Author Topic: About girls discrediting those with negative experiences  (Read 2232 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« on: May 20, 2005, 12:37:00 AM »
I have read tons of posts here about how some people are angry and saying that the girls who had a positive experience are trying to discredit them and their experiences. I don't think that is ok, but in reading most all the threads here I didn't see one person saying that girls who had a bad time there are lying, or wrong in sharing their experiences. It seems like there is lots of blame being pointed the way of these several girls but I don't see anything they've said to imply that there wasn't value to different peoples experiences that differ from their own. Can anyone point out specific things to me because I didn't see anything?
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2005, 09:44:00 AM »
Here I go again trying to explain myself..

They keep on saying "well mms didn't hurt ME", "it saved MY life", "mms was not abusive TO ME",.. "it helped ME out", "I don't undertand how people can call it abusive..""

I,I,I, ME, ME, ME, (straight up from mms) atleast they could attempt to relate with us? I feel like they can not look at other girls experinces who felt damaged and try to support them. I just keep on hearing nagging voices in my head when I try to think about my own pain, and it makes me think that I am wrong for my feelings. I wish they would just listen closely because they were there too, and they witnessed a lot of these things, and in my case no one stood up for me back then, at all. I was alienated from eveyone and no one was there to understand me. John was only there to tell me how awful I was. Now years down the road we speak up and we don't seem to be heard. It would be great for me to get those who "had a great time" to stick up for what is right, and stand by my side, even though their experince were "great". They are the most valuable witnesses at my stand. :tup:

Star
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Offline katfish

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2005, 10:59:00 AM »
I'll post where this is located, Ill have to go through all the posts but for now I'l provide a few examples from memory- things girls w/ good experiences have written to those with negative experiences:

They are the common denominator- (note: this term used frequently at MMS ) essentially saying they were sent to MMS b/c they were fucked up and can't move on b/c they remiain fucked up, as if it's a choice to have had a neg. exp at MMS- and these grils recommend they move on.

I have frequently read girls say that girls with negative experiences should quit whining and that we all needed MMS.

That it's our problem and since we are so unhappy now that we are seeking to blame someone or something- MMS.

Those are specifice ones I can recall, I look for 'em when I have time.
All these things function to negate valid experiences.  I think they also bring up a lot of anger for some if not many b/c these things ring familiar to what we all felt or thought to some degree at some point and we all told ourselves- and perhaps some of us still feel this sense of 'mabe I am crazy'- b/c it is that MMS forced us to think this way for years and even after we graduated. So even if they couldn't completely force us to believe it, part of us did believe it for a while until some of us became suicidal, tried to supress things further with drugs or some did nothing but emerse themselves in academics until one day we all realized, it's not us that's was the problem.

Ladies, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sort of putting words into your mouths, this has been my experience and as best I understand it, yours as well.

When I have more time I'll provide links directly to such statements- but they're out there, I assure you.  Think that is why most alumni who had such painful experiences are on the defensive.


I agree with Star, as well, beyond what I mention above, it is unreasonable for anyone who was at MMS to deny that, regardless of what their personal experience was,  we were all witness to really messed up things that happened to other girls and once hearing their stories now, clearly these things created long term damage.  To deny that is absurd, in my opinion and reveals something about their incapacity to...well, to some degree acknowledge fault in MMS.
Oh, and someone had their parent (although I'm don't believe that actually was a parent) say something like she had found that when she was abused she simply had to change and stop accepting abuse- again, assuming we are all being abused at the moment, assuming we had some power at MMS to stop what was going on, and that it is out fault anyway.

Thanks for listening/reading, ya'll!

Kat
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2005, 03:02:00 PM »
I am one of the people who has posted a thread using "I, I, I, Me, Me, Me."  I had a good experience.  The reason I'm not jumping in here and defending/supporting every person that had a bad experience is because there is no specific things being said about what bad things happened directly to you.  Most girls jsut generalize their overall experience as negative.  My overall experience was positive, so it would be hypocritical of me to bounce back and forth between opinions.
HOWEVER.
Specifically speaking, when MG had to state she was a Nazi and say it to the faces of girls who were biracial, that was wrong.  When LS, CS, or SS were made fun of for not being extremely athletic or able in sports, that was wrong.  When John forgot about AP shoveling snow on the basketball court for 6 hours, that was wrong.
I want to support you girls who had negative experiences, but I am not going to be a hypocrite.  Share your negative experiences!  And I will try and see through your eyes and support you.  I was forced to eat foods I didn?t like, but I don?t see that as abuse.  But there are some things that happened at MMS that WERE wrong and were not acceptable.  So please share your experiences? You will have my support at your side.  But a general post about how your whole experience was negative; that?s something I won?t judge, but its also something I don?t understand.  So please me more specific!!  I want to support you... Just as I want you to support me.  

On a lighter note... Do any of you remember when we would stand in front of the kitchen and sing "this little light of mine" every Sat. morning before work crew?   ::drummer::
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Offline Antigen

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2005, 04:23:00 PM »
Though I'm sure I'm biased in favor of girls who view MSS as abusive, I also have over 20 years distance from my own turn through a similar program. So take this fwiw to you.

I definitely noticed a reproachful "how dare you say such things!" tone to some of the pro-MMS comments. Some of the most obvious ones are topics like "Where would we all be w/o MMS" and "What I'm asking and what I want answers to." And I believe those of you who say Colleen called you up and tried to get you to shut up. No kidding! We get that aaaaalllll the time in all of these forums, bar none!

But why? That's the big question, at least to my mind. I think it's just force of habit. When you're there, you can't respond spontaniously to what's going on. And you don't get to take in natural, spontanious reactions from others. Everybody acts like whatever is going on is perfectly normal... even more, exceptionally good and right. After awhile, you come to believe it and forget that your primary motivation for responding that way is fear of consequences.

The difficult part for those defending MMS is that, if you think about it enough, you'll soon realize that these sanctimonious mother fuckers used you to enforce the abuse on the others and vice versa. So criticizm of MMS feels like a personal affront because, in a big way, it is. It's like saying "Why did you go along w/ this? didn't you stand up for me back then?" It's a tough thing to talk about. Really, I think we all understand very well why. After all, all but a rare few kids placed in that sort of environment respond in essentially the same way. So it can't be that each and every individual is just flawed somehow. By definition, your response to the situation was normal.

So the next logical step is to examine why well intended adults would intentionally place kids into such a fucked up situation.

(And please save me the riot act on foul language. It's clear to me that foul language is just okee dokee w/ MMS, so long as it's directed toward people for whom they have no respect. Grease to the geese is gravy to the gander, so my grandma told me. Sucks, doesn't it?)

The drug war places Leo in a round room and instructs him to piss in a corner.
--Antigen

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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2005, 05:54:00 PM »
I still don't understand though how someone sharing their positive experience discredits someone with a negative experience. I know there are always exceptions, some girls may have just been outright rude and said that nothing wrong happened at MMS and that if you say it did you're wrong. There are also girls saying that just because someone had an overall good experience it means they are trying to take value away from others experiences. That doesn't make sense to me. It seems like a lot of generalization is going on and it's, you're either on one side or the other and the fact that someone who had a good experience was willing to be supportive of others isn't being taken into account. I agree there are extreme people on both sides, but I don't see the majority of girls who don't feel abused by MMS putting down others.
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Offline Antigen

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2005, 06:50:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-05-20 14:54:00, Anonymous wrote:

 I still don't understand though how someone sharing their positive experience discredits someone with a negative experience.


Say you happen to wittness a guy pimp slapping a kid around in the park. People around you are commenting on the brutality of the thing, talking about calling the cops or kicking his ass, what to do to help the kid, etc. You pipe in w/ "Well, I know the guy and he's a great conversationalist. And ya'll must admit he's a snappy dresser."

How do you suppose people would take it?

What are politicians going to tell people when the Constitution is gone and we still have a drug problem?
--William Simpson

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Offline `

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2005, 07:14:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-05-20 06:44:00, Anonymous wrote:

"...I just keep on hearing nagging voices in my head when I try to think about my own pain, and it makes me think that I am wrong for my feelings.

Star"


it sounds like you were verbally and emotionally abused. i know what you are talking about here. it took a long time for these nagging voices to shut the hell up. they are mostly gone 18 years later. (i was in Straight, not MMS.)

i wish i knew what to suggest other than time.
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2005, 10:14:00 PM »
Star, I think I know you!  Were you at school in Florida for a while?  Or are still there?
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2005, 10:55:00 PM »
Thats quite a bit different. When the line goes between talking to something physical that's a whole nother issue. If anyone had been hit or beat while at the school and someone still defended it that would be horrible, but that just didn't happen. I've seen other girls on this board say that while they had a bad experience they have gotten up from it, and they don't seem offended at all by others saying that MMS helped them. I understand what you're trying to say, but in the real world you can't expect other people to back you up and support you and drop their opinons just to follow yours. I think if people stopped taking things so personally even if they feel they are being personally put down they would be much better off. I've learned if you don't agree with someone and you just never will and it's something you can't look past than just deal with it and move on.
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2005, 03:30:00 AM »
The person who started this post has not done her homework, in my opinion. There are some 700 posts here now, check them out and you will find your answers. They are most definitely out there. It seems this new topic is just another place to start the cycle again of arguing the points.

I've been reading posts on this forum for quite some time and honestly, some of you really are insensitive and the sad part is you can't see it. Others see it, even strangers who pop on to see what's going on here. Yet you can't. Why? Maybe it stems from what you learned at MMS, who knows.

So just go read, look around here, you'll see why these girls who have had bad experiences have felt victimized and attacked here on this forum. The sad part is that some of the girls attacking them here could very well be some of the very same girls who ratted them out at MMS. Feel good, girls? You really should be ashamed of yourselves. Others, not just me, see it and speak about it. Strangers, people with experience and knowledge. Maybe you should listen a little and stop being so wrapped up in being right and start being a bit more compassionate.

I see no point for these questions, again, if you're really interested go read.

Something worth considering. I have a friend who I care very much about. She's been abused and a victim. She was the scapegoat in her family. Know what that is? Basically, her brothers and sister were treated decently and fairly, most of the time, and she was treated like dirt and like shit, all of the time. She was her father's target and her mother did not defend her for fear of starting a fight with this abusive man. So she was silenced and watched him systematically destroy my friend for life, really.

She is 60 years old. To this day she sufferes from his abuses (none were physical or sexual in nature - all psychological.) She still finds herself needing therapy on and off to deal with the issues. For she lost her entire family over this ordeal.

Here's why. Her sibblings have rubbed this in her face their entire life, even into adulthood. They make her feel they were better than her simply by saying how wonderful family life was round her. For her family life sucked and worse. For her it was pure living hell. For her it was torment. For her it was like torture, mental and emotional torture. Never was she treated with respect, never was she treated fairly.

The straw that broke the camel's back with her sister, the last person she talked to in her family? She would not stop saying how wonderful her parents had been with her daughter and with her. I remember the look I saw in my friend's eyes while she spoke. She just swallowed it time and time again. Then we would talk and each time she'd end up back in therapy.

Finally, one day it was too much and she severed ties with her. She has no family left now. But she has me. Someone who loves her for who she is, someone who sees her as an accomplished and strong woman, despite the deep truths I know about her past. For this woman is a powerful and beautiful woman. She has a bachelor's degree, she was the head of a huge department in a large corporation, she is a wonderful writer and photographer, and she is a wonderful and true friend.

My point being that when I hear you people on this forum continue to do what you are doing here, again, basically discrediting that others had horrible experiences, coming here telling them it couldn't be that bad or that they are weak in some way, it reminds me all to well of those times when I saw my friend swallow hard and just suck it up. Why should she have to do that? She should not.

Your words make these ladies feel like this. It would be nice if you would be open enough to see it. It's very real. The pain of the abuse for them is there and has not gone away, and may never go away on some levels. You people who claim to have had good experiences obviously have no idea what it was really like for those who were John's or other's targets.

And for those who didn't spend 8 months building fences without a shower, without sharing a meal with others, sleeping out in a cold tent alone with the wolves, well, where do you feel you have the right to judge someone who really had to live this. Get real. You are living in a fantasy world.

You would not be singing the praises of MMS if it had been you who went through this. And anyone who wants to say this is not true can think again because there were plenty of witnesses who saw this happen. That's the good thing here. Witnesses abound and come forward in time of need!

This is only one story. Here's another one for you. How about being forced to write your sexual history when you never even had sex before? What the hell would you write at age 13 or 14? Damn, at that age I didn't even know what it really was. John didn't believe girls who wrote little and threatened them to write more. One girl was told "see the girl up there in the boots shoveling shit? She's been up there for a long time. Want to be next? Come up with a better response or you'll be next." So this girl started making things up. Sadly she wrote some things that were not true just to appease him. Then, he sent those things to her parents and embarassed her.

And what about another girl who was forced to write about her drug history? She'd never done drugs and barely knew anything about them. Except what she learned at MMS. So she started making up a bunch of stories about the drugs she'd taken. And immediately that was faxed to her parents. So a girl who was supposed to be in there for 6 months ended up in there for 3 years once her parents realized what a fuck-up she really was. But really she wasn't - she made it up to avoid abuse from John.

Wow, get real here. The stories are pretty much endless.
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2005, 06:29:00 AM »
Perhaps some of that is correct, but in reading I have also seen posts by girls who did have a bad experience, but because they think everyone should have their right to their own opinion they were labeled "supporters of the school". It's the things like that that baffle me and make me mention generalizations. You don't know who had to do what at MMS, and to assume just because someone doesn't feel attacked by others opinions that they had an easy time and didn't have to sleep in the snow or be forced to tell lies is just absurd. I see people here assuming every girl who said that MMS helped them was one of the "favorites" or one of the girls who ratted people out. That just isn't the facts. I know of atleast 2 girls on this forum who did have it hard, were picked on by John, and given mean punishments. Just as no one has the right to say someone who feels they had it bad and are hurt by it is wrong and/or insensitive towards other feelings, no one has the right to say that because someone says that MMS helped them that they had an easy ride there and are insensitive. If you really open your mind up here and think about it you'll see both sides are true.
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2005, 09:19:00 AM »
"Something worth considering. I have a friend who I care very much about. She's been abused and a victim. She was the scapegoat in her family. Know what that is? Basically, her brothers and sister were treated decently and fairly, most of the time, and she was treated like dirt and like shit, all of the time. She was her father's target and her mother did not defend her for fear of starting a fight with this abusive man. So she was silenced and watched him systematically destroy my friend for life, really."
************************************************

This observation really hit home for me. At this very moment there is a precious child at MMS who was experiencing the same treatment from her parents. She was blamed for all the discord in the family, but instead of taking it quietly,  she fought back, hence the banishment to MMS. I constantly wonder which is worse, being abused at home or in an institution. Is she better off being tortured by John Mercer or her stepfather? Mocked and ratted on by fellow students or her siblings? These questions have truly haunted me 24/7, for more than 9 months, and I am no closer to an answer than day one.
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Offline katfish

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2005, 11:54:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-05-21 03:29:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Perhaps some of that is correct, but in reading I have also seen posts by girls who did have a bad experience, but because they think everyone should have their right to their own opinion they were labeled "supporters of the school". It's the things like that that baffle me and make me mention generalizations. You don't know who had to do what at MMS, and to assume just because someone doesn't feel attacked by others opinions that they had an easy time and didn't have to sleep in the snow or be forced to tell lies is just absurd. I see people here assuming every girl who said that MMS helped them was one of the "favorites" or one of the girls who ratted people out. That just isn't the facts. I know of atleast 2 girls on this forum who did have it hard, were picked on by John, and given mean punishments. Just as no one has the right to say someone who feels they had it bad and are hurt by it is wrong and/or insensitive towards other feelings, no one has the right to say that because someone says that MMS helped them that they had an easy ride there and are insensitive. If you really open your mind up here and think about it you'll see both sides are true."


I don't think that you necessarily have to have been treated well by John (don't think anyone really was- maybe some better than others, but never fair) to be open to the positive side of MMS.  The point is that at some point everyone witnessed one or another treated badly at MMS- to deny that is absurd and beyond reason, especially when being many girls have been driving that point home from the get go on this forum- and if girls with positive experiences didn't realize it was harmful then, they sure as hell see it now.

I'll be a first to admit that I have no clear understanding how girls can deny harm was done, even if not to them directly or that the harm turned helpful somehow, but I don't deny girls that had good experinces their experience.  What I do point out continously are the contradictions to what they say in my experience and what I've seen in others- where others, myself included are saying good for you, but very bad for us, here's why and do you understand?  Granted their welcome to do the same, but when the response turns hostile, and becomes about us and blaming us for MMS's prgram errors, that's when I begin to wonder how this inability to recognize that harm and how that loyalty to MMS can cloud these girls basic human empathy and compassion.

I suppose you're referring to MG when you say that girls are being hard on girls that may have had it equally as hard and may even have the same opinion but have been labeled supporters of the school?  Not sure where that happened, I didn't see that.  MG was confusing me, personally, I didn't understand what she was saying and who she was saying whatever she was saying to.  I was confused by her posts.

Ultimately, some girls can be treated badly and believe it was in their own best interest and that they benifitted from it in the long run- to each his own, really that's their business to determine- that's perfectly fine, I think- but it doesn't change anything.  That's their truth, no one denies that- so the hope is to that they will cease to deny ours. As stated above, there was damage done to other girls who may have received equal or harsher treatment as girls who say they found MMS helpful, but when a girl or many girls express that damage has been done to them and is attacked b/c of it- I am appalled.  As I've said in other posts as well, the lack of basic human compassion from the radical-pro MMSer's  (no the ones I speak to on a personal level who are able to recognize both despite the fact they found MMS helpful) is astounding to me, forget about validating the experiences, just basic human compassion would suffice.  The fact that it was sorly lacking is very disturbing.

kat
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Offline Anonymous

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About girls discrediting those with negative experiences
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2005, 12:15:00 PM »
Me thinks it good Melissa G didn't feel attacked by the pro-MMS rally- but she never posted anything personal that was attacked, far as I can tell.  She wouldn't have any reason to be defensive.

Most felt attacked because the most- not all- pro MMS posts attacked the girls felt mms negative at the beggining of this soirre- waaaaay back, about a month ago.  Think that defensiveness was carried along, maybe unwittingly and perhaps uneccesarily, but understandably considering the hostility that met their stories of abuse from beggining.

If you don't get it, I'm sorry, I can't help you then- think been explained pretty clearly and intelligently.  If it's the case that you still dont understand then I don't think you want to get it and prefer to hold on to your preconceived notions about what's really going on here.
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