All of it. Cover to cover. Uninterrupted. Just like I wanted to.
It was, for me, a rather powerful read. So powerful, that I had to stop in-between chapters to regain strength before I could continue. I can’t tell the difference…I can’t tell you if it was her words that were so powerful, or if it was the memories that the book evoked, which just made the book seem so powerful.
I didn’t have the big dramatic crying breakdown like I expected. Instead, I simply collapsed, and slept in-between chapters. It took me two days to read a 245-page book. Normally, I can read 245 pages in a few hours.
I thought I would feel differently after reading the book. I thought I would feel some sort of fullness, like after a really good meal. I wanted to feel wholly and completely satisfied after finishing the book. However, I am left feeling incredibly heavy, and just plain sad.
I haven’t thought about the reasons I was sent to Cascade, in a very long time. I don’t like to remember the reasons.
I haven’t thought about that rock at the gated entrance for almost 15 years. The descriptions in the book brought that rock, the dormitory bathrooms, digging ditches, endless nights on dishes, smoosh piles, bans, the intensity of rap / forum sessions, my ‘little girl inside’ and a deluge of good and bad memories back to life… which are all now running (alive and well) inside my head…with an enormous force.
I was especially taken with the chapters where she focused on a few of the many ‘workshops’ that we endured during our two-three year stay(s). I suspect, I will be spending the next few days going over the details of my own workshop(s).
I am glad to say that Alison Weaver, author of Gone To The Crazies, did not give The Cascade School a scathing indictment. She appears to be on the fence, like most of us who attended, as to weather or not the school did more harm then help.
[May I suggest demand, all of the other Cascadian’s to read the book before posting a review on Amazon].
Weather you attended the school or not, it’s a pretty good read. But, I am not sure if people that did not attend Cascade will fully appreciate the book. She left out a lot of detail. There are a lot of holes in the book. On the other hand, she definitely scratched the surface; enough so that I wonder what other ‘Cascadian’s’ will be publishing their own books, about their personal experiences. Maybe one day I will be one of them?
Much like Alison, I went bat.shit.crazy after my stay at Cascade. She is absolutely correct in her statement, the school left us ill prepared for real life. When you are living in such an isolated environment for so long, you become a product of that very environment. Going back to the real world was nothing short of culture shock. The place you once loathed, became the very place you longed to stay.
I often wonder why or how I made it through this life of mine, alive. I think it is in part, because Cascade drew a very clear line for me, one that I refused to cross, even at my worst downward spiral of self-destruction, Even when I was at my-rock-bottom-personal-hell (age28) while looking at my own unrecognizable reflection in the dressing room of a go-go bar, I vaguely remembered the little girl Cascade had given back to me. I haven’t talked to her, or thought of her, let alone taken care of her in a very long time.
Currently missing everyone I attended Cascade with.