Thursday, August 9, 2012

EJ at Crook Creek Programs

This statement was given by "EJ" on the HEAL-online message board. All rights belong to the author.

It's been 8 years since I left Cross Creek and I still have nightmares. The mental damage has taken a long time to progressivly get better, but I am still a long way of mentally recovering from what happend to me and the abuse I watched other girls suffer at the hands of those who ran Cross Creek.

I first arrived in the little rural Utah town of LaVerkin in the gates of the ominous white building The manor. I was given 2 minutes to say godbye to my parents before being lead behind those 12foot tall gates that would be shut behind me for 2 years.

I was escorted by two large men "The Radios" they called them, to dorm hall and ito a room where a group of girls went through my possetions and threw away what was considered "contraband". The treated my head for lice (a 14 year old girl was made to do this) I was stipped and searched and made to shower as a staff watched me.

My parents told the director I was suicidal. I was and I was violent. I found out a few years after I left CCM, that I have Bipolar Disorder and the medication I am on now works. In the 2 years I was being "treated" at CCM both of my therapists failed to identify it. I was even sent to a specialist becuase like clockwork my moods would go from Up for several months to down for a month or two. The specialist said I had "Oppositional Defiant Dissorder" and that it would be benificial for me to stay in the program and complete the process.

My first night I had a manic outburst. I don't like feeling like a prisoner and that is exactly what CCM was, a prison. I flipped out and assulted a staff and in a panic tried to run away. I was beaten down by 4 large male staff members and dragged to isolation, a 5x8 cell made of concrete. They turn the AC down to about 65 degrees and take your shoes and socks and make you sit on your hands for 12 hours. You are only given peanut butter and bread with water twice a day, you shower as a staff watches you and then they let you out after all the rest of the girls are in bed. You can't see your therapist anything you do you must ask premission and the slightest infractin earns you a write up.

I lived in Iso for a month,I did not attend school the whole time even though it was in October when I went in there. Then when I was "good" I was allowed to join the other girls in the SH room. We were called Staff Buddy's since we were all being punished for various infractions. We were seperated from our groups and not allowed to even write our parents. We listed to tapes and filled out worksheets. You could not talk you had to ask permission to even scratch your head or take a drink from your water bottle. This is how they treated me for a serious mental illness.

If I acted up I was dragged up to the Iso and if I acted out in there, then a staff would come in and lay down on top of me. One guy was a 300+lbs Samoan man named Sam. He once laid on top of me restraining my arms with his knees in my calves for six hours. I had cuts and bruises. One time I had a nightmare and was screaming in my sleep. One of the Radios came in and grabbed me by the shirt collar litterally threw me off the top bunk bed and picked me up by one arm and dragged me up to the Iso. The man slammed me into ever wall we encountered. Nobody belived me, not my parents, my sister, nobody. Who is going to belive the words of a kid who got sent to a behavior modification center for doing drugs, having sex, attempting suicide and running away from home?

I finally just learned to lie and cheat my way through the rest of the program. I played the game, I pretended to cry when they wanted me to, I verbally abused lower level girls, I stabbed people in the back to make myself look better to the staff becuase I wanted to just get out of there. I did what I did to survive. I am cirrently in therapy and we are working on a lot of the memories of that place I have suppressed. It's cause me a lot of anxiety and stress. I learned nothing from that place. When I got out I did even more drugs to suppress the memories to kill the pain.

I didn;t get my act together until I got pregnant with my son 2 years ago. My son saved my life, the program just stole my mom's money even though they take all the credit for me being alive today.


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