20 Y.O. Loses It And Cusses His Mom Out When She Reveals She Is Proud Of Her Decision Of Sending Him To Rehab At 13

Disproportionate punishments as a kid are the worst. You’d mess up somewhere and even fess up to it, but instead of that being a learning experience, you would get grounded for a week, without your phone.

Today’s story is about a much more extreme version of that. The poster of the story had a puff of a substance of debatable legality at 13 years of age, which led to him being sent away to a three-month rehab session, still upsetting him 7 years later.

More info: Reddit

Deciding on an adequate punishment for your teen may be difficult, but it’s certainly possible

Image credits: Vlad Bagacian  (not the actual photo)

A poster wanted input on whether he was a jerk for snapping at his mom after an insensitive comment from her

Image credits: Working-Force4192

After smoking some illicit substance, he was sent to rehab with hard drug users for 3 months at only 13 years of age

Image credits: Working-Force4192

When he heard his mom celebrating the fact that she had sent him to rehab, he went off on her for the trauma caused, cussing her out and storming out

The poster, after participating in that illicit substance mentioned in the intro, was caught by his parents. And even though it had been made legal at the time and he agrees that it wasn’t meant for 13 y.o. kids, he believes that being sent to rehab for 3 months with hard drug users was over the line.

Going through all of that must’ve been scary and traumatizing for OP, with him later going to therapy and talking about his parents. So when he heard his mom talking about how happy she is that she did send him to rehab and how much good it did, he simply flipped out, cursing her out.

Using some pretty intense language, he told his mother off and left the scene.

It only takes a little rooting in our memories to recollect the stupid things we did as teenagers. A commenter mentioned that at age 13, they had been spending time with friends in a park drinking vodka, smoking cigarettes and that they ultimately turned out fine.

I’m certain that you can remember some pretty bad moments from your youth that you wouldn’t want your kids doing, but if anything, that should make the punishments less severe and more understanding, rather than vice versa.

According to another Ask Reddit thread where people came to share their experiences of being sent to rehab, there were few positives to their experiences.

A lot of the time, teens would be under strict supervision by other teens, with little freedom or sense of individuality. Another person said that they learnt a lot from their rehab camp, for example, how to smoke a cigarette in under a minute and steal.

And the lifelong skill of how to make a bed, because they were made to do it hundreds of times in a row, as punishment or a way to establish discipline at the camp.

Image credits: Alena Darmel (not the actual photo)

This is a cautionary tale to parents who should do in-depth and detailed research if they intend to send their kids to a rehab camp of any sorts or otherwise. And surprising amounts of abuse may be legal, if you’re willing to do research.

These camps and other institutions all fall under the umbrella term of the “troubled teen” industry. Such places are often unregulated and unsupervised, only putting on the guise of a good camp for arriving parents or inspectors.

Camps like this accept not only teens with substance abuse “problems” (which may not even be problems, but isolated events), but also poorly behaving, delinquent and LGBTQ+ teens.

And, if that wasn’t obvious, the troubled teen industry has been the center of many controversies related to the abuse of minors, institutional corruption, and even death.

One especially controversial reeducation program is the Élan School. One of the early implementers of the program, they had opened in 1970, ultimately closing in 2011 due to various reports of child abuse from their attendants.

Children would be kidnapped by men in the middle of the night (with their parents’ permission, of course), tied up, thrown in a van, transported for thousands of miles, until they reached the school.

The worst was yet to come, though. In the school they’d be stripped of all individuality and the right to talk to other teens, unless they were talking about how well the program was working for them, and that was a rarity.

Besides talking, teens couldn’t even look at each other, smile, or whisper and if they attempted to escape, it would be so much worse for them.

Image credits: Valerie Everett (not the actual photo)

In order to get more perspective from someone who has experienced an extreme version of the poster’s story, Bored Panda contacted Joe Nobody, a survivor of Élan’s dehumanizing schooling, who has a lot of knowledge on how to retain a sense of identity and sanity while being under great stress.

“Survival tricks were definitely needed to maintain my sanity,” continues Joe, “the biggest one for me was finding something “larger” that I could speak to.” He called it “The Great Energy,” as he never subscribed to organized religion, and calling it “God” just didn’t feel right. He didn’t have anything at all in Élan, so this very personal “higher power” helped fight off the feeling of being utterly alone.

As staff and higher rank students bossed around the lower ones constantly, students in Élan felt like slaves. People’s rebellious nature leads them to do things without putting any effort into them as a kind of insult to their oppressors, which would only lead to more abuse.

Joe turned this on its head when he realized that he was actually in control of how well he did things, so he began to do them as best as he could, even taking pride in it.

This allowed him to regain and retain a much-needed sense of control.

“I couldn’t do many things in Elan, but at some point, I “earned the right” to read books or to run in circles during our “outside time,” says Joe.

Reading was a form of escapism, taking him away from the torture that was Élan. On the other hand, running also allowed him to escape, as he could focus on his breath and “putting one leg in front of the other.”

This also had the added bonus of making him more hungry, to eat the atrocious food in Élan and tire him out so he could sleep better at night.

Joe Nobody was sent to Élan when he and his friends were caught with about 4 ounces of the same illicit substance that OP was sent to rehab for. They had 4 ounces, scales, and baggies, which outed them as sellers to the police.

While his friends got good lawyers and got out on parole, Joe’s parents were manipulated by a social worker to sign him over to Élan to look more favorable for the judge.

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

“Unfortunately, my parents were very naive and from a generation where everything “official” has to be true because the world is a fairy tale and people in power never lie and would certainly never abuse kids for money.”

After Elan, they refused to listen and doubled down, convincing themselves that they did nothing wrong and that Joe was overexaggerating.

Nevertheless, his mom came around a couple of months ago, in fact, when she found Joe’s webcomic. “Yes, after decades of disbelieving me and pretending it never happened,” he clarifies.

His dad hasn’t acknowledged it still and will probably take these beliefs to the grave.

After Élan, Joe needed to learn to cope. He found that making art, any kind of art about the experience, helped him begin to heal.

“I know many people would say therapy, but I found it was way too hard to even get a professional therapist or psychiatrist to understand what I went through,” Joe says, explaining that it’s difficult for therapists to even comprehend the things he has gone through in Élan.

He doesn’t believe that medication would help as well, as he believes that the industry doesn’t truly want to help people but rather to keep them on as customers.

Ironically, partaking in more of the substance that got OP and Joe in trouble has helped him – even though it had negative effects, it was overall a more positive thing for him.

Joe Nobody has dedicated a significant amount of his efforts to sharing his survival story on his website via webcomic.

Besides having a family and a full-time job, Joe has a Patreon, where you can support him and preorder the physical version of his comic.

It’s a recommended read from me, as it’s engaging, with lots of detailed notes about his experience, so go check him out!

Even Paris Hilton was once pretend-kidnapped and sent to a reeducation school for teens, if you can believe it.

So, there you have it. If your child is abusing substances or misbehaving, it’s a good idea to talk to them or look into consulting an intervention specialist, instead of firing them off into a reeducation camp where they’ll be traumatized for life and hate you till the end of time.

The poster’s story collected almost 14k upvotes and 1.7k comments, with commenters expressing intense support and suggestions of dropping their therapist and going no contact with the family.

The community judged the poster not to be a jerk, telling him that he needs a better therapist and less contact with the parents

The post 20 Y.O. Loses It And Cusses His Mom Out When She Reveals She Is Proud Of Her Decision Of Sending Him To Rehab At 13 first appeared on Bored Panda.