Confronting (one of) the people who contributed to childhood trauma
There's some background here that I'll briefly touch on, I'll try to keep it short. So I find myself struggling with a lot of complex trauma that stems from my teenage years. At age 16, I started drinking pretty heavily and my mother, concerned for me as a mother should be, decided together with my father that they would sign me up for a "wilderness therapy" program to "cure" me and hopefully get the daughter back that I was before.
To summarize a very long story, my experience was anything but positive and I returned home far from healed. In the two years I was away I endured a lot of emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of the women who served as staff at the time and were supposed to mentor us. They (or most of them, there were a few exceptions) would verbally degrade me and the other girls, mock us, treat us like we were subhuman, basically, all for our own wellbeing (LOL). I have gone through my own litany of therapists to help me deal with what happened back then but I find that nothing really helps; the only thing that might, I sometimes think, is some kind of "closure".
Now a little while ago I happened to stumble across one of the staff members (the one who would make my life living hell and dish out extremely exaggerated punishments for no other reason than to see me suffer, I always thought) on Facebook and I have been entertaining the idea of contacting her. I don't know if I should, it probably isn't a good idea, my mother thinks so, too; but at the same time I feel like I will never be able to function normally if I don't at least ask her why she would single me out and seemingly get some sick kind of pleasure out of denigrating me. I just... I kind of want her to know that what she did to me hurts me to this day and has kept me from getting even close to everything she has now--children, marriage, etc. Best case scenario here is that we talk, she apologizes, and I can at least try move on. Maybe we could plan a phone call or a real-life meeting to talk about things. (Doubtful, because my mother reached out to her years ago and she denied any of the things she put me through.) Worst case scenario is I cuss her out/she cusses me out like she used to and things go from bad to worse.
What do you all think? Any thoughts are more than welcome and very much appreciated.
You shared that at 16, you started drinking heavily and your parents, concerned for your safety, sent you away for 2 years of "wilderness therapy", during which you were verbally/ emotionally abused. Now, you are considering seeking closure with one of the.. wilderness "therapists"-
- did you already seek closure with your parents for having sent you away for 2 years, without checking- with you- on your experience during those long 2 years of abuse?
I mean, if we close our eyes to some of our abusers (by omission, if not by commission), those whose job was to protect us.. can we find closure with anyone else?
I am sorry for the abuse you suffered, I wish it didn't happen to you.
Amie has a point about your folks.
I suspect if you did this, this woman would either say your memory was faulty, or this was approved therapy at the time, blah, blah, blah. Many people aren't too good at owning their mistakes, *especially for big issues where they messed up big time.* I would not write her expecting anything positive.
Some people have their profiles pretty locked down. Hopefully, she isn't in the same field where whe could still hurt others. If she (Heaven forbid) IS and you can see where she works, you could write a letter to her employer - NOT anonymously, nobody takes that sort of childishness seriously. You would take the tone that you sincerely hope she has learned and grown from her past experiences.
The stories are coming out about how many of these alleged "theraputic" programs were really just abuse. Is this company that took you in still in business? Can you focus some energy toward shutting it down?
You can't get Closure from the type of abuser who systematically and protractedly kicks those whom are already down - for the same reason how these people can bring themselves to cross that social - what should be naturally innate - taboo. You have to be lacking in normal humanity. As such, they can't be arsed to sit down and HELP you by telling you what and why. I doubt they'd have a clue why they've allowed themselves to become monsters, anyway-
People like that are ferrel. More animal than human. You wouldn't ask a rabid dog why it bit you and (assuming it could talk English) expect it to tell you, would you? It'd do nothing but attack you again. Only a rabid dog knows not what it does. Here, we're talking pure Schadenfreude and Sadism...getting to feel powerful and important by being horribly cruel to someone in a very vulnerable position. (Oh, do not get me started...!)
I too am interested to know whether you appealed to your parents during your stay (in Guantanamo Bay)?
FAR better, I think, to write a letter to the company itself or, better still, see a No Win, No Fee solicitor about getting justice. After all, you were a customer who paid for care and instead received - obviously mostly - ABUSE! And most abusers tend to have some sort of malignant personality disorder, especially narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy. Then come drug addicts. Usually, both. Therefore, you can get closure - get your answers - from studying the "Dark Triad" on the web.
Wait up / Stop Press! Apparently there's a movement, started by Paris Hilton, look. She was a victim...apparently they even shaved her head! So joining the movement would be your easiest avenue for taking action and getting justice:
"Paris Hilton, who was sent to a wilderness program as a teenager herself, is speaking out against the horrors within them as an adult, becoming the face of the Breaking Code Silence movement. Hilton reports that students were “restrained, hit, thrown into walls, strangled and sexually abused regularly.”
PS: apparently, loads of unwitting, desperate parents sent their teens off in good faith. I got the impression that phonecalls weren't allowed or were strictly controlled and supervised (no doubt by the very bullies, themselves).