Orphan Survival Stories Index |
TOYS and ORPHAN GIRLS
The following is a letter I received from one of the girls, now a grown woman, who also lived in the Children's Home Society Orphanage, where I was raised as a child.
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
Okay Roger, about the toys.
There were plenty of toys for the girls as the Office, and well meaning Christians, gave beautiful hand me down toys every Christmas. The kicker is that we never got to play with them. They were put away in a locked closet because, "they were too good for the likes of us".
The matrons told us that "white trash" did not deserve such pretty things. When influential visitors would come to look at us we were dressed in frills and given a toy to hold. We had to sit very still and motionless and woe be to the child that got the toy dirty or actually played with it.
Punishment: One of the Children's Home favorites was locking us in a dark closet without food or water for hours at a time, sometimes the entire day. There was many a time that I was in the closet all day and could not get anyone to heed my pleas that I had to go to the bathroom and I ended up soiling myself, which even at that age was very degrading. Also the matron would get angry with me and snatch me by the upper arm and pull me into the bathroom. That was a favorite thing of the matrons was to pull the girls around by their upper arms or hair. Also, we used to get slapped, mostly in the face but if not there (because we ducked) then anywhere they could land.
Many is the time that some of us kids sat at the table all day and night because we would not eat eggplant which we got twice a day for months, because it was a surplus item. Being called white trash and no good still haunts me even today. My self-esteem is still at the bottom of the barrel and that is probably where it will stay until the day I die. In a 3 year period I was in 22 foster homes and the hospital a dozen times (asthma-life threatening episodes).
The foster home brought me back because I was incorrigible, which meant I did not fit the mold of what they expected a little girl to be and "I was not GRATEFUL enough" to them. They constantly reminded me they had only taken me because they were doing their "Christian Duty" and even to this day I hate that phrase.
My mother came by the orphanage when I was 4 to sign my sister and I away for adoption (of course I did not know this until much later) but I saw her and wanted to go to her. It took three adults to subdue me and shove me screaming and crying into a dark closet until she left. They told me I was a bad seed and that I was no good and that is why my mother did not want me. This was the end of any self-esteem that I might have had.
The social worker slapped me and told me to be "an adult" and that I was to never cry again. Because of this early abuse I have never felt like I was good enough or deserved anything good, nice or ever deserving of love. Because of that treatment as a child I have always been afraid to succeed and would leave a job when it looked like I might be very good at it. I do not like to be touched or hugged by anyone. I can not cry and I live all alone and have, as often as possible, so I do not contaminate anyone. The home I went to where I was eventually adopted was a nightmare, the social worker never came by to check on things and the son, about 8 years older than myself started sexually abusing me as soon as I got there, when I told his parents they beat me with a belt so badly that I was in bed for three days.
When I was 10 they decided to take a three month vacation so they took me back to the Children's Home and told them that I was not good enough to be around their family. After their vacation was over they came back for me (they had taken the summer to go visiting and did not want me as there was no room) I pleaded with "Daddy Fagg" (the orphanage head) not to make me go back. He told me that I was not going to spoil his record and had to go back with them. When I was 13, the women held me down and he (the father) raped me.
At 15 I was finally able to run away and was taken away from them, by the courts, for cruelty of a minor. I have forever felt dirty and unclean. I have attempted suicide three times, the first time when I was 9 years of age. I just could never wash enough to get myself clean and this has always kept me from forming close relationships, because "I am so unclean". I never had therapy as "I was told that I was a strong individual and that I would get over it, one day." Those people are dead now and their son also.
So I guess I will never have closure. Found out my mother died in 1975 so I will never find out what I did wrong, and why she did not want me. Have since (in the 90's) found out there are 18 siblings, I am the oldest, 13 are half-siblings and they all grew up with two parents (their original ones). Only three of us are close, as close as you can be for not growing up together.
I feel like a worthless human being and I can not help it. Now that I cannot contribute to society I feel even more worthless. But because of the abuse on my body, both by others and myself, I have ended up in a wheelchair and am absolutely no good to anyone, whatsoever. I don't know if what I have to say about being a orphan will be of some use to you. If I think of more things or if you have questions I will try to answer them.
One throws up a lot of defense mechanisms, mine is a very weird sense of humor, this has seen me thru a lot of very painful situations. Some people do not appreciate it but I am just now getting to where I do not care what others think. I tried all my entire life, even as a child, to please everyone. I would do anything as a child to get a kind word or to have someone put their arms around me and tell me they cared for me but that never happened. Of course this never happened even after I grew up.
I've been beaten, raped, kicked and mentally abused, all by the time I was 16 years old. Even then I still tried to please everyone I met in hopes that someone would love me. Now I'm to old and do not care if I please or not. I do not want to leave my apartment, but do go grocery shopping and to do laundry or maybe a doctor's appointment, and that is it. I figure that way no one will ever be exposed to a person that is not good enough "to lick their shoes".
No one ever hugged me until I was an adult and trying to have a relationship did not work out as I could not stand to have anyone touch me. It was not his fault but mine that the relationship never worked out. I have never gotten married and never wanted children, figured there was enough children in the world that were needy and unloved and I could not chance not being able to love my own children because of my past. I was and am to needy to be able to give to a child what that child would need. I do not feel able to really love anyone or anything.
Thanks for the chance to tell part of my story.
Once again, I will repeat myself, "It is not what the orphanage did to us as children that bothers orphans today. We cannot change those facts and we understand that. It is how they have made us feel today, as adults, because of what they did to us as children yesterday and that is the problem".
You will never end up with a beautiful tree if you cut off the roots when it was young sapling. That same thing also applies to little kids.
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.