I mentioned in Monday's post that I had read and finished Jaycee Dugard's book A Stolen Life in less than 2 days. I wanted to dedicate a post solely to the book because it was so moving.For those of you who don't know, Jaycee Dugard was abducted from the bus stop in front of her Lake Tahoe home in June of 1991, Jaycee was 11 years old. She was taken by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy and proceeded to live in captivity in their backyard for the next 18 years...
Phillip began raping Jaycee at age 11 and making her do things no 11 year old should even know about (and Jaycee did not). Jaycee gave birth to a daughter at age 14 and another at age 17.
I do not want to give away the whole story but the reason I was so moved by this book is because of Jaycee's attitude. If you know me personally, you know I am generally a happy, positive person. I always try to see the good in situations and it is hard for me to say no. But I do dwell on things. I find myself getting peeved about a slow driver or an email at work. And ever since watching Jaycee's first interview with Diane Sawyer a couple of months ago, my life has changed.
Jaycee was found and released from captivity at age 29 (and wrote this book soon after). You would not believe that the girl speaking with Diane Sawyer had been held captive for 18 years. She is the poster child for hope. I read a quote last week that said "Let your past make you better, not bitter" and it reminded of me Jaycee. She was stripped of her childhood, her teenage years and most of her twenties. She birthed 2 children without any medical care and schooled them with her 4th grade education. And today...Jaycee smiles.
I remember her saying that Phillip Garrido may have stolen life experiences from her but the future is hers. And she is so positive about it. That is what changed my life. Honestly when I find myself complaining, I think of Jaycee. People always say "you know someone out there has it worse off than you" but Jaycee is a real life example. She had the shit beat out of her emotions at such a young age and she is happy. She is an amazing woman.
Forgive me for being blunt but sometimes when I hear people complain I want to mail them a copy of this book. Let's take Bethenny Frankel for example. I LOVE her. I loved her on Real Housewives, I love Bethenny Ever After, I love her cocktails and I love her family. But want to know what I hate? Her attitude!! Last season of her show, she had a royal meltdown and mouthed off at her husband for throwing her a birthday party and surprising her with diamond earrings. Her reasoning? Because her dad wasn't in her life she never appreciated birthdays so this was "too much" for her. I am sorry. You are 40 years old. FREAKING DIAMOND EARRINGS! Okay I need to calm down. I have seriously thought long and hard about this. Yes I know you had issues with your past but again, look at Jaycee. Look what she has to remember for her childhood and early adult hood.
Jaycee has taught me to be grateful. To forgive.
So just a forewarning, the book is graphic. I had kept up with most of the Jaycee Dugard trial and knew she went through very painful things during captivity so I prepared myself. I think because I prepared myself, I was not as shocked. She goes into small detail but not as much as I thought. Prepare to cry, clench your fists and smile as you hear the story of how Jaycee regained her freedom.
This is 100% my opinion and if yours is different, I respect that, but please be nice. I just had to share how amazing I thought this woman is and I will forever look up to her as a role model. She is strong, she perseveres, she never gave up hope.
For more information on the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, check out this website. Also, for more information on The National Center of Missing & Exploited Children, visit their website.