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the black sheep

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  • the black sheep

    I am a fourteen year old boy thinking about running away.
    My family is constantly on my case about everything. I'm that one person that the whole extended family gets together to gossip about on the front porch. I am pretty much the black sheep in the family because no matter what I do it's never right.

    my parents are divorced and I live with my dad although he's never home. He'll go out drinking until 10:30PM or later; even on a weeknight. I try to sit down and talk to him about it calmly but he always blows up in my face and tells me that he's doing nothing wrong. So I am constantly left alone because my dad is out and my brothers can drive and they take off whenever they feel like it.

    my brother is always trying to tell my dad how he should do the parenting. He claims that I'm just an angry teenager and never bothers to question why I'm mad. It's because my family always finds something wrong with me! So my brother is always telling my dad to take my phone and tv away whenever I'm angry. And he doesn't realize that he has it a lot better than me. He drinks and gets away with it. So it bothers me that he's trying to parent me even though he's worse than I am.

    I have begun cutting whenever my dad or family makes me angry or sad. I also smoke for the stress relief and it helps. But it doesn't suffice. I hate coming home because it's the same fight. I feel that running away is my only option

  • #2
    Re: the black sheep

    Hello,

    We applaud your decision to contact us regarding your situation at home and commend you for taking this time to think through your options. We are not in the position to tell you what move is the best one but we care for your safety and hope that by corresponding through this post, it can lead you to one day hear from you in person. We feel this is one way to get other benefits from our agency, by calling and speaking to a real person, for emotional support and a listening ear. We imagine it is not easy to have a father who is never there and shows little, if no compassion for you and to have your brother translate that into thinking that he is solely responsible for your care. It helps if your brother truly wanted to help but it seems he is using it for his own purposes. We empathize with your situation because you seem to crave consistency and stability in your home but not the kind that consistently lay blame on you for every little thing that happens. We are sorry to hear of your parents divorcing and hear how frustrating it must be to have a father who constantly drinks without consequence. Well, it seems that your lack of attention from him and no proper mode of communication is likely to be the biggest consequence of all. It has even gone as far as to have you contemplating running away.

    We are proud of you for trying to find time to sit down with your father to speak but have you given up on that? Have you considered finding other ways to get him to listen? Have you thought about leaving the house with him to do something with both of your interest before you break it to him about how you feel? What do you think is getting in the way of your father listening? We imagine that some people tend to listen more patiently with a certain approach to talking. Some people put up guards right away when someone tries to explain to them the importance of paying attention to their needs. What if you were to approach on a good day? Are there ever a time when you spend quality time with your family? Can someone speak to him on your behalf or get him to listen by having you there to begin a conversation? The point we are trying to make is whether you can approach it from the angle of telling him that you are really hurting and why but not that he is causing it right away. Are you able to come at it from the perspective to first relating how you feel to what is happening without pointing the blame necessarily? We are not saying that you are wrong with your approach or that it should have to be up to you to engage an adult in small talk but many people are on guard when they feel like they are getting blame for something and if he is drunk when you talk to him, it may very well be that it is pointless to even mention it to him. However, we cannot tell you what is the best way but that we feel for you and hope that you can adopt to other people's styles for the sake of reaching them.

    The fact that your father seems to be so defensive and states he did nothing wrong implies that he probably thinks that he is getting accuse of a wrongdoing even if you have your reasons. Are there any positives you can point out to him about how he use to be or can be and add it up with the negatives to balance it out. In terms of your brother trying to do the parenting, it is not all that surprising if structures are not set in place and he doesn't know his role as a son. Some siblings can step up and parent properly but a good parents knows when to walk away, when to confront, when to consequence, etc. We hear you on how difficult it must be to get so angry and although you have your reasons, it goes unnoticed anyway. You made a great point about the accusation that you are an "angry teenager" but no one bothers to listen. Not having a voice can be difficult and anger is certainly one way of showing it but what if you were to use that voice to feel more empowered and figuring out the tools to it. We at the National Runaway Switchboard wish to teach you these tools and urge you to seek out others that can help you further this skill, such as a school counselor or a teacher. Have you brought this up with another adult who understands you? We are sorry to hear that your brother is instigating the situation for worse but what are some ways to get out of the house more in order to feel less stress? Do you have ways to find time outside the house or for you to get involved with extra events at school or in the community? What if you were to come up with a family contract with rewards and consequences for yourself to present to your father? Have you ever considered calling a house meeting or requesting a meeting with your father and brothers present to get your point across and to sign the contract? It sounds very hard that both father and brother try to parent you but they are not trying to avoid doing negatives things to not get you to notice it. If you are not feeling safe in your own house, one thing that we are here for is to file reports for neglect, etc. It only works if you were to offer us names, numbers and addresses but if you simply wanted to vent, we are here for that at our 1800RUNAWAY number.

    -NRS
    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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