Clearview Students Tell Their Stories
“I have gained credibly and changed both mentally and physically. Before I came here I despised reading, I would never pick up a book and finish it. I have read more than 7 books since my stay here. When I read a book I am deep in the story. My vocabulary increased immensely and I’m able to understand much more than I did before my stay here. I am getting really good grades; when I need assistance in my work I am not afraid to ask for help. I am fortunate to take part in a few trips this past summer. I went on a rock climbing trip and a river rafting trip with the other girls here. It was an unforgettable life experience! I told my therapist and director about when I first started to climb the mountain – when I was climbing the first rock I climbed half way and when I got to the middle of the rock I would just hang there. I would try again and work my way up to the top but I stopped and hung on the rope. I finally got down and gave up. This is what happens in real life with me, I will do really well and keep persevering to the top, but then something goes wrong and I fall straight down hitting rock bottom.
There are 4 levels here:
Resistance – you refuse to cooperate and work your program
Open – you’re open to change and advice on improving your well-being
Initial – you’re holding yourself and others accountable, being honest and reliable, taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone to make changes in your life
Internalizing – taking action without thinking about the situation, internally being the changes you’ve made without having to remind yourself
I have been Level 1 three times, level 2 when I was in a better mindset, and I recently voted up to level 3. I sat in my crap for a year thinking I was going to get out sooner than later. When I realized I’d be here longer than I had planned I stopped being stubborn and wasting my time by deciding to really make and effort to change. Level 3 is a lot of responsibility and hard work; there are times when I want to give up. This is the positive grown up responsibility that I need to accomplish instead of responsibility that is non-working and unhealthy for me.
All the girls and staff here are a positive influence. They and incredibly supportive and take the time to listen and talk with you being completely genuine, honest, patient, and compassionate. In the beginning, I was very negative and brought down anyone else who seemed as vulnerable as myself. I did this for quite some time until the day I said to myself this negativity is only making me worse and wasting my time. With my education, Clearview has helped me finish my credits faster so that I can receive my diploma soon. Every week they have me set goals for my schoolwork so I can stay on track and remain focused on each class. I receive one-on-one work from the teacher every day when I need help and I know the have my best interest in mind when they continue to help push me instead of giving up. They’ve also gotten me a tutor for extra help once during the week. This program has provided me with the best education I’ve ever acquired.
I am really blessed and thankful to be here because there is so much encouragement and compassion; it’s been my second chance in life. I am thankful to be sober and where I am because I know if I were to go back to South Pasadena I would go straight back to my past without any hesitation. That’s when my impulsiveness would take over. I do not like how I am in the middle of nowhere in Montana, but it is good for me because there are no drugs and people to influence me in non-working actions. I understand it’s what I need for my own good to keep me alive and healthy.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to make many changes at Clearview with my education and wellbeing. I am now honest with my parents, staff, the girls here, teachers and therapist. I have the closest relationship with my parents now that I have ever had before. For once I actually enjoy and look forward to talking with my mom and dad each week! In regards to my education, my reading level has gone up vastly and I am able to work independently on my schoolwork without relying on others to give me the answers. I am also able to concentrate and take the time to finish my work as best as I can instead of taking the easy way out. None of this would have been possible without the help, support, and time from Clearview that allowed me to work throughout my issues.
Thank you for your time, energy, and hard work with everything you are doing to help support my education and family”
- Whitney S.
“Clearview taught me to live authentically, accountably, and with integrity. I can tell you that these three things will take you very far in life. By living within these values, you will find that life is simple… I have overcome such hurt and pain and I can honestly say my past no longer defines me, fazes me, or destroys me. I am thankful to get this once in a lifetime opportunity that many people in their lives don’t ever get… I want to thank my family … they gave me me one of the greatest gifts of all…a second chance at living a healthy life.”
- Graduate 12/15
“I was terrified of relationships, with anyone. I hated myself and thought that everyone else did too. I thought everyone has out to hurt me and that no was safe or trust worthy. I screamed at my adoptive parents…about how much I hated everyone and that all I needed in this life was me. I was carrying around so much fear and hurt, but as a little girl around 5 or 6 years old, I promised myself that I would never let anyone see me weak, hurting, scared, or anything less than independent. I wanted so badly to feel loved and to love others, but I couldn’t let myself reach out for those relationships that I wanted so badly, for the longest time, I gave up what I wanted most because I was letting fear drive me.
Clearview taught me to no longer fear others and to accept myself the way that I am. I have made some really strong relationships since.”
- Graduate 10/2015 – Adopted
“I learned to not let others control me and I now don’t need to make everyone else happy to have good healthy relationships. It is a lot easier just to be me and not try and please everyone else – because it doesn’t work. I have also learned to hold myself to a high standard as well as others. I used to be so afraid of what everyone else would say or think about me; but now I have earned respect and have created strong honest relationships. Integrity is important – trust me it is so much easier to jut tell the truth. Having integrity takes you so far – it has helped me not only not build trust with others, but also with myself. I am so much happier with the girl I am. By working on becoming me, I have started on a journey of self-love; one what is to be continued, and one that makes me truly happier than anything else.”
- Graduate 7/2015
“Clearview helped me so much. I learned that I need to hold safe boundaries with guys so that I am doing anything non-working. I also learned about the safe boundaries with my birth-family. Clearview also helped me with relationships, especially with my family! All the not working choices I made pre-program, I do not want to make again because I want a relationship more with my family than with my non-working choices.
I learned a lot about God, too; He is always there. He is always right beside you to hold your hand. I let God in because I knew that if God was with me I was able to fly! God helped me a lot though my program but I also helped myself.”
- Student 6/2015
“As I started to peel back the layers of what was going on, I realized how much I was hurting inside. I can’t stress enough how much I think self-worth is the key to succeeding and recovering. As I continued at Clearview, I learned tons about myself, awareness of my issues, and that I could love myself.”
- Graduate 2015
“A huge step for me was to run with love and not fear. I wasn’t genuinely honest with my parents and others around me with I was running in fear, but to see the change to run with love towards others makes me not so scared to love others who I know love me unconditionally. I am excited and nervous for all that I have in my life in the future awaiting me. I am going to take it step by step and look to God whenever I feel myself slipping into fear.
I am no longer afraid of succeeding; it feels great being able to succeed in your fears and your struggles. At home if I had even a hint of myself succeeding, I would slip into self-sabotage. But now that I have worked through it, I am afraid of the opposite – failing.
I am excited for myself and the progress that I will make at home with my friends and family.”
- Graduate 2015
“I can’t thank Clearview staff enough for being honest and guiding me through my program. They have all given me gifts to be with me for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have done it without such a great support system and without these great friendships.”
- Graduate 2014
“After being here a year, Clearview has become a home away from home… I had a feeling I needed help, but that I couldn’t do it at home, so I asked my parents and therapists to find me some place to go. I realize now that this place was in God’s plan for me, and he protected me and showed me the way to go, even if I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I have changed a lot since my start here at Clearview…I have been through a lot at Clearview, but it ‘s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’ve learned way more than I ever thought I could… The closer and closer I have gotten to leaving, the more I realize what an impact this place has had on me…”
- Graduate 2014
“Clearview Horizon has helped me open up the possibility that self-confidence was possible even for me once I achieved this. Non-working choices seemed far less appealing and not something I needed to do to be worth something.The tools I leave with will help me live the happiest, healthiest life possible that now seems very reachable.”
- Graduate 2014
“Clearview has literally given me a “clear view” as to what life looks like when I apply myself; stay in my higher self. I’ve learned with the help of staff, in importance of organization and how it can be applied to all aspects of life.
Gosh, I don’t know how a year has come and gone so fast, but it has. Learn to love time with yourself. Especially here, it’s rare and valuable. I’ve learned so much. I will take everything I’ve learned here home with me…. Now, what was once a caterpillar has sprouted into a big blue butterfly, and so I’m going to spread my wings and fly.”
- Graduate 2014
“Clearview has helped me more than I can express! I came here with so many issues that I didn’t even know about, and some that I just didn’t want to admit were true. I was a liar, I stole, and I had a bad relationship with my family. I showed emotion through anger, self-harm and making bad decisions; I had low self-esteem. I didn’t have a real relationship with God and with others, and I was confused hurt and lonely. As I began to grow at Clearview I got a clear view of why I did some of these things and why I felt the way I did. Once I got to Clearview my struggle with knowing what to do with all the emotion inside of me was still there.
In my time here I have gained so many qualities I will be able to use throughout my life-time. I gained the ability to be patient and forgiving, and to love and care for people who need it. I now have healthy people to contact and keep me in my higher self. Along with my relationships with friends my relationship with God played a huge part in my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE.” That promise God made for us kept me going through it all. Knowing I have a purpose, and that I am not here for nothing helped me see myself in a brighter light.
Clearview also helped me face my fears and experience “the great outdoors”. I have never been an outside kind of girl so this was hard for me. The two big adventures we went on were a canoe trip and a white water rafting trip. The white water rafting trip is when I really began to see the world’s beauty and began figuring out who I was. There were no outside distractions. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life.”
- Graduate 2014
“I never thought that I could have accomplished all of this in one very short year. I have over come a lot during my stay her at Clearview and I have shown so much growth from the beginning till now… I am now moving on in my program called life, and I am going to do the best that I can do with all the tools that I have learned here. Without Clearview I can honestly say that I have no idea where I would be right now or even if I would be alive. Through my eyes Clearview has saved my life; I am so grateful for every single on the girls here and also all the amazing staff. My life has changed dramatically in a positive way and I am so thankful for this once in a lifetime experience. I will never forget this experience; I will always remember the memories created in this house… I am excited to see what the future holds for us all: we can do amazing things.”
- Graduate 2013
“I had been living a life full of lying, shallow relationships, and addictions. At first it was hard to accepting that I needed to change in order to be happy, but once I accepted that I needed to leave the things that no longer served me, I became happier, and I was ready to work. Clearview is where I grew up, not physically, but mentally. I struggle with a drug addiction, but I have learned how to love every quirk I have…Don’t rush the process. Accept that healing takes time.”
- Graduate 2014
“Clearview will teach you to change your life around, be sober, restore broken relationships, throw away masks you’ve been hiding behind, and take down walls you have built up. So, if you are coming here, search for the truth, to come clean about your past, to realize what you’ve done, and to find ways to cope… to remember who you are – beautiful, strong, worthy, loved, compassionate, funny, courageous young women. This is a time to discover who you are and who you want to be.”
- Graduate 2013
“All my life I was a hurt girl. I have blocked away all the pain of my past and did everything I could not to feel the pain of my childhood. I was the most negative person I knew. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin, and I did everything I could to put a wall in front of me. Time and time again I was hurt, and my self-limiting beliefs rang true to me over and over again. I didn’t see any hope. I felt so alone and trapped. I didn’t even try to change or do something different in my life…. I came upon drugs and they filled the void. They were a constant in my life, and I liked them because they weren’t like people and they didn’t leave me. I played off this image of not caring what I did. The truth is I actually did care. My whole life was a spinning cycle. When I was given a second chance to change, I kept turning it down because I didn’t believe in myself. Sometimes I even lost track of how many programs I had gone to. I did everything in the book to try and hide, but at one point I got so tired of myself.
I finally decided to give it a chance just this one time. The door opened up for me and gave me so much hope. I have never been this happy before and true to myself. I have discovered things about me that I didn’t even know existed. The staff here has helped me so much through my endless struggles. The house moms dealt with all my crap for so long. They were there when I needed to talk. Angie and Toni were the most helpful to me because they gave me much hope. Mike gave me amazing therapy that helped me deal with things that hurt me the most. Luke was always honest with me and always there to help. Mickey was such a help through this whole process. She has stuck with me through so much. She is like a rock in my life that I will go to every time I am struggling… I am looking forward to showing the world what I have to offer. I will be a happy, sober, person. My family is so important to me, and they keep me going when all I want to do is give up. Before giving up, remember the reason you fought for so long. Thank you Clearview for everything. Thanks for showing me that I am a free, brave, determined young woman of God.”
- Graduate 2013
“Moving across the country, making a whole new set of friends, going back to high school, and adapting to a new family and new life all ‘increased my comfort zone’ very much. I think the changes in themselves made me a stronger, more adaptable person and I am much more able to deal with change. Also, the program gave me the chance to really act my own age and experience the high school life that I never would have experienced had I not ended up here. I made friends that I would not have befriended in my old lifestyle. Basically, I opened my mind and found real friends.
Living here for the past almost 11 months has made me a much stronger person physically, mentally, emotionally, and morally. I have changed so much it’s hard to think of how I was before I came to Clearview. I have worked on the many aspects of making myself healthier and stronger and, therefore, happier. I have had the chance to really think about who I am and what I believe in. Right now I have a strong grip on myself and know myself more than ever before. I feel comfortable with who I am and I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone anymore, whereas I used to think that I had to use drugs, friends, relationships, etc., to gain respect for myself. I’m happy with myself and I know now that I deserve more than I used to expect for myself. Now that I have realized this, I think that I can handle relationships, friends, family and life in general much better.
I’m not afraid to stand up for myself. In fact, these days it’s hard for me not to stand up for myself. Now that I’m happy with myself and my life, I have a lot more fun. I try things that I wouldn’t have tried before, and I want to really live my life now, really experience life to its fullest. I’m ready to go out and try everything I’ve always wanted to try!
I have learned so much this year about so many things. Mary Thielbahr, my mentor, has taught me so much about relationships, friendships, family, life and men. I just hope I remember it all when I need it!
This year has been a really good experience and I have grown from it. Even though it wasn’t all fun and games. I’m glad it happened.”
- Graduate 2013
“Wow, this has been such an exciting, unbelievable time at Clearview. I can always look back on my first rough months here and say, wow I’ve changed A LOT. I was this lost, crazy, out-of-control partier/druggie who needed safety and I actually decided it was time for some help. I had many regrets being here and I have lots of amazing moments with other students and staff. I was extremely manipulative and sneaky with everything I did here at Clearview. I was a compulsive liar and started a lot of drama. I was a big mess and I continued to self-sabotage myself anytime something good would happen to me. I continually got consequences for my poor choices.
I have grown so much this year. I can’t even believe all the crazy stuff I did here like when I stole the phone, ran away eight times, gave another student a razor, refused Sat crew, refused my consequences, refused school, getting in people’s faces, locking myself in the bathroom, piercing my ears, stealing people’s clothes, using other people’s things, and it goes on and on. But now I take a look at myself and I see a completely different person in me. I’m this strong woman looking for another chance at life. I know that I’ve earned a new beginning, I deserve and accept it. My mom and I had a toxic relationship and we both didn’t know how to be in a “real” positive relationship. I always told her things to push her away and had no hope. Now we have an amazing relationship thanks to Clearview.
I want to give thanks for everyone who’s helped me through the rough times and all the troubles. Clearview has taught me a lot and has helped me learn how to say no to things and say no to people. I have grown a lot stronger in myself and learned patience, even though I still have a hard time being patient. I’m working on being patient. I am now in an amazing place with myself and everyone here. I still look back to those days and think why did I do these things to myself and to other people? I appreciate all the staff, as much as they can get under my skin sometimes, and I am happy that they have been there for me through hell and back.”
- Graduate 2010
“Saying goodbye is something you have to do with everyone and everything at least once. It is one of the hardest things I have had to do. Being here eleven months is unreal! I have gotten to watch people who I loved more than ever leave as amazing people and now that I get to leave after growing and becoming stronger is such a struggle. I am now saying goodbye to the people I love and care about who have helped me grow into the person I am today.
Clearview has helped me more than I can express! I came here with so many issues that I didn’t even know about, and some that I just didn’t want to admit were true. I was a liar, I stole, I had a bad relationship with my family, I showed emotion through anger, self harm and making bad decisions, I had low self esteem, I didn’t have a real relationship with God and with others, and I was confused, hurt and lonely. As I began to grow at Clearview I got a Clear View of why I did some of these things and why I felt the way I did. Once I got to Clearview my struggle with knowing what to do with all the emotion inside of me was still there. Within the first few months I tried running away thinking it would get me away from my pain, but I found it follows you everywhere you go.
In my time here I have gained so many qualities I will be able to use throughout my lifetime. Having fourteen or more girls living in one house can get quite crazy. There is tons of drama, you never have time to yourself, and sometimes people are here that you just don’t get along with. Because of this I gained the ability to stay out of drama, be patient and forgiving, and to love and care for people who need it. The friendships I have made here are what got me through these eleven months. I now have healthy people to contact and keep me in my higher self. Along with my relationships with friends my relationship with God played a huge part in my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE.” That promise God made for us kept me going through it all. Knowing I have a purpose, and that I am not here for nothing helped me see myself in a brighter light.
Clearview also helped me face my fears and experience “the great outdoors.” I have never been an outside kind of girl so this was hard for me. The two big adventures we went on were a canoe trip and a white water rafting trip. The white water rafting trip is when I really began to see the world’s beauty and began figuring out who I was. There were no outside distractions. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life.
As I look back at my time at Clearview there are things I hated about it, but the good things that I learned from this place overpower the bad! I am a new person and I still have more growing to do but with the tools Clearview gave me I will be able to fight and push through all the hardships life throws my way.”
“I came in as an immature 17 year old going into my senior year of high school. I had more problems than you could imagine. My passion is life was partying and getting as messed up as I possibly could and I had absolutely no intentions of stopping. I also struggled with severe PTSD from all the times I was sexually abused and had flashbacks numerous times a day because of that. I was also very suicidal and struggled with self harm. I was a master manipulator and didn’t care at all who I hurt. My biggest issue was my anxiety disorder. I was having panic attacks every day and had trouble living my everyday life. I came to Clearview taking about 10 different medications and got the nickname “skittles” from Mike Linderman because of it. I was a mess but that’s where I felt comfortable. Eventually I decided I didn’t want to be like this anymore. I started to actually do the work and take the therapists advice and it worked for me. I started getting real with everyone and being honest and I was able to turn my life around. It was not easy but I managed to get through it with support from the staff and students.
I can’t thank all the Clearview staff enough for everything they have done for me. Thank you so much for talking to me and helping me every step of the way, especially the psychologists. I could not have done it without you guys. You are all amazing at what you do.
As for the girls, I am going to miss you guys more than anything. You are all amazing girls with so much potential. We have had many great times at Clearview and I am leaving with so many memories. You guys are my sisters and I will never forget any one of you.
Some words of advice I can leave with you are to take each day you have at Clearview and make the most of it. Although sometimes it seems like you may be here forever, I promise you, you won’t. So while you are here work as hard as you possibly can and enjoy each and every day because one day you are going to leave and it will all just be a memory. Although you are all here for different reasons, Clearview can and will help you as long as you let it. All you have to do is work the program and don’t hold back and you will succeed.
Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be leaving Clearview in a place that I am. I am leaving one day after my 5 month sobriety birthday. I am confident in my sobriety and plan on staying sober at home. I am also a high school graduate and am starting college in September. As far as me emotionally that is the most incredible shift. I am going home confident in myself, my choices, and my future. I am independent and can fully take care of myself. My relationship with my parents is going great. I have a positive outlook on my life. I have healthy coping skills that I practice every day. I also have integrity. And most importantly to me, I have self respect and that was the most difficult thing for me to achieve.
My whole life I felt like my family was never proud of me because I was nothing but a screw up and I was just a big disappointment to everyone. Today I can finally say that that is no longer true because now they are all proud of me, but more importantly I am proud of myself. I honestly couldn’t be prouder of myself for all the progress I have made and everything I have accomplished here. I never thought this would happen. I have come so far in this program and in my life. I wouldn’t take back this experience for anything. Although, I realize that it is my time to move on and go back out into the real world. I do have a Chihuahua that needs me and is waiting for me to come home. I will never forget Clearview Horizon and everyone who has impacted my life here. I will miss you guys so much. Thanks for everything.”
- Graduate 2011