Kidnapped This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , kent, WA
Here I was, barely 15 and stranded in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My cheeks were raw with tears and I was exhausted from trying to escape my two kidnappers, who pulled me out of bed at 4 a.m. and took me to Clayton, Georgia. Or that is what I kept telling myself.

Reality was, my parents hired my “kidnappers” and they were paying for my stay in Georgia. Merely accepting the fact that I had been sent to a Wilderness program was overwhelming.

“I'm cold,” I said. “Put on your pullover,” they replied, motioning to the orange sweatshirt. “I don't look good in orange.” “When you're cold enough, you'll wear it.” Needless to say, by the end of the night I was wearing the pullover. The other girls were full of grime and boy, did they smell. To my horror, no deodorant was allowed. I became obsessed with staying clean and was proud that my sweatshirt wasn't dirty compared to the other girls', which were now a shade of brown.

The weirdest experience of my life happened in a bathroom. I had been in the woods for a month. Biting into a monster carrot, my permanent retainer snapped and I was given the luxury of riding in a heated car to the dentist. Entering the building, I immediately asked to go to the restroom, excited to use a real toilet and sink. I froze in front of the mirror. I hadn't seen my image in so long that I had actually forgotten what I looked like. It sounds stupid, but when I looked in the mirror, I didn't recognize myself. I cannot explain the feeling, but it was between astonishment and downright creepiness.

Making friends with the girls who had been there the longest, I learned the ropes from the best. For example, hiking in the front of the line gives you more resting time, since you have to stop often to wait for the slow hikers to catch up. All the consequences were natural. If you didn't tend the fire, you'd be cold. If you didn't ration your food each week, you'd be hungry. I faced my fears and pushed myself to what I never imagined was possible. The external factors broke me down. For the first time, my emotional vulnerability was out in the open. When I look back on it, I miss it, yet I wouldn't want to do it ever again.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 18 comments. Post your own now!

Sandy Smith said...
Jan. 23, 2015 at 3:41 am
At least she didn't die as so many teenagers who were sent to wilderness program. Natural consequences in the wilderness is death if you don't get the teachings in time and there is very far to the nearest hospital if something goes wrong.
KnitsandPurls said...
Aug. 21, 2012 at 9:04 am
Well-done! I wasn't bored, even though I sometimes am in stories full of specifics. Awesome.
tr3bl3grrl said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm
It's weird...I love your story, and how it leads you to believe you're being kidnapped, but...hey, people? SHE WASN'T ACTUALLY KIDNAPPED. GOT THAT? STOP ASKING WHAT IT WAS LIKE AND ALL THAT STUFF. IT IS CALLED POETIC LICENSE. SHE WENT TO A SUMMER CAMP. NOT ACTUALLY KIDNAPPED. Okay, I'm good.
Krissy S. said...
May 4, 2011 at 10:50 am
This is very shocking i cant belive this and why is the story called kidnapped when you didnt even mention anything about being kidnapped
KeyonnaC.P. replied...
Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm
She kind of referenced it in the first paragraph.
Baby Swagger said...
May 4, 2011 at 10:01 am
OMG!!!! how did they kidnapp you like did you run at all?
ClarinetPower replied...
Jul. 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm
Try actually reading the story before you comment!
Hover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm
Great writing and great message!
CindyAguilar said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 3:27 am
A family friends daughter got kidnapped it was so scary. She was gone for a whole month. Everyone in the family here in america pitched in to send money to our grandpa so he can give it to the father. I feel bad for anyone who gets kidnapped.
-h0p3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

I don't know if you really understand the point of this story ^^;;


I am sorry that happened, though <3

TheEpicEchelon replied...
Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm
In the story, she is saying she was forced to be in a camp, and her "Kidnappers" were the instructors. In the end, she did not notice herself, hence, people who are kidnapped for years don't get a chance to be themselves, some never get to see their reflection. Atleast, that was my understanding of the article.
KeyonnaC.P. replied...
Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm
I think it was more of: when you're stranded in the wild for more than a few days with no civilized source of running water or bathroom, you're bound to not recognize yourself because of the dirt and grime that accumulates. At the same time, I think she referenced a kind of internal growth that she hadn't realized she'd undergone and, hence, couldn't find the connection between who she was going in and who she was coming out.
alanacarlene said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm
I like this! You indeed learned a very important lesson and I'm glad someone can learn lessons like this! I liked this a lot.
EternalAlexandra said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm
it was a good lesson, good job :)
PrincessPineapple said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm
this is good! i love the lesson it teaches!
DanceAway This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm
This was so interesting! good job. I like the part where you can barely recognize yourself in the mirror.
adastraabextra This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 9, 2009 at 11:55 pm
amazing job, i too, have been to similar places (more than one) and know what its like. im glad it seemed to have an affect on you. great work tho!! :)
Hellomynameisthatguyatthebar said...
Oct. 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm
I liked it. It was really interesting but in an exiting way. Well written.
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