Several times in my life I’ve placed my personal life to the side to do things that were heart driven and which I felt I was directed to do. One of those moments in my life was an extended stay at a Home For Children as a home parent for a couple of years. I’ve always wanted to help children….and this place was filled with children who had problems with abuse, neglect, abandonment and emotional separation. I learned a lot about human behavior while living at the orphanage. It taught me there were stories, that if told, not a single person would minutely believe them unless they could have looked into their eyes and see the extreme pain passed down from their abusers they called “momma” or “daddy.”
There were many situations, however, one particular story made me realize how powerful the driving force and emotional bond of “love” can override logic in its extreme search for acceptance. To avoid using real names I’ll refer to this little boy as Michael. After receiving Michael from the state after being extremely abused, I remember greeting him, walking down the sidewalk to the house, carrying what little clothes he had in a worn-out gym bag. He was like most all the children on their first day at the orphanage, with sadness in his eyes, the difficulty of looking up, eyes dancing back and forth as if looking for someone.
The Home For Children was a combination of what was left of an old college, and then there were about 10 homes that were set up for home parents and the children who were residents in the institution. I had one of those homes, which we had approximately 10 boys housed there, of which I introduced Michael to the other boys and helped him get familiar with his new bedroom and the home. It was obvious that he wanted to talk, but the emotions just wouldn’t let him. I’m sure the words were like a ball stuck in his throat encapsulated by the drama, the involuntary changes that were so confusing to him. Over the next few days it got worse.
At breakfast the next morning, Michael ate as if he hadn’t had a good meal in a long time. And what I noticed was that he took a few pieces of bread and a banana from the table, thinking no one was looking, and put them inside his coat. I didn’t think about it as too much of an issue, however, a few days later one of the boys staying in the same room was complaining about the room being cold. I checked on the problem, called maintenance and asked them to correct the heating problem. It was Winter and the weather got very cold at night. Before the maintenance director arrived I saw something in the floor register so I pulled the register off. I found the register packed full of Hostess snacks blocking the air from blowing heat into the room. Michael had taken snacks from the pantry and hid them in the register. Although he had been eating very good, he was hording food for security issues.
I created a place in a drawer in his room for him to store some snacks so he would feel secure and I told him that those were his snacks and no one else. Still after several weeks, he hadn’t spoken a single word, until I did that. He reached his arms around me and said, “Will the other boys be mad at me for making the room cold?” I put my hands on his shoulders, pushing him back so I could see his face, eyes filled with tears, and I dropped to one knee so I would be eye-to-eye. I said, “Michael, the other boys won’t know why the room was cold unless you tell them. If you feel like you need to tell them, it is your choice.” He replied, “I want my Daddy.”
Michael’s mother was killed in an automobile accident, leaving Michael and his father alone. Michael’s father was bitter, angry, and had turned to alcohol. He hadn’t been sober since Michael’s mother had been killed in the accident. He took his anger out on Michael. The report said the father was angry at Michael because he reminded him of his wife. When the authorities found Michael, the father had Michael chained like a dog in an out building, feeding him and watering him like an animal. Michael had been in the out building for approximately 11 days according to the authorities. The father was in bad condition due to his drinking and the boy was almost dead from dehydration and the cold.
Something happened that I didn’t expect. Some of the boys came running up to me saying, “Michael ran away! He’s gone!” We called 911 and had the authorities create a search for him. They found him. He was alright. I sat with Michael that night, and asked, “Why did you run away Michael?” His response was shocking but it’s understandable. He said, “I want my Daddy. When can I see my Daddy?” You see…..even after his father did all that to him, he loved him, missed him, and wanted to be with him. His security was with him. Michael understood the bond of love beyond the pain. Michael tried several attempts to run away. We always found him. He was always looking for a way to find his father.
Michael’s life was an emotional ghetto. Yet…..he was homesick for it. It was all he knew. Even the life of pain he endured was his security. How does this apply to you? Do you see yourself being held back due to the chains? Are you finding your progress limited to the length of that chain? Has the bondage of your past made you cold? Is your life dehydrated and thirsty for a smile?
Reprogramming your subconscious mind isn’t always easy, but the outcome is well worth the effort. Share this article on Facebook and other Social Media to all your friends who might gain some insight into their life and to hopefully shine light on their future. Thank you.