I watched the Diane Sawyer special on Sunday night about Jaycee Dugard and her life as a kidnapped victim for over 18 years.
I had so many mixed emotions as I was watching it.
Her strength and courage were amazing.
Her lack of hatred or bitterness was also an amazing thing to experience.
She truly did not feel it was worth her time to waste it on strong feelings
towards her perpetrator.
She said to Diane, “Why do I want to give him that much power?”
She was 11 years old when he picked her off the street and drove away with her.
She was in 5th grade and an adorable young elementary student who never would have thought that morning as she was heading for school she would be kidnapped and not ever found for 18 long years. Her mother remembers Jaycee asking for a hug and her mom through her tears said,
“I was too busy and too interested in getting to work on time I could not hug my daughter.” through her tears, she said, “And I couldn’t for so many years after that.”
I felt so sorry for her and the deep regret and grief she felt.
Jaycee lived in the back yard of a sexual offender and the officials failed her over and over
with every home visit they did with him.
I was watching the special and I was angry that no one found the little girl
who lived in a shed at first then later moved to a tent city he had set up for her.
She did not go outside for years.
She did not see the light of day.
She was handcuffed and kept locked up.
Can you even imagine?
As she spoke to Diane I was noticing how beautiful she was.
How she lost so much of her life because of the selfishness of
one man and one woman
yet she seemed strong and not bitter or angry.
I keep thinking of a little girl alone
at night crying for her mama.
She said the nights were the worst – so long and scary.
I keep thinking of a little girl in the dark.
trying so hard to be brave yet feeling so much fear.
How did she ever sleep?
I keep thinking of a little girl alone
repeatedly abused by a man who was distorted and sick
and very evil.
After seeing this show I keep thinking of the childhood lost
of a little girl forgotten.
The years moved on and those whose lives were not touched
by her being missing
never really thought about her.
I cried as I watched the show.
For the mom who searched day and night for a daughter missing.
My heart was very moved by the question Diane asked Jaycee,
“What kept you going all those years?”
Jaycee said with tears in her eyes,
“I hoped my mom would accept me and love me and that I would see her alive someday.”
As a child alone she had two other children by the evil perpetrator who held her captive.
She said others have asked her, “Why didn’t you ever leave?”
and she answered, “I knew that was never an option.”
She said she had pet cats appear then disappear
it is a threat taken very seriously by someone who is being abused.
No one knows that power unless one has been there amidst the evil.
Her identity left as the abuse continued.
She became Alyssa the name of an actress who played
a tv personality on the show ‘Who’s the boss’
featuring a young girl who lived in a family.
She was not allowed to say or write her own name.
Because of one man who never should have been out on parole
she lost her voice, her identity and her innocence.
The officials were manipulated into believing he was a good man
who would never be a harm to society once released.
They were wrong.
Someone really messed up and should be held accountable.
I pray we have learned something from this situation.
I pray that no one should ever have to go through her kind of darkness again.
Jaycee was saved because of the intuition and courage of a few detectives
who felt something was wrong when they saw her and her ‘daughters’ with their offender.
It was one of the first times they had gone out in public
as a small group and it looked very suspicious to the detectives.
They had no idea what they would uncover as they searched
his name on computer files.
They took the chance to follow up and do some research on
who he was and what he was doing in their area.
A lost child was found and a new life was given
to Jaycee and her children.
I pray we all use a bit of discernment and follow up
even if we are not sure it is better to be wrong
then pass by an opportunity that could perhaps
be saving the life of a child.
I pray we have the strength to take a risk
even if that risk means we make others listen.
A new life was given because someone cared.