It is very difficult to argue with people about parental abductions, who have never experience this crime, either by being directed affected by them or witnessing other people going through the ordeal. It is even more difficult to actually hear the real victims of times of these abductions – the children themselves. There are way too many people in Poland (and Germany, and Sweden, and Switzerland…) who dismiss the severity of parental abductions. Their standard “don’t worry, your children will come back to you when they turn 18,20” is just unbelievably ignorant. This is the main reason I am still trying to change the culture of tolerance for this evident child abuse in Poland. Yes, “Left-behind” parents (don’t you love this “nice” description of victimized parents?) are hurting, and most of the time, hurting very much, but the real crime is being done to the children themselves.
A recent abduction to Poland by a mother of two girls refreshed the time I had to go through the same questions, feelings, desperation. First days, weeks, months of nightmares, when I realized that my Amelia and Daniel could never come back to their home in California. I read a lot of books, blogs, articles on the subject of parental abduction, and very closely related Parental Alliteration Syndrome. The weapon of choice, used by the parent-kidnappers to wipe the other ones from child’s life, and to excuse his/her actions in the eyes of the child. However, no matter how many books one can read, they will NEVER accurately describe the horror, which accompanies a little girl or boy, as they are being suddenly removed from their own lives and homes to be forced into a new reality: ugly, full of stress and confusion. It is very important to understand by a left-behind parent, what his little daughter(s), son(s) feel as they are being manipulated to hate “the evil”mother or father.
Browsing Youtube videos I recently stumbled on two video testimonies of adults, who were victimized by their own parents in the past.
The first story is about Rick Paris. He was abducted by his mother from Argentina to the United States. At first, he was told his father had died.
Second testimony of Ken Connelly has three parts. I encourage you to view all three clips; they are not long. Notice, how these stories have a common theme. How the kidnappers followed a common “script” to justify their actions. How little their own children matter in a “war of destruction” with the other parent. Simply sickening.
Even in the United States in 1980s parental abductions were not taken seriously, but after a while, this has luckily changed. I hope other countries, including Poland, will eventually do the same thing. It is incomprehensible, that in 21 century it is totally legal, in Poland to take a child and hide it. Treat it as a property, and not a living, breathing human being, with total permission of the law, and courts. It is incomprehensible, that after so many years since Poland signed Hague Convention on parental abductions and Convention on Child Rights, there are still judges and prosecutors in Poland, who continue to allow this crime to flourish, arguing that “our Polish children” should not be returned to their homes abroad “… to some father living in Holland, who is …Turkish!”. Disgusting!
Finally, a reminder to parents who abducted or illegally retained their children. Sometimes you may feel, that you have no other options, but to dig in deeper and deeper, invent more lies and accusations to justify your actions. I assure you, it is NEVER going to work long term, and never too late to stop.
You CAN return to the country you abducted your children from and start honest negotiations with the other parent. There are people who will understand, forgive and help you, even after you broke the law. Do what is right for your children even though very difficult for yourselves. It will be much better for everybody involved. It does not have to be that somebody has to lose.
EVERYBODY makes mistakes, but you do need to recognize and admit it to yourselves first.