In this series of posts, I describe what happened to me when I was in S.A.F.E., a facility that is part of the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI). In my last post, I described what happened to me in “confrontation rap”. In this post, I talk about other raps.
Other Raps at S.A.F.E.
Raps like confrontation rap, or “sharing rap” or “boys and girls rap” were heavy in content and would take up a good percentage of our day after rules. The latter two consisted of us sharing a past incident, usually sexual in nature (because for some reason the group seemed to get off on the most sadistic, grotesque sexual acts).
We would profess how horrible *this sexual act we did* was and cry, and then the group would motivate, someone would say something like, “I can relate because I did this…”
And we would cry and say how guilty we felt and how grateful we were to be in S.A.F.E. I swear, either people were making up some sick stuff, or I was in a room full of people who liked to have sex with animals (I’ll let you be the judge). This just reinforces my notion that we were bad, our druggie past was bad, we needed to express how horrible we were through public shaming.
Then our new self was to be in the form of the group, and we were accepted and shown “love”, by the “LOOOOOOVE YA!” the group screamed at the end of someone sharing.
Activities Between Raps
- These heavy raps were interspersed with lunch, which was brought from the host home.
- Also, there was exercise rap, where we would watch Richard Simmons videos and follow along.
- First and second phase clients were stuck in this building all day, every day, for 12 hours, so they would get to attend “school” at the program. This consisted of reading some out-of-date textbooks and answering worksheets.
- Third, fourth, and fifth phasers got to leave the building for outside school/work.
Raps After School
After school, we would have some more raps: drug and alcohol raps, and in the evening, we would have something more lighthearted, like a “make me laugh rap”. So, all day we would sit in these small, blue, plastic chairs motivating, and when not motivating, sitting ramrod straight, feet on the floor, facing the person speaking in group, hands directly on your knees. If you were not in this correct posture (unless you were motivating) you would be considered a “misbehaver” and either put into isolation, or completely ignored until you decide to shape up.
The Guy Forever on Phase 1
I remember when I first got to S.A.F.E. there was a guy in there that had
been in for almost five years! And he was still on first phase. He spent most of his time in the isolation room, which was the size of a small closet, and he would carve his arms up with his fingernails. He had scars all over him.
This thought horrified me! I didn’t want to be that person, so I decided to comply to the best of my ability. I am fortunate to have never been inside the isolation room, because it honestly scared me. People would carve themselves up all day in there and the staff wouldn’t do a thing. In my next post, I explain what Phase 1 and 2 were like.
Want to learn more about S.A.F.E.?
Here is an article from the Orlando Weekly about S.A.F.E. The second man in the series of pictures (brown hair, glasses) is Brian Seeber and he was our executive director. My mom called him “La Rata”.