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'A Stolen Life- A Memoir'

Anna and Tessa's speech
by

Anna Bennett

on 10 November 2012

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Transcript of 'A Stolen Life- A Memoir'

'A Stolen Life-A Memoir' By Jaycee Lee Dugard Anna Bennett and Tessa Challis What appeal does 'A Stolen Life’ have which media reports do not? Overview of Jaycee's Story -Had two children fathered by her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido by the age of 17. -Was forced to pretend to be her children's sister and was renamed 'Alissa'. -Parole officers visited, but never found her. -18 years after being kidnapped, Phillip took Jaycee's two girls to preach his religious ideas. Police became suspicious and reported him to the FBI. -Jaycee, Nancy and Phillip were questioned and after hours of interogation Jaycee revealed who she really was. -Was shot by a stun gun. -She was walking to her bus stop. Age 11. -Taken two hours away, to the backyard where she would spend the next 18 years of her life. “My perspective is unique to abduction” -Jaycee Jaycee's Unique Perspective Her honesty brings out intense emotion within the reader. -Jaycee goes into graphic detail of different instances of rape.
-Particularly the first time she was raped and the “runs”. Graphic Descriptions -Allows readers to grasp the horrific understanding of what an instance of rape is like.
-Intensifies emotions and allows readers to identify with Jaycee.
-Evokes empathy within the readers and gives a stronger connection to the story. Empathy “I am coming to the part of the hill at which I have been taught to cross to the other side... As I cross the road at the bend, I lose my train of thought and start to daydream about the summer. I walk in the gravelly part of the shoulder of the road. I haven’t seen any cars go by at all this morning. There are bushes to my left. As I am walking, I hear a car behind me. I look back expecting the car to pass on the other side of the road going up, but to my surprise the car pulls up beside me. I was so lost in thought that the unusual behaviour of the driver didn’t register with me. I stop walking as the driver rolls down his window. He leans slightly out of his car and starts to ask me for directions. His hand shoots out of the window so fast I barely register that he has something black in his hand. I hear a crackling sound and I feel paralysed. I take staggering steps back; fear erasing everything but the need to get away. As the car door opens, I fall to the ground and start to push back on my hands and butt toward the safety of the bushes. Scooting as fast as I can is my only goal – to make it to the bushes away from the man that is coming to grab me. My hand connects with something hard and sticky. What is it? It doesn’t matter – I must hold on to it. Someone is dragging me and now I am being lifted. My limbs feel like they weigh a ton. I try to resist and try to push farther into the bushes. The paralysing feeling returns accompanied by a strange electrical current zapping sound. I am helpless to resist for some reason. I don’t understand why my body is not working. I realize I have peed my pants. Strangely I do not feel embarrassed. “No, no, no,” I cry. My voice sounds harsh to my ears. The strange man hauls me up and shoves me into the backseat and down onto the floorboards of his car. My brain feels fuzzy. I don’t understand what’s happening. I want to go home. I want to crawl back into my bed. I want to play with my sister. I want my mommy. I want time to reverse itself and give me a do-over. A blanket is thrown on top of me and I feel a lot of weight on my back. I feel as if I can’t breathe. I hear voices, but they are muffled. The car is moving. I want to get out of the car. I twist and turn, but something is pinning me down. I start to feel embarrassed about losing control of my bladder and want to get up and go home. I feel like I can’t think right. I know what is happening to me is not right but I don’t know what to do. I feel scared and helpless. The car is moving and I feel sick. I need to throw up, but I’m afraid if I do I will choke to death, so I resist the feeling. Something tells me they wouldn’t help me if I did. I am so hot. I feel as if my skin is burning. Please, please remove this hot blanket – I can’t breathe! I feel like yelling, but my voice feels dry and nothing comes out. I lose consciousness” -Dugard, pp.9-10 “This book might be confusing to some. But keep in mind throughout my book that this was a very confusing world I lived in. I think to truly understand what it was like, you would have had to be there, and since I wish that on no one, this book is my attempt to convey the overwhelming confusion I felt during those years and to begin to unravel the damage that was done to me and my family. You might be suddenly reading about a character that was never introduced, but that’s how it was for me. It didn’t feel like a sequence of events. Even after I was freed, moments are fragmented and jumbled” Dugard, p. authors note “On June 10, 1991, Probyn watched his long nightmare begin to unfold. His daughter was hurrying to catch a school bus when he heard her scream. He looked up to see his Jaycee disappear into a strange car”
-Netter et al, p.2). “In my heart I do not hate Phillip”
-Dugard, p.50 -Most people will be biased towards Jaycee
-They would see Jaycee entirely as a victim and disregard the concept of Phillip possessing any hint of morality.
-Jaycee recognises and presents Phillip in a way that makes readers mildly sympathetic towards him. “[Phillip] is taking new medication that his psychiatrist has prescribed him. I have learned that one of his therapists diagnosed him with ADD... He said this therapist changed his life. He finally understands why he felt the need to “self-medicate” all these years. Since they treat ADD with methamphetamines, he believes that’s what he subconsciously was trying to do all these years. Now he has been assigned a new psychiatrist who has prescribed Dexedrine for his ADD and Zoloft for his manic depression, which his other therapist also diagnosed him with... In my opinion from reading several reports and from what Phillip told me I think one of Phillip’s therapists was an “enabling therapist” who explained away why Phillip didn’t show up for appointments. In one incident Phillip had tested dirty on one of the random drug tests he was asked to do. When it came back dirty, he told his therapist that he was at a party and someone must have slipped it in his drink. The worst part is the therapist apparently believed him and made excuses to the parole board for him... Phillip was given the excuse he had been looking for. His “self-medicating” all these years was apparently due to the fact that he had ADD and bipolar disorder... It’s also my opinion that another of Phillip’s doctors was also an “enabler.” He used to have Phillip come to his office every month or so, and apparently he thought Phillip was a changed man, too... In 2008, Phillip went to see him with Nancy. Phillip told me later when he got home that he had finally told the psychiatrist that he has been hearing voices. Phillip told me that for the next three months the psychiatrist didn’t return any of Phillip’s messages or letters and that he went without his medication for all those months, too. By then he had switched to Dexedrine for the ADD and wasn’t taking anything for the bipolar. Phillip said that with God’s help he could control the manic side of his personality. And most of the time he succeeded. Phillip had a hard time focusing on anything for long time periods. His thoughts were scattered, and his mind was going in fifty different directions at once. Everything seemed to be falling apart... The psychiatrist finally mailed Phillip a prescription for his ADD meds. But what I find strange is: Wasn’t this doctor curious as to why his patient was acting like this and what his patient was up to? In my eyes, Phillip was essentially asking for help and didn’t get it”
-Dugard, pp.147-150 -The media present Phillip as if all his delusions were a choice he made. “Garrido, it emerged, was a man who had spent most of the 1970s tripping on LSD, bingeing on cocaine and smoking pot, before his drug-addled orgy was ended by an 11-year prison stretch for kidnapping and raping a woman in a storage unit he had converted into a "sex palace", with sex aids, hardcore pornographic magazines and stage lights. But [his] behaviour became more of a concern about five years ago when Garrido developed a fascination with hearing voices, believing that he had some sort of telepathic hotline to angels. His conversations had become peppered with a wired mix of psychobabble and religion, allusions to mind control and choice biblical references, the books of Corinthians and Jeremiah being particular favourites to ransack for useful lessons”
- The Observer 2009 -It was not just Phillip who holds sole responsibility for the kidnapping of Jaycee.
-Those professionals who did not do their job properly left Jaycee in captivity.
-This is a core message Jaycee portrays yet the media often excludes it from their reports. Wider Responsibility Innocence -In newspaper reports only mention of her age when she was kidnapped.
-Without constant reminders it is near impossible for readers to understand. “What this man had in mind for me was like a foreign language... My only reference to sex was what I had seen on TV or movies and then acted out when playing Barbies, which would be in the form of Barbie and Ken laying in the bed together side by side. That is what I thought “sex” was” -Dugard, p.15 “My baby girl came into the world at 4:35am, August 18 1994. I am fourteen years old and very, very scared”
-Dugard, p.109 Inaccuracies Portrayal “He is a very tall man. He has very light blue eyes and brown hair that is thinning on the top a bit. His nose is kind of long and his skin is a bronze colour. It looks like he spent too much time in the sun. He does not look like a bad guy. He looks like a normal guy. Like any ordinary guy you would see in everyday life”
- Dugard, p.14 -Media makes the reader feel safe.
-An Ordinary guy could never do such a horrible thing. Mental State Chances of Escape -Left the house on multiple occasions.
- Had access to internet. Shows just how imprisoned Jaycee was. Mental Captivity Fearful of the world. Guilt about leaving. Felt completely reliant on Phillip. “I became totally dependent on him for everything… so eventually I looked forward to seeing him.”
- Dugard p.26 Recovery “growth has not been an overnight phenomenon”
- Dugard, p.261 'A Stolen Life' -Jaycee is the only source.
- 18 year old memories.
-Distinguishing between dreams/reality.
-Phillip controlled her thinking. - Journal entries are the most reliable. Downfalls "Blame Game" “If I waste anymore time, I will be late for the bus and then Carl, my step dad, will be mad at me and then I would have to ask him for a ride to school.”
- Dugard, p.2 “I feel a little queasy this morning and briefly consider telling Carl… that I feel sick and I can’t go to school today but change my mind to avoid an argument.”
- Dugard, p.3 “…unloved and unwanted” (p.43) “Three years had passed since he [Carl] married Terry, and for much of the time the child [Jaycee], accustomed to life alone with her mom, had resented Carl's intrusion. But in the nine months since the family had moved… Carl had watched with pleasure as the quiet 11-year-old opened up to her new life, to her new baby sister…—and especially to her new dad.” (Scheider 1991) Symbolism “Animals like their owners. Even when an animal is mistreated or abused, some animals crave love and affection so much they would do anything for that attention.”
- Dugard, p.100 Reflections “I can’t believe I ever felt sorry for him. He was always saying what a good person he was and he didn’t know how else to help his problem. I needed to help him so others wouldn’t be hurt. He said, society didn’t help people like him and that there were a lot of men out there in the world with the same problem as his. He would apologize to me. He would cry after he was done fucking me and beg my forgiveness. He said it would make him feel better. For a reason I can’t name, I knew in those moments that it was important to my survival that I never truly show how much I was hurting inside. I don’t know why, but after that I kept my feelings to myself. Years later I learned it’s the little things that add up to make a person. Back then I couldn’t see the little things that added up to the bigger picture of who Phillip was on the inside. I only saw what he wanted me to see. And that was a misunderstood guy with a problem that nobody wanted to help him with. I think he felt life was cheating him of what he wanted. Deep inside Phillip Garrido is a very selfish man, looking only to gratify himself as much as possible while still projecting to the world a selfless and caring man”
- Dugard, p.57 Conclusion What appeal does ‘A Stolen Life’ have which media reports do not? - Takes the reader on a journey.
- The media coverage of her story had many inaccuracies and parts left out.
- Despite ‘A Stolen Life’ having inaccuracies and bias too, it is much more reliable and gives a much more detailed account.
- Makes the unimaginable become imaginable.
- Allows you to be drawn in and understand the hidden world of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Thank you for listening!
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