Although I did a lot of good for school and for myself, I also made a lot of trouble while growing up.

Most of the time, I was a trouble maker. That’s why many times my scream was heard throughout the school. If other boys and girls heard it, they knew that I was being beaten at that time. I guess this is why I still can scream almost like a girl. Since our school was very poor, I had to play with those toys that were given to me. There weren’t many toys around. Most of them were hard plastic or aluminum toys, to make sure that we don’t eat them or break them, although breaking those toys wasn’t that hard either. This may have been a cause that right now I love soft toys. Today I sleep with a big soft pillow wrapping it with my hands. I love them, just as much as I love eating ice cream. I have one dream; I want to buy a very big soft toy just a bit bigger than my size. I want cuddle it or sleep with it, and sometimes have it as my friend to comfort me, at times when I feel lonely.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, because of the things I missed out in this life. Sometimes I feel very good about myself, because of the things that I’ve been able to achieve through all these experiences. Sometimes I just wished that I would have a mom and a dad that would share their love with me and take care of me. That’s why sometimes, when someone’s family would come over to take their kid home for weekends, I’d ask them if they would consider taking me with them. I just wished so much that someone would take me to their home, so I can feel what it means to be at home with a real family. One day I was lucky and one girl’s family took me to their home for weekends. I enjoyed hanging out with them. I felt freedom. The freedom from being watched all the time, the freedom from being punished, the freedom to be likes others, outside the orphanage. Those were great moments of my life. Even if I continued to be a trouble maker, for example I almost cut off the cat’s ear with scissors, I was still free. I wasn’t punished as badly as if I would have been punished at the orphanage. Those people in that family loved me and tried to raise me, with their love and compassion even through the weekend only.

I wish I could have grown up in that lovely family. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember their names to say a big thank you, but I will always remember their love and kindness they rendered unto me. I loved to play with everything what was connected to electricity. I think that a saying that electricity can be a hair rising experience indeed is true. I have experienced it myself and can tell you that it is not only hair raising experience, but also hurtful experience.

While growing up we had old fashioned lamp TVs. Of course they wouldn’t come without some kind of fuses, to protect them from burning out if too much power is supplied through the power cord. One day, I’ve decided to take that fuse out, not realizing what the consequences would be. Whola! I did it! I thought “I made the TV to power off. I have the power in my hand.” Yes, indeed the TV was powered off. No one besides me knew what had just happened. At least, I thought that no one knew also what I’ve just done, until someone told my teacher that I pulled out something from the TV. For this little act, not only those that enjoyed to watch TV for several hours, but also I’ve got experience how to power off the TV not unplugging it from the wall. Later I was punished.

Going back to my hair rising experience… Once, using one little single wire I shut down the half of my school. All I did was I plugged that one single wire into a plug with two holes. It made some sparks that I haven’t ever seen before. It also made half of the school dark. “WOW! It was awesome,” I thought, while being pulled on the floor by a teacher into another room. There you know what was going to happen to me. Although I cried, I still was amazed by what I’d just done. While growing up, I was punished many different ways. One of them was a heavy beating, to make sure that by having bruises over my body I would remember the lesson. The other way, was to lock me in the room by myself, alone, while everybody is out having fun and enjoying their time. That was the hardest punishment of all because I loved being out, and playing with others. Once a week on Sunday, our class would go out to the cinema. If I was punished, I didn’t go anywhere but was locked down in the room. At those times I missed not only watching the movie, but also eating an ice cream, one of my favorite delicacies. Sunday was the only day I could eat something delicious.

I am glad that there was a teacher who planted seeds of faith in me. But there was another teacher who because of what I’ve done, wanted to quit working at the orphanage. As she told me later, when I visited with her at age 24, after that incident with me a few months later she left. What was so frightening about me, that even a teacher had to quit her job in the orphanage?

When I went to the orphanage school for the first time, my first teacher was Valentina Fedorovna. She was an excellent exciting teacher. She was always energized and took care of us as her kids. We all loved her. I remember she treated us nicely, even took us out on weekend to her house. Unfortunately we kids weren’t always very nice to her, especially me. In the orphanage we had time during the day where we had to sleep for an hour from 4 to 5pm. After that we had a little snack usually something baked with milk or kefir to drink. Then at 7 or 8pm we had dinner. It was hard for us sometimes to go to bed during the day. Usually it took the first half an hour to shut my eyes and really fall asleep for another hour. Sometimes I would just pretend that I went to sleep, so our teacher would go away to do her stuff and wouldn’t watch us over. So, there was one day when I didn’t sleep during this hour with three other boys in the room. We had fun once the teacher left. One of the things that I thought would be fun to do was to open the window and start walking around the pole that was used to close the window. Remember that we lived on the third floor. I made several rounds and then would sit on the window ceiling with my legs hanging down from the window onto the street. At that moment my teacher was on the street coming from somewhere from the side of the building where my legs were hanging. She started yelling at me to make me get down. She quickly rushed upstairs into my bedroom, got me for my hand into another room that was located at the end of the hall. There I was well beaten with a branch from the birch tree. That hurt me a lot. I couldn’t handle that much pain. I didn’t realize how much I scared my first teacher. But I don’t think that in that fear, my teacher realized how much pain she caused by beating me with the birch branch. I thought that the experience of walking around the windows polls would change my behavior straight away and that never ever again I would do it. But after this experience I continued having other similar experiences that would cause the pain all over my body. Through my youth life I had many bumps and bruises on my body and in my heart.

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