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Life in an orphanage

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During a recent spell in hospital, a lot of the time I was in a semi-conscious state, sometimes due to my illness, and sometimes due to the drugs they gave me. While I was in this semi-conscious state, I had what I believed to be a past-life experience, a very brief flashback which seemed to repeat over and over for what seemed like hours.

I remember running along a brick road similar to this. There was an air of unhappiness around the whole memory, everything appeared exceptionally vivid. It was grey and cold, very wet and windy. I was a young child and I was wearing a kind of pinafore very similar to the one illustrated here (scroll down to the 'Girls Pinafore Dress' on the right) except that it was dark grey and white. As I was running along I was holding the bottom of the dress up around my knees to prevent myself from tripping over it I guess. With the other hand I was holding onto a bonnet on my head to keep it from blowing away.

What seemed to be a memory within a memory, as I was running, I remembered recently being in a large room with other people of a similar age, it could have been a ward in a hospital, or a shared room in an asylum or an orphanage. Wherever it was, I was being kept there against my will and I had recently left this room through some large heavy wooden double doors at the end of the room and down several long flights of stairs. The building was very cold, dark and depressing, all brick and no decoration at all, it certainly wasn't a place that had been built with comfort in mind. I remember the exterior from a previous memory to this one. A large courtyard surrounded by the building on three sides, iron bars at the multitude of windows and a set of iron steps zig-zagging upwards on one of the walls, I remember two or three people running down these steps in pursuit of me, particularly the 'clanging' of their shoes on the iron steps, but that was all from a seperate memory some time ago.

Although I haven't actually remembered the outcome yet, I did feel very strongly that the people running down the iron steps were 'after me', that I wasn't fast enough and they eventually caught up with me and took me back to that place.

This post and discussion is continued in the thread PL memory of an orphanage or asylum?
Today I meditatated and focussed on this life, I rarely have any success when I try to remember a certain lifetime, maybe I try too hard, but today I was in luck. I wrote this in my journal:

I'm in a large hall and there are several long wooden tables. There are approximately 12 girls seated at each table, all seated on long wooden benches. We're all dressed the same, dark grey pinafore over a white dress. Each girl has in front of her a wooden bowl and a wooden spoon. Me and another girl are helping the cook, a fat lady with abnormally red cheeks and sweat pouring down her face, she's holding a large 'cauldron' like container with ovenproof type mittens? covering on her hands. Me and the other girl each hold a large ladle, and we are serving from the large pot what looks like porridge to the rest of the girls. I hear a name, Eliza Beatty?? Cut forward and i'm sitting at the bench with the other girls now with my bowl of porridge, hands clasped together and we're all about to say grace before eating our meal, I hear a woman's voice, to start us off she says "We (beseech?, besiege??) thee o Lord" ........and then the rest of us repeat it and continue with the rest of the prayer, I can barely remember any more of the words
Fast forward and I'm in another room with several other girls, maybe 12-15 of us and we have been taking part in some form of physical exercise, except we've just finished and everybody is dispersing. Two girls approach me and one of them is smiling and talking to the other in a heavy accent, I'm certain it's French "you mean like this?" she says and then she punches me hard in the stomach. I double over, i'm winded and gasping for air, the girls walk away, I can hear them laughing to each other. A lady appears from nowhere and puts her arm around me and tries to straighten me up but I can't breathe, she leads me to a small room at the end of the hall, there's a bright beam of sunlight coming through a barred window, shining through the dust, we don't see any sunlight very often. The lady sits me down on a chair. I'm crying and slowly regaining my breath, I tell the lady it was an accident. I hate it here I have to get out of this place, I keep telling myself. Those girls keep bullying me and I hate them, tonight I'm planning to take my chances and leave this place.
Yesterday I did a lot of Googling and many of the images I found had a look of familiarity about them, but two pictures stood out from the rest. This is a picture of an orphan asylum, I don't think it is the same one from my memories, but out of all the pictures I saw, this one looked the most familiar. And this picture struck a chord with me, it's a group of orphan girls and it reminded me of the scene in my memory where we are all in the large room exercising together. The outfits are also very similar except the grey and white were the other way round.

This post and discussion is continued in the thread Pl memory of an orphanage or asylum?
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