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No longer bearable. What should I do?

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  • No longer bearable. What should I do?

    Hi I'm 16 & a junior in highschool, I've been dealing with my controlling super strict dad for as long as I can remember. He has been emotionally abusive, no matter what I do in efforts to please him nothing works. I'm always doing something wrong in his eyes. I spend a lot of my time crying and being sad. This year he made us move across the country and I wasn't even asked how I feel about this. I lost my friends and (secret) boyfriend due to the distance. Where I currently live I'm not allowed to do anything so I barely socialize unless I'm at school and I don't do it a lot there either. I don't have any friends. Here are some examples of things he does: not allowing me to wear makeup, will no let me wear clothes that he doesn't approve of, yells at me for the smallest things and calls me a bad person, not letting me go out. I never reply to his statements or orders, I just follow because if I say something it'll just get worse. All of this I am able to deal with since I can just move out after highschool right? Wrong. He wants to live at home for college, and I can't do it. I don't have it in me, and if I just pack up and leave I'm risking hurting my mom & I won't have the support I need to go through the process of being completely independent. Plus where will I get money from?! I can't get a job now, he won't let me. But what I wanna know is should I go ahead and leave after highschool, because I don't see myself being able to do what I want in life if he's beside me all the time. I can't tell my family I'm leaving since he will try and prevent me from doing so. So basically it's gonna be running away even though I'll be 18.. I don't know what to do.. I don't want to live all my life isolated not being able to have an identity or any fun but on the other hand I see many consequences coming from just running away. I've already missed out on many opportunities and experiences I should be having as a teenager in highschool, I do nothing but study and get straight A's. I've been focused on my education because I'm sure it can help me in the future. Any help on what to do here? All I know is if hes with me I can't live my life.

  • #2
    RE: No longer bearable. What should I do?

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like you’re going through a really difficult time and we’re sorry to hear that things have been tough at home. No one deserves to be mistreated and forced to feel like they have to walk on egg shells. Home sounds like it is really hard for you to be. We are glad that you have reached out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are not here to tell you what to do or to give advice. We are here to listen and support you in what ways we can.

    Emotional abuse can be very hurtful and damaging – you don’t deserve this and it isn’t your fault that you are in this situation. Although being at home and living with your dad is hard, reaching out to others can help with the stress. Are there any extended family members or old friends you can talk to? It sounds like you and your mom might be close, is she someone that you can turn to for support during this time? Meeting with a school counselor might be another idea too; they’re there to help and support you. We can also give you counseling referrals, so if that’s something you’re interested in, you can always call in.

    We also have a conference calling service that many youth utilize if they want to talk through issues with their parents with our support. If you call us, we can call your dad and facilitate a conversation to discuss what’s going on – our role in the conference call is to support you while mediating the call in order to make sure that the conversation is productive.

    Adjusting to a new school can be hard, but one way to meet people is to join student groups to meet students who share your interests. Joining a lunchtime club could be an option to consider – this way, you can meet new people during school and try new activities that suit your interests. Keeping in touch with your friends from your old school might be helpful too, although being away from them isn’t easy.

    Once you turn 18, you are legally allowed to move out, and it’s great that you’re thinking ahead about the responsibilities of living independently. We are not legal experts but can speak in general terms what would happen if you decided to leave before you turn 18. 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.

    We hoped this helped and if you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can always call or chat with us. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the best of luck.

    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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