Last evening I sat riveted listening to the horrific and inspiring story of Jaycee Dugard. She was abducted 18 years ago in June of 1991 when she was 11 years old. During this time she endured mental, psychological, and sexual abuse that many of us can only (I pray) imagine in our worst nightmares. Not only did she endure abuse, but she had two children by her abductor. I’m sure I only heard a fraction of what she actually went through, therefore I want to get and read her story. She also came into contact over the years with law enforcement officials that made periodic visits to ostensibly check up on this convicted sexual predator. That’s the horrible part.
What is inspiring if not incredible to me is the attitude she seemingly has either had all her life or has cultivated. I know not which. She refuses to allow the people who did this to her (his wife was complicit in abducting her as well as many other young girls) to claim any more of her life. She expresses no bitterness or anger or hatred toward what has happened to her over the past EIGHTEEN years. Now, her mom is a different story, but even she seems to be angrier about the childhood she missed, the prom, the dances, school, etc. I can understand that impulse. Jaycee even told her mom during the interview that it made her sad that her mom was so angry. Even interviewer Diane Sawyer seemed to be at a loss for what to do with Jaycee’s attitude. As I watched, I thought about many of the things I get petulant about and they all seemed to be so very petty by comparison so as to not bear mentioning.
She spoke of writing secretly in a journal, planting a garden, looking at the moon, and just trying to make the best of a bad situation. She thought about her mom and her sister and how they must have forgotten her. They hadn’t. She relished the simple and the beautiful things in life–the things that money can’t buy. I’d really like to meet her someday, and if not, more people like her who refuse to give up on love and life.