Orphan Survival Stories Index |
NO ONE EVER TOLD ME
Believe it or not I was in my upper thirties when I first realized that one had to go to college in order to make it into "the big money" market. Oh, by then I knew that doctors and lawyers had to go to college and that it cost a lot of money. More money that I would ever have. So that is where my train of thought stopped. I had not even heard of a grant, or a scholarship. Much less know how to apply for such a thing.
I can not recall one time that anyone in the orphanage ever told us kids that an education was important. That educating one's self was 'the ticket' to financial freedom and independence. The only reason that we kids ever tried to achieve in school was because we would get the holly hell beat out of us. Or if we failed, because of low grades, we would be threatened with "You will be sent off to the big prison for kids."
I suppose there were those of us who had dreams of becoming a fireman, or a policeman. But how do you do that? Does it just happen? Do you just grow up one day and walk down to the local fire station and tell them that you want a job?
We kids had no direction, whatsoever. We just sat there in that orphanage, day after day, year after year, our little minds just rotting away.
The treatment of the children was so brutal that all that we could think about was getting out of that hell hole one day. So what if you had to cook, and serve hamburgers and french fries for the remainder of your life. But even that aspect was not even considered until we were in our upper teens. That type of a life was better than having the crap knocked out of you and constantly being told that you were a worthless piece of s#%t, almost everyday.
When we did leave the orphanage we did not know how to do anything for ourselves. We did not know how to fill out a job application, much less get a job. We did not know how to open a bank account. We didn't even know that such things as checking accounts and/or a job applications even existed. We could not drive and we did not know how to get around in the city. Where does one get knives, and forks and spoons? How do you make an egg fried? How does one cook potatoes and things? We had been taught absolutely nothing on how to take care for one's self.
All we knew was that you had to work in order to earn money to survive. As far as we were concerned one jobs wages were identical to the next. The only reason some people were paid more than other people was because they had been on the job longer, and they more knowledgeable. Yes, by the time most of us kids had reached our senses we were more than half grown. We had attained, and were working in low paying labor jobs and we had families of our own to raise. Most of us had married into families who were also uneducated. So the mention of a college education for our children was never even discussed. That was an impossibility any way.
Even when my own children were graduating from high school it had never even entered my head that college was that important. Even at that age I had always believed that only rich people send their kids to college. When my children did graduate from high school I had not saved one thin dine for continuing their education. I did not even have any idea what such an education would cost or how beneficial it would be to them.
I believe that I was in my forties when I first heard about "Junior College". I was rather surprised to learn that anyone, even "low income people", could afford and attend such institutions.
This may sound both strange and unbelievable. But that's the way it is when you are raised in an orphanage. Large dormitory style buildings that are no more than a large prison for children. You are totally shut off from the outside world. You get no useful information on what is actually happening outside the orphanage gates. You are forbidden to personally own anything and whatever information you do pick up at school, or church, had best not disrupt the orphanage as a whole. Orphanages are a very controlled environment. They totally control anything and everything. Including when one can, and can not, go to the bathroom and/or get a drink of water.
That is the frame of mind that you are raised with. You have absolutely no aspirations because you harbour no hopes and no dreams. You are just a dead body walking around. "You live everyday with low self esteem. In time you begin to think that that is the 'normal way to feel'. As the years pass you by you frequently move from one part of the country to the other. You go from one failed relationship to another. You are constantly searching for a face that looks like your own. You suffered depression and you do not even realize that you are depressed. You become accustom to feeling "sad" all the time. Sadness becomes just a normal way for you to feel. You always feel disconnected from the rest of society and that you do not truly belong any where. The fear of abandonment is always with you. Rage and anger can strike at any time. You always feel that you were not really born. That you just some how seemed to appear from thin air."
This is the type of life that thousands of orphans, and abused children have lived. It is the life that thousands more children will lead.