Moe’s Boot Camp

Moe’s boot camp totally saved my life. The Moe’s are a family from my church. When I was working in Kid’s ministry at my church I worked with the Moe kids and I offered to babysit for them. Through the process of babysitting the kids I started a friendship with the parents, Ryan and Vicki Moe. After a little while I started sharing with Vicki about my home life and all my struggles. She offered me a room in their home and I moved in June 1st 2011. The whole way it started was insane. I will remember June 1st probably until the day I die. It’s so profound in my memory. It was a Wednesday and I went to school. I was planning to wrap up my 11th grade year that Friday so I could go to an inpatient treatment facility. School got out for everyone else June 10th. The seniors last day was June 2nd. That previous Saturday over Memorial Day weekend my parents brought me to the MD to get a doctor’s referral for the treatment center I wanted to go. When I was at the MD they said I needed immediate impatient care so my parents took me to riverside hospital downtown. We spent 5 hours going through the admissions process but I refused to be admitted. I didn’t want any of that. That week at school I had told one of my teachers the previous weekend’s events and so the rumor was spread that I was suicidal and it had to be reported. I got called into my guidance counselor’s office and she asked me the standard questions for when a student is reported as suicidal. During 7th period I was called back into my counselor’s office and I saw my mom and immediately went back to class. When school was over and I tried to get home I saw the academic dean person who gives out detention and stuff and the police officer for the high school. They cornered me into a classroom. I remember clear as day the police officer saying “if you don’t stop resisting and calm down I will throw you into cuffs”. So I stopped and went into the classroom. They were kicking me out the high school saying I was a danger to myself and others. I was like: “you got to be kidding”. Two of the teachers that had made some of the biggest difference happened to walk by and were trying to calm me down. I was escorted with my mom to the car and my mom started driving me back to the hospital. At a stoplight I got out of the car and walked to the Moe’s house and flew open the front door and ran downstairs. My mom was right on my heels. The Moe’s let me spend the night so I could cool off. I woke up and asked if we could go get my stuff and I could move over. I wasn’t planning to move in until July after I got out of inpatient treatment. I skipped treatment because I didn’t want it and I was really scared. I define Moe’s boot camp as June-October 2012 living with the Moe’s. They were one of the first family’s to truly take me in. At first they thought I was just a girl who needed a little extra love but quickly realized I need way more. I needed structure, boundaries, life skills, therapy, discipline, a complete reality check really. I really give that family a lot of credit for me living today. Ryan really motivated me to graduate high school early. After being kicked out of high school for mental illness I really had no desire to return. I didn’t think that it would be healthy or beneficial to go back to the “war zone”. I asked my guidance counselor from my high school if there was a way I could graduate high school early and she told me about some programs. One of the programs started in the summer and so I chose that one. The school was called ABE and started in July. I was able to get a credit in 4 weeks for an hour a day, 4 days a week that would have taken 12 weeks, 5 days a week for an hour a day at my regular high school. When I started ABE I really learned a lot. In high school I was a horrible student due to lack of skills and overall mental illness. I was also in concept classes because I couldn’t handle the regular academic workload. ABE was all regular classes. Vicki taught me how to manage time and get my homework done first and fore most. Not only were the classes shorter they weren’t as much work load as regular high school. I was able to adjust to the academic level of regular high school classes without a ton of homework weighing me down. I really am thankful for ABE. I completed another 6 week fall session and a 6 week winter session and I got all my credits done by December 2011. My high school wanted to keep me in the class of 2012 so they put January on my diploma but it was technically December. Without Ryan and living with the Moe’s I am not sure I would have pursued ABE. The things the Moe’s taught me were priceless. When I moved in I was acting like an infant. It was really sad. I was 17 and having temper tantrums. I threw things, hit people, hurt myself, starved myself, treated the kids not the best, treated Ryan and Vicki horribly. They were the first people to really put consequences on me. At Moe’s boot camp I learned that my actions had consequences: good or bad. Usually bad. I remember so clearly talking with Ryan and one thing lead to another and I threw a little composition notebook at his head. He waited about 5 seconds and said “find your own ride to school tomorrow.” I was so confused. I said sorry and he said you weren’t sorry 5 seconds ago, find your own ride to school tomorrow. I remember another time me and the Moe’s were talking and Vicki was about to say something and I mumbled under my breath “don’t piss me off” and Ryan said: “that’s it, get your stuff, go to your parents’ house. You aren’t allowed to talk to my wife like that”. I had to take the walk of shame back to my parents’ home. It was awful. I hated it so much. One time Ryan made me walk to school and it was 5 miles each way up hill 90 degrees outside. I remember wining to Vicki about what Ryan did to me (total victim mindset). She told me that they were 1 and that she could very easily take away tomorrows ride to school as well. That was the first time I realized that I couldn’t pin a married couple back to back. They were one and I wasn’t going to divide them. I quickly shut my mouth because I didn’t want to walk again. So many valuable life lessons were learned that summer. It was a very stressful, drama filled summer for the Moe’s. But I’m thankful. Ryan also took away all the power in my trump cards. I realized my manipulation did nothing. I realized I couldn’t trump or become more powerful than the Moe’s. There are so many stories and so many memories from the 4 months. During August the ultimatum came; go to therapy or move out. They said that they did all that they could and that I needed professional help. I decided to go with the therapy route. Around 6pm on August 14th, 2011 I was sitting in my room. I found a bottle of ibuprofen and I had some dull razor blades. The next morning I had an appointment at a therapy place set up to start counseling. I decided I wanted to end mental illness with a “bang.” I cut myself a whole bunch. There were 18 ibuprofen pills in the bottle. There was a family friend that came over and came in my room and asked what I was doing and so I told her. She told me she had to tell the family I was living with because I was breaking their house rules. They didn’t want me cutting in their home. I got really mad at her because I felt like she set me up. When she left I snapped and I took 10 of the ibuprofen. I didn’t necessarily want to die; I just wanted the pain to go away. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted life to stop being so painful. Within 5 minutes I hadn’t felt anything so I took the other 8 pills. Eventually I couldn’t really feel my legs and I felt pretty out of my head. My mom came over and knocked at my door and asked what I was doing. I told her some pretty answers that got her to leave me alone. The family I was living with called me upstairs and asked how many I had taken and I said I had taken all of them. The wife of the family I was staying with and my mom took me to the hospital for a blood test to make sure my liver wasn’t shutting down. The people at the hospital were convinced it was a suicide attempt and they transferred me by ambulance to a hospital downtown Minneapolis. I was admitted to River Side Hospital at around 3 am on August 15th. I spent the week in the psychiatric ward. I had all kinds of tests done from psychological testing and blood tests. On August 20th at 2pm I was discharged. The whole week in the hospital was crazy. The first day I stayed in my room the whole day. I didn’t eat anything or talk to anyone. I think I may have had some staff check on me and take blood but I was not social and I was not doing well. On day 2 I attended all the groups that were offered that day but stayed in my room during break times. I don’t think I ate that day either. On the third day, Wednesday, I went to all the groups and was out of my room for 12 hours. I finally stopped fighting the process and gave in. I had made a whole bunch of friends. By day four I was making my own activity groups and encouraging others to join the groups. Day 5, Friday, I learned I had lost seven pounds that week because I wasn’t eating or drinking any water. If I wanted to go home I needed to gain all that weight back. So Friday and Saturday my mission was to gain all that weight back. On Saturday I had my weigh in and I had gained 10 pounds back. I was discharged and they let me go home. When I returned home after that week things shifted. Some good ways, some bad. I got a lot more God downloads and I was learning a lot. I got way more involved in my church. But the Moe’s were a healthy family and so eventually it got to the point where I wasn’t been challenged and I wasn’t being required to use my skills. I needed to stay in a place where I would be challenged and forced to stay active with my recovery. It got too easy at the Moe’s. The ending to the story is kind of intense. The family had a family friend that they had known for a few years. He during the summer became another father to me. I trusted him like a dad. I was very very mentally ill and naive so I didn’t see any red flags or signs. When I moved into the Moe’s I was 17 and he completely ignored me. In July when I turned 18 he started becoming very friendly with me. Started giving me hugs and wanting alone time. I am not sure how it even began but somehow sexual questions came up. Whether he started it or I did, I began asking him sexual related questions. I was a very curious young women with lack of boundaries. Those questions became sexual jokes as the weeks progressed. In about August he moved in with the family due to being homeless. After a few weeks his wife and one of their kids came and lived with the Moe’s as well. At the beginning of October the jokes became reality. I remember the abuse occurring for four days. He sexually abused me. Thankfully it wasn’t rape. He didn’t get that far. He played a lot of mind games with me. I have to take responsibility for sure. I for sure asked for some things but I don’t think I really knew what I was asking for. I tried to say no but he got really scary and I had to. He wouldn’t let me be around the Moe’s alone during that time. He was also teaching me how to smoke cigarettes and he was talking about prostitution and giving me alcohol. He was married, with 4 kids so by no means was this ok or appropriate at all. He was older for sure. I told the Moe’s on the way home from therapy one night and I had to go spend the night at my parents. I ended up being asked to leave due to violating their home. I had lied a whole bunch that summer so when I told he lied about it. He said I was making it all up even though I had evidence. He was a very smooth talker. I took all the blame and made it sound consensual. It didn’t come out until this past November (2013) that it was more so abuse and less consensual. This man also undermined the Moe’s. He told me that they didn’t really care about me, that I shouldn’t dump my drama on them, that I shouldn’t tell them all I was telling them. He really wanted me to rebel and not be close with them. It took a week for him to admit what had happened and he was kicked out of their home as well. I was so messed up. I thought we could still be friends and I kept trying to message this man after the event and I defended him up the hill. I thought I loved him and cared about him and I still even saw him as a dad after this event. This all went down October 2011. I didn’t seem him again till spring 2012 and it was horrible. I freaked out. 1 second I was at one side of the church and the next second I was at the other. I was really scared that morning. As the weeks went on I got really scared and really paranoid that this man would come find me to finish me off. I had nightmares. Every week at church I was terrified he was gonna show up and kidnap me. He was ex-marine and bragged about it constantly and so I knew he was strong. Summer 2013 (so about a year after I saw him last) I was finally okay and not paranoid at church. He was starting to finally get out of my brain. Then on November 9th he returned. 3 days after my break up. oh my goodness talk about a horrible night. I was very panicky and very scared. That night is when people starting hearing the real story. They were really confused because my story a little more than a year and half later was completely different. I used all my therapy skills, everything I had within me to get through that night. Only when I thought I was clear I wasn’t. He approached me on his way out. He grabbed my hand and said “oh that’s a cool tattoo” I said:” you were there when I got it”. He asked how I was doing and how life was and I told him it is what I make it. I had a classmate right next to me, however he didn’t know who this man was and what this man did to me or else he would have said something. I was so frozen in fear I didn’t even know what to say or do. I was shaking and scared to death. If that night wasn’t bad enough he had returned about 9 more times in the following 3 or so months. Almost weekly. I saw him about 8 times. Those 8 times were so freaking crazy hard. He has continued to show up but it’s been more random and every few weeks. I had major PTSD. All the while I was trying to grieve the loss of a boyfriend and then my grandpa died on December 18th. I am thankful I have been in therapy since November 7th and am going through some trauma therapy that really helps when I see this man. Through a lot of help from God, therapy and friends I have officially mastered over this man as a trigger. I am able to face him and be fine. Sometimes my legs go weak or I lose my breath but I am able to stand tall. The man that sexually abused me has nothing over me. Just keep fighting. Just keep trying. Breakthrough comes! Healing may take some time. There are layers to healing. So the reason why I was asked to leave the Moe’s was really serious. But it didn’t permanently damage the relationship I have with the Moe’s. The Moe’s are still key people in my life. I talk to them almost every day. We have family hang outs. They will be in my life till the day I die. Those kids feel like my brother and sister. Me and the Moe’s often sit back and laugh and reminisce about those crazy 4 months. All my actions. I even just laugh at the crazy things I said and did. That was the starting place. That’s where it all started for recovery 1. The freedom I had tasted in 2009 was now going to be a reality!

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