A FRIEND INDEED
- A Friend Is Some Who Looks Past Your Broken Down Gate and Admires Your Beautiful Garden (dianereedwiter.wordpress.com)
- True Friends (thecomplainerguy.wordpress.com)
By Dan Edmunds
How should one look upon Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and what is the effective way to aid those who are given this diagnosis? There has been considerable debate as to whether or not ADHD is a genuine disorder. Psychiatrist and professor Robert Hedaya (1996, pg. 140) mentions that an examination by Hartmann in 1993 felt that ADHD is actually normal variant of human behavior that doesn’t fit into cultural norms.
In addition, there is no objective test for this disorder. Hedaya (1996, pg. 140) mentions that a commonly used test is the TOVA (test of variables of attention), a test where the client must use a computer and hit a target at various points. This test is designed to measure the person’s response time and distractibility. However, Hedaya (1996, pg. 140) notes, this tool cannot be relied upon to make or exclude the diagnosis in and of itself. Hedaya (1996, pg. 268) notes that there has been controversy in the use of stimulants for the treatment of ADHD, he states, medications alone do not provide adequate or full treatment in this disorder.
Hedaya (1996, pg. 269) notes that the most serious risk in the use of methylphenidate (Ritalin) for ADHD is that about 1% of these children will develop tics and or Tourette’s Syndrome. Hedaya asks the question,”One might wonder-, why use methylphenidate at all?” Hedaya argues that the side effects involved in the use of methylphenidate are mild. However, he notes that side effects include nervousness, increased vulnerability to seizures, insomnia, loss of appetite, headache, stomachache, and irritability. Hedaya (1996, pg. 271) argues that the causation of ADHD lies in problems in dopamine regulation in the brain and states that stimulants work by stimulating dopamine in the brain and thus the symptoms of ADHD are lessened.
However, previously Hedaya states that Zametkin (1995) noted that stimulants have the same effect in both those diagnosed as ADHD and those who are not (Hedaya, 1996, pg. 139). Dr. William Carey of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia commented at the National Institutes of Mental Health Consensus Conference in 1998 that the behaviors exhibited by those considered ADHD were normal behavioral variations. A Multimodal Treatment Study was conducted by the National Institutes of Mental Health in 1999 in regards to ADHD. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin and the members of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology challenged the outcomes of this study because it was not a placebo controlled double blind study. Breggin also argues that that the analysis conducted of behaviors in the classroom of those children studied showed no significant differences between those children receiving stimulant medications versus those who only were utilizing a behavioral management program (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999a, pg. 1074). Breggin notes that there was no control group in the study of untreated children and that 32% of the children involved in the study were already receiving one or more medications prior to the onset of the study. Of those in the study who were the medication management group, they numbered only 144 of which Breggin finds to be enormously small.
Breggin states that in the ratings of the children themselves that they noted increased anxiety and depression however this was not found to be a significant factor by the investigators. Breggin also believes that the study was flawed in that drug treatment continued for 14 months whereas behavioral management was utilized for a much shorter duration. Breggin argues that the behavioral management strategies, which involved mainly a token economy system, were ineffective as well and did not take into consideration family dynamics but regardless, the study still showed that there was no difference between the populations treated with drugs versus those undergoing behavioral management solely. Breggin notes that many of the children receiving medications had adverse drug reactions, which consisted of depression, irritability, and anxiety. 11.4% reported moderate reactions and 2.9% had severe reactions. However, Breggin also states that those reporting the adverse drug reactions were not properly trained, but were rather only teachers and/or parents.
The study, as Breggin concludes, showed no improvement in the children treated with medications in the areas of academic performance or social skill development. Breggin feels that the study was improper in that all of the investigators were known to be pro-medication advocates prior to and after the study. Breggin states that Ritalin and other amphetamines have almost identical adverse reactions and have the potential for creating behavioral issues as well as psychosis and mania in some individuals. Breggin argues that these medications often cause the very behaviors they are intended to treat. He notes that children treated with these medications often become robotic and lethargic and that permanent neurological tics can result.
In his textbook, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Russell Barkley, an advocate for the use of methylphenidate in the treatment of ADHD, notes that there is little improvement in academic performance with the short-term use of psychostimulant medication. Barkley also acknowledges that the stimulant medications can affect growth hormone but at present there is not any knowledge of the long-term effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary growth hormones. Barkley (1995, pg. 122) also states, at present there are no lab tests or measures that are of value in making a diagnosis of ADHD.
Dr. Sidney Walker, III, (1998, pg. 25) a late board-certified neuropsychiatrist comments that a large number of children do not respond to Ritalin treatment, or they respond by becoming sick, depressed, or worse. Some children actually become psychotic – the fact that many hyperactive children respond to Ritalin by becoming calmer doesn’t mean that the drug is treating a disease. Most people respond to cocaine by becoming more alert and focused, but that doesn’t mean they are suffering from a disease treated by cocaine. It is interesting to note Walker’s analogy of Ritalin to cocaine. Volkow and his colleagues (1997) observed in their study, EMP (methylphenidate, like cocaine, increases synaptic dopamine by inhibiting dopamine reuptake, it has equivalent reinforcing effects to those of cocaine, and its intravenous administration produces a high similar to that of cocaine. Walker (1998, pg. 14-15) that in addition to emotional struggles of children leading to ADHD-like behavior, that high lead levels, high mercury levels, anemia, manganese toxicity, B-vitamin deficiencies, hyperthyroidism, Tourette’s syndrome, temporal lobe seizures, fluctuating blood sugar levels, cardiac conditions, and illicit drug use would all produce behaviors that could appear as what would be considered ADHDEhowever Walker feels that these issues are most often overlooked and the person is considered to be ADHD.
F. Xavier Castellanos states at the 1998 Consensus Conference that those children with ADHD had smaller brain size than those of children who were considered to be normal. However, Castellanos reported as well that 93% of those children considered ADHD in the study were being treated long term with psychostimulants and stated that the issue of brain atrophy could be related to the use of psychopharmacological agents. Dr. Henry Nasrallah from Ohio State University (1986) found that atrophy occurred in about half of the 24 young adults diagnosed with ADHD since childhood that participated in his study. All of these individuals had been treated with stimulants as children and Nasrallah and colleagues concludes that cortical atrophy may be a long term adverse effect of this treatment. Physician Warren Weinberg and colleagues stated, a large number of biologic studies have been undertaken to characterize ADHD as a disease entity, but results have been inconsistent and not reproducible because the symptoms of ADHD are merely the symptoms of a variety of disorders. The Food and Drug Administration has noted (Walker, 1998, pg. 27) that ee acknowledge that as of yet no distinct pathophysiology (for ADHD) has been delineated.
There has been concern as well about the addictive component of psychostimulants. The Drug Enforcement Administration (1995c) reports that it was found that methylphenidate’s pharmacological effects are essentially the same as those of amphetamine and methamphetamine and that it shares the same abuse potential as these Schedule II stimulants.
Breggin states that psychiatrist Arthur Green in the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry published in 1989 reported that all commonly diagnosed disorders of childhood can be linked to abuse and/or neglect. Abuse and neglect produces difficulties in school, such as cognitive impairment, particularly in the areas of speech and development, combined with limited attention span and hyperactivity. (Breggin, 1991, pg. 274)
Being that ADHD is a subjective diagnosis and that stimulant treatment has been shown to have risk as detailed above, what is the effective alternative to aiding those who have been diagnosed ADHD and what actually is underlying the difficulties that these individuals may be manifesting? Psychologist and educator Michael Valentine (1988) suggests that it is necessary to love your children, care about them, do as much as possible to have them grow and develop, teach them social skills, and teach them how to identify and express their feelings and to become uniquely human; but at the same time, care about them and love them enough to give them guidance, structure, limits, and control as they need it.
Valentine advocates a psychosocial approach to aiding children and adolescents who would be considered to be ADHD. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin also advocates this approach and feels that it is necessary for parents to feel empowered and for their to be a compassionate therapeutic adult in the lives of these children. Breggin (1998, pg. 308-310) feels it is necessary to examine the effects of institutionalization and placement on children as well as the effects of psychiatric stigmatization (that is, the effects on esteem of receiving the label of ADHD itself). It is necessary to examine the experience of the child and if they have suffered physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from adults, or have experienced peer abuse. It needs to be examined if they have an appropriate educational setting and if any conflicts exist with instructors or if the educational environment is stressful to them.
Psychiatrist William Glasser (2003, pg. 31-32) comments in this regard, Epediatricians are being called in to diagnose schoolchildren who do not cooperate in school because they don’t like it as having attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Treating them with a narcotic drug is only confirming what many psychiatrists and pediatricians already believe: that it’s better to use drugs than to try to apply their prestige and clout in the community to the real problem: improving our school s so that students find them enjoyable enough to pay attention and learn in an environment where drugs are not needed. This misguided psychiatric effort has created an epidemic of drug treated mental illnessEin the schools.
Breggin continues that it is also necessary to examine the environment the child lives in and the stressors around them. It is necessary to build relationship and collaboratively design structure and limits with the child or adolescent (Breggin, 1998, pg. 318) Breggin feels it is necessary to train parents in relationship building with their children and in working through situations of conflict. He states, parent management training has consistently proven successful in improving parent self-esteem, in reducing parent stress, and in ameliorating ADHD-like symptoms, especially negative attitudes toward parental authority and aggression.
Dr. David Stein (2001, pg. 236-238) has detailed a drug free approach to aiding children who are diagnosed as ADHD who Stein prefers to call highly misbehaving children. In this program, known as the Caregiver’s Skills program, Stein states it is necessary to treat your child as normal and not diseased. He states that the children should not be taking any medications, as they are risky for the child’s health and merely blunt behaviors. Stein argues, if the behaviors don’t occur, we can’t help (them) learn new habits.
The program encourages social reinforcement rather than material reinforcement, encouraging parents to refrain from excessive prompting and coaxing. The program encourages development of target behaviors and consistent encouragement and social reinforcement as well as consistent consequences for misbehavior. The program encourages the self-assessment and evaluation of the child of their own behaviors.
Barkley, Russell, Taking Charge of ADHD, Boys Town, NE, Boys Town Press, 1995)
Breggin, Peter R., Reclaiming Our Children, Perseus, Cambridge, MA, 2000)
Breggin, Peter R., Talking Back to Ritalin,Common Courage Press, Monroe, ME, 1998)
Breggin, Peter R., Toxic Psychiatry, St. Martins Press, New York, 1991)
DuPaul, Barkley, and Connor, Stimulants (article appearing in text Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 1998).
Glasser, William, Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health, Harper Collins, New York, 2003)
Hedaya, Robert J., Understanding Biological Psychiatry, W.W. Norton, New York, 1996)
Nasrallah, H.J., Loney, S. Olson, M. McCalley-Whitters, J. Kramer, and C. Jacoby, Cortical Atrophy in Young Adults with a History of Hyperactivity in Childhood, Psychiatry Research, 17:241-246, 1986)
National Institutes of Mental Health Consensus Conference Statement, 1998
Stein, David, Unraveling the ADHD Fiasco, Andrews McMeel, Kansas City, 2001)
Walker, Sidney, The Hyperactivity Hoax, St. Martins Press, New York, 1998)
Weinberg, Warren et al., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Disease or a Symptom Complex, Journal of Pediatrics, 130, 665-6
Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_Edmunds
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
visit my website: http://www.lkg4btrlife.webs.com
I walked this path. I trusted her, I lost trust, I questioned trust and understood it.
Its been a long journey but I hope this helps.
I want us to think about the last time we put our trust or faith in someone and for some reason it ended up in a fiasco. I’m sure that we have all gone through this bit of personal regret while trusting others, and I’m even sure that somewhere we tell ourselves never to trust again, especially with matters very close to our heart. Somewhere and somehow we are losing faith in people and humanity in general. In all this, I ask just one question!
~what kind of a lesson is life teaching us about trust?~
The true reality is, we haven’t understood trust the way it really is, just as the many other things that we believe we know everything about. All that bickering, crying and sulking over blaming others might just go up in smoke after this read is complete. Let me make a quick analysis.
~what are we doing when we trust someone?~
We are placing our happiness in their hands. It could be something as simple as asking a friend to keep a secret from others; a rule that this friend now needs to follow. And when they do as we expect them to, we become or remain happy. The minute they let go of that rule or boundary we placed around them, we see them as letting us down and in turn we’re unhappy with them.
To begin with, is it fair that we put a boundary wall around people we care for as friends or family? Or is it us caring for ourselves and expecting them to care for us too? Trade places for a second now; how would we feel if we were made responsible to keep others happy most of the time? (or in other words carry their emotional baggage?) I know that most of us selflessly do it, but even carrying ones own weight gets tiring. Good friends think wisely before burdening others with their weight. When they do, they make it a point to pay back.
~true happiness and misconception of trust~
If we understand that true happiness comes from within ourselves, then we will also understand that the happiness that comes from fulfilling the ‘trust’ bestowed on others is highly superficial. Somewhere even though we may deny it, we are really seeking acceptance and attention from the ones we trust. It has everything to do with making us happy and not them. Further more, the truth of the matter is that we haven’t yet accepted ourselves for who we are. We lack healthy self esteem and we constantly need someone else to fill in our voids. Hence the ‘trust’ we think we know is a pure misconception.
~true trust & faith~
Trust in others is having faith that they will do their best even though they are vulnerable to mistakes like we all are. Its only human to err. We trust that someday they will learn from their mistakes (if they believe its a mistake) and do the best for themselves; and that’s all that matters. Trusting others with something important means that you are happily ready to accept failure when it happens just as much as you would happily accept success. It’s a package deal and anything less is hypocrisy and leads to the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is nothing a but an unhappy seed that arises when trust is misunderstood. More on this in a later post.
~trusting others trails trusting ourselves~
In reality, we need to first trust ourselves to find happiness through a deeper understanding of ourself and not through superficial means. When we lose trust in others, or claim that others have broken our trust, we are really saying that we do not understand the true concept of trust. We have in turn lost trust in ourselves. Its only when we trust ourselves completely, can we trust others with ease. Whatever wrong they do will not affect the true happiness we get from within ourselves. For the fact that every time we superficially trust and it fails us should ring a bell that somewhere we got something figured wrong. Trusting others must never define our happiness; just theirs. Trusting ourselves defines ours.
~what about trusting others to do something I don’t know how to do myself?~
If we want to do something right and its very important to us, its best to do it ourselves. The process of doing it ourselves has many hidden lessons of life. If we don’t know how, we can always learn. If we don’t have the time, we can pay a professional to do it to our expectations. If we just want to find excuses, it boils down to the fact that we don’t trust ourselves enough.
PS. I have faith in you because I have faith in myself. The time to learn is immaterial.
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.
LOOKING BENEATH THE SURFACE
Under the scars and the tattoos
Dwells a man who cares.
Under the hate and the anger
Lives love and compassion.
Under the mask of “Fuck it, I just don’t care!”
Lives hope and dreams.
Under the “I don’t need anyone” role I play
Is a desire to trust.
Under the blood stains on my hands
I find shame.
Under the cold outside
Is a man who needs to be loved.
Under the biker, killer, convict
Is a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a friend.
I’m like a bucket of water in prison
Who would like to be poured back into the streams of life.
So I ask God Almighty to forgive me
For pouring my bucket of water in the sand.
”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.”
Check out Internet Cafe Devotions for more WFW.
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