Take Care Ladies and know you are free now xo]]>
Yes, I went into labor in Sept 1960 in the dispensary & was taken – by auto – to the (then) Illinois Research Hospital on the near west side of Chicago, later known as Presbyterian St Lukes. Remember, this was before the expressway system, so the automobile ride took Roosevelt Road (US 38) all the way in: I remember every bump & pothole. What a horror! After I gave birth – later that day – I was kept overnight & taken back to the dispensary in Geneva, where I stayed until my release from the School in October 1960. I gave the baby up for adoption.
I do not know of any instances where any births took place at the Illinois State Training School for Girls during my 6-month stay there in 1960. I can imagine where an emergency could occur – premature births, accidents, spontaneous abortions, etc. where that might have become necessary, but it did not during that time nor did I meet anyone who recalled anything of that nature.
I can imagine that before a comprehensive road system (circa mid-50’s) where that would have been necessary due to a lack of area hospitals at the time.]]>
So great to hear from a male’s point of view – especially your recollections as a 15 year old. Please tell us more about your experiences and what you are doing now, Rudy.]]>
Hi Star, I do remember the girl that swallowed pins and needles and was sent for surgery. I remember seeing her abdomen and all the scars. I won’t mention her name here, but she was a white girl with short curly hair. I’ve written in my journals about her and often wondered if she survived in life.
I was in the Dispensary in the room next to her’s during one of her recoverys from surgery. One day we were sitting in the hall waiting to see the doctor and she showed me the scars from her second attempt at suicide. She stayed in the Dispensary till she was taken to Elgin State Hospital.
Maybe you remember me I worked in the kitchen on weekends. One day I found a box of tea bags and asked the cook “could I please have a little tea?” She was a friendly older lady and said “I don’t see any harm in it”, and allowed me to have a cup.
After that I’d have tea every weekend and share it with the girls I worked with. Soon after that I got the nickname “liltea”.
I struggled with alcohol and drugs too trying to make sense of the hand I’d been dealt in life. The drugs and alcohol numbed the pain and dulled the memories for awhile, but soon I realized they were a crutch and I had to stand alone and face life.
I still struggle with OCD and anxiety, but now I have a supportive husband and amazing kids that do their best to try and understand by loving me and allowing me the space I need to deal with my demons. They are awesome!!]]>
I believe I was there in 1969??? I would have been 14. I thought maybe Brenda may have remembered me since I think we were there around the same time. There is so much of my past that I blocked out of my mind. I have no idea way I started looking for information on Geneva, now. I guess it has haunted me my whole life. My life has not been bad. I have suffered from depression and anxiety my whole life but that started prior to being incarcerated. It just was wrong to put troubled young girls into a place like Geneva School for girls. Most of them weren’t bad, just emotional troubled. I did struggle with alcohol and drugs for a time, but today thing s are good. I have 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren. We are a very close family despite the mistakes I made in the past. I am very lucky to have them.
As for “Jubilee Lodge in Peoria, IL” it was very nice. More like a girl’s summer camp than a prison. The girls were nice and the staff very freingly.
I think that things must have changed shortly after I was there because what it do remember was horrifying.]]>
What an awful experience and memory, Star. I don’t know anything about Jubilee Lodge. What was it like being there? When were you at Geneva, Star, and how old were you? Did you have a family to go home to? I hope your life is happy now.]]>
I was in incarcerated in Geneva for girl around the same time that you were there. I don’t have many memories of my time there, but the ones I do have are horrifying. I remember that the girls would hook up to together for protection, I think, or companionship. They called their girls something but, I can’t remember what. At movie night I would see the inmates sitting in the dark with their arms around each other. One girl I can’t seem to forget was weak and always picked on. I heard she was sent to the hospital for swallowing pins or needles. She would have rather died than be there another day. Something happened, can’t quite remember, I think that some girls sexually assaulted another girl or pushed her down the stairs. Not sure. But they were caught and put in solitary confinement for a week. They blamed me for telling and swore to kill me when they got out. I was put in the kitchen for my own protection and was transferred to another facility called “Jubilee Lodge in Peoria” before the girls got out of solitary.
I do believe if they didn’t get me out of there I would be dead.
Yes, I remember the smell from the two canning factories in Hoopeston, not a fond memory. When I was about 6 I use to walk to 2nd Avenue, a cobblestone street where the migrants use to drive the tractors that pulled the wagons filled with corn. Sometimes they would throw corn off the wagon. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized they were not throwing corn to me, but at me. LOL
When I was young I use to faint a lot and now I think it was a fight or flight response to seeing or hearing something I couldn’t accept. My first trip to Geneva I fainted several times and each time I was sent to see the psych doctor. He’d asked me sexually explicit questions and enjoyed doing so. After one long embarrassing session I told my counselor what he was saying and doing, big mistake. She confronted him with me right there. He didn’t even try to deny it, instead very calmly he said I was seeking attention and the fainting wasn’t bringing the attention I wanted so I was now lying for attention. I was punished for telling the person I was suppose to trust that the psych doctor was molesting me. I’d love to see her today I think I’d slap her and as for the doc I’d ask him a few questions while I held a hot poker to his balls.
I left Geneva a few months later after a complete breakdown and went to a Youths Diagnostic Center where I finally told them the psych doctor at Geneva was molesting me. I remember being told there was an investigation with the psych doctor and me worrying what he was going to do to me when I had to return to Geneva to finish my sentence. But when I did return I learned he had left Geneva and I never talked about him or what happened until this site.
I’ll email soon and we can plan our visit.]]>