The 17-year-old teenager who was kidnapped and tortured for a year in Tracy, California–which just got named the second safest city in the U.S.–is the big news around the Bay Area right now. I wonder if everybody who hears about news like this finds it unimaginable? The kind of thing you read in Stephen King novels but which never really happens just down the road from you?
Apparently, the police have been flooded with calls from people who want to help, including a man in Santa Cruz county who said he would foster the kid through the holidays. Good for them but my thoughts? Uhh–no way! If I was a professional therapist, I’d maybe think about it. He needs help, but he needs more help than most of us could ever hope to give….
I like to think that people heal and move on from these things all the time, with residual PTSD, of course. Women who were sexually molested as kids by their fathers grow up and go to therapy and find some hope and solace. Kids who are beaten–same thing. Maybe because those kinds of things happen so frequently, they still seem within the realm of “normal”–sadly. But there’s a sense that we have seen people recover from those kinds of abuse and go on to lead productive, happy lives. I’m not sure we have the same proof that people recover from kidnapping and torture in the same way. It’s (thankfully) not that common–so we don’t know.
I do know that I wish that kid well, whoever he is. He’s going to need a lot of grace and love to get through this.