Very well put. I lived a similar childhood, as did my 4 siblings, and its shocking that I am one of 2 to see my way out of the cloud of hopelessness. I would say its because of a connection to the hope in art and literature, in my case, that allowed me to see through the cloud, while sadly most of my siblings are still in the cycle.
Its sad that I am seen as almost a hero in my own neighborhood for owning my own business. I have tried to help everyone I know out of this thinking, but its truly difficult when you tell a person who has had nothing all of their life how easily it is to change that situation, and they see it as a wild fantasy.