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

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"I'm going to tell you boys something right now," said Mrs. Winters, the head matron of the orphanage where we lived. "I'm going to tell you one time and one time only. If you ever get caught talking to a girl, you will be beaten within an inch of your damn lives. Do each of you understand me?"

"Yes ma'am," we stated one after the other.

For nine years, we boys lived in the Children's Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida. For nine years, we never talked with a female, much less held a girl's hand or God forbid got a kiss.

Not only were we not allowed to talk with any of the girls in the orphanage, we were also forbidden to talk to any of the girls at the school we attended. We were told "talking with girls leads to sexual intercourse."

From the age of six to the age of 15, I can remember only three or four times that I spoke with a girl. Even then, I shook in my boots hoping that the orphanage would never find out.

At 13, I was attending Landon Junior and Senior High School. I walking down the hallway headed to my science class. This girl ran behind me and grabbed me by the hand.

"Hi. My name is Sandra," she said as she started to shake my arm back and forth, while we walked along.

I jerked my hand out of hers and placed my back against the hallway lockers. Then I sat down on the floor facing her. I could hardly breathe because I was so scared and upset.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Still, I could not speak or catch my breath. I put my head down on my knees and sat trying to breathe.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm not allowed to talk with girls," I said.

"Why?" she questioned.

"I just can't. I'll get into bad trouble.

Please go away. PLEASE!" I screamed.

Both my arms and legs were shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. I begged God to make her leave, before I passed out. By then a crowd had gathered around us. Kids started to laugh and make comments.

"Leave him alone. Stop laughing," yelled the girl. "Can't you see something wrong."

She backed away from me shaking her head and then she walked away. She never spoke to me again.

I never realized how much psychological damage the orphanage was doing to we children over the years. I was married at the age of 16. I was only married for four months. On my wedding night, I did not have the slightest idea what to do. I was too afraid to even make a sexual move. I knew about such things, but I did not know what I was supposed to do as a 'gentle' man. All I knew was what I had learned from the writing on the bathroom wall(s). I was just too afraid to talk, much less touch a girl with my hand.

To this day, having sex is strictly a physical thing that I do for physical pleasure. Never once have I known sex to be anything other than that. Oh, how much I wish that I had been allowed to talk with girls when I was a little boy! Oh, how much I wish that I could have learned the wondrous secrets that almost everyone else knows! I wish that I could have learned that sex may also come from deep inside the heart.

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