Harry knew he did not want to live with his emotionally abusive father so he contacted the National Runaway Safeline to help him talk through his plan.
Harry* was struggling with his emotionally abusive father at the time he contacted us through our live chat. He started by saying:
“I don’t want to live with my dad anymore.”
It was a decision that he thought about for a while. His father was constantly picking at him about pretty much every aspect of his life – his weight, grades, even the clothes he wore. It seemed every day there was a new argument and his father took his daily stress and frustrations out on Harry.
Sometimes the arguments would escalate into screaming and throwing things against walls. Often times this would culminate in Harry’s father telling him to “get out of my house”. On these nights, Harry would sleep on the couch at his friend’s house or at his grandmother’s house.
“I really want to go live with my grandmother but I don’t know if my dad will let me.”
Harry knew what would improve his situation from the start of the conversation – an alternative living arrangement with his grandmother. He always felt loved and cared for when he stayed with his paternal grandmother (his father’s mother). The scary part was bringing up the suggestion to his dad.
“You deserve to live somewhere you feel safe. You could consider talking to your father about your idea. We know sometimes having those conversations can be difficult though. At NRS we offer conference calling, where if you call us we can call out to your dad and help support you and mediate the conversation.” – NRS Liner, Stephanie* offered.
While interested in the conference call service, Harry didn’t feel comfortable bringing his idea up to his father yet. Stephanie also brought up the idea that maybe Harry’s grandmother would help talk his father into agreeing to an alternative living arrangement – even if it was just for a couple months or so. That seemed to be a more realistic and comfortable step for him.
The chat wrapped up with brainstorming some ways for Harry to avoid his father and future arguments like getting more involved in after-school activities, spending more time with friends and his grandmother.
“Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I know it can be difficult to open up like you did. If you ever need to chat with us again, we’re available 24 hours a day.” – Stephanie, NRS liner
If you are in crisis, reach out to the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-786-2929, or through NRS’ website via live chat, e-mail or public forums 1800RUNAWAY.org. We offer 24/7, free, confidential support through our crisis services.
*Names and identifying details have been changed