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Dear Dish-It: Should I Run Away?

Dear Dish-It,


Should I run away? My life is so far like hell! I lost my mum, and my dad's always drunk. My lil bro and sis are currently living with their friends (most the time). And I'm not sleeping in the same house as my dad. So I go out at night, and sometimes the police ask me why, and I just say I'm heading home. What should I do? Should I run away and then come back, to show I'm really upset or???


u don't know this guy


Dear UDKTG,


I don't know you, but it sounds like you've got some really heavy things on your mind and I'm concerned for you. No kid should have to deal with such grownup problems - it doesn't seem fair. But let me be the first to tell you: running away is not the answer. Whether you're physically running away from your home or parents or you're mentally running away from issues you need to deal with or stuff you need to get done, the problem will never get solved. Problems only get solved when you face them head-on. So I am 100% confident that the answer to your question is: NO, YOU SHOULDN'T. Here's some more info about running away (and why you shouldn't do it), as well as some possible sources of help you could turn to about your b>problems with your dad.


Runaway Statistics

Running away is a serious problem. According to the National Runaway Switchboard, an organization that takes calls and helps kids who have run away or are thinking of running away, one in seven kids between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away at some point. And there are 1 million to 3 million runaway and homeless kids living on the streets in the United States.


Most kids run away due to problems with their families. Other reasons kids run away include:

  • abuse (violence in the family)
  • parents separating or divorcing or the arrival of a new stepparent
  • death in the family
  • birth of a new baby in the family
  • family financial worries
  • kids or parents drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  • problems at school
  • peer pressure
  • failing or dropping out of school

These are problems faced by lots of kids and teens - and there are ways to deal with all of these problems besides running away. Kids who think about running away might not know how to solve tough problems or don't have adults to help them. Sometimes a really big problem can make it seem like running away is the only choice. Unfortunately, the problems kids hope to escape by running away are replaced by other - sometimes even bigger - problems of life on the streets.


The Reality of Running Away

When you think about running away, you probably imagine that there will be no more rules, no parent to tell you what to do, no more fights. Sounds great and exciting, right? In reality, running away is anything but fun. Kids and teens who run away face new problems like not having any money, food to eat, a safe place to sleep, or anyone to look out for them.


People with no home and no money become desperate, doing anything just to meet their basic needs. Because of this, they often find themselves in risky situations that would be frightening, even for adults. Runaway kids get involved in dangerous situations and crime much more often than kids who live at home.


Runaway Prevention

Let's face it - stress is a part of life, even for kids - but being able to deal with problems with confidence, hope, and practical solutions makes kids less likely to run away. To build your problem-solving skills, try to:

  • Know your emotions: Try to understand what you are feeling inside and use words to describe it.
  • Express your emotions: Don't be afraid to tell those close to you how you're feeling and why. Use words, not actions. This is especially true for anger. Anger is one of the hardest emotions to manage because it's so strong - but everyone needs to learn how to express angry feelings without violence.
  • Know how to calm yourself down after you're upset: Maybe you need to run around outside, listen to music, draw, or write poetry. Do whatever safe things you need to do to feel better.
  • When you have a problem, try to come up with a list of solutions: Get someone else to help you if you can't think of at least three things to do. For each possible solution, ask yourself "If I do this, what would happen next?"
  • Get some help from trusted adults - someone like a parent, close relative, teacher, or neighbor: Know who you can count on to support and help you.

What To Do

It may feel like there's no way to fix the problems that are making you think about running away. If you can, tell your mom or dad how you feel. They need to know that you're upset or that you're afraid they don't love you or want you around. It may be possible to work together as a family to change things for the better. Sometimes talking with a counselor as a family can help.


If the problem is as serious as abuse and a parent is involved, then talk to a teacher or counselor at school, a good friend's parent, a close relative, or another trusted adult. Let that person help you find somewhere safe to stay. It might be hard to share this secret because you may feel ashamed or afraid of getting someone in trouble, but remember that abuse is never your fault.


Another option is to call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000 (in the United States). It's open 24 hours a day and the call is free. The switchboard operators get thousands of calls each year, many from kids who have run away or know someone who has.


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Dear Dish-It in the forums

astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
reply about 18 hours
ts01
ts01 posted in Friends:
im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
reply about 18 hours
lolflowergirl
lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
i feel alone too
reply about 20 hours
kayme123
kayme123 posted in Friends:
i know the feeling. but i got taken off a website instead of my friends. i can assure you they probably feel the same and are missing you, BUT its not worth dwelling over it. friends come and go without any choice in life and trust me, i lost the love of my life and my two of the best friends in the world. The thing is, you have to move on, because they wouldent want you feeling sad over them right? they'd want you to be the happy person you were when you were with them! for starters, i'll be your friend so your not scared to make some new ones. To be honest, i went through the exact same thing as you did and it DOES hurt very bad. But once you find some people that are willing to make you feel better, you know you've chosen the right friends again
reply 1 day
Irene_love
Irene_love posted in Style:
"1.am.3m0" wrote:Hey. Im also turning 15 soon. So dont worry you arent alone hahah. Start dressing for your shape and also find whats comfortable.  Because if you wear something that is uncomfortable you wont be happy and happiness is the best look :) Most of the time I wear jeans with a graphic tshirt or singlet and a cardigan or light jacket. Hoodies are great for winter. And I wear combat boots like doc martins and converse. Hope I helped somehow! :)
reply 1 day

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