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Bitter Taste of Freedom - Chapter 11
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.
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.