False Interpretations

Having grown up with an alcoholic parent, I have had to deal with false interpretations a lot. People thought I was just shy, instead of my reality being isolated and invisible, trying to hide from life. We had very little money, due to constant moving and the “necessity” of buying alcohol. On the rare occasions that my sister and I got a new outfit (thankfully we shared the same size) we would each get to wear that outfit, once a week. The first one who wore it had to be careful not to get it dirty for the second one, because we had no washer or dryer. We went to the laundromat once a week, when we had the money. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I had a job beginning at 6 a.m. every morning for a single mom. I got her three grade school kids up, fed them breakfast, and got them off to school. This gave me extra money for clothes or lunch. At this time, I had another boy tell me that I looked so much better. He said that I must have started caring about myself. When I asked him why, he said because I was dressing nice. He said before I always just wore jeans and an old t-shirt. Feeling ashamed and angry, I told him it was because we couldn’t afford new clothes. It was then his turn to feel embarrassed. He even apologized and said he didn’t know. I immediately forgave him. He had the courage to apologize AND admit he had not understood. I believe a lot of kids take clothes, food, and shelter for granted. I also believe a lot of kids deal with the false interpretation that everyone has these luxuries.

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