My name is Lynda Eigenberger and I am 43 years old. Abduction doesn’t mean the parent is in the right or in the wrong, it’s just something that happened to me. I really don’t care who the legal parent was. There were no winners in this, I lost my parents, a good relationship with my brother, and I can’t look at my life and say that I have a childhood friend. My parents moved us all over the states, running and hiding from each other, when we didn’t want to be hidden. We wanted stability, to have a friendship with someone that lasts more that two years. My parents kept asking us to trust them, and the result is that I do not trust my mother, and any hope of trust died when my father died. I wish my parents would have asked us what we wanted, for we would have chosen both of them. Why can’t parents realize that is possible? Why do they persist in hurting each other, which really hurts their children. I hope that there will come a time when parents realize that they fell out of love with each other, but their child is still madly in love with both of them, as it should be. Here is my story:
I was 5 when my parents divorced, my brother was 4, sister 3. About a year later, my father took all three of us for a court appointed visit. He took us to Disneyland, which my mother knew about, and then kept us for 6 years. From 6 to 12, I lived with my father and the many women that came into his life. When he died at the age of 58, he had been married 8 times.
My father told us that our Mother could not handle taking care of us, so he was going to do it. I do not remember abuse, although I do remember pretty severe spankings, something that is considered abuse now. At one point, my father was in between wives, and unable to care for us. We were placed in a Methodist Children’s Home in Jackson, Mississippi for a little over a year. That was an odd experience. My siblings and I lived in different “houses”, yet it was all on one campus. It was a happy time, but it was also sad, because we felt rejected again. Finally, my dad and his new wife got us out and we moved to Glendale California. It seemed like a good life at the time, but he and his wife were having problems, so back to Mississippi we all went Not to the Children’s Home, thank God. He married a couple of times at that point, and then we received a call that would once again change our lives.
My mother called me at home, and after realizing that we were without adults in the home on that afternoon, she told me that she was going to come and get me. I don’t know why I thought she would just come on in the house and sit down for a nice visit, but that is exactly what I thought would happen. Imagine my surprise, when she drove up with a friend and literally threw us into her vehicle. My brother did not have any shoes on at the time! We were told to lie down on the floorboard and to stay there until we got out of the state. That was frightening , but the fact that my mother did not even look anything like I remembered, was really scary. Once we got out of the state, we were told to sit up, and then my mother told me that she always wanted me She then told me that she was a Jehovah’s Witness, and that I would become one as well. I did it because I was afraid that she would throw me out if I refused. I became the best little Jehovah’s Witness you could imagine. I went from door to door preaching, went to the Kingdom Hall three times a week, etc… Yet, I knew it was a lie. I did not accept this religion, yet I felt that I had to do this to stay in good graces with my mom. Not saluting the flag, not celebrating Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, Independence Day, and every other holiday, was a hard thing for a 12 year old to take on.
About a year after my mother abducted me, my father abducted us again. We were able to convince him to return us to our home. We were crying and told him that we were just sick of the abductions. Amazingly, he dropped us off at our highway exit! I did not see him again until I was an adult. He had turned into a bitter person, angry with us and my mother. He died of a brain tumor, that had been growing for many years.
My brother and sister left the religion when they were 17 and 16 respectively. My sister actually left our home at 16, because while I was at work one night, my step father beat her so badly, that Protective Services took her out of the home and placed her into Foster Care. I was without my best friend, my sister. Finally, when I was 20, I decided to leave the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I was living on my own then, but once I was “disfellowshipped” from the religion, everyone I knew and loved dropped out of my life. My mother and stepfather refused to talk to me, they even refused to come to my wedding three years later. I was very lonely, but at least I had my sister. My brother had already turned into a Meth addict by then, so our relationship dwindled to nothing.
My mother does talk to me now, but it is very limited and she tends to become hysterical if I try to tell her that her turning on me when I left the religion, felt like betrayal to me. So, most of the time, I avoid conversation regarding abductions, religion etc… I have three sons, 13, 10 and 8 and when my 8 year old started Kindergarten three years ago, I became very depressed. I have had insomnia for so many years, and when the depression hit, I did not sleep for four days. I was put on an antidepressant, I am still on it, and boy what a change! I have slept every night for the past three years, all night, something that I never did before I am now seeing a therapist, who is going to help me get off the meds, and to rely on myself to get through things. I want to do that. Hopefully I can. I now realize that I became depressed because my son was “leaving me” at about the same age that I was when my father took my mother away from me. I hate that I was abducted. I hate that my parents hated each other. I hate the fact that my brother became an addict because of his screwed up life. I hate all of the pain that came from this. I do Not hate who I am because of it, though. I am strong and wiser than my parents. I love my kids enough to realize that they always need both parents in their lives . That it is vital for them to have healthy relationships with us both, as this will affect how they view the world, their loved ones, and it will determine the legacy that they leave for their loved ones.