Rebekah

I am 24 and this is the first time in the 13 years I have been home that I am actually reaching out to others who have been through a parental abduction.For so long I was in denial about what happened to me and I didn’t want to deal with all of the anger and emotions I had because of my mother taking me, but I have finally got to a point in my life where I don’t want to feel bad about myself and about what happened to me. I never thought there were any support groups or web sites on parental abduction, so the internet was the last place I looked. But one day I typed in the words “parental abduction.”For a long time I thought I was the only person who went through something like this and that no one understood what I was going through because they had never even heard of anyone who had been abducted by a parent. In all honesty, I felt like an outcast and lost within myself because I felt like I was sooo different. Going through a identity crisis is not easy. I had no one to turn to who had experienced it themselves.. I will start at the beginning for you.My parents met in the late 60’s and never really believed in marriage; they were definitely a product of their generation. But they got pregnant with my brother in 1970, and then with my sisters, who are twins, in 1972. They started to have a lot of problems and my mom had a breakdown. She was diagnosed as manic. She was verbally abusive to the kids and my dad, she would lock herself in the bathroom and hurt herself and call the police and blame it on my father even though he was not home. I know these stories are true because my siblings were old enough to remember what was happening. I have heard most of the stories from them and not my parents, so I believe them. I was born in 1977. I am the youngest and the baby in the family and everyone loves me. I had it great. Even though I don’t remember the early years there are hundreds of pictures and videos and stories to know I was very happy. My parents couldn’t work things out, so in 1979-1980 they went through a common law divorce in Illinois. My father got custody of all the kids and my mom went crazy about it. My siblings were old enough to testify and say who they wanted to live with, and they chose my dad. But I was too young to choose, so I was the only one who had mandatory visitation with my mother every other weekend. This went on for about a year until one weekend, when I was 4 years old, my mother picked me up and never came back. Of course this devastated my father and my my siblings. I feel the worst for my sisters and brother because their mother left them and made them feel unloved. My mom’s whole side of the family did not talk to any of my siblings or my dad’s side of the family the whole time I was gone. My dad put out a search for me. He was one of the first parents to go to the FBI and he also went to private detectives, Child Find of America, I was on a milk carton and all. He went to all ends to find me. My mom fled to Texas with me, she...

read more

Carolyn

I was five years old when I was taken out of my bed and placed in my father’s waiting car and along with my two brothers and sister driven from our home in Chicago to central Mississippi.  Once there I was literally dropped off on a relative of my father’s in the middle of nowhere to live with people I did not know.   I was taken from a mother I loved and with whom I had a strong bond, an extended family of grandparents, uncles, and cousins, friends, school, and a neighborhood I was familiar with. I had lived with both my parents and three siblings in Chicago until the abduction.  My parents married when my mother was sixteen or seventeen, he was older than her by thirteen years.  My mother had been born and raised in Chicago, she married to escape a strict religious upbringing.  My father was born and raised in rural Mississippi and had dropped out of school in the second grade to help his parents run their small farm.  Though I am glad they married and gave life to me and my siblings, their marriage should never have taken place.  My five years with them is remembered by violent fights and little else.  We all learned to fear my father and to keep our distance when he was around. I believe at the time my father abducted the four of us my mother had been threatening to divorce him and he decided to seek his revenge by abducting us one night after she had left for work. Though my mother immediately sought help from law enforcement and received some legal assistance it was the ‘60s and there were no laws in place to help her.  My father hid us well enough with help from his family to prevent us from being found, and also by moving us whenever my mother did find us; first from Mississippi to Louisiana and back again to Mississippi.  It was in Louisiana that my mother was able to re-abduct my sister.  This seemed to be a turning point for my father, at least according to my own memories.  It was at this time that he seemed to become meaner and more cruel.  After my mother got my sister I remember him standing over me yelling, forcing me to write a letter to my mother telling her how much I hated her.  He would keep switches all over the house and beat us with them for whatever infraction we committed, or he would use his belt or the razor strap that he kept hung in the bedroom for keeping us in line.  I remember being sent to school dirty and wearing the same clothes for days.  There would be times I would go to school wearing pants to hide the welts left by a recent beating with a switch only to be laughed at by other kids for wearing pants.  This was by far a very different and more difficult life than the one we spent in Chicago.  I learned to live with what seemed to be constant fear. I would be twelve years old before returning to Chicago to live with a mother I no longer remembered or even recognized and one who didn’t know me.  My mother had remarried and moved though still remaining in Chicago; and my grandfather had passed away.  It was like the abduction all over again.  Too many years had passed and my mother and I were never able to re-connect as mother and...

read more