January 15, 2007

Common Ground

Why are people surprised when kidnapping victims are found alive after many years, living loyally with their captors, without trying to escape from their prison? Is it only me, that I can identify with these victims?

Oh shit, what's wrong with me. I must be a terribly mentally imbalanced person. I'm never shocked by these news stories. In a lot of ways, it makes sense to me. Is it because I'm more empathetic than most people? Or have they just had a ordinary, functional upbringing.

The story of the two Missouri boys that had been kidnapped and found this week was all over the news this weekend. One had been living with his "captor" for 4 years. The neighbors had seen him and just thought that they had belonged together, father and son, because the boy made no attempts to escape or let neighbors know his identity.

When I was that age, early teens, and even younger, I had dreams and fantasies of being abducted. I know I was naive and innocent, as I thought this would be a great way to escape my family and the misery I always seemed to feel when I was that age.

By the time I was in fifth and sixth grade, which would make me 10 or 11 years old, my (evil) older brother and I where basically living on our own. Our alcoholic mother would pop-in from time to time to drop off some food or cash before hitting the bars and then spending the night with one of her boyfriends. In sixth grade I skipped school for a week before anyone noticed. I just didn't go, hung around the house watching Lost In Space reruns, wishing I had a family like the Robinson's. Then, because I think the neighbors were complaining about her neglecting us, my brother and I were sent to to live with my Dad, and the Nazi stepmother from hell. I have written before about her evil ways in Both Sides, Now. We lived in Germany. She hated us, we hated her. I would try to keep to myself, stay out of the way and out of trouble, but she would stir things up and make up trouble where none existed. I dreamed of a vengeful suicidal slaughter, or to be kidnapped by one of the American hating German groups, never to be heard from again until I was leader of the hated group. I think the Patty Hearst story had happened about that time, and I was thinking how lucky Patty was to have that adventure.

It's called Stockholm Syndrome. I think if it would have been me, at that age, I'd never want to be rescued. Does that shock you? It makes me cringe when I think that most of the times these kidnappings occur for perverted sexual cravings, but I think when that happens, those victims don't survive. Maybe the kidnapper just wanted some companionship, and knew the right children to target. Those children with unhappy, miserable, dysfunctional families. And he let them live like they wanted, probably watching TV or playing video games all day. It's happened before, and will happen again.

Parents, is that reason enough to put your children first? Give them a rich, rewarding, happy childhood. The serious part of life comes much too quick.


fallenmonk said...

Pretty tough childhood and unfortunately many kids suffer likewise in differing degrees. You seem to have pulled out of it and good for you.
It is easy as a parent to forget the challenges of childhood and not give the children what they need. More parents need to stop and think about how they are parenting.

BBC said...


My childhood was hard, but not as hard as yours.

Not sure how I would have reacted if I had been abducted as a child. Depends on how I was treated by the abductor I guess.

I might have stayed, I don't know. All I really know is that now I would like to be abducted by a lady with nice breasts that wants them kissed a lot. :-)

BSB said...

Good morning Nick,

When I saw the parents on the news with their boys I really didn't want to judge them but I just didn't know what to think of these people...

Do we know anything about the man who abducted the boys? I don't think that a man who would do that to children is the type of person who would give them a good life. This is not the type of person that these boys need.

Granted, maybe their lives with their parents wasn't the best but being kidnapped, outch, what can that do to a child.

I think fear would play a huge part in just not doing anything about the situation. But why go get his brother???? This is really strange. So they could keep each other company???? Crazy.

Sexual predators... I won't get started on that otherwise, I'll be here all the morning.

Our past is not always easy to deal with. I wouldn't want to go back to that time of feeling helpless and just having to deal with our parents like it our not. But I must say that my childhood wasn't as difficult as yours my friend.

I was lucky that my grandparents took me in. My grandfather was also an alcoholic but I suppose he wasn't that bad.. ;-) because my grandmother was there to take care of me.

We learn from our pasts, right? I'm sure you were a great dad to your kids... ;-) and still are.

Have a great day!


BSB said...

Oh! and let's not forget.. a great grandpa.. ;-) I called mine Papa.. I don't know how your grandkids call you.. ;-)

Pam said...

Interesting perspective. I wonder if the boy asked for his brother to be brought there with him?

I had a generally happy childhood - much more trauma from peers than from my parents. I would have been devastated to be abducted. But then I read books like "A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer and I think how lucky he would have been to be kidnapped and taken away from his horrible mother.

I don't understand how step-parents can hate their step-children. No child deserves that. The adult should be the adult and deal with his/her feelings.

Off to read that old post of yours.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Hey Friends, thanks for the comments. I don't like to complain about my miserable childhood, my life is good now. I just wanted to give an aternative view on this Stockholm Syndrome phenomenom.

The kidnapped Missouri boys were not brothers. I don't think I said that, but if my story alluded to that, it was wrong.

We always think the worst when these things happen. But maybe the boy who had been abducted for 4 years might have wanted to stay away from the home he was force to leave. It doesn't seemed so far-fetched to me, or maybe I'm just really messed up.

BSB said...

It's not about complaining...

To acknowledge begins the healing process... ;-)

Blueberry said...

I had an unhappy childhood and a dysfunctional family, I used to emotionally adopt a friend's family wherever I was living -- a mom and dad, some brothers and sisters, and the kids were supported, loved and wanted. I wonder if the kid who'd been there for 4 years hadn't just adjusted to a new home and maybe even liked it better... not to excuse the abductor in any way.

I remember once my parents told me they were going to send me to live with an aunt. That's how unhappy we all were together... which doesn't mean we wouldn't have missed each other terribly, and I would have HATED living with any of my aunts.

BSB said...

Good morning,

Is anyone having problems with blogger???

For a while now, every time I want to sign in, it takes for ever and I just can't get in....

Suddenly, out of the blue, it comes back...

Is anyone having this problem or am I the only one?


Have a great day Nick!!!


BBC said...

I lived with my Grandmother from the time I was about two, until I was eleven. They were pretty good years.

Then I made the stupid mistake of choosing to move back in with family.

Then I made the stupid mistake of staying there.

Oh, well, life goes on and that was years ago, screw the past. The future is tomorrow and looking forward.

Old Broad said...

Nick, there is an excellent movie out there called "My name is Stephen." It's a true story about a little boy that came from a loving family but was kidnapped by a pedophile & told his parents didn't want him anymore. The child eventually accepted the explanation because his parents never came to rescue him. Of course, they couldn't, not knowing where he was, but they NEVER gave up hope. Years later, after being sexually abused by his tormentor, a new younger boy was kidnapped and that is when Stephen saw his chance to escape & take the young child with him. He was returned to his family, who were ecstatic to have him back. But he was no longer their boy. He was 6 when he was kidnapped and 17 when he returned. None could adjust to the "new" Stephen and he ended up with drug & alcohol problems and was killed in a motorcycle wreck at the age of 23.
So, see, not all children who are kidnapped by strangers (most ARE pedophiles, look at the stats) come from homes where the parents don't love them and treat them with dignity and respect. There are some really BAD people out there, unfortunately.
P.S. I am so sorry you had such a horrid childhood. I wish all the good Karma in the entire world for you now. May it go back in time and heal the wounded little boy and may it bring peace and joy to the man.

azgoddess said...

or he could have told the child his parents were dead...

childhood -- should be happy times but you -- like me -- the happy moments were few and far between...those are the ones i try and remember...


BSB said...

Just to tell you that Oprah will be the first to interview the boys and their families.. if you're interested.. ;-)

Thursday's show... ;-)