On 14 May 1951 we arrived at the other Orphanage and we are all taken up stairs. My beautiful long hair was
cut short. It was as though a part of me was gone. I loved my
long wavy hair, it was the only part of me that made me feel like a little dainty girl.
Then we had to strip down and line up to have a bath in Jeyes fluid. Why I don't know.
I was to find out later that the nuns did this to everyone who came to Nazareth House. We were given a number each, it was
put on our clothes. My was 99
The bad things start up again.
I am so frightened, I can't do my
I loved Christmas because I get my cowboy doll again. It is made of felt and I loved
"Is this doll the only link I have
with my mother?"
" Who did give it to me?"
I have the doll now and I can keep
it until March 31 st. = [My Birthday] The nuns take the doll off me until next
Christmas. Every year since I can remember this has happened to me.
The doll is mine and I love it.
"Don't take my doll away from
"Look what you have done."
"You have ripped it up."
"Why do you hate me so much?"
"Is there no kindness in this house?"
"A house of God."
My doll has gone and I am left alone. Just the memory of love, I
had for the doll will last me though the long lonely years. My doll was ripped from my hands, the first Christmas
that I had at Nazareth House.
My name is called out to line up with some
I can hear them screaming from the dormitory. It is
my turn to go into the room, all of my clothes are taken off me.
I am then laid on the bed on my stomach.
My hands are tied to the post at the head of the bed, then my feet are
tied to the post at the foot of the bed.
There are three nuns around the bed, it was as though it was
a ritual for them. Sister Blandina would left up her outer habit, which she then buttoned up around her waist.
Then she would roll up her sleeves and start to thrash me with her cord and her big buckle belt, which she wore to keep her
rosary beads on. It was not with the flat part of the belt, which she hit me with, it was the buckle. it
would cut into my skin and I could not sit down for weeks afterwards.
The other two nuns would hold me down more.
"What on earth have I done now?"
While they are hitting me they are saying.
"We have to get the devil out of you. You are like your Mother."
We then had to knell in a row and asked for forgiveness and say I was sorry.
I could not move, let alone know why I was punished. Even if I had my period, I was striped of my clothes. This went on for
a long time every night. I would hide behind the other girls, so as the nuns could not see me.
I could not cry any more, the pain was there. I would scream for the
nuns to stop thrashing me and kept begging them not to hurt me. I was on my knees, while the nuns would have both my hands
and pulling me on to the bed. I was saying, "I'll be good."
"I won't do it again." "I'll be good." "I didn't do it." "It wasn't
me." "I'll be good." No one helped me. I learnt to keep everything inside of me. I could go to no-one for
helpIf I did I would be put across the bed again.
My clothes were always taken off me and I was always tied to the bed.
I know that this is hard for you to believe.
THIS DID HAPPEN TO ME MOST NIGHTS.
I was the only one they tied to the bed and I think it was because I
fought back and tried to get off the bed every time and that was why they started to tie my hands and feet to the bed.
I would get on my hands
and knees and roll up in a ball then they would tie my hands behind my back and pull me on to the bed. I would scream as loud
as I could and after a while I just lie there and I am sure that I pass out some night.
God those nuns have a lot to answer for and as I have gone though this
year after year with you and as more of it comes into my mind I begin to be bitter with them. I was not an animal and that
is how I felt, they treated me like I was one. I hate them and the priest for wrecking my life and my childhood.
After the lights went out Sister Blandina would walk up and down the
aisles of beds and call out.
"Put up your hands who's awake.!"
Whoever put their hands up she would then proceed to whack us on our
knuckles. After some years I became wise to this and stopped putting my hand up.
My mother was a child when she had me, she was raped. One of my brothers
don't want anything to do with me because they don't know who my father is. The nuns lied to me about my
mother, they told me that she was dead and that I was an orphan. I did not have a childhood, I lived all my childhood and
teenage years up to 24years in fear of the nuns, priest and all other people around me.
The nuns kept telling
me that it was for my own good, so as I don't turn out to be like my mother. They did not tell me what wrong she had done.
"Oh Mum! What did you do, for them to hate me like this? 1 love you
mum. That is if 1 know what love is.
I found out when 1 was 24 years old, that my mother was
sixteen years old when she gave birth to me. She was a child having a baby. And 1 was punished
for being that baby. I was punished for being ME. I don't know how to talk to
people. "What to say to them?"
I might say something to hurt them. I can't
do that, so it is best that I don't say anything.
"How can they punish me for you?"
"Why did you not tell me you were my mother? That day."
"If! had known, I would have given you a big hug and kiss." "Mum! I
never once forgot you."
"You were also in my thoughts, even though 1 did not know you." "I loved
not a bad child. I was a very shy and quiet girl. I have lived all my life, asking myself.
How could they do this to me.
the only wrong that my mother did, was to give birth to me. Then 1 must have been the worse person to have ever being born.
Jesus said. "Let any man who is without sin, cast the first stone." The nuns told me that we are all born with sin, until
we are baptized. So therefore no one has the right to cast that first stone.
The church is the safest place for me. Mary my mother is here and her baby Jesus. "Mary can you see what they are
doing to me?"
"How can they be nuns?"
They are your son's brides and you
let them do this to me. I could not talk to anyone. I just sit
down in a corner by myself. I am nothing. I have no-one. I am bad. I have the devil in me. I will go to hell when I die. I
FORSE TO EAT FOOD.
At dinner time when I could not eat the food and what the big girls did not like,
the nuns use to push my head back, hold my nose then force the food down my throat I would bring it all up again over the
table so they then would put it on my plate and start the same thing over and over again. I would sick it up and still they
would keep pushing my head back and holding my nose and spooning the horrid food into my mouth. Then at tea time the food
that I left would be still on a plate in my place for me to eat for tea. The same thing would happen again.
The nuns knew that while they were holding my nose and forcing the food
down my throat, that I could not breath, I would be coughing, choking and bringing up the food while they were still forcing
more food down me. It still make me shake and quiver while I write this here.
I went to Confession today, while kneeling down facing a little grill, I said.
"Bless me Father for I have sinned, it is a week since my last confession."
I would make up something bad about me to tell the priest, like not doing what
the nuns told me and asking for a lolly from one of the girls, talking when I wasn't spoken to. And then end up with, I tell
lies. So he can forgive me. I did not like making up things to tell him. But I though that I had to tell the priest something
bad each time, when I went to confession.
wanted to hear the priest say that God loved me, but I never did hear that. It was always that God hated children who were
naughty and that he would send me to hell. For penance the priest gives me five Hail Mary's and two Our Fathers.
Then I would start.
Hail Mary, full of grace!
the Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 5 times
Father, who art in Heaven hallow be the name, They kingdom come, They will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this
day our daily bread, and for give us our trespassers, as we for give those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from all evil. Amen. 2 times.
I was 12years I tried to commit suicide by jumping out of our dormitory window which was on the 3rd floor of Nazareth House,
I did not want to live anymore, the police did not help me so what was the use of my life at Nazareth House. No one wanted
me and I was no body's child. I could not open the windows wide enough because I could not get the piece of wood which was
nailed 6ins above the bottom window so I could not move it.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS-.
day I went to church and after talking to Mary and Jesus, I would make the Stations of the Cross. I would tell Jesus, that
I would take his pain away from him.
Then his cross would not be so heavy. The nuns told me that each time
I am bad, Jesus cross would get heavier. I would tell Jesus that I was strong enough and I could help him, when
Simon got tired.
ICE FOR FOOD
use to get that hungry at Nazareth House that when I saw the ice over the puddles, I would pick it up and eat it, it would
have dirt and gravel underneath it which I ate as well. I didn't care what was in it because I would eat grass as well. Most
of us did this and sour grass with yellow flowers was the best. I was so hungry and cold.
Blandina would make me pull my pants down and make me bend over a long bench with my clothes around my head and she would
start to trash me with a long cain which she kept behind her back in her big belt. There was not only me bent over that long
bench, there were a few of us and she would go from one girl straight on to the next girl and all us girls would be bent over
this bench waiting to be trashed by Sister Blandina.
think about this now I don't know how I waited for this treatment from the nuns but there is one thing I have never forgotten
and that was the fear for the nuns and I do believe that it was out of fear is why I did not move from that chair and bench
it was fear of the nuns and more and more thrashing from the nuns I would get if I should dare to move from that spot.
Blandina would also make me pull my pants down and I had to bend over a chair and she would whip me with a cane with my clothes
over my head, what makes this worst is that she did not care who was there. This was so embarrassing as it was done in the
dinning room, bathroom, and in the classroom.
missioners came to see us 3times a year and showed us photos of sick people, it was so terrible how these monks dressed in
white long dress like clothing, with the littlest white buttons, down the front. They went on about these horrible sores on
these people with part of their faces, hands and legs gone. The photos they showed us were about people in the last stages
of Leprosy and we were told that if we did not give money to them, they would die.
ever they said to us only had one meaning and that, it was us little children's fault if they die, the nuns knew how to make
you feel guilty and I did not have any money to give them.
were given money to give to the Missionaries in Africa. When I put the money into the black boy's hand and then push a lever
at the back, his mouth would open up wide, and I watched the black nigger eat my money. The little black babies are flying
around and crying in Limbo, because we don't give the missionaries enough money to get them Baptized.I would think, Well then, I will go to Africa myself and Baptize them, then they can fly with the angels and saints in Heaven. The little black babies well
I was old enough to sing in the church choir. I would open my heart and soul, to Mary and Jesus, to let them know I was singing
for them. I felt this peace within me, whenever I was in church. Because to me I was the only one there,
with Mary and Jesus! Some of the nuns would tell me after church, that they heard me sing and that I had
a good strong voice. I would say. "Mary could hear me to."
were given-little kittens and put them in our lockers, Sister Blandina took them got Mr. White one of the old men who lived
at Nazareth House to kill them and then she brought them back up to us dead in a sack. She tipped the little kittens out and
told us that if we get any more she would do the same thing to them. So how could we learn about love and kindness when we
were shown only cruelty, pain, hate and abuse. I can understand today why the kittens are killed but to kill them deliberately
because they were the only things we ever had to love and because they were ours.
see this is why I give things away, I was not allowed anything at Nazareth House, not even love, kindness, warmth, food, clothing
and most of all a family. After all these years I still feel the same. I hate these nuns for what they did to me, I want to
see them face to face and say to them this is what you did to me and may god have mercy on your soul, Because I will never
forgive them, for they killed me time after time not only with what they had in their hands but also abuse with their tongue.
They were so cruel.
BRIDE OF CHRIST.
was one thing I hope to be when I was a child and that was to become a nun. But I knew deep down that the nuns would never
pick me, because of how I was brought up. Then later on in my early 20s, I wrote away to the Sisters of the Home of Compassion.
I wanted to serve God and to help the poor, who needed love and understanding. I wanted
to bring the poor children of the world, to Jesus and Mary, so they could see their pain and sorrow. Then give me the strength
to help them to love again. To give the children the gift of hope, for a better life.
I was never accepted into the convent. It was a bitter blow to me. But
I never gave up on helping children and anyone who needed help over the years. To give what you can and to see a smile after,
is what makes me happy.
The toilets were also beside the cellar with three little ones and a
big one and they always got blocked up with the hard paper which we had to cut up. I had to put my hands
down the toilets with out gloves and get all the shit and paper out and this happened everyday.
CHILDLDREN of MARY.
I wore a long white frock, a white veil with a long blue satin cloak, which
floated behind me. A medal on a blue ribbon, which would keep me pure, until I got married. I now know it
meant that I would not have sex and that I would be a Virgin, keep myself pure and free from the mortal sin of sex.
It was also at this time I made a pledge of not to intake of any alcohol,
until I was 24years. You know I did not know what alcohol was, until years later after I left. Then each year in May, we all
walked in procession, singing Hymns, like.
"0 Mary, we
crown thee with blossoms today" "Queen of the Angels, and Queen of the May"
"Hail Queen of Heaven, Thee Ocean Star" Star
of Wonder, here below."
These were the times I loved best at the orphanages, It was like a fantasy
world. All us girls dressed up in our best and walking around singing Hymns, to Mary my
mother. I forgot about the tight shoes, which were causing me extreme pain and blisters.
In the Summer time when the church peaches were ripe for the pickings.
And because I was weak, timid and shy. I was one of the girls who was pushed into stealing them.
As we walked passed the church in procession, 1 would look around and
then like a flash. In and out of the line, to the peach tree, 1 would go. One peach is not enough for the
girls, so over 1 would go for more and fill my pants up with these beautiful church peaches.
Wobble! Wobble! Wobble! around my pants the juicy peaches went. OOP's
one has fallen out. 1 am done for now. Not yet.
These peaches are getting heavy in my big black bloomers. They have
slipped down past my knees, I am going to lose my pants along with the peaches. Just as well my gym-frock is too long.
Oh no! another one has fallen out of my pants, and then the rest of them.
caught this time. I am lined up to be put across the bed that night.
lives were religious parrot fashion, with prayers before and after every meal. Prayers in the morning and at night, kneeling
beside our beds. Mass at 7 every morning, then church again in the afternoon. Prayers before and after school, prayers before
and after we did our work. A.M.D.G. All My Duty Done for God
How on earth God, Jesus, Mary and all of the Saints in Heaven could
listen to all our prayers at once, used to bother me. Especially when I would ask Mary to take me away, to look after
me and to make it fme the next day, so as we could go in cars for our yearly picnic to the beach.
would put Holy pictures up at the windows, facing outwards, so as Mary would see what the weather was like. Then she could
change it if was raining. I would look up at the windows and see all of these little square pieces of paper and think.
"Mary ! 1 have been good all year and if it is fine tomorrow, I will
walk with you and help to dry Jesus face on the cross"
"I won't talk in line going to church tomorrow." and
"I will give my bottle of milk away."
The milk was the hardest thing for my to do. But it was worth it, for our