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falling apart

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  • falling apart

    Well my dad was a really nice guy...until he broke his back about nine years ago. Since then he has been on a lot of medication, has been going to doctors every week, and smokes chronically (but he has been smoking since before my parents got married). I am not exactly sure when he started, but I had found marijuana under his bed about a year ago. My mom knows but won't do anything. I didn't say anything until now because I didnt want him to get in trouble. He has gotten worse and has been really mean lately, which also seems to have rubbed off on my mom. On top of all of this I have a sister who is almost two (I am fourteen). Which probably stresses them out even more. I want my dad to get better but I can't bring myself to tell him because I am afraid he will hurt me, physically. And my mom started yelling at me, it seems like once a month, to get out of the house. My family is falling apart and I feel terrible, like it's my fault. That's probably why I try so hard to get all A's. I am first ranked in freshman class and have a good life, at school. I just want my family back, that's all.

    p.s. I dont want to call the hotline number or talk to anyone. I guess i just need some reassurance. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: falling apart


    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard and we hope that we can be of service to you today. We are excited that you managed to find the time to write to us and want to commend you for trying your best to make sense of everything that is going on around you. Life at home can be stressful for everyone and it sounds like your parents are stressed out for many reasons. However, your need to remain safe and strive for a better family are important to us and we want to continue to be there for you. We are mostly concerned for your safety and you are the only one who can be for certain how safe you feel around your house. It seems that you are in a negative space when your father indulges in drug use and it is your right to not have this sort of activity going on in your household.

    We are not in the position to tell you what to do in this case because we do not offer advice. The point you made about needing reassurance is something that we cannot do because we cannot assure you of the outcome unless you took certain actions to prevent certain things from happening. While it is not your responsibility as a child to secure a safe place to live at, it is something that we can empower you to do so that you are able to figure out a way to take action. The reality of the situation is whether it is something that you are able to pull off. We say this with the utmost confidence in you that you can bring about change if you choose and calling the proper authorities to bring about an investigation into what is going on in your home is a big task for a 14 year old. Secondly, another reality is can you actually get the family you yearned for back to their normal selves if they do not care to work it out for you to make it happen and if you were to get this to happen, what would be your plan to making sure it stays that way? Can you actually implement structure in a way that would enable your parents to be less stressed out? If your father is already engaging in his own risky activity of the day, are you able to talk to him about how these activities and his actions affects your life?

    It is not fair to you that your parents choose to act the way they do and you certainly don't deserve to be disrespected. Do you feel that your mother is at the point where she feels compelled to support your father with his habits because of the lost your father has suffered in the past? Now, this is not to excuse his actions for what he is doing but what are some ways you can try to convince your parents to help you deal with life stresses better? Is there anyone you feel close to that can be of help in this time of need? Have you spoken to relatives, friends or even school counselors about it? The only thing that you have to be careful about is speaking to some people in school because they are considered mandated reporters and have to reports these events to protective services. However, are you able to find that circle of trust with someone that you can confide in about your feelings? How can you distract yourself more to avoid feeling the way you do? What are your activities and are you able to get away more often to figure out other things for yourself? Our policy is not to tell you what to do or to make assumptions about what the future holds but if you are confident in the notion that life as it once was is possible again, we applaud your intentions and hope the best for you. There are ways to go about reaching those goals but it certainly requires some planning and taking risk on some levels. It is a matter of what risk you are prepared for and that is why we want to help you prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. It is not a sound pessimistic but we cannot say for sure that there is always one outcome because if you were to bring this to the attention of protective services, it could be investigated and nothing found and leaves you to deal with the consequences on your own or you could be sent to a safer place but it sounds like you want to be with your family and leaves this option as just one last resort.

    What we are able to help out with is a plan for staying safe in case you choose to act in accordance to how you are feeling. It could be that you are feeling stressed and we can be here as a listening ear. If you feel like you are at wits end and cannot take it anymore, we want to gain your trust so that you can count on calling us from anywhere for assistance. If you feel that you can benefit from us having a conference call with you and your parents to help figure out what you need we are also here for that. For resources and referrals to keep safe if you choose to leave home or finding you other referrals to get answers to life's many questions we are here to supply you with guidance. If you want to see what is available to you and to find out about more options we are here to help. As mandated reporters we can file abuse reports only if you choose but if you were to offer us names, address and numbers of your parents we are then required to call it in. However, if you only want someone to listen to you, whether by writing to us or calling if you can, we are here 24 hours a day at our 1800runaway number. We hope that we were able to pinpoint some keys issues and how to deal with those feelings around them. Please take this time to empower yourself and good 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)

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