw it happen once and have heard of another and that’s just at my tiny school); who dug out stumps in the boiling heat; who had to hike around holding concrete slabs over our heads with locked elbows as a therapeutic exercise; who ran water jugs across ponds; who endured bans; who were sleep-deprived during workshops because we were easier to control and more malleable to their wishes when we were going on 3 days of little sleep and only moldy turkey sandwiches to eat; who had to sit facing the wall, forbidden to speak or interact with anyone or move or do anything really from early in the morning to 10pm (i was lucky and only had to do this for a few weeks but one guy in my peer group had to do this for 9 months straight) (according to federal laws, we were in stress positions that constitute severe abuse); who were humiliatingly posed as murderers (guys) and rape victims or ambiguously consenting with spread-legs or all-fours (girls) to be "living museum statues" in a workshop (because obviously the worst fate for a dude is death but the worst fate for a girl is sex, even consensual sex); who were systematically broken down (in the staff’s workshop scripts, it LITERALLY SAYS “the next step is to break them”) and reassembled to their liking, who were told that we were dirty and disgusting and deserving of all of our past traumas (abuse, rape, death, etc.) and only they could fix us, who literally made us wear nametags that said “cum-dumpster,” “worthless,” “unloveable,” “repulsive,” “whore,” “heartless,” “weak,” “victim,” “toxic,” etc. on our shirts; who were punished and brainwashed and tortured (according to the LEGAL definition, though i’m hesitant to label it as such because i don’t want to diminish real torture); who had to hear everyone’s harshest judgments of them on a daily basis and receive emotional abuse nearly constantly. WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES.
because it’s an industry at its core, treatment schools (to my knowledge) don’t provide scholarships. they cater exclusively to those with the financial resources and access to education consultants. that ends up meaning rich people (or people who go into debt for the ~sake of their child~ or spend their retirement savings, like my parents did). it usually ends up meaning white people (at my school, i’m pretty sure that we’ve had maybe a dozen students of color in its entire history and only about 3 while i was there). our being there was a result of privilege. wealthy, white kids go to therapeutic boarding schools. poor and/or poc kids get shoved into impossible situations, put in jail, or killed. we were the lucky ones.
what can i do?
if you’re sent away:
if your friend or family member is sent away:
you probably know someone who’s been sent away. it’s a huge, albeit relatively secret, community. try to support people who have been through this as best you can. they’re probably still struggling with it, even if they hide it well. when i got out, i had night terrors and panic attacks and mounting inexplicable paranoid overwhelming visceral feelings of dread and guilt and fear and wrongness. i was diagnosed with PTSD. i still have nightmares and a ton of emotional baggage. i still get paralyzed sometimes. talking about it helps me. but talking’s not everyone’s jam. destigmatize it. help them do what they need to do, whether that’s pretending like it never happened, venting, crying, reclaiming their experience. no reaction is wrong.
be aware. raise awareness of others. research thoroughly if you’re ever considering sending your kid away (literally the first autofill when you type my boarding school into google is “[school’s name], abuse” but my parents were ordered by their ed consultant, my woods program’s staff, and school board members not to research them independently because the schools were victims of “smear campaigns” and “bitter alumni.” it’s bullshit that my parents listened to them but i try to remind myself how scared they were and how manipulated they were by the aforementioned groups and people.)
read come back by claire and mia fontaine. it’s a similar experience. her workshops had a lot of the same activities as mine did and i definitely relate to her feelings throughout the book. the authors are a girl who was sent to several facilities, including one in the czech republic, and her mother. the discarded ones is written by a cedu alum but i haven’t read it so i can’t recommend it. as far as i know, those are the main (if not the only) books on the market directly authored (or in the fontaines’ case, co-authored) by treatment kids.
Pretty horrifying. Sadly, in-patient treatment facilities for depressed/suicidal teenagers can be similar, speaking from experience.