I will never forget that night. I was 12 and was ready to leave home and stay at a friend’s house. It was something I was planning to do for the longest time.
Now, let me back track a little to show you a clearer picture of my situation then.
I had a very strict, unreasonable dad who wanted to just lock me inside the house. He didn’t allow me to go to my friends’ houses, ride my bike, or go to the park with my buddies. When he says “NO” there were no ifs and buts.
Rebellious that I was, I was able to sneak out of the house when he and my mom were at work. I joined the volleyball team that summer without them even knowing it. I was out of the house right after they leave for work. Good thing there were no cell phones back then so there was no way for them to check on me. And being the eldest, I had total control over all my siblings. None of them had the guts to tell my parents that their big sister was out the whole time dad and mom were in the office.
So I met this girl in the volleyball team and we became best friends. She was more rebellious and daring than I was. Coming from a very dysfunctional family, she had no moral values whatsoever. I remember going to her house one day and saw her mom sleeping with a man and their bedroom door was wide open. I asked her if that was her dad and she said, “That’s one of my mom’s boyfriends”. Her aunt, who was a little older than we were, was one of the loosest girls I’ve ever met.
We hanged out a lot and did a lot of crazy things together. I envied her lifestyle because she can just go whenever and wherever she wants without her mom even checking on her. I then told her one day of my problem with my dad and she quickly said, “Just stay with me and we will have lots of fun together”.
We then planned for my escape… I will leave the house once my parents are asleep and I will proceed to another friend’s house, and my best friend will pick me up from there. Sounds like some simple plan to me.
As I was packing my stuff that night, I heard a guy friend calling my name from outside. A few nights before that, my dad already warned me that he never wants to see that guy again. So I ran outside and told my friend to leave before my dad sees him. He told me that he heard of my plan to run away from home and he begged me not to do it. Before I could say anything, I heard my dad’s voice shouting my name. He was looking for me. I panicked, jumped over the fence, and started running as fast as I could. I had a shirt and short shorts on and no slippers. My guy friend followed me, worried about my safety. I saw some construction workers and asked if they can lend me some slippers. They all looked at me in disbelief and one of them gave me a pair of men slippers. I ran away again. Then I heard the sound of a police siren and I jumped in the bushes and hid. I crawled inch by inch until the siren sound was gone.
Finally I reached my friend’s house, and to my surprise she told me that I can’t stay in her house because her dad found out about me. I tried calling my best friend but she was nowhere to be found. Some of our other guy friends were there that night and they all told me to go home. I had no choice but to call my dad.
I dialed our house number and my dad answered it. I told him where I was and asked to be picked up. He was there so quick and he warned all my friends that he never wants to see their faces again. I was grounded for a whole week but managed to sneak out of the house during those days.
So why am I sharing this story with you? What have I learned from it? What can you learn from it?
First, I am showing you that I totally understand where some of you are coming from. I can totally relate with those who are just so sick of being controlled by their parents.
Next, I want you to know that my plan to run away didn’t even solve any of my problems. It didn’t make my life better.
Third, your friends may offer you their place but it is still their parents who decide. So don’t expect that you will just be able to stay at your friend’s house if you plan to run away from home.
Fourth, friends can give you advices. They can even give you wonderful suggestions. But will they even be there for you? Some of them may, but most of them won’t, more so if they are still young.
Fifth, just as I was not wise when I was 12, any young person for that matter doesn’t have the same wisdom as older people do. When I was 12, all I could see was my problem and getting out of my problem. I never saw the “in-betweens”… the “what will happen if”. I was careless. I wanted a solution quick. I had no clue of the need to wait.
Can you imagine what would have happened if one of the construction workers just raped me, or even killed me after raping me for that matter? So many other dangerous things could have happened to me that night.
You may not be as lucky as I was if you try running away from home, more so because times are so different now. This world we live in is becoming more dangerous by the minute.
So girls, if any of you plan to run away from home, this is my advice:
unless somebody in that house is physically or sexually abusing you. If this is the case, then ask the help of the authorities.
My advice is for you to focus on your studies and establish some goals that will help you get out of that house quickly. You wouldn’t want to run away from home without money or a place to live. It may sound exciting at the start but not in the long run. You need a plan. And you need a good and wise plan at that.
First things first… ask God to help you. If you are going through some tough times in your house, talk to God and unburden all your problems to Him. Don’t trust your friends with your problems. They won’t be able to help you because they are too young to help you in the first place.
Next, connect with good people, those you can trust and those who will help you become a better person. Honestly, those who will encourage you to run away from home are not the ones who care about you. The best place to start is to find a local church. Connect with their youth group. Talk to the youth pastor.
Third, channel your energies to more productive things. Paint, draw, write, make songs, sing, dance, play musical instruments, be involved in sports.
Lastly, connect with me if you need to. Count me as a friend. I care about you.