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Running Away..

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  • Running Away..

    Okay, I am 16 years old. I will be 17 in a few months. I live with my mom, my two younger sisters, and my mom's fiance. I am the only one expected to do anything around the house. I am almost CONSTANTLY grounded. Which I deserve, but it bothers me because when my sisters do things that any parent would ground their child for, they either don't get grounded, or don't get half the punishment they deserve. I am always punished the hardest. On top of being expected to keep the house clean, I'm also expected to just deal with the verbal abuse they all throw at me. My mom and her boyfriend always put me down about my weight, how lazy I am, my stupidity, my choices, everything. I hardly ever hear positive things from either of them. I also get the same name-calling, putting down from my sisters. Before I go on... My mom is an alcoholic, her fiance is also a drinker. My mom used to smoke pot, and do other drugs she'd rather not admit. I smoke pot, and various other drugs. My 14 year old sister used to smoke pot and drink alcohol, and my 11 year old sister smokes cigarettes and has smoked pot before.

    I have been grounded for the past month and a half. Which may not seem like a big deal, but having to stay home with my sisters is NOT fun. None of us are angels, and I don't want to hear a single word about how drugs are bad. Being sober in this house has almost killed me. What I need now is to run away. I am very positive that that is the only solution. Hopefully, though I didn't ask yet, I'll be able to stay with a friend. A friend I have known and trusted for a very long time. Who understands why I would want to leave. I plan on staying somewhere else for a while, then eventually meeting up with them and staying with them. At least until I'm 18, then I plan on picking up my life exactly where I left off. I will get my GED, and apply for jobs. If I could apply for grants or scholarships, then college would be a possibility. I have a really good feeling about this. And it's something I need to do. All I'm asking for is advice, some tips to NOT get caught by the police. A back up story, etc.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    RE: Running Away..

    Hello, and thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Switchboard.

    It sounds like you have a lot on your mind right now. You state that you’ve been grounded for the past month and a half, and that your siblings don’t receive nearly the name level of punishment for similar acts. You also state that you have to deal with name-calling and put-downs from all members of your family: your mom, her boyfriend, and your sisters. You state further that your mother is an alcoholic and former drug user; that you actively smoke pot and use other drugs; and finally you state that your siblings have tried pot, and sometimes other drugs as well.

    This sounds extremely difficult, and you are clearly a very strong person for managing this situation, and choosing to reach out for help. No one deserves to be called names or made to feel bad, particularly at home from his or her family.

    You state that you feel the only solution to run away, most likely to stay with a friend that you haven’t asked yet. Ultimately your goal is to earn your GED after you turn 18, apply for jobs, and eventually look into attending college.

    Finally, you asked for advice. You want to know options for not being caught by the police after you run away.

    Hopefully we’ve summarized the details above correctly.

    Again, we are glad you decided to contact us. Our goal is to help you accomplish your goals, and to help you stay as safe as possible.

    We can’t tell you what to do, but we can let you know what other people in your situation have considered in the past.

    First of all, we are not legal experts, but typically when a person under the age of 18 runs away, the legal guardian responds by notifying the police. At that point, the typical police response (if they encounter the runaway) is to return them home, to the legal guardian. You state that you do not wish to encounter the police, perhaps for this reason. Can you think of any ways you can avoid meeting any police officers, while at the same time staying safe?

    Some people in your situation have considered forming a backup plan. Have you thought about where you might go, if you can’t stay with your friend? Who would that be?

    Also, in order to stay safe it might be useful to think about how you will get from place to place – do you have transportation? Do you have funds to pay for transportation on the bus, train, etc? Also, have you thought about how will find food to eat every day?

    You state that you plan to earn your GED after you turn 18. Have you thought about what you will do with your time before you turn 18? Will you try to earn money with a job?

    Some people in your situation will choose not to run away, but instead to stay home and try to work things out with the family. In those cases, some people have turned to a counselor, a pastor, a friend, or a family member they can trust. Sitting down with a neutral party, perhaps as a family, has been effective for some people in the past. Do you think that’s an option for you?

    Whatever you decide to do, we want to make sure you are staying as safe as possible. If you ever feel if you are in danger, you always have the option of calling 9-1-1 to stay safe. In addition to that, you can call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929) any time, 24 hours a day, every day. We are here to talk about your situation, provide you support, and offer resources if you want. We do not tell people what to do, we do not judge, and we do not take sides – we’re just here to help.

    Feel free to call us anytime. You can also talk to us online via our instant messaging program with here at – just click the red button to talk with us online between 4:30pm and 11:30pm (Central time), every day.

    Take care, and stay safe.

    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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