My recollections of my feelings are that the world was spinning.A fear inside of me welled up and a denial and an incredulity that this was actually happening that I was actually unable to find my son and nobody knew where he was.
I tried to be calm and philosophical and tell myself “this is just a mistake, it is a mistake, this is not happening and stop panicking, there will be a logical explanation and he will come waltzing in through the door.” But all the time deep down I knew, something was terribly wrong and it was terrifying.
My world became surreal, like I was in someone else’s life. I felt that I was standing still while the life was spinning around me.
I felt desperate and distraught. I felt totally alone. Mystified. Extremely frightened. Panic. Sorrow. Deep primal sobbing from a place I never knew existed in my very core and soul. Distraught. Lost. Very Very Confused.
I felt foolish going into the police station and telling them my son was missing. I felt like I was watching someone else trying to explain to a not too fussed desk sergeant that my son had not come home.
I was confused by the reaction of the police who seemed unconcerned when this was my child, my son, so why were they not dropping everything to help?
My experience in life never involved any police and I was not prepared for this initiation. I left feeling foolish.
As time went on, my emotions played out and I cried every day, long, deep and primal. I was begging in my soul for this to be wrong. It was not true. I was trying to think of everything that could have happened.
At some point it sunk in that this was for the long haul – which at that time, in my mind, long haul was a few months down the road. Because I was positive we would find out where he was and what had happened soon.
There must be an explanation.It was inconceivable that we would not find him. I almost did not take part in a documentary which was filmed late in the month he went missing but not due to be aired until two months later - I was sure he would be found by then and worried the documentary would be a waste of time. But the January rolled around and we were still looking for him.
As time has gone on, the deep seated sorrow is still very much a beast within and it has now been 16 years. It has been a long road and at some point I placed those feelings inside a compartment in my soul and carry them with me every day, never to see the light of day, at least not around anyone else. I have learned to live a ‘normal life’ one foot firmly in the present and the other even more firmly in the past.
After 16 years I still am looking and it is my life’s work.
I still after all this time have people contact me and tell me funny stories about my son, or how they felt about his no longer being in their lives.
I see his friends living his dreams.Emotions: Cynical, cold, angry, malicious, bitter, desperate, determined.
How have I changed? Determined; strong; fearless; angry; I was shy and ordinary in my life.
Now I am bigger than life and will take on any challenge that might get me closer to answers I need. I am 4,000 miles away but I utilize every tool at my disposal on my daily mission to find my son and raise awareness of this issue.
I have met some incredible people on the way with family members who are missing.
We have a bond.Nothing can put into words how we feel but we understand each other. We all come from different walks of life and probably would never have met in a normal life, but when we do we are friends with such a common bond that I have never felt more compassion for.
Without the Missing People organization I don’t know how I would have got through those first years though. I don’t know how I knew, but I was aware they existed and I found them and have always appreciated having them there to help in any way they can.
That first phone call and I felt I was not alone and someone might help me in the right direction or listen to me.