This web site contains stories of physical, mental, emotional, and sexual child abuse.

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"Shut your mouths and watch the picture show," said Mrs. Winters the head matron of the orphanage where we children lived in Jacksonville, Florida.

This was the first time I ever remember the orphanage people taking us kids to the movie theater. Most of the years that we kids lived in the orphanage, we just sat in our rooms or worked raking leaves, and cleaning the floors and bathrooms.

I am not even sure what the name of the movie was, 'cause it was already started by the time we got there.

It was really hard for us kids to be quiet, 'cause of all those thousands of people yelling and screaming hoping that those big lions would eat all those Christian people that they put in that big circle-looking building with great big, high walls. Plus, all that noise from those running horses pulling those little two-wheeled carts around with men riding in them.

One thing I do remember for sure was seeing a man with a long beard being hung on a cross, just like Jesus, except he was being hung upside down. That really hurt me inside and I started to cry real loud when I saw that on the movie screen.

"SHUT UP, Roger Dean!" yelled Mrs. Winters as she reached over and slapped me on the back of the head.

"That's a real bad thing for people to do," I said.

"Dry it up! Sit up and shut up, right now! Do you understand? Shut your damn mouth and watch the movie."

She reached forward grabbing my shirt by the collar, pulling it tight around my neck and then pushing me forward in my seat. I just could not stop crying, no matter how hard I tried. That was the most sad thing I had ever seen in my whole entire life - all those people in the movie yelling, screaming and laughing at how they were treating that poor old man.

After the movie was over, all us kids were taken back to the orphanage where we did our cleaning chores. Then I went up to my room and got in the clothes closet. I closed the door real tight, so it was dark inside. Then I prayed for Jesus to forgive all those mean people - not for killing the man on the cross, but for ‘laughing’ about the bad thing they had just done.

I think that was the part that hurt me the most. I had always thought that laughing was supposed to be only a good thing, but I guess with old people, it's not.

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