Having your child kidnapped has to be one of the hardest experiences for parents to go through. Not knowing where your child is for just a few moments can put fear into the hearts of mothers and fathers alike. I can't even begin to imagine how I would have felt or what I would have done if one of my children had been kidnapped. The fear of not ever seeing them again or the agony of wondering if they were being abused would have driven me insane.

I am sure that is how my parents felt when I disappeared and couldn't be found for several days. I was four years old when an older couple kidnapped me. I don't remember any thing about it. It's kind of nice that small children don't remember the things that happened to them, don't you agree? All I know is what my mother has told me which isn't much.

I wasn't a victim of what I call grab and run. It happened in my nice quiet neighborhood in Greensville, Texas. I somehow got out of the gate in front of our home. I don't know if I did it on my own or was assisted in getting out. I don't blame anyone. It wasn't my mother's fault. She kept the gate locked, especially when me or my two year old sister were playing in the yard.

The older couple that took me never had children of their own and wanted one very badly. I guess I was an easy target for them. They did not abuse me or treat me unkindly according to my mother. They wanted a child to love and care for and dedcided it was me. I was very lucky. They could have hurt me very badly or even killed me as so many victims of kidnapping are.

My mother told me how I was found. She said that she, my father and the police searched the neighborhood and could not find a trace of me. All this took place while I was just a few streets away. She said that they had even been to the older couples home many times asking if they had seen me during the search but was told no every time. She said that they didn't acually go into peoples homes as they went door to door. If they had they would have found me sooner.

When I was a small child of four my constant companion was a Toy Fox terrier. I called him Boy Dog. Usually where you would see me you would see him. He was the one who actually found me. My mother said that he kept disappearing. She would find him sitting in front of the older couples home. He would sit there and whine and would refuse to go home with her. She found that odd since she had been told by the couple many times that they hadn't seen me.

She got my father, who was at home waiting for the phone to ring and be told by the police that they had found me alive and well, to go with her to the couple's home. This time they did not knock first. My father burst through the door and found me on their sofa watching TV, eating a bowl of ice cream. The couple had almost finished packing their belongings. They were moving to California early the next morning, taking me with them.

I was lucky. My parents were lucky. So many parents aren't so lucky when their child is kidnapped. They either don't find the missing child or the child is found dead, a victim of serious abuse. Although I realize how lucky I am, I can't help but wonder if my mother told me everything or not. It is difficult to handle sometimes because I want to be sure she told me everything. Not knowing if she is trying to protect me by hiding things from me always seems to be lurking in the back of my mind. It's hard for me to understand why I want to be sure I know the whole truth yet I don't.

I have been a loner most of my life. My mother kept telling me that if I hadn't been such a friendly child I wouldn't have been kidnapped. Her words still haunt me today. Becoming a loner was enhanced by the fact that we moved a lot when I was growing up. Everytime I made friends we would move. Losing my friends over and over became to painful. By the time I was eight years old I had no close friends. I am still pretty much that way today.

You can't be too careful where your children are concerned. You should know where they are and who they are with at all times. You should teach them not to talk to or go off with strangers no matter what they tell them. Teach them to seek a police officer, teacher or the person responsible for watching over them at the time and tell them what has happened. Screen your babysitters very carefully. Be very protective. Teach your children how to make friends with other children. Know who your children's friends are and be sure you meet their parents. If you don't approve of a friend or their parents the world will not end for your child if you don't allow them to associate with that friend and their parents. The child is YOURS and YOU are responsible for the well being and safety of your child.

Because of what happened to me, I was an over protective parent. Now I'm an over protective grandmother. I do not, and will not apologize for being that way. They are my family, my loved ones and I want to keep them as safe as possible. How about you? Don't you want the same thing for your loved ones?





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