The ways poverty affects your brain, even when you are no longer in poverty, is unreal.
Like the feeling of fear when you see a truck from the water department rolling slowly down your street when you KNOW you paid your bill and they are not coming to your house.
The pit of your stomach shame when the register is broke and your card is declined at the store when you know to the penny how much is in your account and you KNOW it isn’t your fault.
Then the shame you feel when you realize it declined when you are buying a bottle of wine and some nice cheese for a party at your house, and you wonder if people are judging you for what you are trying to buy. How dare you, poor person, enjoy things!
The panic you feel when you are getting low on food, even though you have money in the bank and live near the grocery store.
That you will, for the rest of your life, always prefer mushy green beans from a can instead of the much healthier frozen or fresh green beans.
Berating yourself for buying the good olive oil instead of the generic, even when you can afford it.
The constant feeling that if there is money in your checking account, it is because you have a bill you have forgotten to pay.
Having a high resistance to paying for quality. Yes, you know the more expensive, better quality item will last longer and is thus a better value. But you also know the comfort of paying $30 for something instead of paying $65 and having $35 more dollars in the bank.
It really does change your brain.