Some very harsh realities
The harsh realities of growing up as a member of a low-income family can be too much for many to bear. When I told my wife and her family about my childhood experiences, and many of the traumatic ordeals I was made to endure as “part of my life”, they often shuddered at the notion of enduring such trying times at such a young age. I don’t blame them for their difficulty in listening to my tales, as I’ve grown to accept that my childhood was anything but normal or routine. One big example I always give is how I never knew what an air conditioning system actually did until I went to public school. My parents insisted on homeschooling me, and in their infinite wisdom, they decided to never run the air conditioning system in the house. They did this primarily as a way to keep me “disciplined”, and would only run the air conditioning system if I had high marks on my assignments. My parents grew up overseas in an incredibly hot climate, so they had no issue being overheated! Me, on the other hand, suffered heat exhaustion every day. That’s southern living for you! It was a real challenge to endure those conditions, but I didn’t know any better – I always thought they simply cracked a window open to let a breeze roll through, as I saw the window-mounted A/C unit but had no idea what it did. Imagine the look on my face when I first attended a public high school, and walked into my first class to feel the A/C unit blowing to make the room cool and comfortable. I thought there was something wrong, but I certainly didn’t want to complain! That’s just one of countless experiences – many of which are nowhere near as light-hearted – that I endured as a youth.