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Can't Take it Anymore

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  • Can't Take it Anymore

    I am sixteen. My dad is an alcoholic who constantly verbally abuses my mother and me. He has never hit us, but always threatens to. This has been going on for several years, but has gotten extremely bas in the last few months. My mom and him scream at each other non-stop. From the time he gets home from work until 11:00 at night, he threatens to punch us and rants and raves about anything and everything. He berates my mom about her weight, but is too controlling to let her leave the house to go to aerobics class. I am rarely allowed to go anywhere or do anything. He has alienated all my friends because of what a mean drunk he is when they come over. The only reason he lets me date my boyfriend is because his family is rich. Personally, I can't stand my boyfriend and want to break up with him, but my dad says I'll regret not marrying Mr. Moneybags when I'm older. I love my time away from hem, but I always fear what my mom is going through when I'm not there. Whenever I come home from a date, I'll be in the driveway and can hear them screaming at each other. My dad refuses to let us go to counseling because we would be using his insurance, which is through his employer, meaning he might lose his job if they find out. This is also the reason he refuses to check into rehab. He won't go to AA meetings because if someone saw him he might lose his job. He doesn't really think he has a drinking problem based on three things: He makes more money than the average person, we have never been behind in our bills, and we always have money for groceries. My dad said if he were an alcoholic, those three areas would suffer, and since they haven't, he can't possibly be a real alcoholic. I have been fantasizing about running away for about a year. If I could afford it, I would. I truly don't see how I could afford to support myself and put myself through college, which I plan to start immediately after high school, without my dad's financial support. I just don't know if I can tolerate being in this house anymore. My mom wants to divorce him, but says she will end up living in poverty. Are there any options for me to move out now? How would I afford rent, insurance, and groceries? In two years, I'm going to college, but don't think I can afford it without my dad's help.

  • #2
    RE: Can't Take it Anymore

    "Hi there,
    Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are going through a lot right now because of your dad’s alcoholism and have been thinking of leaving home for a while. We are so sorry to hear about how he is treating you and your mother, and we are here to help however we can. You two don’t deserve to be threatened and put-down.
    You mentioned that you are 16 years old. In most states, youth have to be 18 years old to move out without parental/guardian permission. However, if they were willing to give you that permission, you could definitely move out sooner. There may also be youth shelters or transitional living programs in your area that you could stay in, depending on your city and state. Some of those require parental permission, but others don’t. We can definitely help you explore that option if you are interested.
    We could also help you explore the emancipation process if that is something you’d like to learn more about. This can be a little lengthy and involves the court system, but for some youth it can be a good option. For that option, one of the main things youth need to be able to prove is that they would be able to support themselves financially if they moved out. The process looks a little different state-by-state, and we aren’t legal experts, so if you do want to look into this, we’d be happy to help provide you with low-cost legal aide resources in your area that could get into the specifics with you.
    Also, if you are feeling unsafe at home, another option to consider would be filing an abuse report. This can be done through Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453. This usually involves giving a report of any threats and/or abuse happening in the home, and then an investigation would likely happen to assess whether you (and any siblings, if you have them) are safe in the home. If police and social services decide that the home isn’t safe, then they would take actions from there to make it safe again. This could mean the removal of a parent or trying to get the parent help so that they can be rehabilitated and stay with their family. It can be different in each family’s case, so it is just good to know some of the possibilities.
    Please let us know if you’d like to discuss any of these options, or the situation at home in more detail. It was really brave to reach out. We can be reached 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY or during limited hours via chat at
    Best of luck to you,
    National Runaway Safeline (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!


    • #3
      Re: Can't Take it Anymore

      Thanks for your response. I did some research today. Our youth shelter closed due to lack of funding. The women's shelter is only for battered women 18+. Even if I were old enough, they said I wouldn't qualify because I'm not being physically abused, just verbally and emotionally. The counselor at the battered women's shelter said I should call the family crisis unit at the police department. I don't want to do that for several reasons. First of all, our law enforcement in this town is a joke. The sheriff got re-elected while he was in jail. He's in cahoots with the mayor and only hires his family members. Because there is not physical abuse, I don't think they would be of help. Second, I'm afraid of what my dad would do. He would take it out on my mom, no doubt. Police might get CPS involved. If CPS took any action, my dad would be court-ordered to go to alcohol rehab, which means he would get fired. After rehab, there would be a family reunification plan, which would not be a pretty picture. My dad said HIPPA privacy laws don't apply to government employees, and that his boss would find out, and that it would mean automatic termination. I don't want a family reunification plan if he gets fired because it would be hell on earth, maybe even worse than the current situation. When my dad got home from work today, I didn't tell him that I've been looking into all of this. I just said maybe it would be best if I move in temporarily with my grandparents while my mom and dad try to work out their problems and decide if divorce is what they really want. My dad blew up and said that I don't know how good I've got it. He said he doesn't have a drinking problem and that I need to stop telling him I'm stressed out because people my age don't have stress. He said my mom and me have driven him to drink, and that if we didn't provoke him that there wouldn't be any yelling and arguing. My mom and I don't have to provoke him. Even if we avoid him, he starts being mean to us. I guess I have to ride this out for two more years. When I graduate from high school, my plan is to get a student loan, live on campus at the dorm, and get a part-time job to support myself. Student loan will cover tuition, room and board, textbooks. I'm still figuring out how I'll afford medical insurance. The part-time job won't be much, but I guess it will be enough for groceries. That won't leave much time for studying, but a lot of students do it that way.

      In the mean time, I don't know how I'll get through this without ending up in a mental institution. It's going to be a long two years. My dad is on denial that he has a drinking problem. My mom and I tried to explain to him that he's very sick, but that just made him more angry.


      • #4
        Reply: Can't Take it Anymore

        Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

        It sounds like in spite of the situation you have a plan for the future but would like to find ways to cope with the problem.

        Even though your father won’t seem to admit he has a drinking problem and shows no desire to get help you and your mother might consider counseling or looking into some support groups for families of substance abusers.

        Listed are a couple of referrals from our data base.

        Families Anonymous

        Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
        Frequently Asked Questions - What is SAMHSA's National Helpline?

        Take care,
        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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