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  • Running from my mom

    Hi, I just wanted to write in with a question.

    I'm a 15 year old girl, and I am seriously considering both emancipation and/or running away. I live with both my mom and dad, and I have two younger sisters. My mom has been verbally, mentally, and occasionally physically abusive towards me in the past, and it has gotten worse of late. She is constantly putting me down, and is always yelling and screaming at me even if I am not doing anything wrong. I have been kicked out a few times already and have ended up couch surfing for up to around two weeks at a time. One time I actually went to the local teen homeless shelter, but I was unable to stay there because it requires parental consent if you are under the age of 16. My dad doesn't do anything about it, because she is constantly ragging on him too, so he mostly just stays at work a lot. My little sisters are generally fine with my mom unless she is in a bad mood, but the older one(12) is starting to have problems similar to mine.

    I am an A and B student in the International Baccalaureate program at my high school, and I will be a junior there this fall. I have a job for the warm months of the year, and I already have 800 dollars saved in my bank account.

    My main problem in deciding what to do is that my mom uses my successes to her advantage. She will skip an event or contest, only to show up for a short appearance after to brag about me, after which she returns to screaming at me when we are alone. Because she comes to events and is always pleasant around other people, the majority of people that have met her would probably not believe me. Would her great reputation with other people affect my chances if I decided to try to become emancipated? My dad is also a cop in good standing with the local PD, which also would probably work against me. My parents and I have been through family counseling for three months before for me cutting. The cutting was a one time thing, purely to see what it was like, but the family counseling covered a wider range of topics and family strategies. None of that has improved my situation any. If anything, my mom uses the strategies to mock me and pretend that she is trying to understand me when she is merely baiting me into saying something so she can really lay into me.

    My state (CO) recognizes emancipations, but I don't know if there are any specific steps that I would need to take in order to get more information. I can try to contact my local shelter as well to see what they can do to help me get an apartment of my own. I would prefer emancipation to running since it would mean being able to stay in one place with my friends and continue my education without any serious interruptions. I will be 16 in August, so getting a different job if necessary would be easier as well.

    If I decide to run, I would be able to live off the money I have saved until I can get another job. I would have to run at least two states away I'm guessing, because my parents have said that they would file a runaway report on me if I tried to run. This option is clearly more risky, but at this point I would be willing to try it. I have a list of possible shelters I could go to in various states if I do run, so it would make getting back on my feet easier.

    Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. My most important question is: What are my chances of successfully becoming emancipated? And if I have a fighting chance, what are the steps I will need to go through?

    Thank You!

  • #2
    Re: Running from my mom

    Thanks so much for writing in and sharing your story. It sounds like your dealing with a very difficult situation at home and that you have thought a lot about your different options. It’s understandable that you are feeling like leaving home, especially when you talk about the situation with your mom. How long have you been feeling this way? Has your relationship with your mom always been like this or has it recently started to go down hill? It sounds like you have tried to talk to her and that there is even a family counselor involved, and none of this has helped. Do you feel that there are any other options that would help? Have you tried to talk with your dad about the way you are feeling? Do you think that would be helpful? Is there anyone else that you have been able to talk about the situation at home with?

    You mentioned the options that you are looking into are running away and emancipation. According to Colorado law an “emancipated juvenile” refers to a juvenile over fifteen years of age and under eighteen years of age who has, with the real or apparent assent of the juvenile’s parents, demonstrated independence from the juvenile’s parents in matters of care, custody, and earnings. Getting full emancipation is not always an easy thing to do. It is a legal procedure and you will have to talk with and go through the courts in order to go about this. Now it sounds like you have done extremely well for yourself, you mentioned being a great student and having about $800 in savings from work. If you want to learn a little bit more about emancipation you would probably want to talk with a lawyer or someone who knows juvenile law. Now we were able to look up a legal service in Colorado that may be able to give you some more specifics.

    Colorado Legal Services
    970-493-2891

    Now if you are not able to go through with the emancipation process, have you decided what you would do. You mentioned running away, is that something you would definitely do if you are not able to get emancipated. You obviously have money saved up which can definitely be helpful. What do you think it would be like if you left? Do you know where you would go or where you would stay? You said your parents would make a runaway report, what would happen if they found you and brought you back home?

    It’s great that you are thinking so in depth about what you want to do, and really figuring out the best option for you. You sound like an extremely strong person and this is definitely not an easy situation to deal with. In the end it is your decision on what to do, but no matter what it’s always important for you to be safe. Just so you know we are here 24 hours a day if you ever want to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are a completely confidential hotline, so you can talk about anything you want and it will be anonymous. If you just need to vent, need help looking at options, or need any other resources we are here for you. Hopefully some of this information has helped and if you have any other questions you can give us a call anytime. Best of luck with everything and take care.
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Running from my mom

      you sound so much like me its crazy... your my age and live in my state which is even weirder....and i used to be in IBO but dropped out of it.... if anyone can help you on that it would help me to

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Running from my mom

        Thanks for writing in and showing your support. Sometimes it can help to know that others are dealing with a similar situation. If you ever need to talk you can always give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are a completely confidential hotline and there is someone here 24 hours a day. We are not here to tell you what or what not to do. But we are here to listen and talk about some safe options. Take care and feel free to call us if you need to.
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Running from my mom

          Thanks for your response.

          My relationship with my mom has pretty much always been like this, but it has actually gotten a little bit easier to deal with now that i am able to stay out of the house more often. I have tried many times to discuss our relationship with my dad before, but it always ends up making it back to my mom, and then she usually kicks me out, calling me ungrateful, spoiled, self-centered, and many other names.

          I have a case-worker that I stay in contact with at the youth shelter, and they notified my school counselor about what was going on the first time i ended up there. There is really not a whole lot they can do, but they know and have offered me a place to stay if I ever need it.

          I also have the most amazing friends, and I have 6 or 7 that have offered me a place to stay and a shoulder to cry on whenever i need it. I will definitely look into the number you gave for more information on emancipation.

          As far as running goes, I have already looked into some shelters that have programs to help get teens living independently again. I would probably end up in New York, since there are several amazing places there. I imagine that it would be extremely difficult, especially at first, but I truly believe I would be able to get past the initial challenges. If running failed and I was caught, I'm honestly not really sure what my parents would do. They have threatened to disown me completely, or send me to a camp for mentally troubled teens before.

          I really appreciate the response you gave, it's nice to know that I have another resource to turn to if I need it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Running from my mom

            Well, it definitely sounds like you have thought through everything and looked at all your different options. It’s good to hear that things are going a little bit better at home right now, and it is probably nice being able to spend a lot of time out of the house. You said that talking to your dad has never had a good outcome, but it also sounds like you have a lot of other really great supports in your caseworker and friends. It’s always good to know that you have people on your side that are there for you if you need them, and we are definitely a resource you can always turn to. If you have any other questions or anything we can help with you can always write again or give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Take care of yourself and stay strong.
            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!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment

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