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Messages - j

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re: work and pleasure
Hmmn, never heard of that.  So if your link sends people to the Amazon site, or if they go there and then also order the book, you get a cut?  I would feel a little funny about "selling" while I am speaking, for example, if in my posts here I link the book titles to Amazon.  That is an interesting idea though about setting up my own book review website.  

work and pleasure
I really like to read books.  Constantly.  I also like to eat while I am reading.  If anyone would like to pay me to do this, please let me know.

you people are such losers do something productive with your life!!!!!!

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / still supporting straight...
« on: August 01, 2001, 10:40:39 AM »
parents & straight
In dealing with the topic of Straight with my mother, it has helped to have this board.  I can tell her that a lot of people who went through Straight have mental health problems as a result, that a relatively high number of clients committed suicide, and that it is not just my own new idea: that people with doctorate degrees are calling Straight a cult.  Also, just in general, I am not alone now when I am telling her how awful it was.  She has conceded to some degree that it was a mistake, and finally does say she would not do it again.  She still doesn't understand why it is a "topic" at all -- she thinks I should just get on with my life.  Our conversations still are not very pleasant on the subject.  I keep thinking I will print off a bunch of stuff from Wes's site and other places for her to read, but it is such a heavy topic, and the time doesn't seem right.  I agree with Kathy that I think it is extremely painful for parents to even begin to see such a huge mistake.  I am never quite comfortable with the statement that parents do the best they can, especially on the topic of Straight.  I think parents, like the rest of us, are often lazy, irresponsible and neglectful.  I hold all of the parents culpable for the decision they made.  It was a harsh and extreme decision to imprison us in an institution they knew so little about.    

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / A question...
« on: August 01, 2001, 10:43:27 AM »
stay at home
my mom worked at home

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / My friend is home
« on: August 01, 2001, 11:49:53 AM »
mind raping
The message is: "you don't get to be free until you do our therapeutic thing."  Even in a setting that has none of the other characteristics of the Straights, and thus does not seem too bad at all, this is still the prime element of abuse.

I was mulling this over: what if a person was shipwrecked, say, on a tiny island in the South Pacific, where there was a small tribe of people who took her in, and no way of leaving the island or radioing for a rescue.  Say she was there for two or ten years.  Say the island people were mostly "live and let live" folks, who didn't mind her many wierd ideas and ways of doing things.  Alone in a vastly different culture, she would probably change a great deal, and come to agree with many of their customs, even if they went against her former beliefs.  She would see the world  very differently.  The islanders, as well, would be changed by her and by what she told them of the rest of the world.

So, I was thinking, that is kind of like being put in Straight, with some crucial differences.  First of all, I was "put" into Straight by my parents.  This was not an accident of wind and weather.  Hence the terror and rage of abandonment.  Second, in Straight there reigned the very opposite of the "live and let live" ethic: Straight and all the people I was there with had an agenda for me.  I had no freedom to go to my grass hut and mull things over.  I had no freedom to enjoy the people for themselves around the evening fire.  There was no honest give and take of information and knowledge.  It became clear: it is not possible to survive in this situation.  I do not have the basic necessities for healthy human survival: love, sunshine and the outdoors, the freedom to make my own life, time to myself to think, free exchange of ideas with other people or at least through books and other media.  Since it is not possible to survive here, I must escape.  I can either escape literally, and risk the consequences, or I can escape by graduating.  (I don't think many of us realized the inherent consequences in that choice.)  To graduate, I must completely assimilate into this society.  I do not get to question anything.  Assimilating meant, among other things, having no privacy of mind or emotions.  What should have been my private space was subjected to continued assualt.  I think we are all familiar with the specifics: staff had our private journals, we had to talk about our "pasts", we had no right to "get into our heads" or stare into space thinking, we had to talk about sexual experiences, in fact, we had to talk about everything, lest we be accused of withholding information and being "full of shit."  We were subject to ridicule.  We were told what we were feeling and given no right to disagree.  We were told what we were not feeling.  We had to have certain emotions while talking about certain things.  We had to stand a certain way while talking: arms down so we didn't "hide".

In the Straights, this was all very extreme.  We had no break from it at all.  But in any coercive so-called therapeutic or rehabilitative program, freedom comes only through submission to therapy or rehabilitation, and that is the rotten core.  That is mind-rape.

I have the right to be private.  I have the right to understand my life and myself in my own way.  

Essay question: How is Susanna Kaysen's experience in a mental institution, as told in "Girl, Interrupted", like or unlike the Straight experience?  Would the shipwrecked woman experience a similar sense of being "interrupted"?  Why or why not?

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Augusta, Gone
« on: July 01, 2001, 02:28:34 PM »
Well I will have to research this myself.  I had heard that it messes up the serotonin stuff in your brain.  How's that for a scientific statement.  I am sceptical of drug information from both sides.  Who knows the truth?  Who tells the truth?  (This is not directed at you personally, FaceKhan.  By the way, I really like your quote from John Locke.)

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Augusta, Gone
« on: July 01, 2001, 05:24:37 PM »
more thoughts on the same
I think back on myself at 17 and I don't see what I was doing as particularly dangerous with a couple exceptions: riding with drunk or stoned drivers, and doing LSD.  I got into a lot of trouble for truancy and "running away" (to friend's houses): I was completely incorrigible! >' alt=':)'>

But if my kid got into heroin or ecstasy or something pretty golldurn life- or health-threatening like that, I think I would have to take some extreme action.

Oh, another book I read recently was "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood".  One of the characters gets sent to an extremely harsh Catholic girls' school.  It was a Straight-like or prison-like environment.  I don't know how much the author was drawing from reality; in her book, this took place in the 1940s.  The girl's mother could not stand her "behavior" or her "attitude".  There was no drug problem or truancy or anything but a few teenage pranks, and, in the mother's view, a lack of meekness, an general attitude of self-importance.

When I was first in Straight I said to an executive staff that I was sure I did not have a drug problem, and she said something to the effect that I didn't have to have a drug problem, I could just work on a behavior problem.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Augusta, Gone
« on: July 01, 2001, 04:53:53 PM »
Augusta, Gone
Anyways, it's a true story written by a mother about her teenage girl getting into drugs and running away and everything.  It was painful to read.  I kept feeling furious at the mother and then also so sad for her, she really didn't know what to do, and her daughter was apparently into some bad stuff.  She sends her to a wilderness camp in Idaho and then to a reform school in Oregon.  I feel that I can read between the lines and see that these places were not what was presented to the author on her visits.  In fact, at the school in Oregon, while her daughter is there, one of the students commits suicide.  

Why do people get so bewildered about adolescent pain, as though it is so mysterious what is hurting them?  "Oh my kid is out of control," people say, "I don't know what to do, I tried to do everything right."  Well, what is going on at home?  Are the parents emotional nutcases themselves?  Is there physical violence, or threats?  

I was talking about this book to a man I know who has two kids in their twenties.  "So, did your kids do drugs?"

"Oh, no" he says, "no, they wouldn't do that."  I ask him what he did -- was he really strict with them, or what.  "No," he says, "we just talked to them.  I told them the truth: I drank, I tried marijuana.  I told him how it was when I messed up and got in trouble."

I don't know what I would do if I had kids and they got into really bad stuff.  Knowing what I know about the harsh treatment programs, I could never send them there.  I don't know if I could "send" them anywhere, like a prisoner.  But I can understand the reason parents do it, and I understand they don't know, they don't understand how those "schools" can do so much damage.

I think if I found out my kid was doing anything really dangerous, anything harsher than marijuana or alcohol, I would pack the family up and move to a remote mountaintop, or another country. >' alt=':)'>   Well, do you have a better suggestion?

Do any of these troubled kids who get into bad drugs and crime come from really healthy families, where everything is fine?  I really would like to know.  The word about teen problems seems to be that your great kid suddenly gets in the wrong crowd and the drugs are what makes them the way they are -- rude, irresponsible, etc.  It is never about what is really going on with your kid's soul. What are they really thinking about, what makes them so miserable, who is hurting them, what do the parents need to change about themselves (rages, etc.) to stop driving their kids crazy.

I wish I could be at the conference.  Are y'all really going to be in one big room together?  Is anyone feeling a bit paranoid about it?  

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Augusta, Gone
« on: July 01, 2001, 04:16:42 PM »
Augusta, Gone
Has anyone else read Augusta, Gone, by Martha Tod Dudman?

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