This testimony was given by Eklipsa on the YouForum message board. All rights belongs to the author.
I was reluctant to post my story about Cross Creek Manor due to the pain it would rehash but I have come to realize that although it may cause some pain to me it will help prevent the pain of others.
First let me give you some background on myself. I come from a single parent home and was raised in my grandmother and grandfather's home. My father was an alcoholic and abusive to my mom so she moved back in with my granny when I was only about 6 months old and my brother was about two and a half. We all lived together until I was about ten or eleven.
This is when my mom met my now stepfather. At first they just dated but after awhile they made plans to move in together. Of course my mother asked me to go with her but I would not hear of it. I had lived in the same town for almost all my life and I was shy and not so ready to pick everything up and start all over with a new school, friends etc.
I guess you can say this was about the time I started acting out. I smoked my first cigarette at the age of about 12, marijuana at the age of 12 or 13. I also started drinking beer around this age. I picked the wrong people to hangout with, stayed out late, and my grades started dropping. At the age of 14 I was raped and after that I started snorting cocaine.
Well to make a long story short my behavior became progressively worse until my mom had me admitted to a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. After leaving there I attended a drug recovery outpatient program, NA, AA, and went to see both a psychiatrist and psychologist regularly.
I stayed clean for about 6 months and my behavior was back to it's good self. Then I relapsed and started drinking and smoking weed again- although I have not to this day touched cocaine again. I started running away again for days at a time and basically not caring what my mom had to say. I didn't even care about myself. This continued -it would be on and off if can understand what I mean-some weeks I was good others were bad- until late August of 1998.
I had came home from work after being out for a few days. I was exhausted and depressed. I had a history of depression and had recently been diagnosed with ADD. All I wanted to do was sleep. In fact I slept for almost two days straight. I was awakened by a knock at the door. To my surprise there were 2 cops outside. My mom let them in and they told me to get dressed because they needed to talk to me. They asked me why I wanted to kill myself. Apparently my mom was at her rope's end and told them that I was threatening to kill myself because it was the only way she was going to be able to get me help. I told them that I wasn't planning on killing myself but they didn't believe me. They handcuffed me and took me to the hospital.
From there I was sent to another adolescent psychiatric hospital. I was there for about three days when the psychiatrist said that there was no reason for me to be there anymore (I think my mental health coverage had run out) My mom came to pick me up- I knew something was up because my step dad was with her. At that time I really didn't like him and my mom knew that so she usually didn't bring him places to come get me unless I was in trouble. She walked me out to the car and the whole time she was holding my hand and hugging me and telling me how much she love me.
We got to where her car was parked in the parking lot and 2 ladies (might I add the 2 butchiest and scary ladies I have seen in my life) grabbed me and threw me in their car. My mom was crying and so was I. I had no idea what was going on. They drove off and I kept asking them where they were taking me and at first they wouldn't answer. Then finally when we got to the airport they told me that they were taking me to some cool private school where I would have lots of fun and make new friends. I don't know why I believed them. I guess it was because at the point I was at I really didn't think moving away would be so bad. In my head I pictured a school that had a dorm and phones and a t.v. and normal things like that. In know way did I know what was coming to me. We got on the plane. I was horrified because it was my first time flying. We landed and drove the long distance to La Verkin from Las Vegas.
That was the day my life changed for the worse. I arrived at about 4:00 am in the morning. I walked in the big white doors of the manor. Immediately they were slammed shut behind me and I was asked if I knew where I was. I said no and was told "You are at a long term drug rehabilitation facility." I freaked out and asked her if I could call my mother. To that I got the reply "No you cannot. You are here because your mother doesn't want anything to do with you." I thought It was all a bad dream I actually pinched myself to try and wake up-but to no avail- it was all HORRIBLY REAL!!!! I was stripped searched, my clothes were taken away and I was given some second hand dirty T-shirt and sweat pants to sleep in. I was forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor for days. I was woken up at around 7am and was surrounded by robot looking girls running around to get ready on time. And that was just the beginning.
If I could remember everyday and every bad thing that happened I would tell you but I don’t.
Some of the things I do remember are as follows:
- Every doorway I crossed I was made to ask May I cross
- I was watched going to the bathroom, taking showers, sleeping-everything I did I was under constant surveillance
- I was told daily that I was a f**kup, a slut, a homewrecker, that my mom didn't want me and that I would never change.
- When I admitted in therapy that I was raped I was made to feel that it was my fault because of my behavior.
- In what they called Physical Education I was forced to run around the yard many times. I wasn't not allowed to stop-even though my lungs were shot from smoking and I had borderline asthma- or I would receive a cat (which is a punishment where you have to sit and listen to tapes for hours on end until you got enough questions right to equal the amount of points of the cat. Each tape was half an hour long with a possibility of receiving 15 points- while cats started at if I remember correctly 50 points (I could be mistaken on that exact number).
- I was forced to be on silence for a period of about three weeks.
- "School" was not taught by teachers. I was given a textbook for each subject and answered the questions for each chapter and then given a test on each chapter.
- When I was put in the program I was 1 class away from getting a Regents diploma. I begged to be able to take a regents course so I could get the diploma I had worked so hard for 4 years but they didn't allow me to and I had to take a regular diploma.
- I got sick one night with a fever and I was throwing up. I was made to sleep with 3 heavy blankets. They said I needed to "sweat the fever out". I was crying because it was too hot under the blankets and I tried to take them off but I was threatened with a Cat for manipulation and not obeying staff orders. The next morning I was still forced to clean the bathroom (my every morning chore)
- I was given sleeping pills that made me feel horrible
- I was outside and this girl was trying to teach me how to do a cartwheel and I fell and hurt my shoulder. I was told it was my fault. I complained about the pain and they wouldn't take me to the doctor for about 4 days. It turned out that I had ripped a muscle in my shoulder and needed a sling.
- I was not allowed to write my mom for months and it took about 6 months to talk to her on speakerphone wit the therapist right there butting in.
- I had gotten a planters wart on the bottom of my foot from the dirty floors there and after complaining for about a month they took me to the doctor. He did laser surgery/removal of it and told me not to walk on it for a week. When I got back they would not allow me to stay in the sick room for more than a day. They said I was manipulating even when I walked on it and it started gushing blood.
- For about the whole time I was there I had an impacted wisdom tooth. Everyday it hurt. Sometimes it was so bad that I couldn't chew. They refused to bring me to have it removed and when I couldn't eat because of it they accused me of having an eating disorder and I got in trouble.
- There was an outbreak of scabies at Cross Creek Manor. When I told a girl who had it to stay away from me I was told that I was being "non-working" and I got in trouble. I just didn't want scabies!!!!
- When I decided to contact my biological father because I thought it might help me in my recovery I was told that I was trying to use him as a "back-door for my problems" When my mom told them it was alright for him to contact me through letters-he started sending me somethings that I was allowed to have (shampoo hairbrushes stationary flowers-stuff like that) they told him that he was spoiling me and that he couldn't contact me anymore.
- I was forced to wear only socks or thin slippers in the snow and rain.
- Every morning I was forced to show a staff member my underwear and bra to prove I was only wearing 1 of each. Somehow they considered that run plans. Personally I think they got off on it.
- When my therapist had said to me that my mom said that I was never allowed back in her house (which I know now my mom never said) I cursed about my mom and was made to right home a nasty letter cursing out my mom and not explaining why.
There are so many other things that happened. They are too numerous to list. I just hope that parents will think twice about sending their children to Cross Creek Manor, WWASP programs or any other place where they treat teens like crap. I know my mom would not have sent me there if she knew what it was like.