Hannah Anderson, the 16-year-old, who was kidnapped by a close family friend, is receiving backlash from strangers that have no clue what she went through (and is still going through) and it breaks my heart.
On the Today Show this morning they aired a portion of an interview with Hannah as she quite courageously explained details of her relationship to her kidnapper that have caused these naysayers to doubt Hannah. As I watched her brevity on screen I kept thinking, “She is 16-years-old…in fact she just turned 16. Why does she have to explain anything? This man, her abuser/stalker/kidnapper, was an adult who was trusted to help be Hannah’s guardian. Her parents put trust into this man and taking their lead so did Hannah. She is a child.
At one point in the portion of the interview that was aired Hannah said (paraphrased), “In the beginning I was a victim but my mom taught me to be strong and now I can say I am a survivor.” AMEN! I wanted to reach through the screen and hug her
To the public they see a pretty teenager who finds solace and comfort in the means that every teenager of this century finds solace – through her ‘friends’ on Facebook, Instagram, and all the other various electronic outlets. However, the adult public want to criticize her for acting out as a teenager and trying to cope in the only way she knows how, which is to put aside the fear she felt, the shame (because Lord only knows what he said and did to her which probably won’t really come to surface for many years) and guilt (can you imagine the survivor’s guilt having been ‘taken’ alive and yet brought home to find that she no longer has her mother or brother?)
Please, I beg of you, to the public that finds pleasure in trying to make this more than what it is – a miracle of a survivor who was freed from her perpetrator – give Hannah a break and let her recover in peace.
I don’t know why this hit me so hard this morning. I watch these events unfold with the three survivors in Cleveland, Ohio and now with Hannah and I deal with survivors on a daily basis who have overcome their own stories of hell and it makes me want to gather them all in my arms, encourage them and then unite in a front to have one LOUD VOICE so that all of those who have yet to find their voice can feel empowered by the unified strength and recognize they are not alone.
LOL like “I am woman hear me roar!” Instead it would be “I am a survivor hear me ROAR!”
Okay, I’m pumped. I thank God for these moments of exhilaration for what I’m doing because I need them to fuel my resilience.
God has equipped us all with a fire that leads us to do what He has given us the talents and abilities to do. If you feel your fire fading don’t give up, the fire never fully fades. Sometimes it comes down to a burning ember because you need rest. But don’t be lazy…you’ll know when God starts poking those embers around making them light back up. Be ready.