I have a master's degree
I was born to my parents, in an apartment, in Tacoma, WA. The same apartment I'd spend the rest of my childhood living in. I moved out shortly after 19. The apartment was run down, and the walls were covered in mold, and the wallpaper peeled on every exterior wall. The carpets were filthy. The linoleum floor peeled, and cracked. We had mice, a lot, when I was growing up. I'd find their shit in my dresser drawer, mixed with my clothes. Once I woke up to a rat, not a mouse, on the end of my bed.
We were poor, just like most families in my neighborhood. The city I was raised in is the most dangerous city in Washington State. We lovingly refer to it as, "Tacompton." Drive by shootings. Hookers down on South Tacoma Way, 2 blocks from my parents apartment. Drug house directly across the street, and on the next block.
We didn't own a car for much of my childhood. It was either broken, or we couldn't afford to fix it; later sending it to the junkyard around the time I was in the 6th grade. We never owned a car, again. We began using the bus to grocery shop, and take our laundry to the laundromat.
My father has a gambling addiction, and my mother has schizophrenia. It was a hell of a thing, growing up with the type of neglect I endured. I nearly died as an infant from something called Failure to Thrive. I'm sure any of my fellow medical colleagues will understand just how serious that is, and just how overt the neglect was at that time. My father would leave me alone with my schizophrenic mother, as an infant, while he went to work all day. She provided zero care. If you've never seen videos of what happens to a baby when they are denied human interaction, you're welcome to check it out, but it's not for the faint of heart. He would tell me about coming home from work and finding me in my crib. Bottle empty, or soured, covered in my own excrement after working to get my feces away from my already severely blistered skin. You're probably wondering, "why would he even admit to that?" Because he has narcissistic personality disorder also, and he loves to feel he's a saint. Blaming my mother for the neglect after my grandmother told me about my nearly dying.... well that just makes sense, when it comes to him.
So, infancy was pretty rough. But it didn't end there. My parents were poor, and couldn't afford childcare...... got it. But, what about my hair growing up? It's simple enough to brush a child's hair. Once again, overt neglect.
Once a year I would be taken to a salon to have them comb the birds nests from my hair. Sometimes the naps would get as large as a softball. Giant balls of tangled hair. And my father would complain about the cost of the salon, but he sure did have the money for those pull tabs.
I suffered much more abuse and neglect than what I've listed and described here. I could write a book on my life that would shock people. And probably break many a heart.
I say all of this, to say.....
Poverty. That's my greatest fear. I'm overcoming it step by step.
Today, in spite of all the things I endured growing up, I graduated with my master's degree in nutrition and dietetics, and completed my dietetic internship.
God did NOT help me. I did. I worked so very hard to achieve this. This was all me. Because growing up in a religious household, I was told to pray. And I did, like a good little girl. And it didn't stop any of the abuse. I always knew it wasn't real, deep down.
I did this. I overcame. I persisted.