I am a victim of child abduction

There's a story I rarely tell. A label that I do not let myself have. It's a story you read in typewritten black letters of the local newspaper. Something that makes mother's grab on to their children, and people exclaim "oh isn't that just awful", then they forget about it and move on, because it just doesn't happen to them and they can't imagine the horror. But the truth is, it does happen and it isn't
something you only see on TV thriller's. I am a victim of child abduction. 

I was only about 6 or 7 when the 'nice' lady down the road lured me in with kind words and the offer of a 'fun sleepover'. Her tween daughter often hung out in the park down the road and would always play with me. My little self didn't see anything wrong with going over for a sleepover and some hot chips. Nobody saw the mother much, she was divorced and people would later tell me that she lost contact with her step-kids was sad and lonely. Whatever they could say to try and justify her actions and lessen the feelings of horror that it all made settle deep in them. 

I do not remember my time at her house, but I remember the police lights and a man carrying me up my front porch and my mother throwing me inside in to the arms of my sister, yelling at the police to keep her away from me before slamming and locking the doors and just crying. I remember everybody crying. The police said I wasn't hurt and I was well fed. I don't know how long I was there, nobody ever gives me a straight answer, I think it was less than a week. My mother organised for me to stay out of town with my Nan for a while.

I could never recall that time, and it wasn't until I started seeing a therapist as a teenager that I was told just how it had affected my emotional development. I don't like being around people I don't know, and I struggle with meeting new people. I struggle to make friends, and I don't like loud noises or people approaching me too fast. Although I was not physically hurt during my time at her house, my therapist told me that my subconscious mind knew I was somewhere I shouldn't be, and being away from my mother at a young age caused me distress and lead to my fear of strangers and new places.

Although it has affected me emotionally on a subconscious level, I am still happy, and these days I go months without even remembering that this happened to me. I don't often share it, and people struggle to understand how things like this just happen. So I may be a victim of child abduction, but i'm not still a victim. I am living and experiencing my life and I am OK. I wanted to share my story, not to strike fear, but to spread awareness of these things. 

As always,
With love, Paige. xx

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