I'm sorry you had to experience that--it sounds terrifying.Well, I acknowledge I will never know for sure. I can only do the best I can wherever I am at. I try to hold onto all possibilities, to have contingencies.
Not being able to protect people in bad situations has haunted me for most of my life because I’ve seen so much of it first hand, and often seemed to be able to dodge abuse where others could not. Was it luck? Was it me? Was it them? I end up thinking about that a lot.
Staring down my stepfather at eight years old in his moments of drunken wrath - all 300 lbs of him - was a lesson in overcoming fear. That is where I learned that being small and vulnerable can have an advantage. He knew, and I knew, that if he ever hit me he was going straight to jail. So he would beat holes in the wall instead. I can see how some might come to this realization of their position and use it nefariously - but for me, I just wanted to be safe and keep others safe. Even for him, I had compassion, because so much of his feelings I could empathize with - he was an artist and would draw eagles chained to the ground, screaming with fury. I used to copy all his beautiful drawings, mesmerized by the desire for freedom, knowing that anger behind it, and I could recognize we’re complicated and flawed and can frighten one another, and still care about one another.
So, whenever I can, I always want to give someone a chance.
But it also sounds like you're a wise and caring person, and you've used your past negative experiences to transform them into some insight that can help you to make the world a nicer, kinder place.
So that's definitely a great accomplishment and I'm sure the people you've impacted have been fortunate, and that their lives have been made brighter by your trying to help--even though I agree, there is only so much anyone can do.