Condemning Us to Help

Author notes: This book is heavily based upon information and cases of the true story book/document Help at Any Cost by Maia Svalavitz. It is a shocking book that thoroughly disturbed me to the point that I wrote this story based upon it.


I still have nightmares sometimes about how it all began… being shaken roughly awake, yanked out of my bed by three strangers and forced to follow them… not that I don't have nightmares about all the rest as well. Trust me, I do- nearly every aspect of my five months at New Hope Academy for Behaviorally Challenged Adolescent Girls has come back several times to haunt me in my dreams. What they did to us, what they made us do… it makes me shake when I remember it, and I have to fight off a panic attack. When I cannot keep myself from remembering the other girls, I usually can't help but cry. Especially Claudia, god, especially poor little Claudia.

I was sent there because, supposedly, I was "emotionally disturbed" and in need of their "help" and "therapy". All I can say to that is I'm more in need of help and therapy now than the day I first set foot in that place… because of New Hope, me, my life, my memories and emotions, are all a complete mess.