hello! everybody! I am not dead!!

Discussion in 'Howdy there!' started by esotericPrognosticator, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. esotericPrognosticator

    esotericPrognosticator still really excited about kobolds tbqh

    ironically this is my third thread in this subforum, but uh. yeah. what it says on the tin. it's been literally a year since I signed off here, so maybe a lot of shit has changed (figured that reading threads would be a huge time sink and I should post here first) and a lot of y'all new folks don't know me, but hey. sup. I'm eP, and I'm back!

    so as you can see from my last status update, about 11 months ago I got sent to this therapeutic program by my parents. I was really fucking depressed, and I had asked to be sent to in-patient care (what those In The Know call an RTC, a residential treatment center) because just. nothing was working. what I DID get sent to was what's called a wilderness therapy program, or just wilderness (again to people In The Know). the philosophy behind such places is basically a) Nature Heals, b) therapy (talk/DTB generally) is beneficial, and c) removal from the Home Environment in which Bad Things have happened is also beneficial. personally I tend to believe in the latter two more than the first one, especially because I fucking hate being outside, but anyway.

    this place was in Hawaii and what I can say about it is basically that I hated it and it fucking worked. as I mentioned before, I hate being outside; at the program I literally LIVED outside for 81 days (yes, I counted). it was essentially camping except that we slept in bunks (with screens instead of windows and doors, I should add) instead of tents. I hate being dirty; I and my clothes were dirty ALL THE TIME. (we took showers three times a week, so thankfully I wasn't unhygienic, but I just. had dirt on me. also we were not allowed to have deodorant, which is Frivolous, apparently, and I sweat a LOT.) I really appreciate my alone time; I was literally never alone. I have sensory issues, particularly with a lot of foods; there was a VERY strict Healthy Diet. and so on.

    however, I had this absolutely fabulous therapist, and I'm willing to give the general Therapeutic Atmosphere some credit, and at some point in there I just. stopped being depressed? and I haven't been since. I'm still anxious and have Autism Things, but those are comparatively INCREDIBLY MANAGEABLE and overall I feel pretty damn great, thank god.

    anyway, I got out of there at the end of October 2017, and then (this is what I'm salty about) my parents, against my wishes, sent me to a DIFFERENT program, this therapeutic boarding school, as again they're Officially Known. that was also fairly restrictive, and in my opinion largely unnecessary, but they were really afraid I wasn't actually Not Depressed or that I would backslide or SOMETHING, idk. so that's where I've been from then to literally two days ago, but I'm out now. while I was there, our internet was pretty restricted, including everything vaguely social or communicative (the idea being to protect people from Toxic Friends back home, which I can't really argue with), and in any case staff watched everything we did on the computers (or were able to, anyway). even if the filter had allowed me on this site, stuff on here is pretty sensitive and I just didn't want randos reading it. so that's why I'm back now!

    so uh. questions? comments? concerns?
    • Winner x 21
  2. Lazarae

    Lazarae You won't be the death of me

    Hey, nice to see you back and doing better!
    • Agree x 7
    • Like x 2
  3. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Hi, I´m glad you´re not dead and feeling better. Not glad your parents didn´t respect your wishes even if it turned out alright.
    • Agree x 9
    • Like x 1
  4. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    hi! :D

    it's nice to see you again! :D
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  5. esotericPrognosticator

    esotericPrognosticator still really excited about kobolds tbqh

    thanks, guys! it's really nice for me to be back too, and to get this kind of welcome. :)

    I'm not terribly glad about that either, to be quite honest, but I'm definitely less unhappy about it than I was. I mean, they did it because they were worried about me, and I think to a large extent they were scared by the "experts" (euphemistically called "educational consultants," there is this whole entire lingo) they hired to advise them on where to send me, who basically told them there was no way I was permanently better after just the first program (my dad keeps being like, "well, for 90% of people it takes a year to solidify healthy habits," and that's where he got that number) and they had to send me to the second one. for another thing, it's over now; they did it and there's nothing they or I can do about it, so really it's up to me whether to forgive them or stay angry but not be able to do anything constructive with it. also, I mean. I'm 18 now and they won't be able to do anything like that again; adults can't be committed against their will unless they're a danger to themselves or others, etc., but minors can if their parents consent, and that's what happened to me. if it comes down to it, I can refuse now. but I really don't think they'll do anything like that again; they're really glad to have me back.

    edit: worth noting that I've never been suicidal or wanted to self-harm, so I never qualified for the "danger to self" standard either, or had to go to the emergency room or anything like that.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
    • Like x 8
  6. Everett

    Everett local rats so small, so tiny

    Welcome back!
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  7. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Glad you made it through that, and I'm glad the therapist was awesome, anyway!
    • Agree x 6
    • Like x 2
  8. Verily

    Verily a very ineffective hitman

    I'm so happy to hear you're doing better! Man, that sounds like quite an experience. Sorry about the boarding school bullshit.

    It's great to have you back!
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  9. esotericPrognosticator

    esotericPrognosticator still really excited about kobolds tbqh

    thanks! she WAS awesome, oh my god, I am so mad she lives in Hawaii (and on the non-tourist side of the Big Island, too, somewhere pretty damn rural). mostly for my sake, but also for the sake of the larger number of people she might be helping if she lived in, idk, an actual city instead of in the middle of nowhere (kind of near Hilo, but that's a largeish town at best). honestly she was tougher on me than any of my previous therapists, but that's what I needed. instead of being like "I'm sorry you're sad," she was like, "what can you do about being sad?" and when I said I couldn't do anything, she was like, "well, if you think that, there isn't anything you can do, but if you stop feeling sorry for yourself and start feeling like you have control over your emotional state, you will actually get control over your emotional state," and that was definitely what I needed to hear. but anyway.

    thank you! it really was an Experience, sort of surreal and not at all a thing that happens to most people? or that I expected to happen? I learned, for instance, that there is essentially this whole industry for dealing with Troubled Youth in a Therapeutic Way, which is at least better than sending them to military school, but it's just. so large? and so specialized? and there are these "educational consultants" whose ENTIRE JOBS are to help parents pick programs for their Troubled Youths, and also—okay, get this. I think they call themselves "transporters," but we call 'em "goons," as in "getting gooned," and they are these people who you can pay to LITERALLY KIDNAP your child and take them to Troubled Youth treatment. like, no kidding, I know people—who I know are truthful! this actually happened to them!—who got woken up at 3 am by these goons and told they were going to wilderness, then tried to run away and got tackled and then handcuffed or zip-tied and shoved in a car, then escorted onto a plane. which these goons do for a living. it is SO WILD, I kind of feel obliged to write a memoir or something.

    honestly, the worst thing about the boarding school was that the "school" part wasn't worth shit. :P like, the academics were terrible, and even though I technically got the credits I needed for my diploma in the time I spent there, I'm actually starting my REAL senior year this fall. like, the work there was so bad that I need to repeat the year. but I prefer to think of it as a gap year and the work not worthy of any credits in the first place. so bad. (mostly because of the kids, tbh, a solid 80% of whom had some sort of learning disability—probably 60+% of us had ADHD, no kidding—but, more importantly, the majority of which had become demoralized by said disabilities, decided that school was dumb and not worth their time, and kind of refused to do any work. I really did not appreciate how in my real school, although not everyone likes school, everyone is at least willing to cooperate minimally and pretend to pay attention, but I sure do now.)
    • Witnessed x 10
  10. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    Hi! I'm really glad to see you're back.
    If you want some resources on dealing with the potential effects/trauma from that sort of stuff, I'd like to point you to this subreddit here.
    • Informative x 1
  11. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    I've wondered from time to time how you were doing! I'm kind of unimpressed with your parents regarding that second program, but mostly glad you're okay and doing better.
    • Agree x 6
    • Like x 1
  12. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Congratulations on not dead! And on not depressed!
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  13. Vierran

    Vierran small and sharp

    Welcome back! What really disappoints me about that mess is that you exercised good judgment in asking about the first program, and your parents disregarded that demonstration of good judgment when they ignored your disapproval of the second program. Way to punish someone for trying to take care of themself there, guys...

    Am glad you are back now and doing better, and that you had reasonably positive or at least not-horrible experiences.
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
  14. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

  15. Vierran

    Vierran small and sharp

    eP's description makes me believe their subjective experience was not-horrible. I have had friends go through things like this and heard plenty of horror stories before.
    • Agree x 2
  16. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Sometimes whether something is okay, or bad, or good, or horrible, varies a lot with the person and where they are and what they need. I'd say go with "be glad it worked out okay for this person".
    • Agree x 6
  17. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    HI! I'm glad to hear from you, I was kind of hoping you were OK.
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  18. garden

    garden lucid dreamer

    glad you're ok & doing better!!
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  19. esotericPrognosticator

    esotericPrognosticator still really excited about kobolds tbqh

    thanks for the link! that looks like either people who just never got over being sent to any sort of treatment, the type I tended to avoid while I was there (and there's this one guy on there who's just concerning, like he reads very paranoid), or people who went to legitimately abusive, crazy places, which I know exist but have not myself attended. basically I don't feel traumatized, particularly, just a little ticked off still, and I don't particularly want to be around that kind of negativity.

    thank you, guys! :) you all are a big part of the reason why I wanted to check in here, too, because I knew that if someone on here I was friendly with went silent for a year I would definitely be thinking about them now and then and wondering how they were doing, and I thought a few people might be doing the same for me. :) (and @The Frood Abides, don't worry, I'll be jumping back into the D&D stuff. ;) it's been an abiding interest.)

    I mean, the title of this thread was largely facetious, and the second of those two is much more surprisingly to me personally. :P but thanks!

    that's approximately what I've been saying to them, with the additional understanding that I have generally had good judgment my entire life and they put a fair amount of trust in me prior to treatment, but, y'know, I've already made my mother cry with remorse in front of me twice, and it's kind of beating a dead horse for me to keep accusing them of it at this point. but that WAS exactly why I thought it was so unfair, though. :P

    well, I was deliberately keeping the programs' names and details out of it, Alix, but I guess the specifics are not THAT hard to track down even with what I've said already. since you've already posted that, I guess I can say that OP's account there reads as factually accurate to my knowledge, but they did go to the young adult program, which is substantially different than the one for minors that I attended, so the details of what I did were different. for one thing, all the young adults could leave if they wanted to, while the minors couldn't. personally I would NOT have left even if I could've, though.

    the only thing OP says there that I KNOW is wrong is the thing about the "naturopathic" nurse; they do have real nurses and a real doctor, as well as a good psychiatrist, they just tend to refer you to the naturopathic shit first. like, when I got athlete's foot, they told me to keep my feet very dry, apply tea tree essential oil twice a day, and bathe my feet at least one a day with water containing crushed Mexican oregano. but when that didn't cure it, they did actually give me an over-the-counter cream for it. the things they say about drugs and detox are more true for the young adult program than the adolescent one; there are a fair number of people in the adolescent program with drug problems—between 30% and 50%, at a wild guess?—but it's definitely not everyone and I didn't really feel left out of groups in the way OP describes. they're kind of misrepresenting the licensing, in that I understand PQ is trying to get re-licensed as an "outdoor RTC" type of thing; it's not quite traditional wilderness therapy and definitely not a typical RTC, so I think that's difficult from a regulatory standpoint.

    they seem to have really hated being outside 13 hours a day, eating the diet, etc., and I can't say I disagree, but I don't think that's abusive per se. it's true that what you're allowed to speak about and who you're allowed to speak to is restricted heavily, but in my opinion it's not a malicious attempt to isolate people so much as it is designed to a) make people actually think about themselves instead of just chatting and b) prevent people from triggering themselves or others by talking about sensitive things. the no-talking rules only apply with other kids, by the way, you can talk to staff whenever you want.

    as for whether or not it was "not-horrible"...
    I agree very much with both of these. the wilderness program would have been pretty horrible if I didn't believe it had a point and if it hadn't worked, but it did all seem deliberate and well-intended and it DID work. as I said, I hated the specifics of it, but I can't argue with the outcome. also, I had excellent, certainly non-abusive and often actively helpful staff at both places, and I was never physically restrained or even TOUCHED by staff at either place. (I did see people who were actively trying to hurt themselves physically stopped by staff at PQ, and I was told that if someone tried to run away the staff could stop them physically if absolutely necessary, but otherwise they were NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH US, and they never did. I requested, and received, some hugs from staff at the school when I was leaving, and on several occasions from my therapist, too, but otherwise they did not touch me either and were generally very respectful of physical boundaries. generally they respected/allowed me boundaries if I didn't do anything stupid, and I never did anything stupid.) that is not true in some of these places, and I imagine @Vierran's friends' experiences have something to do with that kind of thing. but I firmly believe that neither of those environments was abusive, and I would not call my experience at either horrible. it may not fit a narrative of abusive, invasive authority, but personally I'm not invested enough in that narrative to twist my actual experiences to fit. I know you meant well in saying that, Alix—I think you were trying to take my side there—but even though it was unintentional, you misrepresented my opinion and were dismissive of another user in so doing, and I dislike that. you don't have to apologize, but I wanted to register my opinion in that regard.
    • Informative x 1
    • Witnessed x 1
  20. Acey

    Acey same old sad soliloquy

    YOOOOO WELCOME BACK!!! :D I’m sorry about the bullshit but I’m SO glad you’re doing so much better.
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice