I soon knew how and one day I showed their dancing teacher.
She took me out and I won 3rd place I was so please
with myself, I had just taken it up for two months. It was the start that I needed. I could do something
at long last and get so much joy from it.
THE IRISH IN ME.
The nuns were very strict and most of them were
Irish, which rubbed off on us. I always thought that I was Irish.
Sure, we all have a bit of Irish in our hearts,
if not in our blood.
I learned aboutthe Irish history, more than the
New Zealand. I knew all of the Irish songs and I felt more Irish, than the Irish themselves. St. Patrick's feast day was celebrated
each year, just like Christmas. With high Mass early in the morning, then the rest of the day off school, working in the kitchen.
loved all sports. Tennis, I had a stick for a racquet. I didn't mind about that. I could play tennis just as good, if not
better than the other girls, who had tennis racquets.
I remember seeing Oliver Twist and cried for him,
then said that. "He was lucky. his life was better than mine was. His cruelty stopped when he was 12 years old. Mine had just
In the wash house there are big long high heaters
which clothes are dried in on rainy days. because of the warmth, which comes from them, there are a lot of cockroaches. They
are everywhere. They must be about three to four inches long. The wash day is on Monday and the ironing, which is not finished,
is left till Tuesday. I always got my spelling wrong and I knew that I would be getting the side of the ruler, on my knuckles.
When Sister Blandina came back.
I could not take any more of this, so I run to the wash
house to hide. I pulled out the big heaters and climbed in them, to push them back. I had to put my feet on the ground and
then push them in. I would sit on the pipes which ran along inside, they were still hot and the cockroaches were climbing
everywhere. They were so horrible and UGH !
I was so scared of them. I can see them now looking
at me as if to spring at me at any moment. They never bit me, It was as if they knew what I was there for. Even though I was
frighten of them, I could not move.
I did not want to go back to school, because Sister
Blandina is going to hit me again. I can not take any more of this pain. "Oh God! Help me, It goes on and on. I don't know
what else to do. There was no-one I can go to for help. I can't stand it any more." Eventually I went back to school to face
Sister Blandina and I could see the hate in her eyes that she had for me.
On Mondays, I washed the old men's long johns
I would miss days at school by working in the
wash house and the kitchen. My knuckles were raw and bleeding from rubbing the long johns on the scrubbing board. They were
filthy dirty and disgusting.
turned the wringers by hand, which were fitted on to the wooden tubs. We also made bars of laundry soap in big coppers.
Sister Blandina beat me up all the time and I
still do not know why. She had a thing of coming straight at me and I dare not move in case she would do it again, If I did
she would beat me for longer. I was so petrified of her and Sister Simeon.
I could not get away from her and the worse was
night times when she had me and I knew she was going to drag me across that bed again. From 6pm. tea time every night I would
start to get nervous and keep out of sight of the nuns,
I HAD NO WHERE TO GO WERE IT WAS SAFE FOR ME AND
NO NUN STOOD UP FOR ME, I HAD NO ONE WHO WAS KIND TO ME. So you see there was no way out for me both during
the day and at night, I could hear the swish of the cane as it went over my head coming down onto my back or were ever she
could get me.
I was this little girl trying always to please
everyone so I would not be thrash, even when I was 19years old up to the age of 24years I could not stop what was happening
to me and I did not know how. I did not know why I was treated with so much hate and violence it was as though I was an ugly
monster, an unwanted animal, an unwanted child they had to get rid of me,
I was a nuisance to every one who had anything
to do with me.
NO ONE EVER LIKED ME I HAD NO ONE TO TAKE
MY HAND. NO ONE SAID YOU DID GOOD, ANN.
I was just left to cry and some times I did not
know why. Like the time when I was working at St. Josephs I cried and cried for days on ends, Sister Peter asked my what was
wrong and I didn't know, all that had happened to me as a child was going through my head.
While I was doing all the work I was alright,
it was in the little brake I had I would cry. I must had being having a brake down and I didn't know it. IfI had only know
way back then I would have done something about it.
I have never experience the hate from my childhood,
that the nuns had for me since I left Christchurch in 1966 and the fear is still with me, it will never leave me. It is bedded,
too deep within me for me to forget what my first 24 years of hell with the catholic church nuns of Nazareth House was like.
This is how I feel, to forget about the abuse
the Nazareth House nuns did to me and to just live one day at a time. No I did not tell anyone where I came from, I told them
that I was brought up in a convent because in there you were given good schooling and even though the nuns were still cruel
to you, you did have your family to go home to after school.
Freedom is what I want and need.
OH! FOR MY FREEDOM FROM THIS PAIN AND TORMENT
I AM IN.
These nuns do not care what pain I went though,
nor do they want to know. I don't want to bow my head to anyone, anymore, let alone to the nuns/priest but still I have this
fear for them and I want it to leave me.
I WANT MY FREEDOM