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JUST A DEAD-END STREET



It appears that the Children's Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida where I was raised as a child has taken a far worse toll on many of the children that were placed in their care than I had ever suspected.

When I first started writing my stories about 15 years ago, I was not sure what I would find, if and when I ever searched out many of the boys and girls who had been abused by this same orphanage that I had lived in back in the 1950s and 60s. Boy! What a mess I have uncovered in the last 15 years.

If there is any one thing that I have noticed about each and every one of these abused children (now adults) and what they all have in common with one another it is an unintentional, unknown withdrawal from what I would call "emotional reality." Even the one or two out of the 150 to 200 children who may have become financially successful through the years also fall into this same category. This one unusual feature is like a plague among these individuals, more so with orphan children (now adults) than with children who were raised with and abused by their own parents.

Believe me, there is enough greed, hatred, sorrow, spite, selfishness and bad temperament in these few orphan kids that it could fulfill this planets unwanted need for these types of evil things for the next 1,000 years or so.

Not being able to get emotionally close to another human being after becoming an adult would be expected and I guess somewhat normal for a child who had been abused on a daily basis for more than 10 years - especially by unrelated strangers known to them only as house parent, matron and/or the like.

But what I do not understand is why they would treat their own kind so badly and so distrustfully. Especially after knowing that these are the only other people on the face of the planet, who could possibly understand what it is that they are thinking, feeling and searching for inside themselves. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

There comes a time in our lives when we just have to grow up, no matter what happen to us in the past. That does not mean that we "have to get over it," because that is not going to happen in most cases. It is who we have become. It just means that we have to move on with our lives and that we have to live with and get along with other people - innocent people who had nothing to do with what happen to us in the past.

I have learned to live with and get along with other people by keeping my mouth shut. I know the difference between right and wrong just as I know the difference between up and down. It is not very difficult to be kind and courteous to others. It is not hard to treat others as you wish to be treated.

I have to admit that it is somewhat harder for me as an orphan to be kind to others. I guess, because kindness does not come to me automatically. I have to think about it for a while, when the time arises. I have to see if some sort of a feeling comes over me and then I have to figure out where that strange feeling fits into the scheme of things as a whole. I do not want to look ridiculous in front of everyone or to be told that I am stupid.

It is like being in a restaurant and as you look around the dining room, you see that everyone else is holding a fork in his or her hand and that you are the only one holding a wrench. You are smart enough to know that something is not right, but you can't quite put you finger on what is wrong.

Orphanages do not teach or even allow the children to make any decisions on their own, whatsoever. That is done so the orphanage can keep total control at all times by making everyone move and think in the same mode. That way, even when the matrons are not watching the children, the kids will always walk to the left together and then will always walk to the right together.

The group, now being trained to be "a herd" will never separate and travel in different directions. They will always stay together, just like a school of fish when a shark is after them. It becomes a protective device. Within a year or two and with the right type of brain washing, it becomes automatic and a way of "normal life." When these same children grow up and become adults, they continue to do the same kind of things. It is all they know; therefore it must be right.

Most of these kids, including myself (6), have been married numerous times. Most of us can only survive in an incarcerated setting, such as a jail or prison. The ones who do remain outside in a normal society become almost reclusive and in most cases go from partner to partner, year after year or they live alone without anyone, including their children. They do not necessarily like it that way, because they know that they are missing something special. Some of the finer things that go along with life itself; such as parties, friends, friendships, sex and so on. But they are willing to give up everything, because they feel that they do not fit in with the rest of the world.

They are lonely, they are different and they have no idea whatsoever why they are like this. They have searched their minds for years and years, and they just do not understand "why." They will never understand what it was that caused this to happen to them. Mainly, because they are innocent of being taught to believe that two plus two equals five, just to keep order in the herd.

They are and will always be most comfortable in a setting where they can be alone or blend into the school of fish once again to feel safe and secure from the sharks, who are now long gone or dead.


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