We are the shunned: Survivors of industrial *schools*

we are the shunned… because SURVIVORS OF INDUSTRIAL *SCHOOLS* are an embarrassment to a lot of people, who see THEM as highly emotional and damaged beings, and therefore not worthy of being in their company. tOO PROBLEMATIC TO DEAL WITH, and it’s SO MUCH EASIER TO BRUSH THEM UNDER THE CARPET, and to pretend that they don’t exist. THOSE WHO feel repudiated, after all, wouldn’t want them taking up real meat-space. INSTEAD OF GIVING THEM A CHANCE AND ALLOWING THEM TO BE INTEGRATED, SO THAT THEY’LL FEEL VALIDATED by society.

WE ARE THE SHUNNED… BECAUSE SURVIVORS OF INDUSTRIAL *SCHOOLS* LACK EDUCATION, AND DO NOT HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES IN THE SAME WAY AS THOSE WHO WERE PRIVILEGED ENOUGH TO BE EDUCATED. Some people, it appears, get easily bored by survivors of industrial *schools*, because they don’t ordinarily have the intellectual capacity to grasp knowledge, because they are so emotionally damaged. Oh, look some privileged person cries out to another in an underhanded pusillanimous way, “they have learned a NEW word… *ePISTEMOLOGY” well, well, aren’t they the clever ones indeed” — in a mocking manner.

We are the shunned… because survivors of industrial *schools* display too much neediness. As a consequence the latter can be too much of a drain on folk, so it’s best to not allow survivors have access to their company, lest the equilibrium of folk be disturbed; lest the latter be worn out to a thread with survivors’ inarticulate mutterings. That’s how it appears to survivors, anyway. However, if survivors were allowed into the fold; made feel welcome, their confidence would shine forth, a glimmer of hope would flicker, thus leaving them to be far less of a burden. Alas, survivors are shunned all too readily. Nobody wants to know. Nobody wants to truly listen to what they have to say. They’re sometimes seen as a threat – even as oddballs to be monitored. This in turn feeds into the perpetual negativity that was deep-seated in their lives as incarcerated child institutional inmates. Negativity begets more negativity. Consequently it leads to the detriment of the much needed growth and emotional / mental well-being. Survivors can feel stagnant and not wanted. Life can become a downward spiral, because of people turning their backs on them all the time. Too overwhelming for those with already very fragile personalities. Even expressing the truth here, is enough for some folk to harness resentment towards survivors. “Why are they so whiney?” Why is it all about them?” when in fact it’s only about them being excluded and being perpetual onlookers. Never invited into the community, despite trying to hammer on the door all the time. The truth hurts and stings people, and those who wish survivors would just go away are not helping. The energy and time that’s given over to some people is just so unfair. One wonders why they’re most of the time selected to be interacted with, at the expense of survivors, who’ve also for decades partook in social justice activist causes, when it wasn’t popular. Some people are put up on pedestals, and made into Goddesses and Gods, because they can think quickly on their feet, because they’re classed as clever. Survivors too are clever in their own minute valuable way, as they had to survive horrendous past life experiences, but seemingly that is not considered on a par with those who can intellectually express themselves. The thinkers rule, because…they’re well… thinkers and deemed more superior beings, than humble survivors. Granted, thinkers might be more stimulating to be around, and people can get a high bouncing off their writing skills and collaborating with them intellectually. Nevertheless, there should be room to accept all and incorporate survivors into their circles and not be selective towards them, thus leaving them vulnerable and feeling grossly marginalised. They’ve changed the mindset of Ireland. They’ll go down in the annals of Irish and Vatican history. The same kind of thing happened with *specials* in Goldenbridge, who became despised by most inmates, because of the favoritism shown them. Life has already been utterly unkind to survivors, and it would be so beneficial all around if they were accepted, and that the hand of genuine friendship, and not superficial, distance, keeping them at bay, friendships were formed.

We are the shunned…because survivors of industrial *schools* are made to stand by and see innumerable people constantly enjoying all the fun; all the outings; all the travel; all the gatherings of minds, and are constantly pained because they’re ignored. What is it with folk, that by the same token they feel empathy for animals, and even go as far as adopting them, yet with survivors of industrial *schools*, who were not lucky enough to be adopted as children, they appear to feel repudiated, nauseated, and even make cries, “if that one follows me on Twitter, they’ll be instantly blocked.” Survivors of industrial *schools* have felt rejection from very early childhood, and even still are stunned and hurt so much when they see people not wanting them to be part of their set. Some people will even try to frame them, as it’s easier to shun them, if they’re seen in bad light.

The day some people extend the hand of friendship to survivors of industrial *schools* and tell them that they are welcome and that people look forward to meeting them will be the day that I’ll pass out with shock.

We are the shunned. We are the shunned. We are the shunned. We are the shunned. Survivors have been shunned since they were child inmates in their respective institutions. When people block them, step over them, pretend that they do not exist, they are only doing what was done to us them as children in industrial *schools*.

The post here, as with other posts on this learning journal will definitely go unheeded, as per usual. I challenge one single person, though, to respond to what it is I’m trying to  express. Ironically, I say this, knowing full well that I don’t expect ever to get any replies.  Not even one, which will prove my point. We are the shunned. We are the shunned. We are the shunned We are the shunned. We are the shunned. We are the shunned. Survivors of industrial *schools* are irrelevant, are kept at arms length because they’re not educated. Sometimes they’re tolerated by folk, but only in a very marginal peripheral way.

One thought on “We are the shunned: Survivors of industrial *schools*

  1. A person who has had his or her childhood stolen from them is never – ever – on firm ground. Even revealing that theft is a huge step. Needless to say I was ignored when I first told an elected TD of the horrors of the institutions. This TD had fought the greatest empire in history, had fought it’s army, it’s auxilaries, it’s Black & Tans. He even took on the Free State Army and even held very high office in several governments of Ireland. So who better to have on your side? But he was a coward for all that! He didn’t think he could take on the Sisters of Mercy AND the Christian Brothers!

    It was 41 years later that I found out that this guy himself had 100% knowledge of the abuses children suffered in the institutions and his ‘friendly ear’ towards me was just a sham. He did offer personal help to me and, I must admit, he was a kindly soul – despite his fearsome days in the IRA – but his blindspot towards the powers-that-be (the RC Church) was a huge failing on his part.

    It is people like him that are the failures in this society. It is Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the Irish Labour Party who are the failures. They failed to challenge the abuses of women and children. They failed miserably and ought to be shunned.

    I’ve said it before that the only people who challenged the abusers were the very children who were being abused. Not all of us bent the knee. We’re the courageous ones.

    Sadly Ireland doesn’t do courage anymore.

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