‘Even today, I’m still scared’: Michelle Knight reflects on own kidnapping, how Jayme Closs can move on

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Jayme Closs, who was found alive 87 days after her parents were killed and she went missing, joins a group of powerful survivors of abduction.

One of those survivors is Lily Rose Lee, formerly Michelle Knight.

In May 2013, along with Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, Lee escaped after more than a decade of being trapped in the Seymour Avenue home of Ariel Castro. Castro later killed himself in prison.

A criminal complaint says Jake Thomas Patterson, of Wisconsin,, is charged with kidnapping Closs, 13, and killing her parents in an Oct. 15 attack at the family’s home near Barron.

The criminal complaint says Jayme was forced to go under a bed in Patterson’s remote cabin and that he would stack totes, laundry bins and bar bell weights around her so she couldn’t move without him noticing. The complaint says she was kept up to 12 hours at a time with no food, water or bathroom breaks.

The complaint says Jayme escaped Thursday after Patterson made her go under the bed and told her he was going to be gone five or six hours. It says she pushed the bins away, crawled out, put on a pair of his shoes and fled the house.

Lee appeared on CNN Wednesday morning to talk about what Closs will now face.

She said when she heard Closs was found alive, she cried tears of joy.

“So, so glad that she was found alive and safe,” said Lee. “She went through a lot of things that were probably emotional, heartbreak, and I hope one day she will be able to tell her story in her own way.”

It’s been six years since Lee escaped, and she said she still doesn’t feel normal.

“For me, it’s a new normal,” she said. “I had to relearn everything. I had to reteach myself certain habits, I had to change my whole perspective and look at things differently.”

She said she had to relearn simple things in life like phones and trust. And she is still afraid to walk out the door.

“I’ve been threatened, I’ve had stalkers,” she said. “It’s different for a person like me…to not  be afraid of walking out the door. Of just being able to go to the store or having a simple dinner.”

She said in Closs’s case, recovering starts with healing and finding a way back to normalcy.

“She doesn’t want to be treated differently,” she said. “She doesn’t want to be treated like something is wrong with her. For me, it took awhile to want to talk about my story. I had to deal with a range of different emotions. So when she first starts talking, she’s going to be scared. It’s going to be very abnormal to her.”

Lee said she still has triggers and flashbacks to her ordeal.

“It can be a simple thing like a song, cologne, a way somebody talks,” she said. “I still have flashbacks and dreams, but I try not to let my fears, my anguish and things I went through determine how I live my life.”

Read more here. 

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