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is growing up inevitable? how long can i run from my life?

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  • is growing up inevitable? how long can i run from my life?

    i am a 16 year old girl.
    i have maybe been considering running away because people in my life keep pressuring me and forcing me to do things i am so severely uncomfortable with. i probably have some kind of agoraphobia or social anxiety disorder. my mother is pretty aware of this. but she keeps pushing. for example, i am under constant stress from taking so many advanced classes at once, so when we signed up for next years classes, i didnt go for all AP or college credit. once i told my mother she said she'd call the school and get them changed. she is well aware of how overwhelmed i get, especially when i can't keep my grades above or at Bs. we are on summer break now, and i usually take this time to do a lot of resting and recharging for the next year.
    but naturally, with my luck, due to budget cuts in my school district, they've cut my bus stop from their routes. there is nobody avaliable to drive me. the distance is 2.4 miles, and where i live, school is still in session if it's -19 degrees, plus there are no sidewalks, so theres no way i can walk safely. so now i need to learn how to drive.
    i was already stressed beyond belief with what little i had to deal with. i have told my mother how terrified i am of driving, not only because i may doze off and hit someone, but mainly because it would make it 1000x easier for me to run away or harm myself. which seems like a terrible idea when im thinking rationally. but the fear of driving is so paralyzing and blinding that i never can think clearly. i fear something bad will happen to me.
    this whole "cry for help" is brought on by the fact that i have official driving instruction tomorrow, in which i might be driving with an instructor. the whole idea is making me physically ill with fear. there is seldom a time when i am not crying and afraid. naturally, then, i am human. fight or flight is a draining experience, especially when you dont have the courage to fight nor run away. all i have is fear and complete, consuming sorrow.
    there is also a great deal of guilt involved. they've payed both money and time to get me my permit and decent classes. who am i to throw that in their face because im afraid of growing up?
    i do not know what i am to do. do i take my chances and run? or will that only prolong the inevitable? again i find myself frozen with fear, with nowhere to go. how long can i put up with this before i make a stupid, reckless decision that may ruin my life? how long will i live hating every part of my life, shaking and cowering with fear?
    i just dont know what to do.

  • #2
    Re: is growing up inevitable? how long can i run from my life?


    Thanks for reaching out and sharing your situation on our bulletin boards. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot – particularly either social anxiety disorder or agoraphobia and how that affects your daily life. It also sounds like the root of your current fears is learning to drive. We aren’t in a position to judge you and we aren’t mental health professionals; however, even in a general sense learning to drive/driving can be quite a responsibility. We imagine it’s stressful not only to be in a position where you are scheduled to face your fears tomorrow during your official driving instruction, but also feeling like you have no choice but to drive due to district budget cuts.
    As you say you’re having to do things you are so severely uncomfortable with and it seems like you’ve reached a point where you’re considering running away to get a break from everything. In the first part of your post you mentioned your mom is pretty aware of the agoraphobia/social anxiety disorder possibility, although we aren’t sure if this means she is supportive and open to you seeking help (however that looks like to you.) We do have a database where we can look up resources such as counseling, support groups, and other behavioral treatment programs. In the meantime you might find NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) helpful. They even have a designated section for teens and young adults. Another resource that might be helpful is if you do end up running and find yourself without a place to go.
    We don’t want to take away from all of your questions as it sounds like they are a part of your main focus which is fear of driving and growing up. As much as we’d like to answer all of your questions, we really are non-directive. This means we can offer support and talk to you about options, but are not in a position to make the decision for you. Instead we are here to help you get to that point yourself. It sounds like you’ve got a lot to figure out whether you decide to leave or not and we want you to know we are here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us either by Live Chat if you prefer talking online or by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929.) Hopefully this provides a starting point and we wish you all 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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