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I don't know what to do anymore.

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  • I don't know what to do anymore.

    I'm seventeen years old and I ran away from my father in October of 2006, so it's been almost a year since I've been home. I ran away because he was treating me like I was still 10. He was loosing control and I no longer needed him for everything anymore, I had a steady job and good friends, and that scared him, because I was becoming a self-sufficient young lady. He would constantly ground me and refuse to let me go anywhere because of small things like forgetting to lock the door. He would leave me waiting at work for him to pick me up for hours at a time, even late at night, the latest I was out would be 11:30 on a school night, because he was too busy with his current girl friend to pick me up, but yet, he refused to allow me to get a ride from anyone else. It was either walk the seven miles home, or wait three hours in the dark for him to pick me up. So after first consulting my mother(my parents are divorced, and my mom lives in a different state), I ran away. And after having my father chase me through the woods, I called a friend(whose father is the cheif of police), and I was picked up by the police. I then spent the next two days in a "safe house" where I was completely miserable and almost suicidal.
    After a few weeks of debate, I returned to Vermont and moved in with a friend. My father eventually found out where I was living, and did not bother to ever speak to my host family, or myself. And when he did call me, he called to yell at me about how I'm a terrible person. I just recently was moved out of my friends house, I've tried to move back in with my father, but it's hard to love someone you can't trust. (he's onto his fourth long-term relationship, third wife) I can't trust him because he keeps bringing these women into my life and ripping them out as soon as I think "this will last."
    Now, over the past few weeks, I've been trying to find a place in Vermont to live, so I can graduate high school(I'm on my senior year) in one place, as I've switched schools one time too many, and I had just gotten comfortable. I'd also like to work things out with my father, maybe by going to family therapy. But I could also stay with my mom in Rhode Island, switch schools and stay the runaway my father has come to know me as.
    What I'm asking you is; What are my options? My Host mother had suggested I go into foster care, but what would that take? My guidance councelor is going to let all the teachers know I am looking for a place to stay, but she doesn't know if anything will come up.
    Please help, I am so torn right now and I just need some kind of guidance.

  • #2
    Re: I don't know what to do anymore.

    Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing some of your story. It sounds like you’ve had a few years of ups and downs with a lot of instability. It also sounds like you know what you want, but aren’t sure how to achieve it. There are a couple different issues that you brought up, the most pertinent being finding somewhere to stay to complete your last year of high school as well as eventually working things out with your father.

    From what you wrote, your father has known where you are for the past year, correct? Has he ever attempted to make you come back home? Obviously, you probably know that your dad could legally make you come back home, but it doesn’t sound like he has tried to do this. Did he ever give you permission to stay elsewhere? You mentioned a couple options you’ve thought about: foster care, living with your mom, living with a teacher. As far as foster care goes, usually foster care is reserved for children and youth that have been removed from their legal guardians home because it wasn’t safe. However, there may be some sort of transitional living program (TLP) that you could stay at. You mentioned you were at a safe house for a while, do you know if they have any sort of TLP? The one thing to know about TLPs is that they may need consent from your legal guardian in order for you to stay there. Do you think your dad would consent to something like this? Another issue would be finding one in your area that had availability. Just so you know this is something we could help you with. As far as living with your mom, what do you think about this option? How do you think your dad would feel? This option would obviously involve moving to a different state, how would you feel about that?

    It sounds like you have people in your life that are supporting you and trying to help you figure out where to go from here. It’s important to have this kind of support; you’re lucky to have it. One other issue you mentioned was trying to work things out with your dad and even mentioned family therapy. This sounds like a great idea. Do you think he’d go for it? If you were able to work things out with him, do you think living with him again would be a feasible option? There are obviously a lot of trust issues with your dad, which makes it hard for you. We’d be more than happy to try to find a place where you could get some sort of family mediation or therapy with him.

    In the end, you wrote you just needed some guidance. It sounds like you’ve tried to make decisions that are best for you and are now at a point where you’re not sure what to do next. Ultimately, what is it that you’d like to see happen? We can’t tell you what to do, nor do we have the right answer (wouldn’t it be nice if someone did!). However, we are available if you want to talk to someone more in depth about the situation and all the possible options. Sometimes it helps to have an unbiased person, who is outside of the situation, to talk it through with. Not only are we available for just this, we can also search for services like a TLP or family counseling for you. Mostly we’re just here to empower you and help you make the decision that you’re most comfortable with. Out hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY, is available 24/7 and we’re completely confidential. Call anytime, day or night. Best of Luck with everything.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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