Still Ask Why

by Kodie L
(Virginia, U.S.A.)

My name is Kodie, and this is the story of how I became who I am today. Everyone goes through something traumatic in their life; some more than others. My story is not a pretty one nor is it going to be glorified. It has graphic content and some may find it to be unnerving and disturbing.

My parents were young when they had me, and they were not prepared like most parents. My mother was hooked on drugs and my father was in and out of the system. When I was only four months old, they chose to give me up. The family they gave me to weren’t the best people by a long shot. They were the type to smile to your face and then stab you in the back when you weren’t expecting it. I was just another child to them. I grew up with two older sisters, and then three more children were adopted.

There are times where I still feel the pain. Times when I still ask myself, “Why me?” But I still don’t have the answers; I still don’t have closure. It has taken me thirteen long years to muster up the courage to write this, and it’s still hard to talk about. I laugh and joke about it, and tell people that I’m an open book and it doesn’t hurt to talk about what I’ve gone through. But it does hurt.

Every day I wake up thankful for where I am today. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to find them and ask them why they did it to me. Why they would put anyone through that pain and suffering. But I fear that day may never come. When you read this story, know that I’ve become stronger by writing this.

Out of all of my siblings that I had, I was the one who always felt their wrath. You rarely hear the stories of the children who were abused, locked up, beaten, or worse. But today, another story is being brought to the light.

My first memory that I can clearly recall is my birthday. I don’t know how old I was, just that I was still in diapers at the time. I remember walking up the stairs from the basement and seeing a sea of faces that I didn’t recognize, and a bunch of toys for a kid my age; a Nerf football that whistles when you throw it, Sock ‘em Bop ‘em, and others. “Kodie,” she says, “those aren’t for you.” When I heard this, my heart dropped just like any other kid's would. Sad, I walked out the front door to see a cut out board with a clown on it, the kind that you would stick your head into and take pictures in. Other kids were sitting there and throwing sponges with paint on them, laughing and running around having a good ole time. When the whole event was over, I remember watching them throw out the gifts that others had brought for me. That’s where my story begins.

I remember being beaten senseless for no reason. I still remember being taken into the shed and being spanked with a piece of wood that had a nail in it. Why? I don’t know. I was their best kept secret. I stayed in a room in the basement that was chain locked on both doors, a bed and a tv with nothing but religion tapes on it. Was I fed? Rarely. When I was, it was after they had left the house, and I would try and sneak out of the room. There was a full kitchen downstairs, but it was rarely stocked. The best things I could find were a bag of brown sugar, sometimes a diet coke in the fridge with a Mr. Goodbar candy bar. I remember always having the fear of getting caught, knowing that there would just be pain. This is only the beginning of a vicious cycle that I had to go through for seven years, each day more and more agonizing. You lose track of time when you have no friends, you don't see the sun, and all you hear is the small voice in your head trying to scream for help.

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Comments for Still Ask Why

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Feb 29, 2016
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I do hope you're in some form of therapy for what you endured at the hands of these vile people. For whatever reason, they certainly had it in for you...that's not an excuse, nor is it in any way a blaming finger pointed at you. The system wasn't around to protect you, either from your birth parents or from these sick & twisted adoptives. You were abandoned and betrayed so many times.

Asking why is a natural thing, but never leads to any answers. Even if you were to get the answers you're looking for from these evil people, the answers would be woefully inadequate.

Those of us who go through abuse, severe and otherwise, tend to ask "why me". But we also typically say we wouldn't wish the abuse on our worst enemy. Yet the very question of "why me" almost dispels that latter since when we ask "why me" we're also asking "why not someone else". We don't do this consciously, but it's an important thing to understand. There is always the other question that comes up as we try to get our heads wrapped around what we endured, and that is "what did I do to deserve this". And of course, the answer to that is nothing. I'm bringing this up because I learned a long time ago that questioning my own questions and what they really meant was holding back my ability to heal. And also that those questions led to other questions and the deep need to confront my abusers, which when I did, set me back in ways I had never anticipated. Eventually, I had to accept the sincere apology I never received so that my abusers no longer had power or control over me. As long as I kept asking why, they were still in my head. And that's not where I wanted them to be. I wanted it to be ME in my head, not them.

What happened to you was horrible in the worst way, Kodie. And it did happen. And now you are no longer in that abusive environment, meaning that long-term healing has a much better chance of happening for you.

I love that you are grateful every day. It's a marvelous way to help turn things around in a positive way. I'm delighted that you are writing what you endured, because writing can be extremely cathartic. But it can also help to make sense of nonsense, clear and release pent up feelings and emotions, and can also serve to help move beyond that past that is still haunting.

Consider helping others who have gone through something similar. In the end, Kodie, you and only YOU, get to decide how what you went through is going to impact you and the world. You can choose to use the terrible experiences as a way to bring purpose into your life. Or you can choose something else, something less healing. The choice is yours to make.

There's no doubt that you're very strong. It's what got your through it all. But sometimes it's that very strength that can prevent us from taking our healing to the next level. The very thing that brought us survival during those worst times in childhood can be the very thing that we need to change in adulthood so that our lives today can be lovingly functional, healthy, and back in our own control.

I send you love, light and healing energy, Kodie. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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