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Last night I watched the Diane Sawyer special with Jaycee Dugard. All I can say is, WOW. Jaycee endured 18 years of being held prisoner by her abductor from the time she was eleven years old. He sexually abused her daily; she bore two of his children alone in captivity with no medical help.
Today, she is a charming, fascinating, whole and healing woman. Of course, she will always have her memories but she isn’t living in them. I wish everyone could have her strength and resilience and perspective. Of course, you know I think we all do, it’s just a matter of accessing it.
If you can find a replay of the interview, it’s worth seeing how composed Jaycee is, and how easily she laughs. She is living proof that we do not need to be marked and destroyed by our traumas forever. Some highlights of what she said:
In relation to the day she was abducted: My world changed in an instant.
Over the course of the interview Diane Sawyer asked Jaycee more than once how she could cope with the circumstances and abuse. Jaycee replied,
You just do what you have to do to survive.
There was a switch I had to turn off.
Her words of empowerment throughout the interview struck me:
There is life after something tragic.
Survival is your strength not your shame.
You have to hope in something.
You have to hold onto hope to survive.
Diane Sawyer asked Jaycee whether or not she felt hatred for Phillip Garrido. She answered, Life is too short for a moment of bitterness or rage.
How did Jaycee come out of this horrific event so centered, grounded and focused? Yes, she has had extensive therapy with Rebecca Bailey. But it’s more than that. She’s accessed a part of herself that has the ability to transcend trauma and move forward. What an inspiration. What a role model. What a thriver.
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