The Story of a Librarian
As told to Allie Miller
Hunger can happen to anyone, from any background. You never know how quickly things can change. Growing up, my life was safe, comfortable, and full. I had no idea any of this would happen.
I used to live in Kansas City and had a good job at Johnson County Libraries. Starting at an entry level, checking in books, I worked up to the position of assistant librarian. Eventually, I was placed in charge of all the Johnson County Library branches. I had done everything right.
One day, I was violently raped.
Shortly after, I met my future husband. He was a body builder and he made me feel safe. I didn’t think anyone could hurt me when I was with him. We got married and moved to Wamego to help run my family’s business. There we did what married people do, bought a house and opened joint bank accounts. I worked at the business and put him through school because I believed in him and believed in us.
But then he started getting violent with me.
I came home from work one day and there was a note on the refrigerator saying that he had left me for someone he met online. It said he had sold our home, taken the car, and cleared out all of our accounts. Later, I found out he was caught cooking and selling meth out of our car. The car and all of the money he had taken were seized by the state of Missouri.
He took everything. I had nothing. I had to sleep in a friend’s garage and had no transportation.
Then, I developed a rare form of arthritis. It took many years, but I am now on disability. I have good days and bad days and because of that I can’t work. On my goods days I am able to get up, take a shower, and get dressed. But on the bad days I have to crawl to get to the bathroom. I can’t even get to my mailbox. I have no support or help from my family. They disowned me.
I never imagined this would happen to me, but this is my story. Everything can change in a second. Hunger can happen to anyone.
“Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas,” debuts on October 12th at the Manhattan Arts Center.