Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Kelly Cousins at Cross Creek programs - Volume 1
What can possibly be said or written about an experience so traumatic and damaging that it irrevocably altered the course or my life? How do I begin to extemporize on the ominous, pervasive black hole of emptiness, confusion and anger that, at times, consumes me whole?
It's not an easy task for me to tell a sensical, chronicled account of my 18 months of incarceration at Cross Creek Manor in Southern Utah. I use the word "incarceration," because that is what it was, in essence - package the process in whatever lies and manipulations you wish, but the cold reality is that we were locked up, plain and simple.
Let me begin by attempting to describe my current mental/emotional/spiritual state.
It's imperative that everyone who reads this account understands how far and wide the fallout from my 18 month "stay" at Cross Creek reaches.
At the risk of sounding a bit melodramatic, this experience has produced a person who has lost her idealism and faith. I carry the weight of unresolved melancholy and anger, and I have become a stranger to myself in the process. I don't mean to portray that all my days are spent holed up in solitude, crying myself to sleep every night, by most accounts I lead a very "normal" and "successful" life. I DO mean to tell you, however, in no uncertain terms that underneath my seemingly "normal" life is a deeply sad, conflicted and resentful person filled with never-ending self-doubt and self-loathing.
If you remember nothing else from this story, remember this - the proprietors of WWASP and other similar Behavior Modification "Schools" are master manipulators. More than five years since my release in May 1999, the brainwashing still works. Aside from the sometimes crippling depression, I regularly suffer from nightmares about being sent back to Cross Creek.
I always have the same one - I get "kidnapped" again and sent back to the Manor, only this time I'm over 18 (I was 17 at my intake). I protest, scream and cry that I'm an adult and I don't consent to being there, but my medical records have been forged and my date of birth always reads a year that makes me underage. This is when I usually wake up sweating and shaken - unable to shake the fear that my nightmare may actually come true. By far the most disturbing result of my stay at Cross Creek has been the complete and total severing from myself that I experienced, and continue to experience today.
Before the program, I was a passionate, idealistic and driven young woman - I had a clear vision of the type of person I wanted to be, and the type of life I wanted to live. This is not to say that I wasn't without emotional problems and/or bad judgement, because I definitely had more than my fair share of those - but through those problems I never lost sight of who I eventually wanted to be.
Post Cross Creek I am chronically insecure, indecisive, neurotic and conflicted - and on top of that, I was trained so incredibly well by the WWASP, that I am currently unable to make virtually any kind of decision without being riddled with self-doubt.