This week I finished one of the most difficult books I have ever read. Last week I searched Amazon's bestsellers list to find something interesting. I stumbled across Jaycee Dugard's A Stolen Life.
I imagined it would be an amazing story, but I really wasn't prepared for her blunt account of what happened. This book was a realization of how cruel and psychotic people can actually be. I've lived a very sheltered, safe life and could not imagine the twisted things some minds can create. After reading the first few chapters, I had this huge wave of anxiety wash over me. I am raising a child in the same world that this little girl was abducted and abused in. I actually had to go in Caleb's room and check on him after reading parts of this book. It made me hug him a little tighter and snuggle him a whole lot longer.
When I finished the book, I sat in awe at how amazing Jaycee is. I believe your average eleven year old kid could not endure the things she had to. She is a survivor....a fighter. I also began to think of the thousands of other children in our country that don't make it through situations like hers. They aren't given a chance to return home to their families. When you hear news reports of finding missing children's remains, you automatically feel sad for the family. But do you ever stop to think about just what that child experienced? I admit I never did. I wouldn't let my mind go there. I never wanted to think about how much they suffered. Then again I never had the twisted ideas of how to imagine what could have happened.
A Stolen Life isn't just horrific and depressing, it's absolutely inspiring. Jaycee had no idea how to be a mother at age fourteen, but she went above and beyond to care for and love two children that were born into a horrible situation. People go through tough, discouraging things in life. Jaycee persevered through the sexual abuse, two childbirths without any medical care, emotional brainwashing, lived in dismal conditions, and still came out thankful, joyful, and renewed. She had every reason in the world to give up and give in many times through her captivity, but she chose to have hope of being released and a deep wish in her heart to see her mother again.
Definitely read this book if you want inspiration that isn't all about butterflies, rainbows, and sunshine. If you want a real account of hardship in life and a person's battle to rise above, this is a book for you. If you have a difficult time dealing with the sad reality of life all around us, you may struggle with the first few chapters as I did. You will get angry. You will get upset. You very well should because it could be happening right next door to you without you ever suspecting it. What happened to Jaycee was totally unacceptable and probably very preventable. But she's certainly not the first nor the last child this has or will happen to.