A mother has told of her heartbreaking decision to have her own daughter kidnapped.
Speaking to The Guardian under a pseudonym, ‘Raye Johnson’ tells of her desperation to help her then 17 year old daughter.
“It was 3am. I went into my daughter’s room, woke her, told her I loved her and that she was going on a trip. She was drowsy from the sleeping pills I’d slipped in her drink a few hours earlier. Then the two strangers I’d hired to take her away went into her room. She tried to get her bag and makeup. “Where you’re going, you don’t need anything,” they told her. I stood outside the door, shaking. Had I just created a situation in which I would lose my 17-year-old for ever? “
Johnson explains that after a divorce from her former husband, she and her two children (her 17 year old daughter and her 14 year old son) moved across the country. She quit her successful job in order to spend more time with her children.
But very quickly, her two children started hanging around the wrong crowds. Her daughter’s grades quickly slipped and she was skipping school. Her 14 year old son was caught by police with drugs twice.
She decided to send her son to a strict boarding school, and when she realised how much of a difference it made to him, she thought her daughter would benefit from something similar.
Johnson’s daughter would soon turn 18, and was about to start at a beauty school.
“I had to act fast. Her beauty school fees were due the coming Saturday. And, legally, I had control over her only while she was still under 18. I found a boot camp for troubled children in Utah and hired a private service to escort her there, whether she wanted to go or not.”
The idea of paying for your own daughter to be kidnapped seems incredibly extreme, and it goes to show just how desperate this mother was. But you have to ask – was that really the only option?
Because as Raye Johnson says herself, how do you know she will be safe?
How do you know you will see her again?
And if the kidnapping seems extreme, the bootcamp was SERIOUSLY extreme. While in Utah, Johnson’s was completely cut off from the rest of the world, and lived in very primitive conditions. She and the other kids had no roof, could hardly bathe and learned survival skills while doing physical labour.
She underwent daily therapy sessions and wrote letters to their parents.
Luckily for Johnson, her extreme actions seem to have paid off. Both her children returned ‘transformed’.
“She finished high school with straight As, went to college, then did a master’s. She works in the legal system now. Both my kids joke that I’m a psycho mom, but they forgave me and we remain close. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. “
What was the last thing your mother texted you?