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Hi guys. I debated writing a post about this for a long time, since I know the topic is “out there” and probably doesn’t apply to many people. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here has ever attended a troubled teen program or gay conversion therapy? I spent roughly 2 years (age 13-15) in a lock-up conversion therapy program. Without sharing too much information, it was indescribably abusive and actually meets the federal government’s definition of a cult. I feel like the existence of these programs is one of America’s darkest secrets. In fact, they are illegal in most civilized countries. I don’t speak about my experience much because people – especially in Connecticut – would simply not believe it, or at the very least would think I was exaggerating. I was literally dragged out of bed at 4:00 in the morning, blindfolded, and driven to the desert in the Idaho/Utah border. For two years I was, to put it bluntly, a captive. We weren’t allowed any contact with the outside world. We couldn’t touch another person or have any human contact at all. All conversations were monitored. We were routinely humiliated – not allowed to shower for months, denied given bathroom breaks until some folks soiled themselves, forced to eat cups of salt. I think you get the idea. Actually, someone else wrote about the wilderness program I went to in this Cracked article: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1270-6-shocking-realities-secret-troubled-teen-industry.html. I did 3 months in that Idaho program, and then was sent to a Utah program for the remainder of the 2 years. Despite having left Utah 8 years ago, I still suffer from severe complex PTSD. It is an isolating experience, especially since I don’t know anyone in real life who has gone through the same thing. I feel like meeting just one other survivor would be a huge boon to my mental health, which is why I’m reaching out on this forum.
p.s. for those who would like to learn more about the troubled teen industry, please check out the following links:
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