Hello there guys! My name is Marc Copeland and I was a "kidnapped" child wanted by the Police and FBI from around the ages of 5-6 to 16. My mother is French and my father is American so after they had a bad breakup it turned into a fight over me and eventually into an international custody case. I'm currently writing a book about my life called From the outside looking in. Here are some links to the case: http://www.angelfire.com/rock/cribbage/marc.html https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tapatalk.com/groups/porchlightusa/viewtopic.php%3ft=2490&=1 And here is proof the case was resolved: http://www.forthelost.org/blog/2009/02/26/marc-copeland-found-safe/ Finally here is proof that this is really me : http://imgur.com/gallery/bZx1sTY If you want to follow my story and ask more questions after the ama or learn more about my book here are so social media links: https://www.facebook.com/marc.copeland.7399 https://www.instagram.com/stringenthydra/ https://www.strava.com/athletes/39680366 https://livingontherun.travel.blog/ I plan on being on for most of the day except for meal and bathroom breaks so ask away! P.S. Special thanks to Stuart Sharp for helping me make this book a reality. If any literary agents read this and are interested in my book please write to email@example.com for any business inquiries.
Hi Mark, Kidnapped child here as well. Kidnapped first by mother and then by father along with my little brother. Was hidden age 5-9.5 before I was found. Front page news across the country in 1962. Parental kidnapping laws were based on our case. The subsequent lunacy after we were returned was off the charts. The kidnapping ruined my relationship with both of my parents and for quite a long while made me a pariah with other kids and their families. Therapy later in life did help. Over the years I've found many others like us. How are you coping?
I'm doing really well. It's taken years and a very rough road. After the situation I had severe depression I hid from everyone. I went from around 175-180 to 225 pounds because I had been so scared of lack of food that I ate indiscriminately. Losing that weight was really hard. Harder was realizing I was me and not that little victim kid. I'm very sorry you had to go through a similar situation and that is what I want this book to be about not just me but hope for others like us. I own a huge amount to my wife Lily and my best friend Dustin.
Why don't you use Reddit on your bathroom breaks like the rest of us?
Serious question. At what point did you realize there was a massive problem? I grew up in a Munchausen by proxy house, and I never really understood the gravity of what happened until much later in life, probably grad school. How long did it take you to fully grasp the gravity of what happened to you?
I feel our situations may have differed somewhat. I was always free to leave from my father and return to my mother. In fact my father asked me all the time if I wished to do so. I realized the gravity of my situation at maybe 8-9. I also realized that in my opinion I had no great choices I just had to survive in the hand I was dealt if that makes sense. I don't use my phone in the bathroom because if you seen what germs grew in everyday bathrooms you wouldn't either.I guess that's a side effect of working in the laboratory.
Having experienced it, what are your thoughts on the international court systems? Being that your case was involved in two countries, do you think it was handled legally as best it could be? Also congrats on working on the book, very excited to read it!
Thanks for your kind comment! If you want to read a chapter of the upcoming book it's embedded in my wordpress that is linked on my OP post. The international court system I would say is well intended but incredibly awkward and unable to really resolve issues with much success. Part of the problem is your dealing with two completely different sets of laws that simply don't mesh. Another issue is how by default the court proceedings are incredibly lengthy and can span over years. The sad truth is if you are born to parents of two different nations and they ever divorce things can become incredibly difficult and the child is almost always the loser.
I too am a kidnapped child and my 2 younger brothers. Pawns between two selfish people. My question to you is..do you touch on the term Parental Alienation?
I don't feel much alienation towards my father but I do feel that way towards my mother. I'm very sorry you had this happen to you and I'm writing this book in large part to give hope and courage to others in our position that you can have a normal life eventually. For many years this didn't seem possible to me and I struggled with anxiety and depression.
What are your thoughts about you father? Do you hate him for what he did? Would you be able to forgive him some day ?
I love my father. I feel as an adult he did what he had to do in order to give me the best life possible. We talk on a weekly basis. To explain the situation in very simple terms although I feel this oversimplifies it my mother kidnapped me first taking me from my father's legal custody to France her home county. My father then kidnapped me back from France. At this point my father had legal custody in America and my mother had legal custody in France. After a long court battle my father feared my mother would get legal alone visitation rights (what she used to illegally take me to France in the first place) and decided to go on the run with me.
What do you think would have been the best setup for you and your family after the divorce? You said in another answer that you were really lonely and isolated after you and your father went on the run in the US.
If my mother would have agreed to it 6 months in France and 6 months in the USA would have been the ideal situation. I realize for school proposes this may have been impractical so the best practical answer would have probably been living with my father the school year and spending the summers with my mother. The real issue with any of these plans is the trust between my parents had of course been shattered and the courts couldn't enforce what would have avoided an incredibly unfortunate situation.
Whats the relationship like with your mother?
I don't speak much to my mother anymore. She received funds to "search" for me during my childhood and after the situation ended I never felt much warmth or maternal desire. The sad truth is at some point during the situation I feel she decided it was best the way things had gone as she has two other children now and is remarried. Although I never learned the exact amounts she received as donations I feel this played a strong part in her unwillingness to bargain or end the situation before I was 16.
I think you are very brave about the whole situation. Looking forward to getting your book! My question is what would you do differently, if anything at all, if you had the chance to go back and change something? How would you mediate such cases in future?
Thanks, I won't lie my heart really still beats fast and as I'm typing this my hands are shaking. At a certain point in my life I just realized I had suffered from panic and depression long enough and I wasn't going to let it control me anymore. At my worst I was considering suicide daily, had panic attacks so bad that I thought I was going to die of a heart attack weekly, and was with a partner that blamed me when she cheated and called me a loser and a freak. That was me guys.I totally own that and that gives me the drive each day to never let myself be deluded into thinking I'm worthless again.
Were you and your father on the lam in the US? If so, and he had legal custody, why run and hide?
(Sorry if previously answered, I did a cursory review of your first AMA and couldn't find it)
Basically my father's lawyer told him that soon although he would retain custody of me my mother was going to receive unrestricted visitation. This is what she used to abduct me to France against court orders in the first place. Fearing she would take me to France via plane (this was pre 9/11) My father took me and we fled to Mexico initially.
How old are you now and what’s life like?
I'm 27 going on 28 in February. I work as a medical laboratory technician traveling from state to state to earn my living. I'm married to an amazing woman now and focus on my health, self improvement and eventually owning a home ( hopefully in Massachusetts) in the next couple of years.
Whats it like to be the kid on the side of the milk carton?
Very isolating and lonely. Very few people know what's it's like to be alone with only one other person for weeks or months. I was homeschooled from grade 1 to my GED. I had no friends other then my 2 dogs. It was very, very hard.
Now that you are older and grew up in both the States and France, which country do you identify with more? Pros and Cons of either?
Wow what a great question. My opinion is that although staying in the USA was right for me because of my father being a better parent then my mother IMO, France is probably the better and saner country. Better healthcare, better and free education, better gun control so you don't need to be scared of going to the store each day. Oh I forgot and no Donald playing king so yes in my opinion France and most of Europe honestly>>>>>America currently although I do hope that America can somehow rebuild in the future. P.s. best county to live in currently I believe to be Finland or Norway.
Did you know there’s a law and order SUV loosely based on your situation? I say loosely because they added a lot of extra drama but the premise of a custody battle between an American man and French woman over their son is the premise for the episode
I heard about this but was never told explicitly where they drew inspiration from. I also never really watch that show so I have never seen the episode personally.
Do you remember anything about the court proceedings (assume you weren’t there) or the attorneys involved? Did your case set any legal precedent in the states?
I don't remember much in terms of court room procedures as your not really involved at 4-5 years old. My case did indeed set legal precedent not only nationally but international along with a few other cases but I'll leave that for the lawyers of reddit to explain. If your interested in it the reason I am writing this book is on the encouragement of people after I first did a spur of the moment ama around 4 months ago. The legal side is explained there in detail along with the relevant case law.
Were there any Hobbies you enjoyed while you were kidnapped that stuck with you to today?
Reading is number 1 by far. I love fantasy and sci-fi. Playing video games is second. I'm an OG pokemon kid and yes Pokemon Yellow is still the best!
Why did the French authorities allow this to happen? What legal context protected your mother?
Also I'm so glad you made it out of this and I can't wait to read the book!
I think the French authorities were good people like most and simply seen the situation from a superficial prospective that is totally understandable. From their eyes they needed to protect a mother's rights and the rights of their own citizen over a foreigner. Sadly things are always much more complicated then that in reality.
Hi Marc, I haven't heard about your case until now so forgive my ignorance.
How was this resolved? When were you no longer "on the run?" How is your father now? Was he every in trouble criminally?
Do you have any relationship with your mother?
Thanks and good luck on the book.
The case was resolved when I was around 16 years old due to a combination of the Jackson county sheriff's department and the federal FBI marshal assigned to our case. My father was very lucky and faced no jail time and all charges were dropped. In very basic terms nearly everyone on the criminal justice side had not too positive words to say regarding my mother and her motives and therefore they teamed up to drop the charges and return me to a "normal" life.
Did you find cathartic release and clarity from putting your story into words? If so, what did it help to resolve for you?
Congratulations on your book, that is amazing. Being able to share your story with others is something I am not sure I could do and requires courage and emotional strength that I admire greatly.
Also, an Angelfire webpage. Holy Flashback batman.
I find each chapter very, very hard to do. Remembering my two lost animals and the hunger and starvation still makes me feel clammy. I'm hoping this book will make a difference in just one life and bring meaning to what I went through.
Do you still like soccer?
What did you and your dad do while you were with him? Were you scared at any point?
I sadly don't follow soccer much although I do still run and recently completed my first half marathon. I trained daily while I was in Mexico on a team and realized I just wasn't that talented. I was scared especially as I got older mostly of my dad going to prison for many years which was my biggest fear.
What are your memories from the times that you were taken by your mom and then by your dad? Were you scared or were they able to convince you that everything was normal? When did you realize that you were kidnapped?
I realized instantly by my father. When my mother took me I was still very young and didn't fully understand the situation or it's gravity.
With everything that happened to you, do you want kids?
I do but only with a stable house and financial security. I feel having kids too young was one of my parents biggest mistakes and one I definitely payed for. I also intend to only have one child or at max 2. We are moving into the robotic age and having children senselessly doesn't make sense to me. It's a high honor and privilege not a right or something you just do.
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to share your story, I read that you’re writing about a book about your experience, what do you think you would be doing now if you had had a conventional/unexciting childhood? Cheers!
I think I would probably have a higher education then I currently do( graduated with my A.A.S. with a 3.92 GPA). My real love and passion is commentary, I would love to do starcraft or LOL commentary as I'm fascinated by the games and have played for years. I've also really big into watching YouTube so having a channel and community there would be amazing. Basically I feel I do well at my job and I'm very lucky to able to help people but like most of you I work for each paycheck and never got the opportunity to do what I desired to most. I'm also a big fan of Joe Rogan and MMA since I did martial arts of many years as a teen.
Through it all, what was the hardest part for you?
Being alone by far. No one has faced their worse demons until they have been isolated from society for months.There is a reason some view solitary confinement as torture and I would agree that it is.
How is your French? Do you spend anytime in France at all or have a feeling of connection to that country?
I am ashamed to admit languages are my hardest subject by far. Despite living in Mexico, France, and visiting China extensively English is the only language I know to any real extent.
Was there any point where you were like "This is it Im going to die"?
No I never really felt that way during the situation. However for many years after while I was trying to integrate into normal society I did feel that way often.
I'm my childhood I attended 8 different schools as I lived in 5 different cities. I was shifted about a lot but was never involved with the courts or child services. Now that you're older and it's your choice where you live do you want to stay in one place and do you have a place you call home and where is that?
Yes if I stay in America I would perfer to live in Massachusetts. The high standards of life, great education system, cool people, strong unions and amazing climate make it ideal in my opinion. Massachusetts and California are the two best U.S. states in my opinion.
Was anyone else just surprised to see an Angelfire link?
Everyone seems to say that. I guess like AOL dial up and Digimon it's a real blast from the past.
How do you feel about the media’s portrayal of the case both during the “kidnapping” and afterwards?
Most of the time they aim to spin the case for views while not caring about the facts. I listen to podcasts or look online I don't watch the news media.
My daughter was moved thousands of miles away from me against both her and my will. I am working on appealing the case but in my state a father being little more than a babysitter is a foreign concept.
My question to you is what were some of your favorite memories of your distant parent when you couldnt see them? What were some of the creative ways that they kept themselves relevant in your life?
I feel really sorry for you and your situation. I wish I could say something more encouraging. You have to find some way to be in her life or just hope she will reconnect after 18. As much as I loved my father when I was with my mother I thought of him fairly little. As kids we are so caught up in the moment we don't think the same way as adults for good and bad. I did pray to be with my father again( I'm not religious anymore) but that is my one really strong memory.
How did you meet your wife, and has your experience with your situation altered your relationship with her in any way?
Met my wife visiting China. She is a school teacher so she has excellent English. I don't think it effects our relationship I don't believe in isolationism or saying because my mother did A my wife might do B. Eventually you have to drop the baggage or be ground into the earth under the weight.
I was kidnapped for three years at a very young age. Given a 'new' mother, and a little brother- little brother was kidnapped as well.
Do you keep your interesting history quiet?
For the most part yes. Not because I'm ashamed but because I fear people would jump to conclusions or think I'm using a serious issue as an attention getter.
As a in an international marriage with a baby on the way, this situation is my worst nightmare. We have seen cases between our two countries that are not resolved at this moment.
As both had legal custody in their respective countries, what would have been your solution for this situation? I mean, would you have wanted to live in both countries for x years? Would you have wanted to not seen one of the two parents? I'm trying to understand what would be the right choice if this ever happens between me and my wife.
Sincerely hope it doesn't ever happen. My solution would have been either the school year in one country and summer break in the other or ideally a 6-6 month split. The problem is because this is incredibly difficult to enforce most of the time the simplest solution wins out which is basically one parent has custody and the other rarely if ever sees the child.
How did your father make a living while on the run?
Odd jobs, farm hand and VW bug car restoration.
What was all of the attention like?
At the end there wasn't really any attention . My story never got any news attention as I think I was too old when I returned. It really did end with total and somewhat anticlimactic silence to be honest looking back now.
Are you a dual citizen?
Yes I am as I was born in France although I haven't filed my paperwork as of yet however given how things are currently in America I am considering it heavily.
Do you work now? Do people recognize you a lot?
No one has ever recognized me in all these years surprisingly. I want missing as a little kid and didn't garner much news on my return. I was so nervous and shy at first it took me years to tell anyone.
Hello! I've read a few of your replies here stating that your mother was unattentive to you in your early years. What do you think the reason was that she took you back to France with her in the first place? Love? Spite? Or maybe desperation?
Thanks and good luck with the completion of your book!
Trying to keep up appearances when her friends asked where I was and my maternal grandparents putting pressure on her to get me back were her main motivations I feel. Also I think she felt confused as to what she truly wanted at this time as well.
Serious question first: I'm seeing a couple posts in here from people saying that they were kidnapped as well as kids. I suppose this is more common than I would have thought. Obviously the whole thing ended up being very stressful on you, so what advice do you have for kids in similar situations?
Fun question next: Do you think it is that stress of the custody dispute that drove you to such extreme depths of insanity that you actually enjoy running? :p
My advice to them would be to never let others opinion of you become your reality. You road is damn hard and I'm not going to bullshit you it won't be easy. Focus on your social skills first and take public speaking. Know you are worth something and don't let anyone tell you different. Take marital arts it will help focus your mind. Fun question: maybe, it's a crazy hobby but it helps keep my weight down and see new places!
Did you do an AMA before ?
Yes I did I'm impromptu one this March. The huge response led to me writing this book in fact.
In one of the comments you said you were kidnapped back by your father from france, but I can't find anywhere on the links that you were kidnapped by your mother, were you? Also why did your father kidnap you?
Yes I was my mother took me first during an unsupervised visitation while my father had custody of me in North Carolina. My father kidnapped me back from france to try to get me to the USA where he felt at the time the justice system would be able to resolve the issue. Finally I was kidnapped a third time by my father when my mother was going to get unsupervised visitation again a year or two later.
Hi Marc! First, congratulations on your book, I cant wait to see it published. My question is, did your father ever face any legal consequences from this situation? What was the fallout after you were found?
He was extremely lucky he didn't go to jail. It still effected his life heavily just think about trying to start again at near 40 with a 10 year gap in job history and on some background checks they can still see the charges even if you weren't convicted.
My ex had kidnapped my son for a time, continues to abuse him now...I can't get the help I need to keep him safe...... What can I do to better help him and be there for him? How can I make his life better when he lives in fear of his own father?
If you can give advice for this... it would be really wonderful
Damn I really feel bad about this. On one hand I have to warn you we were extremely lucky and I don't advise what my father did at all. In modern times you would be caught quickly in my opinion. However if your ex is abusing your son you have to do anything you can to get him out of her care even if that means foster care. Try to expose her in anyway you know how. I'm so sorry I can't help more I don't know how.
Hey, Marc, So sorry you went through such hell! You sound like a well rounded, happy individual now though.. May I ask: For you, what sort of long term issues have you had to deal with since the resolution of your case? Ex. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, ect.. I ask because my Mother kidnapped my two oldest children. They were both under 3yrs and I didn't find them until they were teens. They're both in their mid-twenties now. However, building a relationship with both ( oldest is Autistic) is an UPHILL battle! Perhaps you could offer some advice to an ESTRANGED parent?? Thank you deeply for sharing your ordeal with us!! That took guts!! I wish you success in all you do!!
A Related Stranger
I suffered from PTSD, severe anxiety, and depression. Like most I hid how I was feeling because I felt ashamed and didn't know how to fix myself. My advice is never stop trying. Over time your children will begin to see you love them if you constantly are there.It may take them years or decades to recover that is their own path and nothing can shorten it. I truly believe if you constantly show your love over time your children will realize you did not want this and you can begin to have a relationship with them. Also try your best to talk to them about what they went through and tell them you are ready to listen when they are ready to talk.
From the outside looking in
Surely From the inside looking out would be more apt ?
Interesting I will keep that in mind. I am currently toying with several titles which include; 1. A Time Apart: a story of an international custody battle. 2. Caught in the Crossfire: my story as a kidnapped child.
From the Outside Looking In: My life as a kidnapped child
Solitude: my story as a victim of a international custody battle.
How do you think it impacted your relationships with other people as a adult? Did it make it hard to have long term friendships?
I noticed in some responses with others where it almost seems your trying to justify what happened, you have nothing to justify... full stop. This is your story... your life. YOU lived it and you owe NO ONE an explanation on your inner feelings. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks. I just like to share with everyone and I think that often the people that lash out are the ones hurting the most. I want to be the guy that responses to everyone regardless of what they say. It did effect my ability to make friendships at first. I found it hard to trust people. But the most impactful thing I did was taking a public speaking class in college. Social skills are a real thing and can be built like any skill.
I asked you this question during your previous ama and someone at Riot games responded. Did anything come of it?
The guy replied back once or twice then never contacted me again sadly. I won't lie I did get my hopes up and that hurt a bit. Nothing ever came of it.
Favorite video game? And one place you want to travel in the world
Split between halo 3/reach/starcraft 2. I want to travel everywhere I'm currently in quito, Ecuador right now and am seriously passionate about traveling.
Angelfire.com? What year is this?!?
It's definitely a blast to the past somehow that site is still indexed to this day.
Do you find writing about your experiences therapeutic?
Also, thank you so much for being so open about what happened to you; I’m sure that you will help many people as you hope to.
I find it pretty hard. It's like working out. At first it sucks.Then you begin to realize you feel better from doing it but it still is never easy your willpower just gets better.
What is the biggest difference you see between yourself and others? What are some of the biggest after effects from an experience such as yours (any triggers)?
Thanks for speaking out about your experiences, it really sheds a light in the darkness
I think the biggest difference I seen at first was my lack of social conditioning both for good and for bad. So many Americans simply accept things as fact because that's how they were raised or because of public schooling. I also feel I have more of an intrinsic vs extrinsic drive compared to most people and the time I spent alone.
How is someone kidnapped by their own father?
Try to ask a lawyer. Basically if you don't have custody of a child you can kidnapped them even if they are your own child.
Has this unfortunate major event in your life had any effect on your romantic relationships? Or even your ability to get into one? How have your partners responded when they found out?
My partners didn't believe it at first but then after I showed then proof they were ok with it. No one realized until I told them so it really didn't effect the relationship in a direct way. However during my first relationship my self esteem was very low which lead to many different problems.
I’m a US father that was falsely accused of rape multiple times by my ex wife who won sole custody of my children despite having been shown to be an extreme manipulative and often flat out luring to police. My children are permenantly in Brazil and I gave up visitation rights just to get away from hers. As a father, I have placed nearly 80 k in educational benefits and accounts over the years that gonsolely to my children but as a child that went through this yourself, is there something I could do that, in your mind, would make it easier for my children to get to know me once they are 18? I honestly have ptsd and was fully retired early because I had a breakdown that led to a seven month self hospitalization prior to my retirement. Basically, I locked myself away in a hospital until the abuse from the ex wife and her lawyers stopped. I go to therapy often and they are always on my mind. Now I’m trying taking up software programming and writing programs to make foster parents, social workers, and a local school system to have better processes and abilities to communicate safely to foster coparenting. I am by no means a saint, but dear god I miss my children. What did you need to hear from your father to let things be better between you to?
I would write your kids every birthday and Christmas as well as be in their life via skype or calls if you can. You will definitely face an uphill fight post 18. Explain why you gave up your rights but expect them to be mad and not trust you at first. Never, ever give up if you love them. I wish you the best.
You think the word kidnapped is the appropriate word for this situation being with a loved one?
This is why I put kidnapped in quotations. Technically that is what happened but I didn't want to say my situation was the same as being abducted by a non-parental entity.
Were you know you were in hiding as a kid? Did you have to conceal your identity?
Yes I did. I used a fake name the whole time and understood we were hiding.
What's your view on which parent people seem to give the benefit of the doubt to in situations like these? Traditionally, I think people assume the mother knows how to care for the child better, but that's not always the case and I think things are changing a bit. So, did people tend to assume your mother should have primary rights to care?
I agree with your assessment. The mother right to the child has been a strong undertone in America for as long as I was alive and much longer. In some societies we can see this is very different for example my father kidnapped me back from France via Morocco. Most of the time Muslim nations will favor the father's rights. Sadly this is no better just biased and unfair to the mother instead of to the father. In my situation I feel my mother had s strong advantage when it came to the early days of the custody fight. This diminished over time as people became aware that finding me might not have been her main motivation.
You figure this is the best way to monetize this, how about a movie, or documentary?
Although monetization is not my main goal I would be open to both of those given the chance.
You did this exact AMA in March with the same title and you just copy/pasted the entire text from that one. That one received plenty of attention and responses. Why again now?
I did do an AMA in march. I'm not copying answers just trying to explain more what happened. In that AMA people requested me to write a book about my experiences which I'm currently doing. Also there was a lot of questions I felt uncomfortable at the time answering like where we were at various points. This AMA is to clear that up and answer more people's questions. I'm not trying to farm points I'm trying to help people in a situation that is soul crushing and has very few resources. My goal is to help others overcome what I went through without the many painful lessons I had to learn first hand.
How did growing up in your situation effect your relationship with women?
I feel I had a good relationship with women. My self esteem was definitively low but that had more to do with my social awkwardness and lack of social skills in general. My first girlfriend was around the age of 20 which is late but given the situation I think fairly normal. I never blamed women or felt any differently about them if that makes sense.
Marc. You clever bastard. This is your big PR move isnt it?
I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was dirt poor. Although it's not my primary motivation I won't lie that providing for my wife and bettering my life isn't part of the reason I'm doing this.
Good on you for writing a book about your experience. I bet it's tough, but it'll be worth it. What's something you think parents involved in a custody case should know if they suspect that their ex is up to no good?
If the child had already been born? LAWYER UP. Sadly the real solution is to give your marriage time before having a child which lessens the chances this will ever happen. Divorce are bad. Divorce with kids involved are a whole different level.
Did you have any other siblings who were involved?
I have two half- siblings but no direct siblings no.
I have to be honest. I am in social work and I have done all kinds of jobs. I don’t think I have ever met anyone with this spirit/attitude. It makes so so much sense though. I think it’s human nature to want our kid to be taken care of equally and if the dad has Peter Pan syndrome a court order can make them grow up pretty fast.
But I have seen so many shitty heartbreaking things too. Just last night o was on Facebook and I don’t know if it’s a full moon or something but many of the groups I am in were sharing screenshots of texts between them and their “baby daddy/sperm donor” (their words) where they were just being assholes and not helping at all. These women aren’t in the same position as you or me. They have small children and little to no education. They live in poverty so maybe that income is paramount for their survival. I am just guessing here. But, it’s so sad to see the mental health damage those toxic relationships cause.
My hubby and I had a disagreement 3 years ago and my daughter still remembers. We were just super passionate but not yelling and she is just used to us getting along all the time. I had to tell it that it’s okay that we disagree about something. We were talking about it in the bedroom with the door shut. Thinking she was playing games on her iPad. She had hidden under the bed. She was 5.
I just love the empowerment that comes with this but I also know it’s not easy.
May I ask are his family/parents relatives okay people? Any chance of reparation there one day? But, I also know if you give them access there is a chance he could get access. It’s difficult.
I just wanted you to know that I see you. You are doing an amazing job. You are a great mother.
But get ready one day I am sure for that gut wrenching talk where he may ask/beg to meet his dad.
Maybe even consider/encourage him into therapy. It’s tough to grow up without the other parent.
When it’s possible maybe talk to his teachers/caregivers and give them the heads up to use more inclusive language like “parent or adult etc... so we doesn’t get hammered all the time being reminded that he is different because only has one parent. ❤️
Are you replying to someone else? I am confused by your post.
So, is the term “kidnapped” really the right word?
That's why I put the word in parentheses. Legally to the best of my knowledge it is the correct word yes but again I do totally see how others would view it differently and I don't want to take away from those abductions by non-parents.
What have you decided to do ahead in your life 'cause you couldn't receive proper education?
I am trying to become financially secure enough so that I can eventually go back to school and own my own home. It is very difficult like I'm sure it is for most of us here on reddit as average people with average wages.
are you related by any chance to adam copeland aka edge from wwe?
Not to my knowledge but truly who knows I might be distantly.
Was this not in the news?
It really never made much news. I think this was primarily because I came back as a late teen and not as a child. Therefore it was less appealing to them as they figured it would sell less papers or garner less views.I never once was approached by the media.
Were you the basis of a Law and Order SVU episode?
Apparently yes although I was never notified or consulted and received nothing from it but yes people have told me that I was.
Do you hate your mother?
No I don't. She was young and made mistakes. I can't say I feel love for her but I've forgiven her and wish her no ill will.
Has being a sort of celebrity ever done you any good? Or just make you sad and alienated?
I was never a celebrity at all. I never even got interviewed by the media like that guy who said hide your kids, hide your mom etc.
Which parent "kidnapped" you?
In the simplest terms both. My mother once my father twice.
Hello there! When it came to the legal system and being "stuck" in international court looking back have you ever felt like things could have been handled differently and in a better And also seeing as you were homeschooled did it impact social skills(anxiety,fear of crowds etc...)? And did you ever have a chance/choice of studying at a regular school?
I never had the chance to go to conventional school from grade one to graduation. Most of your other questions have been answered in other comments. I feel home schooling was good for the most part but yes it did effect my social skills negatively.
Man, parents can be tough. Having them hate each other and fight each other over you is the worst. Do you hold any resentment?
And dude, I'm sorry if this comes off shitty, I swear it's with good intentions, but look into getting your eyebrows waxed. You've got some thick ones like mine and they could use shaping. I know it sounds weird, but my ex gf got me into it and I can't begin to count the random people (women and men) who have complimented them.
Thanks for the support. I fully realize about my eyebrows I just think anyone who judges me based on that is someone I am better off not knowing and so it's actually intentional.
Don't you think everything interesting that could possibly go into your book is already in news articles and this reddit thread? Custody battles aren't exactly rare, and no one even died in yours.
I don't really feel that way sorry. I think if you look at my wordpress and see how complicated even one part of my story was you'll see there is plenty to discuss. It's because custody battles and kidnapping are not as rare as people think that I feel my book could be helpful for many people.
Why are you doing thing again? You did it 5 months ago
At that time I was not writing a book and I was overwhelmed and couldn't answer everyone's questions.
Who's your ghost writer? You are clearly terrible at writing.
Sorry that your parents suck
I'm working with a man named Stuart Sharp for editing and grammar. I agree English and other languages have never been my best subject and I hope it hasn't spoiled your enjoyment of this thread.
I suggest you read the above comment or look into the links above but in simple terms I was actually kidnapped by both of my birth parents. This happened because one had legal rights in France while the other had legal rights in the USA. When my father took me from around 6-16 we lived on the run from the law which is what my book is about.
Here's a silly question. Your mom's Angelfire page says that your dad might have a trace of a French accent or pretend to be French.
Does you dad speak French? If so, did you ever speak it with him while in Mexico/the U.S.?
Yes my father does speak French. I didn't speak it with him in Mexico but he does speak fluent French.
Respectfully, I think you might want to change the name of your book? If you want more people to see it, that is. I feel like it would get buried under other good books by the same name.
I am open to suggestions what do you feel would be an engaging name?
Why are all the top comments people saying they are kidnapped?
It's not as rare as people believe. Most that have been kidnapped simply don't talk about it because they want to be treated normally and not as "that kidnapped kid" by others.
am i having deja vu or have i seen a story crazily similar to this one before?
There are sadly more stories similar to mine then people wish to believe.
Wait.. angelfire is still around?
I think it's still indexed on the internet but I'm not sure it's still an active site.
How did the initial release go down, was there a police raid or did you just run away or were you let go?
What release? I'm not sure I understand the question.
Do you think you will marry and have kids?
I am already married to a wonderful woman and yes eventually we may have a child.
Hi Mark! Do you ever think/feel like your abduction was more of a this parent wants to 'win' situation more than it was for your safety and well being?
Looking forward to your book too!
There was probably some of that at play yes.
did your dad kidnap you from your mom in france? im not sure if i understand ur past situation. did you get taken by a stranger? could you please ellaborate on the situation. Thanks!
Yes my father took me back after my mother took me from his custody during a unsupervised visitation during a weekend in North Carolina. So to simply my mother took me first, then my father, then my father ran away with me upon learning my mother would get unsupervised visitation again. I hope this clears things up somewhat.
Family courts are heavily biased towards mothers, who receive full custody 70%-80% of the time depending on the jurisdiction. Do you think this is a major driver behind custody kidnapping cases like yours? Does your experience make you more or less suportive towards "father's rights" organizations?
I support equal rights not specifically father's rights. I agree at the moment there is a large bias towards awarding mothers custody in the USA and I'm firmly against that. The child's needs must come first and both parents must be considered equally.
Is there still enough time to change the book title?
Absolutely, it is just a working title currently. The book is around 33 to 45 percent complete.
What do you think about when you read that angelfire post about your happy life with your mom in France?
Looking forward to the book.
I think it was a slanted article basically designed to create sympathy for my mother and paint her as the victim in the situation.
Hey man! Just briefly went through your instagram. Are you from Rhode Island? Congrats on getting married!
Not from there but got to visit Newport, RI for around 3 weeks last year. Truly beautiful and amazing town!
I'm truly sorry this happened to you. It's obvious to me your still in a lot of pain and I wish you the very best in your life. Know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for the best.
How did this situation affect your current abilities to develop romantic relationships? You’ve mentioned you don’t have many friends and since you were on the run with your father, I feel it may be difficult for you to really know how to develop romantic relationships or even friendships
See the answer directly below your post.
Holy shit, I'm an American and my wife is French. We were having hard times and she took my 2 yr old back to France and blocked me after telling me she was just going to visit family. I was devastated and didn't know what to do. How did your mom hide you out, what steps would you reccomend for your father trying to find you? This breaks my heart
My mother never had to hide me because she had custody in France. I'm so so sorry this happened to you.I'm not sure if in today's world you have legal recourses but I would start there. I won't lie the road ahead of you is very difficult and you need to act as soon as you can before your child grows up without you. Go to a lawyer right now do not try to negotiate with your wife she is probably persuading the courts to award her custody there without your knowledge currently. Act now and get a lawyer.
It's funny you aren't the landmark case of this issue. I rented a room in my apartment to the girl who was the Landmark case to this situation, Ariel Prebon or something like that. Do you find you have relationship issues too?
If you look at my last AMA the truth is of course complicated in that several cases made the legal precedent. I'm no lawyer I'm just trying to show the case as honestly as possible. I don't feel I have relationship issues nowadays no.
How do you feel about American family courts being incredibly biased against fathers? Every day thousands of fathers are forcibly removed from their children’s lives just because they are the father. 90% of mothers are awarded custody of the children despite fathers begging and pleading for more time with their children. My child and I are victims of the family courts. 6 years and I’m still fighting to be an equal parent
Sad but so true. Another American injustice.
I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. I’m just curious and clearly a little uneducated. why it’s referred to as “kidnapping” if it was a parent?
It really depends on how you classify it: "Kidnapping of children is usually by one parent against the wishes of a parent or guardian. Kidnapping of adults is often for ransom or to force someone to withdraw money from an ATM, but may also be for the purpose of sexual assault." As you see from the wikipedia actually the most common type of kidnapping is by one of the parents.
Do you have a literary agent for your book yet? If not, I know a really good one who may be interested...
do you have a wiki page? you didnt link it in your op. if not can you create one?
I do not sorry. I'm unsure exactly how to create one?
Did your mother ever reach out to you once you were found?
Yes she did. I just felt there was no warmth there and I never felt any sort of real love from her just blame games and dwelling on the past.