Author Topic: the truth about it...  (Read 9577 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2005, 06:20:00 PM »
Any chance of an e-mail address?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2005, 09:43:00 PM »
Kerry,  I can empathize with you as to your particular experience at what I understand people term "therapeutic boarding" schools.  It is my understanding that there are many schools (actaully hundreds of them in the US now) that fit this niche.  I presume that it takes quite a bit of researcch to find a particular one that would suite one's child.  

What I don't gather from your experience is what was going on for your parents.  What is their take on the school(s)?  What was their life like as they progressed through you going to several schools?  The implication is that, since you went to several schools, you might have been asked to leave several of them??? I imagine that that must have been hell for your folks.

It just seems to me that there are some folks that choose to speak out negatively about these schools (and don't get the impression that I think they are all good...there are evidently some good, many bad and several in the middle)but, they do not allow the "others" (those that had to bare the burden of the choice) to weigh in.

I would like to hear from your folks, or the guardians of you at the time as to the legitimacy and acceptablility of the programs.  Certainly, it was your actions that precipitated the decision to have you attend a boarding school.  Perhaps one should consider the perspective of the caregiver in this regard.  I would suggest that someone (the one(s) accountable for you) were trying to save your life at the time....apparently it worked.
Evidently, if you are a 161 IQ, you are now able to use that intelligence to do good in the world, perhaps you should go from discrediting the school(s) to working with them to make their programs mopre apropo to the need.

If there were not thousands (hundreds of thousands) of children in precarious adolescent positions, we would not need the schools.

Cheers, and good luck.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2005, 09:54:00 PM »
Hello,  As I read your e-mail, I could relate to the frustration you may have in attempting to find out about particular schools.  You mentioned Mission Mountain.  Have you ever been to the school?  Have you toured the campus and met with the administration, staff and students?  If you had, you may feel differently.  Have you actually spoken with the ownership?  You mention that if "parents knew what was happening to their daughters, the place would be out of business."  Evidently, that could not be further from reality. I understand that the school is full with a waiting list.  

Why would you equate Mission Mountain to a WWASP school?  Have you ever been to a WWASP school? I understand that they are "locked" facilities.  Certainly Mission Mountain does not fit that description.  

Perhaps you may want to speak to some of the parents who have had good or even excellent results from the school.  Have you tried to talk to the parents of the "someone very dear to me?"

It sounds to me like you are poking at opinions and myths and have not actually tried to go to the source.  Why rely on the few "disgruntled" folks that act negatively.  Perhaps you should go to the school and work with the staff to see what it is really like.....you may be surprised at what you find.

Good luck with your very dear someone.
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2005, 11:20:00 PM »
Aw! Those poor, put upon parents! Well, as long as they're happy, who cares what happens to the kids? After all, they're all bad kids to begin with, right?

What did these poor, innocent parents ever do to deserve the difficulty of raising teenagers anyway? Oh yeah, they decided to have kids.  ::noway::

I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2005, 01:27:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-03-29 18:54:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Hello,  As I read your e-mail, I could relate to the frustration you may have in attempting to find out about particular schools.  You mentioned Mission Mountain.  Have you ever been to the school?  Have you toured the campus and met with the administration, staff and students?  If you had, you may feel differently.  Have you actually spoken with the ownership?  You mention that if "parents knew what was happening to their daughters, the place would be out of business."  Evidently, that could not be further from reality. I understand that the school is full with a waiting list.  



Why would you equate Mission Mountain to a WWASP school?  Have you ever been to a WWASP school? I understand that they are "locked" facilities.  Certainly Mission Mountain does not fit that description.  



Perhaps you may want to speak to some of the parents who have had good or even excellent results from the school.  Have you tried to talk to the parents of the "someone very dear to me?"



It sounds to me like you are poking at opinions and myths and have not actually tried to go to the source.  Why rely on the few "disgruntled" folks that act negatively.  Perhaps you should go to the school and work with the staff to see what it is really like.....you may be surprised at what you find.



Good luck with your very dear someone.



"


Perhaps you didn't read any other posts on here because I made one with lots of good points. As a student at MMS I did benefit from aspects of the program. My parents are very pleased with my having gone there because it helped me, however they are displeased with certain events that occured there and certain staff. No where is perfect, but when putting your children in the hands of other people you need to be able to trust they will be treated well emotionally and physically. That was not always the case at MMS. Of course there is a full waiting list, MMS seems very appealing and in ways it truly is. My mother was very impressed when visiting because a good impression was given off. I think that if there were a way for prospective parents to speak with other parents of past students they would be able to get the most realistic view, that way they can get an idea of how they may feel down the road. Don't discredit people's experiences. I know for a fact nothing Kerry said was untrue, I witnessed it all. People are different, and treated differently and have different experiences. This is not a matter of people acting negatively or taking things out on MMS, it's them sharing their experiences good and bad. Period. Just as people shouldn't discount the good aspects of MMS, no one should discredit people's real experiences that weren't very good.

Melissa Gower
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2005, 02:38:00 AM »
I wonder just who it is posting here, challenging these stories. I believe these girls and their experiences. Melissa supports Kerry's experiences and says what Kerry has told us is true, she witnessed it all.

It takes a lot for people to open up and come forward with their stories. They do it to share with others what they experienced so that others at least go into a situation with their eyes wide open.

Just remember one thing - anytime you put your child into the hands of a stranger, and anytime you relinquish all of your parental rights to them, the risk of abuse is there. It's just a fact of life.

Leave these kids alone. Haven't they been through enough already? Kind of makes you wonder who is posting here. Not someone who cares, that's for sure!

Parents are not all innocent in this. We live in a very complex time with a very complex society and families have suffered greatly. Many of these kids are victims of their environments and victims of their upbringing.

Troubled kids? Makes you stop to think how they became troubled in the first place. If they were living in a wholesome, kind, loving, environment with parents who were present in their lives, really present in their lives, how many would be "troubled?" I don't blame parents for everything, but it's time they take some responsibility - and I don't mean by sending their children away for someone else to fix them.

Kerry, Melissa, we believe you and commend you for coming forward to help others. Maybe it's time to find a better place to share your stories than  here, where trolls are among us. If you don't know what trolls are, ask Ginger. She can fill you in.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2005, 10:57:00 AM »
Running one of these places is a win win situation. Most teens outgrow their rebelliousness naturally, so if they are warehoused for a couple of years, will come out more mature than when they were sent away. It probably wouldn't matter if they were sent to live in an condo by themselves, a traditional boarding school or a place such as MMS. If this natural process of maturing occurs (which it usually does), the facility and their program takes credit and the parents pat themselves on the back for being so wise. If the child does not live up to expectations (and justify the financial investment), it's the child's fault....everyone else did their best. The biggest problem is that when these kids are finally released, they have missed a very important part of their maturation process which cannot be readily recaptured when they are adults. They have not learned how to interact socially or make informed decisions, because they have not been allowed to do so in a normal environment. Each of these children are individuals, not raw materials to be formed into identical products. They deserve to be treated with love and respect, not terrorized into conforming.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2005, 11:22:00 AM »
MMS doesn't need any fences or locked gates, it's so far out in the middle of nowhere that running away is out of the question. Look up Condon Montana on a Mapquest....find Guest Ranch Road and judge for yourself! What are the chances of a girl or two making it to civilization before being caught, eaten or frozen? By the way, I do know the parents of "someone dear to me", and  wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. It's simply a matter of where she is being abused, not if.
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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2005, 02:45:00 PM »
yes, to the person who is challenging what we wrote.......i was never asked to leave any program, i was never kicked out, i never even got in trouble at any of them.  in fact i was always the star student, i always did exactly what i was told and excelled at it.  fighting against the system at any of these places just makes for a longer more miserable experience.  i left mms early because my father came out and visited for a few days on a camping trip, he was shocked at how we were treated.  he was especially angry at how john merceer was ALWAYS  late for groups or activities and when he did arrive he would pick a girl and basically yell at her.  on that camping trip another gilrs dad was there too and he talked to my dad about how surprised he was at the way we were treated.  the other girl (ashley) had been there about as long as me and we were both scheduled for homevisits a month later, we both went on our homevisits and our parents talked on the phone while we were home and they both decided to pull ashley and i out.  so we never went back.  mms did not save my life, my life didn't even need saving yet.  as a child i was shy and didn't have a lot of friends.  i was also ADHD and was always in trouble ion school for not paying attention and stuff.  becasue of this in 3rd grade my schoold reccomended that i be sent to a therapist and put on ritalin.  so i was, from then on i was always singled out in school as being "different" and that just made things worse.  so in 5th grade i was put in the gifted and talented program at school for bright kids who needed a challenge, we got made fun of by the rest of the school and i hated it.  i didn't have any friends and practically refused to go to school.  my family moved right before 6th grade so i was put in another school, it was a private school full of rich kids with stuck up parents.  i got in trouble there for kissing a boy on the playground  and then hated that school, also i hated all my teachers and as a result was almost failing all of my classes.  i never paid attention in class and definitely never participated.  so for 7th grade i was sent to an "alternative school" for ADD kids who didn't fit into other schools.  these kids were all artsy and "different".  i loved it there, i started listening to heavy metal and dressing gothic, my therapist thought this was a big problem and told my parents that those kids were a bad influence (we had little to no supervision and the kids were just discovering that whole boyfriend girlfriend thing).  so in 8th grade i was sent to another stuck up private school where i did NOT  fit it at all, everyone made fun of me and i had no friends and was absolutely miserable.  i hated everyone there and the teachers made me the scapegoat for everything that went wrong.  i didn't particiapte in class, i didn't do homework, and they said i was "disruptive".  which i probably was.  i had a few friends out of school but i wasn't really allowed to see them ever.  so one night i got on my bike and snuck out to see my "boyfriend" who was also 13 and had green hair.  we accidentally fell asleep on a dock down the street from my house and in the  morning i quickly went home to find my parents, my therapist and police at my house.  my therapist told my parents i had run away and was convinced i was suicidal and had me put in a psych ward.  (by the way i have NEVER been suicidal) and from then on it was all downhill.  it was recomened that i be put in a long term inpatient program.  the state paid for me to go to one that was DJJ affiliated, i had never been in trouble with the police, never done drugs, and never drank.  i had smoked cigarettes though.  in that program i learned about drugs and stuff like that.  when i was 15 i left there and went back to normal school.  i had a boyfriend and lost my virginity to him, i drank on weekends at parties and was on the cross sountry team.    i got in a fight with a girl on day and was asked to leave the school.  my parenst freaked out and got an educational consultant who convinced them i was addcited to drugs and promiscuous.  (i still had never done drugs, oh and i was gothic)  so i was sent to a wilderness program who convinced my parents i was goinmg to die without help, that is how i ened up at mms.  mms made me say i had done drugs (i hadn't) slept with a bunch of guys (i hadn't) and say i was an alcoholic (i wasn't).  they also told me i was a socipath and would probably end up being a serial killer.  yeah right.  i don't even like confrontations.  so, you alreayd know what happend at mms.  when i left there i went back to normal high school and had no idea how to fit it. i had been in programs for all of teenage years so far ( i was 17 at this point) i had no idea how to function, it was horrible and scary.  i thought that if i drank i was "relapsing" if i did anything sexual i was relapsing, i was terrified.  after the homecoming dance i had a beer and had sex with my boyfriend and felt so guilty afterwards that i felt like my whole life was a failure.  it was then that i started drinking more and smoking pot, and taking pills.  i dropped out of high school and a few months before my 18th birthday escorts came and got me in the middle of the night again and took me back to a wilderness program.  after that i was sent to new haven, which i loved.  but while on a homevist i accidentally fell asleep at my friend mike's house and when new haven found out they told me i would have to be back on "safety" level again and start the whole program over because they thought i had sex with him (i didn't).  so when i was flying back to new haven my plane had a layover in denver and i said "fuck it" and got on a shuttle and ran away to boulder.  i called the staff and tyold them i wasn't coming back (it was a month before my 18th birthday).  i met a guy in boulder and moved in with him.  then we broke up and i met another guy who was a dealer with a meth lab.  i became addicted to meth and to get off of it started doing heroin.  i was addicted to hard drugs for 2 years, and i have now been clean for 2 years.  so, in conclusion. i did not need to be sent away to mms, or any of thsoe other places.  in fact i blame the edcons, some therapist for my drug use and pain later.  i became "institutionilized" i literllly could not function in "real life". those prorams ruined me.  i still can barely have a functional relationship with my boyfriend, and i don't know how to hold a job.  i missed out on key years of social development.  i am very pretty, and fun, but i don't have any friends at all.  so, before you judge me and think i am just lashing out because i am pissed at my parents or somehintg for sending me away, i'm not.  i am pissed off at the whole industry for perpetuating all these uneccessary placements.  the reason i am writing these things is that parents and friends of these girls getting sent away have no idea what their children are in for.  and if they do go visit these programs i guarantee they will see only what the staff what them to see and nothing more.  the girls will lie about what goes on there so they don't get in trouble.  and it's not just melissa and i that think this, about ten other girls from mms have e-mailed me and thanked me for posting what i did.  i guess i'll have to get them to post too so you'll take us seriously.  [email protected]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2005, 05:01:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-30 07:57:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Running one of these places is a win win situation. Most teens outgrow their rebelliousness naturally, so if they are warehoused for a couple of years, will come out more mature than when they were sent away. It probably wouldn't matter if they were sent to live in an condo by themselves, a traditional boarding school or a place such as MMS. If this natural process of maturing occurs (which it usually does), the facility and their program takes credit and the parents pat themselves on the back for being so wise. If the child does not live up to expectations (and justify the financial investment), it's the child's fault....everyone else did their best. The biggest problem is that when these kids are finally released, they have missed a very important part of their maturation process which cannot be readily recaptured when they are adults. They have not learned how to interact socially or make informed decisions, because they have not been allowed to do so in a normal environment. Each of these children are individuals, not raw materials to be formed into identical products. They deserve to be treated with love and respect, not terrorized into conforming.   "


In ways you are correct but I don't want the good people and good aspects of MMS to be discounted. Some people who are sent to MMS or other similar schools don't really need to be there. They have problems that can be solved at home, and by sending them away it only hinders them in finding a solution to their issues. Others, myself included DO need to be sent somewhere. I wouldn't have just naturally matured out of my problems. I was a serious drug addict among other things and without being stuck in a place where I had no choice but to be sober I believe I would have been dead before my 21st birthday.

I did however miss a very important period of my childhood/teenage  years being sent away. I also missed a very important part of my childhood prior to being sent away. What normal 13 year old is doing meth everyday and having sex? I don't think the parents or programs can be blamed for the loss of childhood in a situation such as mine. There were people at MMS, namely Mike Finn who wasn't even one of the therapists but an outdoor recreation teacher who helped me realize the realities of life and what I would be faced with once leaving. Unlike John Mercer,the headmaster of the school, Mike gave me an honest view of the challenges I had ahead and the things it would take to adjust. John presented a very negative and skewed version of what "outside" life would be like which led me to live a very confused,naive year once getting out of the program.

My point is, there were girls other than myself at MMS that NEEDED to be somewhere like that, and who were able to take the good and ignore the bad and come out of the program for the best. Though there were things that happened at MMS that were totally inappropriate and hurtful, experiencing them has helped me turn into a stronger person. I now refuse to let people intimidate me and I always stand up for myself and say what I think. SO again, just because there are some people and some parts of the program that are just wrong others are not and this program isn't just making money off kids who would naturally mature and get over things. For some it's a legitimate need.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2005, 06:44:00 PM »
I agree that there is a place for residential treatment programs for severely drug addicted individuals. However, there is never a reason for any child, regardless of their addictions or other perceived shortcomings, to be treated in a demeaning or abusive manner. Such treatment is certainly not theraputic for anyone and should not be tolerated. All of these programs should be regulated and overseen by the authorities.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2005, 07:19:00 PM »
I'm with you, anon. There is no room for abuse, neglect, humiliation - any of it.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2005, 08:04:00 PM »
Uh, yeah...that's like saying to a battered wife, "Well, let's not discount the positive aspects of your marriage."  Who the fuck cares about the positive aspects when the negatives are so overwhelmingly prevalent?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2005, 10:27:00 PM »
Truer words were never spoken! Let's all try to put our differences aside and organize to put these places out of business! We have tons of ammunition, in the form of lots of people who would testify. We really need a place to come together and make a plan.
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2005, 10:32:00 PM »
Quote
2005-03-30 07:57:00   , Anonymous wrote:
 Running one of these places is a win win situation. Most teens outgrow their rebelliousness naturally, so if they are warehoused for a couple of years, will come out more mature than when they were sent away.

True. But even worse...

Quote
On 2005-03-30 11:45:00, kerryberry420 wrote:

my parenst freaked out and got an educational consultant who convinced them i was addcited to drugs and promiscuous.  (i still had never done drugs, oh and i was gothic)  so i was sent to a wilderness program who convinced my parents i was goinmg to die without help, that is how i ened up at mms.  mms made me say i had done drugs (i hadn't) slept with a bunch of guys (i hadn't) and say i was an alcoholic (i wasn't).  they also told me i was a socipath and would probably end up being a serial killer.  yeah right.  i don't even like confrontations.  so, you alreayd know what happend at mms.  when i left there i went back to normal high school and had no idea how to fit it. i had been in programs for all of teenage years so far ( i was 17 at this point) i had no idea how to function, it was horrible and scary.  i thought that if i drank i was "relapsing" if i did anything sexual i was relapsing, i was terrified.  after the homecoming dance i had a beer and had sex with my boyfriend and felt so guilty afterwards that i felt like my whole life was a failure.  it was then that i started drinking more and smoking pot, and taking pills.  


Kerry, this is so similar to how I felt and how so many other people describe their experience in the program. Intellectually, I never believed all the things they made me confess to in Straight. And I never believed half the trash the other kids said, either. But, after two years, it did effect me in just about exactly the way you describe. I never went through a realy heavy drug phase. I was too busy working to support my daughter, who was conceived less than a year after I was out. It's almost funny. All the old pictures I have from when my husband and all his friends first started hanging out at my apartment, I'm passed out on the couch. You'd think I was the biggest lush, but that wasn't it. After getting up early, working all day, biking to the daycare then home, doing dinner and all, I'd have one beer and go right to sleep. I might have developed a serious drug problem in those day, but I just didn't have enough energy for it. LOL!

The really tragic thing is that the people who run these programs and the parents who buy into them seem so eager to believe any horrible thing they can pressure you into saying. Though I was never in a program before Straight, my mom was constantly trying to find that smoking gun to prove I had started to become a druggiekid so she could slam me in a program and quit worrying about it. When I couldn't take that pressure anymore, I ran away to my sister's in Ma; hitchhiking from Florida. That, of course, became "sleeping my way all accross the country"  :roll:

It's like Munchausen by proxy. Really, really sick! Hence the term "troubled parent industry", as I think that's really what it's all about.

That it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can provide evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts and in my opinion, is all that is essential to agnosticism.
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