Raw, real, true, authentic, courage, hope. These words describe Jaycee Dugard's book A Stolen Life: A Memoir which hit bookshelves on Tuesday, July 12. Her harrowing story is difficult to read. Imagine how difficult it must have been to write, and then imagine how impossible it must have been to live through.
It hurts to write about this part. This has turned out to be a very hard book to write. Part of me does not want to continue. To reenter the state of mine I was at that age is difficult and twists my insides. The more I write, the harder it becomes.
Even with all the pain it caused, Jaycee Dugard said that she wrote the book because not to inform the world of what Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido did to her was helping to keep their secrets, and she no longer has to keep their secrets.
Simply written, you can see Jaycee's 11-year-old self come out especially in the first few chapters, and your heart hurts. Why oh why didn't somebody save this young woman sooner? She felt invisible, and it is no wonder considering that law enforcement failed her for 18 long years. Although she only had a fifth grade education, she did a wonderful job writing her story in her own voice.
This book is a must-read for every person living in the U.S. It's both beautiful and terrible. Most of all, it's real. Jaycee Dugard does not sugar coat what that deranged psychopathic pedophile did to her for 18 years all with the help and compliance of his wife. Ultimately, though, she survived and is a truly beautiful human being. She has not let rage and hate eat away at her. She wrote:
In my heart I do not hate Phillip. I don't believe in hate. To me it wastes too much time. People who hate waste so much of their life hating that they miss out on all the other stuff out here. I do not choose to live my life that way. What is done is done.
What a lesson for everybody. If she does not allow her life to be ruled by hate, how could anybody? This wisdom could help make the world a better place.
Be prepared to shed tears while reading A Stolen Life: A Memoir. If you can, buy it yourself in support of this courageous young woman who managed to survive something so horrific that even she cannot imagine how she actually lived through it at times. After you read it, ask yourself what you can do to make sure something like this never happens again. What changes need to be made?
Like this article? See more by Kate James at Gather.com