No longer stuck in a hopeless situation

As I walked in, I saw my mother laying on the couch, bloody from my dad beating her, shaking in fear, unsure of what to do. Fear shot down my spine and I knew once again I was going to be hit with the realities of life.

Ya'a'teeh, my name is JR Lilly and I am a citizen of the Navajo Nation. I belong to the Red Running into Water Clan and I am born for the Cliff Dwelling People Clan. I was born and raised on the reservation as the second oldest of six children (four brothers and one sister).

The story of my life is nothing special or unique, but a typical Rez life situation. When I was a baby,...