Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)


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Amanda Johnston

I'll never forget everything i've personally been through and saw at the Family School.. [August 1st, 2007 - July 7th, 2008]


I remember meeting my mom there in hancock ny at the school after i left Spring Ridge Academy in Arizona. I was so confused why everyone seemed so happy there. Now i look back and realize if you didn't portray yourself as a "happy, positive person" you were in trouble. Consequences soon had a different meaning to me after being there for a few months. I was "sent away" for a cocaine addiction, and severe anorexia nervosa followed by bulimia. I walked in at about 115 lbs. and within a matter of a few weeks was at a high of 160 lbs. It's been a year and a few months since i left and I'm still dealing with the problems from gaining weight so quickly.

I had a hard time getting food down when i first entered the ffs, which you can only imagine how messed up my insides were. My sanction was that if I didn't finish all of the food on my plate i was forced to sit in the corner for 24 hrs minimum. Since i was on "buddy" and "shadow" for a while it was hard to find some time by myself. I was on a different medication every other month and multiple meds for the same duration. I didn't feel like myself anymore. I felt as if my mind was warped with all the medications to a point where i didn't know how to feel everyday emotions. I think they medicated everyone so much to the point where all the f*cked up sh*t we saw everyday became a second nature to us, like it was normal. I couldn't focus in any of my classes because I was falling asleep from the anti-depressants. To this day I still havn't passed freshman biology, I'm 18.

They wouldn't allow me to speak with my parents until after three months because I didn't "deserve" a phone call with them. I didn't speak with my brothers until after 8 months. I was gaining all this weight and eventually i just sucked it up and dealt with all the emotional abuse until I "earned" my first home visit. I had to lie and say that i did all of these horrible things because they wouldnt believe you if you said you were innocent, no matter what the situation. It was June of 08 and when i went home; i planned on not coming back. After the two day visit, I was supposed to come back to the school. I told my parents unless they physically knocked me out and brought me back there was no way I would get in the car. I ended up threatening to kill myself once they got me in the car. I ran out and the police stopped me. They asked why I didnt want to go back and I said "i would rather be dead then spend another day in that place" I was rushed to the hospital and the school got in touch with them and before you know it i was knocked out with a tranquilizer and i woke up being restrained by 5 people in the girls locker room.

I was held up against the lockers gripped so tight that I can show you scars. From there i was stripped of my clothing and put into sweatpants and a shirt, no undergarments. I sat in the iso room for 5 days. No shower No sleep. It was freezing and i didnt have a sweatshirt or a blanket. I lied on the cold floor with the lights on. The light switch was out of my control; it was outside the door that was bolted shut. One day when a few people were watching me like an animal in a cage i walked out, it was unbearablyfreezing in there during the month of July. As soon as i saw the sun for the first time in a week I felt alive again.

Before you know it 4 large men tackled me to the ground. I'm one girl, is that neccessary? I was so weak after they let me go an hour later that i was not able to walk. They put me in a wheelchair, wheeled me to the iso room and i sat there with a cracked rib a black eye and a bleeding nose for two more days.

Eventually they sent me to Four Winds in katonah, where i have been before. I felt extremely out of place and just wanted to go home. It's been 18 months of not being in a normal society. The psyc there said that it was mandatory i go back to the school but he couldnt give me a reason why. My parents saw that for the first time and took me home. Since then I have come to realize how much abuse all of us 'ffs kids' went through; physical, mental, and emotional.

Submitted By: Amanda Johnston