Archive for February, 2017
My mother got rid of me, but good. I had just turned 14 when she locked me up in a warehouse. Straight Inc., the place was called. I was trapped there for 16 months.
Her husband had been beating me up. I guess she got sick of my screams.
Straight billed itself as a drug rehab for kids. The weird thing was, out of of the hundreds of us in there, like three of us had done more than drink a beer, smoke a joint.
But to Straight, every teen was a druggie. At least, every teen whose parent had a checkbook and a desire to disappear them….
My mother told me she was taking me to a boarding school. Picturing green lawns and window seats, I got in the car. I let her and her husband drive me across six states.
But then I stepped into the Straight building, and everything felt wrong. Like carnival music played backwards. The few kids I saw had shirts tucked in, robot eyes. The adults had clenched jaws and clipboards.
I was a strong kid, a loud kid. I was used to being able to at least fight back.
There was no fighting back at Straight.
My mother said goodbye; said she was leaving me there. I tried to bum rush her. Seven people–three girls, four guys–grabbed my arms, my legs, my Levi’s waistband. They held tight.
When I tried to scream, they clamped hands over my mouth. When I tried to bite, it felt like they’d stolen my teeth.
I learned quick that I couldn’t use my teeth at Straight. Or my screams. Or my fight. All I could do was tell those hundreds of kids, “My mother was right. I am a drug addict.” All I could do was lie, and swear it was the truth.
When I was a kid, my mother and her husband abused the fuck outta me.
At 12, I hit puberty and started fighting back.
At 13, I ran away and was homeless.
At 14, my mother locked me up in a “troubled teen” program, Straight Inc., that’s been called “a concentration camp for throwaway teens.”
I was trapped there for 16 months, being abused in ways you can’t even imagine. I saw a lot of blood. I heard a lot of bodies, breaking. I wasn’t allowed to scream. I wasn’t allowed to move.
When I got out, I wanted to kill myself, quickly.
Instead I did it slowly, by having mean sex with guys who hated me.
I started my life with other people abusing me. Then I learned to do it for myself.
Today, thanks to a lot of therapy and a decision to spend my life helping kids like me, I’m way better. Today, my life is almost perfect.
This is a blog about me, but maybe it’s also about you.
There are so many of us who have been hurt by people with power and control.
In my blog, in my books, I describe what hurt me, and how I survived.
If you’ve been hurt, and you want to know how to survive, come on. Get reading.