Coming back after running away or leaving home can feel like a big step, and it’s not unusual to be worried about what might happen next. You might feel guilty about leaving, unsure of how people will react on your return, or face lots of questions about where you’ve been. People can become very worried very quickly if you go missing and it may seem as though you’re going to be in trouble for leaving in the first place. It’s difficult to know exactly how these things will play out, but most of the time people just want to ensure you’re okay. If you’re feeling worried about these things it’s sometimes good to remember that none of us can change the past and what is done is done, but taking these steps can be the start to make things a bit better.
If you’ve been reported missing, when you first come back the police and social services will want to make sure that you are safe and well, they’ll then talk with you about why you went and what happened while you were away. You should be offered a Return Home Interview, where you can speak with someone about running away or being missing. This is an opportunity to share why you ran away, what happened whilst you were away and how you’re are feeling now you’re back.
Once you’ve come back things may be tough and you may feel people act differently towards you or that there is too much attention. You might also find that problems you had there before you went haven’t gone away. This may feel frustrating, particularly if it seems like nothings has changed or problems are out of your control. Being away may have been a stressful time for you too, so if you are able to, it may help to take a little bit of time to readjust and not put too much pressure on yourself. Whatever’s happened while you’ve been away, or on your return, you can speak to Runaway Helpline confidentially by phone or text for free on 116 000.