Thank you, Face, for your confirmation and all your previous posts and testimony about the terrible conditions for the Sea Org children. Many exes here share your heavy heart for those sweet little muffins still stuck there after we left.
Do you or pkatz remember if the children always lived overnight at the nurseries up until the Fountain blg? Was there no family berthing at all until then?
- story continued -
When it dawned on me that the children were actually living at the nursery day and night, I was in shock. It was such a small place with such little stimulation. Most of the few toys provided were broken or incomplete and some impossible to sanitise. A big group of children in such a small, closed place was highly vulnerable to contagion from one another.
The toddlers spent the majority of their times in their cribs for lack of space. Many didn't get taken out by their parents at family time for weeks or even months, some only sporadically. Few diligently saw their children daily. I know what an effort that was, too, fighting seniors only interested in stats and production, so those parents certainly had their hearts in the right place, and it showed in the much better health and dispositions of their children.
As soon as I realised how long the kids were there, I realised as well that they were rarely getting any direct sunlight. Our nursery windows were small and sunlight was mostly blocked by the next building over, which was taller. There was only a narrow walkway between the buildings and the other side of the nursery was windowless, facing the hall.
i brought it up to the senior nanny (I'll call her Sue). Sue was concerned, but said they sometimes took the kids on trips. Later she admitted this had never happened for her nursery and she arranged for the van to take us with the toddlers to the local park.
Excited, we prepared for nearly two weeks, including picnic baskets, extra nanny coverage, blankets, diapers, car seats, playpens, extra clothing and emergency supplies. When the day finally arrived, Sue, Dory, me and one extra nanny laughed and giggled happily, chatting enthusiastically about how much the kids would love this. It was a typical beautiful California day, too, sunny but mild. We finally arrived, spread out the blankets and arranged the children beneath the shade of some trees. Their eyes were wide and they stared. I thought the shock would wear off soon and pictured them joyously laughing in the sun while we worked to keep them from wandering off.
No such thing happened.
The toddlers saw where the direct sun hit the grass on the ground but were terrified to go near it. They'd cry and cling when we tried to encourage them. The best they did was to spread out under the trees keeping exactly the same distance between them as if they were still in their cribs next to each other.
My heart sunk. Their 'safe world' at the age of 1 to 2 years old was only about 4-1/2 ft by 2-1/2 ft .
We didn't stay long, maybe an hour. Sue insisted we return because the children were too frightened.
They were scared of the sun and even the grass.
When the van arrived, we rode in silence, staring out the windows with toddlers on our laps, lost to our private thoughts. The sunny day that started out with so much hope, promise and good intentions had somehow turned terribly grey.
This is as sad a tale as I have ever read.