Springfield,Virginia Straight Survivor
April 1983-February 1986.
I’m very hesitant to write this. I m not giving my name, but I was in straight from April 1983-February 1986. I was put in there as a 15 year old kid that had no respect for my family because they constantly berated me and beat me ( during my 3 years I never mentioned fighting my parents because I never felt guilty about it. Just sad that I felt that it needed to be done.) My mom blamed me for their divorce and the beatings my dad gave us, even though I was 7 when they split. My dad kicked me in the face before the split after I tried to attack him for throwing my mom down the stairs and knocking her out. He also called the law on me for stealing $50,000 coin collection in 8th grade, that I never stole. Blamed me for the rest of his life. Many people said he was the most hate filled man he ever met. It`s very possible that mom was a bitch due to trauma from being with him, since she later became someone I very much respected. I was a very screwed up kid that got picked on in school (I believe my dad broke my spirit while young), but after the police incident, and being away from my father for some time, I started gaining some confidence and wouldn’t take any abuse from anyone. People started respecting me. Life was starting to look good for the first time in my young life. Yeah I was disobediant, but when you`ve heard “You`re a bastard like your father” or “You`re stupid like your mother” all your life, then fuck them. You call me a bastard, I call you bitch. You could count the number of times I got high before Straight on both hands, and have a couple unused fingers left over. And they kept me in Straight longer than anyone. Well, that’s a brief back story.
When I first got put in there, I was, and some others have agreed, treated like the lowest piece of trash. Worse than all but one other during my stay. Oldcomers would grab my belt loop and yank my jeans up high as they possibly could, like a “Bluejean Wedgie.” When lunch or dinner would come, I’d be on front row and see the smirks on the fourth phasers faces as some would rush to see who got to yank my shit up as I was being led to the bathroom by the belt loop. I still see their faces and seeth with rage when I recall that. One of the worst moments of my stay. I`m glad I`m miles away from them because there are moments when I still want to watch them die. Sorry God, maybe you`ll help me with that one day. I believe I regressed to how I was a couple years before straight, probably appeared like I was gonna be the easiest kid to break. Yeah right. Well, that first month in there made me thickheaded. I tried to do the game, but I still remember it was 35 days before I could earn talk, the longest that I recall of anybody not court ordered. One of the staff members there used to pick on me just like he did in the neighborhood a couple years prior. Yeah I knew that fuck for years prior. Well, I ended up spending a year on first phase. This hot chick came in after I did and made staff all while I was on first phase the first go around.
Now the escape stories. My first escape was a week after making second phase, the first time I went home without a host brother. When we pulled up in front of the house, I opened the door and ran like hell. Went to the homes of a couple friends, and they moved away! Well, my mom and another Straightling mom pulled up as I was walking down the road, and I could have got away, but I wasn’t into fighting them, and it was cold as hell, I never put any thought into my escapes. So my dumbass went back. Didn’t tell mom of the abuse there because I figured she knew and approved. After all, it was a very similar mind fuck to how I was raised. Well, I went back, got put on a no-phase from 2nd phase, went back home soon after, made 3rd phase, and had a small job painting a neighbors fence. Well, momma didn’t trust me (she never did, never went to school in my neighborhood because she wanted me at the school across the street from her work so she could keep an eye on me. Ha, I never did one piece of homework. Ever. Showed her! And screwed myself) she had to be almost right next to me while I painting that fence. Pissed me off bad. So I went in the owners home to take a leak, knowing her purse was in there, grabbed a was of cash and hauled ass out the front door. Well, I found where my best friend moved to, we hung out that day, he went home that night and got me a long sleeve shirt because it was chilly out. As he got the shirt, I noticed a car riding by a couple times. Didn’t recognise anyone in it, it parked down the road, then before I knew it, some big guy had my arms behind my back and was raising them up in an unnatural and painful post ion as I was eying the car that he must have exited while it was out of sight. Found out it was a straight long dad who was a Prince George`s County Maryland Cop. I usually remember good, but I don’t remember after that. OK, I left off at getting caught the second time, but I don’t remember what happened after getting caught, except I was back at straight the next morning. Well within a couple months I was back on third phase again. See, after being on first phase for a year, I was able to to not be fully compliant, because I never was, except for my first month or so. I neglected to mention previously, that first go around, I prayed to the devil, had my first thoughts of suicide, was way more depressed than I had ever been. And I had been extremely depressed before. And there was some new people that came onto staff that tried real hard to cheer me up. They all weren’t like most of the earlier staff, I was on first phase with some, and that may be why. But some of the older staff that were asses were still there, and there were some new asses too. But the crew that went through the even worse nightmare in Florida was moving on to different things, and even though straight was still very fucked up, I’m guessing that the people that never met that Miller Newton bitch never gained his full influence. But that last sentence is pure speculation. Well, I made it to third phase again, they sent me to school. I didn’t want to go to school. I wanted a job. But they made me go to school. You can make me go to school, but you can’t make me stay. I saw a couple friends and asked them if they wanted to skip school. They said my mom told their parents that if they talked to me that she would have them arrested. I was pissed. I told my friends to go fuck themselves and left. Had no clue what to do. So I walked all around Fairfax that day, went to talk to my preacher (I was involved in youth group before straight)that night, and he talked me into listening to my mother because its the right thing. Most persuasive person you’d ever meet. But I never mentioned how screwed straight was to him. Hell, I never mentioned it to anyone for many years except to say ‘fuck that place’. The next morning I was back in the hellhole. I hated that place. Why did I have to be so passive? Well, I was back, and refused to comply. Some fellow, that later became a good friend, starts the thing that straightlings were supposed to do. He starts smacking me in the back to encourage me to motivate (or as I call it, ‘the chicken flap’) well I decided what to do. I psyched myself up, then chickened out. Psyched myself, chickened out, till I jumped up and grabbed him by the neck and started choking him. I don’t think I really wanted to hurt him. I was just making a point. I think. Now violence was not me, I’d wrestle with straightlings many times, but that was just resistance. I hated most everything my parents stood for, and violence was one. Nobody in there ever fucked with me after that. I think they realized that a very passive kid just went apeshit , and maybe a different approach is needed. I just got some fucking respect back! Only thing that makes me proud of that action. They didn’t try to make me ‘chicken flap’ anymore. Not even the biggest assholes ever yelled at me after that. When they gave me shit, there was a different tone. The different approach had an effect, but I was still me, and gonna get away with whatever I could. Their rules were insane and never made sense to me. I ended up on 4th phase and they made me go to school again. But this time, it was daytime adult end. You could do a year in a semester, though maybe I should have done the school thing, I did all my classes in less than a month, and my teachers were trying to find stuff for me to do. But I wanted a job. I rode the metro to school with another straightling for about a month. Never a chance to get away w/o being seen by him till one day, he had someplace else to go, and I was gonna ride the metro alone. Nah, I think its time to get some fresh air. I walked down the railroad tracks from Alexandria to Burke. The tracks passed to approximately 200 yards from straight, but were not visible due due to trees and a lower grade. Coincidentally, as I’m passing under Backlick Road, there’s a guy sitting under the bridge while on a break from work, that asks if I wanna smoke some hash. Getting high wasn’t in my plans, but what the hell. Made the rest of the walk more interesting. And a good ‘fuck you’ to straight. It was good to be free, but once again, No plan. Just get out. I just hung out by myself, remember, I told my closest friends to fuck off when I escaped before. I slept in the woods that night, and went to a bowling alley to ,hopefully, bum some free food. Well guess who the fuck comes in. My mom with other straightling parents. Fuck! Here we go again. I get put on a no-phase again, didn’t tell them I got high, and they give my mom a month or so vacation from straight meetings and such. See, mom got drunk the night I left, and it was my fault. Did I mention she was an alcoholic who got sober the day I was put in straight?
We left off after #4 escape? Well, straight must have agreed it was my fault momma got drunk since she was given time away from meetings and me. Part of me didn’t care, but another part of me felt kind of fucked up. But this is the family I know. I hated them, but still cared. (I keep neglecting to mention things, I’m writing as a spur of the moment thing. No thought beforehand. Some things never change) see, my mom was the strong straightling mom. She stood in open meeting once and said she would burn my birth certificate if I never finished straight. And was fucking applauded! Yeah, that’s what a good example is. Your kid would rather be in hell than with you. I believe I made it back to third phase in a few days from that no-phase, and was staying with the most amazing family I ever met. God I loved those people dearly. You could not be around them and not feel good. If I stayed with them, I may have finished that place. But they sent me back to mommas house, and the next morning I had to ride the metro to work. Yes, they quit making me go to school and I had been working for a couple weeks. But guess what, I didn’t take the metro. I went for some fresh air. Once again, no plan. Just ‘fuck it’. I walked the RR tracks like I did a month prior. But I went the other direction. Got to where 2 lines came together in Alexandria and walked the other line to woodbridge. It was a hell of a long walk, 20+ miles, but awesome. Later that night, I called mom. Dumbass me. But I reckon I was alone and bit scared. I also recall thinking about stories that another serial escapee (rest in peace my friend) told in straight, and that contributed greatly to my fears. Momma said I wasn’t going back, so I told her where I was. Guess what she shows up with? A posse of brainwashed parents. Fuck! I had been in for over 2 years at that time. Why the fuck do you think I’m gonna do this shit now? I ended up back on first again. This time I sat and wouldn’t do shit. I did comply with the sitting up and paying attention, and was left alone. I’d been in there longer than most of the staff at that point, would always sit on the edge of the group by the fifth phasers so I’d have someone to be with. And they let it fly. I think they knew what they were doing. They’d keep sending me to the homes with the nicest families, let me blurt out a word or 2 in group (as long as it wasn’t during an inappropriate moment, and it would always get laughs). They were trying to make me feel good. Maybe trying to give me a sense of belonging that I never had or wanted to have in there. I wonder if they tried the nicer approach so they could say ‘look! We got him to change! Pretty sure of that. Well, it worked. After a bit, I went on, got a job, fucked up and made some friends in there. Coincidentally, all this happened after that sadistic Mistretta guy moved to Boston. Or was it coincinence? Anyhow I made it to fifth phase. And actually stayed after I turned 18. Though I was often caught breaking stupid rules, like going across the street to Hardee’s when I got hungry, I got caught by the right people that didn’t want me in trouble. Then I got a job at Hardee’s. It was winter, and I wasn’t gonna do labor outside if I didn’t have to. Well,I met this girl that started there the same day, and we got along good.we ran around after work sometimes. I was scared that they’d catch me, even though I just turned 18 and found that I could stay with my dad (he was in poor health so there would be no fighting) and one day I got caught. Came in group, realized I forgot to pick up my paycheck, raised my hand to exit the door, and staff said no. No? They always let me come and go. I looked at the guy at the door and said ‘I wonder what they caught me doing?’ Well I found out it was for running with that girl. Tried to lie, still didn’t admit it. And got me another no-phase. I pondered it a moment, I only had $2 in my pocket, and a check waiting across the street I could cash the next day. I accepted the no-phase, but my desision was made, just wanted to ponder it. The next day I put a withdraw in. Exec staff member Mrs Deering gives me a hard time in group when I say I’m going to my dad’s saying ‘you always run to your dad!’ I never ran to my dad. She had me confused with another Straight copout. I had been there 3 years and she had no clue. Typical straight. Staff don’t know shit and relies on clients to keep it straight, with two puppeteers directing where to take it. Well, I left. Gone! Free! But I missed my friends I left behind. I guess I had become institutionalised. I talked to my mom a few weeks later, and somehow going back to straight came up. I said I’d talk to them about it, but I doubt it. Well I went back, I recon I just wanted to talk to someone, cuz I felt out of place at my dads house (he always had that effect on me.)
Well, I go back. Just to talk about going back. Well that’s what momma said. First thing Ms Tyson says is to the effect of ‘talk? In or out!’ Yeah, that’s gonna work. I looked at my mom and called her a liar and left. Did you know that that talk with Ms.Tyson and ms feeding were the only two times any exec acknowledged my existence? And I still remember that I never got called on in an executive rap once in 3 years. Remember where I said I believe they wanted to make an example out of me of breaking the most thickheaded? later I found out that when I went to talk them, they were ready to put me on fourth phase if I went back. And I had been gone for at least a couple weeks. That’s unheard of. Well, that’s my story. I just wrote as the thoughts came. I can’t talk to anybody in there anymore. I did some Facebook time with a few folks, but I had to get away cuz it sunk me into a deep depression for about 1 1/2 yrs that I thought I’d never get out of. It was the prevailing thing on my mind during that time. For some, its best to leave the past behind. Other people don’t need to. To each their own.