I started using mild sedatives in my late junior high years. This soon led to the use of hallucinogens. I soon realized I knew all and I did not need school any longer. This led to a dilemma. In the state of Florida you must attend school until the age of sixteen, where I was only fifteen. So the next step was either attend school or get shipped off. Obviously, in my state of mind, I wasn’t thinking all to clearly and decided to be shipped off. By shipped off, I mean sent away to a rehabilitation institution. My parents knew of this place from my best friend Sennecca, who attended this rehabilitation the year before. I soon found myself on a plane heading for the snowy caps of Utah. This is where I would spend the next year and a half of my life.
When the plane landed, two large men wearing black suits picked me up. I found this somewhat interesting, along with a slight feeling of fear. After being escorted through the airport, we arrived at a white van where I then sat for the next five hours while we drove to the middle of nowhere. Once arriving at this dystopia, I had then realized I had made a horrible mistake. Numerous kids walking around in bright orange suits gave me this first clue. I would later find that this was the beginning of the end.
Almost immediately after I had arrived, I heard a voice that I would later recognize to be Tom, the man in charge. ?Look at what we got here,? Tom shouted. ?A dime a dozen,? I then heard him utter under his breath. I soon realized what he meant by this when I looked around and saw many others obviously here for the same reason I was. ?Get your stuff, you’re staying in cabin Fifteen.? Tom yelled. I then went on to meet my beautiful habitat that I would be living in for the next year and a half.
This boarding school worked on a system that is nearly indescribable. The main rule of thumb was to watch your own back and maintain good behavior without making staff, or peers, think you’re a butt kisser. Also make sure you kept your room clean along with everything in it and around it. If by chance you broke any of these rules you would either be working out at five in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, or your peers would be jumping you.
After about three months of keeping my nose clean, my best friend Sennecca offered to send me a package. I wearily accepted, knowing that the contents would most likely get me into trouble. Sure enough, my streak was ruined when my supposed best friend, who knew how the system worked, sent me a carton of cigarettes concealed in a pillow. I was soon uncloaked and received my punishment by becoming level one. This was the lowest level you could possibly be, similar to dirt. I then had to work every day from three in the afternoon till about ten at night. Then on my weekend mornings I had to wake up at exactly five in the morning to do a three hour-long workout, followed by a ten-mile hike. Let me tell you about fun, hike ten miles up a mountain in the blistering cold with snow up to your knees.
I remember having a fever during the time I was level one; this meant I would have to complete a workout while being extremely sick. I remember going to the nurse the night before and telling her, ?I don’t think I will make it if you guys make me workout.? I then remember her replying, ?Well then we would have one less kid, wouldn’t we.? I then went to my room and prepared for the horrible travail I was about to encounter. I then took my temperature, reading one hundred and one, and went to bed. I soon woke up to, ?Morning pansies, rise and shine!? When the work out began, I instantly knew I wasn’t going to make it. When I was going up on my thirty-second pushup, I collapsed. This wouldn’t have been so bad if this had only affected me. ?What have we got here,? Tom bellowed. ?Let’s start back at number ten,? Tom screamed. ?Everyone say thank you Tom,? I hear. ?Thank you Tom,? a mellow echo filled the room. I was awaiting the beating I would receive after the workout. I knew my peers would be more then willing to show their gratitude for the extra work I had brought upon them.
I then was stuck in this losers’ streak for the following six months where I could not stay out of trouble. I finally hit rock bottom when I got into a fight and hurt the kid apparently too badly.
This kids name was Mark Fast, the toughest kid in the rehab. All he did was pick fights, and won all of them. One day I was walking to the cafeteria to get some food. Mark then stopped me and politely asked me if I had any money. When I responded no, he didn’t believe me and told me to empty my pockets. I remember all to clear saying,? Hell No,? and then it was on. Mark pushed me down and said,? I will be seeing you later.? I then ran to my cabin and told my friends I was going to get my ass beat. I asked what I should do and told them I couldn’t do it on my own. When the night rolled around I knew he would either be stopping by my cabin or I would be stopping by his. So I proceeded to his cabin with three of my friends, equipped with a lock in a sock. I don’t know what is was, maybe all the people he bullied or just all the anger I had built up, but I snapped. While my friends held him down, I took the lock in the sock and beat him with it profusely. Shortly after I was put in an orange suit and hauled off to the top of a mountain, with my three friends. From here I was instructed that three times a day a staff member would come to drop off rice and lentils. Isolation, that’s what this perdition was known as.
After roughing that out I then attained that I would have to be good to get anything accomplished and ultimately get out of there. I then started to play the system and work with it so that I could fool the staff for long enough to get the hell out of there. Well a funny thing happened, I actually started to believe the system and trust in it. I found that if I did what I was suppose to that I would get rewarded. It’s funny how quick this turned me around, not even two months later I was living off campus, driving my own car, living the life. Shortly after I was offered a job, where I worked for the following three months to obtain some money.
No more then two months later I was on the right track, with absolutely no desire for drugs or any bad behavior. In fact it was completely opposite. I found myself yearning for knowledge and the right path. I regained my faith in God as well as faith in my parents and family. It was all coming together, I could see clearly now. Before I realized it, I was on a plane home. Upon arrival home I sat in my seat awaiting the most joyous time in my life. A time where I could see my family, and feel nothing but love for them. The time where I could start over and make up for all I had messed up.