Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LOULOU'S STORY: CON MAN STEALS MORE THAN FAMILY'S MONEY IN PHONY ED TREATMENT CENTRE SCAM...



Not only was their money stolen, but their hopes shattered...

From Loulou:

"LOULOU TREATMENT SCAM

Kia ora, my name is LouLou. I had a blog called B00stF0rward.

I have had an eating disorder for 5 years, although I was in denial for the entirety of the past 5 years. I have gone from anorexia, to bulimia, to anorexia, to bulimia.

Three months ago I drove home to my parents’ house. I was stressed, I was coming down off drugs and I had finished my most recent freelance contract, which was working nights. I was tired and feeling really bad about myself.

My bulimia took hold in the most ferocious form it had ever been in.

I spent 8 weeks in a binge/purge cycle that started the moment I woke up and finished the moment I fell asleep, moaning from the pain and feeling sick from the sugar.

I decided I needed help. 8 weeks of treating my body this way was affecting every avenue of my life. My family, my relationships, my career, my body, my physical and mental health were all suffering. Considerably.

I had my first therapy session one Monday, I couldn’t leave the house to get to it. In fact, I hadn't left mum and dad’s house once since that first day I got there.

I realised when I had missed therapy that day that if I didn't go to my appointments I would never get better. So that was the day I started searching online about the world of recovery.

I was like a crack addict, addicted to the words I was reading. The hope filled my heart and I didn't stop searching recovery for days. I started a blog called B00stF0rward. This became my major outlet and form of support. Therapy is very effective, and meal plans and nutrition are incredibly key, but there is nothing more powerful than people who share your illness, supporting each other through recovery. The blogging community has played the biggest part in my recovery so far.

I knew I needed to get some residential treatment to help me move forward, as I was finding life incredibly difficult. I knew therapy was good but I felt like it was only a couple of hours out of the week and this was not enough.

I contacted a Treatment Clinic which deals with addictions, breakdowns and eating disorders.

The man there had suffered from an addiction himself, and he told me most of the staff had been through their fair share of problems before entering the health sector. The main counsellor had overcome an eating disorder herself.

The programme was 30 days and had about 6 hours of Therapy per day, one on ones, group therapy sessions and art therapy sessions. They complemented the therapy with yoga, taiji, massage, hypnotherapy and many other forms or alternative healing and bushwalks.

I finally decided to enter the programme, and Mum and Dad went to view the facilities and talk to M*** about the programme and how they could help me.

He showed them photos and information on the staff, the grounds, my bedroom and told them about the other clients who would be entering the same time as me, including another girl with an eating disorder. Mum and Dad were convinced this would be helpful for my recovery so we confirmed my place in the clinic, paid the deposit, and sat tight for a few weeks waiting for the day it was meant to begin. We bought all the things the welcome pack suggested, such as comfortable clothes for yoga, etc. I went through all my old memories, collecting journals and letters that I thought I should take with me to explore in therapy.

The day was coming close and M*** rang. He told us we would have to delay the programme by a week due to staff issues. That was fine. We decided a week wasn't long in the grand scheme of things.

A week later we set off in the car, packed and ready. Today was finally the day my treatment would begin. I was so ready. I was nervous. I was excited.

We drove up the long driveway and got out of the car. The place was closed completely, all doors were locked, and there was nobody to be seen. The rubbish bin was filled with beer bottles and shredded paperwork.

It turns out M*** was scamming us from the get-go.

He listened to my problems, he assured my desperate parents that they would be able to assist in my path to a better life.

He lied.

I had even given this bastard my blog to read.

I felt sick, I felt violated, I felt like all my hopes were shattered. Our family is devastated.
I hadn't been receiving any kind of therapy as I was waiting for the programme to begin. This guy ran away with 16,000 of my parents money, money they couldn't really afford to part with in the first place, money that was meant for treatment to help me. This happened 5 days ago.

I have had to change my blog’s URL and make it private. This is another reason I am writing here, because I love being a part of the blogging community, and I am so determined in recovery. I would love to invite readers with eating disorders to continue writing, reading and healing with me. Please e-mail amanda.brunning@gmail.com with the name of your blog, and I will invite you to my new one.

I am so determined in my path. I am a very positive person, and I have so much faith and hope.

My Recovery

I'm a loyal and caring friend, a loving but guilt-filled family member. I love reiki. I am notoriously unreliable. I never know where my money goes. I love Bob Marley and my beautiful soul sisters who make my heart sing. I also have an eating disorder, a tormenting voice who has constantly played mean tricks on me and really got in the way of my life. I am not here to talk about calories. I am here to get better. I am on a path to becoming a woman enjoying wellness and I have a lot of hope. HELL YEAH so follow and heal through writing.

I hope I can take my blog off private when this mess is over, when the guy is put in jail or exposed in the media. Nobody should get away with taking advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable. I still have faith though, recovery is possible and I believe in myself.

Arohanui

Lou”


LouLou, I hope that piece of shite gets his just desserts...sooner rather than later.

My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

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6 comments:

Lou Lou said...

thanks so much for posting this, i wrote a list of 100 things i want to do today, and forgiving this guy was one of them.
if people are wondering where my blog is gone, this is a great explanation, thanks so much for posting this up. i am moving on from it, i am still continuing with recovery, trying even harder now.
xx

Medusa said...

LouLou, you're so welcome.

You're a far better person than me for forgiving that guy. I'd be "loaded for bear," wandering the streets looking for him.

Kudos to you for sticking to recovery and not letting this get you down.

~ Medusa
xoxoxo

mischa.soleil said...

Hi, LouLou! I was searching for help for about 14 years, now I am 29. An ED is not my major problem, nobody has stolen my money. All the "therapy" was actually maltreatment in different ways but I guess I have found help now. I´ve moved (escaped) just with the things I could carry, and now, yeah, I get help. I thought if I won´t get help this time I hope it will be over for me soon. I apologize for my English. ^^(Maybe I should "share my story", don´t know ...) I try to say: Don´t give up! You rock! ... or maybe better: You REGGAE! :D *hugs*

Lou Lou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i love bows:) said...

loubie im so so proud of you for how you have picked yourself up from this.
it makes me so angry that someone would do that to a vulnerable person, and i admire the way yuo have managed to handle this.

im thinking of you, and i think your fabulous!i cant get onto your new blog anymore...only form link on someonelses blog:( im writing my list today!

love and kia kahora!haha
vics xxx

mischa.soleil said...

@Lou Lou: Yes, things really seem to work out for me now. Still no therapy but a few very kind people who help with everything. Hope things will become MUCH better for you, too. And that the police will come after him. Yop.