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Offline Tiffany

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« on: July 27, 2004, 08:39:00 PM »
well, you seem to think that Cedu is the place to be.  what i am going to tell you is not my PERCEPTIONS, since you think we're all just blowing smoke.  these are facts.  I was at Ascent almost 10 years ago.

1.) I had a yeast infection while i was there.  I was NOT ALLOWED to wash the applicator for the cream.  when i complained and said that was unsanitary i was told that it was my problem, not theirs.

2.) I was given toothpaste 3 times while i was there.  3 days out of 50 days that i was there.  because of that, my gums started eroding and when i came home i went through very painful gum surgery 3 times within a year.

3.) We were not allowed to shower for the first 3 weeks i was there.  NOT ALLOWED to be clean.

4.) Scabies went around and we all had to do a scabies treatment.  Very clearly on the bottle the warning included "Do not come in contact with eyes.  Causes blindness"  After applying the cream, we were NOT ALLOWED to wash our hands.  when we complained they told us it was not their problem if WE WENT BLIND.

5.) They refused to send a letter to my parents where i said i had a rough week.  They ripped it up in front of me and told me that i needed to re-write it and "tell them how great it is here" (exact quote), that if i didn't say that, i would sleep in the snow for a week.

6.) I complained that my feet were very cold, and that i needed to warm them up.  They told me it was my problem.  A week later a staff member who actually cared sometimes, was preparing us for course, and was showing us how to warm somebody's feet in case of them being too cold, and used my feet for an example.  He was shocked by how cold they were and YELLED at me for not saying anything.  When i told him i did, he YELLED at me again for listening to the other staff.  by that time it was already too late, and to this day, one of my toes is still numb.

this is one of the programs you are defending.  These are facts, not perceptions.  God help your soul you stupid Cedu cunt.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2004, 11:51:00 PM »
I have to say that although Tiffany describes the Ascent portion of CEDU, it is also reminiscent of CEDU school where there seemed to be a blatant disregard for true medical conditions (it was manipulation, according to the school.).  I myself and others have experienced this.

Also, it is disturbing that they monitored and forced us to re-write our letters.  We all knew better than to write our concerns or feelings or fears, so our letters were all phony. EVERY single solitary student understood this censorship and would never ever suffer the consequences of writing anything derogatory about the school or question our experience.  

This sort of censored and limited contact is very alarming because parents do not know what is really going on with their children... If anything negative slipped out, boy were you in trouble.  Second, they then told your parents that it was just further testimony of their child's manipulation.  I find this absolutely frightening. The worst is that over time, you don't even question it anymore.  

Now that I'm out, it was a real revelation to find out they say the same STOCK things to every parent... Even their messages home were just stock quotes and pretty laughable actually.  

I didn't act out at CEDU so every once in awhile, to make sure I was doing "the work", the family head would confront me in a rap using taunts and sometimes untrue miscellany, until I was provoked into defending myself and they would say "ohhh, the bitch is out."  But who here would allow someone to say untrue or abusive things to them and just let it go? At least I didn't say untrue/abusive things to them in retaliation.

I think this might be PART of the reason why Ottawa elicits so much vitriol.  Because we feel like she is denying our experiences and  calling us liars and that really, really, really pisses us all off.
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Offline Cypress

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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2004, 12:29:00 AM »
Quote
On 2004-07-27 20:51:00, Anonymous wrote:

"I have to say that although Tiffany describes the Ascent portion of CEDU, it is also reminiscent of CEDU school where there seemed to be a blatant disregard for true medical conditions (it was manipulation, according to the school.).  I myself and others have experienced this.


I remember the first time I asked for tylenol because of cramps.  I was swiftly informed that it was all in my head and to just get over it.  Somehow I was using my cramps as a manipulation tool. To this day, I haven't been able to figure out the link between menstrual cramps and manipuation.
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Offline ottawa5

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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2004, 12:33:00 AM »
My son went to Ascent just before he went to RMA and while he described it to me as very, very rugged and the staff as very confrontory, some of this stuff that you are describing sounds unnecessary and abusive and even medically dangerous.  I think that you can have a wilderness program that is pretty demanding without resorting to that.

I don't know what to make of your description, it happened a bit before we were involved with the school so that might be the explanation, or it may have to do with bad staff, out of control.

I am absolutely convinced that getting reasonable but firm staff has to be one of the biggest challenges of running one of these places, especially in a front-line place like Ascent.

So I agree with you there is no excuse for ignoring medical assistence---a little while with deprivation of showers to get your attention may not be over the top, although there is a limit, and, if the level of deprivation is causing outbreaks of scabies then that is something else too. I still maintain that there has to be some level of confrontation but here again there has to be limits.

I wanted to address your other comment made today about my fighting with other posters rather than paying attention to posts like yours. This is valid, just by hearing from you I learn another dimension of what can go wrong with one of these programs and I plan, if I ever develop one, to do it right.  

Now, to many of you at this site, there is no right way, but I don't believe that.  And that makes some people attack me in the rudest possible ways.

Well, I like to think of myself as someone trying to do good, but I never claimed that I was any little angel and when people attack me unfairly, I hit back, just as I hope that I would do if they were attacking anyone else unfairly. I am not one to sit still and be someone's meek little whipping boy even if something bad happened to them in the past.

And I am pretty skilled at hitting back, especially when the attacker is a real SOB, which makes it kind of reinforcing to do.  I don't intend to stop, either, but your point is well taken: it may be a matter of  using one's best energy for really central things, and using the residual for fighting.
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Offline Tiffany

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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2004, 02:31:00 PM »
i do appreciate it.  

i do agree with you that a confrontational approach can work sometimes.  but, these staff members didn't care.  these are my perceptions, but i think from what i am going to tell you, you will understand why i am saying that.

one day, i refused to take the garbage to whereever it needed to go.  instead of telling me "you will do this or........(fill in the blank)" i had two MALE staff members RESTRAIN me.  i did nothing to them, except say "i will not take out the garbage, i don't feel like it".  they restrained me.  for no reason at all.  i made no move to physically confront them at all.  that is not right.

there was a staff member who told kids to fuck off, when they would go to him with a problem.  and i'm serious, for no reason.  for an example, one afternoon, there was no female staff there.  we ran out of tampons, and one of the girls told him we were out of tampons and he said "too bad, fuck off".  that is totally uncalled for.

my parents sent me there to work on my problems.  there was not one time that my problems were even addressed in a positive, or encouraging manner.  in a "rap", sex was brought up, and when i said i wasn't a virgin, another male staff member started calling me a slut.  i said "i'm not a slut", and after that, whenever he saw me, he always called me a slut, never ever called me by name.  do you know how much that hurts?  to this day, it hurts me and is bringing tears to my eyes as i am typing.  the same staff member who told us all to fuck off, also started calling me another nickname, that was as equally degrading.  one day i started crying because of it, and he of course told me to fuck off, and grow up.  this is a staff member, not another kid!

one day, i was having a very bad day, with a lot of memories, and things that went wrong, and the reasons i was there.  i tried to talk to one of the other girls that was there, and i got in trouble!  i said "well, aren't we here to work on our problems and to talk?" and the staff told me no.  exact quote here "we also have problems in our lives, that are way more important than your's.  and we can't just stop and talk about them whenever we feel like it.  oh, and they are WAY more important than your problems."  i mean, hello!  that is why my parents spent that kind of money for me to go there.  so i could work on my problems!  and then i'm told that my problems aren't important?  and then they were totally ignored?  ever since then, i have had such a hard time talking about my feelings.  because of some stupid fucking un-licensed staff who told me that my problems aren't important, and ignored them.  they were paid to be there to help us!  and if we didn't want to talk, they were supposed to confront us about our problems, not make us feel even worse for having feelings.  these people weren't even licensed therapists, for crying out loud.  

I'm not sure what to think of you Ottawa.  in some of your posts, you seem like a Cedu plant.  in other posts, you do seem like a training psychologist.  Please, when you read this, if you are going to say something negative about my feelings, just please don't.  i am sitting here crying while i'm typing because of all the horrible memories i have of that place.  i really don't think i could handle somebody telling me that i'm blowing my smoke, or anything like that.  i'm 25 years old now, and i was there when i was 15, and writing about this hurts just as bad, and the pain is just as fresh as it was the day after i left that place.

please, if you are going to start a place like this, have licensed professionals working with these kids.  they deserve that, no matter what they did to be sent there.  and confrontation is good, if you are trying to get the kids to talk about their feelings, if they just want to sit there and be silent.  but name calling, and degrading people is not okay.  it's downright abuse.  and knowing that if you say anything back to them that you might have to sleep in the snow, or that you will be put on bans and not be able to talk to anybody, is torture, it really is.  

and to be honest, these are just a few more examples of what went on there.  i was there for only 50 days, and i have a ton more stories to tell.
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Offline ottawa5

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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 07:27:00 PM »
Tiffany--If you think that I would belittle your feelings when you describe your situation in such an open, heart-felt way, then you have been listening to people who can't or won't understand my purpose.

More and more, as I hear accounts like yours, I am convinced that the difference between programs is in the quality of the staff--there are of course other differences but I think that this is pivotal.

I don't even know if you have to have trained psychologists (believe me, I do not deify my profession) in every single position, but you've got to have people who are firm but also kind and who want to understand.

Our experience was so different than what you went through. When my son was first there, for months he didn't even participate in raps, refused to talk, and although some older kids would confront him on what he had to give to the group, he would just snarl back that he wasn't going to give anything to them, they didn't mean anything to him. The group leaders let the process work, let other people show their disappointment in him, by their comments, but with some control.  When one really upset kid started screaming at him for not participating, the group leader stopped the kid from continuing to verbally attack him, but pointedly told him he was letting down the group, I remember him telling me about it.  

On the other hand, the staff could be pretty tough with their expectations. When he had been there for over a year, some new kid who was in the position he had once been in, and acting like just as much of a jerk, said something to my son about fighting him when they got out.  My son, who like me, has a short fuse, snapped back and said he'd find him first.  

The group leader took my son out of group for a conference.  He told him that it was a pretty serious thing for someone so far along in the program to be lured into a confrontation with a new kid like that.  For that mistake, he had to spend days building a landscape wall.  Ane do you know what, his attitude was "Yeah, I should have controlled my self, but anyway I bet I can get a good summer job with a landscape company after this".  And he took it upon himself to make up with the kid on his own, not as part of a punishment.  I hope he won't mind me telling about some of his experiences, but I've tried to keep it pretty general and had better not say much more without his permission.  

People are human, Tiffany, if you want people to be perfect, you might as well give up on human relationships, I believe that. So I'm sure that the staff at his school lost their tempers and swore sometimes, made bad calls on punishments, let things go when they shouldn't on occasion, but I never heard of a lot of the mean, pointless, emotionally bankrupt stuff you describe.  I sure wouldn't let it happen in any school that I was involved with.  

So keep in touch and good luck, you're a sensitive person, but you're not emotionally shut down, you'll do OK, it takes emotional strength to feel as strongly as you feel even in your sadness.  

Your story will help other people, I believe that, because I promise you, whether I work at one of these schools or start one, or just talk to people from one, I will tell stories like yours, and where this kind of thing is happening, change will occur because you spoke as you have about it.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 07:45:00 PM »
The problem is that tiffany's experience was not isolated. When I went to CEDU, her experience (name calling etc.) was the norm.  Being called a slut repeatedly by staff was not uncommon whether you screwed whether you had sex or not. The guys did not have to contend with this... They were however humiliated in other ways about sex. To compound the problem, this occurred in front of everyone. Would you like it if you went to work and your boss called you a slut in front of your colleagues daily?  In public school, this would be bullying. Could you imagine a teacher in a public school getting away with this?  

Would you really send your kid to a place where the staff model "fuck off" as behavior modification?

Again, this is NOT isolated--it IS the culture of the school, perpetuated by the high level staff.

Tiffany, I'm sorry you went through this.  I'm not the most sanitary speaker, but to this day, whenever I hear someone called a slut or a whore I will not stand for it, even if I dislike the person.  

--Shanlea
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Offline Deborah

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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2004, 09:51:00 PM »
"I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." -William Lloyd Garrison, from the The Liberator, Vol. 1 No. 1, January 1, 1831
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Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2004, 10:13:00 PM »
Deborah: I'm confused what this quote is in response to. There is nothing wrong with being direct and truthful.  There is something wrong with confusing verbal assault with being direct. CEDU's big problem.

Hey, I would have been thrilled if CEDU advocated direct and truthful dialogue.  That would have gotten across just fine.  Often the direct truth is difficult, but it is not abusive.  In the great preponderance of cases, CEDU chose to bully assault and verbally/emotionally abuse its students.  

Another thing, Ottawa, to "slip" and call someone a slut is a little different from letting the f word fly when you stub your toe. Grown "counselors" shold not be telling kids to fuck off.

Had the staff been direct or simply truthful, real gains could have been made.  For Ottawa to say that Tiffany's experience was isolated is laughably dead wrong.  None of us are here because the staff slipped a couple times and hurt our poor little feelings.  

Shanlea
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Offline Deborah

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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2004, 12:48:00 AM »
It was in support of suvivors speaking their truth on their own terms and in their own words without moderation.
I appreciate you, and others, for doing that.

And, I believe that it is difficult, if not impossible, to speak calmly and rationally about traumas that one has experienced, unless s/he is in a mild state of shock or denial.
Seems that first the confusion, anger and hurt must be expressed. And anyone that vaguely resembles the perpetrator is subject to get the brunt of it. When that's done, then perhaps one can tell their story calmly and feel less defensive. I think it is disrespectful to minimize someone's experience based on the way they choose to express that hurt or the words they choose to use, when that is such a vital part of the healing process for many.

Hope that explains.
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Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2004, 01:26:00 AM »
Deborah:
Are you talking about the posts where I said some of the language was getting too out of hand where Ottawa was concerned?  

It's not the anger that upsets me, its when things get violent and vile. And some stuff offended me as a woman.  I wrote back about the things specifically said about Ottawa (who I intensely disagree with about CEDU-related matters)but actually my feelings evolved out of reading many posts that have crossed the line.

I've been perusing some other sites, and so many posts are useful, but others get out of hand with bigotry, violence, and crudeness. Reading that stuff is scary let alone experiencing it. I know we have a first amendment thing going on here, and I enjoy the candor, but not when it tips toward abusiveness.

It's good to let the anger and rage out, and one doesn't need to be perfectly calm and rational.  So I don't disagree with that at all. And while I criticized Bryan et al, for some of the things that were said (not CEDU related), I admire that overall, he is proactive about his beliefs rather than just bitching.  It's not often in life that people actually do something to change inequity on a large-scale basis.  He's got a mouth on him, but he also has cojones.
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