Whoo. I need to just sit here for a minute and stop shaking. I've just been on an emotional roller coaster after reading, 'Finding Me,' by Michelle Knight, one of the young women held captive for eleven years by a madman, one she called, "Dude," because to her he did not deserve a name.
She went through hell, readers. She was the first of Dude's (Ariel Castro) victims. Knight does not get too graphic. She doesn't have to because what she describes is so horrifying I had to put the book down several times and just breathe.
Her life was a living hell from the day she was born, but somehow she struggled and managed. She was raped (family relative/friend) as a child until she left her crazy dysfunctional home when she was fifteen. She knew Castro's daughter so one day she accepted a ride one day from "Dude."
Eleven years. Just think about that. Although there were two other women in the house, Michelle was Castro's target most of the time. Amanda Berry, who was Castro's second victim and favorite, managed to escape and call 911. And the rest of the world was introduced to the monster who held these women hostage for so long.
Yes, the book is depressing, but somehow through all the awful, awful, experiences Knight went through she seems to have come away with a positive attitude. Knight did have help writing this book although Knight relays her traumatic personal past as more of a child than a woman in her twenties. Her story is simply written. It's not surprising given her past family history where she missed so much school because she had to care for siblings and cousins. She has not gotten in touch with her family since her release from Castro's house, which is understandable given that not one family member gave a damn when she went missing. Not one call. Not one flyer. Nothing. Even the police admit they did little in trying to find Knight.
So how does this brave woman go on after a life of brutality?
I don't know, but she is a fighter, a survivor. Knight was the only one of the three to stand before a judge and silent courtroom as Castro sat in defiance and listened as Michelle spoke and forgave him. Not for his sake, but for her own sanity.
Brava, Michelle. May your future be bright and filled with joy.
Quote by Michelle Knight, 'Finding Me.'