"I'd like to tell you how my grandparents thrived in their new environment, how they raised a successful family, and how they retired comfortably middle-class. But that is a partial truth. The full truth is that my grandparents struggled in their new life, and they continued to do so for decades.
For starters, a remarkable stigma attached to people who left the hills of Kentucky for a better life. Hillbillies have a phrase- "too big for your britches" -to describe those who think they're better than the stock they came from. For a long time after my grandparents came to Ohio, they heard exactly that phrase from the people back home. The sense that they had abandoned their families was acute, and it was expected that, whatever their responsibilities, they would return home regularly."
I struggled in college, and I struggled after college. Finding my place as a first generation graduate in a family full of poverty was difficult, and at times a burden I wished I'd never attempted to take on. The struggle described by #JDVance in #HillbillyClergy puts words to feelings I was never able to describe. To finally feel like I'm not alone in this struggle is a relief, and I'm eternally grateful for the brave man who chose to be vulnerable and tell of the struggle so many individuals share.