My Parents Locked Me Up In Basement For Days Because I Was A Bad Girl
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Hello, I’m Anne, and I was adopted at the age of 13 because my parents were abusive… and I didn’t realize it.
You see, my parents were pretty… weird. They would literally lock me up in our basement if I did something wrong. Basically, if I would break something, or go to bed too late, or even TALK too loudly, they would send me to the basement, never really explaining what I did wrong.
I would sit there in the darkness. The only light coming out was from a small window that I couldn’t reach. When I was 6 or 8, I didn’t really understand what was happening. The only thing I had when I was down there was my imagination, I even had an imaginary friend. I used to talk with him, but then my parents said that I couldn’t do that either. Yeah.
As I got older, like around 12, I wasn’t sent to the basement as often as when I was a kid. Instead, my parents created a “strike” system – if I did three “wrong” things, then I would be sent to the basement. It was only then that I started to really see how my parents were talking to each other. Or more accurately, WEREN’T talking to each other. They were just sitting silently, never saying a word to each other. Even if they did, it was my Mom who was shouting and Dad was ignoring her.
They became more strict, too. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere after school, and I wasn’t allowed to talk to boys. I had to sit in my room after school and be extremely quiet. They didn’t really care about my life – if I had adequate grades, it was enough for them.
I saw how other teenagers were at school, they were all talking to each other and laughing, and I couldn’t because I was afraid of my parents. They forbade me to tell anyone anything about our family, saying that “family matters should stay in the family.”
The only person I talked with was a boy named James. I tried to avoid him, because I wasn’t allowed to talk with boys, but he was persistent. He also came from a bad family, so we had something to talk about. He would tell me how horrible his life at home was and I started to realize that mine wasn’t any better. What was so crazy was that I didn’t even UNDERSTAND that it was bad.
When I was 13, my parents locked me up again. And I realized that I was tall enough to open that window. Because of James, I wanted to change something, and this was my small chance to do it. I crawled out of the window and just walked around the block. I was so happy that I found a way to avoid sitting in the dark basement. It was the best moment of my life back then.
I was back by the time my punishment was supposed to end, and nobody noticed anything. So I started doing it regularly. Sometimes James would come over and we would walk together for an hour. His parents didn’t care where he was.
This continued for a month, but then James disappeared. I guess his parents moved away and I couldn’t reach out to him because I had restricted access to social media.
I continued to do it alone, but one day... my parents caught me. I crawled back in and saw my Father standing in the middle of the basement, in the dark. I was so scared and I tried to say something, but nothing came out.
He took me to my mother and they both told me to get out of their house. They said, “If you want to live like homeless person, go and be homeless!“ I begged them to not throw me out, but they didn’t listen to a word I said. I was in tears, and this was rare, because I didn’t cry much, I was just too accustomed to my life being like this. But what happened that day... it was a bit much even for me. Now I realize that they just wanted to scare me and they weren't REALLY throwing me out. But back then… it was scary, yeah.
I didn’t know where to go, so I went straight to school. It was the only other place I really knew, to be honest. It was nighttime, so I was trying to be as invisible as possible. School was closed at night, of course, so I had to wait the entire night there. I hid behind one bush and tried to sleep, but it didn’t work, I was too worried and scared. I guess my parents didn’t expect me to really go somewhere and not just wait for them to change their minds in the front yard. But I didn’t have a phone, so they couldn’t call. And they probably didn’t even try.
After a very long and cold night, our school security guard came to open the school. He noticed me lying in the bushes and walked over to me with a flashlight and asked angrily, “What are you doing here!?” I said, “I’m sorry, please, I don’t have anywhere else to go…”
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