Remember: A Poem on Recovering Innocence After Abuse
Hope gives you the strength to keep going
When you feel like giving up.
Don’t ever quit believing in yourself.
As long as you believe you can,
You will have a reason for trying.
Don’t let anyone hold your happiness
In their hands; hold it in yours,
So it will always be within your reach.
Don’t measure success or failure
By material wealth, but by how you feel;
Our feelings indicate the richness of our lives.
Don’t let bad moments make a quitter
Out of you;
Be patient and they will pass.
By seeing them through
You will become a winner.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help;
We all need it from time to time.
Don’t run away from love but towards love,
Because it is our deepest joy.
Don’t wait for what you want to come to you;
Go after it with all that you are,
Knowing that life will meet you halfway.
Don’t feel like you’ve lost
When plans and dreams fall short of your hopes.
Any time you learn something new
About yourself or about life,
You have progressed.
Don’t do anything that takes away
From your self-respect;
Feeling good about yourself
Is essential to feeling good about life..
Don’t ever forget how to laugh
Or be too proud to cry.
It is by doing both
That we live life to its fullest….
— Nancye Sims
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That period of wrapping up therapy and saying goodbye is known as “termination,” a word that evokes images of being fired from a job or being stalked by Arnold Schwarzenegger. But mental-health experts consider termination a crucial stage in therapy.
If handled properly, it provides an opportunity to re-examine the issues that led the client to seek help in the first place, to evaluate the therapy itself and to deal with feelings that might bubble up in the face of bidding farewell.
A so-called natural termination, in which the two of you agree to end treatment because your goals have been met, is difficult enough. Who, after all, likes to say goodbye, especially to someone who has helped you so profoundly and so intimately? But a premature termination, where a dissatisfied client leaves without much notice or a therapist departs before the patient is ready, can be downright traumatic.
“It’s always best if people can have time to pay attention to the process of saying goodbye,” says Carl Shubs, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills. “If people leave too abruptly, it interferes with the process–they’re not able to deal with the sadness or anger, the mourning that occurs.”
Adds Sylvia Martin, a licensed marriage, family and child therapist in private practice in Sherman Oaks: “Termination is a time when people start to deal with all their losses. It can trigger feelings about old issues, or issues about the relationship between the therapist and client.
“If there is an old loss they have not grieved, they will tap in and experience the same feelings,” she says. “Maybe they had a feeling of abandonment when they were young and did not understand it. Or maybe they have not had the luxury before now of dealing with a loss–for example, going through a divorce with two kids.”
If it is the patient who says so long, a good therapist will try to determine if he or she wants out because the topics being discussed are becoming too painful. In those cases, the therapist will encourage the patient to remain, so as to work through the discomfort and resolve those issues.
Many times, though, the client is willing to slog through the hard stuff, but feels this particular therapist is less than able. Such was the case last year for Laura, 41, who works in the travel industry in Orange County and sought counseling for marital problems.
“I was therapy illiterate,” she recalls. “I had no basis for comparison. But I never felt I was getting help. I would drive home and think, ‘Why did I just go there?’ I didn’t expect a magic cure, but I was just begging my therapist, ‘Give me some tools to help me.’
“All she said was, I had to divorce my husband, which I wasn’t ready to do. I felt her attitude was, ‘You won’t take my advice, so I don’t know what to tell you.’ ”
Laura–who is still married and on better terms with her husband–found another therapist to her liking. But she stuck with her first counselor longer than she preferred to because, she says, “The last thing I wanted was to look for someone new to spill my guts to, to start over again.”
Indeed, for some people, leaving the current therapist is the easy part; it’s finding a new one that poses problems. Says Studio City writer Catherine Johnson, author of the book “When to Say Goodbye to Your Therapist” (Simon and Schuster, 1988), “Finding a new therapist is not like finding a new dentist. It’s extremely difficult to find a match.
“It’s a bit like finding a lover, or best friend, or a parent. You don’t just go out and find a new best friend. You have to find a real emotional fit, on top of basic competence.”
Lisa Moore, 34, a West Los Angeles advertising account executive, discovered that last year when she left the marriage and family counselor she had been seeing for 15 months because she thought the therapist had crossed the professional line and was becoming too friendly. After six weeks with a new therapist recommended by her physician, she decided to return to her former counselor.
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Maybe you don’t like your therapist. Maybe you do, but you’ve resolved the
issues that drove you to seek counseling in the first place. Or maybe those
issues remain unresolved, with few signs of progress. Maybe your sessions feel
as if they’ve morphed into very expensive chats with a friend.
For myriad reasons, people come to a point when they wonder if they should
break up with their therapist. And “break up” is the right term for it, because
quitting therapy can spur emotions as painful and complicated as ending a
How do you know if you’re ready to stop therapy? And how should you go about
it? First, any therapy that is abusive or destructive should be stopped
immediately, said Dr. Kenneth Settel, clinical instructor in psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School. Examples of abusive therapists are those who are
disrespectful or insensitive to certain issues; those who violate boundaries;
those who reveal too much about their own problems; and those who insist on
focusing on areas the patient didn’t come in for.
But assuming you’re not dealing with that, patients should approach ending
therapy as a chance to grow, Settel said. Rather than cut and run or avoid the
topic altogether — tempting routes for the confrontation-avoidant — it’s
important that patients, well, talk to their therapist about it.
In therapy, the relationship between the patient and the therapist is a
vehicle for understanding the patient’s issues, Settel said. So the way you end
therapy can be a way of examining how you say goodbye to people, and the
feelings involved in leaving and loss.
Ask yourself why you want to move on. When did you start feeling that the
therapy was no longer helpful or productive? What happened that made it
different? Was there a change in you, in the topics being discussed, in the
therapist? Confronting that tension can be a turning point because it forces you
to work through obstacles, Settel said.
“Ending therapy can be very therapeutic,” Settel said.
Though the patient-therapist relationship can have a weird power dynamic —
you’re paying, but the therapist is the expert and knows your every demon —
patients should feel they have control of the process, said Lynn Bufka, a
psychologist and head of the department of practice, research and policy at the
American Psychological Association. Patients should feel empowered to ask
questions, steer the sessions to focus on particular issues and let the
therapist know what’s not working.
The tricky part is making sure you’re not leaving therapy just because it’s
unpleasant or difficult, which oftentimes it has to be, Bufka said. More than
make you feel better, therapy is supposed to help you understand yourself
On the flip side, therapy shouldn’t be some indefinite appointment you keep
as part of your routine. There should be regular discussions about what you’re
trying to accomplish and whether you’re meeting those goals.
“I hope that I’m going to work myself out of a job,” Bufka said.
There is such a thing as staying in therapy for too long. One warning sign is
if a patient has to run all decisions by his or her therapist, which can signal
dependency, Bufka said. Another concern is if the therapist relationship is
taking the place of building other relationships.
Another downside of staying in therapy for too long is that you don’t have
the opportunity to practice the skills you’re developing independently, Settel
said. If the therapy was aiming to help you build internal skills of
self-observation, stopping therapy can encourage growth because it forces you to
internalize the process.
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If you think it’s hard to end a relationship with a lover or spouse, try breaking up with your psychotherapist.
A writer friend of mine recently tried and found it surprisingly difficult. Several months after landing a book contract, she realized she was in trouble.
“I was completely paralyzed and couldn’t write,” she said, as I recall. “I had to do something right away, so I decided to get myself into psychotherapy.”
What began with a simple case of writer’s block turned into seven years of intensive therapy.
Over all, she found the therapy very helpful. She finished a second novel and felt that her relationship with her husband was stronger. When she broached the topic of ending treatment, her therapist strongly resisted, which upset the patient. “Why do I need therapy,” she wanted to know, “if I’m feeling good?”
Millions of Americans are in psychotherapy, and my friend’s experience brings up two related, perplexing questions. How do you know when you are healthy enough to say goodbye to your therapist? And how should a therapist handle it?
With rare exceptions, the ultimate aim of all good psychotherapists is, well, to make themselves obsolete. After all, whatever drove you to therapy in the first place — depression, anxiety, relationship problems, you name it — the common goal of treatment is to feel and function better independent of your therapist.
To put it bluntly, good therapy is supposed to come to an end.
But when? And how is the patient to know? Is the criterion for termination “cure” or is it just feeling well enough to be able to call it a day and live with the inevitable limitations and problems we all have?
The term “cure,” I think, is illusory — even undesirable — because there will always be problems to repair. Having no problems is an unrealistic goal. It’s more important for patients to be able to deal with their problems and to handle adversity when it inevitably arises.
Still, even when patients feel that they have accomplished something important in therapy and feel “good enough,” it is not always easy to say goodbye to a therapist.
Not long ago, I evaluated a successful lawyer who had been in psychotherapy for nine years. He had entered therapy, he told me, because he lacked a sense of direction and had no intimate relationships. But for six or seven years, he had felt that he and his therapist were just wasting their time. Therapy had become a routine, like going to the gym.
“It’s not that anything bad has happened,” he said. “It’s that nothing is happening.”
This was no longer psychotherapy, but an expensive form of chatting. So why did he stay with it? In part, I think, because therapy is essentially an unequal relationship. Patients tend to be dependent on their therapists. Even if the therapy is problematic or unsatisfying, that might be preferable to giving it up altogether or starting all over again with an unknown therapist.
Beyond that, patients often become stuck in therapy for the very reason that they started it. For example, a dependent patient cannot leave his therapist; a masochistic patient suffers silently in treatment with a withholding therapist; a narcissistic patient eager to be liked fears challenging his therapist, and so on.
Of course, you may ask why therapists in such cases do not call a timeout and question whether the treatment is stalled or isn’t working. I can think of several reasons.
To start with, therapists are generally an enthusiastic bunch who can always identify new issues for you to work on. Then, of course, there is an unspoken motive: therapists have an inherent financial interest in keeping their patients in treatment.
And therapists have unmet emotional needs just like everyone else, which certain patients satisfy. Therapists may find some patients so interesting, exciting or fun that they have a hard time letting go of them.
So the best way to answer the question, “Am I done with therapy?” is to confront it head on. Periodically take stock of your progress and ask your therapist for direct feedback.
How close are you to reaching your goals? How much better do you feel? Are your relationships and work more satisfying? You can even ask close friends or your partner whether they see any change.
If you think you are better and are contemplating ending treatment but the therapist disagrees, it is time for an independent consultation. Indeed, after a consultation, my writer friend terminated her therapy and has no regrets about it.
The lawyer finally mustered the courage to tell his therapist that although he enjoyed talking with her, he really felt that the time had come to stop. To his surprise, she agreed.
If, unlike those two, you still cannot decide to stay or leave, consider an experiment. Take a break from therapy for a few months and see what life is like without it.
That way, you’ll have a chance to gauge the effects of therapy without actually being in it (and paying for it). Remember, you can always go back.
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Open our eyes and the world can seem a scary place. Open our minds and the choices can overwhelm. Open our hearts, and we may feel a need to lessen the pain. Look to our souls to choose a path. Remember the joy, remember the discovery, Remember all we h…ave learned, Remember the friendship, remember the love… With feeling. Remember the pain, for what it taught us About ourselves, about our world. But, remember with mindfulness, And let the hurt go. In the darkest and coldest of nights, Our fearful or angery expectations will not serve us. But our dreams of a brighter warmer day Will illuminate a path to that dawn. Hope heals, hope sustains, Hope can warm cold hearts and open closed minds. To forgive ourselves, to forgive others, To dream of a better world that yet may be, This is love. To act on love, To be willing to strive and sacrifice For the growth and healing, Of ourselves and others, Is to be responsibly human. With such humans I have fought alongside for what I believes is just and fair, With such humans, I have wept, With such humans I have laughed, With such humans I have even vented and stormed. I have seen more than my fair share of bright warm days. Now, not by choice I must go. Without expectation that I will see days as bright or warm, Or coworkers as responsibly human. But with hope that I may be able to appreciate, How bright those tomorrows may be, And how responsibly human those future coworkers may be, Or, may yet become. When we look to the future, We create paths of energy That draws those futures to us. Always dream of brighter days… Especially in the dark cold nights. See More
By: Matthew Groff
10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life
1.Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.
2.Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.
3.Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.
4.Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?
5.Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.
6.Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.
7.Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.
8.Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.
9.Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.
10.Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.
Yet, some of the most overwhelming memories come from her first two years of freedom which she and her children have spent reunited with her mother.
“Wow. Now I can walk in the next room and see my mom. Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow. It’s unbelievable. Truly,” Dugard said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido when she was just 11 years old in 1991 and held captive in a backyard compound.
She was subjected to rape, manipulation and verbal abuse. She gave birth to two daughters fathered by her abductor in that backyard prison.
Dugard lived in virtual solitary confinement until her first daughter was born three years into captivity and wasn’t allowed to spend time outdoors until after her second daughter was born, more than six years after her abduction.
She writes that the closest thing to freedom she ever felt in the compound was when she was allowed to live in her own tent and plant a small garden.
Now, Dugard is telling all in a new memoir, “A Stolen Life,” and in her exclusive interview with Sawyer.
She’s taking an unflinching look at the horror she’s overcome and giving an unsparing account of the way a predator operates and how she survived.
“Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can’t scare you anymore,” she told Sawyer. “I didn’t want there to be any more secrets…I hadn’t done anything wrong. It wasn’t something I did that caused this to happen. And I feel that by putting it all out there, it’s very freeing,” Dugard said.
Dugard, 31, remembers the first night after she and her daughters were rescued in 2009.
They spent the night in a motel room just down the hall from Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn.
Both Probyn and Dugard had held out hope throughout their nearly two decade separation that they’d find one another.
They had no idea that they’d been only 120 miles from one another the whole time.
“That night, I woke the girls [my daughters] up and I just said, “I’m so happy. I’m so happy!” Dugard said. “I ran down the hall…the girls are following me and knocking on the door…I walked in, ‘I’m so happy! I’m so happy!”
Simple firsts have brought healing to Dugard and her family: learning how to drive from the sister who was just a baby when Dugard was kidnapped, eating family dinners around a table instead of the fast food that Phillip Garrido fed her for 18 years, and even just saying her name which was forbidden by her captors.
Still, the sounds of her imprisonment haunt her.
“That lock. Hearing the lock…for some reason that and the bed squeal. It was a squeaky bed…I guess the noise, the sound. Weird what sticks in your head,” Dugard said.
Dugard remembers trying not to cry when she was first abducted because it was too hard to wipe tears away with her hands cuffed behind her back.
“I didn’t really want to, because then you can’t wipe them away, you know? Then you get all sticky and …then they get itchy,” Dugard said.
She says she had no choice but to endure.
“There’s a switch that I had to shut off,” she said. “I mean, I can’t imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can’t imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it’s just, you just do what you have to do to survive.”
Two of the most challenging moments for Dugard were giving birth to her two daughters in 1994 and 1997.
“I knew there was no hospital,” she said. “I knew there was no leaving.”
At just 13 years old, Dugard noticed she was putting on weight but didn’t know why.
On a Sunday in 1994, the Garridos told her she was pregnant.
Before her abduction, the little girl who sold Girl Scout cookies and wrote stories, knew nothing about sex.
Dugard writes that giving birth was the most painful experience in her life.
“And then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. [I] had somebody else who was mine…and I know I could never let anything happen to her. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but I did,” she said.
Dugard remembers the last time she left her family’s Tahoe, Calif., home to walk to her fifth grade classroom on June 10, 1991.
She’d packed her peanut butter and jelly lunch, worn her favorite kitty shirt and a butterfly ring given to her by her mother.
In all pink, she started on her walk.
“And [I] walked up the side of the hill…that was the safe way to go against traffic. And halfway up, my world changed in an instant,” Dugard said. “I heard a car behind me.”
Creeping behind Dugard were Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Phillip Garrido rolled down his car window.
“His hand shoots out and I just feel numb. My whole body is tingly…I fall back in the bushes,” Dugard said.
Garrido had shocked her with a stun gun. Panicked, Dugard scooted back towards the woods. She remembers grasping a sticky pinecone, the last thing she touched while free.
Now, she wears a pinecone charm around her neck to symbolize her freedom.
“It’s a symbol of hope and new beginnings and that there is life after something tragic.”
After shocking her, the Garridos stuffed her into their car, hid her under a blanket in the backseat.
Nancy Garrido sat on her while Phillip Garrido drove to the couple’s Antioch, Calif., home.
“It was so hot,” she said. “I remember my throat felt very dry and scratchy and like I had been screaming, but I don’t remember screaming,” she said.
Dugard remembers hearing Phillip Garrido laugh and say, “I can’t believe we got away with it.”
“It was like the most horrible moment of your life times ten,” she said.
When they arrived at their home, Dugard was stripped of her backpack, her pink clothes and her name. Garrido took her to the bathroom and told her she had to be quiet.
“I guess he wanted me to be clean…very scary. I was scared,” Dugard said.
Dugard was forced to wear nothing but a towel at first and was locked in a semi-soundproof room that had only one window.
Somehow, Phillip Garrido missed the pinky ring her mother had given her. She’d hold onto that ring throughout her captivity. She’d also hold onto the hope that she’d see her mom again.
“I wondered if she found out what had happened to me, if she was looking for me,” Dugard said.
Dugard worried that she’d forget what her mother looked like. She’d keep journals referring to her mother as just “her” because to write “mom” was just too painful.
Her mom, Terry Probyn, carried out a frantic search for her daughter, making tearful pleas on television.
She’d continue to hold vigils for her daughter when public interest in the family’s plight waned.
“I feel like I spent my lifetime looking for her and dreaming about her and talking to you and you were always there. You never left me,” Probyn told Dugard during the interview.
The two women, clinching hands and with their bodies turned toward one another, share a remarkable bond.
“Being a mom now, you know, I know that she never forgot about me because I could never forget about my kids. But…when you’re a kid and you think you’re easily forgettable and you’re not important. But she kept…her hope. I don’t know how she did that. You know? How did I keep my hope? How did she keep her hope,” Dugard said.
Dugard still fights feelings of anger towards her captors, but tries not to dwell on them.
“I don’t feel like I have this rage inside of me that’s building,” Dugard said. “I refuse to let him have that. He can’t have me.”
Dugard’s mother can’t forget what the Garridos stole from her daughter and her.
“I think I have enough hate in my heart for the both of us. I hate that he took her life away and that makes me sad…I hate that he stole her from me. He ripped out a piece of my heart and he stole my baby,” Probyn said.
The two women look at one another. Probyn tells her, “I’m sorry, baby.”
She goes on, “He stole your adolescence. He stole high school proms and had pictures and memories…”
Dugard smiles and tells her mom, “But he didn’t get all of me.”
The Garridos mercilessly manipulated Dugard.
When she was first kidnapped, Phillip Garrido kept a stun gun present whenever he raped her, a way to remind her of his power.
After abusing Dugard, sometimes for hours in drug fueled sex binges called “runs,” he would sob and apologize.
He’d tell her that he had a sex problem and she was saving him from hurting other little girls.
While Philip Garrido was her main tormentor, his wife Nancy was equally adept at playing with Dugard’s emotions. She would bring Dugard things like a purple bear, a Barbie, chocolate milk, a Nintendo.
But she never stopped her husband from abusing Dugard.
She’d even keep Dugard locked in the compound when Phillip Garrido was away serving time for a parole violation.
“In some way, she’s just as manipulative, because she would cry and say, ‘I can’t believe that he did this. I wish he would have got a headache that morning he took you,'” Dugard recalled.
“In some ways, she’s…just as evil as Phillip,” Dugard said.
The Garridos manipulated Dugard until the presence of a stun gun and the use of handcuffs were no longer needed to keep her from fleeing.
It was classic manipulation, Dugard’s therapist, Dr. Rebecca Bailey, said.
Bailey is a family unification therapist.
Phillip Garrido’s power over Dugard grew by being “responsible for everything from time to food to human companionship to your clothes to your identity,” Bailey said.
When Dugard had her daughters, she didn’t flee because Phillip Garrido had convinced her the world outside their compound was unsafe, ironically full of pedophiles and rapists.
Even now, it’s still hard for Dugard to fully understand why she didn’t leave.
“I’ve asked myself that question many times. I know there was no leaving. The mind manipulation plus the physical abuse I suffered in the beginning, there was no leaving…. I don’t know what it would have took. Maybe if one of the girls were being hurt,” Dugard said.
Dugard coped with the manipulation by keeping journals, writing stories and dreams that allowed her to imagine herself in a life outside of the compound.
While the Garridos stripped her of her innocence, they could not strip her of her imagination.
She would come up with stories about the tree outside the window, she named the spider in her room, she wrote in her journals about falling in love one day, riding in a hot air balloon, being a veterinarian.
Throughout her captivity, she would take care of several cats and other animals.
When she became a mother, she turned a corner of the compound into a school for part of the day.
She remembered how she used to play school as a little girl, but now she was responsible for actually educating two little girls.
She made a regimen of classes during the day with worksheets and lessons she found online.
She mothered her girls even though the Garridos forbid the children from calling Dugard “mom.”
Nancy Garrido, jealous of Dugard, required that the children call her “mom.”
Even with access to the computer, Dugard said she never searched for her mother or for news accounts of her kidnapping.
She was scared to because of the Garridos’ manipulation.
Dugard and her daughters would be rescued in August 2009 after an increasingly paranoid and delusional Phillip Garrido alarmed two campus police officers, Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell.
He’d shown up on the University of California, Berkeley, campus with the two daughters he’d fathered with Dugard.
The campus officers, both moms, did something nobody else had done.
They saw a man haranguing and they talked to him, engaged him and then acted on their suspicion.
A background check revealed he was a convicted sex offender.
When they called his parole officer to ask about his two daughters, the parole officer didn’t even know that Phillip Garrido had children.
Over the 18 years Jaycee Dugard was in captivity, parole officers had visited the home at least 60 times and never reported anything amiss.
Phillip Garrido was called to a meeting with his parole officer on Aug. 26, 2009. He brought his wife, Dugard and the two girls.
At first, Dugard lied for Garrido, still under the spell. She eventually confessed who she was by writing her real name down.
In her memoir, she says that writing her name was like an extinguished flame reigniting.
“The light came back…it was very dark for so long…but that light finally came back on,” she said.
Dugard is savoring her freedom and planning for the future.
“I would like to study writing, you know? Really, because I love words and I love mythology…the way metaphors work and how [you] can see things differently with words,” she said. “It helped me get through a lot of days, my imagination.”
Dugard wants her book, her story to help people realize there is a way to triumph over tragedy and survive. And for her captors, both locked away in prison, she has a message.
“[You] can’t steal anything else,” she said.
”What will we do when hopelessness attacks? Focus, focus on Jesus. Believe and keep faithful to His Word, to His promises. It’s time for us to turn away from our troubles and accept the peace that only Him can bring.”
“Lord, whatever I am going through right now, I offer that to you. I choose to focus unto you alone. I will not focus on my troubles but I will focus in You alone, knowing that you alone can bring real peace.”
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Lord, I feel tired tonight.
The worries and cares of this world
seem like too heavy to carry.
I’ve got so much in mind
Questions that are unanswered.
I want to see my future,
but I know I can’t.
I know that loneliness
is not from you.
But sometimes I feel that way,
Maybe because I entertain it,
when it knocks.
I know that no one can
help me except You.
That’s why I say Lord,
Can you get the heaviness in my heart.
I surrender them all to you.
I don’t want to carry them,
because i can’t bear the heaviness
I just want to rest in your arms.
I just want to feel your embrace.
Lord, can I cry once again in your shoulder.
Lord, can you wipe again my tears.
Lord, can you carry me once again.
I want to sleep in your presence.
Knowing that tomorrow,
You will wake me up with a smile in your face.
And so, i say
My soul finds rest in You alone;
my salvation comes from you.
You alone is my rock and my salvation;
You are my fortress, I will never be shaken.(Ps.62:1)
© 2008 by jhunnel sebastian