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I really want to run away, but don't know how/where.

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  • I really want to run away, but don't know how/where.

    This is pretty long, but I have no one at all to talk to, so I'm sorry. But let me start off by telling you my story.

    I'm a 14 year old boy and I live in West Virginia, U.S. I'm a freshman at one of the best, if not the best high schools
    in the state. I was born in Libya (in northern Africa), but I've lived in the U.S. for most of my life. I'm a Christian,
    but my whole family is Muslim. They don't know and I don't want them to, because it'll just start a lot of religious
    issues. I have two brothers younger than me and a baby brother who's 2. I don't feel like I belong in my family at all.

    My mom always acts nice with me at first, but if I do one thing that angers her she'll freak out on me. And everything
    angers her. She doesn't think logically, just way too emotionally. She wants everything to go her way just because she's my mom. She doesn't understand that I'm also a living human being with my own perspective and life and that I'm not just a slave to her. She hits me in my face and wherever she wants. She yells at me everyday and has said some very cruel things. She's said she hates me from the bottom of her heart. She's told me that I was an awful son and she doesn't need me. Her and my dad always tell me that they have three other children besides me and that I'm not needed.

    My dad's even worse because he doesn't go to work. My mom does, so I can at least not have to deal with her most of the time. My dad and I see opposite views on everything. He argues with literally everything I tell him, and then he says I'm the one who's arguing, which really gets under my skin. If I yell at him, he hits me. He has bruised me before. He has made me bleed in my mouth at least 3 or 4 times, and always gives me the same excuse: "I'm your dad, and I can do whatever I want to you and you're gonna give me respect whether you want to or not." I don't remember a single day since I was 12 that I haven't argued with him. Both of my parents team up against me, too. They push me against the wall and if I raise my arm to defend, they get mad. They want me to sit there and do nothing while they hit me like I'm a doll.

    My brothers are more annoying than a baby crying next to your ear. It's hard to explain why everything they do annoys me,but it does. They say the most stupid and immature songs and jokes when I'm trying to do my homework and it's seriously distracting after a while. If I push them, my parents hit me. If I yell at them, my parents yell at me. If I tell my parents, their reponse is "grow up." If I try to ignore them, they'll keep doing it until I do something about it. If I touch them, they'll scream and act like I beat them up. They know their doing it just to get me in trouble. I see other people's siblings at school and it hurts me. They all have mature siblings, even elementary and middle schoolers, while I'm stuck with my brothers (11 and 12 years old) who act like they're still in preschool.

    My social life outside of my house is great. I ran Cross Country this fall and I got to meet a whole lot of new people
    from all grades. I was one of the most known and liked people on the whole team. I love everybody on the team and treat them better than my family, because they treat me better than my family. I plan on running track this Spring, and everyone on the team runs in the winter to stay in shape. My parents don't let me do that or anything else afterschool because my grades. While it's true that my grades are bad, it's mostly because of my home life. I can't focus or do any work at school when I know all my friends are having fun afterschool and on the weekend and I can't even leave the house. I'm in all honors classes and I'm in Math II honors (a tenth grade math class) and I always try to challenge myself to do better, but it's never enough for them. They want me to make straight 100s in every one of my classes even though they treat me like trash, and that makes no sense to me. I've made straight A's before and I could easily do it again if I lived with a family that gave me respect.

    I don't even ask for much. While all my friends have the iPhone 6s or even 7, all I have is an iPhone 4s, and I never complain. I've never drank alcohol or smoked anything. They don't have an idea what kind of trouble kids my age are getting into, and they don't know how to thank God that I don't do anything like that. All I want is a normal life. I just want to live a life where I don't have to deal with arguments every single day. I just want to be with the Cross Country team and with my friends through high school and college.

    My family's moving to California this summer, and if I have to go, then I'll have to leave all my friends. I just want to run away from my home. I can't even call it that, because I never feel at home. If I can leave, it'll be a win-win. I won't have to deal with my family anymore and I can stay with all my friends without moving. Plus I can finally go to church and live with a Christian family. I have so many questions about running away, though. When should I do it? Where will I go? Are there shelters near me? Will the police return me here? Is dealing with physical and emotional abuse a reason to run away? Will they take my brothers away from my parents? I want to leave my family, but I don't want my brothers to leave. I don't want the whole family to get ripped apart because of me. I may hate them, but I still have a heart for all humans. I just want to live somewhere without them in my life, but they can just live the way they would without me.

    If I they put me in a shelter, how long will I stay there? Will I be put in another family? Will I still go to the same school? I don't have any adults to talk to. I don't know any of my friends' parents well enough, and all my relatives live in another country. All I want is to live a normal life in my school. I have many friends that support me. I want to get good grades, run Cross Country and Track, go to college and become a heart surgeon. I could only do these things if I lived somewhere else. I'm sorry if this was long, and if you read through it all I highly appreciate it. Please help me.


  • #2
    RE: I really want to run away, but don't know how/where.


    Thank you for your post. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time with your family. We are sorry to hear that your parents have hit you. You do not deserve to be physically abused, and it is not okay for your dad to hit you. It is illegal and you have a right to file an abuse report if you want to. If you are considering this option, we can help you file a report. It is good to hear that you have a great social life and it sounds like you enjoy running Cross Country. It sounds very difficult and painful that your parents do not support your goals. You don’t deserve to be told such awful things. Lots of people find it difficult to keep their grades up when they are living with abuse at home. It sounds like you don’t have any adults you feel like you can talk to. One option could be to reach out to a counselor at your school, or a teacher or coach that you trust. You can also reach out to us any time if you need to talk. We can talk through all your options and help you come up with a plan to deal with your situation.

    You are thinking about running away or staying behind when your family moves. It is understandable that you are thinking about this option. We aren’t legal experts, but we can answer most of your questions in general. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission (or stay behind when they move), your parents may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. If you go to a shelter, because you are a minor they will probably have to notify your parents. You would only be placed with another family, or in the foster care system, if your parent’s guardianship rights are removed because they are charged with child abuse. This would not necessarily mean that your brothers would be taken away from your parents, but it all depends on the situation.

    You sound very bright and it looks like you have some big plans for your future. We are happy to help you come up with a plan to stay safe. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or reach us on live chat. 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)

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