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No rational reason to leave

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  • No rational reason to leave

    I'm fifteen, going to be a junior this fall and I live in Colorado. I have a pretty good home. My mother is very caring, even if she smothers me and never lets me do anything or go anywhere. She's just trying to protect me and she doesn't me to do the right thing. I've done some disreputable things before (carrying on secret relationships, going to friend's houses when I wasn't supposed to), but nothing to ruin my credit. I did drugs for a while during a bad time during freshman year, but she never found out and my friends helped me get clean. I've always been independent, and I get good grades at school. I continue my eduction outside of school, and that is actually better for me sometimes, as I've taught myself physics, basic chemistry, and Latin in this way.

    The only problem is that my Dad became an alcoholic recently, decided he was gay and moved out. This has been difficult for my sister and my mother, but I can't feel anything about it. It's been like this for a while; me being numbed out to everything that goes on at home. My family really doesn't mean anything to me other than some people I share genetic material with. I'm apathetic whenever I'm at home, and I can't stand it. I started cutting just to feel something. I'm not suicidal, I LOVE life and all it's good things, but being here is making me crazy.

    Even though I make good grades and study outside of school and volunteer and help out around the house, everything I do is never enough. My mother lectures me and continues to take away all the things that make me happy. I'm scared that she'll find out about my boyfriend (he's 17 going on 18 this October) and that she'll disallow me access to him. If she does that, I don't know what I'll have to live for.

    I'm not sure what part of this is just teenage complaining and melodrama, but I'm starting to scare myself with the numbness, the apathy and the cutting. I'm not allowed to talk to counselors or other adults about my problems. The best option I can see is running away and living with my boyfriend's family, but I still have one reservation.

    I can't keep staying here, because I am getting to the point where all the razors in the world wouldn't make me feel anything. I know I don't have any rational reason to leave, but I'm afraid of what I might do if I stay...

  • #2
    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. We are a confidential and anonymous hotline for youth that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now and we’re glad that you have contacted us. It takes a very strong person to reach out for support and we’re glad you have taken that first step.

    You said that you are 15 and going through a lot right now. It seems as if you also had a difficult time last year but your friends helped you through it. It also sounds like you are pretty close to your boyfriend; is he supportive of you? How long have you been dating him?

    We’re sorry to hear about what happened with your dad. How long ago did he move out of your home? How would you classify your relationship with your mom? You stated that you know she cares about you but you feel that even with everything you participate in, it’s never enough. You also said that she takes stuff away and lectures you; what is usually going on before this starts?

    Throughout your message, you talked a lot about not being able to feel anything and cutting to try feeling something. How long have you felt this way? You talked about a time that your friends helped you through a period of drug usage; do they know that you are cutting? How do they feel about it? Does your mom or sister know about it and, if they do, how do they react to it?

    If you were to run away, do you think you would stay with your boyfriend’s family? If not, where do you think you would stay? One thing that we can do here is try to find you shelter or somewhere safe to go if you were to leave. We have a national database of resources that include shelter, legal aid, counseling/therapy and other national hotlines.

    One place that may be able to provide you with additional support is To Write Love on Her Arms ( They have links to other resources that could help you out and provide you with an outlet to talk about your feelings.

    You can also contact us here 24 hours a day if you ever want to talk to someone or are interested in finding resources in Colorado. It sounds as if you are a very strong person but that you’re going through a very difficult time right now and we wish you the best of luck with everything. We look forward to hearing from you.


    • #3
      I've been dating him for about 6 months now. A short time, but he's everything to me and he is always there for me. He's incredibly supportive, and he'd do anything for me.

      My dad moved out about two months ago, but I learned (from other family not my mother) that the drinking and lying and taking money from us has been going on for years. My relationship with my mother is superficially good, i.e. we hang out and walk around and watch movies, but she really doesn't know me anymore. Whenever she starts talking at me, it's usually been after I don't pick up my clothes off the floor or I don't talk to her and my sister for an hour or two. It starts on topic but always ends up with her telling me how I have a selfish sense of entitlement and I'm immature and I act like it's too much for me to engage with them. Which it really is sometimes...

      It's been like this off and on since the 7th grade, about four years ago, when two of my best friends attempted suicide. My friends do know, and they don't approve, but none of them are sure how to help me. I have a hard time being sure that my mother doesn't know, the scars are a little obvious and I wear short sleeves, tank tops and shorts all summer long, but my mother hasn't said anything about. So she either doesn't know or doesn't care. My sister doesn't now, but I don't think she'd understand, as she's only 10.

      I think I could stay with them (my boyfriend's parents). I'm 90% sure, and if not, I have a good friend I could stay with. I'm not about to be an idealist and say that my boyfriend I will stay together forever (that's the best case scenario but it's one in a million and I know it), and I could stay with my close friend if we broke up. My mother doesn't know said friend, so it would be hard for anyone to trace me to her house.

      Thanks for the prompt reply, you guys (and gals) do great work


      • #4
        Thank you for responding so quickly. It seems as if you are on top of everything and really trying to get to a safe location.

        It’s great to hear that you and your boyfriend have such a good relationship already. It sounds as if you may be able to stay with his parents if you were to leave; are they aware of what has been going on? If things don’t work out with your boyfriend or his parents won’t allow for you to stay, it sounds like you also have a friend who will allow for you to stay. Again, if these situations don’t work out for you, we can help you locate a safe place to go to help you sort through your options.

        It sounds like things weren’t going well with your father for quite some time now but that your mom hid it from you and your sister. Why do you think she did that? You said that your relationship is superficial because she doesn’t know you anymore; do you think that you would ever feel comfortable telling her how you were feeling and what’s going on?

        We’re sorry to hear that things have been so rough for you for such an extended period. You mentioned that your friends tried committing suicide and that’s when you started to feel this way. Was there something specific that year that happened? Is there ever a time when you don’t cut and what are some things you do to make yourself feel better?

        Please remember we are available 24 hours a day so please give us a call anytime. We wish you the 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)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!


        • #5
          I did look into some shelters, and the legalities. I ave one place I like, could get to and can stay there for two weeks according to Colorado law. That's mostly thanks to you guys for providing links .

          I think my mother was trying to protect us. She automatically assumes my age means I can't handle things, or at least that's how it appears. I am going to try talking to her tonight, but I'm not sure ow it will go...

          My friends were being bullied mercilessly, being a lesbian couple in middle school is tough, and they tried running away first, but one of them forgot her medication so they went home.

          Sometimes I give my boyfriend a call or I sit on my roof and read (another thing my mother would not approve of), or work on my astronomy.

          I think I will try calling, but I'm afraid my mother would see the call on my phone... if I get to a pay phone or a friend's phone soon I think I will.

          P.S. How hard do the police look for runaways. I know the case goes cold in a month but are you aware of the procedures they might use, other than calling friends and family members? Would they check shelters? I know they would make me go back, not only because of the law but I'm not suffering any physical abuse, and I'm not sure inducing depression counts as abuse.



          • #6
            Re: No rational reason to leave

            Hello again,

            It sounds like you're really weighing through all your options and have come up with some valid questions. We are not legal experts, but we can provide some basics about running away. To our knowledge, running away is just a status offense. However, many parent(s)/guardian(s) do choose to file runaway reports which are entered into a national law enforcement database, the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). If police discover you are in the NCIC, they will usually just send you back home which sounds like something you are aware might happen.

            You also ask how hard the police look for runaways which can depend on a number of factors. Some police will look more intensely if it is the first time a youth has run, if they are thought to be endangered, and/or if information about their whereabouts is known. Unfortunately though, there is not always a way to know ahead of time how a runaway case will be handled.

            Shelter procedures can also vary; they are usually required to notify (and sometimes even get consent from parent(s)/guardian(s)) anywhere from immediately upon a youth’s arrival up to 72 hours. This is so they do not get in trouble for harboring a runaway which is considered a misdemeanor (if there is no other criminal background) in most states.

            It certainly sounds like you’ve been through a lot and we appreciate you being so open about your situation. You mention trying to call us if you can call from a pay phone or friend’s phone. Another option is to “Live Chat” with us by going to our website’s main page, and clicking on the red button.
            We hope you are able to figure things out and can stay safe in the mean time.

            Best of luck!

            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)

            Tell us what you think about your experience!


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