My untold story

Sheryl Li
6 min readApr 15, 2023

My main purpose for writing this is for others who may be going through a situation similar to mine to see that there are other people like you; you are not alone. I remember not having a clue of what the future held, often losing hope and felt as if I had made a mistake. I also want to preface that this is unedited + a rough draft.

Throughout my childhood, various beliefs have been ingrained within me, such as: girls are innately inferior to men, I was ugly, having a boyfriend automatically made me a ditzy girl with no direction. Often times I would be punished through measures such as my mother rage cutting my hair into a hideous bob cut, biting me, dragging me around the living room, not being allowed to eat, isolation from friends and family, being kicked out, endless beatings, endless degrading statements. I remember after hanging out with a friend in middle school, my mother took a random stop and made me stand out side in the rain. I had been brainwashed to think that I deserved this treatment. I would say more, but you get the point.

A definite start to my journey was around this time last year, when I was in a healthy relationship that healed some parts and to which I’ve gained more confidence in myself. I had been hanging out, and have gone back inside for a quick break. My brother came into the door, saying that they were playing badminton, so I wanted to join. When I walked out, I was greeted with angry slaps across my face and incessant degrading. Knowing that a guest was in the house, I attempted to protect myself by holding up my arms in front of my face. I have tried to block this out from my memory, but I remember being so hurt by what was said to me that I couldn’t stop my tears from running down my face. My friend heard yelling, came outside, and was greeted with being told about how they were going to die early, etc. My mother continues to hit me. I didn’t know what to do, so I scream out on top of my lungs. Out of nowhere, my father slams a badminton racket on the top of my head, and kicks me with full force on my right hip. I fall down, covering my head from attacks from both sides.

Eventually, I get up and go back in the house, pretending to work on my phone. I don’t know what went through my head, but it was a feeling of empowerment that I didn’t have before. I was desperate, at my breaking point. I emailed my school principal, and then the police showed up. The second they knocked on the door, I couldn’t stop crying and then I explained to them what happened. When they questioned my mother, she confidently admitted that she had slapped me, while my dad blatantly lied about hitting me (this is a motif throughout- them lying to the police). I ended up staying at my friends house the following night and attending school the next day (which I mostly spent in the office). I was offered a variable of resources, but the one thing that occurred which helped was that a CPS case was made.

While living with my friend, we decided to go to the hospital for a psych eval- which I completely regret. They put me in this emergency unit for three days, no electronics, no outside view, and because I could only receive calls from family, I had no communication with anyone (no family was gonna care enough to call). At night there would be other kids banging and screaming, and I was treated like a walking disease or something. Highly don’t recommend. Traumatizing, and I understand why people don’t get better in mental hospitals. My mother had to pick me up, and it was so scary. They didn’t care, and gave her my phone (which she was going to take away) despite my objection that the social worker said I was to have my phone at all times. The second I get in the car, the feeling of fear crept over me again and I was told all bad things and threats. I got home, I wasn’t allowed to go upstairs, slept on the basement floor near the stairs. When I went upstairs to my room the next morning for new clothes, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to.

My first meeting with the social worker from CPS was discouraging. I was hoping that they put me out of the house, but what followed was a series of meetings and multiple safety plans (that my parents didn’t follow). At the time I felt as if I made a mistake, because now more than ever was I alienated and isolated. My mother put a camera in my room, and I only stayed in my room the entire summer. I couldn’t smile or laugh, as I’d get in trouble. I wasn’t allowed to eat with family, etc. I was very skinny throughout the summer. My mother is very clearly mentally ill, and they’ve made her get a psych eval as part of the safety plan that she never followed. The result of the first case was something on my parent’s permanent record, which I obviously got blamed for. With the case over, I thought that I had lost. Eventually, a new case opened up with family preservation but that didn’t work out either. Lol, my mother threatened to sue them but didn’t know what suing meant. Overall I cried a ton in secret because I had lost all hope and couldn’t call/text a single soul either.

When the school year began, I started to pay for everything myself and had to quit all of my extracurriculars. I constantly was worried about college admissions too. I’ve received tons of support from my school which I’m very grateful for. This year, I got my phone taken so I bought another because I’m a baddie. But things became difficult when they excluded me so much from the family that I had no internet the second I got home, took my computer away, and had no food for me. I was also limited to only one bowl to ever eat from, because everything I touched apparently had disease. I couldn’t talk to my brothers because the second they come close to me they would be called/pulled away. The feeling of being hated by family is hard to describe. It becomes even worse when you go to school surrounded by other students who have extremely supportive parents. Even worse was that people at school for some reason found me an easy target and trash talks/hate me for no reason. No one at school could tell what was going on because I put in effort in the way I looked + dressed. A few people that I’ve told this about have also used it against me as well. I felt a need for human connection or interaction since I lacked so much of it.


Anyways, fast forward to recently, I updated the previous social worker on what’s been happening. A new case opened, and one day I was going home during spring break (no internet at home, went to starbucks for free internet) and no one was home even the three times. I had no key to the house (it was taken away from me), and they changed the garage code. Basically the new social worker had to do a removal I guess, and now I’m in a foster home. Court is next week I think but the actual trial is in a month. I really hope I can gather more strength to push through and be excellent. I do worry about how I’m going to pay for college and how college admissions may see me, but it is okay. Right now I feel like I’m so behind compared to everyone else and felt hopeless on how I’m going to stand out. But I will push through! I will update this as time goes on.