Monday, May 30, 2011
Island View - testimony by Alyx Weisinger
I was sent to Treatment when I was 16 right before my senior year of High School after being arrested twice in one month. Two escorts came into my room at 4:30 AM and took me with very little fight from Connecticut to Utah and then to a wilderness program in Idaho.
I was a heroin addict going through withdrawal during the winter I spent at wilderness. My first day at wilderness they told me to strip and forced me to stay naked in the freezing cold until I took out all of my piercings (some of which I couldn't get out because I was exhausted and freezing). I spent around 58 days in wilderness struggling to contact my parents through letters.
I recieved a letter half way through telling me I was getting sent to a bording school and they were not sure which one. I worked my ass off to get through wilderness hoping I could come home but their decision was final and I wound up in an RTC in Utah called Island View. I was told it was a six month program and I could have fun, make friends, meet a cute new guy and calm my life down.
When I got there everything I had been told was a lie again. I wasn't allowed to talk to boys or the majority of the girls even, I had no free time besides time between schedualed groups and school, and there was nothing fun about the facility. Most of my treatment experiences were lies. I got checked on by the nurses and came to find out I had the strain of HPV which could cause cancer. they told me to check up on it in six months so I figured when I got out I could check it.
After talking to girls I found out no one got out in six months usually and it was all based on my so-called "personal progress". The first friend I made there I was forced into "CMR" (communication restriction) with. They didn't like that we were friends because we spent to much time together which was the remaining time that we weren't being dragged around from group to group. I was taken down in my first month for a violent out burst when they started packing the few items I had in to boxes with no reason (none of which were actually mine from home). The next month I was completely shunned by both staff and residents. I was completely alone in a strange state and locked in to an institution. I slowly made friends with in my "team" (the girls I was allowed to talk to) and after arriving there in May I finally moved up to the next level in September a dady after my birthday, thus allowing me to listen to the radio.
My parents were instucted to not visit me on my birthday but to compensate sent me alot of gifts. My level was quickly taken from me because I had violated a rule they had created that week. Everyone on my team went on "yellow zone" for breaking the rule. Yellow Zone is when you sit in a lawn chair silently for a minimum of 18 hours and a maximum of 72 only getting up to use the bathroom, eat, and sleep. The rule was you couldnt have the information of the friends you had made because of "confidentiality". So I lost the number and address of the first real friend I had made there. I developed acid reflux from vomiting during withdrawal and I vomited every morning from anxiety for 8 months before they took me to a doctor to check up on it. I worked on friendships there for many months because thats all there was.
After the six months I was supposed to check up on my HPV and I reminded the nurses numerous times to no avail because they didnt want to have to take me off campus to see a gynocologist. I spent Christmas and hanukah alone because my parents once again were told not to come. When my parents came to see me in Febuary or March when I graduated High School with no prom, no ceremony, none of my closest friends, and worst of all no true sense of accomplishment. I wrote them a ten page letter on how desperately I wanted to come home and I was turned down because my therapist told them they would make a program to ween me out of treatment.
I finally got a home visit in April and I ran away from home so I wouldn't get sent back. I went to a close friends house for a few days so I could see people who loved and supported me despite what they wanted me to think. My mom knew the mother of the girl and had escorts come to her house at 5 AM to take me back.
I spent a month on the unit because they didnt allow the streak of black I had put in my hair while I was home and I had to wait until they made me a hair appointment. when off the unit I sat around in the school hallway while everyone was in school and just waited. I was put on yellow zone once again for having a piercing and I went to my sobbing and hopeless. I was told to go to the time out room and three staff grabbed my arms and started dragging me there when I wanted to go myself. I asked if they'd let go and they didn't respond so I pulled my arms away. I was immediately tackled because this motion was "threatening" and held down in the middle of the hallway humiliated infront of all of my friends and all of the boys who could see me on the other side of the hall.
In June while my three best friends were on a home visit I was told to pack my stuff because I was getting transfered to a "sober dorm" in Pennsylvania in two days. I left with no goodbye group, with out my three best friends and once again alone. Once in the "sober dorm" I was unable to adjust because suddenly I had alot of freedom and it scared me. I hadnt had to talk to people in a year and a half or so.
I quickly took a greyhound bus home and lived at my friends house until I was sure I wasnt getting sent anywhere. That is a summary of my treatment stay. I dont know if it was supposed to be this long but I had alot to say and I cut out alot.
The original statement on the cafety-youthrights Wiki
Datasheet about the treatment facility on Fornits Wiki