Moving out and leaving home for the first time: Margot’s* story

I was 16 when I decided to move out of the house. For a number of reasons, I just couldn’t live with my mother anymore. She had her own issues to deal with and we both agreed that it was the best decision for us.

But even though I had made a positive decision to leave an unhealthy situation, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I didn’t have any money and I had never lived on my own before. I had no idea where to start and I had so many questions: At 16, what were my legal rights around housing? How much would it actually cost to live on my own? Would I qualify for any kind of assistance? Would I be able to balance school with finding work?

I knew it was time. I picked up the phone and called Kids Help Phone.

The counsellor said it was okay and normal to feel worried. She knew that moving out can be a big step and that it sometimes can be pretty scary.

She also told me that at age 16, I was legally allowed to leave the house voluntarily but really encouraged me to think about my options and what my goals were in terms of school, work and relationships with my family.

We talked for a while about my options and when I mentioned to her that I had a really great aunt who I might be able to move in with, she encouraged me to explore this. She felt it might be a good way for me to remove myself from the stressful situation at home, but still have support.

She was right. I asked my aunt if I could move in with her and she said yes. It would be temporary, but it would give me a chance to gain a new perspective on my abilities and better prepare myself for living on my own when the time comes.

I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m still going to school and learning more every day about living independently. And the weird thing is that my relationship with my mom has even started to get better. I feel really good about this. Thanks Kids Help Phone.

*Name has been changed to respect anonymity