Where to begin? How about the beginning? From the first day I called Maria at the Onsite marketing department I should have run. But, I figured she wasn't going to be my actual therapist, just a woman who couldn't believe, no matter how many times I told her, that I lived in the sticks of a foreign country and had no American phone. Let's just say she thinks the US IS the only place on the globe.
I filled out an on-line form to see if I "qualified " for the program. Never got a reply, even though I also paid the $5100 upfront based on Maria telling me that she was SURE I qualified...it was just a formality. After calling them to verify they had received my application, I was finally connected with someone who said "yes", and emailed me an "information packet". It was 34 pages long. I answered basically all the same questions I had answered to get "accepted". The funny part is, they read neither of them as you will soon see here.
I was asked for, and gave them, my flight number and time of arrival. I timed an 11:30 flight to make their noon shuttle to the facility. Trust.me folks, you don't want to miss that shuttle. Due to a power outtage my luggage didn't arrive until 12:05. At asked for help from the personnel at the airport and they sent a person to stand at the point of pickup and ask them to please wait for me as my luggage was delayed. This person waited where the bus eventually picked me up 3.5 hours later. That's right, no shuttle ever showed up between the hours of 11:45 a.m. and 3:30. So I sat outside in the rain calling their "emergency" number. No one ever answered. My husband began calling for me, as there were no phone charging stations out on the wet curb, and I was trying to conserve. They told my husband they'd be there in 10 minutes. That was 1:00. A LIE . They had no intention of getting me until the 3:30 group and said they called my phone "numerous times ". I handed them my phone to ask them to check it for missed calls. They refused. They said I must have given them the wrong number. I pulled out my copy of the "big" applicatioon" and asked Bill the director, to tell me if this was the number tgey called. No answer, he just waved it off and said "sorry ". He told me it was the shuttle driver that called me. I asked him the guys guy's name. He, the director, said he didn't know. SURE!
I'm pretty angry after sitting in the rain for 3 hours, Bill the director lying to my face, but I sat through their welcome speech. Stupid ice breaker thing, the goal being to get you to move left, right, over and under at their command. They are looking for robots and assessing your ability mix with people. 50 people each introduced themselves, and many cried about why they were there. Some very, very sad, some scary, some "repeat ", hooked on therapy types.
Finally they went through the rules... same ones in the 34 page thing, but read it for us again, assuming we were all stupid and illiterate. We were given a key to our cabin and a tag to put on our suitcases. They move your suitcase while you get one last time to call and speak to family before your phone is confiscated. I assume they tore through each person's luggage, as All the workers disappeared with the luggage. Upon entering my cabin, I discovered my 2 roommates had come earlier and taken 9 of the 10 dresser drawers. They were druggies so so figured they were just selfish. It didn't matter much, as my suitcase wasn't anywhere to be seen. I have one of those "androgynous " names though I spell it in the feminine form. My suitcase was found in a all male cabin. Before I go any further, let's get this clear. They NEVER read either application I submitted. Anyone who applies is accepted as long as they have cash. I know this because they didn't meet my flight, didn't call my cell phone ( it's is grom a foreign country, that's how I'm sure they lied and never even tried to call), and didn't even look at the box where I marked" Female " . They look at your name, that's it.
So, now I'm in the right room, unloading my stuff into the one drawer left and my night stand. I went back to the next required activity where they discussed how much we'd love
it here. It was all based on their motto " Trust the Process". Haha. I hadn't seen one thing to trust in the first 8 hours. I was concerned when they started discussing the next days activities were the most important. I had filled out that long application form and listed the things I would be unable to do on my Sabbath, the next day. I had another meeting with the director asking if he was aware of what I'd answered about that. His blank , ignorant stare said it all. He said "lots of Jews from New York come here and have no problem " actually he said this 15 times at least, not hearing me say I wasn't Jewish. He'd say "I know, but it's the same thing". I finally asked him of perhaps I knew my own religious tenets better than he did. He then told me something, and I sure wish I had had a recorder running. He said "if we had had any idea you were THAT religion we never would have accepted you". To me, that was his only truthful statement, and it proved no one ever, ever read my application. I was accepted.
This place is a place where you sit ctoss-legged on the floor and tell your innermost thoughts and problems to deeply disturbed people who have no ability to help themselves, much less YOU. While I can see all chemical dependency people treated in the same group with common struggles I cannot see how someone with PTSD in a group with a woman with infertility problems and several with cutting problems, loss of spouses, divorces, trouble with their children.. Ridiculous. The poor young man who lost his wife in a car wreck tore me up but I can assure you falling backwards into my arms did not mean a darn thing to the guy. How does trusting your fellow disturbed "camper" solve that? I had a case of vertigo, I really shouldn't have been catching a 200 pound crying man. They did offer me an aspirin for my vertigo. Nice but worthless.
I hated just about everything. I have pictures of the filthy sheets on check in, the broken drawer handle that came off in my hand. Turned those into the night supervisor "Bob", who proceeded to ignore me the rest of the time except to bang my cabin door down to ask me why I wouldn't play a game on my Sabbath. Oops, Bill didn't inform Bob. They also don't listen. Again, no one ever reads your application or knows /cares why you are there. Got money? Come on down!
I strongly , strongly urge all to NOT go to this hell hole. A complete waste of time and money. It is run by incompetents. Rooms were filthy, smelled of methane, shower didn't have hot water the first day. When I told them no hot water, Bob suggested I didn't "hold my mouth right", that it was really "touchy". He finally fixed it, I assume by hitting an "on" switch, but not until 20 other people also said there was no hot water, no matter how you touched it. Fools! Do not put your family member, especially one suffering already, through this money pit. You will discover the first day they hand out brochures for their 30-90 day programs, and tell you "this course isn't complete, it's more of an introductory course ". It's $5,100 so you can be told how to spend $30,000 next time!