There was a degree of uproar when I revealed to Management that I had given the girl a Kindle. She was considered high security and anything she was given was supposed to go through Management.
I pointed out to them that nothing in the past had worked, keeping her isolated was counter-productive and in the previous week there had been no reports of bad behaviour. Maybe something was working.
They conceded my point but it took several weeks of arguing for them to consider letting her have access to any sort of writing implements.
In the end, most probably to shut me up, they allowed her to use part of my session time with her to write and they would monitor the situation. They also insisted she remain shackled by the ankles and that at the end of each session she submit to a body search.
When I told her the terms of the Management she laughed, “Like I’m going to stick pencils and pens up my fanny.”
And so we started, I had an old laptop with a word program for her to use and a thumb drive to save her writing too. I would keep the thumb drive and bring it to each session promising not to look at it between sessions. We agreed that I would only read what she wonted me to read.
About four weeks into the program she gave me permission to read what she had been working on.
“ Each morning outside my room a bell would sound and you had one minute to get out of bed and dressed before the Sisters came to your door. If you weren’t up they carried a bucket of cold water and would throw it over you. You stayed wet until they took you to the bath.
In the bathroom they always chatted about you. You were obnoxious to them in every way. They’d say I needed to be bathed because I stunk of sin and it was their responsibility to scrub it from me.
They’d make me stand naked in front of them and when puberty happened my breasts began to grow and they were the subject of ridicule. I was a tall girl for my age and my breasts were small and they would point out how evil they looked and that I was more boy than girl.
Once the bath was ready they made me stand in the water, ankle deep and always lukewarm. Then Sister TwoFace would lather up the soap, it was a roughest soap you could imagine and she’d spread it over my body. Her Sister companion was Sister Limp, I’d crippled her one time when she got far too familiar, she had a habit of washing between my legs and looking at me as if I should be enjoying her hand there, but nowadays Sister Limp stood back holding the rinsing bucket which she’d throw over me and I’d suck in a breath in anticipation of the cold water and gasp as it hit me. The Sister would laugh and throw me a towel, which was always damp, and so drying yourself was never easy. Then they’d throw me a ‘clean’ smock, they were old and stained and they were not averse in pointing out it was my sinful nature that spoiled anything that touched my body, the opportunity for cruelty was never missed by them. Then I had to get on my knees and pray. I had to pray to God to beg forgiveness for my countless sins. Sister Limp loved this time as she’d belt me across the shoulders with a leather strap and scream at me to “Repent foul sinner.” Limp always had a maniacal look on her face, but she never came close and always attacked from behind when I was at my most vulnerable.
Then it was breakfast, if you called it that. Something they called porridge, dry stale bread and molasses. It was all there was so you got used to it after a while. Silence was observed at breakfast and Sister Monobrow would read to us. Always it was about how worthless we were as human beings, rejected by our families, our communities and it was through God’s love administered by the Sisters that we were to be saved from the fires of hell. The fires of hell were a constant threat, we heard about them every day.
Then the day began.”
I read the girl’s tale and couldn’t help but feel my emotions well up inside of me. What had they done to this girl, what did they think she had done to deserve such treatment?
Parts One and Two can be found: