Did you ever (try to) run away from home?

Long ago, when I was around 9 or 10, I thought I’d try running away from home. I wasn’t upset or anything, just curious. But…I only got as far as the end of the driveway because I didn’t have a plan regarding where to go!

When my brother was around that same age, even longer ago, he told Mom he was running away from home. She packed him a lunch (ha! Good one, Mom!), he took it outside, sat down and ate it in the back yard, then came back inside. At least I got farther than he did!

Did you ever try it just out of curiosity? Or did you really do it, if only briefly?

When I was four or so, I announced I was running away, and went outside. This didn’t bother anyone, as that was usually what I announced when I went outside to play. But this time I walked around the corner and down the street for a couple blocks to this small playground that was near our house. Mom came driving around veeeery slowly peering out her window looking for me, and the confused adult supervising children in the playground started jumping up and down and waving and pointing in my direction.

Mom was annoyed.


First time, I got two houses down the street before mum caught up with me and appologised for whatever it was that I was so angry and upset about.

Second time, I went the other way, but had to stop outside the next door neighbour’s house because I wasn’t allowed to cross the road by myself.

I’m fairly certain I had the classic conversation with my dad.

Me: “I’m running away.”
Dad: “Ok.”

And in 5th grade I read “My Side of the Mountain” and fantasized about running away to the mountains.

Stupid Miami.

All the time.

When I was in elementary school, I frequently went to my mom’s friend’s house, because she had a new baby for me to play with. Unfortunately my mom was never out of her head with worry when I got home, which was often my plan in running away.

D’ya think her friend told her where I was?

A couple of years ago my nephew, then aged 10, proclaimed he was running away. He stated that he was very unhappy with things and that it was a grand injustice to not be able to have more Yu-Gi-O cards or some such. My nephew said he was leaving to find some place where he would be happy.

I don’t recall the exact quote but he said something like “I’d rather live under a bridge”…

My brother took him aside and said he was very sad to hear that. He said,“We are so sorry you are unhappy here and we will do our best to make you happy”.

He then told my nephew to get into the car. He drove to the absolute worst neighborhood, while pointing out over passes.

“Hey, that’s a nice one. It has a light!”
“OOOOOOO! Looky that one, there’s a man already there! He can be your buddy!”
“Hmmm. You might not like that one. It looks damp”.

He then asked my nephew how he was going to afford day-to-day living expenses such as food. My nephew said he would get a job…That Burger King would hire him and pay him in food.

So, my brother, being oh-so-helpful, drives to a Burger King and helps my nephew fill out an application (while the manager did his best to not crack up).
The manager said that he would think about it, but that burger flipping is skilled labor - a skill that my nephew sadly did not have.

They drove home and my brother said," Go on, take your time packing. I’ll get you the nice suitcase. It’s the least I can do for you. I just want you to be happy".

Later that night there was a note for my brother:

Dear Dad,

Is it ok if I stay?
circle yes or no.


When I was about four, my 10 year old cousin burned her house to the ground. About a week before Christmas, she decided she was going to look for her presents in the attic, using a match for a light. The whole family went up to help them sort through what was left and basically console them. My grandmother’s house was on their property, so the family was all congregated there.

My cousin - still thinking up brilliant plans - decided she was going to run away and take me with her. We crossed through the cow fields (my uncle was a dairy farmer) and went to the hay barn. We played in the hay for hours, until it got dark. At that point, she decided we better go back. On the way back, I stepped in cow manure up to my knees.

So, there we were, strolling up to my grandmother’s house in the pitch black, covered in cow poop. I was little enough that I didn’t really get in trouble - just scolded a little bit. She, already having burned down the freakin’ house, was a little more severely punished.

I tried to several times (the first time when I was 5), and actually did 3 times. The first time was when I was 13, and I was found 2 days later. I never made it out of the city (not for lack of trying). The next time I made it to a town a couple of counties over and was gone for a week before I was found. The 3rd time, I guess I was 15, I got all the way to Wyoming (from eastern Kansas) before I ran out of money and gas. I stole my mom’s car. It was a Volkswagon or else I wouldn’t have made it that far.

Since I’m not totally anonymous I won’t go into details about why I ran away, and some of the things that happened to me while I was “away,” but I can understand some of the desperation of kids who have to do things they never imagined themselves doing just to survive. I only got a taste of it, and I still shudder when I think of how easy I could have been raped and murdered and no one would know where I was and what happened to me. At the time I didn’t think anyone would care anyway, but still, I was extremely lucky in several ways.

Yes, I was an idiot, why do you ask? :smiley:

Another idiot checking in…when I was 14 (1972) I got really mad at my
parents—some sort of disagreement about how much time I was spending
with my boyfriend. This pissed me off…they really liked him & I thought they
were just being mean and “old”. So I snuck out of my 2nd floor bedroom
window at 2AM and started walking. Had no idea where I was gonna go. I had
no money. I lived in Mphs. Tn. at the time. I’m walking down the main street
there…it’s now about 3AM and a guy in a Volkswagon Bug slows down, asks
me if I’m okay, do I need a ride? I try to ignore him but I did stop walking to
get a look at him. He said I shouldn’t be out on the streets, that he would
take me back home. I said I wasn’t going home. So he said he’d take me to the
police station if I wanted to go there but that I needed to get off the street.
He looked harmless. I got into the car. And he actually took me to the police
station. After about 30 minutes, I told the police my name & phone number &
my dad came & picked me up.
The guy in that car could have been Jack the Ripper…& my body would still
be out there. I STILL can’t believe I did that & I’m 45 years old.
I tried to run away a few months later…don’t really remember why now
because I broke my ankle when I went out of that window & had to hobble
back to the front door & ring the bell…then ask my mom, who answered the
door, to take me to the hospital.
Yea, I was a real genius.

Once when I was eighteen. Yeah, eighteen.

My stepfather and I got into it about something and it got to the point where my mom left the house in anger. I packed up my stuff and followed shortly thereafter. I walked about two miles to a cab company and then paid them to drive me to my cousin’s house where I was going to hang out for a while before figuring out what to do.

Once I got there, I saw my mom had beaten me there though. This is where she had stormed off to in anger. Oops.

I wound up coming back two days later and lived at home for another four years until another fight. I’ve been gone for eight months this time.

Awesome, circle yes or no! I’ll be chuckling for days. He must hate that story.

I was another one of those little kids who decided to up and leave when I was only about 3. I made it about half a mile down the road before my mom headed out to the road and spotted me. Thankfully we lived in the forest and the road (dirt) led to no neighbors behind us and only one in front about a mile down the road where I was heading. The most dangerous thing there being the wild boars. I took my dog with me.

My mom ran away at 16. Made it all the way from Honolulu to Washington, D.C. In the winter with slippers on all by herself. She lasted quite awhile before she gave up and went to the police. It feels to me that it was easier to do that back in the 60s. Heck, was probably even easier earlier then that. For men at least.

Several times when I was a kid. Usually for no longer then an hour. :slight_smile:

Count me as one of the idiots.

I was 17 and had a big fight with my dad. Eariler that day, my mom had gotten a credit card in the mail that neither dad nor mom knew about because I snatched it before they saw the mail.

I packed up my truck and left. I went straight to a hotel, not a cheap one. I spend about a week there, living in high style and entertaing my friends, all on the card. Then I realized that I was almost at the limit of the credit card.

I knew I couldn’t afford another night at the hotel, so I checked out and went to a raunchy one. I lasted there for about 2 hours. It was really bad.

When I came home, dad never asked me a thing about where I had been.

When the bills for the card started coming in, I grabbed them and paid them ASAP, but one day, dad got home early. The shit hit the fan.

Dad called the credit card company to see what he could do, they told him that if he wanted to press charges against me, he would be relived of any responsibility. He didn’t do that, but he made me pay back every last penny.

At the time I was mad, but now I get it.

Heh … yeah, I always get lost down here with no mountains to orient myself on.

Um, ran away in 1976, didn’t get far, was more curious than “mad”, was bored and feeling left out and did it again in 1985 (not sure if it was before or after I cut all my hair off, leaving bald spots), and again right after high school, (left to college several months early) moving back temporarily to help them shut down the biz and move their home cross-country.

I never ran away. I read to much Enid Blyton as a little kid. Whenever those “running away moments” arrived, I demanded to be sent to boarding school.

Mum always demanded I go to my room instead. She was such a meannie, depriving me of school dinners, going off on the train with boxes of cakes, dormitory fun and being wicked. :smiley:

They wouldn’t let me go off to have Famous Five adventures either. I had such a deprived childhood…Whats wrong with secret tunnels and lashings of ginger beer anyway?

Damn Enid Blyton and damn my parents! :wink:

I did run away when I was 17 though. I fled the country and didn’t return for 4 and a half years.

Yep. Twice when I was 15, and once when I was 16. No, I’m not going into it. If anyone really wants to hear, please take it to email. Thanks.

PS - my apologies for sounding terse or bitchy - I’ve got one hell of a migraine today, and I just can’t take the day off. :frowning:

I’m another one of those that ran away repeatedly between the ages of 5 and 10, but I usually didn’t get much further than four or five houses. The neighborhood I lived in was very self-contained, and there really wasn’t anywhere to go. Mom was always very understanding and welcoming when I came home. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if Dad ever even noticed I was gone. :slight_smile:

When I was about 17, I got into a huge fight with my mother (that I still think was her fault–we’ve never talked about it, which probably means that she also thinks it’s her fault). We almost came to blows over my car keys, and I managed to wrestle them away from her. Knowing she’d immediately call my best friend’s house, I went to a motel for the night, and didn’t tell anyone where I was. I did go home two days later, and nobody’s said a word about it since.

When I was 12, I did something that pissed off my parents (*). They grounded me for 11 months, took away like $50 I had saved up, and were going to make me go to church 3 days a week for months.

I ran away to the arcade in protest after a big fight. I’m sure I dropped a hint of where I would be.

My dad drove around looking for me but I didn’t want to be found and made it to the arcade – about a 2 mile walk.

Anyway, throughout the day, my neighbors kept coming in with quarters and telling me to go home with them. No dice. About 15 minutes before the arcade closed, two cops came in and took me home in the back of the cop car.

IIRC, I was probably going to walk to my uncle’s house when the arcade closed.

I remember the cops telling me, “a kid about your age ran away a few months ago. We found him frozen to a tree right over there”, indicating some woods right near my house. Of course it was bullshit, as I would have been aware of any kid freezing to a tree right near my house.

Anyway, my punishment (which really was out of whack with the offense) was reduced.

(*) It was question and answer day at Sunday School with the parish priest. On a dare, I asked him point blank if he’d ever had sex.

When I was 4 years old, I had a fight with my mom and dad* and decided to run away. I packed my little pink suitcase and left. My mother even held the door open for me. I then walked a mile to my grandparents’ house and told them I had run away and could I stay with them.

Of course, my mother knew where I was going, since it was the only other place in the world that I knew of beside McDonalds–and McDonalds was too far to walk. So, not long after I got there, my mother came to pick me up. I was pissed!

*Yes, you heard me, a fight with my mom and dad. At age 4. And it didn’t stop until I moved out to go to college.