Friday, September 9, 2011

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

At age 11, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped by a couple when she was walking to the school bus. She was held captive in a backyard where she was sexually and mentally abused until she was rescued at age 29. She was not allowed to say her real name and instead, went by the name Allissa. She gave birth to her two daughters when she was 14 and 17 (fathered by her kidnapper).

I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to read this book. I started it out slowly because reading about the sexually abuse and rapes was quite horrifying. However, I kept reading because I knew that Dugard would be eventually rescued.

I'm glad I kept reading. Despite years of isolation and abuse, Dugard seems to be a warm, smart, aware woman who wants the best for her children. She really seems like someone who would be nice to talk to and who wants to emotionally connect with people. Of course, she's still going through healing and therapy, but she's also set up a foundation (with animal-assisted therapy because pets helped her through her captivity) that will help others who have been abducted and abused. I'm amazed at what she went through and who she has become despite the nightmare she lived through.

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