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Sixteen and wanting to leave

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  • Sixteen and wanting to leave

    I'm sixteen. I'll be seventeen this september. It's just me and my mom, and things aren't... too great. I'm depressed, I have anxiety, and I have begun seeing things again. (Again, since a few years back, I started seeing things) I try to talk to my mom about this things, and she either brushes me off, goes into a tyrade about how she's eiether a) had it worse, or b) had the exact same things at my age and got over them. I've been recently wanting to do some not so nice things to myself and others, and with attempting to tell her these things,and the fact that I think I should see somebody to go on meds, or some other solution, she blows up. She's a sticter LDS Mormom, and I'm a Bi/Pansexual Pagan, so... things don't quite collide well there... She tries to make herself the victim often, even when I was the one severely hurt. I'm often making dinner or doing the dishes, and she turns around and says I'm never doing anything.

    I have two eighteen year old friends, and the three of us are looking for an apartment together, and have recently found a cheap one that appears to allow pets. I'm nervous, not knowing if I can legally leave (I live in Idaho). All three of us do NOT have good relationships with our parents/moms (one of my friends has already been kicked out of her house). They have jobs (and maybe cars), while I have neither. We have a bus system, a few, actually.

    I just want some advice... Some clarification. I've been told that you CAN legally leave at sixteen, others say you have to be emancipated, others say you can't... I'm just confused and nervous.. I don't want to lose access to some of the things I care about, like my sister or my cat, or a few other things... I'm just confused.. any help is welcome..

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time, but we are here to support you and help you in any way we can. That sounds so stressful and hurtful to have that conflict with your mom. We want you to know that you are worth it and that there is hope for you. But it sounds like you have some positive people in your life like your friends and your sister.

    If you ever feel that you are in danger of hurting or killing yourself, you could call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255; or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online. And if you ever feel that you are in danger, you could call 911 for immediate help.

    We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there. The policies may vary by each department, so you could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. Generally, there are three ways to leave home before being a legal adult: with parent permission, if there is abuse in the home, or through emancipation (a legal process where youth become an adult before the normal age). We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

    You mentioned some struggles with mental health. If you want further information about mental health resources, you could check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); 1-877-726-4727;;

    You also mentioned some conflict around LGBT issues. Here are some LGBT resources in case you’re interested: The Trevor Project, LGBTQ Youth Suicide Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386, LGBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564, LGBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743. It Gets Better Project:

    If you haven’t already, you could consider reaching out to a trusted adult, relative, worker/teacher/counselor at your school for help and support. You could also consider talking to your parents about how you’ve been feeling. Just so you’re aware, we have a conference calling service here where we could help mediate a conversation between you and your mom.

    There are also many resources that could help you find a safe place if you’re in need, or help you with anything else you may need. If you want to talk more about what’s been going on, or if you would like more information about resources, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online.

    Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future, please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.
    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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