Crystal Donaldson

Crystal Donaldson
Springfield,Virginia Straight
September 1986 to August 1987

It was a school day for me when I got up early that morning in September 1986. When I walked into the kitchen I noticed that my mom had cooked me this very elaborate breakfast. I should have known something was up right then and there because my mom never made anyone breakfast, ever. The table was completely covered with lots of foods such as eggs,milk,pancakes,butter,bacon and toast. The breakfast was “to the nine`s” as they say. She had the whole spread set out in spades. It was a delicious breakfast.

After breakfast I walked over to my local bus stop and soon took the bus to Rocky Run Middle School on 4400 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly,Virginia. I was in my P.E. class when I received word that I needed to report to Principal`s office. So I went to the School Principals Office and discovered that my mom was there waiting for me. I said, “What`s up?” My mom said she was there because she was going to take me to see a counselor. Even though she had never mentioned this to me before I really didn`t think much of it so off we went.

So we drove from Chantilly out to Springfield,Virginia. When my mom and I arrived at this uninteresting building on Backlick Road in Springfield,Virginia, I noticed that my dad was already there and waiting for us in the parking lot. My parents had been officially divorced since 1982. The three of us went into the Front Office. Then all three of us went into this conference room with some staff members. My mom and the staff both knew that my dad couldn`t stay very long because of an important work related matter he had to attend to that morning. No paperwork was sighed. Nothing of any substance was discussed in the meeting. I believe my mom and the staff were stalling to buy time and waiting till my father had to leave. Thirty minutes later my dad left the room to go use the bathroom and right after that he left the building to go on to his work appointment. I left to go use the restroom and after that I went to say goodbye to me dad just before he left. Later I returned to the staff meeting where my mom was. It wasn`t long after that when I was taken away to an intake room where these two strange girls stayed with me in there. My mom stayed there in the conference room with the staff members and she officially signed all the paperwork putting me into Springfield,Virginia Straight without my fathers knowledge or permission or mine. Hours later I was told in that intake room that I wouldn`t and couldn`t leave. I remember finally realizing that I wasn`t going to be going anywhere. It was very unsettling and uncomfortable feeling being held against my will. Freedom as I had known it was all gone. Both my father and I had been duped and manipulated by my mother and by Straight on that morning and by the time we both found out about it later it was way to late to do anything about it. Before that day I had no idea that strange places like Straight even existed. It was a day filled with rude awakenings.

That amazing breakfast my mom had prepared for me earlier that morning was my mom`s own secret way of saying goodbye to me without actually saying the words goodbye to me or why I was leaving. My mom had put me in a drug rehab. My mother who was a raging alcoholic and had been one for many years. When she wasn`t at work she was off drinking in some random bar somewhere. When she was at home she was drunk off her ass and she would constantly bring home these strange men at night who she had met in the bars. I just couldn`t get over the sheer hypocrisy and the irony of it all.

When my mom told my dad the news later that night over the phone he went ballistic on her. He was furious about being deceived by my mother and also by the staff at Straight. It was later that week or the following week when my father called and consulted with a Lawyer in Northern Virginia. He explained the whole situation about what had recently happened to me and he told the attorney about the deception done to me and my father by my mom and by Straight. The attorney said my Father would need an official Court Order from Fairfax County,Virginia to legally get me out of Springfield,Virginia Straight. That revelation was another crushing blow to my dad. My father just didn`t have the money at the time to fight for my release from Straight through the Northern Virginia Court System. My biological parents both had “Joint Custody of me.” I had been living with my mom in Northern Virginia and Straight was in Springfield,Virginia. These two things gave my mom the upper hand and an unfair legal advantage over my father who was living in Frederick,Maryland at that time. My father was so frustrated and distraught with the legal system and he was so extremely upset with my mother that actually he went to a local firearms store where he purchased a gun along with ammunition. His plan was he was going to drive down to Northern Virginia and shoot my mom to death at her home or her job. He was very serious about this. He was deep in a rage of hate towards my mom plus he was at his wits end and he felt like he had no other recourse. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed when his new wife (my stepmom) talked him out of it. My stepmom also reasoned with him by calmly explaining that if he killed his ex-wife that he would spend the rest of his life in jail and that he, his wife and the kids would suffer for it. It was only because of my stepmom that my dad abandoned his plan and never went through with it.

During my first six weeks at Straight I remember putting in “withdraws” with 5th phasers just about every single day.

One day during my 4th,5th or 6th month on First Phase, I was taken out of group by a staff member and taken away to an intake room. My father was there. At some point I was asked by my dad or by staff (or both) if I wanted to leave Straight. I told my father that I didn`t want to leave Straight. I also told him, “This is where I need to be.” I rattled off this bogus list of drugs that I claimed I had done in my years before coming to Straight. The reality was that I had never done all these drugs that I said I had done. It was all a lie to make it sound like I was this hardcore drug addict that needed Straight`s help and I would die without it. My meeting with my dad ended and I was taken back to group. The reason that I said all this nonsense to my dad was because I honestly thought I was being set up by the Straight staff. I believed that staff had arranged this meeting with my dad to test me regarding what I would say and how I would react to see if I was full of shit or not. In my mind, I thought if I had told my dad I didn`t want or need to be at Straight and if I asked him him to please get me out of there, that the whole thing would have totally backfired on me. I feared I would have been instantly beltlooped and taken right back to group. I also feared that staff would have yelled at me in front of the entire group for trying to con and manipulate my father into withdrawing me from Straight. I would have been confronted and blasted over and over by the phasers in group and then finally I would have been started over. This is the entire scenario that was going through my mind. I know that if the staff had not been in that intake room with my father and I, it would have been totally different scene happening. If it had only been just my dad and I talking in that intake room, I know for a fact that I would have told him to get me the hell out of Straight immediately.

I remember my first phase Christmas of 1986. All of the newcomers being held against their will opening up all their Christmas presents in the carpet room for all to see. My mom sent me some some gifts which included a pair of blue jeans with extra pockets,tooth brushes and a multi-colored sweater which had the colors pink and blue. I could smell my home when I smelled these items. I felt so depressed,sad and homesick. How I wanted to leave that place so badly and just go home. I was so miserable.

I was on first phase the first time for five or six months.

The Friday Night Open Meeting was going on. The entire room was packed to the max with parents,phasers and staff members. It was a Full House so to speak. I had just made second phase that night. I was wearing this fluorescent, yellow sweater. I was sitting on front row on the end seat right next to the staff members on the two rap stools who were leading the Friday Night Open meeting. We were forty minutes into that Open Meeting when suddenly, something jolted everyone`s attention in that room. This newcomer on the guys side starts fighting and getting restrained. He was swinging violently. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. His arms and legs were flying and flailing around, he`s cussing up a storm with his potty mouth and there`s all of these washed phasers desperately trying to gain control of him. We could hear this loud gasping sounds in horror on the parents side of the Open Meeting room. Five or six phasers grabbed him and carried him out of that Open Meeting Room and took him to an Intake Room where he stayed for the rest of the night. This wasn`t the first person I saw getting restrained in the air per se but this was the first time I saw someone getting restrained during a Friday night Open Meeting in progress. After he was removed from that room the Open Meeting went on just as if it had never happened. The Band played on as they say.

I had been on second phase between two and seven weeks when I copped out sometime in March or April of 1987. My copout was less than a week. At the time my mom was living in Shenandoah Crossing Apartments in Chantilly,Virginia which was near Chantilly High School. What happened was one particular day at Springfield,Virginia Straight when I was on second phase, I was stood up in group during a rap and just blasted bigtime by multiple phasers and staff for allegedly smoking cigarettes. The reality was that I had not smoked any cigarettes and nobody had ever seen me smoking nor was I was ever caught with any cigarettes in my possession at any time. They just came at me out of nowhere with this trumped up accusation with no proof at all. They never told me who the person was who reported me for this nonsense in the first place. Nevertheless, the staff and the phasers in group were all convinced that I had been smoking because I smelled of cigarette smoke. I knew I was innocent and I did my best to maintain my composure in spite of all the craziness going on all around me in that rap. I pointed out the fact that I never even had to chance to smoke cigarettes because I was never alone. I was always at the Straight building or at my home with my mom, my hostsister and my newcomers. I also said that if I had smelled of cigarette smoke this was because my mom was a regular cigarette smoker. Being stood up in group and being verbally attacked by all those people was a very unpleasant experience to say the very least. Finally they told me to have a seat and then they went on with the rap. Throughout the rest of that day as I was sitting in group I kept thinking over and over about the craziness I had just gone through. I knew how Straight operated. It was only a matter of time before the staff was going to come at me all over again for “Round Two” where they would stand me up in group the very next day or later on that week or during the infamous Friday night Review. They were going to put me through the emotional wringer all over again with their baseless accusation of my allegedly smoking cigarettes plus they were most likely were going to come at me with other absurd accusations with no merit to them. The “Where there`s smoke there`s fire,” kind of thing. No pun intended. In other words they were going to stand me up in group at some point later that week to launch their second attack with the smoking accusation and then they were going to throw as much stuff on the wall as they possibly could and see if they can make anything stick. No, I wasn`t going to hang around and give them the chance to put me through that garbage all over again and then put me on a setback or start me over. If they slapped me with a setback aka refresher I would be branded “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” If I failed to prove my innocence on a setback or refresher then they would start me over. A startover would be even worse. I had seen all of these scenarios happen time and again with so many other oldcomers on so many times before during the previous six months. No, I wasn`t going to wait around and let them do this to me. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Later on that night I was at my mom`s apartment. My hostsister had the newcomers in the bathroom. I was deep in thought. I wanted to leave but I was really scared to leave because I knew if I did it would only be a matter of time before I was caught,sent back to Straight and had to start first phase all over again. I was also scared of the unknown because I didn`t know exactly where I was going to go to if and when I escaped. I was torn and conflicted because I couldn`t leave but I couldn`t stay either. I needed to leave so bad. It just kept running through my mind over and over and over again. It was a second floor apartment and I wasn`t about to jump out a window or jump off the balcony out back. My thinking was that if I don`t take my chance right now at escaping I may not ever get another opportunity to escape. So I opened the front door and I took off. I never looked back. I remember running as fast and hard as I possibly could. I ran towards the front of the neighborhood because it lead out to the main road which was “Stringfellow Road.”

Months or years later my mom would tell me that night when I copped out that I had a head start on everyone before they knew I was gone. I also found out that my mom called up the Springfield,Virginia Straight staff and informed them I had copped out. My mom also instructed staff to come over and pick up the hostsister and the two newcomers because my mom was going to take her car and go out looking for me. Straight staff told me mom to do nothing,stay put and bring the phasers into the building the next morning. My mom stood her ground then gave the Springfield,Virginia Straight staff an ultimatium. My mom said either the staff come over immediately to pick up the hostsister and two newcomers or my mom was going to drive the hostsister and two newcomers to the Springfield,Virginia Straight Building and drop them off there regardless of whether anyone was there or not. After she said that the Straight staff caved in and agreed to come right over to pick up the phasers and that`s exactly what they did. My mom then got in her car and went out looking for me that night but she never found me.

I ran up to Stringfellow Road. I kept right on running. I knocked on this door of a house. I had no idea who lived there. It was a single family home. This man answered. I told him that I had been over at a friends house doing a school project and I had lost track of time and missed my ride. I asked him if he would please give me a ride home. He said,”Yes, just let me get my car keys.” I looked very disheveled. I had not showered and my hair was all messed up. I gave him directions and he drove me over to a Triplex of houses in Centreville where I once used to live called, “The Meadows.” That man dropped me off and I remember walking around the old neighborhood and feeling very scared. I quickly sought out a friend named Derek who I knew from the old neighborhood. He wasn`t home but his mom was. She and I talked and I told her a made up a story. I must have said that I had a fight with my mom. I asked her if I could spend the night and she said yes. She gave me a sheet,blanket and pillow for the couch. It was an open floor plan. I didn`t sleep a wink that night. All night long I was very worried that my mom or the police (or both) were going to show up at any minute that night. It was probably the most scared I had ever been in my Life. I knew I didn`t want to go back there to Straight no matter what. I went through the exact same feelings I had experienced as a young child, that terrifying fear that the monster was going to come out from underneath the bed and get me. Derek never came home so I never got to see him. *Sad footnote. A few years later Derek was shot and killed in “The Meadows.” Derek was making fun of some guy`s girlfriend. The boyfriend went home and got a gun.When he returned he shot Derek to death in cold blood right in the street for all to see. The killer ended up serving only six to seven years on a manslaughter conviction. It was a travesty and a total miscarriage of Justice. Justice was not served at all.*

The next morning that mom gave me a ride to another part of Centreville called “Pickwick Drive” which was where my friend Cindy lived. I knew Cindy from an Elementary School we once attended together when we were younger. We were also friends from Rocky Run Middle School. Fortunately Cindy was home. They let me come inside. I told her and her mom as much as I could possibly explain about my previous six months at Straight and all the endless craziness, lunacy and wackiness I witnessed and experienced while there. They were stunned and floored by everything I told them. I spent the next three to five days with them at their house. They had a lot of dope at their house which they were very generous with. I remember partying my ass off with Cindy,her mom and her sister. I had never gotten high with someone`s parents before. At first I felt extremely awkward and uncomfortable getting stoned with Cindy`s mom but I got soon got very used to it. Before going to Straight I had only smoked weed once or twice. This was weed that I had stolen from my mom`s boyfriend. Anyway we all did a lot of pot smoking at Cindy`s house. They had a Royal bluish,purple bong and we all made very good use of it. The rest of the time during those days I spent at their home we watched television, listened to music and talked a lot. One afternoon I was in the kitchen and Cindy`s mom was cooking something. I then heard a car pulling up outside in the gravel driveway. I heard the crunching of the car tires on the gravel. I looked out the kitchen window and saw my mom. She was driving her Black Ford Tempo. I then said, “Oh, shit. It`s my mom!” I begged,cried and pleaded with Cindy`s mom not to open that door. I also said, “Whatever you do please do not open that door no matter what she says. I don`t care if she pounds on that door all day long and into the night just please do not open it!!” She promised that she wouldn`t and she never did. It seemed like my mom was outside that door for a very long time. She kept pounding on that door over and over again. She was determined not to leave there without me. She kept saying,” I know you’re in there” or “I know she`s in there.” Nevertheless, after awhile she finally gave up,got in her car and left. I was very relived when she drove off.

At that point in time my mom was very good friends with this guy who was a Fairfax County Police Officer. She told him about Straight plus the fact that I had recently copped out. She asked him if he would search for me and he said that he would. Somehow he found and located me at some Bowling Alley in Centreville,Virginia. To this day I have no idea how he was able to find me there but he did. He then took me directly to Straight. We arrived in the Front Office. I was immediately beltlooped and taken to an intake room or I was taken right into Group. This was some time in the late afternoon.

I recall this staff member saying, “Who remembers Crystal?” Every hand in group raised up into the air. Then all hell broke loose and stayed that way. The group erupted and exploded with mass craziness. The sounds of both the guys side and the girls side all motivating together in mass unison. All of the chairs clinging together with the metal on metal sounds. All of the grunting and snorting sounds. Everyone in group looked and sounded like countless galloping horses running amok. Multiple phasers confronted me and when they did I did a lot of smiling and smirking. Everyone in group was on fire to rip me to countless pieces. Everyone wanted a piece of me. They couldn`t wait to blast me and many of them did. They wanted my blood. They all wanted their pound of flesh and they got it in spades.

In the following weeks and months after being forced to return back to Springfield,Virginia Straight, I had no desire to comply or go with the program. Zero interest in motivating,talking with people or anything else that Straight wanted out of me. My heart just wasn`t in it at all. I was never into Straight in the first place. I was 13 years old at the time which meant I couldn`t legally withdraw myself from Straight. My mom wasn`t going to withdraw me,my father desperately wanted to but legally he couldn`t withdraw me and I couldn`t withdraw myself until I turned 18 which was five long years away. I was resigned to the fact that I was never going to leave Straight. I had no hope of ever getting out of that place. During those weeks and months after returning back to Straight after my copout there were times when I wouldn`t motivate in group and at night I refused to write M.I`s for awhile. In the Monday and Friday morning Homes Raps each week, I constantly asked for “Nothing” because I had no interest in earning anything. Wasn`t in the mood to play the Straight Incorporated game. I was stood up in group by my mom when she had the microphone every Friday night of every week during those Friday Night Open meetings but I didn`t care. The Straight staff put me on this newcomer consequence where the only thing I was allowed to eat each day was one peanut butter sandwhich per meal and a cup of lukewarm water. I hated it. I was on this food consequence for about one week.

I remember there was this one newcomer girl in group who constantly and bitterly complained about having terrible, horrible back pain problems and that her vertebrae was all screwed up. So for two to four weeks Straight had this Hospital Bed put in the very back of group for her. It was the real deal. The genuine article. It was an actual Hospital bed. She didn`t have to motivate at all. All she had to do was raise her hand when the it came time to motivate. She stayed in that bed all day long except when she had to go to the restroom. I and the others really felt sorry for her. She told us many years later in 2013 or 2014 on a Straight Facebook page that the whole thing regarding her back problems was all a sham and scam that she had made up. She was a great actress because she completely snookered everyone there.

There were times when I fought in group a lot. I was so angry. My rage came out in spades. I got restrained between five and ten times and was restrained on the floor.

I remember one Friday evening. The families had not yet entered the room and Friday Night Open Meeting had not started yet. I was sitting somewhere in group when some brainwashed phaser girl sitting behind me jammed her fist down my back to make me sit up straight. When she did that I completely lost it. I was furious and I flipped out and a big fight broke out. I was like a beast unleased. I was yelling,kicking,punching,spitting and cussing. Chairs going everywhere. Seven washed phasers grabbed hold of me and physically carried me out of group through those double doors. My face was all cherry red. I was taken out of the open meeting room and into an intake room. I was screaming my head off. One phaser girl put her hand over my mouth and I couldn`t breathe.I was really scared that I was going to die from suffocation and I almost did. She finally took her hand off of my mouth. I spent three to five hours being restrained on the concrete floor in the intake room. I remember crying really hard when being restrained. The events of that night were so traumatizing for me and still are. Very much so.

Sometime in the early eighties, my stepmom`s four year old daughter was involved in a tragic situation in Pennsylvania. There was this storm. During or after the storm the 4 year old accidently fell into the stream was carried down stream where she was found some time later. Two to four weeks later child was taken to this special Children`s Hospital in Washington,DC because that`s where she could get the best care. The First Lady Nancy Reagan would make regular visits to this Hospital and spend time with the patients and their family members. My stepmom met Nancy Reagan and became good friends with her. The child was in a vegetative state for years at this Hospital until she sadly passed away.

Sometime in July or August 1987 my stepmom placed a frantic phone call to the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan. My stepmom poured her heart out and spoke at length with one of Mrs Reagan`s staffers by explaining the entire situation about me being kept against my will at Springfield,Virginia Straight for almost a year and how both she and my dad were frustrated to no end because they were legally unable to get me out of there and the emotional toll it had taken on them. I don`t know all the particulars of what transpired right after that phone call was made. You can draw your own conclusions. I do know for a fact is that within days or weeks right after my stepmom made that phone call to Mrs. Reagan`s office that my father was suddenly given the power and granted permission to legally withdraw me from Straight after he been unable to withdraw me the past eleven months. What had been impossible over the previous 11 months was now instantly a reality. To me this is no coincidence.

My very last day at Springfield,Virginia Straight started off like any other. We were all in the Carpet Room. When I say “we” I mean the guys side and the girls side. Some rap was getting ready to start. A phaser came and beltlooped me and took me out the side door of the room which lead to the Front Office. Someone told me, “Your Dad is here to get you.” My father was withdrawing me from Straight. When I saw him I ran over to my dad and hugged him. My father would later tell me that when he first saw me in the Front Office on that August day when he withdrew me from Springfield,Virginia Straight that I didn`t even look like me. He hardly recognized me. I was so skinny and pale and I had these dark circles under my eyes.I was 90 to 100 pounds and I had withered away to almost nothing. Exectutive Staff member Mr. Gammon`s said, “Your dad is a making a mistake by taking you out of here.” My father then said, “I don`t care what you think. She`s my daughter and she`s coming with me.” My father and I left the Front Office and walked out into the staff parking lot. After we both got into his tan Volkswagen Rabbit I immediately locked up all the doors. I lowered the passenger seat and was trying to hide. “I said to my dad, “Hurry up. They`re going to come and get me. Let`s get out of here!” My dad looked at me like I was crazy. I was terrified that at any moment some staff members and phasers were going to break into to my dad`s car right there in the staff parking lot and physically remove me from the car, restrain me and take me right back into the Straight building by force. So we drove out of that parking lot and headed North for what turned out to be a three hour car ride to Blue Ridge,Pennsylvania. The Staff called my mom later on that day which was long after I had left Springfield Straight with my dad. Staff informed her that I was officially withdrawn by my Father. My mother was very upset. Eleven months earlier my mom successfully put me in Straight without my father`s permission and now my father successfully withdrew me from Straight without my mother`s permission. So it was a very satisfying “turning of the tables” to say the least.

The very next day in Pennsylvania my stepmom took me to get my hair done at a nail salon. She then took me to a Shopping Mall to buy some clothes. My stepmom purchased some shirts,underwear and jeans for me. She also got me some makeup. It was all a very kind gesture from my stepmom and I am very grateful to her.

In that first year after I got out of Straight there were times when my biological mom would call up to Pennsylvania speak with me on the phone and I just refused to talk with her every time. I had made it perfectly clear to my dad that I didn`t want to speak with her. I was very pissed off at her for putting me in Straight and keeping me in there.

Those first weeks and months of Freedom up in Pennsylvania in late 1987 and early 1988 were surreal. I had a lot of unpleasant nightmares about Springfield,Virginia Straight. In my nightmares the scenario would typically be the same. I would be sitting in group with all of those phasers in the Open Meeting Room in that very confining setting. I would be feeling this overwhelming emotions of hopelessness and powerlessness during those nightmares. There were times when I would wake up feeling extremely scared. There were other times when I would wake up from the nightmare and not know where I was. Plus there were some times I would wake up and be all covered in sweat. It would take me a awhile to get back to sleep if I ever got back to sleep at all. I still have nightmares about Straight to this very day.

In the 3 years after being out of Straight there were times when my rebellious side came out in spades. There were two times when I ran away from home up in Pennsylvania. The first time I ran away I stayed at a friends house for a couple days. When I came back home my dad and stepmom grounded me for some months. The second time I ran away I stayed at my friends boyfriends apartment for two and a half weeks. He lived on the other side of town. After returning home from running away my parents grounded me again for some more months.

At some point in 1988 my mom and I started talking again. It wasn`t long till we were speaking on a regular basis through many phone calls. Our relationship that had been so badly and terribly damaged by Straight finally started to improve and head in the right direction.

In late 1989 or early 1990 I ended up moving out of my dad`s house in Pennsylvania and I moved in with my mom in Shenandoah Crossing Apartments in Chantilly,Virginia. Yes, that same exact apartment that I had copped out from on second phase on that Spring night back in 1987. I also had the same exact bedroom that I had back when I was in Straight. Returning back to that very same apartment and living there again with my mother was very weird and surreal.

At some point in early 1990 I ran away from home (Chantilly,Virginia) with three other people. I ran away with this girl named Amy and two guys. We stole this car which belonged to this guys grandmother who lived in Reston or Herndon,Virginia at the time. It was an old,blue oldsmobile. Our running away and grand theft auto was pretty much on the fly. We wanted to get to Florida. We drove from Northern Virginia and ended up in Nags Head,North Carolina. We broke into this house and spent the night there. We were all tired and went right to sleep. The next day the two guys went to go get some food at a nearby store. Out of the blue these multiple Police cars showed up at the house we had broken into the night before.Those two idiots (guys) took off running and were captured by The Police very quickly. All four of us were put in handcuffs and arrested. I was being a smart ass and refused to give the Police any information about myself. I was sent two hours away to a female holding facility in Beaufort,North Carolina. The lady cop who drove me there was very nice to me. She talked with me the whole way there. She took me to a Drive Thru McDonalds and sometime later she gave me two packs of Marlboro red cigarettes. I spent the next twelve days in jail wearing orange jail clothes and eating really nasty food that wasn`t fit for human consumption. I passed the time by drawing and writing letters to some friends who lived in Virginia.

Amy was 14 and she didn`t get charged with anything. Amy`s parents picked her up in Nags Head,North Carolina,went back to Virginia and they ended up putting her in Springwood Psychiatric Hospital in Loudoun County, VA. Me and the two guys went before a North Carolina judge. The goods news was the grand theft auto car charge was dropped because the Grandmother didn`t want to press criminal charges. However we were charged with the burglary of that house. Me and the two guys went before a Judge in Nags Heads,North Carolina. That Judge was not a nice person and he chewed all three of us out in Court.

That cop who caught me at that Centreville Bowling Alley and took me back to Springfield,Virginia Straight in the Spring of 1987 was in that Nags Head,NC Courtroom with my mom. That cop had a long talk with the Lead Prosecutor of my criminal case. A deal was made that if I plead guilty to Burglary and agreed to go along with The Judge`s rulings in my case that I could go back home to Virginia that same day so that exactly what I did. The Judge gave all three of us 3-7 years suspended sentence and three years supervised probation. Judge also gave us three years of random drug testing and the three of us were to have no contact with each other. I never saw those 3 morons again. It was a very quiet car ride from Nags Head,North Carolina back to Northern Virginia. I went back to Chantilly,Virginia to live with my mom. After that I stayed out of trouble and eventually got off of Probation.

I never talked about Straight with anyone for twenty years. In 2007 I looked Straight up on the Internet and I soon joined some websites with other Straight Survivors.

In 2014 my mom finally told me the backstory that led up to her putting me in Straight and why she did what she did. Back in the late 1980`s my mom worked at a Florist shop at the Renaissance Hotel on Route 28 in Herndon or Sterling,Virginia. There were times in 1985 and 1986 when my mom missed work or had to leave work early to go deal with some problem or situation involving me. My mom told me that her then boss, (and owner) of that Florist Shop was pressuring her to do something about me. That pressure soon escalated to the point where the owner/boss was threatening to fire her if she didn`t do something soon regarding me. Her boss told her he had heard of this program called “Straight” and that my mom ought to go check it out. The whole thing was outrageous because my life and what my mom did or didn`t do regarding my life was none of his business and my mom should have told him that. Sadly, my mom took his terrible advise anyway and that`s how and why she ended up putting me in Straight in September of 1986.

Today, I hate Straight Incorporated just as much I did the very first day I walked in the door back in September 1986. My copout plus all the other times I rebelled on first phase were the right decisions just like my father`s decision to withdraw me in August 1987 was the right decision.

Today I have a fantastic relationship with my mother. We talk three or four times every week. I have forgiven my mother for putting me in Straight and keeping me there. Our relationship is the best that it`s ever been and this is a very good thing.