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.