I happened across the Diane Sawyer interview with Jaycee Dugard last night and found myself unable to move from the TV for two hours. I had heard about Jaycee's horrid 18 year experience, being held captive at the hands of a madman, on the news and had caught bits and pieces of her story. But really I had no idea.
What I found was a not what I had expected. At all.
I found a beautiful and caring young woman who had decided to share her story so that it may help others. And the most courageous person I had ever seen.
With not an ounce of anger or harsh language, Jaycee took us back to when she was an innocent 11 year old that was taken captive by a disgusting and dangerous pedophile. Handcuffed and kept in a storage unit in the backyard of his home for most of her first year, Jaycee talks, almost childlike, about the man who robbed her of her life. She explains that for most of the first year she did not see the sun, or feel it's warmth on her skin, and that she grew to anticipate his short daily visits to her prison because she was "so lonely", as she explains.
Raped by him repeatedly, she says the hope of survival is what kept her going, while he went on elaborate drug "runs" in her presence, forced her to have sex with him and listen to his incoherent ramblings about God. She was fed sporadically, with fast food and scraps and handcuffed for almost all of that first year. She met his wife, as horrid and disgusting as he, and she explains that in all of her 11 year old little girl body, she wanted this woman to like her and accept her.
At the age of 14, Jaycee gave birth to a baby girl, then a few years later, another, to which she was overjoyed because she would no longer be alone. She had someone that was "all hers" as she says. She managed to write small journals on scrap pieces of paper and keep them hidden from her captors and that she always held out hope. Hope that she would one day see her mother again.
A mother who never gave up trying to find her. Never. A mother who never gave up the hope that her daughter was still alive and always spoke about when Jaycee would come home. A mother who held all that anger that one would think Jaycee would have, but does not. A mother who will continue to let that anger, now that she has her precious daughter is home, fuel the fight for a justice system that failed her daughter and her miserably.
All that is in the past now and Jaycee, holding her mom's hand tells the cameras that her captors can no longer steal anything from her.
She is home now and they are the imprisoned ones.
For what one can only hope will be much longer and harder than the 18 years they stole from Jaycee.