Fornits

Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => Mission Mountain School => Topic started by: katfish on June 25, 2005, 02:19:00 AM

Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on June 25, 2005, 02:19:00 AM
does anyone remember tamara roberts?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 25, 2005, 01:39:00 PM
yes,
she and I stayed in contact after we left because our parents both lived in san francisco.  She turned into one gorgeous woman.  At the time I last saw her (about seven or eight years ago) she was great.  I wonder if she is still in the sf area.
claire
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 25, 2005, 02:11:00 PM
hey there....claire...wish you would respond to my "hi"
anyway...yeah i keep in contact with tam all the time.
Heather, Tamara, and Julie R, and anyone remember Shana???
Well were all best of buds and tamara is the hottest of us all. we kept in contact with cotter for awile but lost her.
Heather and I just lived together for awhile and she is under M&D's wings. They live hour south of me.  and half an hour south of her.
Ill let tma know your interested Kat and tell her you say hi.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: sunshine on June 25, 2005, 04:05:00 PM
Heather if you are out there, I want you to know I love you, and I think about you all the time. My mom asks about you, still! I hope everything is going well for you.
Love
Carolina

The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are constitutional rights secure.
-- Albert Einstein

Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 25, 2005, 04:10:00 PM
Hey Carolina.....
Im gonna talk to heather later today...we still have stuff to close out on our apartment.
I ll tell her you say hi  ,
Betsy
hope all is well with you






still soooo confused as to y people won't respond to me????????? :???:   people change
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on June 25, 2005, 10:53:00 PM
hey,

I barely knew tamara, but for some reason her name popped into my mind.

I'm just putting out a list of girls I would realy like to get in contact with:

Stephani Smith (andrews)
Jessica Bean
Sarah Matheson
Sam (i can't remember her last name) she was there early on and left in early '93, i believe.  
Melissa Seminaro
Annie Dwight
Natalie Rambo
Addi Harris

I'll try and come up with more...

Does anyone remember...damn, can't remember her name, but she was a pretty good guitarist- somethig with a P.  She arried around the time I was leaving- like when you B arrivied, hillary, tamara, peggy, heather...can't recall who else.

Hey, does anyone remember Lindsay?

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 26, 2005, 08:50:00 PM
does anyone remember kelli goldman, from NY, NY?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: sunshine on June 26, 2005, 10:39:00 PM
Where are:
Amy Ferries
Liz McKenzie
Liz Hudson
Virginia
Jamie Larabee
Any info?

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adams, _Last Chance to See_

Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 27, 2005, 12:11:00 AM
Hey....okay soo ive wondered about a few as well and carlina you were one.
this is what I know.
Liz Hudson is in Oregon going to school.
Kelli Goldman is in Georgia now with gf.
Anyone remember Melissa  Regan??? Now in London....lucky her.
Okay this is hard to be the one to tell you....but Elizabeth McKenzie is no longer with us.
And the others i don't know...
How about Sarah Pollen???
I know alot of girls don't want to be found and its pretty sad....
How about Ashley Griggs???
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on June 27, 2005, 11:26:00 AM
i know a lot of girls don't want to be found- that is, eitehr explicitly say they've moved on.  That strikes me as a bit strange.  We've all moved on... what does that have to do with talking to old friends about your life now?

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 27, 2005, 11:27:00 AM
Hello, I am looking for a few girls as well.
I think MOST of these girls had it hard while I was at MMS. They are were all very intelligent woman who I think were not given the right opportunity to express themselves.I am afraid there a lot of girls out there that were extremely currupted my MMS, and need a reaching hand.
Lauren S.
Tiffany ?----
Molly G.
Ingrid H.
Elena R.
Jesse M.
Christina S.
Ashley
Blaire
 (there many more at the tip of my brain, i'll post again)
IF YOU GIRLS ARE OUT THERE WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

If your name is on the list and you do not agree with me I am sorry.


 POST HERE!  :wave:  :wave:
YOU ARE MISSED!
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: sunshine on June 27, 2005, 05:49:00 PM
What do you mean Liz McKEnzie is not with us??????????????????????

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
Gandhi

Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 27, 2005, 06:43:00 PM
Carolina how the heck are you? Tell me if you get this...I love and miss you too...Hope we can connect...
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: sunshine on June 27, 2005, 07:58:00 PM
Phleps????? is that you? how are you? ive heard nothing but great things about you...I miss you and think about you all the time. Remember the Nat. Am. song? Hope youre having a wonderful day. Write back! love
Carolina

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
--Carl Sagan, American astronomer and author

Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on June 27, 2005, 10:02:00 PM
Hi All,

Just hoping you guys can post your names- anony, who are you?

also, I know a few girls are available through myspace.com and friendster.com


good luck!

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: tamtam on June 28, 2005, 02:43:00 AM
Well HELLLLLLOOOOOOO!!!! I do, in fact, know Tamara Roberts... she resides within my skin!  Hey Kat!  I heard about this website from Heather via Betsy via I don't know who... you know how Operator works... but anyway.  Here I am, and I am surprised to see some people I have often thought of.  Kat, I can't believe how long it has been, I feel like I didn't really know you, but what I do remember was nice!  Claire, Carolina, Sarah F, Jen F, Emma- I am probably forgetting a few names... I am glad to konw you are all alive and doing well I hope.  I am doing really well, I live in San Diego, CA now, attending SDSU (I took lots of time off after going to U of Montana with Laurel and Melanie Kietz)-- I would love to catch up with some of you on a more personal note... please feel free to email me [email protected]  and just as an update on some people I do keep in touch with....

Shana Reitzenstein- well we turned out to be best friends believe it or not, she is still crazy Shana-  but now in a healthy and fun way and I love her to death- we have a great relationship and she is now a nurse at UCLA medical center.  We actually went to Israel together in January on a trip for Jewish college students, what an amazing experience -- I am not very religious but it was very spiritual.
Melanie Kietz (now Dewald)- she is great, married 3 or 4 years happily, living in Texas, I saw her last weekend while she was in So Cal helping her sister plan her wedding. Trying for a baby now...
Laurel Hahn-- we lost touch, I saw her last at her wedding several years ago... but I hear she is doing very well.
Heather Phelps- going to visit her in a week for her Wedding party!!  We are still very tight.  
Betsy-- we also keep in touch...I will see her at heather's party.
Liz McKenzie-- Betsy mentioned she passed away.  She and I went to Midland school near Santa barbara after leaving MMS, and we just went very different directions.  She got sucked back into drugs her senior year and after going through an intensive rehab program she overdosed (not intentionally I don't think) and passed away a few years ago.  Going to her funeral was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and it in some ways renewed my inspiration to LIVE... I hope you understand what I mean by that, not a morbid comment by any means.

Ironically- my mom just moved to Tucson and she and Deb have become best friends, traveling all over the WORLD together... they are neighbors now, and so my relationship with Mike and Deb has been rekindled in a very different way then it ever existed at MMS.  

OK ENOUGH summary-- would love to talk more... see some pictures... all that jazz.  I am still the same me, just 10 years older and at least a few years wiser =)  
Tamara
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on June 28, 2005, 06:40:00 PM
Hey Tamara,

Certainly have vague recollection of you, I left in August 1993, when did you arrive again?

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 28, 2005, 07:02:00 PM
Hey tamara, long time no hear!  I can't write much because I have to go get my kiddo.  SO nice to hear you're doing well.
My memory is fading, was liz mackenzie the sweet tall blond with sad puppy dog eyes, very quiet, big hands?  That is so sad.  If you would be willing to share, I would like to hear what happened to her, what drug was it? Again, that breaks my heart.  I will write more later....gotta go.
love
claire
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: tamtam on June 28, 2005, 08:30:00 PM
Kat-- I got there in May 1993-- I remember you though and I heard about you a few times through Jill Porter... since I think she was keeping tabs on us both for a while.  I have a bunch of pictures of you too.. from some camping trips we went on that summer.  Anywho.. yes it has been a while!  Claire-- I sent you a long email just a few hours ago... it's great to hear from you!  Liz was the really quiet girl, always slouched, always sagged her pants, blue eyes, from SF area, sandy brown hair.  Really sweet.  She got into heroine.  Anyway-- really really nice to see some familiar faces!  We should catch up!-Tam
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 28, 2005, 09:00:00 PM
HEY TAM!!! Its jewlz...remember me...:smile:How you been? Whats new?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 28, 2005, 09:03:00 PM
HEY KELLI! It's Jewlz...remember me? Whats up? Betsy's told me you are doing well. Id love to hear from ya.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 28, 2005, 09:05:00 PM
I hate to be the barer of bad news but Liz Mckenzie committed suicide a few years ago.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: tamtam on June 28, 2005, 10:44:00 PM
Jewlz!  how are you girl??  Email me sometime... I don't know who is on myspace... but I am on there under my email address which is in my profile.  And to "anonymous" that posted the "Liz suicide" note--- I don't know who this is (or maybe I do) but I gaurantee that this is not the story her mother would relay to all questioning minds, and unless you know ALL the facts, do not make such statements without KNOWING, this is not something light.  I will clear it up one last time so there is NO CONFUSION.  Liz entered rehab for 6 months prior to her overdose.  Once the treatment was up and her body had detoxed, she had a relapse, and becuase her body could no longer handle the doses she could handle 6 months ago, her "normal" dose killed her. THere was no evidence of suicide, in fact her journals and other things found on her person indicated the contrary. SO don't go saying SERIOUS things about something you know nothing about.  She was my friend, I respect her family, continue to have contact with them, and feel extremely angry when untrue rumors start spreading about something as serious as a young death.  Boy, now I sound like some angry freak-- but the truth is this is one of the few things that really angers me, ESPECIALLY since many people on this site KNEW her and should not remember her as the poor girl who committed suicide, which is FALSE!!!!!!  That's it for me.  Whoever wrote that, I should spank you, and I don't mean that in a fun dirty way. :flame:
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 29, 2005, 12:07:00 AM
WUSUP GIRL! I sent ya a private message, but not sure if you will get it. I added ya to my Yahoo message list. Email me some time [email protected]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 29, 2005, 11:23:00 AM
I would take it that they did not have a good experience and that they are not willing to open up the wounds again. Could be wrong, just my perspective.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on June 29, 2005, 11:24:00 AM
Last post was in response to:

 i know a lot of girls don't want to be found- that is, eitehr explicitly say they've moved on. That strikes me as a bit strange. We've all moved on... what does that have to do with talking to old friends about your life now?

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: tamtam on June 30, 2005, 02:37:00 PM
If this site was strictly about getting in touch with old friends, I guarantee a lot more people would want to be found.  However, after reading through it, it's really a pretty heated and often times vicious forum where a lot of people are employing thir very best cutting remarks to cut down anyone who disagrees with them.  From both sides, those that had good experiences and those that had bad ones.  There are some people who have attempted to express their opnions without imposing on others, but it seems like a no-win situation.  This certainly doesn't apply to everyone who has written on this forum, but this is my generalized observation- if this doesn't apply to you then just breeze through it...For those who had bad experiences, the people who had good ones brush off the damaging effects, saying "where would you be without MMS?" or something like that.  No one can discredit the experience someone else had, I am sure for some more bad than good occured.  FOr those who had good experiences, it seems that the ones who had BAD ones can't possibly accept that this is a potential reality for another individual, and that the only possible explanation is brainwashing. Both outcomes are possible-- yes it's true.  I think there is a lot of clear evidence that while some people accept the experience as a valuable, helpful one, others really did not feel helped at all, and probably the therapy methods applied were not really appropriate for those individuals.  

When I got on this website I was really excited to see some long lost familiar faces, and that was why I said anything.  My personal experience has been neither extreme, to be honest I don't really remember most of my time at MMS, it is a blur of skiing, biking, crying, laughing and various sad and funny memories.  I also don't remembe much of the years following MMS, as I went through a whirlwind of trying to be "straight-arrow" teenager and then rebelling against the rigidness I had been holding myself to.  The last 4-5 years have been my biggest learning years, and I assure you it has not been brainwashing, rebellion, or any other extreme that attributes to feeling on track now.  It is just normal (can I even USE that word.. haha) life growth and experience, balancing what does and doesnt' work in life...etc...  

Anyway, my point is this: Those alumni don't want to be "found" may not want to be involved in this war against MMS.  It doesn't mean their experience was peachy keen... it means they don't feel so much animosity in the present that would make them want to pursue their experience from 10 years ago.  Plus, some of our current day situations conflict with some people's highly negative opinion on certain individuals.  I mentioned I have continuing relationships with Mike and Deb... and while I didn't particularly get along with them 10 years ago, now my relationship with them has changed.  It is one of friendship and respect, started up just a few years ago mainly because of my mother's close friendship (and her proximity) with Deb, and now I am glad to have them in my life.  Everyone on this site has had a different experience, some more similar than others.  I would love to get the chance to renew or restart some friendships with many of you, but I have to be able to be honest for that to happen. This is probably not the place to JUST renew friendships... since it IS a sort of focused forum on shutting down MMS or reforming it... so maybe I won't write again on here.  I just wanted to put this out there because this is first place I have seen in a long time where many alumni are gathering, and I hope some of you can still remember that friends don't have to agree on everything and will stay in touch!  I love hearing what everyone is doing now, I think many of you are very inspiring people.  That's it... signing out.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 01, 2005, 02:09:00 AM
I've been wanting to get in touch with Mike but didn't know how. I just wanted to let him know how I've been and let him know how much I appreciated his help at my time at MMS. Do you have an email for him? You can contact me privately, thanks.

[email protected]

Melissa (I was there 98-00)
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 01, 2005, 03:29:00 AM
Hey Cruxy Gower-sha,
I know how to contact the Finns.  Call me and I'll let you know wasssup.  
Love,
Crux
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 04, 2005, 05:28:00 AM
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER MIA SCHIMMEL?  I REALLY LIKED HER ALOT.  I WONDER HOW SHE IS DOING?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 04, 2005, 05:28:00 AM
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER MIA SCHIMMEL?  I REALLY LIKED HER ALOT.  I WONDER HOW SHE IS DOING?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 30, 2005, 03:47:00 PM
was told norina edelman was 3l at harvard - wasn't she seriously ill, mpd, disassociating and shit? smart so was suprised kat when heard MMS helped her and she wanted to move on. i always thought she had something strange going on with her can't put finger on it. i dont know if she talks to nadine though.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 30, 2005, 03:48:00 PM
i just would have thought mms would have really messed with their identity because they were really fragile what with all the attempts to uncover repressed memories going on at that time
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 31, 2005, 12:01:00 AM
WHAT???!! the second to last post doesn't make any sense........
what are you talking about????
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on July 31, 2005, 12:27:00 PM
MMS was doing all this repressive therapy work when Norina was there, and of course while I was there. Some of the girls did intense work, myself included, that often involved free writing of past painful shit- the aim: getting in touch with that inner child that has hurt so badly, presumambly in hopes of uncovering past memories???  Who knows, I don't think they had any idea what they were doing.  But at that time is was common for girls to go in and out of dissaccociative states and fall into 'different personalities' for lack of better term, that would bring out different stories from their childhood. MMS even named the different 'personalities' - well, John would name them and he really focused on that for a while.  I would call us his guinea pigs given he had NO IDEA what he was doing.  After a while it was virtually impossible to discern truth from fact.


I know MMS got much much worse once I left- I almost have nothing to be alarmed by in terms of my own experience comparatively, that's alarming in and of itself!  It's not about me, though.  While I feel I have an obligation to myself, yes I feel it more toward the girls who's stories I hear and who feel all messed up about the experience- and for the girls who are there now who are being molded into MMS atomatrons and who, for the next few years will go through the shock and agony of having to relinquish their minds and instead of thinking, will be regurgitating rhetoric with the fear of never going home/getting love at home and work/excersize miserably until they one day
leave, peice of paper in hand delineating protocol to prevent certain 'old behaviors' from reappearing (that doesn't work b/c often issues are exaggerated while there and real issue not dealt with- whatever 'tools' received are meaningless/worthless in real world) Then realizing that John Mercer's methods of teaching were not really applicable to the real world, and the therapy was in reality non-helpful in its simplicity, they make a phone call which are
never returned in hopes of some answers as to how to proceed.  Like the article that PhD wrote  posted somewhere on MMS/fornits, explaining that forcing a kid in a contrlled environement does not mean it will be a success outside of the program b/c it assumes that somehow the kid will internalize that outside control and that has not been seen to  be the case nor the method effective.

I would say most of us at MMS wanted help.  I think it unlikely most of us got the help that was appropriate for us.  Common sense would certainly dictate otherwise.

Again, po'dunk therapy IMHO.[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-07-31 12:59 ]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on July 31, 2005, 12:56:00 PM
so Kat...you always say mms got worse once you left but you don't say how.....
how did it get worse.....just exercise and stuff???
I remember still doing the writings and trying to find that little girl deep down....
but how else?? what got worse exactly??
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on July 31, 2005, 03:32:00 PM
I just heard there were more incidents of intense isolation of kids for work crew and the period of time increased to months rather that while I was there the work amounted to weeks at a time- longer work crew hours, increase in work crew generally speaking for all the group, more restrictive code of conduct in general- specificaly i've heard mealtime involved restrictd conversations... Given it's bigger I would imagine in many ways it would have to be for staff to mantain the coercive control they had in the earlier days when it was smaller.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on July 31, 2005, 03:44:00 PM
annony- what years were you there?  YOu guys had to do the free writes?  But was it about also disassociating?  I guess the difference that I see b/w the 'getting in touch with your inner child' and the work we did while I was there-  is that the main purpose seemed to be to unearth memories of these events, then to cry about it---but under these conditions of fear I doubt that other girls did not feel like I did, that we were expected to find something in our past to wail about, thereby creating a need to find or being led to create something b/c it needed to be there- it had to be b/c we were so troubled (accrording to MMS) there had to be this major cause.  Does that make sense?  We were led, I beleive, to find something in that back of our minds.  Memory is a fragile things and studies have shown that therapists can influence through suggestion memories of abuse- I wonder what happens when you insert fear and the desperate need to please into the picture?  

(although let the fact be know that I think the whole 'getting in touch with your inner child'  is also a major problem of the program- at least it was in the way implemented while I was there and from what I've heard  b/c it allowed us to regress into this weird helpless child-like state- i guess this was also an 'side effect' of them stripping away our identities and breaking us down- that was not at all helpful in creating independent strong minded girls with will/knowledge and wherewithall to achieve their goals. It encouraged the opposite response- submissive, dependent, child-like (like attempts to desexualize girls by making them where pigtails I thought was very innapropriate)



I also wonder why the school never bothered to do anything with these memories- I dont think MMS has one time reported that allegations of abuse that have come up in therapy- sometimes those allegation involve parents and yet not report filed to CPS.  Aren't they mandated reporters like other people who work with kids???  Aren't they required by law to report abuse, especially if the school with be returning that child home to the parent who has abused the kid??[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-07-31 12:53 ]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 02, 2005, 02:55:00 PM
Interesting point kat, about mandatory reporting of said abuses.  Interesting thought, especially when it concerns the parents because they were the ones paying their salary.  I'm not necessarily sayting they only cared for money, but obviously...that's a little curious.  And yes, after your time, things did get worse, especially in my time 94-96.  I could share many specific memories about my "sentence" on workcrew, isolation, the mind-game of being given no concrete or logical ways to "right my wrongs" or get out of my punishment.  John would often give me directions, I would follow them exactly and then be berated that night in group for not doing what he said...I would try to argue and more work would be threatened. ONe time I was digging a corner post, it had to be five feet deep and centered in exactly a certain spot because a gate had to attach to it.  In the bottom of the hole was a very large boulder, probably three hundred pounds??? There was no way I could have pysically removed it by myself.  I asked Mike and he I got it out using come-alongs etc etc. I was in BIG trouble for asking for help...I was "manipluating" using "sexuality."  But I was given no alternative as to how I should have done it.  I felt so alone and so crazy....this i believe, is child-abuse. The stories go on..to girls puking up dinner and having to eat more while all of us sit and watch.  anyone can argue their opion of whether it helped or not, no one can argue the facts..
claire
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 03, 2005, 02:28:00 AM
So I do remember John being really hard on you Claire and even hated the fact that you never got to go home. god that must have been hard....
But I don't remember girls throwing up and having to eat it.....that i don't believe happened.
Work crews were a pain and the military style exercise was at times extremly intense. ex...3hr exercise and running up the "big gahuna"
also exerciseing in the moring and than having to do a "afternoon activity." yeah my ass...activity...another long day of just exercise.
But i must say my arms were strong. This is probably why exercising is a something I don't like to do so much. I remember girls having experinces and were only allowed to talk to staff about it and were told to just move on and not allowed to talk about what happened.
Yet, you had friends....i was off talk and had no friends...everyone pretended to like me and no one did......or very few did.
Sarah F took shit out of my room and put it in the lost and found just so i got work crew and no one told her what a ***** they though she was but they had not problem telling me.
Anyway now im getting mad remembering some of the oh so wonderfull times at MMS.
Yet im conflicted....I still support the school and im better for having been there. Like i said before....maybe i was there to long.
B
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 03, 2005, 12:07:00 PM
I wasn't at MMS, just a reader here. But I must say, B, it seems difficult to understand how you could support a school that treated you and others the way it did. It's abuse, don't you know? This just isn't normal.

It seems to me there must be a better way to put this all into perspective.

Here are some questions to ask yourselves:

Do you think that the girls were better for having been treated the way they were at MMS (in many of our books, that would be called "abuse"?)

Do you think they (the school) might have accomplished healing and help for the girls in other, non-abusive ways?

Don't you think that perhaps they were wrong in their approaches?

And don't you think girls suffered at their hands, and still do, years later?

And what about the girls who are still there?

Don't you worry about them?

I read where Mercer, the guy everyone says is bad, is spending more time there again, not less time. Don't you worry?

Everyone who says they'll support the school is saying they are supporting what is done at the school and that it's OK for it to continue. Think about it ...

I picture myself a girl at MMS right now. I know the school's been around a while, others must have suffered at the hands of these people as I am suffering, but where are they? Where are the alumni? Will they come to our rescue at the reunion? Will they be brave enough to stand up to Mercer and the rest of the abusers? And will any of their parents who feel they were wronged join them?

I hope so.

Instead of allowing this type of treatment to girls, treatment that obviously leaves long-lasting scars and is emotionally damaging, why not do something to try and stop it. If not it will continue for years to come and more girls will be affected.

My thoughts are that they need to revamp the school and stop allowing people who have no degrees in psychology to hold group therapy-type sessions where girls are asked to reveal their innermost secrets. That would be a start. And what about if Mercer and his clan do some of the work on their own properties instead of making girls do it for them? What about child labor laws? Why don't they apply here?


Anyone who supports the school supports abuse, in my book. Just read all of the pages and pages of stories here.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 03, 2005, 09:58:00 PM
Thank you for your insightful post. my granddaughter is currently incarcerated at Mission Mountain School. I haven't seen her for more than a year, and miss her terribly every single day. I loved her as she was, a typical opinionated teenager, full of life and personality. She didn't do drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or sex and had never been in trouble with the law...her sin was speaking her mind and being stubborn. Mission Mountain and other such programs will incarcerate any child for profit, regardless of whether or not their program is appropriate for that child...it's all about the money, nothing else. Montana has become the mecca for these places because of their non-existent child protecive laws and economic greed. It is all so very sickening, and few "outsiders" seem to care. I thank you for caring.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 03, 2005, 10:39:00 PM
You are very welcome. I am sorry to hear about your granddaughter. We can only hope she has the strength to endure and to come out alright. It is oh, so disgusting.

Perhaps something will be done that will enlighten people to this mess. I fear things like "Brat Camp" will only serve to cause parents to think this is just the thing they need for their child. Disgusting, really. What ever happened to taking care of our own kids. Seems everyone wants the quick fix these days, no matter what the cost (in dollars and to their child and family).

Keep on keepin' on, that's all we can do.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 09:52:00 AM
i'm sorry, this is such bullshit.  they don't just take anyone on.  there is a long application process... there are conversations with the parents, a look at the families history.  if they just took everyone on for profit they would have hundreds of children at their school, but no... it's not that easy just to end up there.  there are 30 something girls at a time... they dont' accept every stubborn child who comes along.  it's not incarceration.  no one is locked in.  this website is hateful and malicious and ridiculous at times.  sharing personal stories, sure... but random outsiders coming in and making judgements... making claims that they have no knowledge about... stupid.  anyway.  i'm sure this will start a debate.  fun.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 09:56:00 AM
and i'm sorry... my parents did their best to raise me.... no one is perfect.  if i'm expected to be perfect as a parent, then fuck... that sucks.  my parents are amazing, loving, intelligent people who only wanted what was best for me.  when i ran away from home i broke their hearts, they were so scared they were going to lose me forever... they were panicked.  they pooled from all their resources and found MMS.  not perfect, they agree with me on that, but it saved my life and gave them piece of mind which they hadn't had in years.  it's not my parents fault.  they raised my sister to be an amazing girl, without the help of anyone else.  i was just a depressed kid who got lost in the teenage wasteland and needed to get out of the shittown i lived in.  and please feel free to get angry and "yell" at me now.  i really could care less.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 10:03:00 AM
No one needs to yell at you. The facts above are facts, that's all. Doesn't matter who writes them really. Just go back through these pages and the stories are here. Some of us just get upset at times reading what you girls had to go through, that's all. This is an open forum, it's OK for people to do this.

If MMS helped you somehow, despite what went on, then OK. There's no reason anyone should argue someone else's experience. But there is reason for people with concerns for what they went through to post their thoughts and experiences in hopes it will help another girl down the road.

MMS is not equipped to take a lot of kids so they are choosy, no doubt. And that's OK too. Most programs take any kind of kid is all. And MMS has taken kids with psychological problems, deep issues such as sexual molestation and rape, and have not handled the situations well, is all. Making a kid reveal all in group and then not dealing with it afterwards, especially done by someone who is not licensed to do so, just isn't right. I would think anyone would agree with that.

So there's no reason for debate here. Again, these are just facts previously stated in this forum.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 04, 2005, 11:54:00 AM
Quote
On 2005-08-04 06:52:00, Anonymous wrote:

"i'm sorry, this is such bullshit.  they don't just take anyone on.  there is a long application process... there are conversations with the parents, a look at the families history.  if they just took everyone on for profit they would have hundreds of children at their school, but no... it's not that easy just to end up there.  there are 30 something girls at a time... they dont' accept every stubborn child who comes along.  it's not incarceration.  no one is locked in.  this website is hateful and malicious and ridiculous at times.  sharing personal stories, sure... but random outsiders coming in and making judgements... making claims that they have no knowledge about... stupid.  anyway.  i'm sure this will start a debate.  fun."



who says you need walls to be locked in- i think its common knowledge and goes without saying that people can create invisible walls through fear, threats and intimidation- generally speaking.  Just look at battered womens syndrome.  

Their long application process to allow in the few girls to keep the size managable (although I suspect that will continue to change and they will continue to expand) is obviously not working.  They continue to inflict a great deal amount of damage onto girls and this is most certainly cause for alarm.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 02:00:00 PM
hey kat,
 what exactly do you do?  it seems you are online, on this website every moment of your life.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 04, 2005, 04:40:00 PM
i am- online A LOT, at least.  I'm finishing up my BA and do work for CASA w/ foster kids- during the school year I work with kids as aater school counselor. Come next year though I'll be done with school and hope to be dedicating much of my time to some human rights cause somewhere in the world, plus doing advocacy work to help get schools like MMS regulated.

Then grad school? law school?

what do u do?[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-08-04 13:41 ]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 05:57:00 PM
ya kat get a life, dude, HA HA HA.  oh wait, you have one, huh?  hmmm...

got ur email and thought i should post here, ladies, we did far more work than is legal even in Montata for children...  well, maybe we didnt because we didn't really have school? LOL- what a crock, where's the lawyer ladies?

http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/41/2/41-2-115.htm (http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/41/2/41-2-115.htm)


  41-2-115. Working hours. (1) Unless otherwise exempt or as provided in subsection (2), a minor who is 14 or 15 years of age:
     (a) may not be employed before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except that the minor may be employed until 9 p.m. during periods outside the school year (June 1 through Labor Day, depending on local standards); or
     (b) may not be employed more than:
     (i) 3 hours on a school day;
     (ii) 18 hours in a school week;
     (iii) 8 hours on a nonschool day; or
     (iv) 40 hours in a week in a nonschool week.
     (2) A minor who is 14 or 15 years of age and who is enrolled in and employed pursuant to a school-supervised and school-administered work experience or career exploration program approved by the department or the office of public instruction may be employed up to 23 hours in 1 week when the program is in session, any portion of which may be during school hours.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 06:37:00 PM
Kat has a life, why attack her? It makes no sense, unless you're some sort of a troll trying to stir up trouble on this forum. If so, just go away.

She's trying to find sense in all of this nonsense and is trying to help other girls. I don't see the harm in that. Isn't that what any good citizen should do? Come to the rescue of children who otherwise cannot help themselves? That's what this is all about. Children, yes, children. Under 18 are considered children.

Keep up your good works, Kat.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 07:16:00 PM
4 the record i wasnt attacking k, opposite actually. i was poking a bit of fun at what the person seemed to be implying that asked if k spent all her time on this site...  far as i can tell, kat does little else but work.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 07:19:00 PM
Quote
On 2005-08-04 06:56:00, Anonymous wrote:

" not perfect, they agree with me on that, but it saved my life and gave them piece of mind which they hadn't had in years.  
  i was just a depressed kid who got lost in the teenage wasteland and needed to get out of the shittown i lived in.  and please feel free to get angry and "yell" at me now.  i really could care less."
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 07:34:00 PM
Quote
On 2005-08-04 06:56:00, Anonymous wrote:

" not perfect, they agree with me on that, but it saved my life and gave them piece of mind which they hadn't had in years.  
  i was just a depressed kid who got lost in the teenage wasteland and needed to get out of the shittown i lived in.  and please feel free to get angry and "yell" at me now.  i really could care less."


weren't we all?  heres what i dont understand.

it saved my life:  this is what MMS told us and taught us to think.  Without MMS we would DIE.  We  were on the path toward DEATH or JAIL- withouth a doubt 100%.  But that likely stated the obvious and thats not the problem, what comes next is the problem FOLLOW EXACTLY WHAT WE SAY, WITHOUT QUESTION AND YOU WILL LIVE.  No one knows this to be true or not, if you or i would have died, but if u read interviews of other schools that are WAY WORSE than MMS this is what the students say as well- and these kids really had some shit thrown there way. They say, well, it was bad, but it saved my life...as if the schools can't be wrong in what they did b/c you happen to be alive today.  

Yes, you may still be alive and MMS can also be abusive all at the same time.  Or they can have problems that make them mostly ineffective in what they do, selectively work, or can do more harm.  And then you have depression before and after, because of MMS, because they are unskilled and unqualified and use methods that are questionable in their effectiveness (especially if someone is suicidal/depressed or otherwise mentally ill)  

B/c you are alive doesn't meant that the school was just or ethical/treated us with dignity/respect, or that the staff really knew what they were doing, or that all that work we did for the school was not really abuse or that all the humiliation we endured was not abuse, or that the hours of excsercize was not abuse, or that the inability to be critical of the school and think for ourselves was not wrong or that the sadism of the staff was not abuse... i could go on.  


it was not perfect:  got that right.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 08:07:00 PM
i will defend that school to the grave.  as well as john and colleen.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 04, 2005, 09:28:00 PM
And after all they did to keep you alive? lol I can't take it. To the death! ha ha, that's funny.  some people just can't see past their own exp. and find it necc. to defend the harmful actions upon others just b/c they werent (or perhaps they were) directed directly at them or maybe they just can't do it b/c they would have been DEAD without the school.  sigh, whadya goin' to do. speaks volumes, doesn't it?  I can undestand defending Gary, but John- NO ONE says John is a good guy, he's a creep  and Colleen is his side kick.  ha ha- i just pciture them wearing action figue costumes, flying around saying kids from certain death through knowing look of 'i got you bullshit' and sending kid to work out her anger on a pile of wood  for fire for their personal use in their log cabin.  such a joke.

anyways i read this and cut and pasted it  


I'm not willing to dismiss your anecdotal evidence as easily as others. If you had positive experiences then that is great. I'm really glad it worked out.

For me, the coercive part is the most objectionable aspect. It's the concept that a group of people can force an ideology onto someone against their will. In the case of Brat Camp, it is difficult to understand my objections. Who can object to turning drug abusing teens into well behaving teens? But did you know that some of these camps are designed to force a 'Christian' perspective on the students? Did you know there are camps that are designed to force gay kids into being straight? These kids are also in these camps against their will (parents can do this in the USA).

I watch the show and cringe thinking of how I would have reacted to these counselors and this form of therapy. My core values are not popular and often misunderstood. I formed these values during childhood. They are not my parents values. Had I been sent to one of these camps and forced to act in a certain way to progress through the program, knowing that if I did not give in, the chances would be good that I would end up in one of these oppressive boarding schools, I honestly think I would become either homicidal or suicidal; the tragic result of which the program would call my 'choice.' To me, this process is too close to 'A Clockwork Orange' and too Orwellian in nature to be ethical.

Even the language used. "We are giving these kids the opportunity to change." That implies choice where there really is not choice. The student must accept the program, period. The program will not the student go until he submits. That is coercion, which to me is intrinsically wrong. The ends does not justify the means.
http://www.sociopranos.com/forums/threa ... &posts=449 (http://www.sociopranos.com/forums/thread-view.asp?threadid=225&posts=449)
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 11:30:00 AM
i will make sure as many people possible understand just how harmful mms was to me and others~ 'till the grave
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 01:28:00 PM
okay so tell us...just how harmful and how messed up it made you...
after all your parents sent you there so why no look at them first?? didn't they agree to what when on?
my parents did.....
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 04:48:00 PM
my parents didn't know what was going on.  and  what little they did know went a long with the lack of understanding how damging it was.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 04:50:00 PM
parents can agree to all kinds of things- what a stupid point to attempt to make.  parents may make mistakes- parents may agree that certain types of abuse are good- they are human and fallible and sometimes wrong.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 05:30:00 PM
i looked at my parents first, second and third, then  I looked closer at MMS and day by day its harder to deny the negative impact of MMS- not right at this moment, but when i left and during my time there.  who knows maybe still effects me now- guess would have to say of course it does, all abuse you carry with u in some form...anyways,  my parents were easily fooled, desperate and pathetically helpless, but they didnt hurt me while i was at mms, john coleen the rest of em did.  i have my own bone to pick with each tho.

btw who cares what parent apporve of?  besty, i dont understand why it would be their fault mms hurt me and others?  please explain what your point is and why that would matter.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 07, 2005, 07:07:00 PM
ditto for me, my parents didn't know and they regret it- well, my mom does- my dad has lost much of his mental capacity, but he would likely agree otherwise.

While I'm angry that my parents weren't more thourough, I also understand my mom's limited capacity for good judgements, especially in moments of great stress.  Don't get me wrong, I love her but she's not a very good parent, especially in that respect and I've accepted that.  It's also hard to know.  MMS does look good and perhaps in theory behavior modification should be effective, but the problem is staff yield way too much power and influence.  Some girls can become favorites and others scape goats.  there is not outside accountability. Like i've said many time before and will repeat here again, it's like out governement.  There is a reason for the checks and balances.  MMS does not have that. OTher former staff have called John a tyrant and he is very much one.  There is not check- well, except maybe Colleen, but really, what kind of check is that?

Again, fear and therapy, I just don't see how they go hand in hand well and for the purpose of being effective. Unless you're Machiavelli, then perhaps... but where are the morals there?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2005, 10:20:00 PM
Okay, so I support the school and it did for me what it was "supposed to do" but why when someone post a supporitve post you assume it was Betsy??
Im not the only supporter of MMS and this site make me sick....

you are all so mean and hateful and why not get up and make an example, like Kat is doing....if MMS was that sooooo BAD and truly did mess up your life.
Plus why not go work on yourself alittle bit more and deal iwth what happened...if anything did happen. Stop being so mean and hateful....Kat has been able to find the middle ground and im proud of her for that....why not follow in her footsteps.
Betsy
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 08, 2005, 11:31:00 AM
Betsy, the only point that I can see where someone may be mean it when saying it's a stupid point.  I actually agree, but maybe being more tactful about it was what was lacking.

I don't really understand the point someone wat trying to make when they say that we need to look to our parents for what happened at MMS?
Afterall, part of the problem is you can't be critical of the school without being called 'manipulative'  and also, parents aren't really there- they have no idea....  

And, again, in many ways the entire methodology of MMS and schools like it seems so barbaric and 'middle ages' to me that it's hard to understand why anyone would defend it as a viable alternative to real help offered by real professional who have qualifications to do so.

It seems to me indicative of a much larger societal problem involving many factors, but especially they was in which parents really can't afford to be parents anymore and it's a rat race for economic survival.  I'm sure the problems are much more complex than that- but far as I can tell parents are not only struggling to afford the life they are accustumed to, to offer kids the best when the best means a much easier life than not.  People are not taught to be good parents nor good citizens and it seems to me, as consequence our 'democracy' is failing miserabley, kids are behaving in ways that are reflective of this hypocracy- parents are citizens of the 'free' society but feel helpless as citizens.  On the one hand the push for equal oppurtunity with the reality that most of us won't get that- there are certain requirements to reach the upper echilons of power- namely you're a man, white and connected.  This heirarchy and clear oppression of many is much easier to see as a kid I think, before you've nromalized the whole thing in your mind, in your goals/ideals and in your language.  As I see it, parents are the problem, but society as a whole has a much bigger problem that involves who yields the power in our society, who esablishes the framework in which we all have to exist?  

IT's also the contention of the typical crisis of liberalism- rights of capitalists vs. human rights. where do the rights of kids come into play if it interferes with so many people making so much money?  

We have a group of elite few that makethe rules we play by and they don't want to value the work of the home- it invades the private realm (and yet somehow government involvement in marriage isn't to personal, right?) , what has been traditionally women's labor and women are tired of getting the shitty end of the deal (being domestic laborers with no pay,  limited involvment in public realm outside of home) but until family life is restructured and as a society we begin to value as a public service the work of the home. we will have many unahppy women- frequently isolated (rightly so, I think- we're social creature who need to feel pride and accomplishment, and not just via our children!)or women that have to balance work outside of the home with home responsibilities ... stay at home dads make up less than 1% of the population and women still make less than men.  I guess what I'm saying here is that women and men (they pay a heavy price for this structure too) can't be the best parents they are capable of being if they are unhappy and struggling- constantly stressed and worried.

I see this as a far more complex problem that is indicative of our current state on a much larger scale.  I think the world kids are growing up in today is so complicated and to filter out truth from falsehood is getting increasingly difficult.  One the one hand, like family life for instance, we say women are free to work, what more do they want?  It's not that simple.  You have to aknowledge the structure that has been present from the past to allow present to be what it is  and address the coercive elements.  But most people don't really think that way, don't examine things much deeper than, 'they are free now, what are they complaining about' same goes for blacks, immigrants, etc.  My sense is teens, esp outcasts feel this hypocracy deeply and act out.  Instead of trying to sort any of this out we send them to boot camps to excersize their pains, as if pain is only personal injury- and societal problems are not...

I will tell you I always felt so ashamed at having money while I would see people living on the streets, that immigrants from my famlies coutnry had to beg for jobs from us and that many people thought they were superior to the poor and to immigrants.  I found it repulsive and it was one of the many reasons why I was so miserable.  There was no place to become empowered and certainly MMS did not give that to me.  
Empowerment was not something I obtained at MMS, they neither gave me the oppurtunity nor the resources nor the support to grow strong.  They tore me down, broke my spirit, killed my ability to think, robbed my of a few years of education and left me dizzy with rhetoric to boot.[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-08-08 08:33 ]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: lablah on August 23, 2005, 08:02:00 PM
The only Kat I know I think of  every time I see blu star ointment.
I don't talk with anyone from the school except Mike and Deb.  They will always be pretty amazing to me.  After their son died though, I didn't feel like talking with anyone.  I just saw Mike and Deb last week for the first time since right after J died.  

Tamara rocks, but I haven't seen her in a few years, I miss lot's of girls from there. But I don't miss the school.  Fuck em.  
I have a great attachment to the environment & many of the students but beyond that I could give a rat's ass.  

I hope all is well with everyone.
-la
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 24, 2005, 07:36:00 PM
la?  as in... intern at schooL?  when i first got there, you were working there, if that's you.  that's awesome you're still in touch with mike and deb.  i sent them a card a few years back but never heard from them... i miss them!  they definitely were amazing people.
-sarah
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 26, 2005, 11:08:00 AM
Hey Laurel,

it's kat.  damn!  11 years! How you been?  Dang, I don't even know what to say!  Did you go to the reunion?  

So, you went back to MMS as a staffer, how was that? what are you up to now?

Of course, you and Mike had a very special bond, that was clear to all of us.  It would seem sensible to me you would be fond of him.  I thought he was a jerk, but maybe i would of felt differently had i been in you position . who knows.

Also, why do you say 'fuck em'?

talk to you soon!

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: lablah on August 26, 2005, 01:24:00 PM
Kit-Kat:

I'm well.  I live in Vallejo Ca, work as a manager and a director for perinatal education and womens health for a large HMO.  

I don't really have much to say about MMS.  It has been a long time. Being a staff, well I found out it's not something I would ever want to do as a career.  I'm appreciated and respected at my current job, and have been here since the end of 99 and I still dig it.  

Like I said Kit-Kat, I don't have much to say about MMS.  It was a different deal for everyone, I'm over it. So call it a no-talk, or whatever...
but when I say fuck em' I mean I have written the school off as well as the administration.  So, no I didn't go to the reunion, the invitation specified "for supporters" of MMS.  

I hope all is well with you.
-LA
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 26, 2005, 06:59:00 PM
My invite didn't say anything about being supporter as prerequisite to attending reunion (see below) but 'spose that may go without saying anyway.  

La, glad to here all is good in your world.


Dear MMS Alumni-
 
Last week I sent out a ³test² message to a few dozen of you to see if there would be enthusiasm and ability to attend a Mission Mountain School Reunion in August. The overwhelming response has been ³yes². Thanks to the many of you who responded to that. So, we have scheduled the first Mission Mountain School Founders' Day and  Reunion for Sunday August 14th.  This will also honor Gary's (one of the founders)  retirement. I am still working on the details, but we will likely do a BBQ on campus that afternoon, set up a volleyball net, etc. from 11-7.

This email will go to about 90 people whose addresses I have. In a couple weeks we will have an invitation made that will be sent to all whose street addresses we have. Over the years we have maintained a database of alumni. But you guys move, your parents move, people get unpublished numbers, etc. So we canıt reach everyone, but weıll do our best!

In the meantime, please RSVP by August 1, 2005 to one of the following, and tell us who will come with you, as your family members are welcome:
Email   [email protected]
Phone   406-754-2580 ext. 3119
FAX     406-754-2470
Mail:
MMS
PO Box 980
Condon, MT 59826
attn: Colleen
Hope you can make it!
Sincerely-
Colleen Harrington
MMS
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 26, 2005, 07:26:00 PM
I guess the mailed out invitation specified "supporters".  But not that initial "test" one.  Oh well... It was a fun time, good to see old friends.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 26, 2005, 09:33:00 PM
Given the employee of MMS said she didn't go because she did not support the school, and said:
Quote: but when I say fuck em' I mean I have written the school off as well as the administration.

She seems to have had a bad experience. A person who had a good experience at a place and who felt they were handling the children properly would not say fuck em'.

LA, it seems you don't want to talk abou it and that is understandable. You have moved on and are doing well in your life. But what if someone were to need you to testify about what you saw there? Would you be willing? And why is it a no-talk? Why not share your experiences, what you saw, etc.? Do you think they would retaliate or something?

I sounds like some girls have considered filing lawsuits against the school for the wrongs that were done to them. Having testimony from an ex-staffer would really help them. Just wondering....
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 26, 2005, 10:54:00 PM
I would just like to know how the current students are doing. This is because I have a loved one attending this institution. I would like to hear from people who went to the reunion and actually interacted with the girls. I would like to know if it is as bad as it was in the past, and what if anything, they found improved or otherwise. I will look forward to hearing from someone. Thanks.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 27, 2005, 12:23:00 AM
Since some people here have loved ones at MMS right now it would be nice if others would share their experiences at the reunion. I'm with the last anon, please do share. Thanks.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 27, 2005, 01:21:00 PM
it was awesome seeing the girls there... they looked really happy and healthy.  we got to sit and talk with them, whoever we wanted.  they were eager to hear about our lives after MMS and share what they were doing at the school now.  they weren't being abused.  they weren't being secluded from us.  They were eating the same bbq food we were.  :smile:  It was great to see current students!!
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 27, 2005, 08:39:00 PM
Good to hear. Either they put on a great front, which of course they could do, or things have improved. It would be my hope, for the sake of the girls, that things have improved and that life there is better for the girls now than it was for some of you who had horrible experiences.

It would be nice to hear from more of you. There's a new topic dedicated to talking about reunion experiences, for those who would like to share.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 29, 2005, 03:47:00 PM
i understand that la does not want to talk about her time as a staff memember at mms, but there are a few things i would like to say.  i attended when la was a staff there and interacted with her in a close setting almost everyday.  when she "left" the school it was not on the best of terms from my understanding.  i endured what i would call "abuse" from her on a regular basis and still have unresolved feelings about it.  there is still anger and resentment there.  nearly everyday i felt that she exploited and made fun of the deeply intimate issues i was working through while enrolled at mms.  at that point in my life i was too young and lacked the know-how to stand up for myself.  i regret that now and wish i had had the strength to stand up to her abuse and mockery.  this was just my experience with la...others might have gained a lot from her being a staff, but for myself...i was very hurt and confused by the way i was treated by her.  i didn't understand why she was so unsupportive of me.  i was at the last group before la left...and everyone was allowed to tell la about their experience with her.  there were many who felt the same way that i did...that she was a bit of a bully.  i was very relevied when she left the school and i'm glad that she did not seek another career involving the care of adolescents.  i'm also glad that she found something she enjoys and is doing well with her life.  

it is because of all of the above that i am not suprised that she said "fuck 'em" and did not attend the reunion.  i personally would not have enjoyed seeing her there.  however, i did enjoy seeing all the wonderful ways that the school has changed, the new freedoms that the students have, and enjoyed reconnecting with old friends.  

la, if i have violated your privacy, i apologize.  i am only sharing my experience.  i also think it is important to represent the school with the most accuracy possible as this site is viewed by parents, teachers, students, alumni, and potentials.  

if anyone has anything to ask or say you can contact me :  [email protected]

Laura E.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 29, 2005, 03:57:00 PM
Laura, was Mike there while you were at MMS? As I see it,from what I have heard, it appears that there are some very clear similarities between Mike's bullying and what you describe as Laurels bullying, would you agree?  Or perhaps similar to Johns? I also want to point out that mockery, at least in my experience, was kind of an expected thing to some degree- for instance, i recall the first day i arrived at MMS and Mike was absolutely beside himself, greeting me with a knowing smile and a 'welcome to MT, it's you're lucky day' - he very much took pleasure in my misery and fear.  I sensed that thorughout the entire time i was there- same with John (but perhaps in a less day to day torture kind of a way).  So, I found both Mike and John to be quite sadistic, even Colleen and Deb to a lesser degree, but still in a very similar sense.
 
In La's defense, she was young and equally susecptable to the need to be approved by them- as we all were.  I'm not excusing her behavior, but what I will say is that MMS created a structure by which we all functioned in an equally...power hungry (for lack of better term) manner.    I could be wrong, but from what I recall it was much better to be the person calling a peer out, than being the one called out- there was respect to be had in that...and a certain amount of privildge and power. Senority (with staff approval, fo course) was the ultimate aim, and frequently that involved a ceratin amount of false superiority that gave way to the same abuse demonstrated by the staff reflected in the older students- the sense that they know better than you and in that way are superior.  In a hierarchial structure such as MMS, I can't imagine it any other way...Maybe I lack imagination though- I would like to hear more about how things are run now.  It's hard to envision the same power plays absent given so much of their philosophy is based on it. woa- much longer than i intended, sorry laura.  You attended the reunion, so it would be great to hear your thoughts given your clarity and openess.

I'm sorry you had to go through that though.  DId you feel like it interferred with your MMS experience, in a way?  Would it have been different? Also, what years were you at MMS?
Anyway, what's that saying...'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'  I think that sums up a great deal of the problem, as I see it.

best,
kat

[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-08-29 13:12 ]
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 29, 2005, 04:15:00 PM
also, i wonder how long was la at MMS and under what circumstances did she leave?
Also, didn't Mike leave under similar circumstances?
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 29, 2005, 04:48:00 PM
kat, i attended 97-99.  although there might be similarities between la and mike...i don't believe this to be one of them.  even when mike was hardest on me whether it was screaming and yelling or discrediting progess that i thought i had made, i could sense that he still cared for me.  mike was good for me in that way...everytime i thought i might be "cured" or "normal"..he, in his way..would remind me of the emotional growth that was to come.  although i hated it because i would have very much liked to believe that i was perfect and wanted the staff to believe it too...i appreciate it now and think of him fondly.  i NEVER got the sense that Mike, John, Colleen, Deb, Gary, or any other staff recieved pleasure from my misery or fear.  they were mostly sympathetic and caring towards me.  perhaps that is why i was so confused and suprised by laurel's behavior towards me.  you also have to understand that i was only 13 when i arrived at mms and was not terribly defiant or rebellious.  it was my idea to be sent away to retrieve help where my parents had failed me.  at that point in my life....i had looked everywhere that a 13 year old knows where to look for answers...and my parents had exhausted all of their ideas as well.  my mom is a very successful marriage and family therapist here in nashville and was still not able to give me what i needed..despite all her knowledge and experience.  it is a hard thing to realize that you cannot control your kids...or anyone for that matter.  anyways, i'm rabbling, but i thought it might help if you had some back story to understand my situation before coming to mms...back to your question.  

when la was confronted by the students....i remember that all the staff was shocked at our responses.  i do not believe that la was acting on the need for approval.  just sensing that from the reaction of the rest of the staff when they learned of her behavior.  still to this day...i am not sure what caused her behavior towards me, so it would probably benefit you more to speak with her about it.  i'm happy to answer your questions the best i can kat.  but i would like to avoid guessing or projecting my experience onto anyone else.  

i was not there when mike left...i hear he is doing well and i wish him only the best.

Laura E.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: katfish on August 29, 2005, 05:25:00 PM
wow, l, you were so young.

My experience was a little different with the staff than yours, Laura, so I can only make assumptions based on that.  I was at MMS with Laurel and know she was very close to Mike.  Maybe Laurel, you'd like to weigh in on the conversation?  

I understand Betsy also interned, does anyone have experiences they'd like to share with that?

I  wonder how many other former students worked at MMS- was there anyone else?

I was also very hopeful that MMS would be able to help me but, as I said before, I sensed a bit of sadism that made the entire experience quite painful.  The discrepency b/w experiences is hard to reconcile, but I'm glad that you found what you were looking for in the school.  If you don't mind, Laura, could you share why you were at the school to begin with? You were so young, were you depressed?  Acting out?  

Additionally, it sounds like staff were not approving of La's behavior (once they became aware of it) and that you are implying this may have been why she left, is this the case?  

When I was there Laurel was definitely Mike's favorite and in many ways they were very tight...from what I saw, as a result of this, she was considered the model MMS student, so that is why I say that perhaps that kind if sense of superiority may have been reflected in her actions and perhaps she took its logical conclusion.  While I was at MMS it was students like La that called people out and were responsible for holding girls accoutable to the programs philosophy.  That sort of leverage always seemed to border on sadism to me b/c girls always wanted to be in that position of being 'healthy' enough to recognize not only their own 'flaws', but have the 'clarity' to point out those of others.  Not everyone had that in them (that is, got an ego boost from their 'higher' position in the structure), from what I recall, but it always seemed to me to be a slippery slope that one could easily fall into if not careful.

talk to u soon,

kat
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: BarnardlyB on August 29, 2005, 07:02:00 PM
"When I was there Laurel was definitely Mike's favorite and in many ways they were very tight...from what I saw, as a result of this, she was considered the model MMS student, so that is why I say that perhaps that kind if sense of superiority may have been reflected in her actions and perhaps she took its logical conclusion. While I was at MMS it was students like La that called people out and were responsible for holding girls accoutable to the programs philosophy. That sort of leverage always seemed to border on sadism to me b/c girls always wanted to be in that position of being 'healthy' enough to recognize not only their own 'flaws', but have the 'clarity' to point out those of others. Not everyone had that in them (that is, got an ego boost from their 'higher' position in the structure), from what I recall, but it always seemed to me to be a slippery slope that one could easily fall into if not careful."

I must say I agree with that statement.
I too saw La and Mike extremly close.  Maybe thats  why she views them as totally awesome people.
Mike has been everything but nice to me. He is mean, and rude, and thinks, yeah hes always right.
So Laura if you say La was like this, im not surpised.  Even when I lived with heather he told how full of shit I am and how hes gonna be there to raise hell...(statement in regards to a situation with me and heather).

Paul my boyfriend talked to him once and says hes not to sure about him. "He always had the im full of shit look on his face" "like he doesn't believe what im saying", all i could say was, thats mike. Imagine having to deal with him for 3 years every day in and out.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: Anonymous on August 31, 2005, 01:26:00 AM
kat, i appreciate your interest.  the circumstances surrounding my being sent to mms is something i am comfortable talking with peole about...however, posting the intimate details of my life on a website does not interest me.  suffice it to say, yes i acted out....yes i was depressed...but no i did not find everything i was looking for in mms.  mms was not a cure for me, but provided me with some helful tools to deal with what had happened in my past and what was to come for me in my future.  in some areas i felt very prepared, in some ways i felt abandoned and clueless.  after returning home from mms i struggled...especially since no one was around to tell me what to do.  eventually i learned that i had to seek out help and ask for it....since that realization the quality of my life has drastically improved.  after mms i had to fill in the gaps they left behind but i still use some of what i learned there to improve myself.  

kat, if you have any questions i would be more than willing to share myself specifically with you.  my email- [email protected]

Laura E.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: natalie on July 07, 2006, 05:27:00 AM
Kat-

Have you found any of your list other than me...  I am curious about a lot of these girls too... and also Melissa R.

Love ya
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: lablah on July 07, 2006, 06:29:00 PM
Where is Katie H. and Kaywin P.?  and yeah what about Melissa R.?  I spoke with her probably in 96', but not since then.  Jesus, that makes me feel old!
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: BarnardlyB on July 07, 2006, 10:46:00 PM
La,
I have both katie and kaywins info,...both are doing quite well.
Title: Missing Alumni
Post by: babylove on July 10, 2006, 12:41:00 AM
I have contact info on,
-Addie Harris
-Sarah Matheson
-Melissa Seminaro
-Katie Harrison
-Jessica Gestout
-Ashley Aaron
-Nadine Edelman
-Norina Edelman

send a pricvate message if you'd like to have their contact info.