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I need to get away

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  • I need to get away

    I am almost 14 years old (9th grade) , and I have an awful family life. Honestly, the word "family" makes me cringe, because my mom likes to call us (My twin younger brothers, my father, her, and me) a family, but we act nothing like a family should.

    My mom screams and loses her patience at my brothers and me for little things, like spilled water or a "C" on an assignment for school. She is extremely strict about certain subjects (Dating, drawing on yourself, dressing modestly, etc.) but she doesn't care about other, equally important things, like being physically and mentally fit (I suffer from severe depression, but she refuses to take me to a doctor/therapy or put me on anti-depressants for it). She hates sports, and won't put me or my brothers in any, even though we all really want to. I signed up to be a junior coach for a small soccer league, and she allows it because my school requires that I get at least 10 hours of volunteer work each quarter. I really want to take dance lessons, but each time I bring it up, she says "You have money. Buy them yourself." I've been saving babysitting money for two years, and I currently have only $500 to spend. That seems like a lot for someone my age, but it doesn't take you very far with dance lessons. I don't want to get attached to a sport, and then have to stop because I don't make enough money babysitting. I feel like I'm just living to go to school, since there's nothing structured to do otherwise, and I really need something structured (EX: Every Tuesday I have soccer practice, etc.) My also mom screams at me and my brothers loudly and constantly, and the neighbors can hear it. My next-door neighbors have asked my mom if everything is alright because they hear yelling, and my mom told them it was me! These neighbors have kids around my age, but now they completely ignore me and think I'm insane, because my mom told them that her constant screaming is me throwing fits for no reason. So I've lost possible friends because of her.

    My dad is full of rage and hate. He can't hold a conversation with me (and sometimes my brothers or my mom.) without snapping or starting to scream. He leaves for work early and doesn't come back until late, so I don't see him much during the work-week, but on weekends, I'm afraid I'll have an anxiety-attack if I leave my room, because he's in the house.

    Back to the topic of my mom's strictness. She has many rules that she says are "set in stone." I'll give you a few of the major ones, and then my feelings about each.

    -No dating, crushes, or hanging out with friends that are boys (unless at school), even in groups, until I'm 16. Then I can go out in groups, but no one-on-one dating until I'm 18. "And no even thinking about sex until you're 25."

    -No writing on yourself. Not reminders on the back of your hand, not "sharpie tattoos," nothing. She says it's because "tattoos are awful, and we have to learn to never get or want one." Same goes with hair dye/chalk of any color, except for halloween.

    -Direct quote: "In our family, we don't get any piercings other than ear lobes. Not as a teen, not in our 20s, 30s, or any other time. Ever."

    -Direct quote: "No getting your eyebrows/arms/legs, etc, waxed. You can shave your legs under your knees right now. When you're 18, you can shave your arms, and pluck your own eyebrows. I don't think anyone should get them waxed – I don't like it when people do that. Ew."

    -I can't change my name, ever. When I get married, I can hyphenate my last names, but never will I be 'allowed' to fully change my first, middle, or last name, or go by any name other than a nickname of my first name, or my full middle name.

    -One piece swimsuits only, shorts have to be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee, shirts cannot be too form-fitting or show any midriff or shoulders, and I can only wear sports bras, because other ones "make your breasts* look bigger." No heavy eyeliner or makeup.

    *My mom didn't use the word 'breasts,' but I'd prefer not to write anything unnecessarily inappropriate on here.*

    And here on my thoughts on these rules: (Please keep in mind that these are not the only rules "set in stone" that she has made, just some of the most recent ones.)

    -I'm fine with waiting until I'm 16 to actually be able to date, but I should be allowed to date without a big group, of course in public places (restaurants, movies, etc.), and my parents can meet the boy first. I can't help it if I have a crush on someone before a certain age, and I've been invited to go see movies and hang out with my friend group, but I'm only allowed to go unless my mom calls the organizing parents and make sure no boys will be attending. As for "not thinking about or having sex until I'm 25," I can't help what I think about or not. My mom said she doesn't care if I'm married or not when I do end up having sex, but I have to be older than 25. My personal goal is to wait for marriage, but each aspect of the dating/sex rule makes me want to rebel, and I'm afraid I'll do something I'll regret solely as an act of rebellion.

    -I break this rule often, and it goes unnoticed, because I draw in places covered by clothes. I think letting kids/teens experiment with temporary, non-toxic markers won't encourage tattoos, but discourage them. If you draw something on your arm that you love at the time, a few days later you may start feeling sick of it and want it off. I don't understand my mom's ways of thinking :/ And I'm not interested in dying my hair, but I've dyed some colored streaks in it to rebel and have a sense of independence, not even because I want to. I personally don't even like the way colored hair looks.

    -I actually do want a small, crystal nose piercing. I constantly imagine getting one on my 18th birthday (When I'm no longer a minor, and can legally get it done without their consent.) I can always take it out one day if I decide I don't want it.

    -I think I'll also get my eyebrows waxed on my 18th, because I'm self-conscious about them, not just to rebel. I've recently started shaving above the knee, and my mom hasn't noticed yet.

    -I hate my first name and it's nicknames, but I love the many nicknames for my middle name! I want to go by Ella (Short for Elizabeth - middle name), but I'm not allowed. When I'm married, I'll likely change my last name completely. My first name is Sara, and I completely hate it. I told many friends and teachers and they call me Ella, so that's good I've dramatically increased the people that call me Ella at school, and I told my mom only my close friends call me Ella, but she'll find out eventually, and I'm scared to hear her rage and my dad's hatred once they find out.

    -This makes me want to rebel so badly. I've considered putting on eyeliner at school. I don't like the way heavy or full eyeliner looks, and prefer just to wear a little around the corner of my eyes, and go for a more natural makeup look, but I feel the need to rebel against my mom's rules.

    So there we go. Those rules may make it seem like I'm just an angsty teenager wanting to have freedom, but those rules are a fraction of my needing to run away. There's the urge to rebel, on top of depression, anxiety from being around my parents, hatred from my dad, living for school, and boredom. My parents have both admitted to hating me, and I've contemplated suicide and self-harm many, many times. I need to get out of my house, permanently.

    I want to run away, but that won't help with the need to be in activities and sports, and I'm afraid I'd get caught right away. And even I managed to avoid getting caught, I'd be terrified to sleep on the streets, and don't know where I would go as a 'home base.' I want to finish high school, go to college, get a job, eventually get married, have kids and overall have a life of my own, but I can't see any of that happening if I run away from home. I don't know what to do. I don't feel comfortable calling any of the hotlines, my mom and dad could find out. I don't think they're exactly 'abusive' and I don't want CPS to take my little brothers away from me, or send us to different foster homes if they find something wrong with my parents. I feel so alone and need to leave.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and reply, I appreciate that
    -Ella (Sara)

  • #2
    Re: I need to get away

    Hello Ella,

    It sounds like you are really frustrated with your parents and feel like their rules are pretty rigid. You stated that your physical and mental needs are not being met. It must be difficult to suffer from depression and willing to get help but are not allowed to see a counselor or therapist.

    You indicated that your parents scream a lot and that the neighbors have noticed. Do you feel safe? We are sorry to hear that you have lost friendships because of this, that can’t be easy.

    From what you've stated, it seems like you have made efforts to become involved in other activities in addition to attending school but that you have reached some financial barriers because you do not have the support of your parents.

    We are sorry you feel alone, we are here to listen. It sounds like you have put some thought into what it would look like if you left home. We would be happy to explore options with you and talk about your concerns.

    To better assist you, feel free to reach out to us by phone or through live chat. We are here 24 hours a day through phone and available 4:30pm-11:30pm central time.


    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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