Author Topic: Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83  (Read 3822 times)

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Offline MIKES

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Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
« on: November 02, 2001, 12:38:44 AM »
Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
A tough 5+ months for sure - lots of good and bad.  A tough time for any kid (who doesn't have it made) inside or outside of Straight.  Lots of good people came from those early tough years - Did they all stay straignt? - Not necessarily the point.  The many good friends I have who completed the Straight Inc. program are living good lives and are in reasonably good control of their lives.


Mike Sobota

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

Offline MIKES

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Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2001, 12:50:48 AM »
Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
Here is some more of the story.


First host home - Tampa St Pete - Rick Godfrey family.  Very cool house - deck off the back with the powerboat to cruise the bay etc..  Dad was an airline pilot - the oldcomer (Rick Godfrey) - just a big tough guy who was going to stop my ass from getting away if it was the last thing he did in life.  They kept me for quite some time until I calmed down a bit and was less of a flight risk.  On Sundays, the mom would cook a huge buffet - I was ravenous because "when somebody is telling you when and how much to eat, it seemed to me that there was nothing more important in the world".  


Anyway - As much as I wanted to leave Straight all together at the time, the Godfrey home was a nice place to be.


Rick is a good man - hope you are OK.  

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Offline Kathy

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Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2001, 09:59:11 PM »
Hi Mike
Hey Mike this is Kathy Barry.  NOt sure if you remember me, but I do remember you.  Have you gotten a chance to read any of the other pages about Straight?  Just curious.  How are you?  (I'm great, name is now Kathy Martin-MOya, am married have 3 wonderful kids etc., etc.,) Would love to hear from you.  

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Kathy
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."    ~Plato

Offline jeff belflower

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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2001, 08:06:33 AM »
straight
Hey Mike, you remember me Jeff. I was in there from Feb. 81 until like 84 or something. I was a lifer there and hated it very much. They totally brainwashed my family into beleiving they were Gods. I really hate what they stand for. I am still looked at like an outcast from my family. To this day they bring straight up and talk it up. I am so f   ckin tired of this hell hole but we endured it. and its after effects so far. write back and I'll talk to you perhaps later. I stayed at Rick's place for a little while, but then again, I was in there so long I stayed just about everywhere. I hate straight. Newton Sucks

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Offline MIKES

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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2001, 02:54:57 PM »
Re: straight
Hi Kathy and Jeff - Thanks for the warm welcome.  I hope that you are finding the wonder and joy in parenthood that I too have found.  My 4 year old daughter is a doll - we are looking forward to the birth of our second daughter next month.  


I guess the best thing I can do is tell it like it is for me.  It took 5 months of incarceration at Straight for me to decide to get straight in St Pete.  I don't feel alot of animosity for Newton or Ms Bird or Mr. Riddle or Dupont etc.. It seemed to me that it was the kids that were running the show.  Paula, Dean, Scott, Nathan, Kim, Joey etc.......  They were my peers - they did the same things I did - they knew the score so it was tough for me to hate them too bad - I just wanted to escape. I was happy for them getting their **** together but I wanted to get back to what I was in to. - I hated going cold turkey.


No doubt the 5 months were among the very worst in my life.  Maybe the worst.  I loved my newcomers - Seth Wit.. - Arnie Lev..  These guys were treated like kings at my house.  


On (whatever phase) I finished my highschool degree by taking classes at Northern VA Community College.  It rocked.  I then started a business while on 4th phase.  I had an open permission that allowed me to go anywhere I needed to go to run the business.  Seemed reasonable to me.


My business that I started in Straight now employs over 100 people in the heart of Bethesda Maryland and has revenue growth of more than 20% per year.  I earned my pilots license in 1995, multi engine and instrument rating during the years following, have traveled extensively and - now have over 1200 hours flying, own two airplanes etc....


I stayed off any substances of any kind for 10 years.  Decided that not drinking at all was worse than some drinking - have been doing so ever since without any regrets.  


I remain very wary of alcohol and drugs - they can ruin lives - I have seen it.  Addiction is real - just ask a long term smoker.  I stayed off the cigs because I never want to be hooked like that again.  Drugs are most scary for kids because they dive in with reckless abandon (like I did).


I learned a bunch about myself a couple of years ago.  I take time regularly to question my own point of view.  


I hear some of the pain expressed towards Straight.  It is real.  I know it does not work for everybody - It did work for me and worked reasonably well for many of my friends.


It didn't work for my sister.  I think parents need to know when to say when - Straight never gave up to a fault.  If somebody is not taking the medicine, at some point it is time to set them free.  Just my point of view - not necessarily correct.  I need to prepare myself for when my daughter is a teenager.  It's going to take lots of patience, understanding and reflection.


Life is short - respect and honor yourself and your friends.  Seek out the magic that surrounds us.  Live and love.


Party on.


Mike Sobota


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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2001, 09:40:07 PM »
Must be nice
I left the Program by splitting. Instead of paying for college tuition, my mother refused to release my HS transcripts to avoid 'enabling' me to finish high school. (Yes, I actually tried to sign up for school the very next day after I secured a job, which was within a week of splitting) Then she harrassed my brother and sister-in-law mercilessly for 'enabling' me to pay room and board in their very cozy little home.

So where's a kid to go? I went back home... till she shanheid me into the intake room at LIFE down in Osprey. What next? Well, Mom's not in Pompano anymore, so that seemed like a logical next move. `Course, it had slipped my mind what kind of people I'd been dealing with. Every old friend, neighbor, teacher, minister.... everyone I had ever known, it seemed... even casually all wanted to know how I was doing with my drug problem.


Not only does the Program fail to deliver on it's miraculous promise of salvation for everyone, it does great harm to a great many people in the process of failing.


That's why the "no talkin' ta' splits, pull-offs and screwups" rule. It's a little slight of mind based on Program mythology. Works something like this.


Since drugs are the root of all evil, anyone who's having problems is, by definition, a screw-up and you're not to associate with those kinds of sneeches. Never mind what they say, denial is the first symptom and you know how druggies are always lying about everything.

So you always have a warm glowy, impression of Straight graduates and a rather dim view of those who may regard themselves as veterans. It's never the Program that fails, it's always the kid. It's never the kid that succeeds, only the Program.


I'm with Jeff on this. I'm damned tired of being an outsider in my own family. It really didn't bother me much from about the time I met my husband until my dad died. I didn't really care what the rest of the family thought. They hadn't been there when I needed them and I'd made a good life for myself without them. It rather sucked raising my kids without knowing much about their cousins. But worse things can and do happen to people every day.


But when my dad got sick and needed care, it all came home. I had no real say in any of the decisions. They even lied to me and said one of them would stay the night with him while he was coming out from under dopamine induced sleep on a respirator.


They thought I needed sleep and they thought it wasn't really important to have someone there when he woke up. So the proper thing to do was to humor the lunatic and get rid of her. Then they went out for nachos at the local Bennagins.


Jeff, the only way I know of to deal with it is to wait it out. As time passes, my family has more to go on and they ain't stupid. Mean time, I've just gone about building my life and making my home elsewhere. I married my husband 15 years ago for his money and I'm not going anywhere till I start seein' some! ;-)

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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline 2dogs2

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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2001, 05:53:59 PM »
Very nice
Mike,  I'm glad you put all that down.  It really makes me feel good to see that you took what you had and made the best with it.  I've done the same. I surely banged my head against the wall for a few years after I graduated but I figured it out about 10 years ago.   If life is good , it is hard not to look fondly upon all that has brought you here. Also when your unhappy it's hard to look at yourself when you KNOW you are a "victim".   Also just to be a prick I'll through in this thought:  It seems to me that "bitterness and being ok with the past is sharply devided between those who "copped-out" and those who took the ride to the end.  I see this as a true statistic not an opinion so please save the "abuse" for your memories. If anyone on either side feels differently please so state. I don't want to be mislead...DOGS

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Offline Antigen

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Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2001, 06:06:14 PM »
Bitterness and acquiescence
"It seems to me that bitterness and being ok with the past is sharply devided between those who copped-out and those who took the ride to the end."


Not entirely. I know a LOT of graduates who are a lot more hostile about the whole thing than splits like me.


There is a difference, though, which I tried to illustrate in my last post in this thread. It's one thing to embark on a successful adult life with the blessings and support of your family. It's another thing entirely to start out flat broke and friendless while dealing with the effects of a monumental, long-term mind f***.


I'm very happy with my life. Been married for 15 years, 3 daughters who anyone would be proud to claim (but only we can ;-)), very little debt, good friends, jobs we love and bright prospects for the future. Considering what I had to work with at the outset, I'm pretty pleased with where I've landed up.


That doesn't mean the Program didn't do serious damage to me and mine. We rolled with it, for the most part. Some don't. And you're a damned fool if you think they're not manufacturing psychos under a different trade name right now at a location near you.

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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline gsdlover21042

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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2001, 02:48:30 AM »
Hey Mike and Kathy!
Thanks for the kind words Mike. Loved being a newcomer at your house. Your Mom ruled! Lot's of good eats. I can remember those day's like yesterday and I agree with your opinions as well. Wasn't the program for everyone and it was tough but it did work for me, you, Kathy and many others. I still attend AA and NA meetings daily and every once in awhile I'll meet a parent or two who had their kids in the Columbia, Md program before it was shut down. They always say, "Wow, you were in Straight"

I seem to cycle with my sobriety, 6 years clean, 2 use, 6 years clean etc.. I'm on another clean cycle now. Look out you guys with young kids, my 13 year old son is really making me run for the money. He's EXTREMELY well educated on chemical dependency and so far is doing well in school. He knows I have this disease I'm battling and hopefully that has scared the pants off him.

Kathy, I'm glad you're doing really well too. We were there as 1st phasers about the same time. I hated those blinding flourescent lights, especially after the Friday night parent meetings around midnight. Anyway, see you guys later! Arnie

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Offline jeff belflower

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2001, 12:29:03 PM »
re straight
I stuck out the program for three and a half years. I graduated as a 7 stepper and stayed straight for over a year after I graduated. I was going to college full time and was in Phi Theta Kappa because I was putting alot of effort into school and really wanted to be successful. My parents made me write M.I.'s for the year after 7 stepping and they searched my room like good straight parents. I started to party a little bit smoking weed and drinking. My parents found some weed or something and booted me out of the house with no money or hope. I was around 21 years old and living at home, like I said I was going to school full time. After I got kicked out of home I really got depressed and hit rock bottom. I am 37, almost 38 years old now and basically am a straight failure. My family thinks I am really bad and they still love straight and their ideas. I lived in my car for a few years until I managed to do better. I hold resentment towards straight for brainwashing my family, and me. I could use some help, but it is hard to find people to help me because I feel hopeless.  

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Offline Antigen

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Straight - St. Pete - Springfield '81-'83
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2001, 12:29:03 PM »
Re: re straight
Jeff, please don't lose hope. My family was pretty well busted up by the Program too. I have lost hope, long since, that that will ever really change significantly. As sad as that it, there's more to life. I just had to change my standard of success to reflect the handicap of effectively being an orphan.


There's no doubt in my mind that I could have gone to college, done well accademically and probably gone on to a successful career or opted out with a respectable, middle class Mrs. But I didn't have the money for tuition, the recomendations, the moral support of family. During that time when I might have concentrated on school, I was concentrating on building the social net for myself to replace that the Program had destroyed. I started almost from scratch. The rest of my siblings were pretty busy doing the same thing I was in various parts of the country.


I have to say I'm grateful to my dad for what he did, but it wasn't any of the traditional parent type things. Couple of times he gave me some money for my first $300 junk car, couple of hundred to get an apartment to escape an abusive lover. Nothing on the order of what most 18 - 20 year old kids would call normal parental support. Mostly he just quit condemning me. If I called or dropped by to visit, he was sincerely happy to hear from me. Invested enough trust in me to rent a house to me when he wanted to move. Stuff like that. And that meant a lot. It made it a whole lot easier to keep some perspective on the quiet condemnation I was getting from the rest of the family.


Aside from that, I just realized some years ago that life runs in cycles. If I'm down today, I'll be up tomorrow. No sense attaching too much signifigance to either extreme. This too will pass. Knowing that, you'll be keeping an eye out for the next good oportunity. Stay in touch, please.

-If there's a worse idea going than locking kids up for victimless crimes, it's probably locking them in close proximity to some tyrannical altruist bent on helping them even if it kills them.
http://fornits.com/anonanon/'>Anonymity Anonymous

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Offline St Pete83

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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2002, 02:07:00 AM »
I don't know you; but I was in the St. Pete program in '83. I not only had Rick Godfrey as my first home but he was part of my intake as well. As you know he was the most liked person in the program at the time. Remember his crazy stories about working on the oil riggs? You aren't kidding about his house. His parents were just as cool as you stated. I didn't stay in his home for long because he usually got the tough guys since he could handle them. I wasn't one. Do you remember Dan Tothe? He was my best friend there.
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Offline str8isabuse

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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2002, 11:47:00 PM »
hey dogs, i disagree with you that those who graduated look back with fondness for straight, while those who left are still bitter.  



i don't know a single former straight client who DID NOT HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM (and there were lots of us) who feels ANY gratitude at all for straight, whether he or she graduated or not.  think about it, if you were doing fine, straight did nothing but give you a real-life nightmare.  if you consider the risk/benefit ratio, you come to the logical conclusion that non-drug addicts did not benefit at all, while being subjected to significant risk.  mike may feel fine about straight, but he admits he was a mess before straight.  his sister was fine, and straight screwed her up royally! straight was such a great tool for stupid or abusive parents.





[ This Message was edited by: str8isabuse on 2002-09-19 20:51 ]
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Offline kpickle39

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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2002, 01:00:00 PM »
it was child abuse pure and simple.   MikeS, (and all others that remember straight fondly)I know, if you look back on what really went on in there to you and all of us, you will agree.  Your life is good cause of what you made of it.  I don't think straight had anything to do w/it.  I graduated after approx 15 months, my life is pretty darn good.  As I tell my parents when they used to say "look what you have done because of straight"  And to that I replied "look what I have done in SPITE OF STRAIGHT" I think that is the more honest answer.   MikeS and every one else, if you can't remember straight honestly, I will remind you.  See, we try and remember the good things in life, cause sometimes the bad is so bad that it really hurts to think about.  For many years (for me it was over 20), I tried to look at straight w/rose colored glasses.  The glasses fell off about 1.5 years ago when I found thestraights.com  Take a look and if you still think straight is great, then I believe you need some serious therapy.  MikeS, I certainly hope you don't treat your teenagers the way we were treated in Straight.  tough love = child abuse.
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Offline kpickle39

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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2002, 08:45:00 PM »
read my last post and answer me
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