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ORPHANAGE LIFE

I guess the best way to describe what an orphanage does to a person is for you to think about what it would be like to go to school for the very first time and stay there for your entire childhood (18 years).

While everyone else is going home and eating breakfast, dinner and supper (with a family) you are eating in the cafeteria at school. You will remain in that school building, are constantly ordered around and totally controlled at all times. You are never hugged, allowed to chew gum, go to the store or mall, and you never own anything of your own, not even clothes.

When you are not learning, you will clean and take care of the facilities. When the other students go home, you will clean bathrooms and the cafeteria, as well as rake the yards - every day, 365 days a year. There will be no vacation for you, like everyone else.

What little bit you might get, like a toothbrush, comb and soap, will be given to you. You will not complain about it and you will never own it. You will be told that you are lucky to even get or have such things. You will wear your hair as you are told and you will have no right(s) to make 'any decisions' about yourself, your body or your living standards.

This will go on for 18 years. When you finally walk out into the ‘real world,’ you will know nothing about what you can or cannot do. You have been totally controlled for your entire childhood and now you stand there wondering what you can or cannot do without getting into trouble. You are scared and very unsure of yourself. Now you are out in the real world with the same people who for years, made fun of you for not having a real home and laughed at you every single day, because of the clothes you were given to wear.

You will develop relationships very easily. You will also get married, time after time, after time and you will never be able to understand why it never works out. While others are trying to build a life with you based on sitting down to breakfast, dinner and supper, watching TV at night, going to the mall and making decisions for themselves, while ‘you’ sit around trying to control everyone, as though they are still in school. You will do this, because this is all you know how to do. It is all you were taught and it is all you know.

You will not hug anyone, because it serves no purpose other than doing it just because ‘that's what people do.’ Hugging has no feeling or purpose connected to it as far as you are concerned.

You will not be able ‘to party’ or have the feeling of ‘fun’ inside yourself. You will not be able to enjoy yourself, because you were in school 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, while others were ‘learning, feeling and experiencing the joy and happiness’ of going to a prom, pep rally, football and basketball games, dating, kissing, holding hands, playing a band instrument, using a telephone to call friends, being kissed and hugged by someone, having a pet, having some form of privacy, buying something from the store, walking outside at night and looking at the stars, and on and on and on. The list is endless.

You will walk out of that school building years later only a shell of a person and again, you will not even know that there is anything wrong with you. You will not have the slightest idea that there is something 'wrong' with you.

You will think that it is everyone else, that they are all just different from you. When you finally do realize what is wrong, most of your life has now passed. You have children spread all over the country and you have been married many, many times.

You may become a productive individual in society, but that is only because you keep your mouth shut so no one will realize the truth about you.

When you wake up every morning of your adult life, you will feel like you are still in that school building. You will never lose or forget that feeling. Just like others will never forget the feeling of living in a house with a mother, father and a brother or sister.

It was like being born in a prison, living there for 18 years and then walking out into the world expecting to know and feel what everyone else knows and feels.

Then comes the ‘I'll change you’ part. For years they (the doctors) will try to make you feel what having a mother and father is like, but that feeling never comes. That lonely space inside of you never goes away and no one seems to understand that. Finally, you realize that you are who you are and you make the best of it.

You know the difference between right and wrong, and that is how you structure your entire life - with only your brain and not your emotions, because you have none. Even when someone dies, you only shed tears because ‘it is the right thing to do.’ The sadness is there, but you fight it off because your mind does not know how to deal with any true emotion(s).

I may be able to write about what it was like living in an orphanage, but you will never truly be able to ‘feel it’ inside yourself. Just like I, as a man, can think about the pain that a woman feels while giving birth. I can imagine that pain in my mind, but I will never truly be able to feel the pain that 'she' feels.



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