Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight details captivity in book, forgives Ari


spaminator
#1
Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight details captivity in book, forgives Ariel Castro
Kim Palmer, Reuters
First posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 08:15 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 08:26 PM EDT
CLEVELAND One of three women freed a year ago after more than a decade imprisoned in a Cleveland house wrote in harrowing detail of beatings, rapes and torture at the hands of her captor, Ariel Castro, and her need to forgive him to move on from the ordeal.
"If I don't forgive him, then it'll be like he imprisoned me twice," Michelle Knight said on the last page of a book released on Tuesday to coincide with the anniversary of their escape.
"Forgiveness is the only way I can truly reclaim my life," Knight said.
Knight, now 33, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus fled Castro's dilapidated house along with Berry's then 6-year-old daughter, a girl fathered by Castro.
Castro pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges including kidnapping, rape and murder for forcing Knight to miscarry. He was sentenced to life without parole, plus 1,000 years, but hanged himself in his cell in September.
In "Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed," Knight talks about growing up a neglected and abused child, living as a homeless teen, becoming a single mother and then her abduction by Castro in 2002.
Knight recounted being chained up, beaten, raped and mentally tortured for years by Castro, who pointed to high-profile searches by the families of co-prisoners Berry and DeJesus as proof that no one cared about her.
Those words bit into her, she wrote. "Even if I escape from this bastard, I often thought, what kind of life will be waiting for me in the real world? After this mess is over, who will really be there to love me?"
Knight, who is changing her name to Lillian Rose Lee, referred to Castro only as "dude" throughout the book, but wrote that she cried after hearing about his suicide.
Dr. Frank Ochberg, an expert on post-traumatic stress, said in an interview that many survivors experience traumatic bonding with their abusers.
After feeling invisible most of her life, Knight wrote, she has been overwhelmed by the attention she has received and does not know how to answer people when they ask how she is doing.
"I don't have all the answers. I probably never will. But I have realized that my life can't get better if I dwell on everything I've been through. I have to look ahead," she wrote.
Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of her accused kidnapper Ariel Castro at a court hearing in Cleveland, Ohio August 1, 2013. (REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk)

Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight details captivity in book, forgive
 
QuebecCanadian
#2
That's a strong woman! I can't even begin to imagine what it could have been like.

As for forgiveness, I'm one of those who doesn't believe it's cathartic. An animal like that would never get forgiveness from me. We have to get past these ordeals to be able to have a future and try not to dwell, but forgiveness is earned imho.
 
SLM
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by QuebecCanadianView Post

That's a strong woman! I can't even begin to imagine what it could have been like.

As for forgiveness, I'm one of those who doesn't believe it's cathartic. An animal like that would never get forgiveness from me. We have to get past these ordeals to be able to have a future and try not to dwell, but forgiveness is earned imho.

It really all depends on how you look at it. Forgiveness often times is more about the one who is forgiving than the one who's being forgiven. When someone does you a great harm, holding onto the anger, fear, and mistrust extends the power they have over you, that they took from you which allowed them to harm you in the first place. Forgiveness can be letting go of that and isn't contingent upon the one who did harm actually being deserving of being forgiven, of having earned it. Forgiveness doesn't have to be about second chances or reconciliations, those things perhaps should be earned, but it can just be about letting go and moving forward. That's what she's done. And it's the best thing she could have done for herself.
 
QuebecCanadian
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

It really all depends on how you look at it. Forgiveness often times is more about the one who is forgiving than the one who's being forgiven. When someone does you a great harm, holding onto the anger, fear, and mistrust extends the power they have over you, that they took from you which allowed them to harm you in the first place. Forgiveness can be letting go of that and isn't contingent upon the one who did harm actually being deserving of being forgiven, of having earned it. Forgiveness doesn't have to be about second chances or reconciliations, those things perhaps should be earned, but it can just be about letting go and moving forward. That's what she's done. And it's the best thing she could have done for herself.

Yes, that's how she sees it I'm sure and if it helps her deal then great! For me, forgiveness is letting someone off the hook. I'm all for getting past the anger and fear but I personally don't believe forgiveness is necessary in order to do that.
 
SLM
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by QuebecCanadianView Post

Yes, that's how she sees it I'm sure and if it helps her deal then great! For me, forgiveness is letting someone off the hook. I'm all for getting past the anger and fear but I personally don't believe forgiveness is necessary in order to do that.

I guess it just depends on how you define it. Strange though that we might both understand the same meaning of a word, it's literal definition, yet it can mean completely different things. Not saying one is right or wrong you understand, just pondering the differences and our understanding of how we would each define it.
 
Twila
#6
This woman deserves a happy life now. I hope she will be able to use her strength and experience to help other women who have suffered from violent sexual abuse. Her understanding, lack of falling into being a perpetual victim and insight could be just the thing other women would need to hear. It's far to easy to be a victim for life and of life.


I wanted to clap when I read the article.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

This woman deserves a happy life now. I hope she will be able to use her strength and experience to help other women who have suffered from violent sexual abuse. Her understanding, lack of falling into being a perpetual victim and insight could be just the thing other women would need to hear. It's far to easy to be a victim for life and of life.


I wanted to clap when I read the article.

Pretty good. Reminds me of the guy who shot up an Amish school a few years back. After a while, the community announced that they forgave him. And in so doing, enabled themselves to get on with their lives.

There's a certain wisdom to that, I think.
 

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