I read The Leatherstocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper. Mostly because they were right behind my head in study hall. It was escaping into another world as well. There was also the regional and historical attraction. I didn’t have a difficult childhood though. I sometimes wonder if karma came back around for me in middle age.
When I look around me now, I find my heroes mostly in the women I’ve known who have conquered their worlds. I didn’t even have to fight in that battle until I was in my forties. By then I had accumulated enough weapons that the odds were in my favor.
I treat everyone with kindness because I have no idea what battles they have fought or are still fighting.
Oh, and I like badass chicks. :)