Sometimes I’m asked if I feel lucky. Usually, it’s after I’ve given a presentation about domestic violence or the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, and in the context of “Aren’t you glad all the bad stuff happened when your kids were little?” As though prebirth and early childhood experiences are any less impactful.
The truth is, I do feel lucky, but not because my kids were little when their father tried to kill me. I feel lucky because I survived, and so did they. I feel lucky because when he stole them years later and took them to Greece, I was still a young adult, with all the energy and optimism I needed to risk bringing them home. (Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters by Lizbeth Meredith)
In 1994, Lizbeth Meredith said goodbye to her four and six year-old daughters for a visit with their non-custodial father, only to learn days later that they had been kidnapped and taken to their father’s home country of Greece.
Twenty-nine and just off food stamps, Lizbeth now faced a $100,000 problem on a $10 an hour budget. For the next two years—fueled by the memories of her own childhood kidnapping—Lizbeth traded in her small life for a life more public to garner interest in her efforts, travelling to the White House and to Greece. The generous community of Anchorage became Lizbeth’s makeshift family—one that was replicated by a growing number of Greeks and expats overseas who helped Lizbeth navigate the turbulent path leading back to her daughters.
“Lizbeth Meredith writes hauntingly about an all-too-common experience—domestic violence, and it’s ultimate aftermath: kidnapping. In the face of a mother’s nightmare, she summons all her resources to recover her daughters. Pieces of Me is a powerful testimony to one woman’s courage and resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and to the unbreakable bounds between a mother and her daughters.”
--Eleanor Vincent, author of Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story
“Pieces of Me is an important, honest, and heartrending story of a brave young mother’s struggle to save her precious daughters—no matter the toll it takes on her—as she through it all carries the double-burden of reliving her own childhood trauma.”
--Lene Fogelberg, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Beautiful Affliction.
Lizbeth Meredith is an Anchorage-based writer and 49 Writers member and volunteer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in psychology. She has worked as a domestic violence advocate and a child abuse investigator, and with at-risk teens as a juvenile probation supervisor. A contributor to A Girl’s Guide to Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson and author of When Push Comes to Shove: How to Help When Someone You Love is Being Abused, Lizbeth blogs at www.lameredith.com.
Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters will be available in digital and hard copy.