I ran away from home 7 times I think, from the ages of 15-17. The first few times it was for one or two days, but the last time I was gone for over a month.
I don't know why it started, really, for me. I was lonely and tired and my parents didn't try too hard to be parents. They sent me to live with an aunt and uncle of mine in another city. They beat their kids, and I was like, I'm either turning you in for that or I'm leaving. They let me leave. I remember talking to my mom on the phone and crying so hard that night. She accused me of lying when I told her that her brother threw my little cousin up the stairs and hit him. I felt dead. When we got home from our family vacation, I ran again.
My friend D. was already a runaway, because she was dating this guy that her mom hated. She had a miscarriage, and her mom told her she was never pregnant, that she was lying. So she went to stay with her bf, they tried to take a greyhound out of state to stay with his grandma, but she wouldn't let them stay, so they ended up getting arrested and sent home. D. ran again, and I went to go be with her.
I actually had a car at this point, so we were going to try to drive to another state. We borrowed money from our friend C. About $200. We bought all this food and camping stuff and ended up hiding out in the mountains for about a week, until it snowed. Then we came back, and were sleeping in the car in some parking lot when the cops found us that time. They arrested W. And sent me and D. home. My parents took my car keys and wouldn't let me go back to school.
A few days later I tried to call C to see what had been going on with everyone. She told me that W. was out of jail and that D had ran away again, and she hadn't heard from her. I called W and he said that he didn't know where D was, so I got worried and decided that I was going to go look for her. I ran again. My dad somehow figured out that Ii had snuck out of the house and followed me in his car. I took off running, and asked this guy standing at the gas station if I could have a ride, because someone was chasing me. He turned out to be a crack dealer, and I did a bunch of it with him that night, and smoked some pot with his friend, we ended up making out in some crackhead's bathroom, and I was like, i don't do things like this. He took me and dropped me off at my friend C's house, tweaking bad. I hid in her room and slept there that night. Then next morning D called us, and apparently she had got caught again, and was at her mom's house. She said she would see C at school. I just stayed there all day and slept. Then D ran away again.
She and I either stayed with D or W, or when we had heard that the cops were looking for us, slept in this park by the school. We would steal food from the grocery store, bum money from people,. and steal clothes. W used to steal money from his mom for us.
Eventually we decided that we were going to try to leave state again. C wanted to come with us. Her mom was like a psycho, and her dad used to hit her. I think she had it worse then the rest of us, and she was so quiet about it...
We went and stole a bunch of stuff from my parents house and had W pawn it, then we used the money to buy this car out of the classifieds. We drove to somewhere in the middle of Missouri and then the car died on the side of the freeway. We were trying to wave someone down to help us and this guy stopped for us. He invited us to go stay at his house with him. (oh did I mention that our little fiasco had us leaving Denver the same day as the Colmubine shootings? and that everyone but me had a black trenchcoat?) So we stayed with him for a few days, but we had no money and we couldn't work, so we started calling people for money. Only two of them ended up calling the police to report us. And we got arrested again and sent home.
I was done running after that, but I dropped out of school and did nothing, partied and used drugs. C went home too. D and W ran again and I didn't see them again for a few months. Then they called me looking for money. Eventually D came to stay with me at my parents house. We both got jobs and went back to school. Then she moved in with her dad and I got my own place. She broke up with W and he dissappeared. Now, 3 years later, we have both graduated from high school, and gotten our lives back together. There are still painful memories, things that have scarred our souls, but we have become strong, and grateful to have a second chance, and people to love us.
Running isn't an answer, but sometimes you have to wonder why it is so much easier to survive in an illegal way like that, than to fix the problems we have through other channels. What do we do when the parents and the goverment won't help us, and all we have is ourselves?? There should be a better way. If you are unhappy, try to get legally immancipated, you can do it if you are over 16, and then you can have a place of your own and a job and stay in school. Otherwise talk to any relative you feel that you can, or another adult that you trust. I know how hard it is....I never want anyone else to have to suffer that kind of pain. Thank you.