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  • Getting Away?

    Hello,

    I'm a 14 year old girl suffering from depression and anxiety. My family life is miserable and I feel trapped.

    My anxiety is a big problem for me, but only when I'm at "home." I rarely have anxiety attacks outside my household, because it's usually my family triggering them for me. At this point, the word family makes me cringe. My depression has taken over my life. I have no motivation to do anything, even simply taking my dog for a walk or making myself something to eat. I don't have the attention span to even watch a movie, let alone focus in class. I still manage to get all As and Bs in my classes though, because I'm afraid of how my parents will react if I get any lower.

    A contributing factor to my anxiety, and the reason 99% of my anxiety/panic attacks occur at my house are because of my mother. She claims that I'm making up my attacks for attention, that I need to just take a break from my anxiety and depression and stop annoying her with my crying. The worst part is though, that she screams those things at me in the middle of an anxiety attack, making it worse. She once threw me out of her car on the side of the road on the way back from a doctor's appointment, a 15-20 minute drive from where we live, because I briefly complained that I was skeptical of the new medicine my doctor prescribed. My mom curses at me frequently, calls me immature and threatens to sell items that I've purchased with money I've earned.(Babysitting, petsitting, etc.) She's actually threatened to give my pets away, but my younger brother and I are very attached to them (We have a dog, a cat, and a fish). She's constantly threatening to report me to the police for "harassing" her with my panic attacks. And my panic attacks mainly consist of crying, hyperventilating, and painful heart palpations. I usually have them in my room, alone.

    My father isn't any better than my mother, but he works all day, so we don't interact as much.

    Both my parents hate having me around because of my anxiety and constant depression, which they are a great source of, so I'm expected to spend the majority of my day in my bedroom. If I come downstairs, they either yell, belittle, or make underhanded comments towards me. All the food in my house is stored in the kitchen, downstairs from my room, and a house rule is that food STAYS in the kitchen, so if I'm terrified to come downstairs, as I am, it's hard for me to get the food I need. I've taken a few granola bars and little food items like that and hid them in my room, because I spend most of my days very hungry but scared to come downstairs for food, but if my parents find out about that, it would be absolutely horrible and they'd supervise me even more closely.

    I don't spend any time outside, I blame my depression for that. I have zero motivation and don't know what to do with myself. My days are spent inside, sitting or laying down.

    I've tried to improve my family life by sitting down and talking with my family, which always ends in yelling from both sides, talking to a guidance counselor at school, which wasn't helpful at all, and asking a few other extended family members for advice or help, which just made my parents so angry that they restricted my communication. I can still have phone calls with people, and text, but they changed my phone plan, which I pay for half of, so I have very limited texts per month. I have to ask permission before I make or answer any personal phone calls.

    I've thought a lot about running away. I have a little bit of a plan, but I'm not sure yet. I'll need to change my appearance, cutting and dying my hair would work wonders for the way I look, that part is simple for me. I can easily go by a different name and I have a simple background story ready. I figured I'd make it as far as I can on foot, then take a train or a bus as far from home as possible. I'd only carry a backpack and a large purse with the things I need so it's not suspicious.

    Some of my biggest concerns are where I'll be living, how I'll have a source of money, and how I'll continue my education. I realize that for a job, I'd likely have to show an ID and social security number. In the state I live in now, and in some other states, 14 is old enough to work as a cashier in a grocery store. That would probably be my go-to job until I'm 16, when I can work in other places for more money. Would I have to fake an ID and/or social security? I'm sure that isn't legal. Some jobs, like jobs on farms, offer live-in positions on the property. For that, I'd have to lie about my age and pose as an emancipated teenager. Again, I'm pretty sure it's illegal.

    I feel stuck and need some help. What do I do?

  • #2
    RE: Getting away?

    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline and sharing with us some of what has been going on with you at home. It sounds like home is not where you want to be, and that is understandable from what you have described. No one deserves to be in a place where they do not feel safe enough to get food from their kitchen or where they are feeling like they have to walk on egg shells at home. We are glad that you have reached out to us in your process of what is best for you. Only you know what is best for you as you are the expert in your life. Here at NRS, we are here to listen and support you in what ways we can.

    You mentioned that over the years you have felt depressed because of your home situation. It must be so hard for you to be in a place where you feel like you have no one to talk to, no support from people that are supposed to support to you and care for you. You mentioned that you had tried to speak with a school counselor but that was not helpful at all. We are so sorry to hear that when you tried to reach out for help that you did not feel like you were given the help and support that you need. One place that you can reach out to get some support is the National Suicide Hotline at 1800.273.TALK. You can call them and talk about your depression. That can be a good option, because you are able to call whenever and don’t need an appointment to speak with them. I just want to say that it is really great that with everything that is going on that you are able to keep your grades up.

    It sounds like your mom has mistreated you in the past and is being unfair when it comes to taking things away that you paid for. No one deserves to live someplace where their mother throws them out of the car. If you feel like you want to report this you can call Child Help USA at 1800.422.4453. You can call and make the report, or if you call us we can make it for you or with you. We are not legal experts, but in general terms harassment is defined as aggressive pressure or intimidation. From what you have described it doesn’t sounds like you have not done either of those to your mom so she would not be able to file harassment with the police.

    We are not legal experts, but we can speak in general terms. To start off with running away is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense. This means that you cannot leave without your parents’ permission because of your age (being under 18 ). If you were to leave, then your parents would have the right to file a runaway report with the police. Anyone that you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway by the police or by your parents. If you are thinking of crossing the state and/or country lines that could bring more severe legal consequences to the person you are staying with.

    In terms of working under the age of 14 and being able to be a cashier we are not able to speak on the laws in your state. Generally, if you are working as a minor regardless of your age (14 vs 17) then you need parental permission to have a job. Also, in order to have a job you have to provide them with ID’s and possible other documents. You had also mentioned that if you do not have those documents that you would possibly forge the documents. Generally, forging government documents is illegal to do. In terms of posing as an emancipated teenager, it depends on how strict the positions on the properties are. They may need you to show proof that you have been emancipated so that they do not face legal consequences for allowing you to stay (they could potentially be charged with harboring a runaway as stated above).

    It sounds like you have a lot of things to think about. We are not here to tell you what to do as you are the expert in your own life and the only one that can decide what is best for you. If you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can always give us a call on our hotline or you can chat with us during our chat hours. We hoped this helped and we look forward to hearing from you. We wish you the best of luck.

    NRS
    Last edited by ccsmod13; 04-05-2015, 05:15 PM.
    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
      Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to me!

      I don't want to get anyone in trouble or have to break any laws in order to run away. I just feel like that would be a total last resort for me and the thought kind of scares me. My grandparents have offered to let me live with them, but my parents denied it, saying I'm best off with them. I don't know what to do anymore.

      Also, I tried to go on the live chat around 5:00 PM yesterday, and it said it was closed, but I was within the hours. Are you in just one timezone? I'd feel so much more comfortable using a live chat than I would over the phone.

      I feel like my only options at this point are to runaway at 14 or become emancipated at 16, which I hear is really hard to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: Getting away

        Hello,

        Thank you for responding to us. We understand that the idea of running away can be a scary thing, and we think that it is great that you are reaching out and trying to decide what is best for you. It sounds like your grandparents support you and would be happy to have you live with them, but your parents will not allow that. Maybe it is possible for you to spend more time with them, still coming home and living with your parents, but you could spend more timeout of the house. That might be an option.

        Also, we are sorry to hear that you were not able to reach us during our chat hours. Our chat hours are from 4:30pm-11:30pm CST, which is central time. Sometimes we have technical difficulty with chat, but someone is always here to answer chat emails and try to help you get through to us via chat. We understand that reaching out to via chat can be easier for you and we want to be able to support you in what ways work for you. Try again tonight if you can.

        Also, you mentioned that you are thinking of emancipation or running away as your only options. In the previous response we talked about what could possibly happen if you decided to leave without your parents’ permission. We would like to generally talk about emancipation. We are not legal experts, but we can speak in general terms. Generally in order to get emancipated there are a couple ways. One option would be for your parents to sign a paper saying that they allow you to be emancipated. Another option is to go before a judge and prove to him that you are able to care for yourself, financially, in order to live on your own. That can take about 6 months and also can costs a lot of money. We do not know the laws in your state, but you mentioned that at 16 that could be an option. If that is the case, this is something to think about so that possibly you can save up to start the process if that is what you decide to do.

        These are some things to think about and we hoped this helped. Try to reach out to us on chat again if you have the chance. We would like to discuss your situation in greater detail if that is something that you want. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the best.

        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)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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