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I’m 16 and I want to run away

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  • I’m 16 and I want to run away

    Hi. I’m a 16 year old girl and I’m considering running away.

    I have been diagnosed with adhd and anxiety but I have extremely religious parents who don’t believe that anything is wrong with me. They yell at me, call me lazy, and tell me it’s my fault for not ‘praying more’. My mom is very controlling and has tries to take anything away from me that she thinks I enjoy. Last week she took my phone for watching YOUTUBE because she said it would “corrupt my soul”.

    I have a part time job currently, and I need my phone for contacting my boss and also bc I have a lot of college stuff saved on there. She refuses to give it back to me. She’s very emotionally toxic and has threatened to quit her job because of me (Which doesn’t make sense) on several occasions. She also constantly accuses me of stuff and throws away my things when I’m not at home.

    I have a lot of trauma from living with them and a lot of anger which I’m afraid might result in me hurting myself or others. Ive been considering suicide for awhile now but I don’t have the guts to do it.

    I have a few friends who are in college (19 years old) who have told me many times I can stay with them. I have a couple thousand saved up but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough. I LIVE IN TENNESSEE. if I decide to runaway, will they put me on those missing posters? Will the police look for me? I don’t want to come back home.

    I have to do something fast because I don’t think I can keep living like this

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to be vulnerable, and we appreciate you opening up to us. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.

    It sounds like your parents are very manipulative and we’re glad you’ve come to us. Everyone deserves to feel loved regardless of their religious beliefs.

    If you wish to have a direct but non-confrontational discussion with your parents, you and your mother may benefit from having a mediated conversation. We offer mediated calls through NRS if you are interested.

    It's understandable that you are angry about how you have been treated. You have many options other than suicide, and if you feel like you are in danger of hurting yourself we encourage you to reach out to a suicide prevention hotline (, friend, or family member. You may also benefit from therapy or counseling to help you cope with your trauma.

    To be honest, leaving home without a parent’s permission is always difficult. However, if you do leave home without your parent's permission it is not illegal. Should your parents file a runaway report the police may look for you and make you return home if found. There also could potentially be legal charges for anyone over the age of 18 that you are staying with when found. You may also want to consider long term shelters, or transitional housing.

    If you would like to further discuss your options, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY and we can search for resources in your area.

    If calling is not feasible, you can also chat us at (click on the chat button).

    We hope this helped and 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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