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Toxic Environment at Home

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  • Toxic Environment at Home

    I'm a 16 year old girl from Pennsylvania, and I desperately want to get out of my house. I've recently been diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression, and the environment at my house only makes my symptoms worse. While neither of my parents are physically abusive, they constantly make me feel as though I'm not good enough, that I'm a delinquent, and I often find myself doubting my feelings in certain situations. I'm currently in therapy and these family issues seem to be the biggest contributor to my problems. I don't want to runaway, but I'm not sure what else I can do. I've been working really hard to make my parents happy, but I can't ignore what's happening anymore. What should I do? How can I get out of this toxic environment? Thank you!

  • #2
    Hi, we are glad you contacted us. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. It is very difficult managing and coping with a toxic home environment. We are glad you are in therapy and have some support outside your home and that you don’t want to ignore what is happening anymore. We understand running away is an option for you and we want to help you and listen. We also want to make sure that you are safe in your current situation and with whatever plan you decide. We would like to talk about all your options and help you figure out a plan that works and feels best to you. We are a non-directive agency that means we are not going to tell you what to do but instead look at all your options and help you figure out your next steps. To start that process you can contact us anytime 24/7 on our website through a chat at or on the phone at our crisis hotline at 1-(800)-RUNAWAY. We are completely confidential. We hope to hear from you soon. Good 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!


    • #3
      I'm not really sure of what options are available to me, I feel really trapped in my current situation. My parents are both educators and I don't think they deserve to lose any of that, especially if I'm somehow blowing things out of proportion.


      • ccsmod8
        ccsmod8 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello again -

        Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum. We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. Because we do get a large number of contacts, we do have to limit replies to three individual responses to answer any questions that you have or to provide you with a number of means of support. So it’s certainly not a means to communicate to get the full support that you can get if you called in or even chatted with us through our online chat service.

        It sounds like the way that your home life is structured, there is some self-confidence issues that you are dealing with as well as feeling trapped. Seems to get worse when your family starts to make you feel bad (ie. telling you that you did something wrong, not validating your feelings, etc). It can be quite isolating to have to deal with this treatment every day and not have anyone to talk to it about. You might also do some self-care activities that you can practice on your own whenever you’re feeling a little down. The difficult thing is that you can't control the actions of other people, but you are always able to control the way that those actions effect you and make you feel.

        Some things that you can think about doing is, setting small goals and celebrating them when they are achieved, maybe make a list of positive traits that you like about yourself (personal or public traits), trying your very best to refrain from comparing yourself to others or negative thoughts on your life, maybe establishing a hobby that makes you feel good about yourself, even try challenging your negative thoughts by asking their validity or by rethinking them in a positive manner. Writing in a journal can also help youth with this goal or even starting an online forum yourself. In many cases you aren't alone.

        It sounds like you might some specific questions that you want to ask us, look for some safe places nearby, or maybe find a place to vent about what you are feeling right now. It’s hard to talk to just anyone one about what has been going on. Please rest assured that we are completing confidential. So anything that you share with us will stay between us. We don’t ask for any identifying information, unless you want to report any abuse. You can chat with us by going to our website ( and clicking on "chat".

        We certainly want to help you.
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