All rights goes to the original author who posted it on Reddit
In 2016 I was sent to SUWS of the Carolinas because my parents found a joint in my purse. The kidnapping and camping were nothing compared to dealing with one camp counsellor in particular.
His name was Jimmy (I think his last name started with a B?), he was a very lanky granola type. Told us he was "mellow" and a "nice guy" but he was the most evil pathetic man I'd ever met.
He loved finding out our traumas, tell us we were making them up and would punish us if we said we weren't lying. Anyone who didn't comply would get a letter sent to their parents, telling them how "out of control we are" and would recommend they disown us when we turn 18 to "teach us a lesson". Now I know he was the liar.
He was very touchy with me, nothing inappropriate but was weird since I was 15 and he was in his twenties. I told him I didn’t like to be touched because I was s*xually *ssaulted when I was in middle school. He continued to touch me and whispered in my ear “stop making up stories for attention.” The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I struggled to get away from him, he leaned in again "you probably liked it anyway". I wanted to punch him but I knew if I reacted, I would be the crazy one and I'd be punished.
I learned to stay away from him and made sure I was never alone with him.
But I saw him do the same thing to other kids. They'd talk about what they went through and he'd tell them that they were exaggerating for attention, then he'd tell a story that was always somehow one step worse than what the kid went through.
Like one kid said he watched his dad die from a car accident, and then he'd say he also watched his father die but it was way worse because "he was a baby when it happened". He told another kid his dad died in Iraq.
Another, that his mom died of an overdose. He told the same kid his mom was in a mental hospital for schizophrenia. When the kid confusedly asked, "I thought your mom passed away?", he was denied showers and Jimmy recommended to his parents that he needed to stay at SUWS to work on his lying problem. Jimmy made him his scapegoat for the rest our stay. Isolating him, making up rumors about him, and falsely accusing him of stealing his things. Which led to even more punishment. Eventually he learned to stop talking and reacting to Jimmy. Jimmy got bored and moved on to someone else.
I'm so angry at what I went through, and what other kids went through, and being left in the care of terrible people who had all the power and could use that power to punish me on a whim. And I'm so angry that this program designed to "help" only traumatized us further.
It's six years later, after years of therapy with an actual therapist (not a camp counsellor with a high school degree), I'm starting to get my life together.
I did learn one valuable lesson: I will never allow anyone to have that much power over me ever again and I will fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn't.
SourcesThe originally testimony on Reddit