Tonight, Jaycee Dugard is sharing her story in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC. The woman who survived an 18-year nightmare after she was kidnapped wore a pine cone charm to the interview. She said it is a symbol of hope, and it was one of the last things she touched before Phillip Craig Garrido took her when she was just 11 years old.
She began by saying that she was concerned about the field trip that day. Her mother was supposed to have kissed her, but she didn’t. Jaycee was not upset because she figured she would be able to get one later in the day. Until Garrido kidnapped her, her biggest concern of the day was asking her mother if she could shave her legs in advance of her field trip.
Thoughts and the memory of her mother on the porch looking at the moonlight sustained her for the entire 18 years of her captivity. “I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me” was a piece of the song her mother had sung to her.
Jaycee Dugard said that she wrote her book A Stolen Life: A Memoir detailing her harrowing ordeal as a call to action for parole officers, court psychiatrists and anybody else who can help save the life of a child. She wrote the details of her own experience to help victims of sex abuse who often keep secrets. The book will be in bookstores on Tuesday.
As she spoke of her kidnapper raping her day after day after day, she said that Garrido would cry and beg her forgiveness, and then he would threaten to sell her to somebody else. She said hearing the lock turn and the squeaky, pull-out bed were the hardest things for her to deal with during those first weeks and months of captivity.
She had a spider named Bianca, and that was basically one of her only companions other than Phillip Garrido. After seven months, Nancy Garrido began coming into her room to help her husband erase Jaycee Dugard’s identity. Dugard wanted Nancy to like her because she was afraid she would get in trouble. Nancy also cried and apologized for what they had done. Then Nancy would bring in kittens that would later disappear. It is so unbelievable that she actually helped her husband do this. So disgusting. Eventually, the couple took her name away from her.
Jaycee got pregnant and gave birth at 14 years old, which is unbelievable. She was in labor for hours alone until finally, the Garridos gave her codeine for the pain. Finally, Phillip unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby’s neck; it is scary that the little girl had a complication in her delivery and the baby still lived. Three years later, she had another daughter. She only knew how to care for the babies from what she saw on TV. Can you even imagine? Garrido decided that Jaycee’s daughters had to call Nancy ‘mom’ rather than her.
They made her become ‘Alyssa’ rather than Jaycee. This was part of how they erased her identity. They finally took her back out into the world, but she never tried to run because by that point, they had emotionally handcuffed her. Of course, parole officers actually visited the residence 60 times over the 18 years, but they never bothered to investigate or figure out who she was.
Finally, after 18 long years, both Jaycee and her mother actually looked at the moon on the same night. Two officers felt something was wrong. Phillip Garrido was called into the parole office, and finally things were unraveled. She had to write her name because she had not been allowed to use it for 18 years. What a miracle!
Ultimately, Jaycee Dugard has taken her life back. She refuses to rage against Phillip Garrido. She does not want to give him one more second. Her story is an amazing story of survival, and her attitude is beautiful. She is beautiful.
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