Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What people don't understand about terror

I was elated when I first heard the news that not just one, but two kidnapped boys were found and returned to their relieved families. The elder had been held for more than four years.

I have since been frustrated at how 'perplexed' people are that the elder of the two did not try to escape his captor nor let any of his friends know the truth.

I don't question that he did not bring any attention to himself. I guess it is just that most people have never seen such things up close. I guess I would compare it to adult victims of domestic violence who don't leave or children who are molested and rarely, if ever, tell.

Imagine, not with your adult mind but as your eleven year old self, that you are taken from all that you know. Imagine that you are innocently out riding your bike and suddenly your whole world becomes chaos. Imagine the power that someone would show you they have by doing what they want to you. Taking you away from all you know, everyone you love, and threatening you and your family if you do anything that displeases them.

Imagine how powerless you would feel. Every waking moment you would try to not displease someone who seems more powerful than God (surely you prayed to not wake up in this nightmare, only to wake up to find yourself still there).

Not everyone is a fighter. Not every spirit can survive oppression, abuse, or constant fear.

No one should know such things. So, I do not understand why adults think this child peculiar. How many adults remain in abusive relationships and never say a word about the abuse to anyone, even those closest to them? Plenty. Most people do not know the kind of fear that stops you in your tracks and renders you helpless. No fight. No flight. No sarcastic comebacks. Just paralyzing fear. It's easy to say 'well, I would have...'. The truth of the matter is that unless you have been there you don't know what you would have done.

How easy would it be to exert control over the right type of person, especially for a predator who preys on the weaknesses of others. Mind control is what it's all about. Sometimes they miscalculate and get a fighter/runner/biter/kicker/screamer, and sometimes their instincts are dead on and they get someone who will become docile under their control.

I understand that most people have no clue when it comes to the things that some human beings are capable of doing to others. Sure, people think they know. People carry mace, have alarm systems on their cars and homes, lock their doors and windows, hold their purses closer to their bodies when they pass someone 'suspicious' on the street. However, they never realize that the most dangerous people rarely make them check the locks on their doors. The most dangerous ones are the ones whose neighbors say 'he was always such a nice guy', or 'he kept his yard so tidy', because what else do you say when you've lived across the street from evil and never recognized it because the yard was pretty.

I wish none of us ever had to understand.



  1. those people who have never known that kind of fear are lucky. Those of us that have glimpsed it - well, some are smarter - others may not do anything about it.
    I am just happy for the boys and their family!

  2. so am I t2, so am I.

    It's just hard to see it and know it for what it is and listen to others who know nothing about it judge.

  3. We never really know how we will respond in any given situation until we have to. All the pontification and judgments serve no positive purpose, that's for sure.

  4. No we don't know, which is why I wish people would just wish them all well and leave them alone.

    My heart goes out to those boys and their families. I cannot imagine my child being missing for nearly five years.