Many of us wish we could leave behind the troubles in our lives and start anew. But most of us don't take the plunge.
It's possible, and it was the basis for today's burning question from Redditor mufahasa, who asked the online community: "Redditors who've ran away from/ghosted on their previous lives as an adult what was your motivation and what is your life like now?"
I had a civil war with my family like 5 years ago. Lost most of my "friends" too. It was probably the sh!ttiest thing to happen to me since I discovered who they truly were while I was experiencing a horrifying tragedy.
But also the best because now I am free from all of them. Changing my name was such an enlightening feeling like being reborn. And now I can start my own family and love them the way I've always wanted to be loved.
If I am being honest I do find it difficult to open up about this to new friends that I trust. I'm not sure if I should just bury my past and never speak about it again.
I wanted to escape family drama. I did. Life is still full and rich with incident, but I no longer have to hear family members boast, lie, rage, and try to pull me into it all. Ah, peace!
I was cheated on when I lived on the east coast. So this year I picked up my sh!t and drove 1600 miles to a city I've really liked for years and am starting over now! It's been three weeks and I've not regretted it, even when I don't know anyone here, I'm meeting new people all the time that are nicer than most anyone I knew before.
I worked at a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in the LA area for 6 years. One day it got raided so that life abruptly came to an end. I had to figure out what my next move was so I packed all my stuff into a storage locker and got on a Greyhound bus to Arizona. My mom moved to Phoenix a couple years prior, so I had a place to stay, just no clue what I was going to do.
Now, I work doing inventory management and web design for a small business. I also got back into school so I'm one semester away from transferring to ASU. I'm 27 but I finally made it to university. After all that time smoking weed and being the "cool" guy... It is very humbling to be in a town where you don't know anyone.
Got tired of working 65 hours a week at night, even though I was making 75k a year it was salary and came out after taxes as 16.20 an hour. Bought a van, got it geared out and am starting a job as a white water rafting guide in May. Dunno how it'll work out yet but sounds like fun.
I had an extremely high paying job in the UK but was working ridiculous hours when I was in the UK and would frequently get late night calls that I needed to be in some random country the next day for an unspecified amount of time. I had a LOT of cash built up but no social life or friends because i just couldn't maintain them with the way I was working.
As a child my parents had decided to foster two brothers so that I wouldn't grow up as an only child, however the kids they ended up fostering were clinical psychopaths (formally diagnosed) and ended up in long term secure care. One of them escaped whilst on a day trip and went to the police claiming to be me and spinning a tale about how my father had been abusing me. Without checking the story the police arrested my dad, and one of them decided to tell the neighbours what was going on.
By time I found out and got it sorted the story had spread around the neighbourhood and kept growing with the retelling. Eventually my dad moved back to Barbados which has a US style health care system.
Before his private health care could kick in he came down sick and blew through all his savings on medical care. I stepped in and also started blowing through my savings paying for his treatment and upgrading his home to be able to support him in a wheelchair.
He eventually died from complications of the treatments and I flew out to Barbados for the last time for his funeral. He had left very strict instructions for his funeral, no fancy coffin, cremation, and remains to return to the UK to be interred along side my mother. However his family thought differently and kept hounding his partner trying to get a ridiculous gaudy funeral.
We eventually compromised and had his ashes interred in the family plot, but even then at the ceremony I had members of the family coming up to me and telling me that other family members, or even his partner were trying to steal all of his money.
When I got back to the UK the whole thing was finally too much for me so I quit my job and (eventually) moved to Australia where I work in a much lower paying job, but don't have any of the stress or workload, and can step out of my office get on a tram and go down to the beach any time I want to. Only one person connected to my family knows where I am and even they don't know enough to find me without hiring a PI. And knowing that I am 36 hours of travel time away from the lot of them is quite reassuring.
Born and raised in my hometown in Central Florida, about 19 years old and become addicted to heroin and other opiates. About 6 years of that life and doing whatever I could to not slip into withdrawals I decided to move as far away as I could (with my mother's help, God bless her soul) from any of my drug dealers and all of my friends. First couple months were terrible dealing with withdrawals and the depression that comes with it, but once I finally got past that slope I was able to finally hold down a job and become an average person.
It's been about two years since I left home and now I'm rebuilding my credit(650!), got myself a girlfriend who is pretty neat, I gotz myself a pup that I love more than anything in this world and overall just became a straight-up normal person and I'm extremely happy where I am in life now. I never thought I'd be on this side of addiction and just being able to type this is crazy to me.
Just moved halfway across the country after leaving a toxic relationship with a woman I'm convinced would keep trying to f--- with my life. I've got some savings and a place to stay but the uncertainty is real. I feel happier than I have ever been. The world is at my fingertips right now, time will tell if I'm a success story.
I left because I was the black sheep. I'm the middle child of 5 and, to my parents, the other four sibs were more successful, perfect, smart, and just plain better than me. When I met my successful spouse they called me a gold digger, but at the same time they were glad I was "his problem now."
I don't even know what I did, really. I just drew the short straw on kids whose parents can deal with them, I guess. I think my parents only had kids for show, so when teen hormones made me a bit more of a handful than my sibs, they couldn't deal and wrote me off.
Spouse had his own issues within his family. So 20 years ago we moved to another country. Barely even said goodbye. We're wildly successful now with teen kids of our own (even hormonal difficult ones, and guess what Pops? I still love them to death.) Family back home have been through divorces and misery since then, but not us. We're doing well. We're still in love. Life is great. Truly the best revenge is living well.
When I was 22 years old I ghosted my PhD program.
I went straight from undergrad to PhD in computer science at Georgia Tech. I had great grades and test scores but I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Before my, uh, departure I had a 4.0 GPA and a research assistantship and I was absolutely miserable: overworked, struggling to make ends meet, clueless on what I wanted to do, no free time whatsoever. Just miserable.
Then one day in database theory class I read a letter from my friend about how if I was really unhappy, just stop. Just get up, wherever I was, and leave. Just do it.
So I did. I got up in the middle of database theory class. I walked to the door of the classroom. I dropped the textbook, written by the professor who I thought was a pretty big jerk, into the trash can with a resounding thud.
And I left. Cleared out my cubicle. Drove to my apartment. Got a shitty second shift job so I could go job hunting in the mornings. Told no one. Sent no email, called no one, returned no calls, explained nothing.
I've not been back to that campus in 25 years.
I was in bad shape at the time, with depression and general anxiety and severe anemia, all without knowing it. But I did make it through. It took about a month to find a great job that I've been at for the past 25 years. Though it took many years and a trip to the ER I eventually got my depression, general anxiety, and anemia all addressed. It's still a balancing act, I still need help sometimes, but it's generally good.
Work paid for me to get my Master's degree. I like my job pretty well, and I really like my coworkers and immediate management.
All in all, though it seemed like my life was falling apart at the time it was honestly one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.
I left town because I was constantly being harassed by an ex boss. She didn't like that I had to go on medical leave to address an issue, so she called everyone in our field and told them that she found me in bed with her husband. I ended up switching fields and going back to school. I pursued legal action against her, and once I graduated school and started looking for a job, I found she had still blacklisted me at several agencies. I booked a U-Haul, packed up everything I owned and drove my cat and I halfway across the country. I'm pretty successful out here. I have a great paying job, two wonderful children, my own house and minimal relationships with other people.
It's coming up on two years since I did this. I was married to a man I had been with since we were 14. After 18 years together I left. I left my house. I left all my friends behind. My dog and cat both died very shortly after, just bad timing and bad luck. I quit my job and I moved out of state.
I'm grateful every day that I had the bravery to do it. I'm happier than I've ever been and much happier than I even thought possible. Now I have a partner who is kind, warm, loving, and supportive and every day is filled with laughter and love. I have a job that I enjoy and I'm good at that pays well. I have a sweet little dog I adopted who lights up my life. I'm traveling and going out and trying things I've always wanted to do but was never allowed to.
I never thought any of this would be possible for me. It was incredibly painful to escape my marriage and old life. But I'd do it again just the same. No one has yelled and screamed at me or made me worthless since I left. I no longer have to hide it if I struggle with chronic pain or my anxiety disorder.
No one tries to control me and beat me down and keep me locked away from going anywhere or making any friends. No one making me doubt myself or gaslighting me. I don't ever dread coming home any more or have to walk on eggshells constantly.
It took me a long time to believe that I deserve to be happy and to be treated with kindness, understanding, and respect. If anyone feels trapped in a similar situation like I did, please reach out to me. I'm happy to listen and share what I can from my experience.
Finished my service in the peace corps, went home for a few days to the east coast, then got in my car with my dog (who I rescued and raised during my peace corps service and brought home with me) and the few belongings I had, and drove across country to the Midwest, to a town where I knew no one.
Stayed at a random super 8 motel because I was broke and no other places would allow dogs while I looked for a place. Felt totally overwhelmed adjusting back to American culture. It was bliss to have a shower all to myself and a bed, but I was also pretty lonely except for the fact that I had my dog.
Eventually found a room in some divorcees basement, did that for a while and worked some waitressing jobs. Upgraded to a house with three random Craigslist roommates, only one of whom had to be evicted for being a creep. Worked as a nanny, and a TEFL teacher, and then as a sex ed teacher for planned parenthood.
Still struggling adjusting back to life in America, struggling with serious depression, but mostly working my ass off at multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Then I applied and was accepted to law school. Did that, met my fiancé there, graduated, and am now a trial attorney.
Bumpy but interesting road, wouldn't change a thing.
Born and raised in a crappy little California city. Hated it. It was crowded, noisy, polluted, and full of crime. Not to mention there was a huge unemployment rate.
Hopped from job to job after school, dated girl after girl, hung out with friend after friend. None of it had any lasting effect.
It's like nothing was clicking, no matter what I did. Hell, I thought I would be one of those empty shells that live life going through the paces, but never actually living, you know? After a while, everything was just annoying me. Girlfriends were annoying me, friends were annoying me, even family was getting on my nerves. I go on a "clear my head" vacation to a family member in Oregon, and god damn it, it actually works.
I come home to my sh!t apartment, take one look at my roommate, and declare "I'm done with this. All of it." I give my roommate 30 days notice, quit my job, tell my girlfriend to hit the road, tell all my friends to get bent, and move in just over a month.
I moved here with only a tiny snapshot, but it's like it was meant to be. With my wife for over 12 years, working a great job, own a great home, happier than I have ever been. I just needed to get away from the bad juju to make it all happen.
Sometimes, wiping the slate clean and taking a chance on nothing but a hunch is what the soul needs. Best of luck to you out there who have done the same.
I only told a few people, but I picked up and moved across country mid college career. Just dumped everyone out of the blue. My family was toxic, the guy I was living with was abusive. I felt like I needed a fresh start. I was unhappy and thought I could reinvent myself as the person I wanted to be. Turns out that with no friends and no family around, toxic or otherwise, I was still the same unhappy person I was back in my old town! I shrugged off the fake persona I'd been trying on and found a student therapy group to address the core reasons I was unhappy. That was the real turning point. With healthier habits, I made new, healthier friends.
I got my life in order. I managed to cobble together a decent relationship with my parents and some of my family. I got married. Things are good now. I probably didn't need to move to make the changes I did, but at the time it felt like I needed the space away from people who knew the 'old' me. Plus, my husband was here so if I hadn't moved, I wouldn't have met him! I'm glad I went!
In 1998 I upped and left London, first stop Amsterdam for 6 months, next stop Berlin for 6 years, next stop, Sydney for 2 years, next stop Frankfurt for 1 year, next stop Kiev where I still live and have done so for the last 12 years.
Not really ghosting as my Mum & Dad & brother all know what I am up to but I lost all my old London friends and replaced them with new friends where ever I ended up.
Facebook has allowed me to regain contact with a few old friends from my previous lives.
I also run my own company in Kiev which would have been impossible to achieve in London had I stayed.
For me it was certainly very positive.
My only regret is that I didn't do it earlier, I moved to Amsterdam at age 34 I should have done so at 24.
I was heavily addicted to narcotics and prescription drugs. I met someone involved in law enforcement that I fell in love with. They helped me dig myself out of a life I never thought I'd get out of. I haven't looked back...things come along in life that you may just want way more than you ever realized you would.
I was raised in Utah for a good deal of my life and went to college there. I met my husband there too. I had a music persona and small career as a local musician. One day we decided we didn't like living there and wanted to escape. We planned to keep ties, said our goodbyes, and moved two states over.
During that time I was still on Facebook and called all my old friends. I still had my music persona. It wasn't going well and I grew a huge disdain for my timeline. I felt stifled by my own life and still held down in Utah.
We moved a few states to the east last year. I deleted my Facebook and kept an insanely small circle of people in my contacts. I also got rid of most of our stuff and my music persona.
I was really worried I'd miss all that, but I don't. I'm a year and a few months into my new life, and despite chronic illness, I feel free. I feel like a blank slate and I can be whomever I want to be. I am playing the guitar at home in private, and when I'm ready (if I want to!) I can make a new and better music persona. All those people I thought were my friends? Haven't heard from a one of them. They could find me of the want, but they don't. And tbh I don't miss them tho sometimes I wonder how they are.
Life is good. I recommend starting over to anyone with a difficult, sad, lonely past. Sometimes when you figure out who you are after trauma and illness, you realize you never had an identity before, and you were just being who you thought you should be. Now I get to be who I am. Feels great.
I left because my boyfriend of three years left me while I was living with him. I had nowhere to go except my parents' house, in my hometown, a hometown where I'd been [assaulted] and bullied in high school, and where my ex who killed himself was buried.
I decided to move to a city in Texas, with a friend who I'd trusted. I packed up all that could fit into a hatchback and left, trusting her word that I could stay with her for a month, finding a job before my lease started. Second day there- her car was repoed and I had to drive her to work. Fourth day there- she informed me her house was being foreclosed on and had known for months. 5th day there- half of my stuff is in a storage unit because we "had to make room in the car" for theirs and I'm living in a hotel room. 6th day there- I'm almost trafficked while going to smoke at the pool.
I ran back home with my tail between my legs, but my nest-egg halfway intact and alive and not homeless.
I no longer talk to her and now I live in a city close-ish to the small town. I still plan to move to North Carolina, at some point, when I get my sh!t together.
TLDR: It doesn't always work out.
I moved to Indiana at 20 to see if the grass was really greener around my dad. It turns out it is, but only because his wife goes out and paints it a bright green every day. For four years I was subjected to pure toxicity. My dad's wife has always hated me and has worked hard to drive a wedge between us. We "made up" about a year after I moved back there, and for three years I was so happy to be in the family that I didn't notice the constant undermining and belittling she was subjecting me to.
At one point a roommate's girlfriend tried to kill me, convinced everyone I'd tried to kill myself, and got almost everyone to cut ties with me. Being the resilient and stubborn person I am, I stuck with Indiana for a few years after that. Finally, at the age of 24, I broke down during a phone call with my mother. A few years prior she had moved to Vermont with my brother and amazing step father. After a LOT of coaxing on her end, I agreed to give it a shot, thinking it might be a good place to catch my breath while I figured out my next step.
It's been 6 years now, and I have no plans of leaving. Within a year I had finally gotten it together to graduate high school. A few years after that I earned my associate's degree. I have a job that I love, and recently got my first of what I suspect will be many promotions. I met the love of my life and have created a happy, albeit chaotic home for myself. And my friends! Oh my goodness, my friends! I don't know that I knew before Vermont that friends could be people who build you up and cheer you on.
Cut contact with my parents and family for about a year and a half. They didn't accept me because gay and getting married. Were basically tiger parents.
I really think there might be nothing left for me in Minnesota. I have a graduate degree and license but no job. I have never truly been or lived alone. (Okay, I was by myself in an apartment for nine months, but my parents, aunt, then-girlfriend, and friend very frequently). I was a student then, and my aunt acted as a local "fixer" of sorts. I could not stop people from visiting and had to report my grades, schedule and activities.
I spent most of the summer with my girl, then she moved in in September. Although more understanding on many aspects (like, I don't have to hide my anxiety and can mostly speak freely eat, and wear what I want), she still likes to be in control. It's a bear, trying to stand up for myself. Whether out of habit or whatever, I still ask if I want to go somewhere or spend on nonessentials.I have an okay life other than the job thing. I am learning how to communicate better, we are okay for money, have good insurance, and do great work together with our adopted and foster cats.
Sometimes though, I want to ghost everything. I wonder who I would be if I could actually be alone. Maybe I would just sit around in my underwear eating Skittles.
My anxiety makes this idea of being alone enormously scary. I guess I'm not used to or capable of choosing. But if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would move to Hawaii and never come home, except some time in northern MN. I went to camp there and got to be a kid for once.
I hung out with a pretty rough crowd, when things got serious I turned tail and never looked back.
My life is wholesome and blue collar AF now. I'm really happy.
I'm not sure if this fully counts because I go back to work for a few months/see my dad every year, but after finishing university I landed a temp job in another country. I felt so liberated being away from a toxic group of "friends" from high school that ended up at the same university as me. They scrutinized my every action and tried to control my life. One specific friend had been toxic for years before university and then spent university purposefully seducing any of my partners/fwbs to "prove" how much better than me they are.
I had an unhealthy attachment to this person and their goal was to monopolize on that and gaslight me/tear me down. My parents had recently divorced and it was bad enough that I didn't go to my own graduation to avoid their issues with each other. I didn't get accepted into the program I had planned to do right after university, so I spent a few months as a nanny and keeping a bottle of whisky under my bed to deal with my malaise. The place was one I had moved to right before high school and had never felt any belonging or full acceptance in. I was lost and weak and lonely and broke.
I ended up staying in the other country and have been here for almost 5 years (with the exception of going back each summer). I have less friends, but no one in my life that makes me hate myself. I visit my family but not long enough to resent them or destroy my mental health. I'm still broke (because I teach and don't qualify for the same benefits as citizens since I'm a resident) but I'm calmer and rarely deal with the mental health issues (anxiety attacks, self-harm, purging, etc) that I did before. When I go back to visit, I only see a couple of people and work the rest of the time. I don't notify anyone that I'm around and ask those that do see me to keep it quiet. My life now is very simple but pleasant.
I moved miles away from my home when I overheard my stepmom and dad say they're tired of me. I moved to a place near the beach and got a job in a cafe, life's good. No drama.
I was a semester down in my Masters and was miserable. I was three months married with my husband in my home state five states away. My depression and anxiety were worse than they had ever been, so after I came home to my apartment that had cockroaches in it and trash and rotting food lying all over from my disgusting roommate, I snapped and decided that I couldn't do it anymore.
My job prospects were looking pretty dismal too, so when I didn't get a full ride scholarship for it, it just wasn't worth it if I hated it so much. I am now happily back with my hubby and working at a job completely a 180 from my degree but I'm loving every minute of it!
My family was full of toxic, greedy and dishonest people. Through some legal action had my friend's mum and dad "adopt me" (wasn't actual adoption, just some form) and we moved to a different city at the age of 14. Haven't heard from them since it all happened six years ago.
I was living in a small midwestern town, 19 years old struggling to juggle 3 jobs, an opiate addiction and a full college schedule. I was living with an abusive boyfriend since I was 16, and just needed out. I reconnected with some friends who lived in a huge tourist city 18 hours away, flew down for a few days to visit, went back for 2 days and packed my clothes in my car and left.
Started dating one of the friends, he ended up being far more abusive than the previous boyfriend. With him for 2 years and my life went even more to sh!t.
Found the love of my life after him, we're married and expecting now. I've never been happier. I don't talk to anyone from my past life really, not even family. I've been clean for years, have wonderful friends and the best SO and I couldn't ask for more.
If I could go back I wouldn't change it. Even after the horrible things I went through during those 2 years. My current life is worth it all.
I really didn't like Washington DC's culture. Took a one way ticket with an overweight checked bag to Phoenix, and FedEx'd my computer surrounded by my clothes for insulation.
I kind of ghosted the DC people, where they had a month after I told them, but haven't looked back... I wasn't a fan of the "me first" or the "what can you do for me" culture in DC, Phoenix is so much better. I regret nothing. It's something I needed to do for my own happiness.
I said "I'm not running away from problems, I'm chasing happiness" and I found it.
I have moved A LOT in my life, so it's not that big of a deal. Starting over gets me excited, rather than worried. I enjoy having the potential to reinvent myself if I choose to.
I've done this multiple times quite recently.
I worked as the lead student representative at my university campus, and had what I thought was a really supportive person as my deputy. I arranged to go to a conference on a weekend, but then the university arranged an open day for a new campus opening nearby and encouraged the student council to attend and speak to potential students.
As I had already paid for accommodation for the conference, I said I couldn't go to the open day, and my deputy agreed to go and oversee things in my stead. The night before the open day/conference, I sent the group of student reps a message wishing them luck with the open day and turned in for the night.
I woke up at 6AM after a rough night to a message from my deputy chewing me out for never being there at these events and how she was always expected to take the lead on these things. She hadn't said anything before then, but all of a sudden everything blew up. I resigned from the student council before 7:30AM and blocked her on social media.
One of the perks, however, of being the lead student representative of my campus was that I got to go to a national conference at the end of the year, where I had also made a lot of friends who happened to live in my city. We'd catch up every once in a while for drinks and the like, and I confided in them that I had resigned from the student council.
It took about a month, but once they realised I could no longer provide a vote for their group at the conference they all stopped talking to me. I thought at first I was imagining it, but about three weeks ago I finally realised I wasn't, and removed them from my social media (main form of communication) as well. My friend count went from 150 to 25 in one afternoon.
So yeah, life is fun.
I'm in the run away category.
I had no real motivation other than feeling like I didn't belong and what I was doing wasn't right. I don't know how else to explain it. Just a constant feeling that I wasn't where I was supposed to be at the time. I had a good group of friends, low to no drama, fantastic family, a boyfriend who was admittedly pretty unstable but he was working on it. I knew I couldn't up and ghost.
It wouldn't be fair to my friends and family who I had a great relationship with. Within 3 weeks I was in a different state. Said boyfriend got a new job and I moved with him thinking it would last. I went with a promotion within a few blocks of where he would be. It all just clicked so well that I couldn't ignore the opportunity so I sold almost everything and said goodbye to everyone to move with him.
He broke up with me and I was pretty upset for a while over it. With time I realized how emotionally abusive he was though and that it would have never actually worked.
It will be two years and I've been through so much medically, physically, and mentally. I now have a boyfriend I adore and I knew the second we met I'd marry this one. Thankfully he agreed haha. For some time I didn't feel out of sorts but that feeling is coming back more and more by the day. As if I'm not where I'm supposed to be right now. I know my coworkers feel it as I'm constantly getting asked what I am doing long term.
My boyfriend is on board with a move as soon as one of us has stability of some kind before the transition. It's not a matter of making the change as much as it is I'm not sure where we go from here, just that here isn't right. I don't believe in fate necessarily and I don't believe I'm depressed. But that off feeling is really hard to ignore.
I've done it twice so far.
Grew up with meth head parents. I got tired of all the Insane sh*t I had to endure. Joined the Army and left the week after I turned 18. Greatest decision of my life.
Saw an equal amount of f**ked up sh*t in the Army during 7 years of service, with some of that time spent in combat. I got out. Ghosted all my fake Army friends and moved to the complete opposite coast.
My life experiences have just been too eye opening. It's difficult to meet relatable people who have endured tons of trauma and aren't psycho as a result. So I've grown accustomed to my lone wolf lifestyle. Things aren't where I'd ideally want them. But glass half full it's definitely an improvement in quality of life.
Cut out the whole family, no contact since 1992. Without useless drama and people pulling me down, became a physicist in Los Angeles doing very well. Sometimes you have to just take the jump to save yourself.
I've done that... 3 times now? First was college so I'm not sure it that counts, but that was the first time I moved to a state I knew no one and had no friends when I moved.
The second was because college was going about as well as a plane in a tailspin. I was behind, my friends had all graduated, and I failed 4 of 5 classes that semester. So after that I took the minimum number or credits in a night class for my loans to not be considered due and tried to figure out what to do with my life. One of my buddies had a spare room in a town I liked, so I went for it. Quit college, moved states with no plan other than "work and figure out what I wanted to do". After a year and a half, discovered I missed engineering. So I decided to get my sh!t together and get my degree.
The third time was once I got my degree. This time it wasn't moving to a new state but a new country. I got a job in Germany, this time on top of not knowing anyone, I didn't even know the language. I like the job, the company, and the country, but don't know how long I'll stay here... The language, making friends, and dating are not going well. I'm curious what the next change will bring.
Did it twice.
Once as a teen. Was put in a group home in New Mexico because mom was nuts and she got put in an institution, no foster homes wanted a 17 year old (so sad no one wanted poor me). So group home it was.
When I turned 18 I left the group home and instead of going back to the town where all my friends were (it was a small town but I had a ton of friends and a fiance), I just left and moved to Nebraska with my older sister. Didn't talk to any of them again.
About a year and a half later I did kinda the same thing when I joined the military. Left another girlfriend behind and some friends. I was a bad boyfriend and friend I guess.
My mother and father disowned me because they are Trump / Q Anon / InfoWars freaks and I am normal. My mom is also a giant drama queen. They did it just as college was starting last year, leaving me basically penniless and too late for loans.
I wrote back saying, more or less "this is dumb, but OK, you'll never hear or see me again," and I got a new SIM/phone number, pulled the plug on social media, and bailed on where I was living.
I recently changed my name via just saying "this is my name now" and getting it notarized which is legal in my state, and have a new ID and changed my transcripts to my new name, for when I hopefully make it back to college. I changed my name to something super generic so searching for me if they track down my name via my transcript (which supposedly they won't be able to do) is going to be super hard.
Why am I wasting my timing doing this? Because I know they are looking for me and while they may not have been serious about disowning me (I think they expected me to crawl home), I was serious af about them never seeing me again.
But, I am going to stay disappeared from those people's lives for good, and I am contemplating moving overseas and trying expat life for a while (although that will take changing my name in court so I can get a passport in my new name), but that has a lot of risks too.
My life now basically sucks. I have had to do some pretty hardcore dangerous stuff to survive (and I still do it), and I do miss my cousins and my brother a lot. Christmas was pretty depressing. But I am very hopeful that I will make it through this and have a much better life afterwards, so that keeps me focused on the future.
I did call my brother a couple of times from a pay phone and not say anything and he knew it was me and started talking, but when he told me my parents were actively looking for me, I realized I was being stupid so I won't make that mistake again. I would definitely rather die in the street than ever see them again.
Family troubles. Big ones. Nothing was working out between my parents and I, but at least I was cool with my little bro.
Ended up telling everything I had on my heart to them and I left the country, working 2 countries away now. Everything is fine for them now. They're happy again together. My dad clearly is making efforts, he drinks less, he helps my mom... My brother is fine also.
But it's so lonely here.
I've done this once and am about to do it again.
5 years ago I moved from ME to AZ because my father moved to AZ, and my life in ME seemed to be insignificant and heading no where fast.
For a long while I enjoyed my new life, everything was pretty good. But after long enough I started to see the evil in those around me. People I had growth to trust began turning on me.
Also I have missed a couple specific people from back home basically sense I had left. So now in roughly a month I'm packing up and driving back across the county to ME. Time to go home.
I grew up in an abusive home and just couldn't take it anymore. So, the summer after my first year in college I took what little money I had made at my job and split. Came up to Canada to live with my boyfriend (now husband). We're now married and I'm going for residency! Really glad I got out of my sleepy little town and away from my sh*t parents.
My life growing up was dysfunctional to say the least. I have a narcissist for a mother, a charismatic alcoholic p.o.s father, and three sh*t head half brothers. My oldest brother being the family patriarch/most successful/manipulative. The only thing they all have in common, is only thinking about themselves. Inevitably, we had a falling out and I ghosted them.
After that, I spent a few years with a girl who lived with her parents. I spent a lot of time at her house, I basically lived there. As time went on, naturally, I became part of the family. I thought I understood her family dynamic at first, often criticizing things they could work on, when in reality; being a part of her family was the closest thing to a normal family I've really ever had.
Before her fam: Being a young adult, my sense of normality came from being part of my oldest brothers charade to be young again: Nightclubs, yearly Vegas trips, drinking, partying, etc. Nothing wrong with this in moderation, but being the youngest it says something when the shit got old for me and not for them. Everything else in my family has always been bare minimum effort, always with an expectation of something in return. Unconditionality was infrequent to say the least.
After her fam: All the things I often criticized; her family dinners, camping trips, Sunday's spent hanging out, the opening presents Christmas morning. I honestly find myself missing the most. I always chalked it up to not being able to relate to her family, their personalities, styles of communication; when honestly some part of me probably felt like I didn't deserve it. I'll never forget how strange it felt when they went out of their way to get me a surprisingly generous Christmas gift one year.
Moral of my story: While everyones family dynamic and things they find important or memorable may be different. Removing myself from what I thought was normal for so long, if only for a short time, after initially rejecting it and now having lost it; taught me I value things I never would have thought I would have. Things I wish to share with my kids one day. Most importantly Unconditional Kindness.
My only regret is not being able to thank them for that.
I grew up in a small town with two best friends. The three of us were extremely tight from elementary school through our early 20s (with a brief interlude when I left for college) but it completely fell apart about 11 years ago. One of my friends was engaged to a real psychopath that liked to toy with her, and it made her toxic, insecure, and paranoid as hell. He came over one Sunday to fix my old snowblower (which I was planning to sell since I had recently moved to an apartment).
I offered him a beer, he took that as an opening and tried to kiss me/feel me up aggressively. I turned him down pretty harshly but decided not to tell my friend, who was pregnant at the time and easily upset. WELL, he was pissed off, turned around and told her that I tried to seduce HIM.
Long story short she believed him, went into an emotional tailspin, tried to kill herself, did not succeed, and lost the baby in the process. My other friend decided "no smoke without fire" and believed him as well. Word got out around my small town pretty quickly and it felt like everyone turned on me in a heartbeat - after all, my two best lifelong friends believed I had tried to seduce one's fiancé and caused her to lose her baby. It was deemed wierd that I had invited him over to fix my snowblower in the summer (even though it was because I had moved to an apartment). Even the people who weren't 100% sure who to believe stayed the hell away.
It didn't matter that he had always been an @sshole and a player and their relationship and her emotional state had been on the rocks for ages. And I was ashamed too - wondered if I had led him on in some way, devastated for my friend, couldn't hold my head up, started avoiding people. For 2 years, I was either angry or depressed all the time, I stopped going out, lost 30 lbs (I was 130 to start with), cried all the time. It never occurred to me to seek therapy. I also never seriously considered just standing up for myself, confronting him publicly, laying it all out in the open in one big blow up
I finally got out because a college friend of mine happened to be road tripping across country, paid me a visit, and was shocked at how much I changed. He convinced me to go with him. I did. Turns out the only good thing about having depression and never going out to socialize for almost 2 years (except for work) was that I had a heathy savings account (it's amazing how little you spend when you stop trying to keep up appearances for others). I told my landlord I was leaving the next day, paid extra 2 months and left the deposit in exchange for him getting rid of my stuff and having the apartment cleaned, packed my bags and left with my friend. That road trip helped remind me there was a much bigger and brighter world out there than my sh!tty little town and all the drama left behind.
At the end of it, I crashed at his home for 3 months before I got back on my feet, got my own place, got a steady job. I was really lucky with the latter - it was the height of the Recession then and the job market was rough. He and I stayed friends for 2 more years before we started dating. We've been married now for 6.
Four or five years into my new life, I reached out to my other friend (not the one who lost her baby) - in part for closure and part, if we're honest, due to morbid curiosity. She didn't want to talk. More than a decade of friendship and she still didn't want to hear me out. It was really at that moment that I was able to truly leave things behind.
It seems surreal, but I rarely think of that part of my life anymore. My memories of that time aren't all that sharp - those two years were a blur. Sometimes I wonder what happened to them, if my former friend came out okay and got away from that guy. But it doesn't keep me up at night. I look at my life now and I'm a happy person, stable, content in my life, secure. I can honestly say now that the whole thing hasn't left any lasting trauma on me except that I doubt I'll ever let myself have friendships that went that deep and hurt that much. I have a lot of friends, a few that are closer than others but none super close. Except my husband of course. And I don't miss it really.