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A recovered, stolen child, now grown, talks about the experience…

with one comment


 

THIS post is a comment reply from a man who is speaking up about his childhood abduction and recovery. 

I think the story speaks for itself, in his voice.  Any emphases are mine, as well as paragraphing.  I tried to comment less than usual, but still did some..

I would like to first thank you for the review of my book, Throwing Stones.

{{I don’t actually have your book, will get it when I am able…  I reviewed the website in response to your earliest comment on this blog.  I also hope to write one.}}

I wish to address a couple questions you raised in your review and also respond to the above comment, since the writer has asked me, the author, to answer: First, you emailed me a comment about the spelling of my last name. I could find no place on there where the spelling was not “Ken Connelly”. If you have found a place where ‘Connelly’ is not spelled that way, please point it out and I will have it remedied.

Second, as to how I was recovered, well that was an interesting and very frightening experience- My father had managed to remarry at the end of our abduction.

{{He was going to need some help with the children, obviously.  In our situation, he first found the new woman and then snatched.  At this point, I’m still not clear (being the Mom) of who was MORE provoking that snatch — the new woman, or the father.  This involving a 2nd adult caretaker figure to punish the first is cruel..}}

My siblings and I were ordered not to tell anyone, especially his new wife and children our true past as abducted children. My father had a way about him that you did not cross. You have to remember, this person feeds you, clothes you, and gives you shelter. I often use the example that if you take a puppy and give it food, then while feeding it you hit it, the dog will grow up believing that pain is love.

{{POW technique, traumatic bonding, sounds like…}}

This can be seen in women who grow up with a violent father and then seek a relationship with an abuser. They may not go consciously looking for that personality type, but they end up with it.

{{If I may inject the feminine perspective here — there is a grammar to this.  It takes two to tango, and men also know where to find submissive women, or women without strong family support who might counter future control & abuse.  The statement above doesn’t acknowledg it goes two ways.  …  Religious settings are great places to find submissive women taught not to protest violence against themselves..}}

My father was pulled over on a traffic stop with his wife. The officer took him in once his alias popped up on the NCIC. I was for the first time going to a public school in Smithville, Texas. Upon leaving for the day, I seen my sister crawling out the back of the bus and running away.

Unknown to me, my mother and grandfather were walking about the school after they were flown from California upon hearing we had been located. Of all the buses, mine managed to leave the school without being stopped.

 Within a few hours my dad was let go from the Bastrop County jail on a technicality. No court had ever held up the recent law, forcing out of state agencies to enforce kidnapping of one’s child as a felony/crime.

{{Reframing this crime as a non-crime happens, I say, through the family courts.  I would almost rather not know this law existed, than know it exists to protect, but isn’t enforced, or even taken seriously, too often…}}

After dad got out of jail he then attempted to remove us to Australia (a plan he attempted a year earlier). A sting was setup to have him come into court and believe he could win full custody once there. After coming into court, he was taken down to the floor and arrested by law enforcement.

At the same time we we were taken out the back and then flown from Austin, Texas to California. My father was later extradited to California where he pleaded guilty to Child Stealing. This became the first time in United States History an interstate felony/recovery was successfully prosecuted. Oddly enough, only 70 miles away, Glen Schulz was arrested for kidnapping his children from out of state but was let go and later granted full custody. My father’s arrest and conviction set a new precedence [precedent] in the apprehension of child stealing.

Three, as for abuse. I often had to endure hours of my father screaming and calling my mother everything from a witch to a lesbian on a daily basis. I began to sleep walk, have severe night terrors, developed turrets syndrome and tics that effect me to this day (although I mask them very well). I also have never been able to trust.

My sister was raped by a stranger and although we disagree that she was taken to the hospital, she has had to deal with that her whole life.

{{While you were in the abduction status, it sounds like??}}

( I say disagree because she believes she was taken to the hospital that night, I know she was taken earlier in the month over another issue requiring stitches. As any law enforcement officer, medical professional or mental health professional knows, when you bring in a 14 year old girl to the ER who claims she has been raped, the police do a background on them and the parent who brings them in to the hospital, of which I verified with the local agency that we lived under in Texas.

Had a there been a police check, the false ID that later got him arrested would have popped up on her or him after the rape.)

When I was found I was covered in chiggers (body parasite) and scabies. Just months before we were recovered, we were living in Burcher State Park, Texas and then in a house where we had an out house and when the water did run, it was reddish in color because of the rust. We also had to boil the bath water on the stove so that all of us could use the water to bathe. Again, everyone used the same bath water. I also had to get saved, learn to speak in tongues and when ever I was bad, I was reminded that I could grow up and become the anti-christ.

{{Indicating that the abducting father was religious, or his new wife.   And that IS emotional abuse of a child.  Not to mention ignorance about that concept, “anti-christ.”  Severe emotional cruetly.  Good grief!!}}

Four, yes psychology is a new science but there are basic truths that are universal. Although I attend to school (working on a degree that can be used in parental child abduction), I have been certified in Colorado, New Mexico and federally to work with juveniles that have been incarcerated. I have seen the effects of abuse, neglect and abandonment and I see a lot of similarities with parental child abduction. As to the writer of the above. Yes, without a doubt ( and I have experienced BOTH), parental child abduction is worse! To put it another way, when a stranger abducts a child, the child always knows that mommy and daddy are waiting for them when they come home. granted, it may be and will be a long haul to heal, but the trust in their parents is intact.

So my question is, when a parent steals their child, tells them the other parent is dead, hates them, evil, abandoned them and so on, who does the child trust?

If mommy or daddy lied and kidnapped you, who do you trust? The entire structure of what trust and family is is forever broken.

As for seeing abuse, conflicts and hate, well upon return I found that my mother had been being assaulted by her new husband. See, professionals have found that many parents after their children have been taken tend to seek punishment for having their children ripped from them. My mother’s then husband hated that she was always sad and grief ridden over having her children stolen.

{{I’ve worked different ways to handle this, but it has affected who I can become involved with, or not.  I know I’m not ready for involvement til some of these issues are closed.  It’s too much of a burden for any new spouse…}}

Over the next two years I watched him beat her, knock her unconscious and steal her purse while driving down the alley way of our home pulling my mom and me, as my mom would not let go of the purse- which held our only money, he held out the window. Or the times he beat me down and mom had to jump on his back and break his black Ovation guitar over him to get him off me while I called the police. Finally on my 13th birthday I was forced to not go to school but get a job and pay rent to live in his home. My mother was finally beat unconscious in 1985 when her husband beat her so bad that he broke the toilet bowl with her face and left a blood trail on the hallway wall, all because I split his beer.

{{“because” — that’s not the real reason, but that supposed “excuse” is common.  NOTE:  1985 is before the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) was passed, I suspect there were fewer options for her at the time, to get ou.}}

Yes, I have seen both and I can tell you that the effects from the abduction were like wakes & ripples that have effects to this very day. I never doubted my mom’s love or felt abused while with mom and her husband, and have talked to many other children who felt that they were able to overcome those abusive home environments. Now I am in no way down playing the abuse that went on upon return. in fact, I believe that both are relevant and need to be addressed. However, the abduction was worse. I started researching and building up all my documentation for book II, Wakes &Ripples, which covers this subject from the age of 11 to 17. I have had to pull together many interviews, police and school records. I have had to verify addresses and places of employment.

This research is still underway as I have tried to avoid the pop culture idea of sensationalizing my story but trying to keep it pure and accurate as possible. I believe that by providing a case study, we can find ways to prevent, educate and inform others on how to stop this terrible crime. I can not tell you if life would have been different had I not been kidnapped.

What I can tell you is that once you throw that rock in to the waters of childhood there is no going back, we must live with the change in the water’s course and the ripples that follow.

To sum it up; kidnapping one’s child, and kidnapping is all it is, is the worst thing you can do to your child. If you are in a bad relationship there are outlets you can use to get help. Children are not our property in the sense of chattel. We have to think about what they need first and I have yet to have fond a parent who kidnapped their child who did not have some vindictive motive behind it.

This is why children are often used as weapons in court during a divorce. Domestic violence is horrific! The years I lived with it, I was always frightened but, they did not have the impact as the years abducted. It was not because of the domestic violence years that ended my relationship with all my family. It was the abduction years. The actions my father made that tore a part our family in ways that I cannot begin to explain in this comment box. I hope I have answered your questions.

Kindest Regards, Ken Connelly http://www.ken-connelly.com ken@ken-connelly.com

 

Speaking of Psychology, another topic, here’s a link to a long discussion of Trauma and the nature of evil.  My printout is 34 pages long, and I enclose it because it deals with vocabulary changes, over the centuries (and across some faiths/cultures) to talk about the same thing.  It dates to 1996, and is by Sandra Bloom, for an organizational conference.  The website Sanctuaryweb.com, I think it makes sense.

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

One Response

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  1. Thanks for the blog post. This blog post has taken on a life of its own I think.

    I wanted to address a couple comments:

    My father did not find a woman and then abduct. My dad met the woman he would marry during our abduction 2 years and 10 months into it. He did however let a cousin that was his age take on that roll fairly quickly along with his father.

    Religion was used as you said and further, HIS and my mother’s religious beliefs were quite extreme. My mother also shares his apocalyptic/evangelical approach in belief; I do not.

    I am not a family violence specialist and do try to stay with in my expertise. With that being said, my mother did not grow up in an abusive home and only after marrying into that relationship did she become a victim. There are better laws on the books now (thank God) but as for my mother she was never trapped in it and her parents bought her a house and car(s) to move and get away. She did often say that his physical acts of violence were maybe her punishment for her affair, later marriage (different man) and then abduction. Sad! There needs to be some sort of professional help during the abduction period to help the parent.

    I am unsure of your statement that the reason for the fight between them was an excuse but what I can say, is that the reason for the fight, was literally over me as was the norm (there were other fights for other reasons).

    All of these can and are forms of abuse and emotional neglect. Since I can only approach this as a former abducted child and subsequent category, I leave that to the professionals and hope that they look at cases like mine when they make rulings, protection and treatment.

    Always a pleasure,

    Ken Connelly

    kenconnelly

    April 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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