Thursday, September 13, 2007

This Is...Your Life

Xmichra Answers

This was sent to Aunt Babz via email...

I live in an emotionally abuse family home. My parents fight all the time. My mom threatens to put my in juvenile if i dont do stuff for her. For instance. Clean my room. Clean the bathroom. Im not lazy. I do do the stuff. but while im doing it she starts to throw her two cents in and just tries to imtimidate me. Like: use this cleaner-do it right- or your not going to work until its clean (i love my job and she always tries to threaten to take that away when its my only way to get away from all the stuff that i put up with at home) or anything that she can do to get to my head. I want to leave and live my friends instead. She says that if i leave she will call the cops and they will track me down and take me to juvenile. im starting to think juvenile wont be so bad. What is juvenile like? Can she just send me to juvenile because she wants to? What should i do? Plus i still have school and stuff to worry about. Im almost able to leave legally at 17 but ill be 16 for another year, then i can leave. im starting to think about suicide for some reason. What should i do? please keep this between us and dont post it on your site.

Dear Anonymous,

Parents and law is exactly it.

Are you sure that you know the state laws of parental obligation? You might be able to remove yourself from your home even if you are under age.. especially given the circumstances. If you were to seek help from a social worker they are bound to confidentiality within the law (which is to say that if there is no fear of physical abuse or anything that would break the law) and can give you the rules flat out on what it is you can and cannot do.

Of course, you may not be comfortable with this, and I understand. My first time seeing a social worker was when I was six years old and I didn’t have that fun a time of it. But if you remain level headed when talking, and ask specific questions like “what is the law regarding parental custody.” “what age do you have to be to legally move out on your own” “what are the circumstances that my parents could send me to juvenile detention?”. These are great questions to ask and will help you make up your mind.

One thing that I would like to add is that unless you have done something illegal or physically abusive, your parents can’t just send you to juvenile detention. It’s not there to have teens just be dropped into. It is there as a correctional facility, to help young adults not become criminals. So keep that in the back of your head, and don’t blow up at her. You have not indicated in your letter any reason for her to send you, and she would be laughed at if she had nothing to prove you were violent or on drugs. Another thing to keep in mind, is that if you were to leave, the police would return you to her custody, not juvenile detention. She clearly has no idea what she is talking about and is hoping that you do not either. This is why talking to a social worker would help so much in your case, you need to be educated to relieve the fear factor.

And that is the main thing I am getting here. The fear of things your parents (or maybe just your mom) are saying might actually be true. You need to be educated in this matter and know your rights. I strongly suggest that you seek help in this area, as I am not qualified to give legal advice.. and I do not know the legalities of things for where you are.

If you can manage to leave that environment, please do everything that you can to continue your schooling and make your education the most important thing in your life. I can tell you from experience, I moved out when I was 16. I was being thrown around by my step-dad and decided that I would do much better on my own. And I have to say, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I worked three jobs and went to school so that I could live and have a future. And had I went a different way, and sought out help from the community programs like social services, I could have had some of that stress eliminated. In my final high school year I was admitted to the hospital with severe dehydration and had collapsed at my work site. I was on IV for a week and in what they call a ‘lapse coma’ which means I was out cold from exhaustion. I would not recommend this road for anyone, as it is hard and tiring and lonely. You don’t get to have much of a life when you are working to survive, and when you are so young. So please, I urge you to seek support so that maybe you can stay in a subsidized house, a shared house, or even a foster home while you attend school. And you will need your schooling, so don’t let that go on the back burner. You want to be able to look at your mother in ten years and say to her “despite your efforts, I have become a responsible and productive member of society.” You really will enjoy it, I assure you.

And while I am on the topic of seeking out help.. I need to also stress the last sentence of your letter and how impacting that is. Suicide is a HUGE word, and is not the best solution is your situation. It is rarely the best solution in any situation. When we get down and feel like someone/something is crushing our very will to be alive… those thoughts can slip in. And that is normal, 100%. But you need to have the strength and the courage to know this for what it is… and that is the human flaw. All people have this little button that once activated sort of reacts like an eject button. Things get rough in life, sometimes far too rough that any one person should endure. And we decide that it would just be better to get the hell out of here, and let the people who hurt us cry over a grave that they couldn’t prevent. But I am telling you, strait up, that it is the wrong road to go down. Do not make this mistake. You are young and you do have ample opportunity to change your life, and to change the future. You cannot do that from a coffin. I am asking Babz to put a few links in here for suicide prevention, and I would love it if you could subside your thoughts and just call or click on them and just hear what they have to say. You did a brave thing already by contacting us. Now do yourself that same favor and live… live for the life that you will have. You will be okay, you will get through this. You just need a little help, and that’s totally acceptable.

So, talk to a social worker. Don’t let your mom freak you out about Juvenile detention (and no, it isn’t that bad). Talk to someone about the thoughts you have been having. And always, always remember that we are here for you to help out in any way that we can. If you need a little more research done for the area you live in for people to talk to, let us know and we can try and find what we can. Stay strong, and remember that this is YOUR life, live it well.

Aunt Babz Said...

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