When we first heard about the rescue of Jaycee Dugard, her story seemed almost unbelievable. A young girl was kidnapped, repeatedly raped, held captive for 18 years and finally freed. It was like something out of a movie. But Jaycee’s ordeal was very real.
After all she’s gone through, it would be easy for Jaycee Dugard to be bitter and full of rage. Nearly half her life was taken from her, but the 31-year-old remains positive, upbeat and optimistic.
A Stolen Life
On Sunday, July 11, ABC News aired Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jaycee Dugard. Throughout the 2-hour special, Jaycee talked about how she lived and how she survived. Her upcoming book, “A Stolen Life” chronicles the tale of a woman who refuses to be defined as a victim.
While imprisoned by Phillip and Nancy Garrido, Jaycee Dugard endured sexual abuse, mental manipulation and other cruelties. Today she is bravely speaking up about her experiences. It would be easy to remain silent, but Jaycee insists: “Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can’t scare you anymore.”
Haunted By Sound
When asked what memories haunt her the most, Jaycee talks about the noises she can still hear today. The door locking behind her after she was placed in the Garrido’s soundproof shed. The squeaky bed on which she spent so many sleepless nights. These sounds still play in Jaycee’s mind. They will always be with her.
The torment that Jaycee was put through is impossible for most of us to understand. But even after all the pain, terror and manipulation, Jaycee remains strong. She had no choice but to persevere. She refused to give up.
For nearly 2 decades, Jaycee clung to memories of her mother. At times, however, these memories were almost too much to bear. Jaycee kept a journal, and often used the word “her” instead of “mom.” Referring to her directly was simply too painful.
About 120 miles away, Terry Probyn, Jaycee’s mother, did everything possible to find her daughter. She spent years leading the search. She talked to police, investigators, reporters, neighbors – anyone who would listen and everyone who might be able to help. As the years marched on, it would have been easy to give up. Terry Probyn never did. Even Jaycee says she doesn’t know how her mom held on to hope for so long.
In The Name Of Freedom
18 years passed. Jaycee Dugard’s life and identity were taken from her. She wasn’t even allowed to use her own name. Her captors lied and manipulated the young girl. They told Jaycee that what she was going through would keep other kids safe. When Jaycee had children of her own, they told her that it was dangerous for them to be anywhere else. Ironically, they told her that the outside world was filled with violent predators and pedophiles.
Jaycee became most terrified of the unknown. She was made to believe that life away from the Garridos would be far worse. Even though she had chances to escape, fear and concern for her children kept her in place. When Phillip Garrido was finally caught, Jaycee was too afraid to even talk.
Officers repeatedly asked Jaycee her name. After 18 years, Jaycee couldn’t bring herself to say it. Finally she agreed to write it down. With a shaky hand she wrote Jaycee Lee Dugard. And with that, a change came over Jaycee. She describes as light coming back on. Jaycee was free. She could finally see her mom again.
Learning From Her Pain
Nearly two years have passed since Jaycee’s rescue, and now she’s telling her full story. Her book details the terrifying experiences she went through in significant detail. She is doing this to shed a spotlight on pedophiles and child abductors. To show us that there are dangerous people out there, and we need to know the truth. It is also for her. A cathartic experience to help overcome a painful past.
Jaycee Dugard proudly boasts that her tormentors cannot steal anything else from her. Her story is one every parent should hear. No one should have to go through the torment Terry Probyn lived with for so long. The world we share can be a scary place. Stay safe, hold your loved ones close and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders people search blog.