Tonight I am furiously angry at the injustices done to me by the institutions and unlicensed counseling places run by the plain people. Some of those things are illegal as well. Just knowing that, makes the wrong done to me seem even more violent. Even though they never hit me...
The times I spent in those places are shrouded in the fog of disassociation but there are some things I do remember. And some of those things have done lots of damage, some of which I'm still trying to recover from...
I will not be naming names, just some of the things I remember and how I feel about it now....
The first place I was taken to was because my parents found out I was suicidal. The intake people(an extension of a licensed medical facility)read through my journal in the take in process to help determine how "sick" I was. They made me do a 500 question test (a few weeks later)to help determine my "illness". They diagnosed me as bipolar due to my answer to 2 of those questions never asking me for an explanation. Apparently I was too "sick" to ask for an explanation (sarcastically). The doctor I had put me on 4 different meds that basically turned me into a walking zombie.
They were not trauma informed. The doctors and counselors were an extension of a licensed facility next door. But allowed the plain people to have their own place to keep their people...I don't know how many of the plain people who worked there were actually trained...
If they had asked the right questions they would have found out about the abuse and neglect.
I felt violated for them to read my journal but I didn't think I had a choice.
I am angry that they just gave me medicine and covered up the abuse.
The second place was a live in unlicensed "counseling " place for ladies. The counselors were not trauma informed/trained. As far as I can remember they had no professional training and there certainly were no diplomas hanging around except for one small thing in the lobby that I think said that they were allowed to operate but who was behind that I don't know.
We were required to spend a certain amount of time each day to help with certain activities like baking and putting together pig scales for businesses. Free labor for which we didn't get a cent. Actually rightly called labor trafficking.
We were not allowed to go to our rooms till 8 PM and as someone who needs quite a bit of down time I was a lot of the time overwhelmed mentally and emotionally by all the activities and guests.
We had to eat everything on our plate.
We had homework to do.
We had counseling sessions 3 times a week. My unlicensed "counselor" told me I had to apologize to my parents for not doing better, thus justifying their actions in their eyes and mine. My unlicensed "counselor" told me that when I disassociate that I'm going into a "brown study" and that that opens the door to the devil.
That unlicensed "counselor" did so much damage by making me apologize to my parents. It caused me to carry blame and shame that was not for me to carry for years after.
That unlicensed "counselor " did so much damage when she told me that when I disassociate I'm giving the devil access to me. Disassociation is a natural trauma response and she was ignorant. Not only did she magnify the level of fears in my life by her statement but added to my bondage and pain.
All those hours I spent helping bake whoopie pies for someone to sell or putting pig scales together in the barn for a certain business plus the other things we made to sell was labor trafficking. I was over 18 and I didn't get a cent for all those hours of work.
I am so angry right now.
I feel so wronged.
I feel taken advantage of.
At the third place the upstairs windows were locked or bolted shut. I dont remember being able to open them.
One day another girl held me captive in the bathroom and it was no use to scream because the doors and walls were very heavy.
At night nobody was allowed downstairs and there was an alarm set to draw attention if someone tried.
One day someone who only wanted to gossip called(of no relation to me except I had been living with her till she kicked me out). I knew what she wanted and I refused to talk to her. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to.
The same person, who told me I had to talk to her, later when I was leaving, used me as an example to manipulate the rest because I obeyed the rules therefore I was getting to leave because I had "earned my way up the ladder".
The unlicensed "counselor" I had at the end shut me down and told me I'm taking advantage of others the longer I stay in that place.
I felt trapped even though I went there because I had no other place to go. I felt trapped to not be able to open the windows. I felt trapped to have to have an alarm in place, like I couldn't be trusted.
I felt so silenced by the person who told me that I had to talk to an unsafe person.
I hated being used as an example for others. The "good" example. Rather I was the docile chameleon...but no more will I be.
The girl who trapped me in the bathroom I still cross paths with occasionally but I avoid her at all costs.
I did not like that last unlicensed counselor I had. She was ignorant and not trauma informed. I really dont think she had a clue how to be a counselor.
The thing that makes me the most angry right now is how damaging some of the "counseling" was as well as the labor trafficking.
I was just another one of those less than, mentally handicapped, spoken down to, seen as incapable of being normal person.
The treatment I got from people in the community and even my own family was sickening.
Now I feel so sad for that younger part of me who had to endure all those things and go through all those bad experiences. It was so wrong how she was treated. I see no way of righting the wrongs she had to endure. I'm very angry towards those individuals who treated her so inhumanely and as an object, a slave for free labor, a thing to be pitied and treated as less than capable and "not all there".
Those things are so far from the truth.
I am worthy of being treated as an equal.
I am worthy of being paid for my time and effort.
I am worthy of being respected.
I am worthy of being listened to.
I am worthy of being my own person.
I am worthy of being my own unique self.
I am worthy of having my own dreams and goals.
I deserve the space to be who I was meant to be.
Those places may have done some good for some people and even in my life (because that was were I learned for the first time in my life that there were kind people in this world), but I think it can be truthfully said that they do more damage than good in more ways than one...