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confused and needing someone to talk to...

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  • confused and needing someone to talk to...

    this past weekend i was camping with my church. While camping we (me, my boyfriend, my brother, and my friend) decided to watch a movie. I told them to collapse the table to make the middle bed but i guess they didnt hear me, so they set the laptop on the table. I was already sitting in my dad's bed and my brother was at the table, my boyfriend was sitting at the edge of the table and my friend on the couch thing in front of the bed. I fell asleep while watching the movie and when i woke up the were shutting down the laptop. My friend and boyfriend left, and after they did my dad came in and started yelling at me because apparently he was left sitting outside in the cold. He told me we were going to leave the next morning at 6 and if anybody asked it was because his daughter is a f***ing s***. He said the law says 3 meals a day and thats what im going to get i cant use his car, gas, money, phone, internet or anything, and the day after my 18th birthday (in nov 2009) i am out and he doesnt care if im on the streets. I am a senior in high school(yes i will only be 17 when i graduate) looking to go away next year but without money i cant even apply to schools. I cannot get a job because 1. i have tried and no one will hire me and 2. i no longer have anyway to get there. He says he doesn't care anymore and he has given up because im out of control. We have tried talking about it but i told him the story i just told you and he says its not the truth and he wont talk to me until i tell him the true story. He also asked me What i do when he is not around if thats what we do when he is(referring to me and my boyfriend). I told him nothing, which isnt exactly the truth, but in this instance i couldnt tell him that. I am actually a good kid, I am at home all the time, I barely hang out with people (like once every other month at most) and when i try to hang out with people i get treated as if i ask all the time. My boyfriend and i barely spend anytime together because he is so far away (he's in college) so i dont understand why my dad asks if im sneaking out of my house to go see him when im not (even if he was home its a 2mile walk to see him and im quite lazy). I have never snuck out of my house I have never had alcohol I have never done any drugs I have never smoked a ciggarette in my life I have never cheated at school I think the latest i have been home after cerfew is like 5 min, unless you count the time i was at an amusement park with my boyfriends family and we got caught in traffic (my dad was really mad after that, my boyfriends dad took me home just to make sure i was ok). Alot of the time my dad acts as if he is jealous of my boyfriend and his dad once something happened (dont remember exactly) and my dad was like "i guess (name) and (name) will just be tripping over eachother to help you" which i dont completely understand what he means by that. My dad has never physically hurt me but he yells and slams things down all the time, it scares me alot.

    My Questions:
    1. Does the law really say he only has to give me 3 meals a day?
    2. Is there anyway I can leave early w/out getting emancipated?
    3. Is there a way for me to apply to college with out an application fee?
    4. How am i supposed to do anything without even $1 to my name?
    5. Am i really 'out of control' or is my dad just overreacting?
    6. What can i do to feel safer at home?
    7. Is it illegal for me to go live with my boyfriends family? (I feel more well liked at his house then i do my own)

    thank you!

  • #2
    Re: confused and needing someone to talk to...


    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard and we hope to provide you with suggestions to help you deal with your situation better. It sounds really difficult to put up with the remarks your father makes and it doesn't seem fair. Then constant slamming of things by your father must be ever more unnerving if it leaves you to fear for your own safety at home. Obviously, you know your father best and maybe can attest to what he is capable of. Do you see his anger going further beyond slamming things around the house? Why do you think he takes such a sharp tone with you? Has it always been this way or is it more recent? Do you two find time to do things that are relaxing to both of you? What can change the trajectory of this anger or constant lashing out at you?

    It sounds like you are a good daughter and based on what you stated, it doesn't seem like you engage in risky behavior outside the norm of what is considered general good behavior. Why do you think your father find fault in everything you? Is your mother present in the home and what is it your mother can do to help resolve the issues, if she is living with you?

    To answer the questions you posted, you have to keep in mind that we are not legal experts and can only answer them in general terms that may not be specific to your state. The law doe require your legal guardian to provide for your basic needs in your home and that includes meals, a roof over your head, etc. Generally, three meals a day is what the general public has come to know to be true of meeting the needs of children but this doesn't mean that you cannot snack. On top of that, we imagine by going to school, you get some of these needs met there.

    In terms of leaving home, you can only do so if your father agreed to emancipation or if both of you work out another plan to get you away from home. Since you are still a minor, he reserve the right to file you as a runaway but in some states, the law sometimes draws the line for what the police must do in certain circumstances. We are not for sure what city you are in but we recommend you call your local police to inquire about local runaway laws and what procedures they follow if you run away. Generally, the police expect parents to file runaway reports but it doesn't mean they always go looking for you. It is best to get a second opinion in the matter though.

    Applying to college must be an exciting time for you. Have you thought about checking with your guidance counselors to see what sort of waivers they have in place to cover your application fee? There is always the choice of using a general application form called a FAFSA in some states to makes things a bit easier on you. The issue of what you cannot do without a dollar to your name is out of our reach because we are not certain on your plans and what not having a dollar might mean if it were to hold you over. We imagine if you are thinking about leaving that it might not be enough to survive for long if you have no money to your name. Do you money for allowance? Have thought about finding other ways to make money legitimately?

    We are in no position to judge and often there are two sides to every story. You and your father have great investment in how the story is told and to whom it is told. However, we do not judge you here and can only support you because you came to us but this doesn't mean there is no room for you father with us either. We want to be there for your entire family in this time of need. Based on what you stated, it sounds like there is a bit of overreacting going on with him and it even seems overprotective at times. However, we also wonder what is really happening with him outside of what you stated.

    In the event that you do not feel safe at home, we want to be there for you to figure this out. We are mandated to report abuse but you did not mentioned abuse. We can talk to you over the phone at 1800RUNAWAY or through this post about that because we tend to stress the need to find other ways to distract from home life a bit more to avoid getting caught up in fights with your father. Have you thought about getting involved in extra-curricular activities to have more time spent away from home? Have you thought about going to family therapy or asking your father about how he felt about it?

    Although it is not considered a crime in some states to runaway, it is a crime for harboring a runaway. Your father reserves the right to file you as a runaway and can charge anyone for harboring you in their home. It is good that you feel more liked there but we hope you consider all others and how everything is going to affect those involved. We are here for you and hope you continue to reach out. Good luck and let us how else we can help. Stay strong.

    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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