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Asking for a friend who wants to leave a toxic home

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  • Asking for a friend who wants to leave a toxic home

    Hey everyone,

    So this feels a bit odd, but I'm posting this here for my friend, because it's almost impossible for her to do so. Ofc I have her permission to share this all. I'll call her P in the rest of the story. She is 18 years old and lives in Midwest of the USA. I met P on a Discord server (place for online friends to hang out) about 1.5 years ago. Overtime we gamed a lot together and slowly P started opening up on how her real life situation was. She has ASD (autism) so communication can be scary and difficult at times. She has a very overprotective, over-controlling mom who makes her completely dependent on her, slowly stripping away the things and persons she likes. Her mothers constant gaslighting makes her question herself alot and sometimes even thinking her situation is normal. Her dad is often long times away for work. She basically has no irl friends and a handful of online friends, including me. Her mom is continuously monitoring her. She's not allowed to go outside alone, even walking across the street, is a recipe for an anger tantrum of her. P was homeschooled since she was 9 yrs old. Her daily life atm is being locked inside a house, walking on eggshells to avoid angering her mother and masking like everything is fine. She wants desperately to break free but is starting to get hopeless on how. This hopelessness combined with her long-term depression, anxiety and tics makes her life a living hell.

    Last week her mother ordered her to remove even her online friends from all of her devices and said she was not allowed to game with me anymore. P said this would be the last ray of sunshine in her life that would disappear. We found secret ways to keep communicating and gaming, but this can't go on for much longer. It is hurting me to see her struggle to keep surviving. Every time we find a new balance, her mother finds a new way to make things worse. We are separated by an ocean, so me helping her has been solely online. We found this place to ask for advice and P asked me to put her story on here.

    We are both out of ideas to help her and are thinking of making a phonecall to an organization but not sure where to go. She is afraid to take action cause her mother threatened to use violence if she did. She feels she would also betray her sibling by leaving her behind alone. Yet she wants to move out 100%, but all these things make it hard for her to find the right help.
    We were wondering if there is a way to get her out of that house with the help of an organization. Since she is 18 yrs old she is allowed to go where she wants, but due to her mothers behaviour and constant monitoring, the way to leave has to be created for her. Do people on here have any tips or advice for this situation? As an overseas friend, it feels so powerless to watch her slowly getting muffled in this toxic situation, and I'm afraid I'll either lose communication with her, or that her depression gets a permanent hold of her.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.

  • #2

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We appreciate you reaching out and sharing what has been going on with your friend. It sounds like you are very concerned about your friend P and her well-being. We are here for P and you 24/7 to discuss.

    It is great that P has such a great friend. It sounds like you’ve tried to support her by being there to talk and try to find a good solution for her to move out.

    We are not legal experts but the age of an adult in most states is 18 years old. You shared that P is 18 years old. Depending on the state, 18 is the "age of majority," or the age at which state residents are legally considered adults. In most states, you can leave home without your guardian’s permission.

    You mentioned that P is afraid to take action cause her mother threatens to use violence. P does not deserve to be treated that way. We want you to know to prioritize P’s safety and security about all else. We work best when we can have a conversation with you. We would recommend calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or by Live Chat, we are here 24/7. Please call or chat soon at our website
    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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