Bitter Taste of Freedom - Chapter 11

Source

Personal Choice

I am walking along the corridors to see the Head Nun in charge of the orphanage called Goldenbridge in which I had spent the last three years. I know that I am too old to remain here and when boys reach my age they are sent to an all boys orphanage. I want to choose which orphanage I am sent to because I want to join my friend Gary who was released a year previously. I come to the big door and my heart is pounding. I knock and she calls me in.

She asks what I want and I tell her that I want to be sent to Artane. Artane was an Industrial School at the time, for boys run by the Christian Brothers and in which it was discovered later that atrocities were committed by those men on very young boys. She eyes me and them laughs. She tells me she has other plans for me and tells me to leave.

Just as I am leaving the room she asks me to wait. She tells me she has one last thing to say. " You are a very clever boy not like these other kids. Use your God given intelligence to do something with your life." With that I turn and go to have my tea. I don't know what she is talking about. I did it. I asked her and that was important to me. I said my piece!  

Saying good bye

It is my last night in Goldenbridge. Two of my friends creep into my dormitory and whisper to me that they will miss me. One of them hands me an umbrella and tells me it is a going away present.

I feel sad the next day. Just when I had resigned myself to life in this place I was being released into the outside world. I had made friends and I was more at home in this orphanage than anywhere else on this earth.

I am sitting on a wall with my friends and I am saying good bye. No words pass between us. We say good bye in the silence of our hearts. I am called for and I walk away with my head down. I feel ashamed that I am being released but they must remain. I don't want special treatment. I want to be one of them. I feel guilty as the I look out the back window of the car that takes me away and I wave to the figure standing on the wall waving from behind the wire fence. The next chapter of my life is about to begin and it feels like starting all over again.  

Emotional Debt

A pattern did emerge later in life when I found myself starting a new life every three years. I never did associate it with this event until much later when I underwent therapy as part of my training as a clinical hypnotherapist. Interesting to note also is that I spent most of my teaching career helping children with emotional difficulties, behavioural problems and learning difficulties. It is as if I have been trying to pay those children a debt I felt I owed them for leaving them behind.



Links to Connected Chapters

Comments 15 comments

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Like survivors guilt? It is sad to leave anyone behind. But you sometimes can't save the whole world:( I once knew a girl who was turning 18 - she was in a terrible foster home. I asked her if she was excited because she could leave now - she looked at me with pure resignation in her eyes and said, "where else would I go?"

I was angry she felt that way. I promised I would never just stop living like that. I wonder what became of all of those girls? I hope they are happy too.


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Many of the people who are institutionalised tend to end up in institutions like the army or jail. It is sad and as you say you can't save the whole world. I also think that giving up is a choice that some people a little too easy.I teach kids nowadays who are given every opportunity but they just can't be bothered. That's life.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Maybe that is why it made me angry - I did feel this girl was wimping out. Just giving up. She was 18 and finally free - and chose not to leave. That girl though - made a difference to me. I never forgot her face. I never forgot how she gave up. I promised myself I would never do that!

When she said, "where would I go?" I thought, Everywhere and anywhere you want now!

Keep teaching for the ones who care - they need you!!


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

When I was a young man I thought I could give a little of what made me a fighter to the children I taught but as time has progressed I have become weary and sometimes wonder if it is time for me to stop and let them do what they want.I only teach for two hours every day now as I retired and felt very down one day when I told one of the administrators of my concerns about this one child. She just said that they were bound by law to provide an education but they didn't expect me to make any difference as the child was too far gone.I was stunned that she would say that about any child and I felt if the people in charge think like this why am I supporting such an institution by teaching in it. Any school run by the government will always have people in it who are not there for the kids but to earn a steady wage and they are only interested in ticking the boxes. I could never do that. My wife is like you in that she tells me that I am making a difference and to keep doing my little bit until they have no more need of me. I get so many that keep in contact with me and write such nice things to me about things I said or did that made a difference to them when I was teaching them. I will stop rambling on now! You take care.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I really think you should consider what your wife says and I agree with her. Think about it this way - when I was younger I didn't really know who was friend or foe at those times. I did not trust anyone on the spot. I did not know who was helping me. Now though, I am so grateful for anyone who looked past my sullen face and kept trying. I didn't realize all that I learned or internalized until those teachers were long gone. The memories stayed with me. Now I am so sorry I didn't thank certain ones more. Their lessons were good for a lifetime - MINE!

Some of those kids do not know now how you are helping them for later.

Now I'll stop rambling! Peace:)


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes, you are right as usual and instead of tyenol to shut me up you hit me over the head with your usual common sense. Thanks.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Be happy for what you are doing - there aren't enough like you. That's for real:)!


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 5 years ago from Australia

as always a fascinating read, but I do agree with realhousewife, listen to you wife and your heart, you may never change the world, but you may change even one life with your understanding and insight and that is a huge gift for the person who needs it...


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you for visiting again and your comment is very much appreciated. Both you and RealHouse are right and I thank you both for being so caring and thoughtful.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I just have to say that I feel so grateful knowing you got into this field. As a person who has had these life experiences, you are genuine and can put yourself in their shoes. I have met some therapists that are in it for the money and don't really get it. They have the education and the words but not the heart like you. Some also have the "Better than thou" syndrome. Your the real deal and all your client's are lucky to have found you.


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you again Minnetonka Twin for your very kind words. Yes, I know what you mean about people who enter the caring profession who seem to lack any empathy for the people they treat but I feel that there is someone for everyone. My own mother was a nurse. I am perfect for some people but not for everyone. I know this may sound strange but I feel that even those professionals who you say are in it for the money are doing their part. We just can't see the what that it is but behind it all there is love and there is good. It is not just the patient who benefits from therapy. The therapist is also the one who receives healing in every encounter with the patient. You have very patiently read this series but sometime in the future you might be interested how I describe this healing relationship between therapist and patient in a hub I wrote called "Psychotherapy to Change Self- Concept" http://hubpages.com/health/Psychotherapy-to-Change...


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I'll check out that hub tonight. Thanks for informing me of it.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Wanted to let you know that your chapter 12 link here is not a live link.

I can't wait to read this next hub about the relationship between therapist and patient. I wonder if I will come across anything about counter-transference and transference. Looking forward to more of your wisdom.


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you for telling me about the link. You are the first person to inform me of this. I appreciate that.

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