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I’m 17 in a month, parents won’t allow me to work and I need to be emancipated

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  • I’m 17 in a month, parents won’t allow me to work and I need to be emancipated

    In the last 3 years my household has become increasingly toxic and has led me to have numerous breakdowns, panic attacks, and even suicide attempts. I’m 16, I’ll be 17 in a month and I suffer from CPTSD and BPD. my family is neglectful of my mental health, and I find myself to be less and less emotionally stable as days go on. I try my best to fight and keep pushing but somehow my mother or my step father seem to bring me back to square one.

    my mother’s boyfriend has a history of being physical abusive towards my mother and I, he has been reported, arrested, and weve even had a restraining order. Legally he can live with us and be around us since he’s been through therapy and got the treatment he needed for his anger. He has not been physically abusive towards us since, but I have trauma from the abuse and I can’t stand to live with him. He finds a way to be verbally abusive towards me, and it hurts a lot. I’m trying my best but I cannot live here any longer

    My mother is also no help, she seems to be incapable of understanding any type of emotion I display. If I have a panic attack, I’m attention seeking.

    I want to get emancipated, but my mother doesn’t want me to get a job. I know having a job is a requirement for emancipation in my state, but my mother literally withholds my birth certificate and such documents that I need to get a job. I’ve never seen my passport, birth certificate, or any sort of identity related document of mines besides my insurance card. I’m wondering if this is even legal, can a parent have this much power over my life?

    im considering running away, but that seems illogical. I need to be smart about this so I can never come back. Contacting CPS has been done before, but I’d rather not go through such process again as it can also be traumatic.

    Please help me, there has to be a way I can get emancipated. I don’t want to run away, that cannot be my final option nor can CPS.

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. We are proud of you for taking this step to reach out for help and to find resources. While we at NRS are not qualified to give legal advice, we will try to set you up with the best resources for your situation. Please know that you deserve to live in an environment that is healthy and conducive to growth and support and love.

    Given the difficult situation at home that you have described and the mental health illnesses you face, you deserve to have access to quality mental healthcare. It can be frustrating to have your mental state minimized and labelled as “attention seeking.” The National Alliance for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization that seeks to support individuals living with mental health conditions. You can access their resources and look up free mental health therapy on their website, .

    We would also like you to know that should not have to live in an environment where you are constantly exposed to trauma triggers and verbal abuse. One resource we suggest is looking Into the nonprofit organization, ChildHelp, 1(-800-422-4453) or, an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody or until you turn 17.

    Additionally, we understand from what you described, that your mother has been complacent in your abuse and dismissive of your trauma and illnesses. However, from what you mentioned about your stepdad’s past history, if your mother should ever be facing another difficult situation at home, please know that there are resources you can give her. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 to provide tools and resources to victims of domestic violence. You can access that resource here:

    It is good that you have done the research on your situation and understand what it requires to be emancipated in your state. It is unfair that you mother withholds your important documentation and you raise an important question of whether this is legal. By calling 311 in most cities, you access a non-emergency phone system you can find out the legality of this situation and find more information on different services like CPS reporting or making complaints.

    Once you have more answers about this situation, you always access Childhelp to move forward with emancipation.

    We want to let you know that we are proud of you and want the best for you in the days ahead. Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns we can help with.

    You can reach us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY or through our live chat
    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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