The Guilt And Shame Of Poverty

The Guilt And Shame Of Poverty

There is a social and mental guilt to being poor

I recently spoke with my mother, and as the conversation continued to drag on, she mentioned that she did not have enough money to get new shoes this year even though all of her other ones were falling apart. She also happened to mention that she does not wish for me to get her anything for Christmas; however, both of these thing really struck a chord with me. ait made me realize that, even though most college kids are broke, I am one of the many people in eastern Tennessee who grew up and currently have the status of being below the national poverty line.

My partner has grown up, and currently has has the status of 'well off middle class'. The type of middle class where there is always nice food on the table and two large TVs in the house: one for cable and one for video games. There are times when I am amazed at the frivolous spending my partner partakes in, and there are stories of our childhood that differ greatly because of the income of the houses we grew up in.

After the talk with my mother, I realized something else: having grown up in such a low income area and household has made me feel guilty when I spend more than $10 on anything that is not food or a necessity. And even when it may be a necessity, I will still feel guilty for spending over $10 on it. This is not something I tell to friends, for many of my friends are either long distance, or they have enough money to go out every so often for an expensive meal.

Poverty, in general, carries a lifetime guilt along with it. Once a person lives in poverty they are unable to shake that feeling of failure or guilt for being among the poor. There are times that the people who greatly succeed and have a rags to riches story are able to overcome that feeling; however, when you have lived this way your entire life, it is hard to feel like you are ever going to be more than just a poor bastard who will eventually live under the local overpass.

Personally, I hope to be able to say that I am going to be a rags to riches story, and if not that then a rags to well-enough-off adult after college. It is hard to shake off the guilt of poverty and the shame that I feel when I walk into a store to spend any kind of money, whether it is a thrift store or the Gap. And I know that no matter what my income may be in the future, I will always have the shame and guilt that come with being poor. It is something that affects many American households in the 21st century, and there is that shame that people may not admit to, but it will be there. Among the children especially, there will be the shame of poverty.

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If I Had One Million Dollars

What would you do if you won a million dollars?

It's a snow day, and I'm incredibly bored and I have a daily writing prompt journal that I've been writing in today. One of the questions was "if you won a million dollars, what would you buy first?" So I decided to write a list of what I'd buy and in the order I'd buy them. This will come in handy later when I win a million dollars!

1. Pay off my debt.

I'd pay off my car, my credit card debt, and all of my school debt. Yes, I want to help others, but I need to make sure all my stuff is taken care of before I help them!

2. Pay off my parent's debt.

My parents have done so much for me in my life time so theres no question about paying off all their debt and making sure they're set.

3. Pay off my sister's debt.

I'd pay off her car and make sure I set money aside for her to finish college!

4. Buy my dream car.

That all white, 4 door, hard top, Jeep Wrangler is calling my name and I deserve it.

5. Buy my Dad his dream car/truck.

My dad has had a lot of different pick up trucks in my life time (well, 3) but he deserves the best of the best!

6. Take care of my Grandparents.

All four of my Grandparents are retired and in (or almost in) their early 80's. They have been my biggest fans my entire life, so I would absolutely make sure that I have money for them if they need it.

7. Take a Trip.

I'd pay for a super nice family trip somewhere! It'd be so fun to travel for a week or two without financial limitations!

8. Donate and give back.

I'd find a cause or charity that I really liked and donate a significant amount of money. Or I'd find a local youth sports league or high school and pay for all new equipment or uniforms or anything they needed.

9. Buy my dream house.

I'd find a house that I love, that's on the water with a big yard and I'd decorate it or fix it up! I'm not opposed to a fixer upper, just something that I love and will want to spend the rest of my life there.

10. Buy vacation properties.

I'd love to buy a small cabin somewhere on a lake in the woods. I'd also love to buy property in Wilmington, NC in the downtown area. I'd also love to buy a beach house somewhere. None of these need to be huge or luxurious, just with enough room for me and a few others!

11. Buy an RV.

Doesn't have to be expensive or big just something that I could use to travel around the United States with.

12. Make sure my friends and other family members are financially stable.

I have a few really close friends that I'd want to make sure are okay and as well as some of my family!

13. Buy the rest of my dream vehicles.

An old Ford Bronco, a two door soft top jeep, a small pick up truck. All super inexpensive just fun to drive!

14. Invest money.

Not sure where I'd invest my money. Probably just sticking with buying and renting property.

15. Concert Tickets.

I go to a lot of concerts. So I would definitely go all out with the shows.

Of course there are so many things to do when you win a million dollars but these are the first things that come to mind for me! I'll probably never have a million dollars, but its fun to dream, right?

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