It’s difficult to imagine…

Leaving home doesn’t mean the teen is to blame.

It’s difficult to imagine why someone at 12 would want to leave their home and venture out into the streets, trying to survive on whatever is there. But it happens, and all too frequently for someone so young. Adults sometimes trivialize the struggles (what struggles? they might sneer) of young people. They assume that the only reason why someone at 12 or 13 would want to run away from home is over something silly. As if feeling emotional pain is only something adults can have, as if adults are the only ones who can recognize conflict and feel the need to get out of it. There are studies of why teens and tweens run away, but what they all point to is that there isn’t a single reason to pinpoint why they run, and the reasons aren’t so trivial after all. Often it’s because of a lot of factors: a home that isn’t so sweet after all, parents who don’t want to accept their child’s sexuality, alienation from peers and family, conflict between family and their children…the list could go on. People leave home because all these things can add up; it’s too much to bear, and the only thing they can foresee as a respite from that is a tangible escape.

– Allyson