Gratitude is NOT Required

I like to keep a fairly sunny disposition. I kept smiling at the customers through the months that my boss nursed a bruised ego by oozing every bit of power trippy cruelty that could be mustered. I hold on to the little things. That we have a roof over our heads, that there is food on the table, that we have running water.

I accept that there are things others take for granted that I simply can’t have right now. A dishwasher. A vehicle for each adult in the house. Windows and doors that aren’t broken. A bedroom. A real bed – or a sofa bed.

Sure, I’d like to have plumbing that completely works and a dishwasher hooked into it so I don’t have to spend hours on a chore that others devote minutes to. But, what I’d really like is for people to not minimize and downplay what I’m going through. Don’t tell me it’s no big deal that I don’t have a dishwasher because you don’t use yours. Bullshit. You do and you know it. And, even if you are one of the rare people with a fully functional appliance in your home that you choose not to use, try to remember this before opening your smug mouth: it’s a choice you have.

I don’t get to choose between washing by hand and running the dishwasher. I get to choose how badly I let my hands get burned while washing thanks to faulty plumbing. Oh, but I’m sure you like washing in hot water, too, right? Or, you can just go on and tell me how lucky I am that the plumbing isn’t worse. All while not even being able to comprehend what it’s like to be so ridiculously broke that properly flowing water in the kitchen is a luxury you dare not dream of.

As a have-not, let me put it this way:

I am not required to be grateful for the partial things I do have. I have been utterly annihilated and am working my way back from destruction. If any part of my situation is an unimaginable Hell for you, do not dare tell me how lucky I am to be here.

I am not worth any less than you.


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