Dallas,Texas Straight Survivor
September 1989 to September 1991
It is my hope that by telling my story that this will help other people out there who were also in Kids Of El Paso,Straight and countless similar diabolical programs. It is also my hope that my story will encourage others to tell their stories as well.
My first nightmare started when I entered “Kids Of El Paso” in February 1989. It was located on 6500 Boeing Drive,El Paso,Texas 79925. I was kept there against my will until it was shut down 8 months later. During my confinement there I rebelled 90% of the time during those 8 months. I didn`t comply. I rarely motivated and I would sleep in group. I got “T&R” once during those 8 months. For more information on Kids Of El Paso simply go to this website http://www.kidsofelpaso.com/ and also go to this website which is https://twitter.com/kidsofelpaso
I was sitting in group one day at Kids Of El Paso. Another humdrum day in group. This was in September 1989. A junior staff member showed up, took me out of group and took me over to the staff office. My mom was there waiting for me. The Junior staffer said,” We are discharging you. This place is closing down.” He never told me why it was closing down and I never asked him why. He told me that my mom and I were both going to go live with my Aunt in Dallas,Texas. My mom then nodded her head in agreement. My Aunt had been living in Dallas for the past year. My mom said she had recently landed a job out there. It all sounded legitimate. It wasn`t a far fetched at all. He said, “I`m gonna miss you.” He had been my oldcomer off and on for those eight months. He hugged me and told me to stay strong. I remember walking out of Kids Of El Paso with my mom. It was the first time in 8 months when I willingly walked somewhere all by myself without being beltlooped by anyone.
It was a 10 minute drive from the Kids building out to the El Paso Airport.
It was a 90 minute flight on Southwest Airlines from El Paso to Irving,Texas. I was so ecstatic.I remember saying, “Wow,I`m excited. I get to go back to school.” I made it clear to my mom that I was so happy to be out of there and I didn`t want to go to any other place. I apologized to my mom for a lot of things that I had done in the past. I remember talking with her about the ways in which I was gonna change and how I wasn`t going to cause her anymore problems of any kind ever again. I honestly meant everything I said to her. It was no act. I also talked with my mom about food and how I had cravings for it. I started off by telling her, “Man, I`m hungry.I can`t wait till we get to my aunt`s house.” I also told my mom about the Food situation I went through when I was at Kids Of El Paso. When I was at Kids Of El Paso they withheld food from me a lot of times as punishment for my misbehaving. I ate a lot of “sick meals.” A “sick meal” consisted of a plastic bowl of chicken,broth and rice and two slices of bread. I came out of Kids Of El Paso looking worse then I did before I went in.
It was a 90 minute flight on Southwest Airlines from El Paso to the airport in Irving,Texas. I was expecting to see my Aunt when we got off the plane but I never did. She wasn`t at the Airport. We were at the airport about 5 minutes when I noticed these four middle aged men with blank looks on their faces walked up to us. It was creepy. They looked like hostparents. They didn`t say anything to my mom or to me. It was as if everything had been discussed and worked out many days or weeks in advance. They surrounded me and my mom. They were always watching me the entire time. They got behind me. I then turned to my mom and said, “Where am I going this time? ” Is this place like Kids Of El Paso?” My mom didn`t tell me where I was going. My mom was teary eyed and she said, “I have to do this. This is for your own good. I`m doing this to help you.” I was extremely disappointed to say the very least but I kept my composure and I was respectful towards my mom. That staff member at Kids Of El Paso had lied through his teeth to me when he told me to my face that my mom and I were going to go live with my Aunt. There was a Primer grey, colored Suburban car right outside the Airport and I was silently escorted to the car by these four men.
We get to the car and they had me sit in the back seat. One dude sitting to the left of me and another guy sitting to the right of me. The other two men were sitting up front. They were talking to me. They were asking me these questions like, How are you doing? How is it going? What are your hobbies? What do you want to do with your life when you grow up? I said I wanted to join The Marines. I was serious. I was extremely curious as to where I was going. Who wouldn`t be in my situation? I turned the tables on them by peppering them with questions about where they were taking me to. Is this place Kids? Is this a “Smoke And Joke?” All I got was silence. I kept repeating the same questions over and over. Does it have blue chairs? Does it have oldcomers? Do you have to sit up straight all day long? Does it have steps on the wall? Are there 5 phases? More silence. They were hypocrites. They had no problem asking me all the questions they wanted to but they didn`t want to answer any of my questions for the life of them. Those four guys didn`t want to volunteer any information about anything.They were all very calm. It was as if all of them were following some sort of strange script. They wanted to keep me calm and clueless. They didn`t care about me at all. They just were following orders which was to get me from the airport to wherever it was that we were going without any drama,issues or problems at all. As to my final questions about the blue chairs,the steps on the wall and the 5 phases, finally, one guy shook his head, yes. When he did that, all of the happiness and joy (if there was any to begin with) just drained right out of me.
It`s at night. I was taken to a white intake room. There were two phasers already waiting for me in that intake room when I arrived there. It was only then when I was told exactly where I was. I was in this place called “Straight Incorporated” in Dallas,Texas. Some brainwashed mom of The Kids Of El Paso had told my mom all about the Dallas,Texas Straight some weeks or months earlier and my mom fell for it hook,line and sinker. I was the only one from Kids Of El Paso at that point in time who was sent to Dallas,Texas Straight. Who knew there was a place like Kids of El Paso? I really thought I was home free. I could not have been more wrong.
For the first three weeks I complied and did what I was told to do every day. Then I quickly got sick and tired of everything. I spent the next nine to ten months mostly rebelling aka misbehaving. The first thing I did was to stop motivating completely. The staff and phasers were shocked and surprised when I stopped “working.” They asked me these stupid questions like, “What the fuck are you doing!? “What happened? Why did you do a 180? I was stood up in raps on a regular basis and confronted but I didn`t care. They were trying to shame and embarrass me back into going with the program but it didn`t work.
One day I was sitting in the last chair in my row on the edge of group. I was so angry that I picked up my blue chair and flung through the air it as hard as I could to my left. It hit the Infirmary Room door and it made a big dent. Suddenly four washed phasers grabbed me and I fought with them. They restrained me on the floor where I stayed for awhile.
During those first 9 to 10 months I acted out and got restrained in my chair and I got restrained on the floor so many times that I lost count. I “clicked” all the time in group with the guys and the girls. I cracked countless jokes and I would sing rock songs. I ran for a door three times and made it out of the building two times.
There was this one psycho staff member who hated me (and the feeling was mutual.) He would leave his rap stool, run over to me,grab me and pull me out of my seat, pick me up and slam me on the concrete floor. He did this to me five different times. He was a bully and gorilla. My black eye turned to yellow because of the fluorescent lights. He was eventually kicked off the Dallas Straight staff. What happened was this female first phaser had copped out one day and he went to pick her up and return her to Straight. He got caught having sex this female newcomer copout with this and that`s when he got fired by Straight.
It was January 1990 and I was misbehaving. I was sitting in group and on that day I “eloped.” At Dallas,Texas Straight they never called it “copping out” when I was there. They called it “eloping” for some strange reason. So I was sitting in group. I was very quiet and really in my head. The Holidays had ended and I was thinking about how much I hated that place. I just wanted to be left alone. Since I had been there awhile I was no longer shy and I really made myself comfortable by getting restrained,acting out,and putting the word out to everyone that I wanted out of that fucking place. I would just talk out all the time and by then I was either on the floor,kicked out of group or on this very day I was silent.
So it was during lunch when an oldcomer named Dennis came by with a misbehaver named Pete making the bathroom sign. Now I hadn’t noticed that Dennis the oldcomer had a misbehaver on his thumb. So when I was asked about a bathroom break I talked out loud and said, “No, leave me alone!!” Dennis the oldcomer went pisssss and I looked at him about ready to curse him out to leave me the hell alone. When I looked back at Dennis he looked me in the eye and he made a gesture toward the door and that’s when I noticed he was beltlooping this misbehaver newcomer named Pete. When I realized this I about jumped right out of my seat. I got my ass up, ass end out and I was ready. So our silent plan was that we were going to talk to a staff member. Dennis walked us to the door leading out to the bathroom and raised his hand. The staff member points at him. My heart was beating out of my chest because this situation that is happening before my eyes was just so out of nowhere. I was silently thinking to myself, “Please don’t screw this up.” The oldcomer yells out, “Meeting” and the staff member on the rap stool waves us all his permission for us to leave the room. The oldcomers guarding the door let us leave. As we walked out of the room, both Pete and Dennis had to calm me down a bit. I was so excited that I never thought to get our jackets which turned out to be bad move later on.
People reading this need to know is that the Dallas Straight was a very trippy building. It was like a maze. It had tons of rooms and offices. It also had lots of adjacent hallways and doors that led to other hallways with more rooms and doors. It was extremely easy to get lost inside of that building unless you knew your way around the place really well.
So the 3 of us overcame the very first hurdle which was getting out of that Open Meeting Room. Now we are in a very small hallway. There was a water fountain in between the guys bathroom and the girls bathroom. We passed right on by the fountain and both bathrooms moving further down that tiny hallway. We kept on walking till we come to and we opened the door to the Front Office. Right after we walked in Dennis then calmly said to the desk receptionist,”I`m taking them both to a staff meeting.” She fell for this ruse and we all went on our way trying to act as naturally as possible. The three of us continued on through the building with Dennis beltlooping Pete and I. We eventually came to and opened another door on the far left. Then we kept right on walking. We came to and we entered an empty room which was sometimes used as a secondary group room which happened to be vacant at the time. The empty group room had another door on the other side of the room. It was the last door and our final obstacle to getting out of the Straight Building. We hoped there was nobody on the other side of that door such as hostparents running errand for staff, phasers or staff members. If there was then the three of us were in serious trouble. So we opened that final door and to our great relief there was nobody outside the building at that moment. Dennis immediately unbeltlooped the Pete and I and then the three of us hauled ass out of there. We did it. We were all so excited we were out of there and we were finally free! One of the best parts about it was the fact that I had these two cool people as company for that copout and that just topped it off.
Pete had copped out from third phase and he had been back at Straight for three weeks when all three of us copped out together from the building that day. Both Dennis and Pete told me later that because they liked and respected me because of my always rebelling against Straight that they had decided in advance to take me with them for which I was very most grateful.
I remember right after we got out of the Straight building I noticed the fire escape ladder to the left of us. It was metal and it was mounted on this wall of the Straight building and it led right up to the roof. It reminded me of months earlier when this second phaser had copped out. He was alone and at some point during the day he climbed up that metal fire escape ladder leading all the way to the top of the roof. He hid out there and stayed on the roof of the Straight building all day long. In the evening he surreptitiously watched all the newcomers and oldcomers exit the building and get into the parents cars and go home. After all of the staffers and everyone else had driven off the property and gone home he climbed down that ladder and he made his escape into the Texas night. It was a very clever copout. I don`t know if he was the first person to copout from Dallas Straight in this unusual way (using the ladder and the roof to his advantage to help him escape) but I sure hope that he wasn`t the last person to copout from Dallas Straight in this very unique way.
So after finally getting out of that maze of a Straight building, all three of us ran and ran and eventually we were walking fast. We had to keep moving no matter what. Later on the three of us entered and walked through this huge field that was 10 to 15 minutes away from the Straight Building. It was real dense with lots and lots of brush and trees. The field had “Mosquite Trees.” It was muddy,sandy and dirty. It was all undeveloped land. You have to understand that the three of us had been locked up,confined and held against our will at foster homes at nights and we were hostages kept deep inside that miserable Straight building during the days, so to the three of us this big field looked like a Thomas Kinkade painting of endless beauty. That field was not meant for recreational walks at all. The three of us were illegally trespassing just by being on that property but we didn`t care. It provided us with perfect cover because nobody could see us from the street once we were in that field. We wanted to put as much distance between us and the Straight building as we possibly could. Plus we were able to buy more time. It took us a good hour to walk through that field.
One hour later we exited that field and we walked over to “Irving Mall.” We went to the first payphone we could find and called a cab Company. Before the cab arrived all three of us went into one of the bathrooms in the Mall. We wanted and needed to improve all of our appearances to look respectable as we possibly could before the cab driver arrived so that he wouldn`t get suspicious in any way or be scared off when he showed up. We quickly got ourselves as washed up as best we could. We tucked our shirts in. We used the sinks to wet and comb our hair. We washed our hands and faces. Our shoes were muddy from walking through that huge field.
We wetted down all these paper towels and cleaned all of the dirt and mud from our shoes. It took awhile but we did it. When we were all finished getting cleaned up the three of us looked presentable. Finally the yellow cab arrived at the Mall. My two friends and I acted as normal as possible and had a pleasant conversation amongst ourselves during the ride. It ended up being a 30 minute ride from Irving to Arlington,Texas. It was nighttime when we arrived in Arlington. The cab fare was $50.00. I was the first one out of the cab and I pretended like I was getting money out of my pocket. I was stalling the cabbie to buy time while my two friends got out of the cab. Pete had been on first phase and the Dennis had been on second phase. Once all three of us were out of that cab we all ran like hell. We ran as fast and as far as we could. Quickly I looked back and I saw the cabbie getting a flashlight out of the cab. It appeared that he was going to go searching for all three of us in the dark of night with that flashlight. I never looked back after that.
We all ran to this nice,suburban neighborhood. I jumped a fence into some family`s backyard. I then ended up jumping another fence into another family`s backyard. I waited. I was scared of getting lost and not finding my friends Pete and Dennis. Fortunately we all connected back together. I felt an immediate sense of relief that we got reunited. I told them, “We need to get out of here because that cab driver is gonna call the Cops.” Pete then became the unofficial leader of our copout because he knew various people in the area who could help us. Pete then guided us to this girl`s house. The house we went to was a gal who used to be in the Straight program and we needed a phone and a plan. Pete said she was really cool and she might be able to help us. She was a withdraw. Her parents had recently withdrawn her from Straight when she was on first or second phase. We knocked on her bedroom window. She let us come inside and stay awhile. We stayed at her house until we were asked to leave (something I got used to.) One of her parents said, “She has school in the morning. You guys have to go.” Her parents weren`t mean at all but they were strict and they wanted all three of us out of there. She was on “thin ice” with her parents at the time. The time went by fast. Nevertheless,the three of us staying and hanging out at her house for one to two hours really helped us buy some time. It kept us off the streets when the Police, who that cab driver most likely called, were looking for us.
The three of us were walking with no specific destination in mind. We came across this little Apartment Complex that had this laundry mat room. We spent the night in a laundry mat. It was so cold. That’s when we regret not taking jackets it was colder then Hell! We found this little space heater. We all took turns shifting that tiny heater in each others direction. We slept with our arms inside our shirts.
When morning came we got up and we all walked to a Quick Mart to assess our location and warm up. We made some calls and finally made it over to Pete`s friend`s house. We were still in Arlington,Texas. Now this guy was 14 or 15 years old so he lived at home as well his dad was very nice and welcoming. We shaved our heads. We listened to “100 Miles And Runnin” by N.W.A. (an abbreviation of Niggaz Wit Attitudes. I felt normal, it had been so long. His dad said his son could use the car on one condition we pick him up when he got out of work. I think his dad worked at some Hospital. Things were coming together. We dropped off his dad at his job in his primer grey El Camino or Subaru which had a bed in the back. Then off we went to a guys house who’s parents were out of town and a weed dealer and his topless dancing girlfriend staying there.
There was a ton of marijuana at this place. I hit the jackpot. I hit the motherload. Now at that time I loved weed. I mean, I fucking loved it. We all sat down and got high and laughed and got high and laughed some more! We all got super,super high. This went on for three hours. At one point Dennis and I starting joking around about Straight and goofing on Straight bigtime. We were really cracking hard on Straight and the sheer stupidity and insanity of everything that went on there on a daily basis. Dennis and I were making fun of all the phasers sitting in those chairs, all of the crazy motivating madness and all of those stupid hand signals. All three of us couldn`t stop laughing. Then some redneck who was there getting high with us who knew nothing about Dallas Straight started to get upset. He looked at Pete and said, “Are you making fun of deaf people!? If you are, I`ll take your ass outside and tear your ass up!!” So Pete,Dennis and I calmed him down by insisting that no we weren`t making fun of deaf people at all and the three of us did our very best to explain to the redneck what this place called Straight Incorporated was. Not an easy thing to do especially to someone who has never even heard of Straight before. At some point all of us got the munchies. We ate a big bag of Lays Potato Chips and some Lucky Charms Cereal with no milk. It tasted so good. After that we all fell asleep.
We had a rude awakening when the guys parents came home and kicked us all out. Lucky for us we had a car and we were still welcome at our buddies dads apartment. So all we wanted to do was get back to the apartment and go back to sleep and that’s what we did. We screwed up royally because we blew off picking up his dad at his job like we had promised him we would earlier. Well it wasn`t long before we experienced another rude awakening. The father showed at his apartment and he was very pissed off at us! He was very irate and livid. He was screaming and yelling at us nonstop like there was no tomorrow. He reminded us of Straight. One of the things he said was,”All you guys had to do was pick me up now get the fuck out!!!” He said other unpleasant things to us as well. He was mad as wet hen. He would have let us stay there for another one or two nights if we had simply kept our word and picked him up at work. Now we were outside and on our own again. Now it was cold. Did I mention how cold it was!? Very cold and then some.
So we walked and walked and walked. It was night time. We were at this little convenience store with a pay phone right outside. Finally after the Sun went down I suggested that we call an ex-program mom to help us. Her son had copped out from Dallas Straight two months earlier and he never went back there after that. So that`s what we did. She answered the phone and we talked for quite awhile. She said she could help us and that she would help us. She also said she would give us a ride back to her place and we could stay there. I didn`t trust her because she was way to nice. It all sounded to good to be true. Still, I really wanted to believe her more then anything. We were all hoping against hope that she meant everything that she was telling us. The three of us were so desperate and all out of options. The grim reality of our situation was finally sinking in. We had no car,no money,no food and no place to stay. We were out of options and we couldn`t come up with anything else. My legs hurt so bad from all that insane amount of walking that we did during our copout. Plus I knew when the Sun went down that it was going to get very cold. So we gave her our location and the cross streets of where we were. We got off the phone and we patiently waited for her to arrive.
It was thirty to thirty five minutes later when two cars showed up consisting of staff members, phasers and one graduate of Straight. Three people per car. One car was an old 1980`s Ford Ranger Truck. As soon as those two cars pulled up and the way in which they pulled up, our worst fears were instantly confirmed. We knew immediately that ex-program mom had screwed us and betrayed us all by ratting us out to the Dallas,Straight staff. Right after she got off the telephone with us she immediately called the Dallas,Texas Straight and told the staff everything we had told her on the phone. She also gave the staff our exact location as well. Calling that ex-Straight mom turned out to be the worst decision we made during that copout experience.
Pete,Dennis and I all ran in three different directions.
Pete got away but was captured about a half an hour later in the same general area where we had called that former Straight mom from that outdoor payphone.
Dennis escaped capture that night and he got away for a couple of days. He told me months or years later that right after he got away that he hitchhiked his way out of there. Some guy and his daughter picked him up hitchhiking. The father was cool and let him crash at his house for a couple of days. Dennis got drunk with the father. At some point Dennis had consentual sex with the daughter. He had to leave after a few days so he left. He had nowhere else to go. He had no money,no food and no shelter. No resources at all. Dennis was somewhere in Arlington,Texas when he ended up calling his parents and they betrayed him by turned him into Dallas,Texas Straight.So he ended up right back at that hellhole.
As for myself, I didn`t get very far. I was cold,tired and hungry. I was tackled in the mud by that graduate of Straight. My legs felt like they had battery acid in them. I was spent. I was done. After being caught I was quickly put inside the car and all the doors were locked from the inside so I couldn`t escape again. I got mud and dirt inside that car. The car I was put into was a 4 door Lime green colored Lincoln. The Straight Graduate who captured me looked at me and said, “Dude what`s up with your hair?” He was busting my balls. I didn`t feel like talking so I didn`t say anything. I was taken away to a host home. It was a 20 minute car ride to this foster house. (What`s insanely, ironic is that I would be partying and getting high with that very same Graduate from Straight years later after I had Graduated from Dallas,Straight.)
My very next day at Dallas Straight it was all business. Right away after I arrived that the building that morning I was taken away to a private intake room. There were two reasons for this. The staff wanted to debrief me. They wanted to know everything that I had done while being copped out so they could use this information against the three of us later on. They also debriefed me to find out everything they could about how and why Pete,Dennis and I were able to successfully copout from the Straight building. They also wanted to use this information to prevent potential copouts in the future. I was extremely arrogant. I told them that I smoked a lot of bud and had a damn good time. I wanted to throw it back in their faces that I wasn`t on the same page with them and not even on the same book with Straight Incorporated. I let them know that they weren`t doing me any good.
Hours later I get beltlooped taken out of the intake room and taken in the main Group room. I was and walked down the aisle. The staff member asked that infamous rhetorical question, “Who remembers this guy?” Staff member yelled out, “Who`s getting tired of this!!??” The staff member turned to the oldcomer and told the oldcomer to let go of my beltloop cause the people in group were going to chain rip me. I know exactly what he meant. The first phaser to get called on started yelling and confronting me right away. Suddenly I ran to the first row and did a stage dive into the guy side, now I weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. When I landed the guy ripping me caught me and slammed me on the floor and all hell broke loose. Total pandemonium ensued. Myself and three other misbehavers started fighting in unison like rabid dogs. That`s when the guys side exploded with yelling, cursing, fists flying and blue chairs flying everywhere. All four of us got violently restrained on the floor. Yes we experienced a group riot in Dallas with the other misbehaviors. I was later removed from Group and taken away back to that private intake room where I spent the rest of that day in isolation with just me and an oldcomer guarding me. That turned out to be a very boring day inside that intake room. I felt defeated. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks that I was once again a prisoner of Straight. I was at the mercy of Straight and my mother. I had no independence at all. My morale was at rock bottom. I was depressed and everything looked bleak and dim.
Pete and Dennis never graduated from Straight and that`s better then ok. All three of us were captured and forced back to Straight. Some weeks or months later both Pete and Dennis vanished from group and I never saw them again. I miss them and I hope one day we will meet again. Our copout was a wild ride and I`ll always be grateful that they let me escape with them.
That nightmare that started years earlier in February 1989 with “Kids Of El Paso” and continued on with Straight finally ended for me in September 1991 when I graduated from Straight. The Dallas Straight closed down permanently for good during the following month in October 1991.
I stayed clean and sober for 11 months after getting out of Dallas Straight. Eleven months after Graduation I started smoking pot. It wasn`t long till I moved up to getting high on Ecstasy and Meth. I started drinking alcohol in the Summer of 1994 when I turned 21. At the end of 1994 I started dealing drugs by selling cocaine and smack. I did way more drugs after graduating Dallas Straight then I ever did before I went in there in the first place. An ironic thing is that one of my first and main drug connections was with someone who had also been in Dallas,Straight. I soon became with his friends and my drug connections multiplied.
In 2004 I finally left the drug game behind once and for all. I left that old life behind completely.
I copped out 5 other times from Dallas Straight during the 2 years that I was there (September 1989 to September 1991.)