April 26, 2017
“Most people, when they talk about their childhood, a lot of times they talk about these great memories. My childhood was far from that,” says Simon. “I spent most of my early childhood locked up in a cage.”
TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Have a headline-making story in a small town?
When Simon was 2 years old, he was adopted by Sharen and Michael Gravelle. He claims that he and the 10 other foster and adopted kids were “treated like animals” and most were forced to spend time in cages that were 30 inches high, 40 inches wide and 40 inches deep and wired with an alarm to prevent the children from leaving.
“The best way to describe the cage was it was a structure of torture,” Simon says of the brightly painted wood chambers that were surrounded by wire. “During the day, most of the kids were allowed out of the cage except me. I wasn’t allowed out of the cage very much because they didn’t like me.”
WATCH: Teen Says She Asked Parents If She Could Sleep In A Cage: ‘I Wanted To Be Like The Rest Of My Siblings’
Simon claims he slept on a wood floor without a blanket and often had to urinate in the “cage.”
“Sitting in that cage, I felt like a person that didn’t belong in this world, a person that was meant to be tortured. There were some times where I even felt like I deserved it,” the now 18-year-old says.
In the video above, hear more of Simon’s story, including why he says he believes the Gravelles, who were convicted of four felonies and seven misdemeanors and spent two years in prison, treated him and his siblings the way they did. And on Wednesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, watch Simon’s surprise reunion with one of his siblings whom he hasn't seen in 10 years. Check here to see where you can tune in.
TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Life in crisis?