Most counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists agree that until a person either admits they have a problem or they hit “rock bottom” no one is able to help that person; the consensus, as well, is, if a person has even one person that they have convinced that they do not have a problem (the term is triangulated), then the person most likely will not “hit rock bottom.” Our Hope is that the girl realizes that she is a sinner and will come to a Saving Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


When the girls come in they do not feel they have any problems, it is their parents, their siblings, and everyone else who have the problems; one girl stated that she was FINE with the way her life had been at home. Her parents, on the other hand were NOT fine with the way things had been at home. The hope is that she will realize that she has a problem and she needs to change this behavior, many parents share how they have tried “everything”: grounding, disciplining, counseling (secular and Christian), medications, grounding, homeschooling, involvement with the law, psychiatric hospitals/facilities, living with friends or other family members, etc., all to no avail. The parents do not know what to do, they cannot live “as prisoners in their own homes,” cannot get help that works, and cannot continue to live in fear for themselves, their daughter, or their other children; they hope to help the girl make changes that will enable her to live a successful life and become a productive member of society.


When a girl arrives there is a period of adjustment, which we call the “honeymoon period,” where she usually complies and gives us very few problems, this can last from a few hours to months. After the girl “settles in,” whether it is because she is comfortable with us, or she realizes that her parents will not come and remove her immediately, things change drastically, all of the behaviors she exhibited at home come out, and we see the “real” girl. We then try to work with her, showing her how her behavior is destructive, that she did these same things at home, pointing her to ways that will help her, unfortunately, many times, they do not want to change the behavior or still want to blame others, this time it is us, or the other girls.


“Fake it until you make it” used to be the motto spoken amongst themselves, we have not heard them say it but have watched them perform it. Many times they profess to get saved, or they start “complying” but when they see it does not make them “happy” or get them something, they want they stop. They are “doing good” because they have a true heart change, they are “doing good” to manipulate and get their way. Many times their parents will contact us and tell us that they or daughter is reverting back to her old patterns; they will say something like: I can see “that” look, or “that” action, I can “hear” “that” tone, usually followed by: this is what is coming next. The girl gets angry at us, and tells us that WE are causing her to do this, even though this is what she always does. Recently, one parent stated “if she would just comply her life would be so much better. This behavior will get her nowhere in life.”


When the girl never believes that her actions and behaviors are hers or are a problem she sees no need to change. Some of the times


The behaviors which caused the parents to make this decision include, but are not limited to:


Refusing to do their school work

Violence at home and/or school

Self-harm

Refusing to do anything they are told

Threatening family members

Stealing

Gang affiliations

Starting drugs

Smoking, drinking, boys

Lie about their parents to school personnel and to Government officials

Lying about boys doing things to them, especially when the girl gets caught

Triangulating one parent against another, or someone else against their parents


We have hesitated sharing the backgrounds of the girls we take in, because our hope and prayer is that they will change, and that their past will not be their present and future. We realize that we must share them as discreetly as we can so that their present behavior might be understood.


Backgrounds of some of the girls:


1.)

One girl had made sexual allegations against her step-father, he was found guilty and was not allowed to be around young people; he had been the coach for her brother’s sports teams, now he could not do this. The girl’s father and step-mother took the young lady and the girl would never be allowed to live in the mother’s home, again. At the father’s home, which was nowhere near the mother’s home, the girl found the same type of friends and started exhibiting the same behavior, lying, stealing, smoking, and staying out all night. Dad tried everything to help his daughter, to no avail. She came to us.


While with us, the girl showed improvement, although there were areas of concern as well. One time she shared that she no longer smoked cigarettes, we looked at her and said “of course not! You don’t have ACCESS to cigarettes or drugs.” One time she had been taken off of sweets for one week, she was caught putting several teaspoons of sugar in her coffee, when no one was watching; we explained to her mother that she still desires what she should not have, such as drugs. Luke 11:24-26 explains this, if a person “cleans up their life” but does not fill it with the Bible, and good things, they will be worse than they were before they “cleaned up their life.”


After being with us for over a year, it appeared that the young lady had changed her behavior, and her father and step-mother thought they had safe-guards in place, to keep the girl away from her bad behaviors. They would take her to church, and drop her off, she would go in the front door, walk through the foyer, and go out the back door to meet her friends and smoke and do drugs; they found this out when they went back to pick her up after church one day and she was not there.

They brought her back to the ranch, and just a few weeks before she was to graduate she walked off of the property. She apologized later and asked to be allowed to come back and finish her school. She did not carry through on this.


She loved working with the horses and had such a fun personality. She was always making us laugh, and pulling pranks on us.


2.)

This girl was younger, when her parents called us. They said she refused to do anything she was told, was not doing her school work, and was out of control. She gave us problems from the minute she arrived; as with the others, it was never her fault. She immediately started triangulating with her parents and Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, and it was working, her step-mother always felt bad for her, and would reassure her that she knew that she hadn’t done anything wrong. yet, when we spoke with her, she informed us that she knew that the girl was doing exactly what she did at home, what caused them to have to make the decision to send her to us. Unfortunately, this was hurting the young lady, and was causing her to become bitter and angry, because she felt we were lying to her. We often see a pattern of enabling behavior with parents, they hope they can appease their child into doing what is right, unfortunately this leads to the child becoming more bitter and angry. They feel they are never wrong, and when a consequence comes, they are a victim. Her parents proved to be less than honest with us, as well. It was sad to watch this young girl triangulate so well.



3.)

Such a pretty, sweet-looking and sounding, young lady. She was good at playing the victim, then she got caught breaking her parents rules and earned some consequences that she did not like. When she got to school she told her school counselor that her step-mother abused her. CPS showed up at the school and spoke with her, her step-mother was cleared and they contacted us. Whenever a situation came up, where the girl was wrong, she always made it appear that the “other girls were out to get her.” She went home and appeared to do well, she had struggles, which is to be expected, but counseled with her Pastor. Within a year the girl had gotten in with the wrong crowd, started doing drugs, as soon as she was caught she started blaming everyone.



4.)

This young lady had been causing problems at home for quite awhile, but her parents thought they could weather the storm, until one day her father, who was a well known detective, was confronted at work about his abuse of his daughter. She had gone to school and showed a counselor “the bruises that she had on her body from her father’s beating.” A nurse had enough common sense to use alcohol on the “bruises” and found out it was make-up, which the girl had learned how to apply in drama class. The young lady eventually went home, and appeared to integrate back into the family, but shortly afterward, the bottom fell out and she went straight back to her old ways.


5.)

We have had many young ladies brought to us from other facilities. The girls were determined to get kicked out, and they did. Many times the Director of the other facility calls and asks us to consider taking the girl, because the parents have no idea what to do, but the facility has reached the end of their resources for the girl. Some run away from the facility on a regular basis, some are abusive to the staff, some have abused younger girls while there, while others are flat-out rebellious and refuse to do anything they are told, all of them cause chaos which affects the other residents and the staff.


One of these girls stands out, she was transported here, and was so angry and violent that she bit the person who was transporting her on the leg. She caused disruption here, refusing to do as she was told, finding ways to disrupt everyday activities. After awhile, she realized that this was not working, and she settled down. Several months later the transporter brought a different girl, and inquired about her, she spoke to him and apologized for biting him. She shared how thankful she was that she was safe.


She had such a beautiful smile that would light up the room, and she would laugh at the silliest things.


When she left, she had nothing but praises and thanks for us and plans for a bright future. We are not sure what happened, but she has since joined with the choir of voices accusing us and attacking us.




6.)

A desperate call of help from an Aunt who adopted her niece; the girl had multiple police and CPS interactions. These ranged from making allegations against her mom to physical assault against her peers. Her mom was afraid that she was going to lose her job, because she was constantly having to leave work to bail her daughter out of trouble. She was so concerned that her daughter would finally do something that would cause her to be arrested.


The girl loved sports, softball was her favorite and she really enjoyed being around the horses; her laugh was infectious and her eyes sparkled.


It was such a sad day when she decided to run away because she did not think she was going home; the saddest part was she would be leaving in a few weeks. She had just had a visit and her mom and step-father were in the process of finalizing all of the plans to take her home. It hurts when they run away, thinking it makes it easier on them, then they make up lies to the authorities, to scare their parents into taking them home. However, on their visit they praise Circle of Hope Girls Ranch and the staff for changing their life.