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  • I want to leave

    I want to leave. My parents have always treated me badly because I'm a girl, and because I like reading. They say people who are educated won't go to heaven, and ever since I got in the G/T program in elementary, they've become so cold to me. The only time I'm really happy is when I'm with my friends, but my parents don't let me hang around with them. Ever. They call my friends crazy, even though they are perfectly sane. They want me to hang out with kids from their church, but the kids there drink alcohol and go to clubs, and even though what they do is their own business, they treat me poorly because I don't like doing what they do. They call me names and make fun of me to the point where every sunday and wednesday I feel ill. My parents are always trying to isolate me, and are always implying or even outright saying that I'm an idiot, despite the fact that they themselves cannot even hold a completely coherent conversation. I've tried talking to them, but they say that I feel sad because I'm a teenager or because I'm posessed by demons. I don't know what to do. I've considered leaving, but I don't want to be a burden to my financially strapped friends, and I want to continue getting an education. What do I do? I need help.

  • #2
    Re: I want to leave

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear that your parents have treated you badly. It sounds like you education is important to you and we commend you for being a part of a gifted and talented program. It must be hard to feel so isolated and not be able to hang around your friends. You mentioned that you’ve tried talking to them, but it doesn’t sound like it has gone the way that you wish it would. Do you have anyone that might be able to act as a mediator? A family member, family friend, someone from the church, etc.? You say you’ve considered leaving, but it sounds like you’d feel bad going to your friends and would still like to pursue and education. While we are not here to tell you exactly what to do, we are here to offer support and any resources that may be helpful.

    We are not legal experts, but generally speaking running away is just a status offense. However, harboring a runaway can be considered a misdemeanor which might be something to consider if you do choose to leave. Homeless youth (which can include runaways) still have a right to an education under the McKinney-Vento Act, but at some point school authorities are probably going to have to contact a guardian or Child Protect Services in regards to enrolled minors. http://center.serve.org/nche/m-v.php

    Besides talking to your parents and leaving, do you feel you have any other options? Is there somewhere else where you think your parents would give you permission to stay? Or, do you think they would let you stay at a runaway and homeless youth shelter? These are often found in larger areas and can offer youth an alternative place to stay for a temporary period of time. So that they do not get in trouble for harboring runaways, they usually need to contact a parent/guardian anywhere from immediately to 72 hours upon the youth’s arrival. Many times they offer individual and family counseling as well as other support services. If you feel that might be an option for you, here is a link where you can search based by state.
    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/co ... locate.htm

    We hope this information helps and if you would like to continue talking you are welcome to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are anonymous, confidential, and available 24/7. Best of luck!

    -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)

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