Thursday, September 20, 2012

Almost A Runaway

Once upon a time I almost ran away. I was about fourteen years old, sitting up in my bedroom and going a little stir crazy. I felt this sudden urge to leave, though it was in the middle of the night. My parents were sleeping, actually most the house seemed to be aside from one brother chilling out on a computer in the sun-room of the old family home. Maybe it had to do with my depression, or perhaps it was just that teenage angst taking over, but I soon enough found myself getting dressed and sneaking down the steps.

Clearly I can remember slipping out the backdoor trying to be as quiet as I possibly could. The night air took over me, it was a cool Michigan night and I felt a rush come over me with each sneaky step I took. I edged around the outer part of the sun-room as the windows had been open and I didn't want my brother to notice me. I wasn't trying to get caught. Actually, I had always been petrified of being caught.

As soon as I had made it around the house I walked quickly through the front yard onto the sidewalk and made it down a couple houses before I slowed my pace. I remember taking in deep breaths and just feeling confident. Feeling brave – or well, feeling myself trying to be brave as I walked aimless around the neighborhood I had grown up in. I hadn't gone very far really and I didn't even know really why I was doing it. It was like something inside me had taken over and I just had to leave the house in that moment.

I made it as far as a couple blocks away heading past the elementary school I attended when younger. I was crossing through the playground and headed towards the old park behind the school. There's a large field area between the playground and that park. I was about midway through when I stopped in my tracks and just peered through the darkness ahead of me. I could see the outlining of the park's playground near the building that had picnic tables set up by it and hosted the restrooms that always seemed to be locked.

Standing there I almost felt frozen looking ahead. Asking myself what I was doing there and what would happened if I continued. I clearly remember this sinking feeling that if I had ventured off into that park, something bad could happen. Maybe I had watched the news too many times or heard of enough bad stories of real kidnappings and such. Whatever it was, something inside me made me turn around and book it for home.

Fortunately for me, I was only just a couple blocks away from home. Once I had arrived back I slipped back around the house, made it quietly into the house and up the steps to hide in my bedroom. Nobody had noticed I took off. It helped most of them were asleep. I'll admit to this day I shake my head about that night. I have no idea what could have possessed me to actually attempt to run away. I grew up in a loving home, sure my family had their faults – what family doesn't? My only guess, even after all these years was that it was somehow perhaps tied into my depression issues. I was just twelve when I was officially diagnosed after all and I certainly did not have a handle on signs and symptoms like I do now.

Whatever possessed me back then, I just thank God now that something took over me and I came running back for home. Back to where I knew I was safe.

--XOXO, Jane


  1. Hello Jane ! This post had touched a very sensitive chord. I have a thirteen year old daughter with autism who always run away and does not come back after months. Though her case is very much different from yours and I live in a country where psychological and medical support from our government is not that ample, I hope that one day I will know the answer and the solution behind all this . I also hope that in time , I will find the strength to write her story .


    1. Hello Sarah! I can not imagine being in your spot with your thirteen year old. It's hard to say why someone runs away and depending on the type of autism she has, it might be even harder to decipher why your daughter keeps doing it. I shall definitely pray that you are able to find an answer, as well as keep the strength you have to be there for her and eventually write her story. I am betting it's going to be an inspirational one when you do.

  2. Hi Sarah, I am new to your blog. I am your age I wouldn't have had the courage to do this. If I am honest though, I have to admit that it did cross my mind.

    1. Honestly I don't think I would call it courage. I think I was just going through something deeper than I realized and it happened. I'm just also think I'm grateful that whatever it was snapped inside me and I came running back home.

      Welcome to the blog! -XOXO, Jane

    2. My darling daughter thank God you didn't keep on walking that night. I think it would have killed me if you had of. Your teen years were rocky for you and me lol. I think to myself many moms and daughters go through the same, but we also had things in our lives with illness in our family that not many people go through. Then again it was hard to argue or reason with you as it was like arguing and reasoning with myself. We are so much alike you and I, and yet so different too. I know you haven't written about it yet, but a favorite teen memory of you for me was the time your dad called you out on something which is rare for him... I was shocked and stated so, letting you dad know how could he ask such a thing? You were torn truly between a rock mom and your dad hard place lol. He was dead on and I had no clue! I know you know the indecent I speak of. The thing is we think we know our kids so well and we don't... in fact we think we know ourselves so well and we don't. I ran away at exactly age 14 and was headed for California. It was the 70's and all kids wanted to go there lol. California wasn't the reason I ran away but that is a story for another day. I didn't turn back like you did, I couldn't. I was scared and foolish and was gone two days. Now mind you my planning was made over a span of weeks and I actually saved money for this venture of mine. Once caught and in custody of the law and then sent back home after a series of other places over another 24 hour period, my mother was so mad at me that she wouldn't speak to me other then yell at me and demand my sisters (your aunts) not to speak to me too... And they didn't as they were not allowed to. My dad was the opposite and he wanted to make up for everything in a single moment and make it all better. It was awful. I was so relived to be home! No matter how they all were acting. I never did it again. And thank God I didn't make it to my destination. Where would I be today or you or your brothers if I did? I think to this day getting caught was my savings grace to a point. But even today as old as I am there are just days when you want to run away! I think we all do that. I guess we all need a safe place to call our run-away-to-spot lol. The safe place where we can shake off work, problems, people, the world in general, and just go sigh... awwwww... all better... now lets go back home lol. Just always remember I love you and I am here for you, and will gladly run away with you whenever you want to! Love, Mommy :)