I would say run. Run far, far away and never look back. If you stay where you are, your life will never be your own. You will be sucked into a black hole of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, and years of unbelievable pain. Your life will never be your own if you stay. You have to get out. Now. Why would I say this? Because I am pushing fifty, and the only thing I have to show for my life is that I'm still breathing. I've never been married, I have no kids. I have spent my entire life attempting to fix something that it is not in my power to fix. I have endured some of the worst domestic violence you could possibly imagine, thrown myself into the fray at the risk of my own life to protect others, and I have been doing that since I was a child. It really messes with your head when the very people that are supposed to protect you are the ones that are hurting you; the anguish that you go through trying to figure out why. What did I do that was so bad that I deserved this? The only thing I can come up with is that I was born. They say that everybody has a purpose in life. So far my only purpose has been to watch my beloved family crash and burn throughout their entire lives because of their addictions and suffer the violence that was fueled by those addictions. I would love to travel, to meet people, to live my life not simply exist. All I have done up to this point is exist. I want to be free to enjoy life at long last. There has to be joy somewhere, there just has to be. It is something I have yet to experience. I will never be beautiful in the eyes of men, but I am beautiful. It just takes a lot longer for most people to see it. I hope more people will get the chance.

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