Author Topic: Survivor's Stories  (Read 5761 times)

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Offline velvet2000

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Survivor's Stories
« on: October 22, 2007, 09:28:52 PM »
My name is Mylitta and I was in the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) for a little over one year. My mother's aunt and uncle had put their child through Kids of North Jersey, and even though she was freed from "Kids" by the police her parents continued to support the program. When Miller Newton tried to bring his program to Canada they offered their help, and began holding "Rap's" in their basement, which were run by Dean Vause. This is where AARC began until they were given funding to buy a building in the industrial area of Calgary.

When I was 13 I smoked pot about 30 times (probably less) and took LSD about 10 times. I did this because I attended the high school with the highest drug population in Canada at the time and drugs were "normal" there. After using drugs for almost a year I became bored with them and I had negative effects from LSD, so I stopped entirely. When asked "why did your parents put you through AARC" I've come to understand that I was in AARC because of Munchausen by proxy (MBP), which is what my mother had.

My mother claims that the 9 months she spent in a psychiatric unit after slitting her wrists was the "happiest time" in her life. She claims to have been cured of schizophrenia while in there. I'm aware that she has a head injury from childhood which caused her brain damage, but not aware of any diagnosis she was given in the psychiatric unit. I do know that she moved to another country and changed her first and last name, and I believe that there is a possibility that she was under Witness Protection. After much time questioning her I've come to suspect that she'd slit her wrists while on LSD which was her "schizophrenia" and also why she focused so much on me having taken it.

When my father began seeing other women, the only thing that would bring him home was if my sister and I were very sick. So I spent most of my childhood in hospitals and she even pulled strings to make me the poster child (literally) for a disease. I was heavily medicated for reasons I don't understand and on a weekly basis I was coaxed into situations with doctors where she would tell me what my symptoms were and if I were "good" I would tell the doctors. I was even burnt and cut as a child to go to the emergency room. I was lead to believe that they were accidents. Even as a small toddler if I had a bad dream my mother would tell me it was a hallucination and drag me to a psychologist where she would tell them I had schizophrenia.

When I was 14 my father was spending the mortgage on prostitutes. My mother spent time with the aunt and uncle involved with AARC, and soon decided that she needed to send me there. Her and my mother both spent time in Calgary attending meetings at AARC, which I was unaware of. When they returned they were increasingly crazy. It was summer time and I was spending a lot of time with my friends, hanging out at the beach, coffee shops, etc. I was not using drugs, being promiscuous, or doing anything "at risk". I was emotionally struggling, but that is a given considering my home situation. Once they began attending AARC they made a rule that I could only leave the house for 1 hour a day. They didn't chose a home with a bedroom for me, so my home was under the dining room table. After a week of only exciting the dining room table for an hour a day I began running away from home, often being dragged back (physically) by police or my parents. As a run away I spent most of my time in friends home, and met a woman who began fighting for legal custody of me, but unfortunately I spent a small time homeless because my parents were knocking on the doors of my friends homes and threatening their parents. During this summer my mother had me physically restrained and taken to a rehabilitation center in the states. I was soon released and social services (I learned years later) decided to watch me and arrest my mother if she continued with this.

Eventually, after my "normal" life was being torn to pieces, my parents told me that they'd found a foster program in Alberta that had space for me and that they would be willing to let me go if I chose to live with that foster family. I said yes, believing it was the only way to stop the fight with my family. Two days later they took me to the center where I'd supposedly meet my family, and I was in AARC.

Being this the most bizarre experience of my life it will be hard to keep the explanation of AARC short.

At the time the industrial garage AARC was in was mostly cement walls and floor, with some areas having painted gray walls and gray carpets. The only decorated part of the building was the front portion where staff had their offices and curious parents learned about AARC. Also everything beyond the front of the building was not heated during the winter and the air conditioning was turned up in the back during the summer. We weren't allowed to wear our coats in Rap's and only allowed one sweatshirt or sweater and a few t-shirts, so I was always freezing and had cold sweats. The blinds were shut so that we didn't get any sunlight, and we were not allowed any outside stimulation such as newspapers or any literature for that matter that was not AA literature, or any contact with people not directly involved with AARC. When I left AARC I was unaware of major events such as the Oklahoma bombing.

Many of my civil rights were violated. I wasn't given the right to partake in ceremonies of my own religion and I was even forbidden to speak of my religious beliefs because they differed from AARC's. Mail that friends sent to my mother she'd hand over to AARC and they would open them and read them, but not tell me about them. I discovered this as an "Oldtimer". I had no way of contacting anyone for help because I wasn't allowed to use a phone, have computer access, or write letters. The only time I was allowed to speak to my parents was with Oldtimers and staff monitoring us.

AARC staff told us that legally they could keep us until we were 16 and could sign ourselves out. Anyone who attempted to leave while under the age of sixteen was physically restrained by staff and Oldcomers, including being sat on for long periods of time.

The process of rap's was traumatizing. What had an even worse long term effect on me was being denied time to be silent in between Raps. I had to be busy and talking at all times between Raps, otherwise I'd be accused of thinking something bad.

Clients had to tell "incidents" during every rap, so I don't know what was made up for the sake of an incident, or what was real, but I heard awful stories of incest, sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, things that at that young age (15) I was unaware of and did not want to be forced to hear extreme details of every day for hours at a time for one year. "Girls Rap" was intended for purely sexual discussion. It was usually run by a man and it was held in a room built with a viewing room behind a one way mirror which continues to disgust me. I remember Girls Rap's where girls told stories of being raped, and instead of being counseled to understand that it was not their fault they were told that their "disease" lead them to it. One 14 year old girl was told that because she�d attended a high school party unconsciously to search out alcohol and feed her disease, so therefore she�d set herself up to be raped. There were child prostitutes (as young as 13) who had been court ordered into AARC and even though these girls were recruited by gangs, drugged and raped, they were still taught that they became prostitutes to support their addiction. Anyone who had homosexual thoughts was told that it was because of their "disease" and they could not progress to the next level in AARC until accepting this and changing their behavior.

All of us spent time undergoing "blast raps" or being the "target" of regular raps, which involved everyone (staff and clients) calling you names, telling you that you're a worthless druggie, for hours and hours at a time, and the only way to make it end is to agree with them which is called "accepting powerlessness". If you didn't accept powerlessness for a long period of time you were put on "The Zero Club" which meant that an Oldcomer was assigned to control even your basic functions, meaning that you had to ask permission for each spoonful of food you were given and the Oldcomer was allowed to deny you. You had to ask for one square of toilet paper at a time, and again the Oldcomer could deny you.

Undergoing this caused me to being having altered states. I had to have a private place to go to where they could not reach, and I had to have a personality that was acceptable to them. I bounced in between these at all times and by the end of AARC I could not control bouncing in between the real me as a 15 year old, and the AARC me. When I "graduated" I behaved in a perfectly acceptable way to AARC people, but to the rest of the world I was totally out of place which the more I tried to merge into the real world the more obvious this became.

I wasn't eating enough to sustain a healthy weight during my first half of AARC and therefore was in pain all over. Normally clients were taken to a doctor who was a friend of Dean Vause's when first in AARC. Their visit was supervised by staff and the purpose was to check for STD's, lice, and scabies. I wasn't given this doctors appointment, probably because my poor health was too risky. When I became an Oldcomer and had a Host Home my mothers MPB became beneficial. She found that I had a cyst forming from spinal tissue, which needed to be operated on. I was operated on and quickly escorted back to AARC where home nurses visited me 3 times daily to care of the open wound, which soon became infected. A "Clinical" once told me that the home nurse had told her that I was making it all up and didn't need any help, therefore she was no longer letting the nurses in. Meanwhile I could barely walk and had a two inch long open wound and infection in my spinal tissue. My mother found out about this and quickly had the situation changed long enough for me to heal up.

I Graduated AARC by doing my best to abide by the rules and change myself to their ways. I would have been in AARC for much longer than year if it weren't for one staff member who was dedicated to standing up for me. She helped convince the others that I was one of them, even though I think she knew I never would be.

Immediately after AARC I found a wonderful therapist who helped me start to recover from AARC. She reminded me that I could have my own opinions and that all of the things done to me and the other kids were not for a good reason. It was still a few years before I cut contact with AARC because I continued to bounce between the real me and the AARC me, and I was afraid that maybe outsiders really were evil, and maybe I really would be "dead insane or in jail" (as we were told) if I separated from AARC. I also continued to support my mom and her MBP until I turned 18, at which point I felt free legally that I couldn't be dragged into a rehab, hospital, or cult. I moved away and limited contact with my immediate family.

The most surprising things to have learned about AARC for me were first of all that the rule of turning 16 and signing out was false and that AARC at the time did not have the legal right to keep me or restrain us, which means that I was actually kidnapped and illegally held. Also we had called Dean Vause "Dr. Vause" because he claimed to have been a psychologist to us, while professionally to the outside world he referred to himself as "clinical director". I was shocked to find that he is not a psychologist and had undergone his training at Kids of North Jersey. Also I began reading about cults and cult recovery, and it feels to me that AARC's program is so alike all descriptions of what makes a cult, that it's possible they designed the program intentionally around the makings of a cult. I could not believe that these books about cults worded exactly what I went through.

At 20 I had gotten my dream apartment and had married my husband who helped me put things into perspective. I'd still say some AARC things or refer to myself as "sick" in the way that both AARC and my mother would, and he'd ask me why on earth I thought those things. I realized that I was not ill throughout my life mentally or physically. At 22 I'd moved even further from my family and researched my mothers history where I was able to fill in some blanks. I felt safer to have a clearer understanding of my life. Around that time the MBP became clear. Living in fear of AARC, or "deadinsaneorinjail", seeing myself as a bad or dangerous person was gone. I was able to be a woman with her own life, her own values, and no more bouncing in between who I was and who I was told to be. I'm now 25 and lead a full life, although it has been much harder to get here then it is for most people.

When I listen to my friends talking about their lives I am always amazed at how different our stories are. I am often jealous of students who were able to stay with their parents while attending school or who have a safety net if they can't make their rent one month. I've had to do everything while working overtime, and I've never had that safety net to fall back on (until in laws came along). At 19 I was exhausted all the time, working around the clock to make it, knowing that if one little thing went wrong, like if I got a sick and had to take a week off, I might not be able to pay my bills and I'd be on the streets. Also, I am always aware of how much someone can torture an innocent person, which is something I know that most North Americans don't live with every day. The pain that my parents brought is very minimal in comparison to the traumatic effects that AARC had on me, and I lost any innocence because of it.

I saw my family recently. My mother is now unable to care for herself, I don't know exactly what the reasoning is. She is starving herself and so underweight that she could probably die any second. I don't think she is doing it for the sake of vanity, I think that now that she doesn't have someone to make sick, she has to do it herself. She typically sees a doctor once a day, and again I don't know why.

From what I hear about AARC these days they have dressed the building up and worsened the situation for its clients. I don't believe that there is any way to improve AARC. The amount of violence engraved in the staff members is too powerful to cure. I'd tell you that the only people who should end up in this place are the worst of criminals or rapists, but I remember a situation where a boy had raped one of the girls in AARC, and he did not have to "make amends" to her while she was being taught she was the problem. I feel that there are probably many kids out there who were abused enough in AARC to press criminal charges, but they are either too afraid or too confused about what happened to talk about it. Most of the victims I speak to are working so hard to change their lives and get away from anything involved with AARC that they simply say "I just can't deal with it right now."

I will always live with the knowledge that I lost one year of my youth during one of our most developmental years. When freed from AARC I heard about a local man I'd known who was arrested for sexually assaulting his 2 daughters (both under the age of 12). He spent only 3 months in prison where he was allowed all civil rights, time to himself, and outside contact. Meanwhile everything had been taken from me and I wasn't even allowed to speak about the people I'd loved before AARC. I strongly disagree with any �treatment program� that does not offer a fair trail before sentencing someone. But I also strongly disagree that AARC or any of its like programs should continued to be called "treatment". "The AARC Family" is a psychological/religious community, and should only be seen as such.

Mylitta (Mel).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline starry-eyed pirate

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2008, 09:52:18 AM »
Thanks for posting your story.  I had a very similar experience in $tr8 Inc. in the mid 80s.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2009, 01:39:17 AM »
I have a similar take on AARC and the way its treats clients.  Especially girls rap.  I was also in when there was a man running girls rap along with one way mirror window.  Here is my story:

I am an AARC graduate and I am definitely not an alcoholic or a drug addict.  AARC took me way off course in my life, I am not disputing that I wasn't already, but I was at least still in school until I was admitted into AARC.  After AARC, I was lost.  I clung to AARC like any brain-washed kid would and was more messed up than ever.  All I knew was that the only place I felt that I fit in was AARC.  It took years to get it together and re-enter society and feel some normality.  I even went to post AARC therapy (non AARC related). It was only after working at AARC awhile that it dawned on me that "I am not an alcoholic after all!" and I got the hell out of there.

As an AARC peer counselor I saw first hand the verbal abuse and breaking down of the kids and I did not agree.  I thought the kids should speak for themselves; it was not for us to tell them how they were feeling.  At AARC you are only allowed to feel the way they want you to.  They call you hurtful names and convince you of horrible things about yourself.  Everyone around pressures you into these thoughts.  You have no choice but to comply.  The whole thing was ludicrous.  I am horrified when I think of the emotional corners that they put these kids in.  Most of whom are much too young and probably aren't alcoholics anyways.

I believe that AARC closely resembles a cult and the kids that are admitted have no choice but allow themselves to be "brain-washed", or they will never graduate and regain their freedom.  I did not succeed as a counselor at AARC because I believed that the kids should have their own voice, it was impossible to feel "hurt" everyday... it was the same thing over and over, they wanted you to feel hurt and powerless, any other valid feelings were denied in some way or another and turned into powerlessness.  

As a client I told lies, and lied about my feelings of being hurt and remorseful.  I had no choice.  I did what they wanted.  I don't think much of what I did was honest in terms of a true recovery as they claim, I never surrendered to powerlessness.  Most of my sincere feelings came up in girls rap, a place where we talked about our sexual experiences.  Thats where we talked about rape, and the like; all things that peer counselors are not qualified or able to deal with properly, and they never did.  These traumatic experiences were always chalked up as symptoms of your addiction.  In my case, my limited drug use came after these incidents, and no one thought to refer me somewhere else or offer me outside help, they never even told my parents.  Almost all of my recovery happened in girls rap, so my parents have no idea that majority of my recovery had nothing to do with drugs.  Dean Vause had them convinced I was in the right place though.

My biggest problem with AARC is and has always been, the assessment by which they accept kids into the program.  Any teenager can be evaluated as an addict with the questions they ask:  Do you drink to get drunk? What teenage doesnt? So many do not belong there, and AARC should not accept them.  My other problem is the emotional leading (if you will), and verbal abuse.  The peer counselors that facilitate the majority of the group sessions are not qualified in any way, and are doing what they were taught and how they remember it and are not supervised properly.  If individual clients have a root problem that doesnt lead to drugs, they need to be removed and sent for appropriate care.

I feel strongly about sharing these feelings today as a mature adult, these feelings have haunted me for a long time.  They may put families back together, but at what emotional/psychological cost to the graduate?
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Offline Mel

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 10:04:19 PM »
Thank you for posting your experiences. I was just talking with someone yesterday about how hard it is to forget the things said in Girls Rap, and how sometimes you can feel that the girls experience was real, but also you don't know all the time what was real and what was said in order to "progress". Either way, all of the incidents were disturbing and should be discussed in private with a professional. Not only we not handled by professionals, but I recall being sent to Host Homes after just having hearing stories of child abuse/incest including members of the Host families.

Thanks again for coming forward.
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Offline MCL27

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 01:16:48 AM »
All I can say is WOW!  I am sure everyone hear has heard of and seen the CBC piece "PowerLess."  I hope that everyone who has posted here will share their stories on the comments section on the CBC site.  Psy has posted on there and I'm sure has a link somewhere on fornits.  I hope that those on this thread will take the first opportunity to testify against AARC.  Once again thank you for speaking out.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 02:07:30 AM »
Hello, I am a former AARC client. I was very happy to see the CBCs realistic portrayal of AARC to the public. I feel that I was brainwashed there and that my parents were conned into the program.

I was admitted into AARC after my assessment determined that I had level 2 alcohol and drug use and level behaviour. From what I understand you are only considered by AARC to have drug and alcohol abuse problems at level 3.

I was defiantly in a teenage rebellion. My family was falling apart and my parents would split permanently while I was in AARC, but I was not an alcoholic.

Upon entry I was told that if I didnt strip down and get in the shower in front of two strange women with two men standing guard outside that they would do it for me. The women watched me do this.

 I tried to run away from a host home family and was beat up by the old comers in their trying to subdue me. I had two black eyes from it. I was also tackled to the pavement outside of the home by two men who worked at AARC. I was not allowed to wear shoes at any time after this, even when walking to the host family car in the rain or when mopping the floors in AARC which resulted in my feet being dry and cracked from the chemical cleaner. My shoe wearing "privilege" was returned to me only after I "admitted" that I was an alcoholic, which I was not although I became convinced I was and continued in AA for a few years after AARC.

During the time I was not allowed to wear shoes I was also not allowed to participate in card games or watch tv with the other clients, or use the exercise gym.

Once I admitted that I was an alcoholic life in AARC got way easier, I was everyones friend, allowed shoes, the gym and to participate in games.

I did not suffer from any sexual abuse as an AARC client although I have heard stories of old comer girls making their newcomers bath with them.

 I felt intimidated by Dean Vause. At times he would get right in the face of clients and yell at them. This defiantly happened to me after I tried to run away. I could feel his hot breath on my face.  When I tried to tell my parents I wanted to go home on the first supervised visit that I had with them after I had been in the institution for three weeks or a month I was physically removed from them by two men who worked at AARC.
 
I was forced to analyse everything, always have an issue about myself, and always look at the negative. I was taught that the only way to get better, or advance in the program was to feel guilt and shame. These are patterns that still affect my life today.

AARC admits children that are not alcoholics and puts them under the direct and sole supervision of other children that have been in the program a few months.  AARC promotes aggressive confrontation, which is also carried out unsupervised by the old comers. There was no one who worked at AARC during my time there who had any education or training in the fields of psychology, drug addiction, behavioural problems, or any kind of therapy, aside from Dean Vause and Im unsure of the extent of his accreditations.

While you are in AARC you are allowed no outside contact.

I knew one girl who tried to hang herself in a host home and was taken to the hospital. While in the hospital she got in contact with a social worker. I think the social worker pushed to know what was happening in AARC because the girl was allowed contact with her. This is the only time I remember a new comer being allowed outside contact. She was released from AARC a few weeks later. Maybe there was too much heat?

I also know of one girl who had very limited drug and alcohol use on intake. She was only 12. She lied about her using to fit in and only got honest way later in treatment. I guess this caused alot of confusion. She ended up being kept in there a very long time, something like 2 years and 8 months, Im not sure exactly though.

I was also involved in girls Raps run by a man in a room with a one way mirror. Girls raps made all sexual relationships shameful. They would call girls sluts and hoers.

The CBC show has finally validated what I feel. Thank you. I'm grateful to the former clients who exposed themselves to the public on your show to create change.

I never felt care from Dean Vause. I don't think that he should be in a position of care or charge of children. I don't feel that the program works. It may create change in behaviour in the same way that electro-shocking would but it does not fix what problems are there and in many ways I feel that it creates deeper long term problems.

Im sure I'm counted as part of the 80% success rate because I am not dead, in jail or insane, as Dean Vause says are the only other options then his treatment program. In fact my life is pretty good aside from struggling with the negative patterns taught to me at AARC. This is because I never should have been there. I was misdiagnosed as an alcoholic / addict by untrained teenagers and young adults, and I have suffered due to it.

This place should not exist.
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Offline psy

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 02:53:53 AM »
Quote from: "MCL27"
All I can say is WOW!  I am sure everyone hear has heard of and seen the CBC piece "PowerLess."  I hope that everyone who has posted here will share their stories on the comments section on the CBC site.  Psy has posted on there and I'm sure has a link somewhere on fornits.  I hope that those on this thread will take the first opportunity to testify against AARC.  Once again thank you for speaking out.

Ya.  the most active discussion is here:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/13/abuse.html

Another comment section is here:

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/discussion/2009 ... rless.html

If you guys are going to submit your stories here, why not copy and paste them there as well.
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Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 12:25:04 PM »
I have the contact information of a Lawyer in Calgary who is willing to start a class action law suit against AARC at no change to us. I guess we need to rally! I can't do it on my own
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Offline psy

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 12:49:00 PM »
Quote from: "grad"
I have the contact information of a Lawyer in Calgary who is willing to start a class action law suit against AARC at no change to us. I guess we need to rally! I can't do it on my own
I think a few people would probably be interested.  You might want to register so people can contact you.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 03:51:43 PM »
Quote
Ya. the most active discussion is here:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/13/abuse.html

What happened to the 200 comments??? They're gone?
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Offline psy

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 03:57:54 PM »
Quote from: "unreal"
Quote
Ya. the most active discussion is here:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/13/abuse.html

What happened to the 200 comments??? They're gone?
I'm having trouble viewing the page at all. Might be a technical glitch
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2009, 03:22:24 PM »
I would firstly like to relate to Myletta's story. My mother did not have the same condition as yours but was equally as obbessive with my behavour.
When i graduated i was left in Calgary, i am from B.C. the day after my graduation. I had no life skills, no job skills, i fell into such a deep depression because of that.

I graduated in 2004, i entered AARC in 2003, at the age of 18. yes, an adult, and i was still left with no choice of leaving.
I had left eventually after extreme refusal and threatening  violence, and hitch hiked from calgary to Vancouver. AARC convinced my mother not to take me in, i had never lived on the streets, but for two weeks i was forced to.
I told my mother i would have to hitch a ride with a trucker, i told her i would end up on the streets, she told me AARC told her that was what needed to happen.
I don't think any accredited doctor would encourage anyone to go live on East Hastings in Vancouver as a method of treatment. AARC convinced my family that i was leaving to go use drugs, all i wanted was out, all i wanted was to go home and get proper help.
Becomming seperated from AARC has been a five year battle for me. My mother would support the centre to her grave, and now, an adult age 24, with a child and soon to be husband, capable of managing her own house hold, when i tell my mother or other parents of AARC what happens in the centre, they disbeleive me. I am still told that i am sick if i think like that.
I still live in fear, and mental turmoil. ANd through all this i just don't drink, not because i'm an alcoholic that needed such intense treatment, because i am bulemic. It turns out i had an eating disorder all  along, from the age of 12. I knew i hated myself, i starved myself and binged way before AARC, and continued to do so after AARC. I was not an addict, i was not an alcoholic, my use of certain drugs was a symptom of my bulemia.

My own family doctor has diagnosed me, as well as the leading Eating Disprder specialtist of B.C, and a specialist in Edmonton. I came to them myself, i asked for an assesment myself, and was never told, or forced to admit anything.
That is the proper way to asses someone.
I went into AARC on my death bed with Bulemia, i came out of AARC starving myself, and suicidal because i couldn't stop myself from bingeing.

There is something definatly wrong with this picture.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Mel

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2009, 06:05:46 PM »
Lalya thanks so much for your honest story!

Eating disorders have a lower success rate of recovery than drug and alcohol addictions, and the twelve step method rarely works to help people with E.D.'s. Neither does forceful confrontation or focusing on the eating issue. Those with long term eating disorders know REAL addiction. Teenage rebellion as mentioned above, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol is very easy to overcome. Learning how to love yourself and develop normal eating patterns after years of food/weight obsession - that is a totally different story. I'm glad you've found the right resources!

It's so sad to think you had to deal with living on The Lower East Side, even if just for two weeks. In comparison to being homeless in America Vancouver is "easy" but the horrible conditions of The Lower East Side are heartbreaking. There's a fabulous book about it by Dr. Gabor Mate called "In The Realms of Hungry Ghosts".  When I left home after AARC and my parents were holding their own damn RAP's in their house, I ended up living in one of those cockroach motels until I could get my feet on the ground again.

I visit Vancouver often. Feel free to message me.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline karate man

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2009, 10:42:57 AM »
thanks for sharing your story. i am a survivor of a treatment center in bc that im going to make a thread on so i understand how hard it is to relate your experience to others. its a very confusing experience. what really stuck out for me is how you said that you still catch yourself thinking/speaking aarcisms.

im from vancouver as well. mais, j'abite en montreal maintant. i couldnt swallow paying 700$ a month in rent to live in a slum anymore and i wasnt so much into paying 800k for a run down bungalow in burnaby. and whatever gordo says, vancouver isnt new york city.

seriously though, thanks for sharing. it takes a lot of courage and i know it really takes it out of you.

PM me if you want to talk about BC stuff .  i'm also organizing an action group that is focused on former aarc clients telling their stories to the right people in alberta.

that is, as soon as i find out who the right people are. if anyone has any insight about that i would appreciate a pm on that as well.

thanks guys.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline ajax13

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Re: Survivor's Stories
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 01:27:35 PM »
Hi AARColyte.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"AARC will go on serving youth and families as long as it will be needed, if it keeps open to God for inspiration" Dr. F. Dean Vause Executive Director

"...based on an understanding that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that makes people more vulnerable to overdose after they've been in treatment."  Zontar?