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  • Smothering Parents

    Hello. My name is *edited for confidentiality* and I am 16 year old female.

    I am deaf and my parents believe me to be completely helpless. I am not allowed to leave the house by myself. I have only one friend and she is busy with school and friends that I am unable to see her often. I do not attend school because my parents are not able to afford the private schools for the deaf. I am also not permitted to attend public school due to them being dangerous.

    My parents smother me. I have no time to myself. There is not a moment in the day where I am alone at home by myself. I am not allowed to shut my bedroom door unless I am changing clothes. The believe me to be helpless and I am not. I can do very much. But being 16 and having no life experience, I am going to leave. I have a decent sum of money saved that I will be retrieving and I will board a train and leave.

    I am going to travel to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Wisconsin. I will not be able to contact them ahead of time so I must just show up at their door. Hopefully they will let me stay. And if not, I will use the money I have to live as best I can until I am 18 and will be able to get a place of my own. If my Aunt and Uncle decide to contact my parents to get me back to them, I will leave their house immediately and go somewhere else.

    I will not go back to that jail. I will not be a prisoner anymore. I wish to have a life. Yes, I am deaf but I am not helpless and I will show them that. I will keep in contact with them fairly regularly. But I will keep running until my 18th birthday so I will never have to go back to that prison.

    I do not know why I am writing here other than I promised a friend that I would. She is very concerned but she does not need to be. I have everything planned. But perhaps you nice people might have some ideas to make things better while I travel.

    Thank you for your time
    *Edited for confidentiality*
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

  • #2
    Re: Smothering Parents

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having with your parents. It must be very hard to not be able to leave the house by yourself, go to school, and feel smothered. A revolving theme in your post seems to be that you feel your parents think you are helpless. Have you tried talking to them about ways that you can feel more independent? Or sometimes people find it more bearable to deal with their hardships if they are able to focus on something else? Are there any ways that you are able to escape what is going on – like reading, writing in a journal, sports, games, etc.?

    Running away is normally just a status offense meaning you cannot do so as a minor because you haven’t reached the age of majority (which is 18 in most states.) However, harboring a runaway, assisting a runaway, and crossing state lines with a minor can have legal consequences. Many parents choose to file runaway reports which place youth in a database called the NCIC (National Crime Information Center.) This allows police to locate runaway youth regardless of the city or state simply by entering their identifying information like name and date of birth. Do you think your parents would file a runaway report if you leave?

    It sounds like you have thought out what you would do and where you would go if you ran away. You mention that you have a decent sum of money and plan on going to your aunt and uncle’s house in Wisconsin. If your aunt and uncle did allow you to stay, do you think they would take the risk of harboring you? You state that if they contact your parents then you will immediately leave and live the best that you can until you are 18. Have you thought about how you would provide for your basic needs like food, shelter, and other necessities? Some youth in larger towns and cities are able to find runaway and homeless youth shelters. Shelters generally require parental consent/ notification anywhere from immediately to 72 hours in order to protect themselves from a legal standpoint. They usually offer other services too like family mediation and counseling. Here is a website where you can search possible shelters by state. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/co ... locate.htm

    We are not legal experts, but to our knowledge harboring a youth is often considered a misdemeanor. The outcome of harboring may depend on prior offenses and whether or not the runaway youth’s parents/guardians wish to pursue the charge. Our main concern is safety; however, we are not here to tell anyone what to do. Instead we can discuss possible options, offer support, basic information, and provide referrals. If you would like to continue discussing your situation or if we could offer you any additional resources we do offer a TDD line (1-800-621-0394) and can also receive IP-Relay calls (1-800-526-0857), http://www.ip-relay.com. We hope this helps and wish you the 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]y.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Smothering Parents

      I thank you very much for your quick response. I was not expecting it so quickly.

      I have thought about my Aunt and Uncle getting in trouble but my parents do love them very dearly. They are the closest relatives emotionally that they have. I do not see them filing charges. If they say they will, I will leave.

      You ask about how I will provide for myself. I have a sum of money that I should be able to live on for a good while. I have been researching homeless life and tips people have posted online. They have a number of wonderful tips on how to save money, get things for free and find places to stay. If need be, I am bring my tent along with me and I will camp out if that need arises as well. I have read a number of cities all over the country have tent cities where people may stay. I will go there. It is better than where I am living now.

      You also mention talking to my parents about how I feel. That is just not an option. I have before and they brush my words aside as if I am a toddler. I am just a baby to them. A puppy that needs constant supervision. I have no attitude problems, I am not out of control or have ever been in any legal trouble. They just believe me to be helpless due to my disability. I am not. I can make it and I will. Even if it means sleeping on the streets for two years until I am old enough to live somewhere myself.

      I thank you once again for taking time to talk with me. You are most kind and I am so happy an organization like this exists.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Smothering Parents

        We are glad we could be of help. It sounds like you have thought thoroughly about what you will do if you leave. As we mentioned before we are not here to tell you what to do, but we do care about your safety. Have you thought of a plan if you find yourself in an unsafe situation? You mentioned doing online research to get ideas. If you haven’t had a chance to fully check out our website, we list some common questions to think about before leaving. http://www.1800runaway.org/youth_teens/nrs_help.html
        We are sorry to hear that you have tried to talk to your parents and they brush aside your words. Is there anyone who could mediate between you and your parents, your aunt and uncle perhaps? If you would like to continue discussing ideas, feel free to talk to us through our TDD line or IP-Relay.

        -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)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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