I grew up very poor. My mother was young when she had me. I lived with her and my grandparents for the first few years of life. My mother married and I was adopted, so we moved around from apartment to apartment.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of living on the 3rd floor of a small apartment in an old house. There was no yard. The children that lived in the other apartments were older and played outside in the driveway. I was not allowed. I watched them playing with Barbies outside from the window in my 3rd floor room.
I had very little as far as things. I had hand-me-down clothing. My mother enrolled me in dance classes, but mismatched blue tights with a black leotard. The children picked on me terribly so I refused to go back.
When my half-sister was born, my mother moved to a trailer. I had friends in the trailer park. We made our own play food using an old pot, water from the hose, and rocks.
I also remember being flea bitten. Underneath the trailer was sand, so we had an infestation of fleas. We had very little shade. My mother didn't want me in the house, so often made me stay outside. I have fair skin. One time I remember being burned so badly, the emergency room had to cut my clothes off. I had large blisters on my shoulders and arms from the sun I was exposed to without protection.
I was eventually removed from the home and adopted a second time. By this time, I was no longer treated as a child. I was expected to be more grown up. So, I would say growing up poor robbed me of a childhood.
But, ultimately, it created the personality I have today. I never forget where I came from, and I am always looking out for those in need. Thankfully, my children have never known what it means to go without. I have a Barbie collection for my daughter today because I never had any of my own.