Author Topic: Listen  (Read 2823 times)

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Offline abarada

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Listen
« on: September 18, 2011, 11:05:39 PM »
Note: In responses to some of the responses to my post, I feel compelled to make a clarification: Benchmark was the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Everything that I have achieved, everything that I have succeeded at since then has been IN SPITE of Benchmark (with the exception of one or two staffers who regularly broke the rules to help me).

I saw people try to commit suicide there. I saw staff having inappropriate relationships with students. I learned to hate myself and never trust anyone ever.

PLEASE PLEASE UNDERSTAND that my original post (below) IN NO WAY is a post in support of Benchmark.

_________________________________________________________________________

I don't think that the people at Benchmark were evil--in fact, I think they were able to do as much damage to as many people as they did precisely because they were people utterly convinced that they knew what they were doing. Most atrocities are committed by people who think that they are actually doing something good.

I have recovered relatively well from Benchmark, I think. I completed an undergraduate degree, with honors, as well as a two-year MA and I am currently a fully-funded PhD candidate at a top university. I have come to terms with most of the things that I have done and survived in my life, but I will say this--of the horrible things I have done, and that have happened to me, the one that I CANNOT accept, the one that I CANNOT forgive, and the one that I still CANNOT understand as benefiting me is my experience at Benchmark. From a teenage girl with little experience with sex, I became a promiscuous teenage girl who desperately wanted anyone to care for me. From a teenage girl who was terrified by the world around me, I became a hard teenager who accepted infidelity in my partners, deceit from my friends and family, and manipulation from the world around me, as perfectly normal.

I do not say that the staff as Benchmark wanted to do this, but it does not really matter what they wanted to do: this is the result of their actions. To this day I am terrified in my gut of ever  being in a position where anyone has any power over me--I cannot trust that any good can emerge from such a situation, a reaction that is a direct result of what I experienced at Benchmark. I am still in therapy, and hopefully someday I will be able to resolve my trust issues.

For parents: Benchmark did not accommodate religious or educational needs of students, and in cases where students expressed such needs parents were rarely contacted to ascertain whether or not the student was in earnest. Your child will emerge from Benchmark more damaged than when you sent them in.

For Benchmark staff: Please, PLEASE consider whether you really believe that what you are doing is right, and whether you really are so absolutely sure of yourself and your purity of purpose that you are willing to impose your own opinions on people placed in your care. Please, PLEASE remember that certitude precedes arrogance, and arrogance abuse, by only the slimmest of margins. Sometimes, please, question yourself, and perhaps you will do less damage to those in your care than the staffers that I lived under did to me.

I think of the students still trying to survive Benchmark every day, and my hopes, prayers and thoughts are with them.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:33:43 AM by abarada »

Offline Wh??ter

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Re: Listen
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 10:04:04 AM »
Thanks for posting this, abracadabra.  It's nice to see success stories put up here.  You did your program the right way and your success shows it.  There's a guy here named psy who checked himself into Benchmark as an adult and then claimed he was abused for being gay and couldn't leave.  But we all know that an adult can just walk out of a program any time they want with no strings attached.  Your success shows psy made his story up like most people here.

Good luck, abracadabra!  Funny that your name implies magic because Benchmark was like a magical cure for your problems which are obviously now cured completely.



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

Offline none-ya

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Re: Listen
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 10:09:21 AM »
Quote from: "Wh??ter"
Thanks for posting this, abracadabra.  It's nice to see success stories put up here.  You did your program the right way and your success shows it.  There's a guy here named psy who checked himself into Benchmark as an adult and then claimed he was abused for being gay and couldn't leave.  But we all know that an adult can just walk out of a program any time they want with no strings attached.  Your success shows psy made his story up like most people here.

Good luck, abracadabra!  Funny that your name implies magic because Benchmark was like a magical cure for your problems which are obviously now cured completely.



...

Where does it say abracadabra? You can't even read.
Now that's magical..........
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Wh??ter

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Re: Listen
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 10:10:46 AM »
Quote from: "Wh??ter"
Thanks for posting this, abracadabra.  It's nice to see success stories put up here.  You did your program the right way and your success shows it.  There's a guy here named psy who checked himself into Benchmark as an adult and then claimed he was abused for being gay and couldn't leave.  But we all know that an adult can just walk out of a program any time they want with no strings attached.  Your success shows psy made his story up like most people here.

Good luck, abracadabra!  Funny that your name implies magic because Benchmark was like a magical cure for your problems which are obviously now cured completely.



...

Reposted because none-ya keeps trolling my posts.



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

Offline none-ya

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Re: Listen
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 10:31:04 AM »
Sung to the tune of;
na-nana-nanan-a
Everybody sing!

YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER, YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER,YOU'RE NOT EVEN WHOOTER!

I know,some of my best work...........
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:32:43 AM by none-ya »
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Offline abarada

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Re: Listen
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 10:31:46 AM »
I am amazed at these responses. PLEASE let me make this clear: Benchmark was the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Everything that I have achieved, everything that I have succeeded at since then has been IN SPITE of Benchmark (with the exception of one or two staffers who regularly broke the rules to help me).

I saw people try to commit suicide there. I saw staff having inappropriate relationships with students. I learned to hate myself and never trust anyone ever.

PLEASE PLEASE UNDERSTAND that my post IN NO WAY is a post in support of Benchmark.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline none-ya

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Re: Listen
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 10:40:39 AM »
Quote from: "abarada"
I am amazed at these responses. PLEASE let me make this clear: Benchmark was the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Everything that I have achieved, everything that I have succeeded at since then has been IN SPITE of Benchmark (with the exception of one or two staffers who regularly broke the rules to help me).

I saw people try to commit suicide there. I saw staff having inappropriate relationships with students. I learned to hate myself and never trust anyone ever.

PLEASE PLEASE UNDERSTAND that my post IN NO WAY is a post in support of Benchmark.

Please abarada, I think that most us us pretty much understood your post. Please disregard
 any response from the whooter troll. and welcome!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Wh??ter

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Re: Listen
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 10:48:16 AM »
Quote from: "abracadabra"
Everything that I have achieved, everything that I have succeeded at ...

You would never have gotten or succeeded at without the program's help.  Face it, abracadabra, you were on a bad path and you parents saw that and helped you to succeed by placing you in the program.  Just because people like none-ya try to tell you all programs are bad doesn't mean you have to start flip-flopping like a democrat, lol.

People like none-ya who were in a program for one week spend their whole lives blaming everything on the program.  Must have been some week, eh none-ya?  Just kidding lol



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

Offline Ursus

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Re: Listen
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 11:24:40 AM »
Quote from: "none-ya"
Quote from: "abarada"
I am amazed at these responses. PLEASE let me make this clear: Benchmark was the WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Everything that I have achieved, everything that I have succeeded at since then has been IN SPITE of Benchmark (with the exception of one or two staffers who regularly broke the rules to help me).

I saw people try to commit suicide there. I saw staff having inappropriate relationships with students. I learned to hate myself and never trust anyone ever.

PLEASE PLEASE UNDERSTAND that my post IN NO WAY is a post in support of Benchmark.
Please abarada, I think that most us us pretty much understood your post. Please disregard
 any response from the whooter troll. and welcome!
Yes, I echo none-ya's sentiments.

What can you tell us about the suicide attempts and "staff having inappropriate relationships with students," abarada?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline abarada

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Re: Listen
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 06:25:51 PM »
In I believe late 2001, a new student arrived at Benchmark--we were warned that he would be a bit woozy, since apparently his problems included extensive drug use, including acid and LSD. Over the course of the day, we noticed that he seemed to be getting more and more out of it--he wasn't responsive, but not in a rude, I'm-ignoring-you way, more of a eyeballs-can't-focus way. We tried to tell the staff that he seemed to be in some trouble, but they told us that he was just 'being dramatic.' By the afternoon, when the time came to get in the vans back to the apartments, we had to help him get in the van and fasten his seatbelt for him--his co-ordination was completely shot. Again, we tried to explain to the staff what was going on, and they told us to stop indulging him and warned him that he would be put on house restriction when we arrived if he didn't stop messing around. When we arrived, he basically fell out of the van. The staff yelled at him and took him up to his apartment and told us he was on restriction and we were not to attempt to speak with him.

About half an hour later, all of us who were outside were told to return to our apartments until further notice. We saw ambulances pull up to the front of the complex, and we saw him get carried out on a stretcher. All we were told was that he had tried to hang himself and throw himself out a window. He came back after a week, but he never talked about it. Apparently no-one on staff ever thought that it might have been a traumatic and horrible thing for the rest of us, or that perhaps there should have been an open and transparent discussion of what had occured. I really hope he is ok.

As for inappropriate relationships, during my tenure in my program two girls independently brought allegations of inappropriate behavior against one of the staffers--specifically a male night watchman who had been going into their rooms. The girl with whom I was closest said that it started out innocently enough--when she was being punished for a minor infraction by not being allowed outside or having her cigarette money taken away, he would let her go outside after everyone was asleep and let her bum a cigarette. Then he started trying to wake her up at night--when they were talking, he started trying to hug her, or touch her leg, and so she decided to just pretend to stay asleep so that he would go away, but he got more and more pushy and more and more touchy, even when it must have looked like she was asleep. She was on seven different kinds of medication at the time--when she came forward with her allegations, Benchmark turfed her out to one of the junky motels and made her take a lie-detector test. The lie-detector test came back inconclusive, which the administrator of the test told her was not uncommon when the subject was on such an enormous range of uppers and downers simultaneously. Nevertheless, she was left in the motel--no one ever spoke with her about it, and as far as I am aware she never even knew if his employment was terminated. NO offer was made for her to see a different therapist, and she was at NO POINT made aware of her legal right to consult a lawyer or file a police report.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline abarada

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Re: Listen
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 06:31:04 PM »
I would also mention that, some years after leaving Benchmark, my therapist asked for my permission to request my records from Benchmark. She had to follow up for months, and in the end received ONLY the admissions form that I had filled out. No records of medication, therapy, treatments, or observations, were ever provided to my therapist.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline 325troll

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Re: Listen
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 06:38:13 PM »
Quote from: "Wh??ter"
Quote from: "Wh??ter"
Thanks for posting this, abracadabra.  It's nice to see success stories put up here.  You did your program the right way and your success shows it.  There's a guy here named psy who checked himself into Benchmark as an adult and then claimed he was abused for being gay and couldn't leave.  But we all know that an adult can just walk out of a program any time they want with no strings attached.  Your success shows psy made his story up like most people here.

Good luck, abracadabra!  Funny that your name implies magic because Benchmark was like a magical cure for your problems which are obviously now cured completely.



...

Reposted because none-ya keeps trolling my posts.



...


Whooter made a good point!  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline abarada

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Re: Listen
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 06:46:09 PM »
It may be your personal opinion that Whooter made a good point: however, in order to do so he radically misrepresented what I wrote. While you are free to have your own opinion of these programs, and to support the opinion of whoever you choose, you should have more integrity than to manipulate the statements of other people.

So that I am clear: On the basis of my own experiences, including therapy undergone after leaving Benchmark, I CANNOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES advise any parent genuinely concerned with their child's well being to send that child to Benchmark.

Other people are, of course, entitled to their own opinions--but please stop trying to make them come out of my mouth.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline none-ya

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Re: Listen
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 12:36:24 AM »
Quote from: "abarada"
It may be your personal opinion that Whooter made a good point: however, in order to do so he radically misrepresented what I wrote. While you are free to have your own opinion of these programs, and to support the opinion of whoever you choose, you should have more integrity than to manipulate the statements of other people.

So that I am clear: On the basis of my own experiences, including therapy undergone after leaving Benchmark, I CANNOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES advise any parent genuinely concerned with their child's well being to send that child to Benchmark.

Other people are, of course, entitled to their own opinions--but please stop trying to make them come out of my mouth.


Abarada,you are responding to trolls. Other than those two, nobody here wants any kid sent to any program. PERIOD!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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