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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