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I'm 11 and I want to run away. I honestly don't know what to do.

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  • I'm 11 and I want to run away. I honestly don't know what to do.

    I am 11. I live in the borough of Harrow, London and I am extremely conflicted. My parents are good, kind people, and they have done nothing wrong as parents. It's just me. I have surrounded myself with this culture that is way beyond my age. I am too ashamed of this to tell my parents, and I'm not going to give the details. I want to run away, but I don't even know how. I know exactly where to run for the day, but the night is a problem. I'll take my phone and basic food requirements, but I don't know how I'd get more food once it runs out. I need advice.

  • #2
    Thank you for your message. It sounds like you’re in a difficult situation right now and are considering running away because of being in a culture that is beyond your age. We want to let you know that whatever it is, you are worthy of having a family, living in a home, and of forgiveness. Shame can sometimes trick our brains into thinking we don’t deserve another chance or that we aren’t worthy of love, but it’s simply not true. Mistakes are part of life and you aren’t a lesser person for making them. From what you’ve described, it sounds like you have a lot of love and respect for your parents. It could be an option to talk with them about what’s been going on (or, if you’re uncomfortable with that, writing a letter). It could also be helpful to have another adult that you trust or even a good friend sit with you all to support you. Sometimes it can be immensely freeing to share something that has made you feel ashamed. We aren’t familiar with runaway laws in the UK, but you might find it helpful to talk to a counselor on the phone through one of these international helplines: https://www.childhelplineinternation...pline-network/. We wish you the very best of luck.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      So I’m starting a project and I felt like everything was under control until my mom butted in. Now I feel like I can get nothing done. She’s been yelling at me, and it was 30 minutes until she finally came into my room and apologized. She was talking about how proud she was that I work in school and everything and how when I had the chance to do school approved games that I was studying. The thing is, now I feel horrible because I was playing unapproved apps. I would play them in the corner whenever I get the chance, and I feel so horrible and guilty. I don’t want to tell her though, because I don’t know if she could forgive me since I can’t even forgive myself...the only books she ever reads are parenting, especially since she’s a psychiatrist. I have a great life, going on vacations and seeing amazing landmarks, but we’re on a tight budget right now, since my grandma just got out of the hospital and now is living in a nursing home. We have to now sell our old house, of which the price is ever lowering, and now we have to sell her house too, and pay for our current mortgage, her mortgage, our old mortgage, and now the money to keep her in the nursing home. My mom is yelling a lot, my dad is yelling a lot, they get into fights a lot, and I feel almost unlucky that I can’t have parents that know how to...parent. My dad’s father died when he was 12, and my mom’s parents barely took care of her, so it’s not their fault, but it just leaves me feeling so unlucky as to have parents that can’t take care of me to their best extent. I want to run away, and I have before. The first time, I was walking through the neighborhood in a blanket, crying, thinking about what I was leaving behind and what my life would be like from then on, until my parents caught me and brought me back home. They almost called the police, they said, and the reason I got so far was because they were upstairs watching a movie and I had left a note saying that I’d run away. Now I don’t know where to go, and if they ever caught me? I wouldn’t be able to handle their disappointment and sadness, and my guilt. I don’t know what to do, I have anxiety, and I recently stopped seeing my therapist. School is really piling the work on, and I barely have any time to relax. I’m sorry I’m laying down all these problems, but I have nowhere else to turn. Please help me!


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws. While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions. We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button). If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Be safe, NRS
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