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What is there for me?

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  • What is there for me?

    Hello... this is a lot of information so I will try to be as quick and concise as possible. To begin, I am seriously considering running away from home.
    The situation is complicated. I'm 18 - so I'm a legal adult. All my life I have been neglected by my single mother. She has never done it intentionally,
    it is just that she works full time so she has no time or capacity for me. She was in an abusive marriage for 20 years and her job causes her high levels
    of stress, so she simply cannot deal with anything else - including me. She has a lot of emotional and other problems, but she does love me and she never tries
    to hurt me.
    I have been depressed, alone, and underweight my entire life. My health has just declined and declined as the years have gone by. I was a child so I could not
    help myself, and any time I tried to ask for help I was responded to with negativity or no results. It is normal for me to go without food, or eating very
    little for weeks at a time. Each week between Thursday-Sunday it is not common for me to eat at all because we will be out of food. When we go to the store
    to buy more, we can never afford much food because my mother doesn't make much money. I am so unhealthy that I am not in the condition to work. I recently
    worked 2 jobs but it did not make any difference in my financial situation. If anything it accelerated the rate of my decaying health.
    I think that honestly, I need to be hospitalized. I know that I have serious health problems, but I also know that we can't afford it. We can't even afford
    visits to the primary doctor. My mother and I both need therapy, and we need financial help. But we are a part of an invisible demographic.

    Statistically, our yearly income totals to just over enough to qualify for any help. In the eyes of the government we are well enough off. But in reality,
    all of that money disappears to bills and taxes and we are left with none. Our monthly budget for food and groceries is about ~$100. I can't remember a time
    in my life when we weren't just barely surviving. I thought for so long that that was just how we lived, and that there was no way out. Nothing has ever
    changed even when I've tried to talk to my mother about it, or there are big break downs and things like that. I don't know if there is any kind of help
    that we are entitled to out there, but I do know that my life will go on like this indefinitely until something drastic happens that forces change.
    We cannot help ourselves alone.

    So my question is, what is there for me, or for us? What can we do? If I ran away, where could I go? Would it be better or worse for me, and could I
    even get the help that I need? My primary concerns are for my physical health and mental health/emotional stability.

  • #2
    RE: What is there for me?

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us for help. It sounds like you are really having a tough time now, and it was very brave for you to reach out for help. Struggling with hunger is incredibly difficult, and it sounds like you have been suffering with malnutrition, depression, and health problems for a very long time. You don’t deserve to be neglected, and it sounds like you have found it very difficult to survive living with your mother. There is help out there that you are entitled to, and we can help you find those resources. For health care, you might try seeing if your city has any free clinics or emergent care centers where you can see a doctor to find out if you need to go to the hospital. If you are in an emergency, you should know that a hospital cannot turn you away for emergency care. If you think you might harm yourself, you can always reach out to help from the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or check them out online at
    It sounds like you really struggle to get enough to eat throughout the month. One helpful resource could be to find a food pantry or food bank in your area to supplement your groceries. Feeding America is an excellent resource to help find food or get help with applying for food stamp benefits. Since you are 18, you may be able to apply for benefits yourself. Laws differ depending on what city and state you live in. Another option could be to see if there are any Transitional Living Programs (TLPs) in your area. A TLP is like a shelter, but they offer longer term housing and support, and try to help youth transition into independently renting their own place. Living in this kind of program would mean that you would have access to food every day, and it could be easier to get benefits if you are not living with your mom or if she doesn’t clam you as a dependent. This website,, has lots of helpful information about where to find food pantries and how to apply for benefits. Even if you don’t qualify for benefits, you should still be able to get food from a food pantry in your area. You can always call us to talk and get local resources that can help you in your situation. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you 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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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