The testimony of former left-behind father, David Goldman, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week was a heartwrenching reminder of the devastating impact that parental kidnapping has on parents, children and extended families. Here’s how Goldman described his agonizing separation from his son, Sean:

For five and one half years, I walked in the shoes of the Left-Behind Parent. I lived in a world of despondency and desperation, with a searing pain throughout my entire being. Everywhere I turned I saw an image of my abducted child. Sleep was hard to come by and never restful. If I smiled, I felt guilt. When I saw children, whether it was in the store, a park, on television or even on my charter boat, where clients often take their families for a day on the water, it was more than painful. For the longest time it was too painful to be around my own family members. I couldn’t even be around my nieces and nephews. It was too painful…I felt like a dead man walking.

To learn more about the epic battle to bring Sean home, check out David Goldman’s new book, A Father’s Love: One Man’s Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home.