Last August my daughter ran away after we got in a fight over a boyfriend who was locked up because he was involved in a drive-by shooting. She was gone for 2 weeks and during that time was raped. She had blacked out from drinking at a stranger's house so didn't remember a lot of details. She talked about dying and was cutting herself. She ran again 1 day later and came back.
We took her to a 30 day lock down place which was supposed to help counsel her and the family. She wrote a plan on how she wouldn't run and made her own consequences, curfews, and we signed them. She was gone within 3 days of coming home.
I took her to a counselor specializing in children. We went through months of her taking off for several days at a time every 2 to 3 weeks. Everytime something worse would happen to her.She was offered to live at her Grandparents house and ran after 1 day because my dad yelled at her.
The family has been to numerous counselors. She was basically using our house as a motel. We tried everything the counselors suggested we do. I have read many parenting books hoping something in there would help. I still don't understand why she keeps running. Our home is quiet and alcohol & drug free. If I even slightly suspected her stepdad sexually abused her I would be doing something about it that day. She says he never did.
I told her go live where ever you have been running because I'd tried everything else. She chose to live in a home where I didn't feel she was safe. That was a big mistake on my part and after a week I told her so and she needed to come home or I would send the police. I learned later the dad at that house was physically abusive to his kid, my daughter's friend.
A counselor from family services came out to our house and told us to lock her out if she was not back by curfew. She broke in through a window. Finally I did a voluntary placement with children services because she was doing so much risky behavior and the 3 counselors and 1 psychiatrist hadn't helped. I also was is a ToughLove support group.
Our family was a wreck. Obviously we weren't helping her and the worry, missed work, and what it was doing to her little brother. Mostly her life was being put on the line everytime she took off. Family services put her in a locked down place which was like a small dorm with 12 other girls so she could complete a drug & alcohol program and get help through another couselor. She did what she was doing at home and ran again, tested positive for meth when found and put in a foster home.
Several days later she ran again. She's been gone for almost a month and called my parents and told them she wants to come home and go back to school. She's not coming back if I lock her up. I send her emails telling her to call me. We can work something out. Nothing is written in stone. She writes I screwed up her life. I am to blame for all her problems.
I'll always love her and I cry everyday. I know I have a part in the blame for her problems, but I also know that maybe some of this could have been worked out if her "friends" hadn't helped her stay out there, but they are just kids too. This is to the parents who never bothered to call me but helped her to stay gone. How would you feel if you didn't know if your child was dead or alive?