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

CM Punk's Return - Perfect Timing for the Symbol of Anti-WWE

Looooooooook in my eyes, what do you see?! The lyrics to Cult of Personality, especially that first bar,  never felt so fitting for CM Punk as it did last night.  For the most part, everything that is CM Punk's return to wrestling last night at AEW Rampage ties directly into my latest thoughts on pro wrestling - the company is making it must-see destination television, an element desperately needed from pro wrestling.  Last night was incredible as again, it was another moment that made wrestling feel alive - with a wild and energetic pulse. It was one of the coolest moments in pro wrestling that you knew was coming, expected, anticipated, and it was everything and more. Again, MUST-SEE television. That's hard to do.  For me, it wasn't just Punk's return to pro wrestling, but the mere presence and voice of his inclusion in today's space. We know that Punk can deliver on the microphone - probably his best and most signature attribute. We also know that yes, he can

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/10/21

3 Up 1. Moderna Vaccine to Low Income Nations - In a world where the idea of "pandemic" now feels like a state of mind or the privilege of belief, Moderna has decided to aim its efforts in getting at least 1 billion doses to low-income countries the COVID vaccine. I'll save the "vaccine" chat for another time - but this is pretty awesome by Moderna. And oh yeah, highly needed.  2. Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi - Two absolute legends of the WNBA had some legacy-cementing moments this week. Parker lead her hometown Chicago Sky into the WNBA finals, and Taurasi, was named the GOAT of the WNBA by fans. Because well, she is. Congrats to both.  3. Netlfix's On My Block - For the second week in a row I'm putting a personal - and admittedly, biased - selection in the "Up" section. One of my favorite shows by Netflix, On My Block , released its fourth and final season, and yes, I binged it on my daily commute home. Gonna miss the crew from Freeridge.

Thoughts on MLB at Field of Dreams Game

"You'll REALLY like the film. It's a great baseball movie that touches on the father-son relationship - just...just a really good film."  Those were the encouraging words of my father-in-law in regards to the film, Field of Dreams, on the weekend prior to the MLB at Field of Dreams game in Iowa. There were among the few recommendations or positive reviews that I received as the fever pitch (no pun intended - and a terrible movie about the RedSox and Baseball - blah) built toward the game. I, a baseball fan, never saw the movie, or really, had little interest in it.  I finally watched it based on the nudges, excitable remarks, and surprisingly shocked reactions when I mentioned that I never saw the film. And of course, because it would be nice to have SOME context to why the game was special. For me, the film was. well,  it was just there. Good movie - great script for sure. I guess I just never got caught in the romanticizing of baseball that the film elicits for me.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/17/21

3 Up 1. WNBA Finals - The WNBA playoffs are definitely going to be in the running for my Sporting Event of the Year Award. What a series! The Finals were capped off by an amazing game before a raucous crowd in Chicago. Kudos to everyone, especially the amazing story of Candace Parker returning home and winning a chip. Major props to Courtney Vandersloot.  2. New 2022 Quarters - Get ready for your money to diversify - well just a bit. But it's a start! Beginning in 2022, the US quarter coins will feature trailblazing American women such as civil rights activist; astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first principal woman chief; Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico's suffrage movement; and Anna May Wong, the first Hollywood film star of Chinese American descent.