When I was 4 I got lost in a city and was rescued by what my dad thought was a gang. We had dinner in Chinatown with another family. 5 kids in all. Crossing the street after dinner, we were holding hands in a big chain. My older sibling let go. When the light changed and everyone crossed I stayed on the sidewalk - I was looking through a window into a barber shop where some huge guy was having his head shaved - can still picture the scene. When I finally looked around everyone was gone. I started to cry. A group of teenagers approached and asked if I was lost. I said yes. A tall kid hoisted me into his shoulders and started down the block. Other kids split up and went in different directions. We rounded a corner and I saw my dad. He turned white and ran toward us. The kid lowered me to the ground. A few other kids were there. They stood around awkwardly while the tall kid explained what happened to my dad. My dad (not a demonstrative guy) flung himself at the kid and hugged him. My mom appeared and picked me up. Years later my dad told me he saw the same group of kids hanging around when he first parked in the city that evening and was suspicious that they were a gang. He was embarrassed and tried to be less judgmental after that. Wish I could thank those guys. This was a long time ago.
I was at a college house party. I went there with several friends. I didn't have a cell phone yet (managed to hold out until 2004, our dorm rooms came with land lines at the time). I ended up going home with a guy and hooking up with him. Woke up the next day, checked my email on his computer and found a ton of frantic emails from my friends. They actually thought that I'd been abducted, roofied or killed myself (I was very depressed at the time). They filed a missing person report on me with Campus Security and several friends were searching for me in the woods.
I went sleep walking one night when I was ten years old. Unlocked the front door and went for a stroll through the neighborhood. I woke up a few hours later in the middle of the street, barefooted, in a cul de sac I've never been in before. Scared the bejeezus out of me.
Ended up running through the streets until I found my way back home. My parents had been shitting bricks looking all over for me. They put a lock on my door after that so I couldn't go for anymore midnight strolls.
I was hiking to see the volcanic eruption back in 2010(the one before all the grounded flights). On the way back i got separated from my group, we were about 8-10, one of which was a very good friend of mine. Anyway, i tend to walk pretty fast, especially on my way down from a mountain. This was in march in Iceland so it gets dark pretty soon and fast. Unfortunately for me i didn't have a torch on me and in maybe half an hour everything went pitchblack. I had chosen to walk the same path as the one i went up. This was extremely stupid of me as that path was about 5 meters away from a 15 meter drop into a canyon. Not only that, but the path was beside a waterfall. Waterfalls tend to have alot of mist coming from them. Said mist goes onto the path, and because this is march in Iceland, and on a mountain its about -5°C without wind chill. That mist turns to basically an ice skating rink on a 45° angle.
That was an experience, I had been lost for about 5 hours(i didn't turn up until i got down from the mountain). But i was one of 20 that got lost that Saturday. 2 of whom died.
My high school (American) football team had an away game in a somewhat sketchy city, bus took the team back to high school afterwards. I was too young to drive and I was grounded and had my phone taken away. I waited at the school for an hour and a half but my parents never came to pick me up. So I started the 4-mile walk back to my house carrying all my pads and school books.
While I was walking back my mom showed up and I wasn't there. She panicked and found the coach and told him. My coach sent a group text to the entire team asking if anyone knew where I was. Came to school the next day and everyone thought I had missed the bus and gotten lost. It ended up being a team joke for the rest of the year.
It was winter break of my freshman year of college. I had just gotten dumped, I was depressed, I just wanted to be alone. I had a decent amount of money, so I rented an extended stay hotel room for 2 weeks, bought enough food and supplies for 2weeks, shut off my cell phone and didn't go outside for two weeks. When I returned home my family yelled at me for several hours and I had received over 200 phone calls and over 500 text messages. 10 /10 would highly recommend.
Was 2-3 years old. At the beach with dad and bro (on a camping trip). Just started walking around picking up bird feathers. My dad and bro and the rest of the people we were camping with went back to camp. I just kept picking up feathers.
After a while my dad realized he forgot me and went back to the beach in a panic and found me with a large amount of feathers in my hands. I didn't so much go missing, as much as...got forgotten.
My friend and I were 15 at the time when we were both drugged and taken various places within the state for 3 days.
During this time we were constantly separated, reunited, drugged, emotionally/physically abused, and honestly feared that we would end up being murdered.
for 3 days we were constantly on the move. We never visited any homes. They made us sleep in wooded areas with thin blankets, separated from each other. This was during winter although there was no snow yet.
The man (sounds strange calling him a man) that I was will was nicer than the other. He seemed to be the follower. He never did anything as cruel as the other did, but to this day I can't stand certain names, accents, clothing, looks in general. When I say he was nicer it's because he was rather gentle instead of forceful.
on the third day they took us to a town about 40 miles south of our home in the middle of frankly no where. It's a town with one gas station, and few homes. They left us on the mountainside, told us the common " if you call the police blah blah we'll kill you, blah blah" We were there for a while before another car came around (hunting is rather popular around those parts)
The guys who found us thought we had been stabbed or shot. Looking back I was a fucking chaotic mess as they tried to approach us. I became very defensive as my friend was still mostly lethargic and I didn't believe that they were there to help us.
Another half hour maybe passed and police finally showed up. I hadn't felt so happy to see officers before in my entire life because I had been one of those "fuck the police" stupid girls back then. I remember falling and just crying. I remember grabbing my friend and telling her it was going to be okay.
about a week later they found the guys. they arrested them, and they went to prison for some time. They both plead guilty for reduced sentences.
The drugs they gave us make a lot of the details sketchy, so I can't really remember to much. I have scars still, I have trust issues. My friend on the other hand turned to drugs quickly after and we've lost touch with one another.
I was about 6 years old, one day I was playing outside. There's a petting zoo about 4 km away from where we lived and I guess I decided to go there. So I did, by myself, barefooted, in my pyjamas. When I got there the manager found out I was alone and had reached my parents by phone. I don't actually remember much of it but it's pretty hilarious.
So, back when I was in Boy Scouts, my troop lost me. Twice. In the same night. While I was still in my tent. This is not an exaggeration.
The story is thus: we were at Camp Decorah, in Iowa. We had the idea to go and perform a raid on the counselor's tents/cabins. I, however, was feeling ill, so I specifically said "I'm not feeling well, I'm going to sleep." They acknowledged this, expressed regret that I was not coming along, and went to have their fun.
They have their fun. They retreat into the woodline. Then they take a headcount. I am not in the headcount. They expect me to be in the headcount, because they forgot. So, now, there is a missing camper. The entire camp is set to searching for me. Some time during this, a guy from my troop decides to, get this, check the tents. I am in my tent, as I should be. So he goes to report that I am found. I go to the bathroom during this time. Someone comes back to the camp, and checks my tent. I am in the bathroom, so I am not in my tent. I am now missing again.
I was living with my new husband in a town about a thousand miles away from my mother, who has always been a world class worrier. This was in the days before everyone had a cel phone. His entire family was going to be invading us in a few days, so I was polishing up the apartment to look good, and in the process of wiping fingerprints off the phone, I turned the ringer off, and did not notice. We'd just moved in, so several days without any calls wasn't unusual.
Fast forward. The in-laws have just arrived while I am lying down in the bedroom taking a nap because I have been spit shining everything in the place and making tasty baked goods all while coming down with a bad cold. There's a knock on the front door. My husband comes to the bedroom, and says there's someone who wants to talk to me. It's the police, and they insist on talking to me alone in the hallway to make sure everything is really, truly ok, then they tell me to call my mother. I come back in to see his parents, sister, brother-in-law, their seven kids, and a passel of assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, all staring silently at me.
But wait, there's more. Mom didn't have our address, all she had was a description of the building. The town was small enough that the police knew just where that was, but they didn't know what apartment, so they knocked on every other door in the building before getting to us on the top floor corner unit.
My dad (my parents are divorced and I only saw him a couple times a year), my grandparent's on his side (that I saw even less), and my sister went to this huge waterpark. Apparently there was a water ski show they all wanted to watch. I asked if I had time to stand under the big bucket that splashes everybody. They all walk to the big bucket thing, and 7 year old me spends five minutes staring at the bucket waiting for it to tip over. When it finally happens, it is awesome! Then, I look around, and my entire family was gone. They only had two kids to keep up with... I, being a rather intelligent child, walked to the front of the park and got them to keep calling them on the intercom. They didn't come until an hour and a half later (after the show had ended). They told me after the fact that they indeed heard the announcements and thought I could find my way back. I didn't consider myself close to this side of the family as it was, but this was the first event that made me start distancing myself from them.
I was about 10 or so and I was a member of a club where I learned to shoot air rifles. My parents would drop me off, then go and take off again. And pick me up when it was time.
One day they didn't show up. I waited for an hour, called home, no answer. This was before cell phones so I was stuck. No idea what to do. Well I did have one idea. I knew how to get home. It would be about 6 kilometers walking but I had a good mental map of the way back and the weather was fine.
So I left the club and began to walk home. I made it about halfway before my parents pulled over next to me and they were kinda angry with him. Also kinda apologetic because they'd forgotten about me. They told me not to wander off like that again. And I told them not to forget about me again. Didn't get any punishment.
I had a 12-day period of dis-associative amnesia while I was in the USAF. I was doing laundry one Sunday night while waiting to start extra cleaning duty, I woke up 12 days later to my supervisor shaking me awake in my dorm room. No one saw me for those 12 days, no one heard from me. I was not a recluse, I was extremely outgoing and easily noticed. How I vanished for 12 days is amazing.
When I was a young lad, my brother and I used to go to this gymnastics play area. They had trampolines, those bars you swing around, and a tightrope over a pit full of pieces of foam. My brother and I decided to play hide and seek, I hid first.
About an hour later, the place is closing. My mum asks my brother where I am, he says we're playing hide and seek and I've hidden really well.
Three hours later, the staff have locked all of the doors and phoned the police, my mum was in a blind panic, my brother had given up on finding me and was bouncing on a trampoline, the staff were frantically tearing the place apart looking for me.
My brother got bored of trampolining so decided to play in the foam pit. He jumped in and heard a loud "OUCH". I climbed out of the foam and said "did I win?"
When I was 17, I was suddenly and forcibly "escorted" from my room in the middle of the night and tucked away in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Utah. My parents had a vague idea of where I was and a lot of incorrect ideas about what was going on there, but no one else I knew (family, friends, etc) knew about it. I just disappeared off the face of the earth for 9 months. This is the most recent news to come out of the latest incarnation of that "school". (It would be shut down then reopened in a new place periodically)
Outside of the abuse, I learned some life lessons. The first of which is to never do that to my future child. But I got some crazy stories from that place, and sadly being confined and cut off from the outside world was actually more freedom than I got at home.
But yeah, came home and right away messaged my best friend for a tearful reunion, as he assumed I was gone forever. 4/10 over all, definitely made me who I am now but that place had some messed up shit, yo.
One time, when I was a kid, I went with my mom to the Laundry mat near our house. I had a batch of new comics with me, so after we loaded the washing machines I sat down and started reading.
After finishing my 3rd or 4th comic I set it down and went to see if the machines were done yet. They were, so I started unloading them into the rolling basket thing to move the clothes over to the dryers. My mom comes in and yells "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!".
I'm baffled for a second. "I've been here... why?"
"NO YOU HAVEN'T! AFTER WE LOADED THE WASHING MACHINES YOU DISAPPEARED AND I COULDN'T FIND YOU! I CALLED THE HOUSE AND YOU WEREN'T HOME. WHERE DID YOU GO?!"
"I went over to that chair over there to read my comics."
"NO YOU DIDN'T! I WAS LOOKING ALL OVER FOR YOU, I'D HAVE SEEN YOU!"
Right then some kind chimed in "Excuse me miss, but I've been her for about a half hour, and your kids' been over there reading quietly the whole time."
My mom huffed and fumed and then went and called the house to tell them where I was.
I was missing for 8 hours after my very first day of 1st grade, and mobilized the entire police force of the rural town where I grew up.
Before I was old enough for school, my (single) mom used to drop me off at a daycare place every day and pick me up every evening. This was in 1986, so way before cell phones or pagers were common.
When I got old enough for first grade, my mom took me out of day care because it was expensive and school would be my day care now.
My school was brand new, my first day would also be the first day the school was open. It was also the principal's first day as a principal and my teacher's first day as a full time teacher.
My mom did all the right things before she put me on the bus. She wrote my bus number in permanent marker on the back of my hand, gave me specific instructions and made me repeat them back to her, put all of her contact information in my pockets, etc.
The first day at school was perfectly normal: I wrote ABCs, drew pictures with crayons, etc. Just like in daycare. My only specific memory was the cafeteria staff bring our lunches to us in the classroom, because the construction on the cafeteria wasn't complete yet.
School gets out and I head to the buses, staring dutifully at the bus number written on my hand ... but, the after-school pickup van from the daycare we used to attend was also there. The staffer from the daycare recognized me as I was walking by and called out "hey Anschauung! We're over here. Come on, were about to leave!". I guess she didn't know or didn't remember that my mom had taken me out of daycare. Anyhow, this lady was a known adult authority figure, so I assumed plans had changed and I got on the bus.
Three stories happening at this point:
Story 1: Six-year-old me had the best day at daycare ever. All my old friends were there, we talked about our first day at school, we played and played and played and seemed to last forever. Even after all my friends mommies picked them up and I was the only one left, I had all the toys to myself. I was sooooo confused when my mom finally arrived crying, bawling like I'd never seen her before.
Story 2: My mom gets off work and waits at my bus stop ... I don't get off the bus. She calls the school and they mobilize the whole staff to look for me (maybe I'm hiding in a bathroom?) ... they don't find me. Hours have passed and she's in full freak-out mode now ... she calls the police. The police start searching the fields and farms near the school ... still no Anschauung.
They bring in more officers and more officers until pretty much the entire police force of this tiny town is looking for me. Meanwhile, my principal and my teacher are having the worst day of their lives ... how could they lose a fucking six-year-old on their very first day?!
All the searching turns up nothing and it's past midnight now, so some poor officer had to tell my mom "Ma'am, you should go home. We'll keep looking all night but we won't be able to find much until the morning". My mom goes home thinking her baby is probably dead, and arrives home to find her answering machine full.
Story 3: "It's 2 hours past closing time, and this kid's mom still hasn't picked him up" "Didn't she cancel her service last week? Why is he even here?" "Call her again." "Her answering machine is full" "Fuck, we better be getting overtime for this".
So ... yeah. I managed to upset an entire school system and traumatize my mom on my first day of school. I still refuse to accept responsibility. I was just doing what the growups told me.
I got black out drunk on the 4th of July and presumably tried to walk home from my friend's house. First thing I remember is being in a really sketchy part of town about 8 miles away from my home with my phone dead and still shit faced. Went around knock on peoples doors at 3 in the morning trying to use a phone.
I eventually stumbled to a grocery store at like 5 in the morning and asked for directions. When I walked outside these two real gangsta looking guys who were picking up more booze at the store asked if I wanted a ride. Being a very trusting person and drunk as s**t, I accepted. They lit up a blunt and we smoked it as they gave me a ride home. I stumbled into my house at 6 to be screamed at by my girlfriend who thought I was dead because the last text she got from me was, "help, I lost".
A few years ago, I was depressed and not really very social to begin with. At some point, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me and I just snapped. I booked a train ticket to him (around 10 h ride) and just left the next morning. Also basically stopped going to work at the same time, from one day to the next. I told no one about the trip and stayed away for about 10 days. When I came back, I had a not from the police on my door about being registered as a missing person. I lived in a student house, so at least everyone on my floor must have seen that note.
Turn out my friends had filed a missing person report because I guess work had contacted them. I was angry at the time, because I felt like s**t and thought nobody cared about me anyway and shouldn't interfere with my life (ironically, they had just shown that they did, indeed, care). Now I'm grateful that they did it :)
Once when my grandfather was watching my younger sister and I, I decided to take a shower and didn't think to tell anyone. I took my leisurely shower, and when I came out no one was in the house. I went outside to see if maybe they were out there (it was summer, so reasonable to spend the evening in the yard). It turned out, my grandfather and sister had alerted the neighbors that I had gone missing, and the entire neighborhood was out looking for me. It wasn't even that long of a shower.