This testimony was found on Reddit.
trigger warning; psychiatric abuse
I went to solstice east for 14 months and graduated the program, and now I’m really struggling with the scars it left me with. This is really hard for me to write right now but I want to let other people know.
My parents lied to me and said I was going to school after my psychiatry appointment but I was taken to solstice instead. I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out but they wouldn’t give me any soft food to eat, when I didn’t eat because my face hurt too much they threatened to put me on eating protocol(where they basically force you too eat everything on your plate). When I first got there my therapist, Rob, took me to do equine therapy with my parents and then took my phone. After that he counted my scars in a condescending tone. Then I was made to be strip searched by two female staff and they went through all my stuff and took several things away.
I don’t remember much of my time there except for experiences that were exceptionally good. I do remember the general experience though. I was body checked twice, that’s where they make you strip so they can see if you’re self-harming. Every time you come back from a visit they search you and your stuff. When they confiscate food staff eats it. I was put on precautions which is where you have to sleep in the living room, you have to keep the bathroom door cracked open when you go in and count loudly, and you have to be at arms length with a staff. We were only allowed a short amount of time for phone calls once a week and only with parents and we weren’t allowed to say anything negative about the program. All of our incoming and outgoing mail was censored and sometimes withheld. There were “interventions” where you were not allowed to talk and were kept away from the other students.
There were a lot of really immature staff who were on a power trip. My therapist didn’t do much therapy with me, he wouldn’t talk about my trauma with me, and he insulted and gaslighted me constantly. We weren’t allowed to talk about certain things with the other students, only the staff, but staff had to put it in notes for our therapists so I didn’t talk about any thing that was bothering me.
What really helped was the other students, from them I learned how to take care of myself and how to cope so now I’m actually doing really good behavior wise, I broke my addictive habits, but I’m absolute shit mentally and I’m afraid to talk about it for fear of hurting my friends(something solstice taught me). there were some amazing staff but they were a definite minority.
I am afraid of talking about my problems with friends for fear of hurting them with my problems, my authority issues are intensified, my psychosis still goes undiagnosed(I was gaslighted about it), and I suspect I have some sort of ptsd from a lifetime of abuse(I’m pretty sure i had it before solstice but they wouldn’t listen to me). solstice is a huge source of trauma, I affects my behaviors and the way I view the world, I dissociate almost daily, sometimes when faced with a trigger about mental health care I get very sudden intense spells of dizziness like my brain is freaking out trying to shut everything down. solstice also was not autism friendly, the staff and therapists are horribly ableist. I’m currently at a autism specific dorm going to college and my therapist said i was going here to “take care of the autism thing”, thankfully this place i’m at right now is nothing like he must’ve thought. they don’t give a shit what i do as long as i go to class.
Now i am trying to heal but it’s really difficult and life sucks right now, I don’t trust mental health professionals anymore so it will take me a very long time to trust my new therapist(not affiliated with a program), but so far she seems to agree that solstice did me harm(from the little i’ve told her) so thats good.
That’s about all my memory holds about solstice right now.
- The original testimony (Reddit)