Monday, January 12, 2009

From Behind Bars, Part XV, on that One Time I Farted in Honesty Group

I am a woman of many bodily functions. Combine that with massive amounts of weight gain, gallons of boost, no place to do it in privacy, and you’ve got yourself a classic story of That One Girl Who Farted in Honesty Group.

For those of you who are not familiar with Honesty Group, and I hope there are a lot of you,(!) let me give you a brief history on what it’s all about:
Every Tuesday night, from 7 pm till whenever the confessional was deemed to end, the girls on RTC (residential treatment center – that means you had been in IP at least 7 weeks and were practically recovered and moved to a less intensive part of the unit) were made to sit in a group and confess their sins of the past week or like, life or whatever. The masterminds of this group (probably a group of therapists taking their patient’s opiates) thought that the group would be beneficial for the following reasons:
1. Laugh about it in treatment team the next day when they found out a girl did secret, special things in her room when everybody was asleep.
2. Time filler, plain and simple. Unthinkable that the “untouchables” should get even 10 minutes of spare time
3. Punishment
4. Depriving us of our media outlet. You see, Tuesday night was the coveted TV night. You only got one a week, and you were able to watch it beginning when the last group of the night ended until lights out, which was around 10ish. (Oh, and TV night in and of itself should be a post all on its own. We were not allowed to watch shows with disturbing themes or language, women who were too beautiful or too thin, people who were too overweight, any show with food in it, people who engaged in anything that looked like it was even close to any addiction like alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, and cowbells. This left us with the Discovery Channel on Humpback Whales (Aaah! I’m so triggered! Once I got called a whale!! Or Inside the Actor’s Studio, and even though there was a chance you could see a hot, young, skinny celebrity on there, the show was too damn boring to watch much anyway.)

Now, telling you about TV night is important because you have to realize that Honesty Group was the only thing left in our way before we could learn more about Humpbacks.
Humpbacks were our only link left to the outside world.

So basically, everybody hated the group and wanted it to get over with. Every Tuesday before the group began, we’d have to read a Very Important Document stating what Honesty Group was, why it was important (it’s the only way you’ll recover lalala) and once that was read, the time was turned over to us to begin the purging of our souls. Except, except (EXCEPT). There was a catch: if you were honest about a rule you had broken while confined during imprisonment, YOU STILL HAD TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES. So basically, you’re willfully walking the plank on this one. I mean, WHY? If you were ballsy enough to break a rule, AND cool enough to have gotten away with it, why on earth would you tarnish your excellent track record, be honest, and get the consequences for it? Like, I’d have been all over Honesty Group if by being honest you’d have gotten a Get out of Jail Free card. I think it only fair. You’re brave enough to come clean, and you get rewarded for being ridiculously responsible and still get to have privileges. But NOOOOOOOO. You still got phase dropped or caution status’ed up or lynched or something. So why would we talk? None of us could figure it out either!!!!

So basically, most of the time it was silent. Aside from the tapping of feet, the looking at watches, seeing if we were missing the lame TV shows that we were allowed to watch, that is. Now, I never really talked in Honesty Group, because I was definitely never a rule breaker. But there were some goooood Dishonesty Bombs that were dropped in my day. For instance:
One girl had stolen a tech’s set of keys for MONTHS so she could let herself into a bathroom and do things NOT conducive to a recovering bulimic. I think she was sentenced to death on that one.
Some other poor girl had been squirreling her salt packets away in her sleeves for no conceivable reason I could ever think of. I think it was mostly just to take a walk on the wild side.
One girl stole a pair of scissors from the art room, and that was basically the worst because they put the unit on lock down and frisked us in our sad, weight gaining skivvies to find out who had done it.
Oh and one girl ACTUALLY DID, IN FACT, confess to doing secret, special things alone in her room at night. And in the shower. And at the breakfast table, which takes miracle muscles, if you ask me.

So really, Honesty Group could be quite entertaining. Only, most of the time it wasn’t. Most of the time it was minor offenses with little or no penalty time.

So, on that fated night, I was sitting on the large sofa next to Whit. We were all staring glumly at the ground, waiting for somebody to say something so that the group could get over with and we could fill our heads with watered down media images.

Okay, look, I’d had gas ALL DAY, alright? Do you know how freeeeeeaaaaaaking hard it is to hold it in for 8 hours and counting? I’m never alone! I can’t do that sort of thing whenever I need to! And it was making me bloated and gurgly, and I was bored, and I couldn’t take it anymore. So, I lifted up my left cheek so it wouldn’t vibrate the entire sofa, and let it rip. And rip (so, so unfortunately) it did. It wasn’t one of those cute ones babies do, or even one of those accidental squeakers. It was LOUD and LONG. And if you know me, that’s absolutely in character. And, because I’d lifted a cheek, it all ended up right in Whit’s lap.

Of course, of course, immediately, everybody burst into laughter. I did too. Hell, it was funny! It was the best thing that had happened to Honesty Group in a long time, and I also, felt much, much better. Totally bonus, right?


Of course it took awhile for everyone to stop complaining about the smell and stop laughing enough to resume the painstaking silence. But once it did, nobody could stop tittering, and once when some girl dared to start talking about that one time she stole a pink pen from Rite Aid when she was five, some girl, usually Whit, would burst out laughing again and COMPLETELY ruin the whole thing.

Ah, man. It was beautiful. The Immortal Fart. It will forever be remembered in the annals of CFC history.

FINALLY it ends, I take some Gas X, and it’s all good, right? NOPE. Wrongsky again.

The next day when my therapist finally got me to concede to actually going into individual, apparently it had gotten CHARTED that I had farted in honestly group and ruined the whole thing. WHO CHARTS THAT? Who writes “Patient got a little out of control last night and farted?”

And what kind of therapist PUNISHES YOU FOR IT? I got chewed out, guys. Lectured for farting?? Where was I? A cushy $1000/day treatment facility or a Nazi concentration camp? You tell me. Although, if you think about it, I got exactly what I deserved, in that lame lame lamazdoid group: I needed to fart. I was entirely HONEST about it. And I got the consequences. Chewage out by therapist and an order to hang my head in shame.

Anyway, after that, cuz I was so bugged, I never came clean about the iPod I managed to keep hidden for the entirety of my months spent there. It was an amazing feat, and I’d tell you the methods to my genius, but I think care techs read my blog, plus I don’t want to give any of ya’ll ideas.

But personally? I’d take a Fart Confession to an iPod Confession any day. What about you?


brie said...

this was fun! i'm thinking i should write these more often. what do you think?

Penny said...

I think that you should write them more often too. Actually, I can just see you and alas smell you there. Your writing is clever, funny and brillant. I laughed aloud several times. I can't imagine charting your transgression but (you did not seem very repentant so thats probably why)!

Savannah said...

Oh gosh, this was hilarious, and I may have quite possibly peed myself during this wonderful blog. I could not believe what some of the people had admitted in honesty group. That is priceless! I could never understand that group and I loathed it. I don't recall anything really cool happening during my honesty groups. Damn. Thank you very much for the laughs :) Love ya!

Kyla said...

I can't believe they CHARTED that!

kristin said...

Brie, this was hilarious! I needed a good laugh. Thanks so much for it!

I love your honesty! ;)

Take care!

love, kristin

jana bananas said...

Oh my god, this was freaking hilarious! I loved it!

satisfiction said...

Totally awesome. Is it wrong that I found your tagline "breathe it in" especially funny on top of this post? I don't think it's wrong. I think it's awesome.

Kara said...

Your farting experience shows the epitome of the CFC experience - no one could have even planned it that good!

Charted it on though?! That is ridiculous, yet so typical of CFC caretechs. Reminds of my ridiculous charting experience when I was there... I went with my T to go to individual and she said that someone had charted that I had been very "demanding" that week. I was really hurt that someone would call me demanding, so I demanded (haha) that my therapist e-mail the caretechs and have whoever wrote it to explain it more (because I couldn't think of anything that I did that could have been demanding, the caretechs barely do anything fr you anyway) - and guess what? No one came forward as to writing it in my chart. The word demanding appeared on my chart a few other times that week and NO ONE would claim it. It pissed me off. Good ol' CFC...

I can't wait for the next installment of Behind Bars!

racher said...

honesty group was so tortuous... i spent the entire time trying to think of something i could reasonably confess to (be it real or made up) with as little punishment as possible....just to make the time go by and the techs feel like we had a successful honesty group.

the worst is that there was absolutely no sarcasm, laughter or lightheartedness allowed....and absolutely no could you ruin group like that? i think that your behavior set my personal recovery back at least 6 or maybe 7 minutes.

Sarah said...


when I was in rehab they used to show us, get this, tapes of Intervention. But they cut out anything that might possibly trigger anyone in any way. So each episode was about 7 minutes long. Heh.

Keely said...

ha ha ha! I definitely think you should write these more often brie. You seriously make my day. No, seriously.

A little self disclosure time. So, I was in family therapy (with Kim) with Kirsi and I farted.
"oh, excuse me."
We continue like nothing happened.
Then another one!
We were talking about confronting eachother and calling me out on neg. behavior.
Kims like "so lets use this example. Keely, I've noticed that you've farted twice in the last few minutes. Kirsi, how do you feel about that."
ha hah ha!

I swear everything you said above is true. There is no privacy and they just build up, you know? The only thing I would add is that I hate honesty because you can never ask to go pee in that group and I was dying. My bladder was thisclose from exploding.

Write another!!!

Keely said...

I can't believe they charted it either. Geez. I wonder if Kim charted that I did too. hm.

Keely said...

I wonder what they charted when I was being a HUGE jerk after putting on the scrubs?

Jackie said...

I LOVED this post. I think you should continue on in your series...I love you and all your fartiness!!! xoxo

Krista said...

Someone really talked about doing "that" while at the breakfast table??? I am bit creeped out by that. I think that there is enough gas inside CFC to make quite the bomb if anyone ever lit a match in that place.

brie said...

krista, someone didn't talk about doing "that" at the table, they ACTUALLY DID "that!"

Heth said...

Woah. I that is hilarious. I honestly can't believe that was even charted. They must've been told they were slacking at their jobs and needed to write more crap up. How lame. Soometimes I wonder what they charted about my swearing and constant screaming at them. Authority issues? Out of control self-absorbed angry time-bombed anorexic girl?

Keep writing, it's fun to read nad also brings back funny memories of when I was there, both with and without you! : )

Standing in the Rain said...

Hilarious Brie! Especially that they would chart it. I mean c'mon, it's an ED treatment facility, if you can't handle farts and poo talk, find a new freakin' job.

You have such a good sense of humor. Seriously. Keep writing.

lucky said...

Oh god, I just cracked up. I haven't laughed by myself in a very long time!!

Laura said...

can't get more honest than that.

kb said...

You should know that farting lowers your blood pressure, which can be a good thing (depending, of course, on the person's blood pressure).

Krystle said...

Rofl! I love you! This is too funny, and I can't believe they wrote you up for that! All the stuff they make you eat in treatment, it was a miracle that you only farted in honesty group! ;)

ania said...

Hey there, Brie.

When I saw this as an option on your survey, I knew, knew it would have something to do with Boost, or increased protien intake. Or, increased Boost High Protein Intake (Yowsza).

Knew it.

brie said...

yeah, writing this was definitely so much fun! i'm going to write them more often. if you have any suggestions or ideas of what you'd like to hear about hit me with 'em so that i can get to all of them...

Courtney said...

Brie I love it! Thanks for making me laugh today--I needed it after getting sprayed by flying poop and dropping my cell phone in the bathtub at the same time my little dude was peeing, pooping, and spitting up in his bathwater.

I can't remember if you've already written about these, but I vote for an installment on unit freeze (well, maybe that's too similar to honesty group for your next topic) or those wonderful challenge food days. Or Art with Andy--too bad you weren't there when he tried to get us to do charcoal drawings and half the girls decided to cover their bodies with the stuff instead. I'm thinking they did it just so we could spend some extra time outside because there was no way they'd let us trek our dirty selves (it somehow managed to get on everyone whether we wanted it or not!) back through the "fancy" halls before we got cleaned up!

racher said...

i think you should maybe make a list of the rules you might have...i mean maybe personally or know of personally... maybe had something to do with their creation of said rule?

NoSurfGirl said...

Definitely the fart confession. Maybe.

"Tuesday night was the coveted TV night"

Dang, I knew I should have switched shifts with Kjerstin when I had the chance :)

Brooke said...

Yo Brie. Hilarious. KUDOS. I've had multiple incidents of my girls farting in groups. They have since learned to run to the door and stick their little asses' out. You can always still hear it though. And then I snicker to myself with a grim little smile. I'm staff; I shouldn't be doing that!I can't help it. Why? BECAUSE I AM FRIEKING' IMMATURE. That's why. And I can't help's funny, why not laugh about it. Plus, I know those long loud powerful farts. They definitely rock the room when I let one go! BTW, people at my work probably would have charted you too, but only because they are bored and have nothing else to write!!

PTC said...

I think I just peed my pants. (kidding). That was absolutely hysterical!!! Freaking funny as all hell!! I was busting a gut.

Seriously, who the hell would fess up if you got away with in the first place? Not me. And I would so love to know where you hid your Ipod. Please, please, do share with me.