she believes everything would be better if I simply went away

Some people are so sure that life would be perfect- if only you weren’t in it.

Have you ever met one of them?  I have.  It isn’t pleasant.

She is a person that exists alongside me.  She keeps me, as much as she is able, away from her. She can’t entirely avoid me, but she does her utmost.  She thinks if I disappeared, her life would be fixed.  Her children would love her again.  Her life would be content.

The problem is that -I- am not, in fact, the problem.

If I left (and if their father left, too, of course), her daughters would be as rebellious as today.  They would still disavow marriage and babies as the ultimate life purpose.  If I left, her son would still want his father, his favorite sports, his favorite hobbies.  And it might be worse.  For her.

Why do youth run away from home?
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year, while countless others contemplate leaving their home. One in five youth run away from home before the age of 18, and half run away two or more times.

Reasons for running away range from trouble at school, family dynamics (divorce, remarriage, step/blended families, family rules, or fighting with siblings) and abuse. Youth may run away on impulse to get away from an immediately painful situation, in protest over a house rule, or even over an isolated incident. Sometimes they may be drawn away by older friends and the promise of an exciting life, but with no plans for what to do next.,away%20two%20or%20more%20times.

You are welcome, person who wants me gone, for staying.  Because I am keeping your children in your life.  Such as it is.  But at least they are still here with you.  I can’t promise that will last much longer.  He and I, well, we plan on moving back to my family.  They’ll have no reason to come back to you.  And I won’t be the one to provide it to them.

It’s not personal.

This could be anyone.  If you cannot accept your child for who they are, that is your issue. Not some scapegoat of your choosing. Not your child’s.  If you cannot accept them, they will find someone who will.

If you make it clear you do not approve of their wants, their desires, their choices? Well, if it’s something small and petty? They’ll let it go. Children push boundaries to see how far they can.  If it is important? Oh, that is a very different story.

Oh, they might pretend for a little while.  They will pose with you in the family photos. They will attend whatever weddings you drag them along to- it’s free food and a free new outfit.  They will sit beside you in the bleachers at high school games; perhaps they will even accept a hug and a kiss on the cheek from you without visible disgust.

And when they grow the confidence they need to escape you,

if their child mind is mature enough to keep them from doing something very stupid when they are still very young and stupid,

If they survive,

They will never speak to you again.

I promise you this.

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