I attempted to run away from home during my ninth grade year. It was a half-hearted attempt at best and there was absolutely no planning as to where to go or how to get there. Looking back, it really was more of my way of trying to get someone to notice that I needed some help.
This was around the time I started getting help for my depression and the effects it was having on my family relationships. The main motivation for me running away had to deal with my fear of my step-dad (just Dad for now on.) That fear wasn’t rooted in anything he had ever or has ever done to me or anyone in my family. Rather, it was because of a secret I was keeping.
I had been flirting with the idea of running away for awhile and had been carrying with me everything I held important to my life in my backpack: cds, dvds and my cd player. All the wonderful necessities of survival. The day before my attempt, I had been discussing with a friend my desire to leave, and he just casually said he would help. And that was about all the planning that went into that. No specifics of how he would help or what we would do. Just that he would help.
The next day, I secured my precious belongings again and some bus fare and left for school. My parents were still driving me to school because we didn’t live close to the school and as such they also picked me up after school. So, in order for this plan to work I had to sneak out of school at the end of the day, because you know, skipping school was bad. I could get in trouble for that.
During my lunch period, we discussed again our “plans” and it was agreed, that I would meet him at the back gate and we would take the bus he takes to his house. We went to school in Los Angeles, and so our high school campus was the size of a small college campus, leaving out the back gate was like traveling to a new world, we wouldn’t be caught. Also, we were taking public transportation to his house, which was in the same neighborhood my grandparents lived in. Since there was no plan beyond his house, I was essentially running away to my grandma’s house.
The time came, and my dad texted me to meet him down the street like usual, avoiding the main traffic was key to survival in LA. I quickly turned off my phone and made the trek across campus. It was easy enough at this point. We walked the couple miles to the bus stop with the other students. Got on the bus and then made to his house.
That was when I realized this was a stupid idea. It was clear I couldn’t stay with him and so I grabbed my things and walked to the park. There I sat until my cousin came by and asked what I was doing. I told him. He didn’t seemed concerned and mentioned that my dad was looking for me and I should go grandma’s.
That was enough to end my journey and I called home and told them I was headed to my grandma’s.
And that’s the story of when I ran away. I think I was gone for like two hours at most. Spent the next year grounded. But at least I can casually say I ran away and hope no one asks for the details.