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CONFUSED


I stood there before him with my head down and my eyes to the floor.

"What seems to be your problem?" he asked.

"Don't know." I said in a low whisper.

"What did he say?" asked the judge.

"He said he don't know your honor," said the clerk.

"Well, he had better start knowing," said Judge Gooding.

"Answer the judge's questions," demanded the clerk.

"I don't know what to say to him," I answered.

"Why can't you mind? That's what the judge wants to know," she said.

I continued to stand there with my head down and my eyes to the floor. It really did not matter what we kids said to the judge. He would not believe us anyway. Who is going to believe that Mr. Henderson was messing with some of us boys? Who would believe that a man was doing those kinds of things to us when he was married to a woman?

I was only 10 years old at that time, but even at that young age I knew that I had best keep my mouth shut. Or as they would say to us at the orphanage: "You had better keep our damn mouths shut." Not even the judge was more powerful than the people at the orphanage office and I was smart enough to know that.

"Are you going to answer me, boy," asked the judge pointing his finger at me.

"I don't know nothing, your honor, sir."

"You have no idea why you do the things that you do?" he asked.

"I just do what I do. Things just happen like that," I said.

"Happen like what?" he asked.

"Like a bastard," I said.

"What did he say to me?" asked the judge as he sat upright in his chair.

"He said you're like a bastard," your honor.

"I didn't say no bastard," I told the clerk.

I could tell that I was about to cry. I did everything I could do to hold back the tears. All I was trying to do was tell the judge that all they ever called us kids at the orphanage was a "bastard."

"Take him upstairs right now and lock him up in juvenile," said Judge Gooding.

The next thing I knew, my arms were being twisted behind my back and a large, fat policeman was pushing me along. I will never forget what it felt like to be so confused and too afraid to speak or the clanging and banging of those wire cage doors as they closed behind me. I lied in that caged cell for three long days and nights. I never saw a single soul, except for when they brought me my tray of food. I never felt so alone in all my life.

Finally on the forth day, they put me in a larger cage with a bunch of older boys. All those boys wanted to talk about was how to steal stuff, and they all liked talking real dirty about girls and stuff.

About a week later, I was taken back to the orphanage. By the age of 10, I had learned my lesson and learned it well. For the next four years, I kept my mouth shut and said nothing about what the grown-ups were doing to us kids at nighttime.

I have always wondered if that is why I have never felt anything emotional in a sexual relationship with a woman. Having a sexual relationship with a woman is just something I chose to do. I will wash the car, paint the garage, watch the ball game and tonight, I will have sex with the wife.

I guess I will forever wonder if there is more to sex that just that.


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