Understanding the shadows

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is either a working story, or this might be the truth about a real story from someones life.

Submitted: September 05, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 05, 2014




From an early age I was always different, unlike most people I knew, I didn’t have parents. Most kids at school looked at me differently because I was an orphan, but what they didn’t know I really wasn’t any different from them, I just didn’t have parents. My guardian always told me that I shouldn’t worry about what the other kids think because we are young; we don’t understand that the true nature of someone is until we meet them, and really get to know them.

As a kid I didn’t really gotten the quote, but thinking back after 10 years, I guess that’s really what is important in life. Not to judge a book by its cover. I could have been okay with the quote if only that was true only in school, but it wasn’t. The other kids never really looked at me the same even in the orphanage where I really was the same as them, abandoned, lonely, sad, and different from everyone else. Sometimes different in life is a good thing, let’s just think about that all of us being the same? That would be weird, and probably annoying. I guess I like being different even if I don’t have many friends, different is what makes out world go around!

But I can’t say that I didn’t have any friends at all. When I was registered into the orphanage, I wasn’t just in one; I was actually in three of them. I was never sure why I had to keep moving around but I was glad because I couldn’t make friends anyways, you know when you watch a movie you usually see like this one kid that plays by himself, or is on the swing by himself right? Yeah well that usually would be me; alone. The first orphanage I was put in, I really enjoyed because there was this one bakery where they made fresh donuts every day! Waking up to that kind of smell is amazing, feels like you are just the happiest person ever, until the reality check hits you and you are just stranded with reality not fiction. But hey I still loved that smell, even if I was to be brought back to earth a few minutes later! We sometimes even went on field trips, or walks around the park, and if we were good we could go get some donuts from the bakery! Our care takers always loved me for some strange reason, they used to get me one, or two more donuts then the rest but I couldn’t tell anyone. Funny I didn’t have anyone to tell anyways!

Then one morning when I woke up, the air smelled really good, but I knew something was wrong when I realized I was the only one being woken up. The ladies (care takers) told me to get my stuff together and get ready in the cafeteria because I was being transferred. At the time I wasn’t sure what was going on, and why I was being moved, but while I was walking down the steps to the cafeteria I overheard some of the care takers talking about the building being shut down or something, so they had to transfer all of us, they seemed very sad (that was the only time I ever seen them sad).

When the car first arrived I didn’t want to leave, I started crying, but the care takers told me that everything was going to be okay, I was going to a better place. Unfortunately they were wrong. The second place I was put in was just a holding house until they found another orphanage for me, so I stayed there for maybe a weekend. I was alone; no one was with me except one guardian who didn’t really seem enthusiastic about me being there. So instead of playing with me or talking to me she just gave me toys and told me that I should play with them. I kind of liked it, first time I wasn’t looked at differently, instead left alone. Strangely I liked it.

A few days later I was told to get ready to go because they found a better place for me (by now I was wondering how many times I would hear those words). When we arrived, the place looked scary. There were huge iron gates in the front, and huge iron fence surrounding the entire place, I felt like I was being sent to jail or something. Thinking about it, I think I was! No just kidding but a jail sometimes looks more appealing then that building, which by the way looked like it was abandoned months ago, or something! Luckily the driver didn’t stop; he kept driving to a second building, didn’t look as bad but still looked scary for a six year old.

Turns out the second building was for younger children who didn’t attend grade school yet. That meant me, as I was too young for anything; I wish that didn’t mean having friends or fun. When the driver checked me in, another care giver took me by the hand and showed me where I would be staying. She showed me to a medium sized room, which held four bunk beds. Then she told me the nap period is almost over, and she asked me if I was hungry which I couldn’t even deny it, I WAS STARVING! Before my long ride, the last care giver didn’t offer me any food, so I had to wait until I got this new place. The care giver gave me the earlier lunch. Man I must have been hungry, because just remembering the lunch I feel sick to my stomach! The giver gave me what he called “meatloaf and bred” but he said the meatloaf was cold so it was that or wait for dinner. I knew I couldn’t so I ate it anyways. Weirdly enough I can still remember that the food was dry, and the water for my drink didn’t help me much, but I was grateful to have anything in my stomach.

Not long after I finished my lunch the other kids woke up from their nap. All of them were very eager to meet me, but after a little while of playing with me they just gave up and went back to their other friends. I was just another kid in a big house. When no one would play with me anymore, I went to another corner to play all by myself and I found that very fun because there was a box full of blocks! I think I played with the blocks for what seemed an eternity, but in reality it was only an hour. Then another kid woke up (and believe me the surprise on my face was around the same as of the care givers! The care givers believed everyone were up, but funny thing was 99.9% were! But one kid decided to just keep sleeping.) so when he woke up I decided to go talk to him, at first he sleepily acknowledged me, but as he was getting more and more awake the more he was interested in me, and found me fascinating.

As the day progressed into the night we became pretty good friends, it turns out that I wasn’t the only kid that couldn’t really get along with other kids. He had the same problem as I did, people saw him as different from them, so they excluded him from their activities. So I asked if he wanted to play with the blocks with me. We played for many hours, then it was time to go eat dinner. To be very honest I don’t remember what I had for dinner as it was many years ago, but I do remember it was not worse than the meatloaf! Nothing could be worse than that dry, cold meatloaf on a bad day!

So on the first day of the new orphanage I would have to say that it was a pretty good success I made a friend and I didn’t feel alone. At the time I believed that the place wasn’t that bad either! But as time progressed so did my mood, ideas, and thoughts about the place. . .

After spending months in the new place I had good times with the kids, and I had bad times. But nothing in the world could prepare a little kid for one of the worst birthdays in his life, or at the time it seemed one of the worst ones, after a few years it began to seem as a better one! From the time that I was placed into the new orphanage and my birthday life seemed to turn around for me, well a little bit more than ever before. When my birthday rolled up I was going to be SIX! The big SIX! The night of my birthday I was up all night, because I was so excited! Then the morning came, we were finally allowed to get out of beds, and go eat breakfast.

When I got out of my bed, got dressed, and then did my bed like I was supposed to, a couple of the care givers told me a happy birthday, the few that liked me of course! But the rest just seemed not to care at all, or just not say anything. I was so happy that day, at least for most of it… I told my friend Tommy that it was my birthday and he wished me a happy birthday then we played all day, inside and outside in the playground. I didn’t tell anyone this but this was my first birthday being alone, not having anyone for my birthday. I had never before had a birthday in the orphanage… until then. I was really hoping someone would come for me, say happy birthday to me, and bring me a present or something. But that’s when my first big dream was shattered with reality. No one was coming for me; time didn’t change anything for me. I was alone from now on, I didn’t have anyone protecting me, and I was given up because I was too much to take care of.

The very next day I still had huge hopes that someone would come and see me, when I was playing with the blocks I didn’t really realize that I was just building nothing but a tower of blocks by stacking them one of top of the others, until Tommy nudged me and I asked if I was alright. That’s when I really gave up all hope and around that time I started believing that I did something wrong to deserve this punishment. But after many years I have come to the realization that this could have happened to anyone, I wasn’t specifically chosen from a hat, my parents just couldn’t handle me anymore so they did what they believed was right for me, and gave me to the orphanage.

Couple of months after my birthday I was signed up for preschool for the very following year. Like every other young child I was very thrilled that I would go to preschool soon! Until I found out what preschool really meant! Fortunately for me I wasn’t alone; Tommy was same age as me so we were going to start school at the same time. When school rolled up that fall Tommy and I were woken up at six in the morning! At my age now I think it would be easy for the little kids to get up at that hour, but doing that myself when I was young and much older, I came to realization everyone hates mornings. Especially people who love to sleep in! Our first morning did not look very promising. We began with both of us almost eating out care giver for waking us up that early, but she told us that it was time for preschool, it was our first day we can’t miss the first day! Believe me I wasn’t alone on this thought but the only thing that crossed my mind was, “I bet you we could, and it would be SWEET!” After we took practically the entire morning to get out of the beds, we ate breakfast, and got into the orphanages’ transport van that drove us all the way to school.

From the second I stepped out of the van and onto the school yard, hearing other kids crying, asking their parents not to leave them, I knew I was signed up for a long day of no-no! When every kid was inside of the school, the teacher finally started class. At first the preschool did not seem like it would be a problem for me, as we played patty cake, hide and seek, duck-duck goose, and other fun and simple games. Then the teacher told everyone to go get their lunches, Tommy and I took ours from the lockers we were assigned and we went back to the room to eat it. After lunch is when I found out that the school had a sick twist to it. At first the morning would seem nice, and fun then when we were all full they would make us take a nap (now hold up that’s not the bad part! Trust me I’m not lying that was the best part!) But after the nap we had to learn! They were teaching me things I haven’t even knew yet! The first ten minutes seemed okay with me, Tommy on the other hand looked as if he was about to jump through the sealing! But that’s how I looked after fifteen minutes! Our attention spam seemed to be around the same.

(Back to reality)

School when I was a kid wasn’t easy. But the truth is school was never easy for me, not when I was a kid, or even when I was in high school. School is and always will be hard for me, but I can’t lie and say it’s because I have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D., no it is because some people are good at school smarts, it is usually the people that applied themselves, but I never believed that school ever taught me anything more than the basics. But to survive in a world you need much more than the basics, you need experience, knowledge, but most of all failure.

To be successful in life, or anything you ever do, you need to fail, and then learn from that failure, or don’t and go back to failure and try again. I learned from an early age that sometimes people need to let you fail, not keep pushing you because eventually you will snap, and all the progress people believed they achieved will finally vanish and the true aspect of the accomplishments will emerge and people will be disappointed. I can’t say that I escaped this path in my life, as I have snapped and I pushed everyone I cared for away finally.

But before I snapped, and pushed everyone away, I was starting to feel my limits being reached before hand. A few weeks before I snapped I started feeling very irritated at everyone who kept pushing me for their benefit, not mine. At school I didn’t think it could get harder, but in fact it did. As I was getting closer to snapping, I started thinking of the people that actually helped me in life, the ones that didn’t push me, but instead gave me a path to either follow, or leave it and mentally break down. The more I thought of those people, the more I began realizing that they were right. They told me that if I did not ask for help I would emotionally melt away, and it would be too late to ask for help. At school I would start to day dream more, and more. A few days before I snapped I actually realized that I did not know what the teacher was talking about, because I would day dreamed so long.

The fact is you can spend a lot of money on a therapist, or a counselor, but the best method to help someone is to just leave them be, leave them with their music, their friends and not push them so hard into another direction. If someone tells a teen to do, or go in one way we will want to go the other way and explore, that’s part of making mistakes in life, which will help us learn from, and grow from. If you push a teen in one direction too long, we will snap eventually, and go the opposite direction not thinking about anything, but to do the opposite of what everyone wants, to be our own person for once, not a puppet on a string of someone’s failed dream.

If you want to understand a person, you have to let them tell you their story, and not write it for them. We all are teen’s one time in our life, so why is it so hard to understanding us? Why is it that people have to push us so hard, expect so much that we will eventually just hide from everyone, be silent, hidden by the only thing that is keeping us together; Music.

© Copyright 2018 Patrick Walters. All rights reserved.

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