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17 and need to get away from home

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  • 17 and need to get away from home

    Let me preface this with the fact that I am a 17 year old female living in [town withheld], Florida. My parents have always been strict and controlling, but due to some incidences between us earlier this year, they’ve become very manipulative, even more controlling, and I’d argue emotionally and mentally abusive. This has led me to become EXTREMELY depressed and I’m in a rather dangerous mindset right now. We are constantly in disagreements, arguments, verbal fights, and there is absolutely no trust between us anymore. I’m often villainized and I have absolutely no freedom. This has 100% passed the line of punishment. I will be the first to admit that I have been a bit of a “problem child,” (nothing crazy, just petty curfew violations by ten or twenty minutes and slipping grades, typical teenage behavior) but as I reflect on everything that’s happened between my parents and I, it’s clear to me that I was acting impulsively and those were attempts for some sort of mental help. Of course, I will always respect and love my parents, and I want the healthiest relationship with them possible, but I know that if I continue to stay here longer, the lack of trust between us will lead to something even more catastrophic than what happened earlier this year.

    As far as I know, emancipation isn’t an option for me, because my parents will not let me get a job until I’m 18, therefore I don’t have any source of income/way of supporting myself.

    I’m very torn up about the thought of having to run away, I have maybe $20 to my name and a car with maybe half a tank of gas, and while I do have two friends who would be willing to offer me shelter and necessities, one lives in [town withheld] and the other [town withheld] , which are a distance away. The emotional manipulation I’ve experienced also makes me question whether that’s a reasonable choice to make, but at times I’ve become suicidal being in this house and I know that is a very alarming sign. I feel like I have a case of Stockholm Syndrome, if we’re being honest. Plus, my parents have threatened me with the police and other drastic measures in the past, and I’m not sure if my state’s police force would take me back home if I were to be found.

    By the time I graduate high school and enroll in the college of my choice, which is in [edited], I fear that my parents will try to stop me from attending it. I will still be 17 and I’d have to move out and get a job, which sounds difficult, but I am extremely determined. Is it legally possible for them to restrict me from attending an out of town college and moving out if I’m still 17?

    I feel very stuck and at a dead end, is there anything else I can look into or do to distance myself from the situation? My parents don’t let me hang out with my friends, and I’m only occasionally allowed go out to the store for twenty minutes, which for me, is just an excuse to get some sort of human interaction. I haven’t left my house in months. I’m genuinely lost.

    (I’m sorry for the long post, I just wanted to make sure I included as much history and details possible.)
    Super Moderator
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 12-06-2019, 04:39 PM. Reason: Edited locations to preserve anonymity

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. We are very sorry to hear about your situation with your mom and dad. That sounds very frustrating for you and it makes sense why you'd want to remove yourself from a place that is harmful to you. You mention that your parents are mentally and emotionally abusive to you, which of course is something you do not deserve. We never tell anyone what to do, but if you want to file an abuse report that is your right. In Florida you can call the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 to make a report. Or you can call us and we can file an abuse report on your behalf. Again, this is one option available to you.

    We are very concerned when you mention suicide. Even just having those sorts of thoughts and feelings is quite scary and it would be ideal if you were able to talk to someone you trust about what you're going through. Maybe that's a school counselor, teacher, minister, or another adult that can provide support. Of course, we are always here for you, even if you just need a listening ear to vent to. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY. Also, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's number is 1-800-273-8255. Please be safe and call if you ever have suicidal thoughts in the future. We are always here for you.

    To answer your question very directly: until you are 18 you are considered a minor under your parent's supervision, so they do have the right to ask that you live with them until that time. Of course, once you are 18 you are automatically emancipated and you can live, work, or go to school wherever you'd like. You wouldn't need permission from them any longer. One idea would be to somehow figure out how you can deal with this very difficult situation until that time. Maybe talking things over with others might help with that. Or figuring out how you can claim some space for yourself within the confines of a situation not of your choosing. We can look into counseling resources in your area if you'd like to talk to a therapist. You'd just need to call us or chat with us via our website: Again, these are just some ideas.

    Of course, we never tell anyone what to do and whether or not you choose to leave home before you turn 18 is ultimately your choice. We certainly could never judge you for that. If anything, we are here to support you no matter what you decide. If you decide to leave home without permission, your parents could attempt to file a runaway report and anyone you stay with could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor.Sometimes police will not follow through on runaway reports for youth that are close to turning 18, but we can't say for sure how they would handle things.

    We hope this information helps. If you contact us via phone or chat we might be able to help you think through some other ideas on how you can best deal with everything. Again, even if you just need to vent, that's what we're here for. You sound very intelligent and like you have a bright future ahead of you, despite this difficult spot you're in. Please be safe, don't give up, and do take care of yourself! We hope to hear from you soon. Again, our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and our chatroom can be found at

    Super Moderator
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 12-06-2019, 05:14 PM.
    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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