Author Topic: "Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"  (Read 3440 times)

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Offline velvet2000

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« on: January 27, 2003, 01:25:00 AM »
Copied and Pasted from a post made on my AARC forum (not by me).



" Ok ready for some honesty? Here goes. I was a member of Stright/Phoenix Institute for adolescents during 92-94. I was put on a setback during second phase, I think that was a standard practice if you didn't 'misbehave'. That way, sice most people are full of shit anyway, they can make you think they can 'sense' the guilt or something. So, since I actually thought I had a problem and wanted assistance, I did exactly what they told me to do. Which as you all know included sharing many intimate details about myself. Many of which were horribly degrading sexual acts. Was I happy, probrobly not, but I was in a place where I wasn't dead. All that talk struck a chord with me because I knew I was at the brink of suicide and had told my parents that I needed to get away from them and get help somewhere before I was dead. That glimmer of infantecimal hope had been extinguished, I knew I would never make out of life what I wanted. I tried to be courteous and friendly, even to my abusive captors. I mean I was still alive right? There wasn't too much else to be happy about in my life at that point. On one day, as hope seemed to be entering back into my life, I must have been smiling too much or something. In goal setting at the begining of the day a rude little bitch called Camile decided to say I had to be dishonest because no one could be as happy as I seemed to be in Straight, and I needed to 'get real' and 'get honest'. Camile If you read this... Fuck you! Well this seemed to catch on like wildfire, because 'Tom' a snaggle-toothed redneck child abuser had taken me as hit pet because I came in trying to 'work the program'. This is probrobly the reason that accusation caught on like wildfire. I had just skipped off of 1st phase in 2 weeks or close to it. I was confronted relentlessly for 2-3 weeks for anything I may have held back or not disclosed. My parents were even told by my second phase leader that I said my dad had sexually molested me, when I had said nothing of the sort. I had actually been relating a childhood memory that I remembered him carrying me near the woods in the darkness and had been crying to go back. They kept wanting to know what I was holding back, so there was nothing, day after day, after day, after day.... Then I came up with it! There could have been only one thing that I was dishonest about. You see I was a charismatic and extreemly likeable person before I came to treatment. I didn't make it a habit to call people on their crap and accepted lies as mere embelishments, and I lied plenty myself as well at that time. Perhaps I was being torn apart on my inside from the flashes of sexual abuse I tried to block out, but I was still charasmatic and had a large network of friends. Well, that was it you see, I didn't like treating people like crap. So that's what I got honest with. The only other newcomer I ever yelled at was a kid called Nick, and that was because he threatened me with a poolstick and spit in my face. He's lucky I didn't kill him in the back window of the 'host dads' car. I had just told the host parent and all the other phasers I would knock the hell out of them and see them in jail if they tried to stick their fingers up his ass, because he said that he had a pen shoved up it. As repayment for me always being non-intrusive with him and letting him sit in silence if he wished he had spat in my face, when I was the only one that prevented him from being sexually molested. Course ADD kids have never cared for me in the least for some reason. So that was my one 'mistake' after 'getting honest'. Now, that I've examined the proverbial mote in my own eye, time for the 'gnat' in yours. There were plenty of people that would tell me out of group, man I think it's really great that you made a stand like that. I really agree with you man and the like. These same people would go back to the build ing and host homes and yell and scream at their newcomers. One of them even found great pleasure in having one of his newcomers ask to pick up and play with his turds. No, don't worry he was only put on a setback that lasted half the time of mine, and even though he started working the program far after me graduated months ahead of me. I would stand up to the staff members when they threatened to 'call days in'. Tell them I would still not confront viciously because then I would be breaking the 1st most important rule. Which is honesty for all of you that have forgoten. I also found out the honesty thing was just a joke when I graduated. That everyone had been holding 'something' back. Oh if I would have known, all the things I wouldn't have said...

Now it seems that those who aren't dead and are all doing fine. Well not me. I can rarely get up enough desire to ever leave my home. I am depressed and miserable. I have recurring dreams where I am back in school in treatment and I cry uncontrollably for myself and without end, and I wake daily/nightly from whichever sleep schedule I'm on today in soaking sweat. I am terrified to go to seek any sort of counseling, all my counselers have screwed me over. My first psychologist told my parents never to reveal my IQ scores, of couse it was fine for my brother to know his, so I grew up thinking I was retarded but had learned to learn in my own way so no one would know. Another family counselor would recommend 'Straight' to my parents, of couse he never saw me. My psycologist in PIfA told me he was going to turn in the center for the string of abuses that I suffered at their hands. Of course instead he took a salary and 'guy's group' became 'Greg's group'. I stayed the course through terrible emotional torture to graduate. I didn't want the program to be a crutch for me. Didn't want to ever look back and say, "you know, my life could have been different if only i'd graduated PIfA". Of course according to all your sites that I've seen so far there was no abuse that occured there. They just changed instantly from their ways. If anything was kinder and gentler in that place it was because I insisted upon it.

So when I want help I've looked here. You're all so critical of 'Stright'. Whining about how they're all out for money. Well what about you all? Am I supposed to be happy people were winning suits against the place I was imprisoned in while I was imprisoned? I've seen no money, but it looks like this Straight recovery thing is turing into a booming busines. Why I even found that I would only have to pay a psychiatrist $100 for the first half-hour! How wonderful! Especially when I can't even hold a job, because I can't lie and falsy stroke people's ego, and that's the way life is. Everyone lies. I used to be able to lie, to be charasmatic, to get along with people. Now, just like this post, everything is an argument. I have problems reading for long periods of time and I used to love curling up with a good Stephen King book or some other horror and reading most of the day. I don't think I've been able to finish a book since I left treatment, or finish school, or work...

So what is my point? It makes me angry that you were all able to abuse the hell out of your newcommers for no other reason then you were told. You are all no better then the Nazi's in Germany during WWII that were 'just following orders'. I watched at least four child molesters walk out of that place free. Perhaps some of you who are 'doing fine' now are them. You must have your new young thing at your side or something. Even if not, it irritates me to no end how as soon as it wasn't called Straight you all think the abuse stopped, and also that you feel fine. I'm sorry but I don't think 'child abusers' should ever feel 'fine'. Of course I guess psychiatry is the new church, pay enough money and they'll brainwash you into having peace of mind. Even though you don't deserve it. I hope and pray to the one and only god, Science, will soon crush your false religion to."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Froderik

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2003, 11:30:00 PM »
Christ! What can I say? That was some intense shit. It really makes you think...just how guilty was I? I just wanted out like anybody else. I can't ever remember treating any newcomer like shit. Besides maybe getting in someone's face in group...but damned if that stuff isn't blocked out like certain passages in CIA documents...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2003, 10:35:00 AM »
Getting in someone's face IS treating them like shit. You don't believe me? Try an experiment: Walk down the main street of your town, stopping those that pass by that are displaying some type of behavior you don't like. Tell them you don't like it. Yell at them about it. Get in their faces about it. See how long it takes for you to get the shit beat out of you or for you to be thrown in jail.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Froderik

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2003, 02:45:00 PM »
I didn't say that getting in someone's face ISN'T 'treating them like shit.' And, I won't say that the program MADE me do that...but if I hadn't done it in some cases, I certainly wouldn't have 'progressed' as quickly, and may have even gotten a set back. So it could be chalked up to a matter of survival and/or brainwashing. My memory of yelling in people's faces is not good. I'm guessing that I must have done it at some point, though. About what, and to whom I yelled at are blocked out. I agree that it is not the way to interact with someone. My wife has scratched my face for doing this in the past. Of course we wonder if this sort of behavior was re-inforced by straight...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2003, 03:43:00 PM »
Wonder no longer. It was re-inforced by Straight/PIfA. They would beg, demand, and threaten me to incite newcomers to violence or tears. We would be specifically told that the point in the confrontation was to bust them. Either into tears or into a restraint. Your fear that you would have been held back is a valid one. Because I saw many who started working 4-5 months after I came graduate months ahead of me. I just wish there would have been some other protestors against the abuse in Straight/PIfA while I was there. When I say protestors I mean others that would refuse to abuse the others in group. Not the 'misbehavors' who I also have incredible resentment for. I would have to maintain silence in group after being spat on, touched inappropriately and the like. Of course I had to suffer the abuse of the 'misbehavors' in silence. Desperatly hoping the 5th phasers would answer my hand so these people would stop molesting me. Or there were plently of times I would talk about my humiliating sexual history when the 'misbehavors' would laugh or fart or throw things at me. I was alone. No one had the courage to ever stand with me. Everyone just went along...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Antigen

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2003, 04:54:00 PM »
Well, what can I say. 20 years ago, I really REALLY just needed to try and make an escape with my sanity. I'm sorry. I didn't think I could face down the monsters without losing my fragile grip.

Now I'm a little more stable and am doing what I can. FWIW, I sort of like to remember myself having been the decent, non abusive oldcomer. But I hesitate to state it as face because there's so much I don't remember.

Emotions rule the world; Is it any wonder that it's so mucked up?!
http://fornits.com/rates.htm' target='_new'>Bill Warbis

« 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 marika708

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2003, 04:59:00 PM »
I have noticed that I am very quick to get in my husbands face and confront him.  And I keep on and on.  It's almost like I don't see his side of a situation, especially when I think I'm right.

 I don't do it to the kids or other people, just him.  Anyone else?

Marika

Understand that legal and illegal are political, and often arbitrary,
categorizations; use and abuse are medical, or clinical, distinctions.

--Abbie Hoffman

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
arika
Atlanta \'83-\'84

Offline Tampa survivor

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2003, 05:26:00 PM »
Marika...
Yeah.  My X and I were horrible, not letting up, cannot loose the fight.
Imagine two people with that tendency.
Sort of an exponential effect.
Examining WHY my marriage failed led me to STR8..and all that I learned there.
Earlier post lamented the loss of the lie:  I learned to lie in straight.  I learned to hide shit like a pro.  I split from every phase EXCEPT first.  
Every now and then I tell somebody the truth when like 99% of the people would have lied to them.  Silly shit like prices at the store or whatever.  I have wondered why...GUILT FUCKING GNOMES FROM STRAIGHT>
Thats why.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Bill H
St Pete & Atlanta, never surrendered!
12/80-12/82

Offline Anonymous

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2003, 08:24:00 PM »
"[It makes me angry that you were all able to abuse the hell out of your newcommers for no other reason then you were told. You are all no better then the Nazi's in Germany during WWII that were 'just following orders'. I watched at least four child molesters walk out of that place free. Perhaps some of you who are 'doing fine' now are them.]"
Whoa.  Wow,
Blistering post, but very real.  
I hadnt seen you around Velvet for a while.
I was talking to a couple of renounced 7 steppers over beers the other night about how I was glad I had resisted, split , and didn't have to deal with the guilt of being staff, or whatever.
I can feel good that a weekly occurence for my parents were the confrontations in St Pete parent raps.  My dad said that one of the Newtons stood him up and rained buckets of shit down upon him for feeding the newcomers too well!!  Happened more than once, till my dad asked if they could skip taking newcomers if he was gonna catch shit about the fact that in our family, dinner is cooked well.
We all had our bad moments.  I get angry at those who "went along", "were brainwashed" or whatever.  Most of us are guilty to different degrees.  
It sure is difficult to determine what this should mean today.
Bill
St Pete & Atlanta
12/80-12/82
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline ClayL

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2003, 09:37:00 AM »
Bill wrote: "Happened more than once, till my dad asked if they could skip taking newcomers if he was gonna catch shit about the fact that in our family, dinner is cooked well."

We all knew that things were bad and that things could be just as bad for us IF we did things like: stuck up for our own opinions, spoke our mind, were honest about what we thought of the people around us, told staff what we really thought of them and so on. I always thought it sucked that my parents could do these things. I once saw my dad chewing a Sr's ass over something. I, until then, had NEVER seen one even look uncomfortable. It was even better that I was on a setback and saw it.

Now there were quite a few things I never told staff about either. Like speeding tickets, stop off's and so on. How I remained this sane I will never know. Probably coupled the rules Mind you own business and common sense together and went from there.

I am not saying everything is all chocolate bars, marshmallows and gram crackers. I like everyone else will force my opinion until the other party is in tears. Namely my wife. I find myself doing the Sgt. Major voice thing with my son and hate myself for it. I am keenly aware that these are thing I have serious trouble controlling. I have gotten to the point where I can ask if I was being an ass and apoligize when necessary. I am no longer convinced of my supreme rightness. It is okay to be wrong; no one is going to crucify me for it.

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

Offline Anonymous

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2003, 02:36:00 PM »
In my experience with AARC there were people who "confronted" in order to play by the rules and "progress", and then there were people who THRIVED on yelling at their newcomers, setting them up to get busted for things that they never did, and just generally making life hell for everyone. There were also some staff who really thought that they were helping, and some staff who really knew that they were nothing if they didn't take their crap out on other people. It  may look like the people thriving on passing the pain down got away "scott free", but imagine what life is really like in their worlds.

I feel I've done pretty good at recovering from things I learned in AARC, but I deffinately did do the Confronting crap for a long time. I always had been opinionated and in your face a bit, but there's a charming straight forward honesty, and then there is picking people apart and thinking that you can change them which is how I was after AARC. Another reason why so many people can't make or keep friends after the programs; they think they know more than everyone.

But my biggest problem in relationships aftewards was probably thinking that every single detail of someones lives and every single thing that they felt had to be put on the table and disected into little bits. If someone said "I don't want to talk about this right now, I just need time to sit and think" I'd loose it. It took me a long time to realize that not everything needs to be said, I can't understand everyone elses feelings, and thinking about things instead of blurting emotion out is a good thing! If the programs really taught "letting go" then immediate emotional spilling to every situation would never have been taught.
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Offline str8isabuse

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2003, 05:53:00 PM »
i learned at straight to be self-denigrating, even when i don't really think it's appropriate, just in case the other person is thinking critical things about me. i call myself an idiot, dense, stupid, a moron, and things like that just as conversational filler.  often it makes the person i'm talking with feel compelled to contradict me, and then i feel awkward because i realize it looks like i was fishing for a compliment, which i don't think i'm doing.  i think i'm just very insecure about my own worth because of all the confrontation i was subjected to.  anybody else like this?

i also can fight pretty hard verbally with my spouse, but i avoid conflict like the plague with anybody else.  i can't stand conflict, but i feel safe to vent with my spouse.  i end up being a doormat to other people because i'm too timid to say no.
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Offline beckyuga

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2003, 10:32:00 PM »
I learned those things too.
Except that I think on some level I love confrontation.  I don't deliberately look for arguments; but I find that I'm always on "the other side" of anyones opinion or point.  If you say black, I say white -that kind of thing.  Even to the point that when I win someone over to my side, then I'll start arguing for the point they were arguing to begin with! (if that makes any sense)  
A lot of people are put off by me because I have strong opinions and I'm very blunt-I don't have a lot of tact or social grace.  I've always credited that part of me to Straight.
I used to take great pride in spitting out everything I thought.  I eventually learned my lesson very painfully.  Some things are best left unsaid.
As far as the self-degradation; I think that was drilled into my core being at Straight.  My first year of college I was bulimic and the campus health services had developed this extensive treatment plan for anorexics/bulimics.  Part of it was a battery of personality tests.  The doctors/psychologists/etc. on the team asked me if I had been sexually abused because I fit the profile of a sexual abuse victim.  I was never sexually abused and I always wondered about that.  Now I know that it is the feelings of deep self hatred and guilt and shame that I've carried since Straight.  Deep inside I think I'm nasty, dirty, etc. like I'm sure a sexual abuse victim would feel.
It has been a life long struggle for me to develop any inkling of self esteem -and I'm guessing it always will be. (but hey -nothing's impossible)
Becky
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
traight Atlanta 1982-84
Straight St. Pete 1984-85

Offline ClayL

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2003, 08:52:00 AM »
Becky Wrote:

"I don't deliberately look for arguments; but I find that I'm always on "the other side" of anyones opinion or point."

Good Lord yes I do this. I am so good at it that most people think I'm an attorney. I probably should have been, but I don't think I could have lived with myself if my ability to argue set the guilty free. Straight also "gifted" me with a vastly moralistic super-ego and pretty much squashed the part of me that tells me I deserve to feel good and have a good time.

The only thing I can think of that would be worse than my experience is to have been sexually molested and been in Straight. Do you remember how the victim was somehow always found to be at fault? I was dating this person once who had some real problems. I found that she had been sleeping with all my friends, often and repeatedly. I was terribly "in love" with this woman so I found a way to blame myself for her behaviour. I believed that if I had done something different that things would not have turned out the way they did. This was the point in my life that was probably the worst, including Straight. (Straight lasted longer and probably contributed/caused this though.)

Hmmm, forgot where I was heading with that. Anyway, long and short is I love to argue and actually find it easier to argue the side I think is wrong. I can't imagine how much damage Straight caused the people who were abused. From the ones I have talked to here, the issues seem to be damn near insurmountable, but they do keep on.

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

Offline Anonymous

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"Everyone who is not dead is fine (whatever)"
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2003, 11:57:00 PM »
"I did exactly what they told me to do."

Thank you, you are the first person who has stated having this experience.  At my intake, I asked "how can I get out of here?" and they said "just be honest, about everything."  Well I was, to the point that, after Straight, I found it necessary to divulge embarassing things to my NA sponsor (I am happy not to be involved with 12 step groups anymore), things that had nothing to do with anything -- like personal body care, for example -- except that I "had a doubt about" sharing the detail with her or not and decided to err on the side of divulgence.  Crazy.  Really, psychopathic, or sociopathic.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »