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MY CHILDHOOD SINS



Life in the Children's Home Society Orphanage is not an easy life at all. Actually, Army life was, to some extent, much easier than was my life in the orphanage. In the Army; if you got a boot up your rear-end you could at least understand why. I mean, there was some logical reason for that to happen.

One day, I was raking leaves out back of our dormitory building. The matron yelled out for us boys to come in and eat our supper. By accident I forgot my sweater, which was hanging on the side of the monkey bars. After we had finished eating I was told to got outside and retrieve my sweater and bring it to the sewing room. When I heard the words "sewing room" I instantly knew that I was in serious trouble.

"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" I yelled aloud, as I slapped myself on the side of my face. I had learned to slap myself each and every time that I would say the word "stupid".

Forgetting my sweater was just a mistake, a very bad mistake. But to the orphanage a mistake was called a "sin." Committing a sin meant that I had to be severely punished.

As I entered the sewing room there stood the matron holding a green stick of bamboo, about four feet long.

"Drop your pants and lay across the table," instructed the Matron.

I began to cry as I unbuckled my short pants.

"But it was just an accident mistake," I told the large heavy set woman.

Slowly, I bent over the large wooden table and I stood there shaking.

"CRACK," went the green bamboo cane pole, as it hit me across my seven year old backside.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," I kept yelling at her, as I stomped my feet constantly on the cement floor.

"Are you going to sin again?" She kept asking me, as she kept on hitting me across the buttocks and legs.

"No Ma'am, I won't sin no more," I screamed.

On and on she kept beating me with the bamboo cane.

All at once I turned around and I grabbed the large stick as it came at me. Quickly she jerked the stick out of my hands and she hit me across the face as hard as she could.

"You put out my eye. You hit my eye," I screamed, as I grabbed my face with both my hands.

"Mr. Kiser. Mr. Kiser,"

"Yes," I answered.

"Mr. Kiser, you have a large scar across your entire eye. How did this happen? Asked Doctor Thota, my Ophthalmology Doctor.

"It is a long, long story, Doc, something that happened many years ago. Itís something that I really do not wish to talk about," I told her.

I sat there quietly in the chair as she examined my eyes, the entire time thinking about my life in the orphanage. Thinking about my life as a child and about how many times I was beaten for forgetting my sweater, forgetting to cover my mouth when I coughed, or forgetting to ask permission to use the bathroom.

It was a sin for us to laugh to loud. It was a sin to talk above a normal voice, even while at play. It was a sin for one's sheet not to be tight and folded in a military style. Each and everything that we did as children, including play, had to be done in a secretive or silent manner. The punishments got so bad, and were so often, that I found myself checking my zipper about every five minutes, or so to make sure that it had not slipped down. It is a habit that I still have even to this day.

We orphans were not allowed to be children. We lived under so much pressure that it is a absolute miracle that some of us kids did not die of a heart-attack before we ever got out of that hell hole.

Even today, as an adult I do not try to do very many things because I have this secret fear that I will make a mistake. I know very well that I can do whatever I wish and if I were to make a mistake, that there is no one who can tell me to do things differently. However, that feeling of fear still lives somewhere deep inside of me. A terrible feeling that will forever live deep inside my "beady little bastard mind."



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