Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => Mission Mountain School => Topic started by: enge4815 on May 01, 2005, 02:37:00 PM

Title: my experiences at MMS befoer and after
Post by: enge4815 on May 01, 2005, 02:37:00 PM
Hey everyone.
My name is Rebecca Engel and I am 23 and I went to MMS almost nine years ago. I am here because I didn't know there was a way to contact people at MMS afterwards. I left without signing the alumni book but I graduated. At least I don't remember signing the alumni book maybe I did. Like I said it's been awhile.
You know I have read all the posts about people's experiences at MMS before my time and most are after my time. I went to MMS from July 1st, 1996-July 1st 1998. Exactly two years and I have a lot I could share about. But I want to give you all a background of why exactly I went there. I was an abusive punk, I ran away from home, I fought with my parents I made their lives miserable because I was miserable and I didn't know how to tell them that. I did drugs, I fought with my peers, I thought I was this bad ass at the age of 14, that I was invincible, and that I had everything under control. When my brother graduated from high school in 96 we went on family vacation to Idaho where my parents told me I was never coming home to live there again. I was sent to SUWS which it seems that majority of MMS grads went there. I was pissed, but deep down I knew that they were right I was out of control even though at the time I wouldn't have admitted that under torture. When I went to MMS I was picked up at the Kalispell airport by Donna and some girls who were coming back from a home visit. I was bitter and tired of being in the new places and having to learn all these new people?s names. I thought I don't need to be here I barely did anything. You know in adolescence that forgetfulness about our own actions. My two years at MMS were eventful I went there I was 200 pounds and on a 5'5 frame that is obese. When I first got there I hadn?t ever done a thing for myself it seemed. I didn?t know how to clean my room, I had never really done chores before, I?d never done anything that was required at MMS, and I had never been in close quarters with girls. Hell I didn?t have but one friend who was a girl before I came to MMS and that was my best friend who I am still friends with today. I had always been friends with guys b/c they were easier to get along with. But mostly I was a loner. I didn't change overnight and I don't think that's the goal of MMS. And I think some of their methods can be deemed abusive but I ask everyone who is commenting on that to look at their own actions before they came there and see if they really were the angels they claim to be today. I know that I went to MMS and I still think two years is a short time and there is more I could have learned and done differently. I was sent midwinter of my first year to another wilderness program because I was stealing granola from the freezer and fighting and being abusive myself to the other girls I couldn't stop and I think that the night before I left for Catherine freer changed me. When I came back I wanted to be there and I was grateful. That also didn?t happen over night, on Catherine freer there were kids that were going to California Youth Authority and other such places. I just want to mention that I have volunteered there and I think that places is 100times worse than MMS and it?s state and federally regulated and kids die there. I will never do that again. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Back at MMS I was not an athlete and I made efforts and I lost weight with the help of Deb who is a licensed nutritionist so she can tell us what to eat and not eat because she has more knowledge about food than all 30 of us girls who went there at that time put together. I didn?t like Deb, Mike, Gary, John, or Colleen. I didn?t like anyone in authority positions at that time in my life. I went through and I became closer to the girls and the staff as time went on. I owe my life to MMS because when I went there I had lived in Arizona my whole life and never lived in cold weather. When I lived in Montana I found out I had something wrong with my feet and hands. The staff at MMS Deb in particular noticed I walked funny and when they asked me about it I said I?d always done it. Well they sent me to doctors and then they sent me to specialist. I went home (way before I was ready) and I saw a neurologist who told me I had a neuropathy. I would have never know about that if it weren?t for MMS and that affects my life very little today because of the things I have learned and achieved at MMS. I also really didn?t get honest with the staff at MMS in the beginning because my whole life I had been dishonest. They taught me that it wasn?t okay to be dishonest and that I needed to see my own potential and my own actions. I left MMS and went on the another boarding school and I picked up a resentment when I left I felt that these people who had come to mean so much to me wanted nothing to do with me the day I left. I was bitter because of all this hard work I had done I thought they saw it as not good enough. I decided then and there on the flight back through my tears that I would never speak to them again. I wouldn?t understand that until I was in their position as an adult today. I went home for that summer for school and then was transported to my next boarding school where I graduated from high school. I went onto college even though I wasn?t ready. Did I mention that when I went home for the summer my parents let me drink in front of them? It was okay with them because they didn?t think I was an addict and half of the ideas that MMS had told them about me they didn?t believe. My parents and brother needed to work on themselves and not just blame me for the problems. Needless to say that was the last summer I spent at home, but I started to think I could handle the drinking and the way I felt and not have to do the things that I had done for the last two years.  I learned very quickly how much my old life could come back and I thought I could handle it. I got back into all the old behaviors but I never let it get too big that I would need an intervention. Until my 21st birthday when went all out had been doing drugs for days and my parents were there so I had to be on my best behavior. As soon as they left me and my friends at the restaurant to fly home I don?t remember what happened for the next week. But I woke up out of that blackout and I decided right then and there that I was going to end it all. When I had talked myself out of that ( I was too much of a chicken shit) I decided right then and there I wasn?t going to finish my senior year at the school I was at that I need  help and I was going to get it. I went to a rehab 2 and ½ years ago and come this summer I will be working at the adolescent department because I am graduating this May from college in California. I owe a lot to MMS and I had resentments and the same feelings that many of you shared it is only until I got clean and looked at my part in my own life that I realized I was not the victim anymore and that I have a part in everything I choose to do. And I have gained so much knowledge from the aspects of MMS and you know what I wouldn?t trade anything in my life even the bad stuff to change me going there. I owe them for giving me a life and teaching me the tools not to screw it up. I thought school had to be my priority and I took a year off to get clean and figure out myself and live my life. I go to meetings and I do the 12 steps I won?t break my anonymity by telling you which ones I go to. I hope that this helps someone so they don?t make the same mistakes I did when I left. There is help out there, and if you keep denying that you need it when you truly might need it might not be there. To all the people who are blaming John, Mike, Gary, Deb, Colleen, your parents or anyone else for MMS or what brought you there or to where you went after. I hope this helps you because I know I did blame them and after learning from the steps my part in things and how to get rid of my resentments I don?t blame them anymore. I hope that each of you can find peace and find yourselves
I know there will be some responses to what I have said. I hope that you all learn to communicate your feelings and change them instead of blaming, bitching or holding resentments. Because resentments will kill you I can attest to that. I needed to put this out there and I am willing to hear everyone?s opinion even if I won?t agree with it. This is an open forum it is your right to put what you want as it is mine. I just hope that everyone gets the help they need. I know I did and I am living my life each day anew.
Rebecca Engel :wave:
Title: my experiences at MMS befoer and after
Post by: ainoue on May 01, 2005, 05:05:00 PM
rebecca - it is so wonderful to read what you have to say.  i have often wondered about you and am so happy to hear that you are doing well.  take care, aya
Title: my experiences at MMS befoer and after
Post by: Antigen on May 01, 2005, 05:44:00 PM
Rebecca, I'm glad if you grew up and learned to quit being an asshole. But I doubt seriously that the "treatment" at MMS was the key factor. What you're describing is a fairly normal transition from bratty kid to mature adult.

It's sad that you had a disability that no one had ever bothered to notice. My brother was sick his whole life. Just after he moved to Ohio when he was around 45 years old, he finally was diagnosed w/ and treated for Chrones disease. So do you think everybody should move to Ohio just in case they're undiagnosed Chrones victims?

The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.
--John Stuart Mill

Title: my experiences at MMS befoer and after
Post by: enge4815 on May 01, 2005, 05:53:00 PM
no I don't I am glad your brother got his treatment for his disease. It's a scary thing to have something your whole life and finally be able to put a name on it. there are many support things out there for people with neurological diseases and their friends and family. You should check it out. I know it helps. like posting on this forum is good for people who need to get things off their chest. Did you go there are you just an observer sharing your opinion? Thanks for your opinion.
Rebecca  :wave:
Title: my experiences at MMS befoer and after
Post by: Antigen on May 01, 2005, 06:50:00 PM
No, I was in another Synanon based program. I'm just learning about MMS now. It's all too familiar.

My point about mentioning the disease is that I just don't get the connection between MMS and your getting a dx and treatment for your nerve problem. Do you think the ppl at MMS are the only ones in the world who might have noticed your problem? Or is it more a coincidence that you happened to be there when someone finally looked into it?

The reason I ask is because it's very common in programs like these (attack therapy, or Synanon method being the common thread) for people to come out of it w/ an artificially high opinion of the people who run the program. It's called Stockholm Syndrome.

Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them.
--Thomas Paine