Despite all the fears and warnings, some true crime stories end with some semblance of happiness. I’d like to say Happy endings but that would only take into consideration that a loved one didn’t die. It wouldn’t tell of the anguish the person suffered and the torment she will battle for the rest of her life. It wouldn’t touch on the heartache of their loved ones who feel helpless trying to navigate their family member or friend through all the trauma and terror that have taken residence within the abducted.
The abducted deal with grief of what was taken from them, guilt that they survived if another didn’t, and fear that seeps like sweat from every pore.
The sad reality is that the hell these people survived will always be with them. They struggle with basic every day tasks. If someone was abducted while grocery shopping, just going to the store will be a constant reminder of what happened. Nights are long and unnerving.
There are some like Becky Burridge and Mary McElroy, that make it back physically, but all that remains is a shell, devoid of life’s zest. Some who come back never get past the trauma, they live with it, battle it, or try to bury the pain with a vice like drugs or alcohol. If they survived when another didn’t, they may end up in abusive relationships, prostitution, or be in and out of mental health facilities. As if they are punishing themselves for surviving when another didn’t. Sadly, years of battling to forget wear a soul down and lead herm to a path where she chooses a permanent departure from the pain.
Not only do these souls need time (lots of time and help) to heal, so will family and friends. An incredible amount of patience is needed. You can’t tell your friend “Get over it already, Dude.” Even if it has been a year or twelve. The happy ending isn’t going back to what life once was, it’s finding a new life that deals with the pain and fear.
Family and friends are much needed for long-term support. They will have to adjust as well. If your sister was abducted from home, she may not be okay with the blinds being open. You may be a “let the sunshine in” type of person but will need to meet your sister’s need for safety first. This means finding a balance.
After a few months, you will need to work with her to adjust to more typical daily life habits. Maybe she will be okay with a couple hours of the kitchen shades open – as long as it is daytime and she’s not in the kitchen. As she adjusts you will slowly get back some of the habits of your daily life. In turn, as the darkness lifts from your home, she’ll get some light in her soul.
That’s the happy ending. You have your loved one back. Under your love and understanding, she’ll grow and learn a new way to deal with life. But it’s going to take time, lots of time.
And that’s when the Happy Ending takes place. The happy endings don’t take place right when you get your loved one back, but later, when you are all working together to find a new “normal”.
Those Who Survived
Of the people who have survived, some have spoken out, some have written about their stories, and some want solitude. The crushing desire from media and the curious masses must feel like the crushing desire of the one who held them captive.
We are grateful for all those who are home after such evil invaded their lives.
and all those girls and women whom we have not heard of that have come back as well.
While it may seem like abductions only happen to females, there are men who have survived as well.
and all the boys and men whom we have not heard of who have made it back as well.
They Are The Hope for Happy Endings
All those who come home, give hope. While we can’t know why such evil has transpired, and some may be angry with God, I still feel the desire to ask God to comfort them and heal them and their family and friends.
Why this post? Because we all “know” that anyone who has survived such a horrible ordeal, will need time to adjust. The thing is we don’t really know. We can’t possibly foresee how long and difficult the healing process is. We can assume that these survivors will be over-protective parents. And we can say we understand the family and friends need to be patient. But we can’t know the full extent of the patience and how much their lives will change in order to help the healing process of their loved-one.
I have read two stories over this past year that have opened my eyes to the healing process between the abducted and their family.
The first was “The Darkest Night,” by Ron Franscell – which had a heart-wrenching conclusion.
The second book was “Resurrection: The Kidnapping of Abby Drover” By John Griffiths.
Both books presented a glimpse into the aftermath. They weren’t in-depth, but they showed that the homecoming was just the beginning.
If your curious as to why I watch and read so much true crime, I explain that in a previous post: Why I Watch True Crime.
Here’s some more lessons I’ve learned from watching and reading true crime: Lessons Learned from True Crime