By now most people have heard about the miraculous rescue of three women that went missing a decade ago without a trace. All vanished at separate times and had never known or seen each other before. Yet, for a decade they were all each other had for support and comfort.
When situations such as this are discovered, people are so quick to ask "why didn't they just leave? They were never outside the house for 10 years?" People, stop asking those questions. They are ignorant. None of us are psychologists or mental health professional that can assert why. One good reason is that they were quite possible constantly locked in.
Amanda Berry, the one that was able to convince a neighbor she was being held captive, obviously could not get out of the house. The neighbor, Charles Ramsey had to break in the lower portion of the door to let her out. So, locked in a house for ten years. And sadly, not far from where she was kidnapped; where all three were kidnapped.
One of my greatest fears as a parent has always been that something like this could happen to my girls. One minute these girls were walking to work, school or otherwise and suddenly found themselves in the middle of a seemingly neverending nightmare. And a neverending nightmare for the parents who spent ten years praying for their daughters to return home, to be found safe.
But safe is a tough word to use right now. Yes, they are home with their families tonight. They will sleep in beds that have been waiting for them for far too long. They will be surrounded by loved ones for the first time in a decade. But how will they adjust? What has become a "normal" existence for them (details of this existence have not been released or are even known at this point) will now be a life of media scrutiny, reporters, interviews and efforts to adjust to freedom.
There are few people that will ever know what these women went through. That's a good thing. But the few that do, people such as Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped, raped and held captive for nine months before she was found and Jaycee Dugard, kidnapped, raped and held captive for EIGHTEEN YEARS can offer some comfort and advice.
At the very least, Elizabeth Smart was blessed with only (I hate that word) nine months of hell. These three women lost what are some of the most important years of their lives. Such developmental times that can never be regained. They lost their innocence and time will only tell how severe the damage is.
One of the most disturbing details that has been released today is that the police had gone to the house on several occasions; one when a neighbor said they had seen a naked woman crawling in the backyard. Police had also visited the home of Jaycee Dugard's captor. On all occasions, officers never entered the homes.
There are a lot of sick people in this world. Some much sicker than others. The man (or men) that captured these women and held them for 10 years are of the sickest kind. I can only pray that somehow the women can find their ways to a somewhat normal life. It will take years of therapy, nightmares and having to relive their agony. The one thing that I believe would help them the most is for them to be left alone by the media.
This isn't a circus, it's three very fragile lives that need time to mend.