Reddit Gold: “What are some things you’d only know by growing up poor?”

Reddit Gold highlights the most useful and educational content on Reddit as found on r/AutoBestOf.

Today’s post is from u/AlexAnderRob who answers the question: “What are some things you’d only know by growing up poor?

Libraries can save your life.

The first part of my childhood I would get home from school, usually to a vacant house. I really wouldn’t know if I was even going to see either of my parents each night. No cell phones of course. But I was always afraid… nervous at least, of what would happen if they did decide to make an appearance.

I started walking to the library everyday after school and staying till they closed every night just to avoid the feeling of anxiety for a little longer. Eventually one of the librarians noticed and took a liking to me. I think she might have been through similar things in her life that she saw in me. Gradually we got to know each other. First I started noticing there were more books being added in the genres that I liked. Then one day after the library closed, I walked over to McDonald’s. I was a quarter or so short to buy a hamburger and she saw me asking people if they had any change. I saw her and was embarrassed and kinda hid from her. From that point on I think she decided that she was going to take me under her wing. For over a year she would come by my desk at the library and just drop off chips, granola bars, pop, whatever you know? Of course, I would tell her I didn’t need it, when in reality I only knew where one meal would come from each day. When I would ask her where it came from, she would just say it was extras from the break room, even though I could hear her in there putting coin after coin into the vending machine. Eventually she would just bring dinner every night to the library and we would sit down in the break room with each other and eat. I finally opened up to her about my family/living issues and had her to talk to. Even though I was still pretty guarded, this was a huge relief. THEN, after I had been there almost 2 years, it was the week before school started, and I headed into the library. Before I left she told me to meet her outside after close. I did, we walked to her car, and she pulled out a brand new school backpack, and inside was a new outfit, binder, and shoes (my first Nikes). That’s when I broke down, and my walls crumbled. She was a single lady working off a librarians income, but she still made room for me.

For 3 years she supported me as much as she could, and she was more of a friend than I had ever experienced up until that point in my life. She is the number 1 reason I got out of that house and life. She was with me at all my adoption hearings, and made sure I was put with a nice family. She was at my graduation, and my wedding. She saw me grow up and succeed in life after coming from the bottom. She saw her work and love pay off. I went to her funeral this summer and it felt like I had lost my mother, but I couldn’t stop reflecting on how much she changed my life through her sacrifice.

Truly an amazing person, and I still donate to the library every year.

Edit: So I’ve only really been active on Reddit for a couple months. I think this is how you’re supposed to do this though..

It’s really cool for me to see that this affected people. I wrote it, and just expected/intended it to kind of disappear into the other 15k comments, and sometimes it just feels good writing stuff out. So just to level with everyone, I only talk to my closest friends about this in my real life. So let’s label this a mini therapy session, if you will.

Thanks to everyone for the Platinum/Gold/silver. Like I said I’m a newb, and don’t know much about gold, so I will be reading about it after work haha.

Appreciate everyones kind comments

Edit 2: Unfortunately I’m not able to be on here much during the week days, but I just wanted to let everyone know at least that I got through and read every single comment sent.

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