Disclaimer: This story contains explicit details of child abuse and neglect that may be upsetting to some.
Dear Biological Lady and Biological Man,
I was robbed of my innocence.
Every piece of joy was gutted from my life at a young age.
Your love didn’t run deep enough for me.
Your love was complex with layers and conditions with little to no room for a child.
And as I age, I can see that most people actually don’t realize how many times you tried to dispose of me.
I can never begin to understand what went on through your head.
I have flashbacks of tears and moments where I fought for my life.
Which was at the age where no child should know pain and fear like I experienced.
This picture reminds me I experienced pain.
This picture reminds me of just one snapshot of happiness in a brutally sad story.
This picture reminds me I am not a survivor of child abuse; I have scars that will never heal which tell a story of the day I almost took my last forever breath of air.
In this snapshot photo, I am the one lucky little girl who made it past some of the worst days anyone should experience.
Just so today I would be able to share the story of how my past will never define my life.
It shaped me into who I am today and gave me enough strength to live a life that has an abundance of love for my own children, without conditions and complexity.
The rights you didn’t afford me.
Sometimes I find myself thinking about what you thought you still had control over.
The answer is simple: you have control over nothing.
Dear Biological Lady,
I think you believed with all your heart and soul regardless of what you put me through in my younger years,
You would always have a say in my life; you would always have an opinion and voice that was valid.
Mostly I think you convinced yourself I would keep you around and present in my life forever.
How many years did it take for you to realize I gave up on you?
I wish I could ask you that and you would know what kind of answer I was looking for.
I am sure some people on the outside may think I am heartless.
But the amount of pain you added to my life was heavy, especially for a child.
And it is especially unforgivable when you take no responsibility and have zero remorse.
I want you to know I never forgot.
I never forgot getting forced fed one moment to being starved another.
I will never forget opening birthday presents then having them thrown away or put away to never be played with.
I have flashbacks of slamming doors and running as fast as my legs could go, knowing very well when you got ahold of me I was in trouble.
I was locked away in the basement and this is just a tiny piece of the sadness I endured.
I will always remember those who saw me from a distance and tried to help; it’s like they secretly knew I was in a never-ending nightmare.
You had rights to me but you gambled with my life way too many times.
I was disposable and you were okay with that.
You were careless and you were violent.
Thank you for seeing me as disposable.
Thank you for not caring for me enough to keep me breathing.
Thank you, because of your neglect, I got raised right and got to live a beautiful life without you.
And that is just one of the many things I am thankful for.
Dear Biological Man,
I think you believed with all your heart and soul regardless of what you put me through in my younger years…
It was the right thing to do, it was your idea of unconditional love.
You had whispers in your ear to hold me down.
You had whispers in your ear to tell the same story why I was covered in bruises.
You had whispers in your ear to lock me in my bedroom for endless hours.
You had whispers in your ear to only discipline with force and rage in your voice.
The problem was you listened to the whispering lady.
The issue was you listened to the lady who had no love in her heart.
The disaster was you couldn’t stop till I was removed.
I was removed from you.
I was removed from her.
I was removed and no one could understand why looking from the outside.
All the secrets.
I was the little girl whose story no one knew.
The problem was everything in this sad story happened behind closed doors.
Where a child screaming for help was never heard outside the four walls of the home.
I was disposable and you were okay with that.
The one thing I don’t think you were prepared for how afraid I was of you.
I was terrified to stay frozen in moments of abuse.
I knew to move, I knew to run, I knew this was not a normal life for a child.
I was the child who knew at a very young age how to call for help on the phone hiding in the closet.
I was the child who knew I couldn’t stay with you because this life had to be something better.
I was the child who is thankful for the tears, the hardships, and the journey that got me to where I am.
Each moment that has happened in my life gave me the courage to live better than the start.
‘You should forgive,’ is what I am told.
No forgiveness was to be found when I was held down in the tub under the water till my body started to feel numb.
I wish I could say that only happened once.
But it happened enough to become routine.
No forgiveness was to be found when I was dragged down a flight of stairs by my long braided hair.
I wish I could say it didn’t hurt.
But it happened so much that I learned to not fight getting dragged by my hair because it was less painful then.
I have no forgiveness for those who have caused me harm.
I believe that humans can change, evolve, and grow.
I believe people make mistakes.
I believe in second chances for those who earn one.
But I have yet to forgive my biological parents.
And to be honest, I probably never will.
That doesn’t make me heartless.
That means I have boundaries.
That doesn’t make me a horrible person.
It means my life has the value they never had for me.
I was too little to be heard.
I was too young to be taken seriously.
Years of distance.
Years of self-love.
Years of living my life without them.
Years is what it took to heal from all the damage and wreckage they caused in my life when I was young and vulnerable.
And in case you were wondering, you can and will heal without forgiving those who hurt you.
I am living proof of that.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Emde of Journey for Avery. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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