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Feel Helpless. Not sure what to do.

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  • Feel Helpless. Not sure what to do.

    I live in Missouri and I am 16. I turn 17 in August so if i leave home now I can be reported as a runaway. I am not sure what there is that I can do. I would rather solve the problem then run away, but this seems as if it is my only option. I get in trouble from my parents for every little thing I do. I try to follow their rules but they are very unreasonable. I have been grounded for the past year and have not been allowed to socialize or see my friends. My house seems like a prison to me and is almost literally like that because my parents have put key locks on every door and window in the house so that I cannot leave while they are not home or while they are sleeping. I am very depressed and unhappy. I feel stuck. Turning 17 to move out seems too far off to wait for. I'm not sure what there is I can do. I've tried talking to my parents and telling them how I feel about everything, but every time they just tell me that I am in trouble and I have no freedom and they end up yelling at me for even bringing it up and I usually get into more trouble. I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me some advice as to what there is I can do.

  • #2
    Re: Feel Helpless. Not sure what to do.

    Hello,

    It is so genuine of you to open up to us about your situation at home. We appreciate that you wrote on our post. We hope that the National Runaway Switchboard can continue to service you in the future. It is true that if you leave home now, you risk the chance of your parents calling the police to list you as a runaway. Running away from home varies from place to place and it depends on police discretion in the response to runaways. We empathize with the fact that you have been made to feel like a prisoner in your own home. We recognize your eagerness to look at the full picture as you try to make sense of things rather than running off without a proper plan. Do you have a plan if you decided to leave home? Is it a conceivable plan and are you able to get you the necessary resources you need before you go? Are there alternatives to leaving home? Do you have a trusted family member you can rely on at this time? What is the chance of reaching out to some other adult about your situation? How about a school counselor? How do you cope with the fact that you are grounded for so long? What happened that brought on this sort of punishment?

    We imagine that at this point you probably feel like running away is the only option. We are not in the position to tell you what to do so it is not for us to talk you out of it. Our main goal is your safety and helping you figure out options. The good news that you are already aware of is that 17 is a big deal in your state. The flip side to this is whether you are able to make it through the next few months until your birthday. What is the likelihood that you are able to survive this long? Are you able to come up with ways to get around your stress at home? What are your chances of figuring out methods to cope? Are you able to look into extracurricular activities in school to get out the house longer? What sort of events can you attend in your local community? What do you enjoy doing in the house to allow time to pass? Do you draw, sketch, write journals or listen to music? It just seems like you are considering running away but you are not sure. We are trying to get you to reach for other ways to stamp out a life of your own despite the limitations placed on you by your parents. We know that you have tried talking to your parents. Have you thought about writing a lengthy letter suggesting to them the seriousness of your situation?

    We want to hear from you. We can be reached at 1800RUNAWAY 24 hours a day if you are seeking emotional support. We also have a database filled with resources that we can give to you in case you are stuck and need more assistance. We understand that it must not be easy but you seem very capable to thinking through the situation before acting on impulse and that is a great characteristic to have. We hope that you can try to remain strong. Please let us know what else we can do to assist you later. Good luck.

    -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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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    • #3
      Re: Feel Helpless. Not sure what to do.

      If I do leave home now and move in with a friend, could my friend's parents get into legal trouble for housing me? what if I did not tell them I was a runaway? Could I continue to go to school? Or can my parents or the police pick me up from there if I was reported as a runaway?

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      • #4
        Re: Feel Helpless. Not sure what to do.

        Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. It seems as if you are going through a very difficult time and are trying to figure out all of your options. That’s a difficult thing to do and we are glad that you are using our resources.

        You asked several questions that we can’t give you specific answers to but we can generalize for you. If you would like specific answers, we suggest calling your local police department and asking them what they would do. You can do this anonymously so they won’t know who is calling.

        It is not illegal to runaway, it is considered a status offense; this means that you can get into trouble for it since you are a minor and only if you are caught doing something else illegal. Now, if you go to stay with your friend and your parents have filed a runaway report with the police, then they can get into trouble. That would be called harboring a runaway and the consequences vary by police department. This could happen even if you don’t tell them you are a runaway. If your parents know where you are and inform the police, then they can get into trouble.

        You could continue going to school but, if anyone knows where you are or that you are reported as a runaway, you could be picked up by the police or your parents. Since you are still a minor, they have the responsibility to care for you and the legal right to pick you up from school.

        We hope these answers help you out a little. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY . We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We hope to hear from you soon.

        ~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)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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