News Of A Runaway

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

It is said every year, there are about 9% of teenagers running away, among whom 20% come back within 24 hours and 20% will disappear forever. And in the Asian immigrant community I’m living in, I’ve heard several incidents of it. People probably tend to think that boys are more likely to run away, but that’s not the case with stories I’ve heard–girls are just as independent and reckless as boys.

Recently, there’s a local case that really caught my attention. A teenage boy of about 14-years-old ran away from home and hid in his girlfriend’s place. After a prolonged period of absence, he came back. A reporter came to interview the family and the mother showed up in front of the camera. She complained about how hard it was for her husband to endure neighbor’s constant suspicion and people’s speculation. He even felt ashamed of it since people would talk about him not being a good father. Such a runaway was very hard for the family. Then she berated the girlfriend’s parents who didn’t take the initiative to contact them and said very firmly that the girl’s parents should be in jail.

Here the reporter cut in and said, “the police actually did an investigation. At one point, they even knocked on the girl’s door, but only to be turned away.” The mother budged in to add that the girlfriend’s parents are the real menace to the society and to law abiding family like her own. They should be put in jail.

I was a little surprised at the way the reporter and the mother were approaching this topic. They were basically claiming that the girlfriend’s parents are the perpetrators in this unfortunate event, who should be punished and shamed. And the boy’s parents were so innocent and so wronged that they should, if not earning a medal, at least get a public acknowledgement for being a victim or receive some great sympathy.

Throughout the two minutes interview, the mother didn’t mention once how the boy was doing. Was he famished? Was he maltreated by others? Was he being exposed to bad influence? Was he bullied by others? Was he in good health? I mean the boy’s welfare seemed to be the last thing the mother had in mind. Instead the mother was concentrating on how her husband’s image was shamefully tainted by the teen’s behavior, and how she wanted to wage a rightful revenge on the girlfriend’s parents–to put them in jail.

Another thing is that why the parents didn’t contact the girlfriend and her parents to do an investigation themselves? Shouldn’t a parent do that when the son run away? Let’s suppose that the son didn’t tell them about the girlfriend. If that’s the case, shouldn’t they talk to his peers and find out about this girlfriend? Isn’t that the easiest and most obvious thing to do (for a normal parent at least) when your son runs away?

As an amateur psychiatrist, I “diagnosed” that the mother is really a narcissist, but not a devious one. She is quite honest about her unconcern for the boy and her concern for her husband’s honorable name, towards which she has a stake and a share. A lot of narcissists would fake affection and devotion to the family in order to recruit enablers and flying monkeys, but this woman has no such agenda.

I wonder what people would think in this case. Is she really a victim? I am sorry I don’t see it. I feel that the boy is a real victim of narcissistic parenting…

25 thoughts on “News Of A Runaway

    1. Yeah, so true. I mean it is a standard notion that parents care about their kids, but I guess a portion of the 9% of runaways have uncaring parents or narcissistic parents who pretend to care. I mean motherhood is not easy for women who need to survive themselves in a system not designed for them, and who also need to breathe under the whim of an inflexible husband, and who also need to do all the housework and care for all the kids…

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      1. Yes, women definitely get the shorter end of the stick. They are expected to be perfect at everything and when they mess up it reflects badly on the whole gender. Men do the minimum and when they mess up people just feel sympathy for them.

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        1. I mean women got the worst deal and somehow with all the modern technological advancement, women’s duties just don’t seem to be lessened–women still have to cook and to take care of children and do housework just like 200,000 years ago. On the other hand, men’s jobs have advanced so much that none of them have to hunt anymore, except for recreational purposes. And I am really not surprised that most of the AI are used on drones or on things that can destroy people, and very little AI is used to improve women’s quality of life. How about a robotic nanny to help reduce the workload of all the mothers?

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        2. Well in a patriarchal world women are the ones who always have the least positive change. Now we study, work and make a living but still do most of the housework and child raising. If anything it’s probably worse than before lol. A robotic nanny is a good idea, at least that way women get some rest.

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        3. Yes, the house chores are endless and every weekend one has to do it. I mean if a woman don’t have her mother or her mother-in-law to help her, it is impossible to get all the housework taken care of and raise the children and also have a full time job. However most many grandmas are getting fed up nowadays… Whenever it comes to women’s existence, the progress is difficult and slow …

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  1. It sounds like the parents didn’t care about what happened to the boy. When my kids were in their teens, I decided to cultivate relationships with their friends. I made cookies for them on Friday night. Anyone who was in the neighborhood could stop by for the treat. It went a long way in dangerous situations like this one.

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    1. What a beautiful idea of baking cookies and sharing with those teens. Wish all the mothers are like you, but I know that is too much to wish for. Women are under a lot of pressure in life in a system not designed for women and some women just can’t make it–along the way, the kids bear the brunt of it.

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      1. I amde it a habit to do it every Friday evening. We live close to where teens used to like to hang out. The kids would always tell me when they thought one of my children were doing something they weren’t supposed to do.

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      1. He was Amis’s closest friend – and arguably (?) UK’s leading post-war poet – though I imagine some of his poetry doesn’t travel well. Unfortunately his reputation was tarnished by the discovery of letters some years after his death in which he expressed unpleasant and racist views. It’s one of those cases where you definitely have to try to separate the artist from their work.

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        1. Hmm, I searched the “poetry corner” app I have, but no Philip Larkin. This app doesn’t have T.S. Eliot either.

          You just reminded me of something I did like years ago. I tried to read some real historical document in our school library about certain conflicts during the colonial period. It is awful. It is absolutely revolting. I forced myself to read 10 pages, but I almost started to vomit. History is soooo ugly. I guess historians always write sanitized books for fear of public disgust.


  2. What strikes me is that bad things just happen and nobody is necessarily to blame. I think it is quite possible that the boy’s parents were part of the proximate *cause* of him running away. But their behaviour was probably also caused by their parents – and so on ad infinitum!

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    1. The mother obviously tries to blame the girlfriend’s parents. I was like, “just chill out and let it go.” However a narcissistic parent will not let it go because this is a perfect opportunity for a narcissist to become the center of attention and to gather his narcissistic supply.

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