Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Stolen Life

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.

22 comments:

amy b.s. said...

i've been debating pikcing this book up as i didn't know if i'd be able to handle reading it. but now i'm looking forward to it. she is such an amazing person.

Alana said...

Oh I'm definitely going to have to read this now. I can't even imagine what she went through!

And ungrateful hissy-fits like Bethenny's are exactly why I can't watch most reality shows (anything with housewives, people who are famous for no reason, and children who dance or compete in pageants). Some people don't know how good they have it (or how bad other people have it).

Becca {A Blonde's Logic} said...

Well said! We all need to be thankful for what we have. I do really want to read this! I'm afraid I'll be bawling like a baby though.

Becca
http://blondeslogic.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

I don't think that I can or will read the book. Graphic and I do not agree. I do 100% agree with you about attitude. Being positive, grateful, and moving forward are important things. I also think that we're human though and no one's perfect, so it's okay to catch yourself feeling and being negative, it's just turning off the negative that's the challenge. Great post, Ruthie!

Sarah E. said...

I have had the book since it came out but I'm currently trying to get through the Harry Potter series again.

Your post is great! Very well thought out and written. I definitely agree with you - Jaycee is an inspiration!

Heather said...

I have been wanting to read this book ever since I saw Jaycee's interview with Diane Sawyer, and now you've sold me on it! :) I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

I also 100% agree with you about Bethenney... I follower her on Twitter and love you down-to-earth personality... She has always been my "favorite" housewife out of the franchise, love her books, drinks, etc... but you're SO RIGHT. Her attitude that night, and her attitude towards her in-laws and how they bow down to her because of her celebrity status, gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

We have SO much to be thankful for! My hubby and I have a lot of stressful things going on this week, but you encouraged me to focus on a positive attitude, despite what "comes my way"! Love ya girl! xo

Camylla Leonardi said...

such a sad sorry!! It surprises me how this girl is so happy after everything that has happened to her.

Karen said...

Goosebumps, tears, anger, love and hope. All emotions I feel just from reading your post and watching the video clip. I will be getting that book and reading her story. Thank you for posting about it Ruthie!!

.Amelia.Bedelia. said...

On my "must-read" list! I'm thrilled to have found your blog. Your newest follower, Amy

Meg {henninglove} said...

what a beautiful example she is, she isn't bitter she doesn't feel like she deserves anything and she is grateful just for life to be back with her mom and to have her children around everyone can take a lesson from her that is for sure

Mrs. M said...

I need to read this now. But first I'm going to watch my 5yo play bob the builder on the computer before my 5mo wakes up!

Thank you for sharing! <3

Jill said...

I think I need to read this now! I found you via mrs T and im now following
http://www.mommatotallyinlove.com/

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles said...

I so love your take on this! I have such a pet peeve when people use their pasts as reasons for poor behavior. Your past, no matter how tragic, is not an excuse to behave like an ass.

Kasey said...

I will definitely have to add this to my reading list!

Sheedia @ InspirU CooCoo said...

I saw her interview on tv and I was also so impressed with her ability to forgive after all she's been through. The good thing about it is that because she was able to forgive she can now go on with her life. I am sure it is harder than she made it seem in the interview, but she is definitely a role model. #commenthour

Wendy said...

It always amazes me at the strength some people have. I often wonder, what would I do? Would I lose faith? Would I give up? I hope not. Anyway, a book like this really does put life into perspective ~ we need to be more gracious, more thankful and more forgiving. I haven't read the book yet, but I will be. Thanks for giving us your take!

Lindsey said...

Last night I found the book "Room" online and it's been compared to Jaycee's story. I'm not sure I'd want to read either story in full.
There is always someone out there who has it worse than I do, for sure.
#commenthour

Trish said...

I really want to read this book, but am afraid it'll depress me. However, after reading your review, I'm more inclined to give it a go. Thanks! #commenthour

Courtney said...

Sounds like an incredible book and an incredible story. Thanks for posting about itI And yes! Pinterest is totally addicting!!!

Courtney said...

p.s. Am I crazy or did your blog get a new look?? I'm lovin' it!

Leah from Sweet and Sour Showers said...

Great post, Ruthie. I need to put this on my Kindle list. PS. Love the new chevron background.

birdie to be said...

I JUST read this book too! It was absolutely amazing! I finished it in 1 1/2 days. It really opens your eyes and makes you appreciate life.

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