runaway

‘She fell into my arms, tears falling. ‘My boy was non-verbal. He let himself out the front door.’ She tightly clutched his blanket, and described a boy just like my own.’: Special needs mom talks anxiety, missing children statistics

“My husband’s voice cracked. ‘They found him. He’s gone.’ As we sat there in the warm night lit by citronella torches, his mother, who I’d never met, hugged me and fell into my arms. ‘It happened fast. Minutes…maybe seconds. No noise…just silently slipped away.’ I held my breath. As an autism parent, I knew the statistics.”

‘Mom, something awful is happening to me.’ They found embalming fluid in my system, causing me to black out.’: Young woman overcomes meth addiction, hidden sexual abuse on camera, ‘My awful memories no longer haunt me, I am healed’

“I was 18-years old when I met him. I moved in with this man who was 17 years older. He told me he loved me. I believed him. He convinced me to do things, including recording our sexual encounters. ‘These are just for us to watch,’ he promised. I checked his browser history, horrified at what I found.”

‘Umm, I’m 32, DIVORCED WITH TWO KIDS.’ He said, ‘Yeah, we need your consent.’ ‘Yes, I CONSENT!’: Divorced single mom adopted at 32, ‘I wonder if they’re tired of me. I felt like it was too good to be true’

“I ran away from home. I was hiding in a stranger’s garage while my mom and police looked for me. I used a stranger’s phone to call The Pates. ‘I can’t go home, can you help me?’ I feared my mother. The next day she drove me to their house, dumped my belongings at the bottom of their driveway, and left. So, at the age of 32, I was adopted. I got a new birth certificate and everything.”

‘I got in my car and drove away from my family. I didn’t know where I was going, but I wanted to go far away, for good.’: Mom feels ‘guilty’ the things she’s ‘always wanted’ bring her ‘the most heartache’

“I walked past the TV playing Mickey Mouse, the mess on the floor, my husband sitting silently on the couch. I started driving and I wasn’t sure where. I just walked out the door and left. Because I have a husband and healthy kids, I’m supposed to ‘enjoy every second’ even when I’m slipping. So, I suck it up because there’s real people going through real things.”

‘My father sent me out for cigarettes. I decided to run away. I needed to find a place he’d never find me.’: Man rescued from abusive family, returns favor by fostering children in need

“After a year of living on the street, strangers approached me and said, ‘We want to take you to school.’ Coming from an abusive household, I had never really learned to trust. I said yes, not really sure what I was agreeing to. I had no home, hope, future, and they gave me all of that and more. I knew I wanted to do the same for other kids.”

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