“Let me give you the tour,” said Ms. Charmaine. That was the second phase after intake of what I am calling the BHT Mansion. BHT is used in this context to describe behavioral health therapy. This type of care refers to “the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions related to mental health such as substance abuse, life stressors, crises, trauma, and stress-related physical symptoms” (Americal Medical Association, 2022).

This 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom mansion was set up differently than your average healing retreat. Not at all like a hospital or psych ward setting. A large-sized estate on many lands, basketball court, lake, pool, hot tub, luxury rooms and restrooms, walking trails, and 15 people living in the house. This does not include the medical specialist’s teams in place to provide guidance and support for client-centered care using systematic approaches.


The BHT Mansion, once housing famous actor and Hollywood hunk, Chris Pratt, provided an unexplainable positive experience towards healing and recovery for us, those before us, and those who are yet to come after us. There was a lot of space and time to reflect and find productive ways of dealing with self-discovery, recovery, and mindfulness. The intake, vitals, and property process brought only one thought to mind: “It just got real”. The reality of what I just experienced just weeks prior that brought me to an extreme place of vulnerability is something I was not ready for. I did not want to face my demons; they were already rearing their ugly heads around every corner of my head, heart, and mind.

It would only be a week before this that I was not eating, sleeping, self-medicating, and attempt of suicide on my life. Since the end of 2022, I felt as though it was a slow spiral that took me to a place of defeat. Even then, keeping a smile on my face through the broken and toxic relationships, manipulation, abuse, and abandonment would be the triggered trauma that would float to the surface to the point of death.

After the advice of passive family relationships, I came to the harsh reality of what became truth over the lie I believed for too long, “I’m fine”. I wasn’t fine. I hadn’t been for a long time. I have always tried to be a positive person for those around me but I forgot how to care for myself. Putting others before myself, people-pleasing,, over-working, and my self-destruction put me in an inescapable prison of persecution and mutilation. I had to tread carefully when I explored my journey from then to now. It is a daily battle to choose forgiveness, and positive vibes, and to move forward. Even now, as I look back, it is still unreal how I could have gotten here. I still ask myself how I could have been so stupid and be consumed by the desire to have affection, affirmation, acceptance, and intimacy that I allowed my mind, spirit, and especially my body to be used, controlled, and abused.

What happened, you ask? There aren’t sufficient words for what the last 7 months showed me about myself. Primarily, I learned how to shame myself, hate myself, allow myself to be manipulated think everything was my fault, the need to please through walking on eggshells, and never feeling good enough. The discovery of how I got here can be described in just 3 words… I WAS DECEIVED!

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