Written by Nick Toner
My Story (Part 2)
Nick lives in Nelson, BC with 3 roommates.
Nick cares about his community and wants to share his story about growing up in an institution.
He wants to educate folks so the government does not go backwards and repeat the same mistakes.
He wants to keep those doors closed.
Nick’s story will be broken up into chapters and shared once every two months.
To read Part 1 click here https://selfadvocatenet.com/part-1-my-beginnings/
Part 2: Bars on the windows
My father drove me to Orillia and showed the place but they did not tell me why I was going there.
It was a big old building with red bricks. They told me to change my clothes into their institutional clothes.
Everyone had to wear the same uniform. I felt like I was in a prison camp. There were bars on the windows and the doors were locked. I was scared and nervous when my dad left me. I was seven years. I’m still nervous from being there because they used to hit me; I jump when someone comes up and taps me on the shoulder.
There was severe punishment that happened to me and to others. We had to scrub floors on our hands and knees with a bucket and steel wool in our nightgowns. We had to dig for worms with our face to the ground and our hands behind our backs.
We had to stand against a wall with our hand up high and our nose right against the wall, you could smell the paint.
One time we stayed like that for the whole night because someone had stolen money and put it in a cubby-hole and the staff couldn’t find it. But three others and myself snuck off around midnight and go to our beds.
They told us to never do that again once they found out in the morning. Everyone else stayed on the wall the whole night. They couldn’t find the money till the next morning. It’s good to be honest and not tell a fib or a lie.
There was something called the tunnel where people would line up on both sides. Someone would go through the tunnel and they would get kicked and punched on both sides. There was once a person who wet the bed and was sent through this tunnel till they were black and blue.
I was forced to join the tunnel but I did not kick and punch because hitting is wrong, and it would hurt.
To be continued…part 3 will be published in May or June.