I don’t believe for a minute that Asha ran away nor do I believe what authorities report is the true nature of Asha’s disappearance. On these next few pages, I aim to settle the argument. See what you think after relating runaway personalities with Asha.
Running away is not linked to any gender or age group and it’s always a serious matter. But as I mentioned, Asha doesn’t fit the criteria as either a ‘chronic’ or ‘episodic’ runaway. I’ll go through the runaway personality and circumstances that together with Asha’s profile, discuss how she just doesn’t fit the standards.
NOTE: If you have credentials and experience with runaway children under age twelve, I welcome your input; we all need to work together if we’re to realize the six degrees of separation and bring Asha home. Please leave a detailed message along with some documentation of your expertise like a blog, website dedicated to missing children, law enforcement, etc. You can email this info if it’s more secure for you. I’ll include it here.
All input is welcome. Sometimes the simplest things can be overlooked and a fresh set of eyes and keen observation often solve this problem–and could ultimately solve a case; it’s happened before. Teamwork is a good thing.
It’s important to dismiss this theory early on so we can move forward in uncovering what really happened to Asha.
THE EPISODIC RUNAWAY
Most often, when kids run away in an episodic situation, there’s a stressor that’s incredibly overwhelming and these kids are not able to see a resolution anywhere in sight; there’s no one who understands (or they feel that way) their side of the problem and there’s no one to help resolve the issue.
One could argue that Asha’s being upset over her basketball team’s first loss, her fouling out of the game and the subsequent crying spell may have served as catalyst to an episodic runaway situation. Further argument by the pro-runaway stance can even be supported by Asha’s attributes: self pride, accountability, responsibility and people-pleasing personality. Some may feel Asha might not have been able to face her friends after the team’s loss, and running away for just a day or two may have seemed sufficient in helping Asha cope and others forget. Too, the book, The Whipping Boy, could have planted the idea of running away in a fun, adventurous way.
The episodic situation sounds plausible. But this position won’t work and I’ll explain later.
THE CHRONIC RUNWAY
Now, on to the chronic runaway: this situation is one where kids need to control their circumstances; running–or threatening to do so–is power to them. It’s seemingly, the only resolution to their problems. Some kids are victims of abuse and often have an absent parent(s). Many runaway kids have depression. They may also have high rates of delinquency, including drug use, truancy, promiscuity and don’t respond to the consequences of said actions. I won’t spend a lot of time with this model, as it’s obvious Asha didn’t demonstrate the, “If you don’t . . . I’m going to run away!” strategy. Nor was Asha rebellious. Clearly, the chronic runaway personality doesn’t fit.
Aside from a child’s disposition and home life, certain indicators often foretell kids’ intentions to run away, neither indicator fits Asha’s actions on the days leading up to her disapperance. Such signs may include:
• Sudden, radical changes in appearance
• Saving of money over time; missing money
• Changes in personality, moodiness
• Problems in school; truancy, failing grades
• Missing food and supplies (stockpiling)
• Feelings of failure, worthlessness
A source you my be interested in reading to support my nonconforming theory:
On the next pages, I’ll talk more in-depth about Asha’s personality. In order that readers understand Asha’s case completely, it’s easier to absorb in smaller detail rather than large chunks where important aspects often get missed.
I’ll totally debunk the runaway possibility once and for all on the next page.
A poser for you: Do you think theorizing that a happy nine-year-old ran away is plausible? From what you may know about runaways does Asha fit?