Skip to main content

Unfathomable: Dealing With Stories of Captivity


Like everyone as of late, I can't get enough of the Charles Ramsey quotes. The guy is totally entertaining, and really has a distinct "down-to-earth-ness" about his new found fame as a hero. Yet, behind the awesome soundbites of Ramsey and courageous heroism that he is downplaying (another tremendous and respectable quality of humility), there is a tragic and utterly hard to bear story of the three women who were held captive for years. 

After reading the autobiography of Jaycee Dugard (A Stolen Life: Raw, Truthful, and Powerful), who suffered a similar experience, I really have struggled with the "captivity" situation since. For most of us on the outside looking in, the story is horrific enough, but when you get into the mind, thoughts, and raw experiences as detailed by Dugard in her tell-all book, it leaves you heart-broken, angry, and completely unable to wrap your mind around how anyone - much less a CHILD - can endure, survive, and recover from it. The titled piece, A Stolen Life, are three words which perfectly describes any and all captivity and kidnapping stories, as well as makes you realize what truly occurred. A stolen life, indeed.

The same goes very much so in this story. 

As the details emerge of what occurred in that horror house in Cleveland, you can't help but feel elated for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. They now have Freedom. Something we often associate with political measures and international affairs, and rarely ever within the basic human rights context. They will now get to enjoy every ounce of it to the full extent as if it were tangible. A chance to be with family and friends, and to enjoy what should have been for the past ten years. 

Unfortunately, the road to recovery isn't completed. And from reading Dugard's book, you know that these women face a looooooooooooooooong road to recovery. In terms of love, trust, mental health, and even how to deal with their new freedom, there is plenty of personal growth to do, social development to happen, and countless hurdles to overcome. Dugard experienced this, which is why she started the Jaycee Dugard Foundation to help others in similar situations. Others have also stepped forward such as Ronique Laquette Smith, who wrote an amazing piece on CNN.com sharing her experience being held captive, and the recovery road after she escaped. 

Honestly, I still find it very difficult to write on this issue just as I did after reading A Stolen Life. It's a situation that makes you feel so many different emotions without really and truly being able to wrap your mind around so many of the components. You're very happy for all of the family and friends involved. Yet angry that this can happen to anyone - ANYONE - in this nation. All the while fearful of hearing more stories like this. And of course, hoping it doesn't hit anywhere near home. 

Of course, there is the question that drives everyone's emotion, and the one that I reaaaaallly struggle to wrap my mind around - how big of a hole in your conscience must one have to hold others in captivity, and to do so for ten years? To look them in the eye every day and do it for ten years! So inhumane...

I cannot even begin to put into words, or will even try to justify it by trying to do so, the thought process and feelings of living and experiencing the ordeal. 

And finally what really shakes me to my core is the obvious question we all are afraid to confront - how many other Jaycee Dugards, Amanda Berrys, Gina Dejesus', Michelle Knights, and Ronique Laquette Smiths are out there - either still in captivity or have been rescued?

For the most part, that neighborhood in Cleveland never knew (although some glaring signs should have been followed up on by police). Ramsey said, "I never knew. I had ribs and listened to salsa music with the guy!" 

To me, that's scary. Just flat out, scary. 

As if our world isn't evil enough. 

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/18/22

3 Up 1.  Yvon Chouinard - Nothing says big baller like announcing you're donating your company's worth to the mission of fighting climate change. Sure, there are some tax benefits (let's not be silly), but that's still a pretty damn impressive thing to do. Wish we saw that more from billionaires.  2. Aaron Judge - Well, the big fella is on his way to breaking the record of 61 home runs (whether you think it's just the American League record or the in fact still the single-season home run record is up to you). I just hope he does it over the next two days at Yankee Stadium, on YES, with Michael Kay on the call. It'll be a damn shame if it happened on Apple TV where it happens in a vacuum and most fans will be unable to experience history. That would be awful for baseball.  3. How The Word is Passed - This is a selfish "Up" from me because I finally finished this book that has been on my list for a while - and it is a must-read for all. I'm a big

CM Punk's Press Conference Backlash - Hard to Root For

I've always found the pro wrestling press conference to be an interesting dichotomy of the essence of the art form. In an era where kayfabe is dead (or not what it used to be) and the lines are immensely blurred between real life and storyline, or at times, mixed in for engagement, interest, and controversy, the press conference schtick, and the pre-show round tables, sit in this odd space.   Does it live within the space of the pro wrestling world through the illustrious glory of kayfabe? Or is it a real, authentic, full-access medium to the real matters pertaining to the business of the product?  Maybe, I'm the only one being worked. Possibly.  As you can imagine, this is where my thoughts sit in regard to the now infamous CM Punk presser following AEW's Double or Nothing pay-per-view (or premium live event, if that's your vocabulary). I can't help but ask myself multiple times, "Why?" in response to the entire ordeal. And not in an intriguing way, but o

Durant Showed Us Who He Was

When people show you who they are, believe them.  That's what my thought process is reduced to regarding Kevin Durant, his trade request from the Brooklyn Nets, and well, everything else that surrounds the latest drama that has taken over the NBA (and in many ways, the sports world).  Kevin Durant is immensely talented. Superhuman in so many ways. If you see him in person (as I have many times at the Barclays Center as a Brooklyn Net, and once at the Staples Center as a young member of the Oklahoma City Thunder), you're simply in awe of his stature, his ability, and his grace on the court. It's the kind of aura that keeps you believing in the aura of pro sports, and the sheer exclusiveness of these human beings. It's in the same realm as LeBron James and Steph Curry, physical and ability marvels that go just beyond remarkable, existing in a realm of specialness that cannot be described other than comprehension with the eyes.  Kevin Durant is one of my favorite athletes

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/4/22

3 Up 1. Serena Williams - Well, the GOAT finally ran out of steam this weekend in her US Open loss to Ajila Tomljanovic. Williams made that last set all kinds of dramatic with her refusal to be put away. Not sure what else there is to say - she's one of the greatest athletes of all time. And if you've followed this blog, you know that she's been one of mine.  If this is it, thanks for the memories, Serena.  1A. Ajla Tomljanovic - I'm also giving Tomljanovic some MAJOR props as she handled being a part of this moment perfectly. From not giving into the moment and remaining competitive, to displaying amazing poise while being asked tough questions about Serena following a victory - her victory! How can you not be impressed by her? 2. Labor Day Weekend- While summer is unofficially over (why does summer have unofficial beginnings and end in Memorial Day?), I just felt like this Labor Day was needed for everyone. Summer, and the intense heat, provided a summer unlike any ot