While in Bama my niece sent me home with the book A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard. I started reading the book as soon as we left the driveway on the ride back home. I had read the 288 pages in the 5 hours it takes to get to our house from there. I couldn’t put it down.
In 1991 I was only 9/10 years old. I had never heard of Jaycee Dugard or if I did I was too young to think anything of it. I missed the story with Diane Sawyer that was on tv recently and I had never Googled anything about her. Her story to me was a mystery. So when I found out that she was kidnapped at 11 years old in 1991 and that she was freed 18 years later I was curious as to what exactly happened to her. I went into the story without knowing anything. I came out heart broken, scared and cautious.
When I read how easily she was taken in broad day light on her walk to school one morning, I was shocked. My mind immediately went 99 miles a minute thinking of Kayla being 12 years old and so close to that age walking to a new bus stop this year. It’s something we’ve been talking about over the Summer. Just to give Kayla a little more freedom. I now fear for her safety and decided against allowing this to happen. We will continue as we did last year.
What happened to her in the first week or so that she was taken has me lost for words. She was so innocent. She didn’t know anything about sex. She had never seen a naked picture of a man. She had never even shaved her legs. Her life as she knew it was about to be stained forever.
As I read her story about what this freak of a man did to her, I could not fathom what this little girl really went though. I just can’t. I was scared for her to read what might happen next. When I found out his wife helped and had even had an opportunity to let her go and didn’t take it, I didn’t understand. What kind of person would let their husband do something like this to a little girl? I still don’t have the answer for that. I want to say she was crazy, but I just don’t know.
People are evil. People are manipulative. People are sick. And the world should really be rid of them. I know that people can change but I do not think a person can change when they have been convicted of anything. I do not think that a pedophile or rapist can change. A person who does something like this is pure evil and sick. They can not think, oh I’m not gonna do that anymore. Because it will happen again. If the man that kidnapped Jaycee would have been held completely responsible for what he had done in previous years, things would have been different. Jaycee would have never been kidnapped that morning on her way to school. She would have lived a normal childhood and learned about the ways of the world through normal circumstances and not by that of a freak. The man was released from prison early. He was not kept up with by the law like he should have been. How else could he have kept a person in his own backyard? How else could she have given birth to two children and nobody ever hear her? If you look at the photo of where she was kept and how close the neighbors were you begin to wonder…how and why they didn’t find her earlier.
I can’t stop thinking about this story. I can’t stop thinking about what she has went through and the horrors of what happened. I can’t stop thinking of why she wasn’t found earlier. I can’t stop thinking about how manipulating he was to make Jaycee think that she was helping him with his problem. When your reading this story you feel the same way as Jaycee does at some point. You feel as if she will live that life forever. You don’t see a way out for her. It’s obvious from time to time but then you remember she’s been manipulated to the point of no return.
My heart aches for her and her daughters. After reading her story I am thankful to God that my girls are safe. But I can’t help but think of the ones that aren’t. I can’t help but be watchful of the way strangers look at my daughters. I can’t help but wonder if there are others out there right now living a life that Jaycee did. I can’t help but be forever changed by her story.
If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. It will make you hug your children a little tighter and be thankful that they are safe in your arms.