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My name is Cathy.  I invite you to follow as I tell memories and musings of my life as a kidnapped child.

Much of this will be hard for me to write.  I can’t promise, some the stories I must tell will be easy to read.

Because of how young  I was for many of these memories and I’m certain that I’m telling the timelines are mixed  together. The words I type are true but the timeline is off.  Other parts are acurate because they are taken from police, medical and Child Protective Services records.  Other posts are words, and memories by those who knew Cleo, Lou and myself.

I have some clear memories.

The clearest is the actual kidnapping.
When I was 3 years old a psychopath named Cleo kidnapped me while my mother shopped for grocery’s in Philadelphia. Cleo was ahead of her time.  She was adept at Identity theft. The farm was purchased and taxes were registered  under a former tenant of Cleo’s. He had died in 1956. She kidnapped me in the spring of 1967. I’m don’t know how she was able to get me to go with her. She was my parents boss and former landlord. I would have known her.
I remember being carried by Cleo up, up, up,up on an escalator, into a parking garage. I do remember at one point wanting to go back to my mommy. It was too late for that. I remember Cleo putting me in her green Cadillac. I remember Cleo driving on the road. I wanted to go back to mommy. I remember crying for mommy. I remember Cleo smacking me in the face.  I remember being terrified. I remember Cleo cursing at me, screaming at me to Shut up! I remember Cleo telling me, “I am your mother now!” I remember the moment Cleo realized I had wet myself.

Wetting myself, due to terror, caused Cleo to become more irate at “this damn kid.” Irate isn’t the word for the evil that seemed to exude from Cleo’s very pores when she was white hot angry.  White hot anger came easy too. She cursed and smacked me. The next thing I remember was her green Cadillac coming veering off to the shoulder of the road. Cleo slammed on the breaks. Cleo hit me again and again. Screaming, cursing.  Cleo then at some point got out of her Cadillac, stormed around the front end of the car.  She opened the front passenger side door, pulled me from the seat, half marched, half carried me to the back of her green Cadillac. Cleo was pulling my hair, the she picked me up.

Next thing I remember was— bang.

She closed the lid of the trunk with me inside.


Darkness would become a large part of my life.  Dark basement of her farmhouse was my first home.  Eventually, she and her lover and farmhand, Lou, did let me out of the basement.  .  There were times I slept in a real bed, in a real room, more often I was banished to the barn with the animals.

As I write more, I will tell all about Lou.

Anything that displeased Cleo, meant I would be thrown into the basement.

Cleo was displeased a lot.

That memory of the kidnapping is crystal clear.  It has never left.  Even as I was brainwashed into believing and telling everyone Cleo was my mother.  I knew, deep down inside she wasn’t my mother.  I knew, it crept into my dreams. It invades my nightmares all these years later.

Note:  I have chosen to share my story to get the truth out there and to encourage other survivors of abuse, not to create a debate. I will not be accepting negative or abusive comments to protect myself and other victims from additional trauma.

Thanks for understanding.



14 thoughts on “About

  1. Dearest Cathy: I am sorry doesn’t even begin to cover my feelings about the horror you survived. It is beyond my comprehension that ANYone would not believe you. Sending you hugs….www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com (what I endured was nothing to what you survived, but I made a positive come from the ashes/insanity.

    • Thank you nicolesassy! I have bookmarked your blog.

      As far as your feeling your abuse isn’t as “bad” as mine. I tend to stay away from comparing “boo boo’s” about whose abuse is worse.

      Over the years, I’ve learned ALL sexual abuse is damaging. There is no such thing as “minor” when it comes to sexual abuse.



  2. Yes, dear Cathy….I agree. I am the moderator of an abused survivors group and everyone feels others’ abuse was worse…abuse is abuse. I grew up physically and verbally abused by my mother (no father), molested in my sleep by a drunken neighbor (didn’t even know who it was)……had my hand held over an open fire by another drunken neighbor (woman, ick) ..poverty: No phone, car, refrigerator, tub or shower….snow came thru a crack in the wall….I took the only way out…the army; it saved my life, but then I married an abuser (we tend to marry someone like a parent and try to fix the past)….31 years of abuse, divorce and then spiritual abuse…..I am over as muchas one an be the childhood and marriage stuff, but the spiritual abuse goes all the way to the soul. I also feel betrayed by my family as they still attend that church. I wrote about my llife and won a scholarship and am a sopohore (counseling) at age 66! My passion is to educate the public regarding verbal abuse; rampant on our planet, rarely talked about or understood. I presented my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a FOrm of Biochemical assault at the Michigan Counseling Association; have been writing to the media for 10 years so that I can speak on national tv. hugs and Love

  3. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to read just a bit of what you have endured Cathy…I’m so sorry…

  4. Hi Cathy, ((HUGS)) to you. I can’t begin to fathom the evil of some people. It makes literally sick! I just want to cry. I hope and pray that you are ok after all you have gone through. Were you ever on a t.v. show? Your story sounds really familiar to me. It might of been someone else. The one I’m thinking of was on a show that the person who was kidnapped had been reunited with her adoptive mom and dad. And the kidnapper was the former landlord or current landlord or something. And the mom was ill at the time. It was a very similar life to yours but quite a while ago. Also there was another child already living with this lady who did the kidnapping. I just want you to know that if there is any way I could ever help you, I would do anything in my power to do so. I hope your life is filled with love now.

    • No, my story has never been in a book, movie or tv show.

      Cleo was my parents landlord. My parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe during the cold war era. They also cleaned and fixed things for her rental properties.
      It’s quite possible my parents were targeted because they spoke very little English. Although that is hard to prove at this point. Added to that being from the Eastern Block during this time period many American’s saw Immigrants such as my parents as spies for Russia.

      Cleo is the one who abducted me. There wasn’t a child involved in my abduction. All who were involved as alleged accomplices are adults.

  5. Thanks so much for your reply Cathy, I did find the other person whose story I saw on t.v., that I thought may have been you.. Oh my, your poor parents. I do hope you were able to be reunited with them. A link to your blog was shared on a abuse survivors facebook page that I am on. I bookmarked your blog. You are a very strong woman to be able to share your life publicly like this. It’s so hard to think about these things for me, I can only read so much at a time but I will read it all. I get very angry at your abusers and sad for you.

  6. I wish you blessings Cathy. There are many good Christians out here in the world that would love to hug you!!
    My family has been through a lot of molestation trauma, thankfully no one took her too! Thank you for sharing your story. People need to become more aware that these things are happening – all the time!

  7. Cathy,
    I am the mother of two beautiful children and the daughter of a woman who was molested by her father and abused by her mother (my mother is also a survivor, prayer warrior, nurturer, pillar of love … ).
    I am always on high alert against any harm that may come to my sweet children. After reading your first post, I wept. For lots of things, but mostly that such pain (as Cleo inflicted on you) is allowed in the world. Such a big WHY come out of me as I read your story. Part of my ‘why’ wept for the loss of the loving childhood your mother wanted to give to you and that you wanted to have; for all the sweet children whose vulnerability is taken advantage of; for the very idea that it could happen to my own children.
    Sending you loud applause for the work you are doing to live, thrive, and strengthen others. Hoping with all I have that you feel immense amounts of love, light, safety and peace. You are so wonderful and I am so glad you survived your horrific abuse.

    • To be molested is a act that cuts to the core. It strips away a person’s sense of dignity, autonomy, and control. It is against a person’s most inner and personal self. It is devastating.

      Through her horrific pain your mother experienced she learned to truly understand how awful the experience is for others. To empathize and to educate you, as her daughter (and no doubt others) to be aware and to protect your own children from this loss of innocence.

      The question of WHY is one that thing I’ve struggled with the most too. Some Christian counselors and pastors want to tell me God orchestrated it. It was God who gave me to Cleo and Lou.

      No. I refuse to believe that. God gave me to my parents not some kidnapper and child sex traffickers.

      Then I’m berated for not believing in God’s sovereignty.

      I do believe in God’s sovereignty but I also balance that with the following:

      “God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” (James 1:13). “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

      -and if that is true, He cannot in any way be the author of the evil suffering to which myself and far too many young children and teens were subjected.
      A wise person reminded me of the Job’s counselors. It ended up being one of the most healing realizations that anyone ever provided.
      He said, in cases like mine, there are no answers to most of the things that were done. Speaking for myself and for what I’ve observed when talking with many survivors of sexual abuse, we have far too many “Job’s Counselors” were convinced that Job had committed some awful sin. They believed that nothing else could explain the series of calamities that befell Job and his family. However, God eventually comes to Job’s defense and reprimands the so-called “counselors” for making false accusations.

      That is possibly the most healing realization that anyone provide.

      Thank you very much Sarah for you kind thoughts. I’ve found healing is a long journey. It is neither linear nor logical. I’ve swung back and forth between stages, perhaps even inventing a few of my own stages along the way.

  8. Hi Cathy,
    I would like to contact you to discuss the CLA and David Gibbs, but I can’t find an email. I saw somewhere else that you have lots of evidence about them. If you look at my blog, you will see I am a sympathetic friend. I’m glad to discover your blog.


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