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Too Scared to Leave Home

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  • Too Scared to Leave Home

    I'm 17 and live in Washington State. My parents have always been extremely overprotective of me. Over the past year or two I've slowly come to the realization that both my parents are emotionally abusive towards me. They also have their own marital issues.

    Most of this abuse comes from my mother. She is the kind of person who seeks out drama and just can't let things go. She'll have a panic attack about the smallest little thing going wrong. She will rant about her current drama multiple times a day for weeks or even months. This is very emotionally draining for me to constantly hear. On more than one occasion I have excused myself from dinner to avoid listening to her.

    My mom also expects me to do a ton of housework. I take classes online and at a local community college, which take up a lot of my time. I try my best to follow all her rules and expectations, but I just don't have enough time in the day! And she gets upset at me for not knowing how to cook or wash dishes or other chores that I've never been taught how to do. When I voice this, she takes it as me being lazy and that she might as well do it herself.

    Both my mom and dad make fun of me and my insecurities, call me names, and I am often the butt or punchline of their jokes. They get my little sister to join in on this, too. They have control over everything I do. They know all my online account passwords and follow me on all social media to track what I post. My bedtime is 9:00 pm and they get upset when I'm accidentally up even 5 later that that. I get yelled at if I'm not awake, up, and dressed by 8:30. I'm not allowed to have my phone or computer in my bedroom at night. I'm not allowed to learn to drive. Or take the bus. Or get a job because they refuse to drive me. I'm allowed to go see friends only on certain hours on Fridays and Saturdays and if I'm home more than 15 minutes late, I'm not allowed to go out again for a while.

    My dad is honestly better than my mom. He's more open to me taking on adult responsibilities like learning to drive or going out on my own or with friends more and he usually stands up to my mom for me. But with some things (like learning to drive) he has no power over my mom's decision.

    Like I said, my mom and dad have their own relationship issues, too. My mom has kicked my dad out of their bed because she wanted more space. (This has happened multiple times before and eventually she'll let him back into his bed). My mom claims that, "He doesn't tell me anything. We don't talk, ever."

    Over the past few weeks, it's been getting harder and harder for me to deal with this daily emotional abuse. I honestly don't know what to do. All I want is to get out of my house and away from my family. But I feel so stuck. I've spoken to a couple friends about my situation and one offered to let me live with them once I turn 18 in a couple of months. One suggested emancipating myself, but that seems like it would take a long time I don't think I qualify, since I don't have any income. I've researched running away to stay at a shelter. But I don't know if I'm brave enough to go through with it. My parents do love me and would be worried if I just disappeared. And they've made me dependent on them in so many ways, I'm not sure I have the life skills to make it alone.

    I've been going to therapy for over a year and have an appointment next week, where I'm going to bring this up. Hopefully I can learn to deal with living at home until I turn 18 or we can figure out a different living situation for me. I know that therapists are mandated reporters of abuse. I think that I'm at a point where getting CPS involved could do some good. However, I want to be prepared for what's going to happen when a report is filed with CPS. Will they call my parents? Will they show up unannounced at my house? Could my parents get into legal trouble?

    Please let me know if you have experience with this or any advice for me. I'm new to all this (well not the being-emotionally-abused part but the doing-something-about-it part).

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like you are dealing with a tough situation at home. You mentioned that it's getting harder and harder to deal with the emotional abuse at home. It sounds like this is taking a toll on you mentally and it’s becoming hard. Here at NRS, we are here to help you through this difficult time.

    You also mentioned that you have spoken to some friends that will let you stay with them when your 18. It sounds like you have some very supportive friends that are looking to help you in anyway that they can. You mentioned that you will see your therapist next week. If you haven’t in the past, maybe you can share this information with your therapist to see if it could be of help to you.

    It sounds like you are interested in contacting child protective services and would like to know about the process. We are not legal experts and cannot advise you on what could or could not happen. If you would like to explore some options of what may happen you can contact Child Find at 1-800-422-4453 which is a National Child Abuse Hotline that can walk you through the steps and determine what will actually happen.Please feel free to contact us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) to talk about more options regarding your plans, emancipation, or shelter referrals.

    Again, If you want to talk through your plans and other options, our hotline is available 24/7. You can call us any time at 1-800-786-2929 to talk of if you need resources or support. We hope to hear from you soon and wish you all the best.

    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)

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