Almost Abducted: My Story

Woman abducted by car

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Courageous is not the first adjective I’d use to describe myself. I don’t open up easily, especially when it comes to traumatic events in my life. But what blogging has taught me, is that writing can be cathartic. It can free us of the fear we hold onto. So I write. Mostly for me and my mental health. I don’t always share the posts. I have over 20 drafts that will probably never be published. But there are some subjects that are important enough to share, so that other people don’t make the same mistakes I do.

This particular situation has taken me almost twenty five years to talk about. Very, very few people, family or friends, have heard this story. I think it was something that I tucked away because I was ashamed of myself and afraid of what might have been. Let me start by saying, I knew better. I was raised with common sense and knew the dangers of the world. So the decisions I made on this particular night weren’t something I was proud of, let alone, wanted to share with people… until now.

I was 19 at the time, it was the mid 90’s. I had gone from full-time college student to showing up at school very occasionally and hanging out with all the wrong people. At one point, I was basically homeless, bouncing around from friend’s house to friend’s house, trying to find a permanent place to live. I was 350 miles from home and could have easily driven back, but at 19, my pride stood in the way of my better judgement. Or maybe it was that I had finally found this alternate world of people that weren’t anything like me and it excited me.

I had met a guy (not a good one, by any means), but he seemed to care about me and back then, that was enough for me to look past all of his faults. He was in a relationship with the mother of his children and was in and out of jail pretty regularly. He had a temper and was pretty well known in that area for the illegal things he did. I guess I considered him my “boyfriend”, although that was never official. He kept promising me that he was going to get us a place, but I don’t think it was ever really the plan. In the meantime, he dropped me off at his Mom’s “house” and asked me to stay with her, her husband and their two kids.

I put house in quotations because it was anything but. It was a two room, run-down building with walls and a roof. One room contained a table with their food and the other room was big enough only for a bed, which all five of us slept on, together. There were two separate structures in the back, one with a make-shift shower and the other with a toilet. While it was nothing fancy, at that time, I was just grateful to have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in, even if there were 4 other strangers right beside me.

I had a car of my own, but on this particular night, my boyfriend had borrowed it because he said his car was low on oil. After two days at his Mom’s house, I knew I had to look for a better option, so I grabbed the keys to his car and drove toward my friend’s house. It wasn’t even a couple of miles later that his car started to make noises. I tried to keep going, but it completely broke down in the worst possible area. There were no street lights, no homes, no gas stations. It was just a dark, two-lane street with trees. It was not safe for anyone to be walking, let alone a 19 year old girl.

I tried to push the car to the side of the road but it wouldn’t budge. When I saw headlights coming toward me, I was so relieved. When the driver saw what I was trying to do, he pulled over and jumped out to help. At that moment, I was so thankful. He pushed the car easily, to the side of the road, out of sight and offered to give me a ride home.

I never even gave it a second thought.

Every lesson I was taught about strangers and hitchhiking went out the window. I jumped into his car like he was my buddy and told him where to drop me off (at the nearest gas station which was within walking distance of the place I was staying).  It was about a minute into that car ride that I realized I hadn’t even looked at his face. I couldn’t look at his face. I didn’t know what kind of car I was in or what color it was. I didn’t ask his name.

I panicked. I started telling him about my boyfriend and how that was his car and he had just gotten out of prison. In my mind, at that moment, what I said was going to scare him into not doing anything to me because I had a big, bad boyfriend. Stupid. He told me that he was new to the area and didn’t know anyone but was glad to have been there at the right time to help me. I felt him looking at me a couple of times. And not just looking at me like someone would do when they are having a conversation with you, but looking at me in a way that completely freaked me out. I still couldn’t look at him directly. I was too scared.

That car ride felt like an eternity. Thinking back on it now, it was probably only about a mile and a half. Maybe he was driving extra slowly or maybe I was realizing what a huge mistake I was making and time slowed down. He told me that before he could drop me off at the gas station, he had to stop at his house first. It was the ultimate red flag. I remember speaking really quickly and telling him that I was in a hurry to get back because my boyfriend was waiting and if he wanted to just drop me off there, I would walk the rest of the way. But he didn’t stop. He gave me another excuse and just kept driving.

He drove past the gas station that he was supposed to drop me off at and although I reminded him a number of times that it was where I wanted to be dropped off, he kept going. He started rambling about getting his wallet first so he could get gas when he dropped me off. I tuned him out after that because I was trying to figure out how to jump out of a moving vehicle without getting hurt. My heart was racing so fast, I could hear it. I don’t know what his intentions were, but I knew if I didn’t get out of that car, something very bad was going to happen to me.

There was a flashing red light, four way stop, about 1/4 of a mile past the gas station. I watched it. I waited. As soon as he came to a stop, I unlocked the door, jumped out and ran. I’m not sure I ever ran that fast before. I was wearing flip flops and I could feel them rubbing and tearing my skin as I ran, but I kept going. I didn’t look back. I knew if I could just make it to the gas station, I would be fine.

There was a line of pay phones at the edge of the gas station parking lot. I grabbed the first one I saw and pretended to dial. I had no money. Unless I was calling collect, I couldn’t actually make a phone call. And no one within driving distance was going to accept the charges. I considered calling the police, but I didn’t think he followed me. I also had no description of the man or his car, so what was I going to tell them?

Instead, I just stood there, with the phone to my ear, listening to the dial tone. I was in shock. I was sobbing quietly and trying to figure out what to do next. And just as I was about to hang up, I looked up and saw him. He was driving past the gas station, in the opposite direction very slowly. I memorized the car. It was an older model, four door Oldsmobile or Buick, in a bronze or light orange color. While the streetlight gave me a great view of the car, I still couldn’t see his face. But I knew it was him. I was so afraid he would stop so I pretended to talk to the imaginary person on the other end of the phone. I tried to get his license plate number, but he drove away.

And I ran. My feet were bleeding at this point because the blister that my shoes made had burst open. About half way to the house, I took off my shoes. Barefoot and bleeding, I finally made it back to the house. No one was there, so I sat in the corner and cried. I was sure I dodged a bullet that night. I was safe. Aside from my battered feet, I was going to be ok. That was of course, until my boyfriend got back and discovered I had left his car on the side of the road…

I was 19, making all the wrong decisions. Luckily one of those saved me from almost being abducted.

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. What a scary story! And these were back in the days before everyone had a cell phone. I can’t imagine the panic you must have experienced.

  2. How scary! I’m so glad you were OK! I think it’s hard to own up to the dumb things we did when we were younger, but kudos to you for being brave and sharing your story so it can help someone else to not end up in that same scary situation.

  3. Wow grateful that you were able to get out of that car! Your instincts to flee were right. I hope lots read your story and learn from it.

  4. Oh my gosh girl – that is so scary! Thank goodness you got out. Definitely a scary thing to share as well.

  5. First, I am happy you found the courage to share this story, it help us all remember the importance of safety and teaching it to our children as well. Second, I am happy that your story has a happy ending 🙂
    XO, MJ

  6. That was terrifying and an awful experience of a girl at your age. Good to know that you have escaped and that you’re really brave.

  7. Very brave of you sharing this. Not anyone has the guts to open up such traumatic experience. Sometimes we learn our lessons in a hard way.

  8. Incredible story and lesson to be learnt here. It’s important to share this with others as a warning and precautionary. You are a lucky one.

  9. Wow, this must have been so terrifying! I can see where in a similar situation, I would have welcomed the help not thinking about it as well.

  10. wow! This is a great story. I hope you are in good condition now. And also thanks for sharing this story.

  11. This is such a traumatic experience, dear. But thank you for your courage to share this story. I will keep you in my prayers.

  12. What a scary and memorable experience. I’m so glad you’re ok and live to give others a warning about being cautious.

  13. I am so glad you are talking about this now and although you may think that it was your fault, it totally wasn’t as you were stuck in a place with no other option. So glad that you were safe and everything was alright

  14. Heather, I am so glad you made it out safely! Such a scary thing to happen and I’m sure the memory is just as startling. I’m proud of you for being so brave to share your story!

  15. Oh my, I am glad it did not go tho. Women and children are abducted every day. So glad that you turned your life around! This was a very interesting post.

  16. Wow! You are one brave woman! Good that you are safe. I hope you recovered from the blisters!

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  17. It is so brave of you to share your story! You must have been so terrified. All I can say is that I am so happy that you were able to get away and live to write your story!! Hopefully doing so will give you some healing and peace.

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  18. Wow, this is such a moving recollection! I think we honestly forget in moments of sheer concern that we need to remember the position we’ve placed ourselves in. I was gripping my shirt collar, and completely petrified the moment you said you hadn’t taken a look at the car! I’m so relieved that you’re okay! This could’ve ended so unfortunate, but I’m glad and I hope that you’re learning more as you get older that not everything is fight or flight. Sometimes it’s to take a step back and logically assess this situation. I’m also really glad you got out of that relationship. What a deadbeat!

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      It’s funny that I knew what to do and did the exact opposite throughout the entire experience. I am so grateful that nothing happened that night and yes, definitely learned my lesson. I was back at my parents house not even 24 hours later.

  19. wow. praise God you are okay and made it out of there 25 years ago. i am so sorry that happened to you. makes me think of carol rocha (?) who escaped from ted bundy.

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      I had to read the story! I think you were talking about Carol DeRonch? I can’t even imagine escaping someone like Ted Bundy. She definitely had angels looking out for her!

  20. Oh my gosh, this is so scary! As a parent, this is my worst nightmare! I am so thankful you are okay and here to share your story!

  21. That must have been the scariest thing to happen to anyone. I would have screamed by lungs out! I know we have been reminded to always look a suspect in the eye. The minute you sense danger, look at their face. However, when panic sets in, all the things you have learned to protect yourself goes down the drain. I am glad you escaped being almost abducted. There were angels looking out for you.

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  22. What a scary story! I’m not sure why we do things in spite of the voice of reason inside our heads telling us not too. I’m so thankful you got away and were safe.

  23. So glad your instincts saved you that night. I have made dumb mistakes in my youth too, and like you I was raised to know better. Youth gets in the way of common sense sometimes. Hurrah for angels that protect us.

  24. I was glad that the guy did not stop and pull you back to the car but just drove away. What an incredible experience, the moral of the story is do not get in stranger’s car.

  25. What a terrifying story, I’m glad you’re fine now! Thank you for sharing this story of yours even if it’s hard to share this kind of event in your life but still, you shared awareness, especially to young girls.

  26. OMG! I cannot even immagine how you went through this story alone at only 19. No one should experience something like this. Thanks for telling us about.

  27. Wow, that is so scary. I’m so sorry you had to go through that but glad that you were okay! It’s so important to be aware of our surroundings, glad you had the impression that that was not a safe situation!

  28. oh my!!! I don’t know what to say, this is very very risky!!! I am so happy you’re safe. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  29. OMG, that is terrifying! This story is the exact definition of stranger danger! I live in LA, so I’ve never taken a ride from anyone, but I know people who have. I always tell them they’re lucky.

  30. As a mother of teenagers, this is very harrowing to read! I’m glad you escaped danger that night and put that life behind you. God bless you!

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  31. This is such a traumatic thing to experience. I’m so glad you’re safe. I will pray for your emotional and mental peace of mind.

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  32. Oh my gosh, that is so scary! I’m so happy nothing happened to you, but that is something that will haunt a person forever.

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  33. That is really not a good exprience. Thanks for sharing this anyway. By writing it, you prevent other people from getting into the same sitution. Hope things were fine at the end.

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  34. Was that the end of your relationship? I could imagine your boyfriend at the time wouldn’t have been happy to hear about the mess you got yourself into.

    Scary to think how there are people who pray on vulnerability .

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      Well, I did wind up driving home the next day, but not after a sleepless night of looking out of the front window of my friends house, praying that my boyfriend didn’t find me.

  35. I can appreciate transparency. Blogging is a platform and a voice if you will that allows us to express ourselves and share our thoughts and ideas with the world.

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