Plenty of people have complex family histories, but one woman’s story is jaw-dropping even by social media standards.
A TikTok user shared the staggering revelation that she had been considered a missing person since 1980 – but had no idea for more than two decades.
The woman, 42, posted a video explaining that she was 26 years old when she found out that she had been “kidnapped” as a baby.
After learning that the person she had always known as mum was not her biological mother, she decided to track down more information about the woman who had given birth to her.
“I assumed that the fastest way to track my biological mother down would be to seek out a criminal record for her,” she said, adding that she therefore got in touch with the sheriff’s office in the city where she was born.
After providing the authorities with all the information that she possessed, the sheriff became “very interested” in who she was.
He then asked her to sit down because he had something important to tell her.
“He told me he couldn’t find any information about my mother, but that I was a missing person. I had been since 1980,” she said.
“There was a police investigation I could not access because the records had been archived, but I had been kidnapped.”
The TikToker ended the post by admitting it had been a “tough day”.
The clip was viewed more than 1.1 million times in just five days as thousands of viewers requested more details on the incredible tale.
In a series of more than 20 follow-up clips, the mum-of-two attempted to fill in some of the gaps.
She explained that her biological mother had, in fact, “sold” her to the family she grew up with – people she described as her “kidnappers”.
However, her biological grandmother was unaware of the deal, so when she realised her granddaughter – our narrator – had disappeared, she reported her missing.
Not wanting to confess to what she’d done, the mother played along by saying her daughter had been kidnapped and “participated in looking for me, even though she knew where I was the entire time,” the 46-year-old said.
“My mother’s family, they all believe that I was kidnapped. The family that kidnapped me, their family all believes that I was saved from a crazy lady,” she added.
Asked what she was told growing up, the 46-year-old said that for the first 10 years of her life she didn’t know that the couple who raised her weren’t her parents.
“It was an abusive situation and I didn’t understand why they didn’t love me and why they treated me as terribly as they did,” she said.
It was only once they got divorced that they sat her down and explained that they weren’t her biological parents, she continued.
Her “female captor” – as she described her would-be mum – said she wanted nothing more to do with her and she would be living with her “dad” for the rest of her life.
But unable to put up with the situation, the TikToker said she ran away and hasn’t had any contact with any of her so-called “abusers” since.
After unravelling the kidnapping story, she said she’d spent a great deal of money on trying to track down her biological mother.
She then found her in 2006 with the help of a private investigator but the meeting didn’t go well and she no longer has any contact with her or her biological family.
However, on Wednesday she posted an update revealing that her biological father – about whom she had known nothing – had been in touch.
But, as followers raced to ask how the pair’s interaction had gone, she said she now needed a break from social media “for at least a day or so”.
The good news is she said things were going “so well” with her dad and she was feeling really excited.
We hope this is the start of a happier future for her.