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    2017-08-17 10:00
    &ldquo;My daughter was injured during birth. Her back was broken during labor. She&rsquo;s in her thirties now but she still has a lot of problems, especially in her mind. She can&rsquo;t be left alone. Sometimes she doesn&rsquo;t even know where she is. It&rsquo;s like she&rsquo;s living in a ghost world. It&rsquo;s been very difficult for us. My wife had to stop working and became severely depressed. We can&rsquo;t travel. We can&rsquo;t be active. I try not to resent my daughter but it can be hard. Sometimes she gets very aggressive. When she was younger, she threw all of our possessions out the window. I don&rsquo;t think many people could have handled it. They&rsquo;d have taken her to an institution by now. But I can&rsquo;t do it. Those places are very scary. But my wife and I are getting old. We have no other relatives. So that&rsquo;s where she&rsquo;ll end up one day. I try not to imagine it. But it&rsquo;s inevitable.&rdquo;<br><br>(St. Petersburg, Russia) <br>
    2017-08-17 04:00
    &ldquo;I&rsquo;m fourteen and all my friends are crazy about being grown ups right now. They&rsquo;re drinking alcohol. They&rsquo;re smoking cigarettes. They&rsquo;re trying to act vulgar. They&rsquo;ll do anything to separate from their parents and prove that they&rsquo;re independent. Personally, I&rsquo;d like to be a child just a little bit longer. I love spending time with my parents. I&rsquo;m not in a rush to get away. I&rsquo;d like these times to last as long as possible.&rdquo; <br><br>(St. Petersburg, Russia) <br>
    2017-08-16 05:00
    &ldquo;I always wanted to be a mental health therapist. &nbsp;Ever since high school, I&rsquo;ve enjoyed encouraging people and giving them hope. &nbsp;But I lost my way. &nbsp;I got caught in a world of addiction. &nbsp;I lost ten years of my life to drugs. &nbsp;I stopped when I became pregnant with my child, but by that time it was too late to go back to school. &nbsp;I started working as an office manager. &nbsp;I never completely lost my dream. &nbsp;But I just put it on a shelf for thirty years. &nbsp;Then five years ago I to&hellip;ok it off the shelf. &nbsp;I heard a lady in my choir talking about how she enrolled in community college. &nbsp;I drove there the very next day. &nbsp;I was so nervous when I filled out the application. &nbsp;I was so nervous the first day of class. &nbsp;All the old voices were telling me: &lsquo;You never finish anything.&rsquo; &nbsp;But I said &lsquo;fuck you&rsquo; to the old voices. &nbsp;And I started getting A&rsquo;s. &nbsp;On my first test, I got the only perfect score in the class. &nbsp;I graduated at the age of 50. &nbsp;I got my Masters at 55. &nbsp;And just last night I completed a mental health first aid course. &nbsp;I&rsquo;m so close now. &nbsp;There&rsquo;s still fear there. &nbsp;I used to be afraid of it never happening. &nbsp;Now I&rsquo;m afraid of it happening. &nbsp;The old voices try to come back sometimes. &nbsp;They tell me: &lsquo;You can rest,&rsquo; or &lsquo;You&rsquo;ve earned a break.&rsquo; &nbsp;But I&rsquo;m not stopping this time. &nbsp;Somebody out there is waiting for me to finish because they need my help.&ldquo;
    2017-08-16 05:00
    &ldquo;We&rsquo;d only been together for a year when I was diagnosed with a blood clot in the brain. I couldn&rsquo;t work for months. I couldn&rsquo;t go out. I could barely leave the house. I became completely dependent on him in every way: he provided emotional support, he ran a lot of errands, he even helped me with bills. It was a very tough time for me. I&rsquo;ve always been independent. I&rsquo;ve never had to rely on someone like that before. And it scared me. We hadn&rsquo;t been dating for long. I thought the burden would become too much for him. So I got frustrated. I&rsquo;d get pissed at little things and I&rsquo;d take it out on him. But he never got rattled by it. The whole time I was afraid that my situation would become too much for him. When in reality, it was only a big deal to me.&rdquo; <br>
    2017-08-16 05:00
    &ldquo;My mother had always been functional as long as she took her medicine. But a couple years ago I began to notice a change. When we spoke on the phone, she&rsquo;d laugh at the smallest things. Everything was a joke to her. But then she could also get very angry. She became convinced that people were plotting against her. She kicked all my siblings out of the house. When I went home to California, I discovered that she had drawn lines and circles inside all of her books. She seemed fixated on certain times and dates. Everything bothered her. She started calling me &lsquo;faggot&rsquo; and things like that. It&rsquo;s been a tough two years. She&rsquo;s gotten worse and worse. I&rsquo;ve flown back to California four times, but we barely speak when I&rsquo;m home. It&rsquo;s like she&rsquo;s not even there. Meanwhile I&rsquo;ve stopped investing in my friendships. I&rsquo;ve had to drop out of my dance company. I&rsquo;ve been getting depressed. Even when I&rsquo;m not with her, I&rsquo;m worrying about her. It&rsquo;s getting to the point where I have to choose not to care about this. I have to think of her as gone. I didn&rsquo;t create this. I created my life. And I don&rsquo;t think I can take care of us both.&rdquo; <br>
    2017-08-16 05:00
    &ldquo;I have four boys. I was a single mother for most of my life. But I&rsquo;ve been a good mother. I&rsquo;m going to pat myself on the back for that. It wasn&rsquo;t easy. I struggled hard. In my twenties, I got kicked out on the street with four young kids. But I made sure they were always safe, fed, sheltered, and had proper clothes for the season. They always had bikes and skates. And I kept them busy. I signed them up for everything: karate, basketball, swimming, you name it. I paid for it all. I didn&rsquo;t want them spending time in the streets, so I&rsquo;d work overtime just to keep them busy. I never had much left over for myself. I sacrificed a lot for them. I still wake up at 3:30 every morning to beat the traffic across the bridge. But they always come first. Because they never asked to come here. They were my decision.&rdquo; <br>
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