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I am writing this because I know how lucky I am to have gotten out on the other side... I hope that somehow.. some day I can help just one kid who may think leaving home is a good idea.

I was 15 when I left home. There were many reasons that I am sure most kids go through, but when I had an experience with date ra*e and told my mother who said it was my fault" what did I expect" I decided to bolt. I figured I could take care of myself better than anyone so I left. The problem is once you get out on the street you realize that it isn't that easy.

You can't get a job because you cant give your name, you cant eat without stealing or hooking. You become a shell of a human, you go from worrying about the guy in 5th period thinking your a dork to worrying if you are going to get raped or worse. I slept where ever I could find a place to flop.

I spent many a night behind a local grocery store and would get up really early in the morning before the delivery trucks would come. I would raid the dumpster to get the day old bread or the bruised fruit to eat. I would use local fast food places to wash up in ( as best as you can anyway).

I hooked up with a small time drug dealer and began to work for him delivering drugs. I was sexually assaulted by a customer. I remember thinking how can I get out of this without going home and admitting defeat. The turning point was the day I got arrested for shoplifting at the grocery store I was sleeping behind.

When the police arrived they asked me if I would like to spend the night in jail. I just looked up at him in utter defeat and said it would be better than where I slepted last night. I spent a few days in Juvi, which is no picnic either...

If you think the streets are bad... do a sleep over in Juvi! A few days later I met with my "case worker" he was very nice. I was placed in a foster home and my parents were contacted.
After some negotiation I was allowed to go and live with relatives.

I completed high school and went on to college. I am now married and a mother of two beautiful girls.

I would die if either of them went to the streets. My mother and I haven't spoken in several years.

That is ok with me, I was later told that she has what the shrinks call a narcissistic personality disorder.

Basically it means that it is impossible for her to worry or feel anything for anyone other than herself. I could have told them that!

My point is I know that life is hard at home at times but there has to be SOMEONE you can tell,,, a friends parent that you trust!

The street cares less about you than the parent(s) that you are leaving.If you are being abused tell someone... anyone! I beg anyone who even thinks about it to really think!

The streets are hard and once you are out there NO ONE will care if you live or die. I thank God every day that I made it through because now I love life.

[ Runaway short story.]

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