25. One day Mum returned home from work and we were gone.
“My parents had been in an unhappy relationship for a number of years (probably since its inception, once the lust wore off), characterized by mutual verbal abuse and the occasional physical outburst (they smashed each other’s windscreens one time). Dad was from Wales, he had pined for home for many years, had intimated to Mum that he wanted to return, and wanted to take her and I with him (but not my elder stepsisters). Mum didn’t trust him (wise woman), and hid my passport (not very well). One day she returned home from work and we were gone. She called the police and we were well on our way to the U.K. She followed, there was a long, drawn out court case and she ended up returning to Tasmania with me. Dad followed some time later, tail between his legs. They divorced within a couple of years and hated each other forever more. And we all lived happily ever after. (Not really, Mum died of brain cancer 8 years ago and Dad remains a ‘functional’ alcoholic).”
26. I was kidnapped by my grandparents when I was two and taken into Mexico for a couple of weeks.
“I was kidnapped by my grandparents when I was two and taken into Mexico for a couple of weeks. Thankfully they brought me back into the US with them when they had to run some errands here, and my parents were able to stage a rescue with some of their friends.”
27. Total time kidnapped was 4 months, out of which I went to school for two weeks.
“Honestly, I didn’t realize I had been kidnapped until years later when I was 25. When I was 12, my parents were going through a nasty divorce. Dad was an alcoholic, mom fled the situation but couldn’t bring me and my little brother with her (Dad threatened to shoot her etc). After they settled down and my dad realized mom wasn’t coming back, they did the whole custody thing. A week at my dad’s, a week at my mom’s. Well, every summer, we would go down to my grandparents’ farm in Florida. Dad didn’t want us to go that year, whatever. So we pack up and go to my mom’s. A couple hours later, we’re leaving to go meet my grandparents at the state line (mom never technically took us out of state.) Spent the summer in Florida. School time rolls around. No one mentions us going back. Grandparents enroll me in school. Ok, that’s kinda weird, whatever. The adults must be having problems. Spend more time at home than actually going to school because I started having issues with severe nosebleeds. Grandparents pack us up one day and take us to a secluded cabin in the Tennessee mountains. Was there for another month. They eventually meet my mom at the TN/NC line and hand us over. It turns out my mother had gone over to my dad’s house and the living conditions were disgusting. Trash ankle-deep and maggots in the fridge kinda gross. She concocted a plan to get us out, but had to give us back because they were going to throw her in jail for assisted kidnapping. Total time kidnapped was 4 months, out of which I went to school for two weeks. Got home and it was like nothing happened. No one ever mentioned it. It was just like a long vacation.”