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"Out of your beds you no good things", said the matron.

This was the greeting that we kids heard each and every morning at the orphanage. I could not understand why the matrons said those mean things to all the little girls.

"Had they all been bad like me, and what did they do that was so bad, Mary Rose?" I thought to myself.

I was not even sure what I had done.

All the little girls had to line up and get the clothes they were to wear that day. We never got any that fit correctly. Nothing ever belonged to me. Nothing was ever just mine. Not my clothes, my toothbrush or my shoes, nothing!

By the time the long line got to the stack of girls panties; all that was left were always too big, and they had brown spots on them. But I had no choice but too put them on. If I didn't I would get a wack, with the belt, across my back.

After putting the panties on and trying to tie a knot in them so they would stay up, I got dressed. The dress I had been given was torn at the sleeves and too small around her chest. There were no socks left so I had to wear my shoes, without socks. It always hurt because I still had popped the blisters from the day before.

After breakfast the matron told me that I was going to a preschool, whatever that was. Preschool was a room full of other little girls at the school next to the orphanage. I was scared and I did not know any of these girls. Each of them was neat and clean. They had on pretty dresses and their hair was fixed prim and propr. Most all had a doll, or a stuffed animal, that they held onto. One of the little girls asked me where my doll was?

"I do not know. What is a doll and what did you do with it?", I answered, with a confused look on my face.

All the other little girls laughed and called me stupid. Almost immediately the other girls started making fun of my torn dress. Then something very bad happened. My panties fell down to the floor. The teacher, as well as all the girls began to laugh. They pointed at me and told me that I was stupid. I ran from the room and I ran all the way back to the orphanage, crying the entire time. As I entered the orphanage gate I tripped on my panties. I took them off and I flung them into the bushes. My knees were bleeding and I had a cut on my chin.

The entire world seemed to go silent as I fell to the ground and continued crying. All of a sudden I felt someone jerk me up by the arm. When I looked up I saw the matron standing there. The matron began to scream at me. "You are a disgrace to the human race. A dirty little girl and no better than a stray dog."

I knew that I was headed for a beating and then it would once again locked in a dark closet. I was right. I crawled into the corner of the closet and I curled up into a ball. Once again I lay there wondering what I had done to be treated like this.

"Why does everyone hate me so?."

"Where is my mommy and does she know that this is happening to me?"

"What could I do to stop the beatings and from being locked in the drak, scary closet?" I thought to myself.

"Mommy please help me come back and get me, I promise I will be good, please. I won't pick on my little sister anymore. Please come back and take us home with you, PLEASEeeeeeee" I screamed out at the top of my voice.

The bright light hit my face as the matron jerked the closet door open. The matron grabbed me by the hair of my head and she began to slap me over my entire naked body.

"White trash is not allowed to have mommies and grandmas. Is that understood? You kids are bad and unclean." Screamed out the matron, as she continued to beat me with her open hand.

"How do I get clean. The bath water is always so dirty." I screamed back at her.

"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP," screamed the matron.

The matron drew back her fist to hit me in the face. All at once she stopped. She just stood there shaking, with her fist drawn back. Without hitting me the matron threw me to the floor. Slowly she back out of the closet locking the door after her. I again curled into a ball and I cried till I fell asleep. When I woke I found that I had messed on myself. I knew that once the closet door was opened that the beatings would start, all over again.

"I am sorry mommy that I am a bad unclean little girl." I said in a whisper.

Now as an adult I can say that I have never owned a doll, and have no wish to do so. A very dear friend gave me my first teddy bear when I was 46 years old.

Even to this day I do not feel clean. I used to take three showers and day and scrub myself from the waist down until I bled but that did not help. Now that I am in a wheelchair it is impossible to take all those showers daily. Intellectually I know that these happenings were not my fault but the human being operates on a gut level and I still feel dirty and unworthy of the love of others.

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