I, Ali M. declare and state as follows:
1. Pathway Family Center
2. Indianapolis Indiana
3. Summer of 2002
4. I was put in treatment (Pathway) by my mother at age 15. She'd found a shot bottle of alcohol in my purse, and coming from a long line of alcoholics thought she'd scare me and take me for an assessment. During the assessment I was infuriated with my mom & not thinking she'd ever be convinced of me staying, I told the lady EVERYTHING that I had experimented with, which at that time, was marijuana, alcohol, pain pills, and at the time I had an 18 yr old, abusive, boyfriend ( probably a giant contributor) who had literally MADE me do cocaine. Shoved my head down, and threatened he'd kill me if I didn't snort it. ANYWAY. After the assessment I was asked to go to another room while she spoke with my mother, after waiting a few minutes my mother came in and stated that I'd be staying, I was of course devastated. I had no clue why I'd need to be in a drug treatment facility but I was no longer allowed to speak to her at this point. So I couldn't ask her anything... It was horrible, you had no time to transition in this environment, and were forced to use the same behavior as the other children who you could tell had inevitably, literally been brainwashed.
By the way, when my mom came to her senses and picked me up 4 months later,after other parents who were obviously brainwashed tried talking her into having 16-20 yr old men who had been in trouble with the law repeatedly, come to our house where there was a 2 yr old baby and be a host home she realized what she had done. When we were leaving and I was able to walk freely and not have my arms tied behind my back from another person, I asked her what made her let me stay. She said " I was told you were an "extreme case", and used cocaine and oxycotin on a regular basis." I was appalled. They had lied to my mother. And I'm not just saying all of this now, this is all true. Believe me, I'm almost 23 yrs old, and would have no reason to lie. I at that time in my life had NEVER been using any drug on a regular basis, I was 15 yrs old. I had tried cocaine ONCE. Yes it might have seemed like I was bragging or letting it all out on the table, and I was, again like I said, at that moment I was angry with my mom and just told the lady everything. But I think there needs to be some fine line there. I definitely didn't need to be in a long-term drug treatment facility for my mom finding a 2 oz alcohol bottle in my purse.
Here are a few examples for you parents on the environment and what kind of children are there. This is ALL true, and not blown out of any proportion. I mean all of what I am about to say. It is the truth.
I at one point in time, didn't scream that I was "READY" loud enough and was put on "sack lunches" which means, I literally had to eat a deli meat sandwich for EVERY Time that I ate. I was not allowed ANY other food. When people had spaghetti or healthy protein filled chicken breast, I was forced to eat enriched white bread, and processed deli meat. I mean it... Literally that was it. Which over time, you can imagine is pretty unhealthy, I had a problem with an eating disorder and was also told that I had gained an immense amount of weight by the nurse. (I'm not sure if she thought that would help, or make me hate myself AT that time even more, because it did just that) I later found that I had lost almost 20 lbs over the course of 4 months. I was on sack lunches for approx. 3 months.
Never being in ANY trouble and being one of the children who wasn't court ordered there, I was one of the only ones who had to travel far to host homes. Once you're "phasered" in a room (stripped down and checked for any inanimate objects you may be hiding. This process is done when you go to the bathroom, when you take a shower, before you go to bed, and after you wake up), you're locked in. So if there is any fire, or extreme circumstance, you literally are bolted into a room from the outside, and unable to get out. It's preposterous. There was a father of one of the children, and a "host home dad" out of one of the homes we had to go to, who while the mother would "phaser" us into a room or bathroom, would watch us dress, change, or undress. After a complaint being filed and everyone knowing, we still were forced to go there and stay. These parents that are "hosts" at host homes, require NO background check. We Found out later, he was actually a child molester... thank god noone was hurt right, but what if they were...
I could literally feel my brain washing away if that makes sense. Not being in school, learning curriculum, exercising, socializing with people, or even seeing sunshine are all things needed for a brain to function! I was allowed no contact with the outside world. No contact with peers except the ONE girl out of 7 I was allowed to talk to whom had made it to a high enough level to speak. The only other form of communication I had with peers, was to be FORCED to basically tell them how horrible and pathetic they were... when I didn't think that was the case at all. The only communication I had with my parents, was in front of about 70 ppl, having to tell them a story of when I was using drugs. These of course were practiced before and monitored in order to make sure that you had a story worthy and horrifying enough to tell your parents in front of everyone, when you didn't, they'd say makeup one!! They (my parents) then had to tell me a time when they were hurt by me. Again, this is in front of community members and others parents. You are humiliated and belittled on purpose, and I'm sure the parents feel some sort of embarrassement as well. You are allowed absolutely NO contact with your parents, I mean you are LITERALLY not even allowed to make EYE CONTACT with them. If you do, you are punished in some way, whether it be, no "funtime" or skipped back down to the beginning of the first level. You can't communicate EVER until you make it to 2nd level, which can take years. There were ppl who had been there for 4 yrs, and never made it.
Some of the children there DID NOT belong there. People need to understand that DRUGS are the medication, NOT the problem. You must get to the root of the problem before you are able to deal with the using of drugs. Especially if a 15 yr old is EXPERIMENTING and not into anything serious. There was a girl who was raped by her brothers all the time, raped so often she started having sex with them voluntarily, she NEEDED to be in another facility, treating a drug problem would NEVER help her. Another child walked into his home right after his father had killed himself, he swore he saw demons in his head, and would self-mutilate all the time, he DID not need to be in a center for drugs, he needed to be in a place that would love him into recovery. He had been deeply hurt. Another girl, would twist her hair in knots and RIP it out, it was horrible, and the sound was awful. She needed to be in a loving psychiatric place, not in a drug rehab for overdosing on pills she was PRESCRIBED to.
My intent is not to tell others stories and everyone will absolutely remain nameless, but these are just a few examples of who is in there, and how they need to be helped, and how they are NOT being helped at all. People need to learn to identify the actual PROBLEM which most of the time is NOT drugs. I am in school right now for these people, I have my BA in Psychology Mental Health, and am working on my Masters, and will one day have my doctorate in Psychiatry. I am learning how to treat and love these people so that I am able to actually make a difference for them. Not just mentally and emotionally torture them to get more money in my pockets. These treatment centers charge as much money as it would cost for 4 years of college, and in the end, I would say, psychologically mess them up even more than when they started. I feel I was meant to go here. If I hadn't I'd probably never have known that these places are out there, and that there are children out there who actually do need help, good help! This is what I think my calling is, and it's what I'm meant to do. This has been my passion since I've left that place 7 yrs ago. Since then, I have been even more involved with drugs, gotten clean, graduated high school, graduated college, married an AMAZING man, had a BEAUTIFUL boy, and would say that NONE of Pathway contributed to that. I would say I wasted 4 months of my life, but I didn't, it opened my eyes to what I need to do. And I'm determined to shut all of these places down, and change the world of rehab as we know it.
Mother of 1.