CLEVELAND (WJW) – It has been 10 years since Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued from at least a decade in captivity.
Berry finds it hard to believe she’s been free longer than she was captive.
“It seems like yesterday, but it also seems like I’ve lived a good life in 10 years. I’ve done a lot I wouldn’t normally have done,” she said.
Berry takes the ‘I’ve been through worse’ approach to everything she does.
“Sometimes I have to push myself. I’ve done that a couple of times,” she said. “We went on a cruise and there was a horrible hurricane. But I just got on the plane and live life, you know? I’ve been very blessed, and I just try to push myself a little more each time and every time I do, I’m proud of myself.”
One of her biggest fears is being in the public eye. That’s something she conquered the day she took her job at FOX 8.
“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” Berry said of her ‘Missing’ segments. “What I went through is to help the other families that are going through it now. I’m made for this. This is what I’m here for on this Earth.”
Berry’s life off-screen is just as fulfilling. Her 16-year-old daughter keeps her busy, and she’s happy to have found love.
“I am happy. It’s so weird,” Berry laughed. “I never thought I was going to be able to trust and love somebody. This is my first real boyfriend. I know it sounds crazy at the age of 36, but I’m just so happy. It’s nice to have a normal life sometimes. You know, I know I’ll never truly have a normal life and I’m kind of coming to grips with that. It’s ok. As long as I make the best out of it that I can.”
When she’s not working or speaking to students, you can find Berry spending her spare time with friends and family.
“Being alone for so long [when I was held captive], I just felt alone. My family, I just don’t know what I’d do without them. They’re amazing. Especially my sister. She’s been there through thick and thin. She never gave up. She’s the big, tough older sister,” Berry said of her sister, Beth Serrano.
As for the now infamous 911 call she made at 5:59 p.m. on May 6, 2013, Berry says it’s all still fresh.
“I still remember it very, very vividly,” she said. “But it’s just like, ‘Wow, I lived through that? I got out of that? I got my baby out of that? It’s still surreal.”
Berry remembers manifesting what it would be like to finally be free.
“I always had this picture in my head of how it would happen, and what month it would be. I’m like, ‘What if it’s going to be in the winter? It’s going to be cold and we’re not going to have shoes! We’re not going to have coats!’ It’s like the little craziest things I would think of,” she said. “I’m like, maybe I’ll get out in the summer, and it will be hot and it won’t matter if I need shoes or a coat.”
At the end of the day, Berry says she’s happy and loves the life she’s built over the past decade.
“So much has happened, and I’ve lived a great life these last ten years. I’m just going to keep my positivity and just live life.”