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Ann Free Spirit | Synopsis | Mother Francis of Rome | Rev. Fr. Thomas Doyle | We Stand By You Rev. Fr. Doyle | A Letter of Hope | A Little Help Fom a Friend | From a Friend | A Priest Doing God's Work | Innocents was Taken | Mr. Savano | Pope John Paul II | Pope John Paul II | Nun Suddened by the Truth | Shield accused nun | Abuse by nun's hands, not God's | Together we Stand | Priest Abusing Nuns | Next to Godliness.. | First Stirke Out | The New Cardinals | Catholic News Site | The Testament Site | Reaching: Out to Stuart & Paul | A Little Child Stands in Line | A Lonly Little Child | Nobody's Child | Rosary Beads in The Hall | I Give You My Hand In Friendship | When I Hear These Things | One More Nights Sleep | If Only | Humpty Dumpty | I Love You | Don't Let Go Until Tomorrow | My Dearest Lover | The Lonely Rose | How Did I Survive???? | Children Need Love | A Friend is What I Want to Find | I Give You My Hand In Friendship | When the Night Comes | Who Am I??? | There Are So Many Tears | Maria, What I see in You | Re-abuse | You Were Always Here With me | Fear Within 2003 | Elvis!!! | My Life Was Stolen From Me | God Is My Witness | I want My Freedom From My Torment & Pain | Give Me my Time to Heal. | Nuclear War | When the nuns had their fates | How do They Live With Themseleves? | Re-abuse 2002 | We Want Our Faith Back | Spiritual Abuse | My Faith was Strong | Trust was Broken | I Cry Each Day | Bless me Father | Hear our Cries | The nuns Picked on the same children | Apologize to us | Like Saints and Martyrs | Half Truths | Tell The World the Truth | No More Lies | Nun wrongly claimed dead | Hurt so Bad | Acknowledgment & Justice | Innocent Unwanted Children of Nazareth House | My Family | Our Wedding Day 1965 | My Son Robert 1 | My Son Robert II | My Daughter Joanne | My Daughter Rachel | My Daughter Bridget | My Four Grand Children | My Mother's Family | Mother I | Mother I

Synopsis

Synopsis


 

The Good Shepherd and then the Nazareth House nuns took the place of my family. They told me my mother was dead. In the two orphanages life needed to meet the nun's requirements. In part this meant that, because my mother was sinful, if I was not beaten to change me, I would be too. So they said when they beat me.


 As a child I was different from some of the other children who the nuns loved, praised and pampered. I understood myself as stupid - someone who could not expect teaching in a classroom. This was a privilege for girls who were worthy of it.


 I knew of other children like me also had to work and were hit like I was. But I was hit if I formed a friendship so I understood that I could not share my feelings - that it was wicked to do so:  I had only my own world to live in like a cocoon. I knew of others outside it, but could not reach them as they could not reach me. At least, not in any comforting sense.


 I never knew the nuns thrashed and punished other girls like they thrashed me. I never knew why and you never talked about it. Other girls got hit in line for Church or school the way I did - pulled out of line and slapped

and hit for nothing.

 

It was like a bomb hit me when a women came up to me at St. Josephs reunion in 1997 and told me of the times when I was punished. I had not thought about it - probably since it

. happened - because after every punishment you spent all your time trying your hardest to be good for the nuns. Trying so hard to polish the floor or whatever; not to talk; not to wet my bed - not to earn the punishment. But however hard you tried, the nuns found reasons why I needed to be punished and they hit and boy they hurt.

 

I fmd it hard to think about it because to remember it to re-live the fear and confusion - the unhappiness of being a child able only to hope that if! earned the nun's favour,

I would become one of the children who the nuns cared about; who had a life which was sure to end in Heaven. Instead of being the child the nuns' found me to be - who needed to be beaten for her mother's sin and because, although there was little hope for it, that might help me to be worthy of love - eventually God's love.

 

The nuns said that the punishment, especially if I inflict pain upon myself, brings you closer to God. So when they punished me I used to think about Jesus on the cross.

They used to read stories of the martyrs - they specially worshipped St. Peter Chanel, who was stabbed to death in the Pacific Islands.

We were told to be like him.

 

I have lived my whole life without much of God's love. The nuns taught me that I was not worthy of it. God's love was for other better children. God did not want me or for me to have love. The nuns did not want me, or for me to have love or happy thoughts, or family.

 

God took my beautiful son from me in a car crash in 1993 to punish me for making contact with my family - the nuns/God had decided I was not entitled to a family.

And if you ask me what, as a child, I thought that was for, I can only say, because I deserved only punishment. I do not know what for - as a child I talked when I shouldn't have, but usually I did not know what I was punished for, except for my own good; that I might change and become one of those who God loves and who are able to get to Heaven.

 

The beatings were not my fault. I was not a bad child, could not have been a child who deserved the punishment - as a child I had not deserved those things. I believed the nuns were good; they were doing God's work. I am still not sure, although I am angry about the beatings. I will explain how I still think I deserved it; because God punished me in 1993 by taking my son. I do not know what I did wrong except that I must still be the bad person the nuns had to thrash.

 

I always knew it was a childhood filled with pain and confusion. I now realise the nuns who were good; were doing God's work, were also cruel, were vicious women, monsters.

I never thought that the things that I was afraid of were caused by my childhood experiences.

 

What sticks in my mind about the nuns is how they always told us that we were no good, all I heard every day was. "You'll never be any good, your mother never wanted you, you'll end up in the gutter like her, no one will ever want you.

It is so hard to forget that - it is there all the time.

 

What the individual members of the two Orders did and what the senior members of the Orders allowed, was a reign of terror and fear for the helpless children.

By that I mean that the children who had help - from a solo parent who couldn't care for them but who the nuns respected - were not terrorised. The orphanage old girls who stick up for the Orders and its work are either ones who, although mistreated, have remained in a relationship with the Church and the Orders, which suits them; or the ones who were well treated as children because the nuns either liked them or recognised that there was someone else watching out for them.

 

The ones, like I was, who were totally at the mercy of the nuns, it now seems like we were treated without mercy.

There were some of us who were unlucky enough to be singled out as 'the chosen ones' of the priest, nuns; lay workers and the older girls of the two orders, who picked us out to sexually abuse us. The sexual abuse has scarred me for life and no amount of counselling can cure me of the pain I feel, within.

 

The injuries inflicted on me, were severe physical beatings; child labour; semi-starvation; cold and poor clothing; overwork; lack of education; emotional abuse; physical abuse; spiritual abuse; sexual abuse; sadistic torture; pain; suffering from carers and those trusted with our care, who we trusted - through no choice of our own, these sadistic people who hid behind the image of being saintly people in the service of God.

 

Corporal punishment was common in both girls and boys Catholic orphanages, the nuns in particular had exercise power over the girls

for the rest of our lives.

The Catholic orphanages were at the bottom of the ladder, in the childcare system, catering for underprivileged and illegitimate children and the nuns purposes was to keep us at the bottom of the ladder. The children from Catholic orphanages were society's undesirable children, to be kept out of sight and in their place, with no rights like other children.

 

Because I was illegitimate I was deemed only for domestic service and labouring jobs

As it was, I did "men's work in a little girls body" expected to work from 5:30am to late at night, seven days a week. From when we were five we had to work on their farm, it was hard heavy work, especially for us little ones and what was worse, was the fear of not knowing when you'd get a crack across your head, ears, face and legs or back, from the nun walking behind you.

 

Some of us girls had beautiful wavy hair, the nuns hated us and told us we were vain, I didn't know what vain meant. They would try to straighten our hair by wetting it and then pulling on our hair, telling us that we were ugly,

 

I believed them and hated myself so much that all my life I would not look at a mirror and I don't have one in our bathroom. I know now that I was not ugly as a child but I wish I'd known then. It might have given me a bit of self-esteem.

 

I never really forgot the brutality, I can put it to the back of my mind, but it comes back at me, especially the nightmares and head pain. Boy! are they bad, that I want to bang my head against the wall. They won't go away. I've heard people say, "that was just the way things were in those days" and I get very angry, Those nuns had very bad tempers and they never had to control their tempers. I don't know how they could live with their consciences, with what they did to us and all of the abuse that they did.

 

What still makes me upset more than anything else, is that they got away with it. I did nothing at all, All I wanted was some one to be kind to me. The part that gets me is why were they beating us like this, because I was certainly not the only one that got whipped. You know I still wake up at night thinking about it, trying to work out why. . . ?

 

The brutal beatings consisted of numerous punches with her clenched fist to my face, she broke my nose five times and burst my ear drums. I never did see a Doctor about my nose or my ears, the nuns just seemed to not care about how I felt, when I was in pain because it was them who had cause it.

 

I would fall to pieces at the very sight of the nuns as they

would pick on the girls

who did not have parents and we who were illegitimate,

we got the worst of the beatings, then I would get it again because

I wet my bed,

I wet my bed until I was ten and then off and on until I was

nineteen years old, I was beaten into pulp for it.

 

It was the beating and the fear of the nuns is why I wet my bed. I was treated like I was unwanted, something to be hidden away and to be ashamed of. I was so scared.

 

They would say you were telling lies, but you weren't, you couldn't say that, if the nuns said you were a liar, then you were a liar. The nuns use to make me open my mouth and put a cake of soap on my tongue, they then pushed my month shut and I had to keep it shut on the soap, my mouth would be foaming, as well as me being so sick and kept

vomiting, they did not care what state I was in.

It was worse than the concentration camp for children.

 

Some of the girls committed suicide, some are in mental hospital, some are homeless living on the streets; some are alcoholics and some are in and out of prison. The most difficult thing in life is when you are put down so much as a child, you don't have any confidence, it really does hold you back.

I was terribly nervous, I felt that I was nuisance to everyone around me,

I still am doubting myself, I don't have any confidence.

 I think it is a kind of a fear, the same kind of fear

I had as a child growing up,

all those years ago.