What is something people don't realize is a privilege?
By - vianneyal
Buying groceries without having to carefully consider prices.
This is my biggest goal in life as pathetic as that may sound.
Not pathetic at all. I feel like that's more or less what financial security is. Rooting for you!
Just having dependable, safe hot and cold running water on demand.
Holy shit, I was homeless for a year and a half, and there was a time I blew $50 on a motel room specifically to take a hot shower. I remember pulling off my cold wet socks and just collapsing into the hot water, sobbing. Felt like all my problems went away immediately.
I lived in a country where if you had a shower, it probably wasn't heated, and if it was heated, it was by an electric shower head that was prone to shock the bajeesus out of you if you touched the plumbing. That's on the days when the water was running.
When I was a contractor in Iraq, there was at least one soldier that was electrocuted and killed in the shower because of faulty wiring. I lived in Sierra Leone, a local that worked at the company was electrocuted and killed in the shower.
I hope you’re doing better now ❤️
Having your own room/space. A lot of people and specially families around the world has to share living spaces.
There was a thread on Reddit recently where a family couldn't give their teenage daughter a room of her own cause their house only had two rooms and they were poor. Everyone said the parent was an asshole cause the teen had a right to it and they should move to a bigger house/outside their area to amend that. Or worse, should've aborted the younger kid if they couldn't provide separate rooms for two kids.
Shit was fucking insane.
Multiple times through my childhood I (girl) had to share a room with my brother. Apparently in many US states this is not allowed by CPS. When I visited my dad on the weekends I shared a bed with my brother and my dad. It's crazy that people don't understand that housing can be expensive.
From what I understand the CPS rule is not quite how most people are using it anyway. The rule is about if you are applying to be a foster parent. You can’t take on a new child from the system if you can’t meet certain requirements (which is reasonable enough IMO). That doesn’t mean CPS has grounds to take away the kids you already have based on this rule.
This is so true! Most people don’t realize that in some countries (esp. developing ones) don’t have the privilege to have their own private spaces even when they are adults already. It is extremely common for the poor and even the middle class to share rooms (i.e. 1 bedroom for the whole family of 3-10 and most of the time you have to share a bed with a parent or a sibling). It’s so easy to say to “just move out” but it’s not when monthly rent costs 1-2 months worth of average salary and buying a place is just impossible with normal salary (at least in our country) + you still have to pay bills and other necessities, have to contribute to your family + save up for yourself and emergency funds. It’s just overwhelming.
Being able to quit a job without fear of losing financial stability.
Yet its amazing how often people act like someone can just quit their job and go someplace else if there's an aspect of their employment that's even slightly distasteful.
Or your health insurance
Being able to enjoy total silence.
For real. Mine started when I was 18 and I then realised how much I took everything being completely quiet for granted before that. I wish I could get it back :/
Having your parents to fall back onto for help or advice during adulthood.
I've been estranged since I've been 16, life ain't easy navigating the world alone.
EDIT: Thank you everyone for the awards and sharing your stories. I've been feeling quite down about this topic in the past few weeks, but reading everyone's story here makes me feel somewhat less alone in the world.
My parents and I still communicate, but they stopped feeding me at 14 or 15. They stopped buying my clothes around 13, and even when they did help it was mostly only for birthday or Christmas gifts, and always second hand (which wouldn’t be an issue, I buy a lot of things second hand, but my parents legit have money). I had two jobs at 15, worked through college, and was only allowed to live at my parents house when I was maintaining their entire half acre house by myself. I don’t think I’ve ever received loving advice from my mom, and in every moment that I have ever needed a parent to support me, I’ve had to turn to a friend’s parent or a significant other’s parent instead. There is no way to describe how much of a privilege it is to have been born to parents who actually wanted children, and the feeling of being able to return home to parents that love you and treat you well is something so foreign to me that I cannot even imagine what a gift it must be.
That said, my privilege is that I’ve had amazing friends, and their parents have loved me. It’s not quite a hug from your real mom, but it’s close, and I’m so thankful.
There haven’t been too many, but for those asking what I did to cause this, I caution you to re-examine your world view. A 15 year old is still 10 years away from a fully functional prefrontal cortex. Teenagers are literally trying to navigate a fully developed societal world at varying levels of emotional and biophysical maturity. If you decide to have kids, it is YOUR place to walk them through that development. If you have a blame based mindset in this, then do your future kids a favor:
Don’t have them.
Holy shit I could have written this myself... Except, you did it better. The helplessness of having no one trustworthy to turn to is something I’ll never let my daughter experience. Break the cycle.
Damn, that's fucking sad. My dad was a piece of shit that we had to run from when I was 6 and I think I'd still prefer that to parents that are around but don't give a shit
You’re probably right in thinking that, thanks for saying so. It’s oddly validating. My parents have two kids, and 0 kids that can go home without an induced trauma response.
I’m sorry that your family had to endure that, it’s not a contest— you can’t rate soul wounds.
Initially sounded combative when trying to sound empathetic or supportive.
I hear ya. I was emancipated when I was a teen. I am grateful for the mentors and chosen family who supported me through to this point (I’m almost 30) but I wish that I had the solid nurture, example, and support that I truly needed growing up. I probably wouldn’t have needed to spend so much money on therapy after high school.
This is so true. Sometimes I just wish I had someone to go to for advice or even comfort.
It is also amazing how much work it takes to keep sewers operating.
Have you heard about the crews in London who have to go into the sewers and break up giant fat balls clogging things up? Like 13ft in diameter. Pure congealed grease/fat.
Not sure why I've only heard of it happening there but ew
It's bc the sewer system in London is pretty old in comparison to most other ones, so it was built with a much smaller population in mind
Despite that the engineer who designed them, Joseph Bazalgette, made it so they were double the size required for the population of London in the 1860s.
I just watched a Tom Scott video about this. Super interesting stuff.
In China they collect the fatbergs, melt them down and create [Gutter Oil](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutter_oil) to use for cooking. Look it up, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen though so be warned.
In England they turned the Whitechapel fatberg (820 feet long and 140 tons!) into biodiesel. Imagine that: condoms, wipes, fats, and grease all powering some truck somewhere.
>condoms, wipes, fats, and grease
Traffic jams would smell like a senior's orgy at a McDonalds.
What a terrible day to be literate
Nope. Grew up in Beijing, there was a huge company that was shut down when I was like 6 for doing this, flavouring the “oil” into “olive oil” “vegetable oil” “grapeseed oil” etcetc, then selling it as legit new stuff. Stuff gave me noghtmares for days.
Yep, it was one of the biggest food safety scandals in China for a while, nowadays any Chinese person can crack jokes at 地沟油 (gutter oil)
no no no no no. is it like gutter oil sold to regular consumers ? are they aware its from fatbergs ?
Actually some are aware...so they do this:
"Due to rumours and the fear of Chinese customers of restaurants using gutter oil in their cooking, it has been reported that some people in China have resorted to bringing their own cooking oil with them from home in restaurants, and instructing chefs to use their home-brought oil in their kitchen when preparing their food instead of the restaurant's own cooking oil."
Sometimes I get funny looks for bringing my own hot sauce to a burrito place. Ask for a little extra hot sauce and it looks like the water at the top of an ignored ketchup bottle. I'm happy I don't think I have to deal with this shit.
All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Having access to technology. EDIT: referring to electronics
Somewhat surprisingly, access to electronics and communication is more widely available than access to clean running water or sewage systems.
The infrastructure for phones is a great deal simpler to install and maintain than water systems tend to be. And used, older, or simply cheaper phones are within the means of a number of poor people planetwide.
India is a good example. About twice as many people have internet access than have plumbing. Around 56% of the Indian population has phones and net access. Only about 30% of homes have indoor plumbing.
One of those things we tend not to notice is just how much work and money it takes to keep water and sewers working. Both the initial setup and the ongoing costs are enormous.
Living in a country with access to not only basic needs, but conveniences and luxuries as well.
Edit: autocorrect sucks
Autocorrect is a privilege, be grateful
Totally. Though mental health has received a lot of attention in the last few years, I think that many people fail to realize how pervasive mental illness can be -- even people who are apparently managing or "doing well" may not be thriving, or enjoying their lives.
It would be great if more people really took this into account and kept it in mind. So many people are so good at hiding it (whatever "it" is, depression, anxiety, whatever else) because that's what they've had to do, or felt like they've had to do, their whole lives. It's so important to ask people, directly, how they're doing, and if someone says they're depressed, *ask them directly if they're having thoughts about suicide or self-harm*. Asking is not going to make them do it -- if they're already thinking of it, your question will not make them more likely to go through with it. If anything it might help.
Getting as much sleep as you need.
Getting 8 hours of sleep is impossible when you have had insomnia for years and nothing you’ve tried has helped.
Yeah that's totally a privilege . And also having nice dreams. Alot of people keep having nightmares which is sucks so yeah thank god
my dreams are usually night terrors and are incredibly vivid. they wake me up before i enter deep sleep so i never get actual restorative sleep
I used to have constant nigh terrors and nightmares. I read a book on lucid dreaming, and it really helps. I never got to the point where I could just lucid dream every night, but I remind myself before I fall asleep that my dreams are all in my head and I get to say what happens in them, and that if something bad happens I can change it… it works 99% of the time. I don’t go fully lucid, but I’ll have a split second if “oh wait I forgot I can fly out of here” or “oh look, Dwayne ‘The Rock”’ Johnson has come to help me!”
I really recommend it; it’s made life so much better.
(And if it matters to you like it did me, there’s nothing woo-woo about it. It’s all just science in your brain)
I never realized it had a name, but I have always have pretty vivid dreams , often nightmares. I realized that if I believed I could fly in the dream, I could fly out of the bad situation. Still helps me now and then.
Going to school.
Exactly. Too many people take education for granted.
I noticed that i was privileged with eating to my taste- my dad told me how in mexico they ate what they had, it was rural farm life, i mean he continued to eat that way even living here in america, he would buy me and my sister whatever we wanted and make eggs and beans for himself.
i can eat mexican food, japanese food, chinese,burgers,italian whatever really.
Poverty and hunger do that to you. I eat leftovers, ration my food, we are a family of three two adults, 1 toddler and we have a massive pantry, we have enough dry food to last a family of 5 a whole year.. I never noticed it until someone pointed it out and I remembered being hungry as a child. My sister is the same way.
I completely understand this. We were really poor when I was a kid. I would get yelled at if I went in the fridge to get something to eat because there was only enough for the next meal. I was always going to bed with my stomach rumbling. When I had kids of my own they had whatever they wanted to eat and more than enough choices to pick from. The same with xmas. We had barely anything under our tree. I spoiled my kids so much. You know what though they never grew up with that spoiled attitude. They were very thankful for everything they had and continue to get. They have never gotten in trouble at all and are so well rounded. They make me proud to be their father every day.
That’s a good story glad they turned out good people. I went through a similar situation growing up. Every penny was accounted for. One thing I notice I do now is when I come home from the grocery store, I always take everything out and set it on the counter. It’s almost like I have to view my bounty all at once. It makes me feel very fortunate. And a full pantry is a blessing.
We have a local charity that helps needy people year round. They especially are geared towards people who have suffered from some kind of trauma. Death in the family, loss of house, things like that. I try to give to them as much as I possibly can. It makes me feel good inside to help people that truly appreciate it.
I’ve noticed that’s a generational thing. My dad was raised on a rural farm, but not in poverty. They ate pretty plain, and also what they grew. He reminisces about ketchup on spaghetti, and then chili was a real treat, with beef, kidney beans, and ketchup! He ate that way because his parents survived the Great Depression, and just continued to cook that way regardless of wealth.
My dad likes a lot of different things now, but he will still go crazy over ketchup on spaghetti (doctored up a little bit)!
My husband says he remembers sharing an egg with his family. It was 5 people with one egg.
I had a friend who worked on a farm during WW2 and was paid with 2 eggs a day which she took home to her family.
1) going to university
2) being able to just do university while you're at university
Not having to worry about war directly affecting your life and livelihood.
I read that the average length of stay in a refugee camp is *ten years*. Imagine being in temporary housing for that long.
This... I survived the war for 9 years in Damascus, Syria...but couldn't handle its consequences on the country and left a year ago....i still wake up in the middle of night crying and freaking out...heck i still dream of a chemical attack happening near me again and that i have to take my mom to a hospital to save her
That sounds like PTSD my friend. If you can afford or get professional help please do. I grew up during a war and left as a refugee family my father never got the help he needed. I wish you can heal as much as possible.
This might sound silly to some but the other night I decided to change my bedding randomly and realized how lucky I am to be able to swap to another clean set on a whim. Clean laundry, multiple blankets, a whole drawer of socks...those things make me feel rich. A lot of people don't have another set of clothes or a clean, safe bed to sleep in.
I had a gf that drove around with packs of brand new socks to give to homeless people. It never even occurred to me to give them anything other than food or money since those are the most obvious things but I imagine socks are one of the first clothing items to get destroyed when you’ve been homeless for a while
100% this. Socks and underwear were the number one thing the guys who I became friendly with at the GWCC Marta station (Atlanta GA) requested and I happily obliged. If these items will help someone feel better, more human - I’m here to provide.
We take things like this for granted.
Problems with feet are also a killer if you have to walk a lot, or have nerve damage. A lot of people end up losing the feeling in their feet eventually, and if you never take your shoes off because you literally live outside, you might have a serious injury that's going to end up in amputation if you don't check it in time.
Check your feet, people! Even if you're an indoor person!
One time many years ago i wound up chatting with a homeless fellow. It was a cold, dreary Feb and about the most i could do was grab him a cup of coffee and stand chatting with him beside some traffic. He told me something that has stuck with me all these years. "You know what i miss the most? You know that feeling when you put a brand new pair of socks on? I miss that a lot."
A few weeks later, some college friends of mine went around passing out meals and some basic toiletries to homeless. I made certain those care packages included a brand new pair of socks. We did find that fellow i gave coffee to. He cried when he saw the socks.
This is such a good one!!
Having access to dentists in childhood.
Getting braces paid for you by your parents as a teen
This. I am in my 40’s with braces. My parents couldn’t afford it and I waited until my kids (the ones that needed it) all got theirs done; then It was my turn. If I had gotten braces as a teen I’d like to think my massive underbite could have somehow been prevented. However, at the end of this year I’ll be having surgery on my top jaw to move it to the correct position.
I had an underbite when I was really young and my parents just said, "You need to fix that or you're going to be really ugly when you get older." I can't remember how old I was but any time I thought about it I would push on my teeth to try to fix it. As I lost my baby teeth and my adult teeth were growing in, I would use my fingers to push the top teeth past the bottom then clamp down as hard as I could. It was constant pain for me but I thought it was the only way to fix it since my parents hadn't given me any other options.
Obviously I didn't do a great job of it. Most of my top teeth are over my bottom teeth but several are horribly crooked. One is turned sideways 90° and my top canine on the left side is stuck behind my bottom teeth to the point where I used to bite my tongue all the time. I'll still wake up with my tongue sore sometimes from biting myself in my sleep.
My right top canine is a baby tooth. The adult canine never had a chance to grow in because it grew diagonally over my other teeth. Three of my older sisters of have the same problem but my twin sisters had it the worst. My dad is super stingy with money and didn't want to pay what insurance didn't cover so my mom went to her parents for help. They paid to get my twin sisters braces. I asked my mom if I could get braces too and she said no, then would threaten me not to ask my grandparents to help because it would be "too embarrassing."
My twin sisters made fun of me for "wanting braces so I could be like them." Who the fuck *wants* braces? I just didn't want crooked teeth in adulthood and I didn't want to have to pay more for any issues my ingrown tooth would cause in the future. I didn't even get my wisdom teeth removed until I was out of the house and had to pay for it myself. It was only like $200 to do for all four and I was bewildered my parents had decided to wait on it just so they wouldn't have to pay.
And to anyone out there who didn't get to go to the dentist as a kid, and is now super worried about it: just go.
Look for dentist offices that mention anxiety on their website. Lots of people are anxious, but it's good to go to a place that really knows how to help you feel better. Some will even have TVs on the ceiling so you can just zone out. And you can always request (more) numbing agents if you think that might be a problem. Just be totally honest about your concerns.
Your teeth are probably not as bad as you're imagining, but even if there are cavities and some problems to address, you'll be much better off with them addressed than if you continued to ignore them. Trust me, you will sleep so much better at night and have so many fewer dental nightmares after your dentist tells you that your teeth are okay.
Edit: also, it doesn't hurt. I had to have an old decayed tooth removed and a few fillings and all I felt was vibration and the suction thing. Even if the numbing agents are taking a while to kick in, they can do a nerve block if totally necessary. Point is, you don't need to feel even one ounce of pain if that worries you, and you are free to speak up at any time to say "actually, I can still feel it a little bit / I think it needs more time to work".
I went to the dentist for the first time since the 90s last year. I was worried that they'd find all sorts of things wrong and have to hack and pound around in there like i remember being the hell of going to the dentist as a kid (I'm sure part of that is memory making it worse than it was, but the cash dentist in a small town in the rural South probably wasn't a very good dentist to start with) This dentist wasn't so bad. The dentist called my mouth "surprisingly uneventful" and not the distaster zone i was expecting. Even the one minor surgery that she had to do was not that bad.
>The dentist called my mouth "surprisingly uneventful"
"I pay you to fix my teeth, not comment on my dating life."
Also just having access to dentists period. I lost my health insurance at 26, and none of the jobs I’ve had provide dental. I haven’t been to a dentist in years.
I’m not American so I’m just wondering—so do people normally always rely on a job to provide them insurance or is it just that you couldn’t afford to pay it yourself? (don’t know if this is an intrusive question). And if a job does provide it, wouldn’t they give just you a lower salary since they are the ones paying for it?
It just seems foreign to me because where I live people just normally just pay the monthly insurance fees for health+dental insurance out of pocket
I got legally married because my girlfriend could offer me medical care. She learned about a few health problems I was hiding and said “fuck you, we’re getting married for the insurance. We don’t have to tell anyone, we don’t have to combine finances, you’re getting healthy. You just have to propose because I want a moment.” So I ordered a ring off Amazon and proposed the next day. We’ve been married 2 years now. I’ve stopped pooping blood and I got 4 teeth replaced. America…
I mean, that is the kind of girl to marry anyway.
Having caring parents.
"You have to say that, you're my mom." - No, she doesn't. My mom never did.
Same thing in romantic relationships. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking every partner is going to compliment you, tell you they love you, and so on because they all do that when so many people are in loveless marriages without any of that.
"Just like terrible family situations are cyclical, a good healthy one can be too. Let you kids see you care for one another and build each other up, so they will see it as normal and expect it in their future partners."
Even partners that do love you may not automatically show you that they love you in exactly the way that you want them to... People show love in different ways. If they're not showing you love in a way that is meaningful to you, talk to them about it. If you can't deal with the way they express their affection for you, and they won't accommodate your needs it is time to find someone else who is more compatible.
My mom never did, then she got old and got therapy and now she's vocal about how much she loves me and how proud of me and blah blah. But still turns on a dime right back to the narcissistic abuse just saying whatever will hurt me the most in the moment because I stepped out of line. 💔 Fuck em.
My mom was super narcissistic but it went away when she got diagnosed with terminal cancer. It pisses me off how much I enjoyed spending time with her those last few months because she was fucking lovely. Why couldn't she have been like that my whole life?
That sounds so difficult and complicated to deal with, especially since she's passed now. I'm sorry you ahd such a hard time with her, and I hope you are able to accept / recognize that complicated anger is totally reasonable.
(I had a hard time trying to find a way to type that that didn't sound super condescending or patronizing - I hope you can read what I mean)
absolutely. i’m in my early 20s and just now coming to terms with the fact that my parents hardly give a shit about me or my sister. we’ve always felt like tenants/roommates in our parents’ house, even when i was a kid
I often wonder how different my life would be if I had two parents that gave a shit about me.
I always wondered what it would have been like if I had grown up with money or love. I would have accepted either.
Just non-abusive would've been welcomed.
Honestly I can't imagine how terrible it must have been to have abusive parents, mine were neglectful but generally not abusive. The way their actions messed me up was more by a lack of action (hence neglect) or just straight up weird and often unintentional - like how often 12 year old me had to de-escalate my mum's tantrums in public.
But I mean, the effects of that upbringing on me have been dire, so when it's a situation of active abuse...just I'm really sorry mate
Plumbing in general. Toilets, faucets, clean drinking water, it's gotta be one of the greatest advancements in civilization.
and has saved more lives than any other invention.
I don't remember where or from whom I first heard this, nor the quote exactly, but it was roughly:
"There are people all over this planet who are drinking water you wouldn't wash your car with."
That stuck with me.
Once saw a homeless person getting water from one of the great lakes with a used chip bag and putting stuff in it to make food not even boiled. Gotta do what you gotta do. I got them a gallon of water from a nearby gas station so they don't have to and I hope to do it again. Not to mention a nuclear plant was in view. I've swam in that water but I'd never ever drink it and it hurt me to see.
Not just clean water, but "unlimited" water ready on demand trough several taps around your home.
Having such easy access that you literally shit in drinking quality water.
And I still have a Brita water filter. I’m definitely privileged.
Oh Britta's in this?
She's the worst.
Getting Rid of Britta
This. I once worked on a First Nations reserve with no potable water. Everyone has these big containers you drop off at a water station, have them get filled, then carry them back home. Not only did it suck to lug heavy containers of water back to your house, it also sucked to have to constantly watch how much water you have and plan when you need to get a refill, as they only refilled your containers on certain days of the week.
I remember when there was talk of the water treatment facility showing signs of failing and there was a lot of anxiety around that.
Canada has so much of the world's freshwater but there are so many Canadians who don't have access to it. It's terrible
I'd guess most Redditors don't realize just how lucky they are if they have ready access to potable water. Clean water is a big one!
Going years without cancer or sickness
I've had cancer twice, and I still feel privileged when I think of the people I met in my ward who never made it out, or ended up with permanent damage.
I (am from USA) didn’t have a flush toilet until I was seven. Early enough that a flush toilet still feels like the normal thing, but late enough that I still appreciate it since I remember potty training with an outhouse 50 yards from the house in Maine (which is fucking cold in the winter)
My dad also grew up with an outhouse in Maine!! But, he's just turned 80 and I figure you're younger.
It's weird to me - and a privilege - that he grew up going to an outhouse and my master bathroom's toilet has a build in bidet.
When I was young and potty training, we stayed with my Nana who had a kinda rustic farm thing going. Some electricity, but no running water. So when she had kids staying over, she had a Potty Bin which was like a tiny training toilet we could use instead of running all the way to the "Night Soil Shed." We'd use it, someone would take it to the shed and dump it, and everyone wins.
Except the person who had to haul toddler poo to a creepy outhouse at the edge of the yard but oh well.
My mom told me a story about her cousin in the 60s. Similar situation, except some ass hat thought he'd play a prank on his niece. Scared her so bad that she ran, and the only place she thought no one would go after her was in the outhouse. Poor girl jumped into the shitter in a full on panic. I heard her dad sent dude to the hospital because he was so pissed.
Mom refused to use outhouses without a flashlight to make sure she wasn't doing business on people.
Your mom's poor cousin! And I thought Booty Spiders were the scariest thing in an outhouse.
Ah, the old Rectal Recluse. A shitshack tradition.
My brother has a story about having diarrhea in a village in Thailand that only had running water every other day. This day was an off day. Even still there wasn't a toilet like he's used to. It was a trench to squat in and a bucket with some water and a little shovel.
Worked in rural Sri Lanka for a year, I’ll never take electric, sitting toilet or available water for granted again, let alone the clean, drinkable running water in my lovely cozy flat, that I don’t share with bats, creepy crawlies bigger than my arm, the goat being fattened up, and a metric fuck ton of mozzies
Splinter free toilet paper. I saw an old ad for a new and improved TP that didn't give any splinters. Reading that made me shudder
Having loving parents in a healthy marriage.
Yes! Growing up, and even now, visiting my friends’ homes and seeing their parents so loving toward each other and their children would make me emotional.
I remember thinking "wow this is so weird" when I went to a friends house and their parents weren't constantly jabbing at each other and actually got along...
It's like constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, even in other people's homes. Like it's only a matter of time before everyone starts fighting
This was me when I went to a friend's house and thought their parents were being sarcastic with how polite they were to each other.
It was really eye opening to realize that simple things like consistently saying "please", "thank you", and "you're welcome" can be a bedrock for a stable relationship, and conversely how constant joking meanness & sarcasm can spread negative energy and put you on edge without you even realizing it.
yea... it always made me sad that i never got to experience what is like to have a functional family.
i remember hating living with my family, dad and mom screaming and fighting every day, being scared all the fucking time.... i would count the time wishing it would go faster so i could go to school and avoid being on my damn house.
and then when i went to my friends house and their family act all nice, make jokes at each other and invite me to stay for dinner... and the only thing i could think was " man... i wish they would just adopt me"
Yup, same here. I would go to friend's houses and not even know what to say while we were eating because I was just used to being quiet while everyone yelled.
Holy shit, same! First time I went to a friend's house where they'd sit together at the table, with different foods spread out (ie. not just one thing), and have intelligent conversations, it was very, very strange.
I've found my people.
"He's such a good boy, but so shy."
Read: he learned how to be invisible to stay out of the crossfire and never learned how to voice his needs.
Wish education systems understood that the quiet kids can be undergoing bad stuff just like the kids who are acting out but just learned a different way to cope with it.
Holy shit, wow, you just helped me understand so much about myself right now. I've been struggling to understand this aspect of my childhood for so long, and I've just found the answer in a reddit comment. Thank you
First time my girlfriend stayed with my family for Christmas she cried because of all the traditions and fun things we do for the holidays and it made her feel like she missed out on having a happy home in her childhood
My best friend’s parents invited me over to help decorate their Christmas tree last year because both of my (divorced) parents did their own ones without me, and it was such an intimate and loving experience. Each ornament had a story for them, and they shared all their happy memories and traditions with me. It was one of those moments where I really realized what I missed out on, and I cried when I got home. It’s tough.
I never had that experience growing up, and to top it off my car was stolen that had all my children’s decorations in, part of me starting our own traditions. I felt so defeated until I realised my eldest is 9, there is PLENTY of time to continue on and I might just get an ornament of a robber and a car to add to the history of our Christmas experience
Dealing with this. I was the scapegoat child, it's really screwed me up.
Or even parents who are able to support you financially in any way.
Yes, I have no safety net of parents to fall back on financially. Obviously not leech, but not even in tight situations where I might need to borrow a little money. Fortunately, I'm in a decent career with upward mobility.
My daughter was saying how she didn't want to turn 18 because it sounds scary. I said it can be but you have family, so you'll be okay, we are always here and you're always going to have a place at home if you need it.
She doesn't realize yet how lucky she is.
Being able-bodied. Maybe it's cliche but seriously, all that can change in less than an instant. You never realize how much you take health for granted until it's screwed up.
“Health is the crown on a well man’s head that only the sick can see” - grandpa
Yup, when you're healthy, there are so many things you want. When you're sick, you just want one thing.
I had a patient one day a male in his early fifties who was always a generally healthy guy except recently developed serious problems that limited is lifestyle and he said to me when you spend your whole life being healthy you don't know how to be unhealthy. And he didn't have to explain because as someone who's so far been generally healthy I knew exactly what he meant. Thought that was relevant.
I'm the reverse, I don't know how to be healthy anymore. 24/7 pain (and other health issues) since I was 16 years old, which was almost 16 years ago now, so I'm approaching it being 50% of my life. When I have a random day where I'm only in a little bit of pain, I don't know what to do with myself, because I'm not used to being able to do anything. People say "I don't know how you deal with it", and the truth is that it's all I know. You figure out how to deal with it, because there's no other choice.
I’ve had health problems my entire life. My chronic pain started around 25. People really do say “I don’t know how you do it”. What else am I supposed to do? I have to go to work. I have bills. “Why don’t you go on disability”. Because I can’t live off of $800/month. This is what I know. I have no choice but to just deal with it. It’s exhausting though.
I developed a bone disease at 25 that has limited my ability to function to the point that I'm on disability.
A) people treat you poorly if they know this. B) It really is about $800/month.
I'm so sorry that's the position you're in.
I often think about our eyes, so much of our lives and ability to live a happy life is depended on being able to see, but that massive gift is all depended on two unprotected mushy balls in our head that can easily be destroyed.
Like, here I'm sitting right now, I'm unable to destroy most parts of my body without a tool or some external force, but if I simply shove my finger into my eyes I lose my ability to see, it's such a fragile yet important part of our body.
Hey uh stop poking yourself in the eyes
Nyuck nyuck nyuck!
I can attest to this, I lost my vision to Optic Neuritus for about 3 months when I was 13, ended up in a children's hospital, they stuck me in a Barney the dinosaur room! My sight returned and has been better than average since, though I do have a blind spot in my left eye. Scary as hell.
and yet so many people on job sites don't wear safety glasses and rely on the safety squint. It's only a matter of time.
Ah yeah Ted don't sweat it. The extra millimeter of skin from your eyelid should stop that blade fragment right in its tracks
Yes, agreed! I quite often think about our ability to see and hear and realize how much much of a privilege it is to have.
Oof yeah I cant walk without pain and it has been like that for more than 2 years. And I am just 18 but maybe it will get fixed in a couple of years. Walking places was kinda fire. But yeah stay strong snd good luck to you
Absolutely. I worked in a construction setting and all of the old timers who were coming up on 30 years were physically broken. They didn't walk, they limped. They didn't breathe they wheezed. 30 years of heavy lifting, heat, and hazardous materials ensured they never really got to enjoy retirement. Quite a few died not long after their last day.
Holy fuck that's sad... And still so many people decide to tough it out and not bother with 'passive safety-gear'. Breathing masks when dealing with sanding, dust, or fumes. Hearing protection when dealing with powertools or being nearby loud machinery. Getting help to lift heavy shit, or simply taking it in several trips in order to save your joints and bones. (Your muscles can handle it but often the rest of your body can't). Eye protection when dealing with welding or in an environment with lots of flying bits. Gloves. Sunscreen on data with sharp sun.
Pretty sure the list goes on. All of it is so easy, cheap and take little to no extra time to utilize.
I work construction. Have since 1983. We didn’t have any of that safety stuff back then. You got a hard hat, gloves and maybe some safety glasses. Most of the old timers died a year or two after retirement. The younger guys I work with now think the stuff we used to was insane. Safety has come miles ahead compared to what it used to be.
This is so underrated. The only reason I am where I am today is because I've been healthy and able bodied for most of my life.
About 10 years ago I had a health scare, moved back in with my parents, and had a health issue that took me out of work for about 18 months but ended up not being life threatening nor chronic. Obviously it sucked and, at the time, I thought the break had torpedoed my career, but I bounced back and haven't had any huge health problems since.
Incredible privilege. Both financially and physically, but also just in the chances I'm able to take in my life and career (like moving across the country for work, traveling/moving overseas, etc).
Eating three meals a day
Running water 24/7 everyday
I live in a dry cabin in Alaska and you bet the minute I move someplace with clean and running water, I won't ever forget what a blessing it is.
My family often rents out one of the forest service cabins on PWS a few times a summer.
The first time, it was my first time going anywhere without running water really as an adult (plenty as a kid but as an adult we saved up for a camper with water tanks) and I was shocked at how much water we used to just drink and cook and brush our teeth, we didn’t take showers or have a flushing toilet or anything, just for eating and drinking.
The second time we went, I accidentally dropped one of our water jugs while carrying it to the cabin and it happened to land perfectly on a rock and punctured. I about had a meltdown over losing a gallon of water.
> I about had a meltdown over losing a gallon of water.
A gallon of water can save a lot of lives. It's a matter of perspective.
Very true. We still had plenty, and it was a 5 gallon jug we managed to tape the hole shut on before we lost too much.
But I felt horrible, it was easily 2 hours back to town for water if we needed any. And water is something you just cannot survive without.
Additionally, running water that is hot or cold, depending on your preference.
Welcome to the Navajo reservation where there is the second largest man made lake next to us, but we still have to haul it like a third world country. Doesn’t make sense to me.
Being able to have a hobby that isn't for making money.
I feel like a lot of people feel pressured to commoditise their interest and turn hobbies into "side hustles".
I started making resin projects and then literally everyone i showed them to (except my bf's angel of a mother) analyzed which ones i should make en masse to maximize sales. I didn't have an online shop and already had a regular job but people considered it to be a waste of my time just to make things recreationally and told me so. It made me feel so crappy I just quit my hobby for about a year until I got new friends and they encouraged me a lot. Showing someone important to you a thing you made creatively and then being told it has a $0 value can be crushing so please be nicer to each other, okay?
Totally agree. I love painting but paint, brush sets, and canvases add up quickly. I only do it for my own pleasure as a hobby so most of the time it’s not an expensive I can justify.
If you're talking about acrylic painting, cardboard can be a good cheap alternative to canvases. Getting some acrylic gesso (you can get a good amount for like $10 from Walmart if you're in the US) and coating the cardboard with it can help if you don't want the brown to show through.
Weekends off work.
I think about this every Saturday when the gardener comes to mow. He brings his son to help him. My kids are sitting in their PJs working on coding projects, while his son is out helping mow lawns. That is his kid's Saturday off school vs. mine. The danger is that someday, if my kids become programmers or whatever white collar job, they will look back and say, "It's because I worked hard to gain these skills," taking for granted the privilege of the time to do it.
You have the opportunity to ensure your kids don’t grow up thinking that
I follow a lot of bakers in the UK and most all are saying “it’s not baking weather”, and I realized they don’t have AC.
Funny thing is in the old days, lucky families coped by having a "summer kitchen" outside. It didn't mean they weren't hot but they didn't heat the whole house up with their wood fired cooking stoves.
I remember some folks in Phoenix (where I visited in the ‘90s). They literally carried the kitchen range out to the back porch in Summer.
I don’t have ac here in Alaska, and I don’t know anyone who does.
Which seems fine in theory, it’s not *hot* like it was in the Midwest where I grew up, I’m near the coast of anchorage so it’s like a nice 75 degrees in the summer. When we first moved here and I realized no homes have air conditioning, I thought “eh, no big deal, I’m used to 115 summers, 75 doesn’t seem so bad!”
And I mean, it’s not, I’m not going to literally die from getting too hot like other places, it isn’t that big of a risk here.
But the sun also just never fucking goes away in the summer. And our homes are super well insulated, so much so that if it’s sunny and 70 outside, it’s 85ish inside and there is NO break from the warmth because the sun at like 2am will say “aight brb” and at 4 am it’s fucking beating in the windows again. And it’s rarely breezy, the air is weirdly still here, so there’s not really a regular cool breeze blowing in. It’s just hot everywhere.
Even if it’s 40 outside and sunny, I have to start opening windows or it’s too hot inside.
My dad wanted something that required an oven,I said I would do it after we got ac back.It felt like over 100 degrees in the house.
I live in a house with no AC, for the first time in my life. My fan travels back and forth with me. An Irish comedian did point out one useful trick though. Store damp washcloths in the fridge. When it gets too hot, take one out and drape it around your neck. Very useful!
Although having a fridge is a privilege as well, really.
As a Brit in an older house that was built to survive arctic winters and so is *amazing* at retaining heat I agree. 32 degrees outside, 35 degrees inside, house is in full sun, no air con.
Every now and then I remember that I literally have to pay money for the privilege to see correctly. I would go insane if I didn’t have my glasses available. So on the one hand, I’m very fortunate that I have eye care and can get glasses but on the other hand some mfers get to see crystal clear for free.
Choosing your diet
Running water 24/7 and most of 365 days.
Stable electricity - the kind that doesn't shoot lightbulbs out of their sockets.
Sane traffic patterns.
Mostly clean fresh air.
Stocked shelves in the supermarket.
Driving a vehicle.
Having the freedom to focus on things like hobbies or finding your passion instead of just basic human needs like keeping a roof over your head and food in your stomach.
It’s hard to be creative when stuck in survival mode.
I die a little inside every time I hear celebrities and random media telling me to "follow my dreams" and shit like that. It's not like I don't have dreams. I do, and I was pursuing them for a while, until I realized I need to not be homeless and starving.
Having a pet. No matter your socioeconomic status or location having a pet means you have that much extra space, time and financial freedom.
I work for an animal welfare org and can tell you that many people that have pets absolutely do not have the resources to care for it and will let it starve to death. So I'd qualify with "Having and adequately caring for a pet."
having a loving parent and a partner