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18 year old want to leave?

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  • 18 year old want to leave?

    Hi, I'm 18 and I've spent all night in the midst of an emotional breakdown and researching running away. I realized that 18 y/o's are allowed to just leave so this isn't really a legal issue, nor do I really consider it a family problem (regardless of my mom, which you will soon read), I just didn't see a section on this forum to be able to post this anywhere else. With all these thoughts on my head I am unable to sleep and I figured I may as well ask the important things to try to give me some peace of mind.

    While it is legal to move out, I have no place to go or stay. I have no income of any sort. I have no skills, job experience, or anything. I am a second-semester community college student. I have maybe $300 to my name in cash and wouldn't be able to survive all too long. I was just wondering what I should do if I was absolutely determined to leave.

    Maybe it's best to talk a bit about why I want to leave. I have a very rough past history with many things. I had an emotionally abusive (and sometimes physically abusive when I was younger) mother for some time. I had depression for most of my teenage years and struggled with suicide. Maybe half a year ago I escape an abusive relationship where I was a victim of sexual assault. Now I am in college in classes that I just cannot handle with a mom consistently encouraging me to go find a job and all the stress has just been building up. She wants me to try accounting yet I've been failing the same math class for the past five years. I have one close friend left and she is halfway across the country. I am alone in a life that has been becoming more unlivable every day. I used to cut, I used to do drugs, I used to consider running away for completely different reasons. But I've never felt so...enclosed. It feels like there's a wall that I'm soon to hit where my life is just going to go to ********, where my mom will catch on how bad I am doing in college (no matter how hard I try, and yes, I try. I've been doing math for the past 6 hours) and simply make me get whatever low-paying job she can so that I can support myself under her house. I don't want to support myself and live with her. I am an a very big introvert when it comes to people I don't know and people who have hurt me. And as mother-like and kind she has been in life, she's been just as bad. Yet it's not just her. My entire life has grown year by year into a more stress-filled place that has gotten devastatingly worse in the past few years. It's a stress I want to escape. I don't want to be me anymore. I just want to leave, I want to live a different life, a live where I'm happy. And I just can't take this anymore. I am extremely underweight for my age (And very malnutritioned. I live a very unhealthy lifestyle). I am afraid that if I do try to escape this life and find myself on the street (which I know I will) I will find myself robbed and starved very quickly. I just don't know what to do. But I do know I would not tell anyone if I were to leave. I'd simply leave.

    Is there a place to go? Am I on my own? I'm in New York and all I've found are youth shelters..but I don't qualify as youth anymore. Maybe some place to help me reinvent myself? Find a job in something I can actually do? Find affordable housing on whatever salary I may make? I've actually lived a very spoiled life monetary wise and because of that I know literally no basic life skills. So plan in my head could be a deathwish for all I know.

    I think what I am trying to say is... I need some advice, some information. Where can I go? What can I do? Am I right for wanting to leave? Just...some advice....please.

  • #2
    RE: 18 Year Old Want to Leave?

    Thank you very much for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline, where we are here to listen and here to help. We are so sorry to hear that you have had to go through what you had to. You seem very resilient and brave. It is understandable that you would want to leave a situation that is not good for you. We also commend you for continuing to try to finish college despite your difficulties.

    Have you heard of Job Corps? They provide you with skills and training, in addition to housing. Here is there phone number and their website:

    Phone- 1-800-733-5627

    Additionally, there is also a program called AmeriCorps where you can get an education award to go toward your continuing your education. The cool thing about AmeriCorps is that it is nationwide. They also give you a living stipend. See the website below:

    Lastly, in New York, there are shelters that consider youth to be below the age of 21. So this could be a possibility. Have you considered calling Covenant House New York to learn more of their requirements? Here is their information:

    460 West 41st Street
    New York, NY 10036
    (212) 613-0300

    Brooklyn Women’s Shelter
    #718-495-7074; #718-495-7871
    116 Williams Avenue (Brooklyn)
    Directions: Take the C train to Liberty Avenue.

    For a list of adult shelters near you, check out this website:

    We are really appreciative of your reaching out to us! We really hope that your situation improves. We also hope that you find a resource in your college and outside of your family. We also would love to speak with you or discuss your situation more via chat. Feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929), we are available 24/7. For chat, we are available daily from 4:30pm to 11:30pm CST and you can find that information on the website.
    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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