The fear of kidnapping - my story.
I wasn't even sure what to title this blog because I was not sure of what I actually want to say.
It is a story of what happened to me, sure. But it is also about society and my fears for my own children...
Over the weekend a few hundred meters away from our house a man attempted to get a 6 year old boy into his black ute.
He failed in his attempt but it has left everyone shocked and confused.
This morning there were police at the school, I have no idea if these things are connected but it made me think back to my own story...
I was much older, about 16 when a man of about 40 or 50 started watching me, I had no idea he was watching me.
But he would watch me as I cleaned the toilets of my parents campground. He would watch me as I changed the linen and mopped the floor of the cabins.
Only once did he engage in conversation, and it was a conversation that left me confused and scared.
He stopped me as I was walking to my house back from school and he told me a lot of crap, mostly gibberish that made no sense, but there was one comment that that stood out as I made an excuse to leave after my polite patience had run out... that he had lined up children against a wall and shot them dead.
Why would he say that?
Of course I just brushed it off as a crazy dude saying shit, right?
I figured he was probably drunk or something.
But a few weeks later he tried to take me from my school...
The weird thing was that I had no idea what was happening. I just got called into the principals office and was told that a man had come to try and take me, that he was looking for me and that police took him away.
The school was amazing.
It later came out that he was also writing to me, that he wrote pages and pages of ramblings about us being together and a woman called Debbie, and how he had HIV and was in the french foreign legion.
My parents tried to get a restraining order on him, but until he actually made a direct threat, actually tried to hurt or kill me or take me away, they could do nothing.
After the attempted kidnapping they could get a restraining order... but only around the school grounds... not around me.... it was ridiculous!
In the end he was arrested and taken to a mental facility finally.
What happened to me scared me a little at the time, but ultimately I just went about my day as for the most part I was protected from what really went on.
What scares me now is knowing that there are people out there just like this, and still, there is nothing we can do.
It also saddens me that my parents had to go through that.
We have cameras on our house, the paranoia is real on a number of levels. Our house was also broken into while we were still asleep in it... but I might keep that for another post.
I often make light of my catastrophising about my fear of tsunamis and lion attacks, but this fear is very real, it comes from experience and from events that occuring just down the road from me.
Its my worst nightmare.
It freaks me out, but I have put some excerpts from one of his letters below (I don't really like showing people as it weirds me out that there are people out there with absolutely no grip on reality just kicking about in our community).
I have not put his name in either, I dont want anyone to find him and tell him where I am maybe? I don't know.
I also just have to say that I honestly have no idea what he is talking about in either of these excerpts.
I think most parents have a fear of kidnapping or of another adult hurting their child.
I grew up in a community that was just like any other community and bad things still happened... Our neighbour was beaten to death, my friends father was killed by a drunk driver, our little community was placed on lockdown after a man murdered my friends father, gangs drugs... you know, all that stuff happened.
But it was still a sleepy quiet town.
Now we are in the city, where the population is huge, where you can remain anonymous to your neighbours... where things can happen.
It is an absolute legitimate fear... kidnapping.
I messaged the mother of the boy who just a few hundred meters away was nearly taken.
Her son is totally chill about it, but she is shaken and angry.
I feel for her.
I hope she is Ok.