How I Stopped Running Away This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I'm 15 years old, and I have something very important to share with teens out in the community. When I was 13, I was having problems with my mom. I didn't know what to do. I was afraid to say anything about what was going on at home. I didn't know how to deal with it, so I ran away.

This was a hard decision to make; I was accustomed to having my family look over me and discipline me. I thought, My God! Who's going to take care of me? Am I going to be able to do what I want?

I was wrong. Being arrested, handcuffed, and brought to a jail cell is not something that a 13-year-old girl should have to go through. I had my picture and fingerprints taken. My belongings were taken, and I was put into a cell. It was cold and dirty. They had a video camera filming me in my cell. I was so scared. It was a really bad feeling.

I was very upset with myself in a way, because I thought if I hadn't run away, I wouldn't be here. But later that night, I said to myself, "Nothing could be worse than being at home." I was right.

I was placed in D.S.S. (Department of Social Services) custody. I didn't return home; instead, I was placed in foster homes and programs and D.Y.S.(Department of Youth Services) two times. I abused the system for about a year and a half.

Then two years ago, I realized I wasn't going anywhere. I got my act together. There had always been people trying to give me a helping hand. When I finally took it, I was amazed at how many people there were who wanted to help.

It has been three years since then, and I'm still in D.S.S. Running away wasn't the best choice, but getting involved with D.S.S. was. I was very lucky to get help. I'm proud of being a D.S.S. kid! c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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