We drove far away, I did not really mind. The treatment center I had been at was better than home. I figured it would be ok. When we got there I had to take a personality test. I had not ever taken one before. It was the lamest thing EVER! It was full of oddly worded trick questions and things like ” I hear voices that are not there” true or false? Well, if I hear them then I think they are there….So that is a stupid question. I would love to know how I did.
My parents said goodbye to me and I was taken to a room and stripped of my clothing. They put me in one of those hospital gowns that lets your ass show to the world and I was not given any underwear. I think I did have socks on. This was step 1 I guess. I had to earn my fucking clothing…. What kind of place is this?
More rules than I had ever even considered. I had to stay in my room witch had 2 beds and 2 mattresses on the floor, nothing else. I was not to ever look out the window. I was only allowed to talk to my roommates when they said I could. I had to ask to come out and go to the bathroom. there were invisible lines everywhere I had to stop at and ask to cross. We sat around and talked about our problems all day and night and got fat and our skin grew light from lack of sun. The people in charge were all young, in their 20’s. My first day there one of those 20 year olds came to me and said I had a rat tail, and I was not allowed to have that and she cut all my remaining hair off, leaving me bald basically. It was a lovely place. I actually missed home.
This was E&O. (evaluation and out take) It was only the first part of Anneewakee. I had to earn my way out of that and into some out door group where I would eventually get to have a visit from my parents, and some day maybe in 5 years or so get to go home for a few days. The out door group would have no electricity or running water. We would get to work outside all day instead of sit around all day. Maybe even get to go to school again one day! Most of us were in a hurry to get the hell out of there and into the outside hell awaiting us. I remember one girl though, she refused to try and go out there. She was smart. She said I am not EARNING THAT!!!
It is hard to explain how that felt. I felt like I did not deserve it. I listened to girls talk about drugs and parties, and all kinds of fun that I never had. I never felt so empty and alone before. There was sadness in the air. I felt broken and dissected. I became close to other girls my age in a way I also can not explain. When my friends would cry I would cry with them, and they with me.
I wrote to my parents every single day, and begged them to come get me. I eventually realized I had to become complete bull shit in order to go anywhere. I had to stop asking them to come get me and tell them how well I was doing. My mail was being read and every move I made was being judged. I started kissing the staff’s asses, I talked in group. I admitted I had a problem…..out loud at least. I am 42 now and I still think I never should have been there. Some survivors say it saved their lives. It is what it is.