Time is an elusive beast to us all. But after hearing news reports earlier this week about three Cleveland, Ohio, women who had been held captive for 10 years, I struggled to wrap my head around the time involved.
They spent the last 10 years of their lives tied up in a basement and put through horrors we will likely never know.
It leaves me just dumbfounded, uttering to myself every time I hear an update on the news, “10 years?” It makes me wonder, often in horror, how long those 10 years must have been for those three poor souls.
It’s hard to imagine any 10-year segment of my life because the years seem to stretch out so far.
My oldest niece turns 8 in June. Ten years ago, she was just a hope and dream. Now that she’s been with us almost eight years, I can’t even remember what life was like without her in it.
In a decade’s time, I graduated high school and moved on to college. I spent four years there and then got my first journalism job in Indianapolis. I moved to my first apartment on the city’s southside. My life changed drastically in those 10 long years.
Now, I’ve worked in newspapers for more than 10 years. The 10-year anniversary of my college graduation has come and gone. My 10-year high school reunion is long gone.
Making my way through junior high and high school didn’t even take 10 years. I’d have to tack on two years of college to hit that 10-year mark.
In the last decade, I’ve gained and lost friends. I’ve traveled around the states and abroad. I’ve changed residences more than I can count. I’ve changed vehicles three times. I’ve made 120 rent payments. My vision prescription changed at least six times.
These three women were held captive for 10 years. And not just any 10 years. They vanished separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. The women were all taken in their formible years. The years where a girl comes into her own and earns the title of woman. They spent those years in a dark corner of a stranger’s dank, dirty house.
Bound by ropes and chains, the women were kept in different rooms. They undoubtedly knew of each other’s presence in the house, likely hearing each other’s screams. They were repeatedly raped and repeatedly forced into miscarriages. They suffered through this for 10 years.
For 10 years, prosecutor Brian Murphy has told reporters, a man named Ariel Castro used them “in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit.”
We see so many horrifying headlines in today’s world that we tend to become immune to the real horror behind them. We can’t feel others’ pain because it’s too much to bear. I’ve been guilty of it just as much as anyone else. But there is something about these three women that cut through the apathy and broke my heart. Every news report I read detailing the latest developments in the case opens even further the hole in my heart for them.
The morning I put the finishing touches on this column, though, I read a report that made me smile through the tears. It talked about the day police finally entered the house to find the women. They flung themselves into the officers’ arms, it read. I can’t imagine the horror they faced, so I certainly can’t imagine the joy they felt when their rescuers finally came busting through the door. Finally, after 10 long years, it was over and they were safe.
Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
- WOLFSIE: Giving a word of advice So, what’s the word? Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which t
- THEIR VIEW: Stop spinning wheels and fund highways It is important that Congress act quickly to maintain sufficient funding levels in the Highway Trust Fund to pay for necessary highway projects.Indiana receives more than 40 percent of its total state highway and transit funding from the federal gove
- PETERS: Have a cup of joe to help your eyes? My day starts with coffee. I’m too cheap to buy it by the cup from baristas, so I just brew my own Folgers by the pot. I have a cup or two as I settle into work each morning, and another cup – sometimes two – in the early afternoon. That may not be w
- WILLIAMS: America still the dream Is America really in as bad as shape like many people say it is? I’m 67 and when I look around, I don’t see it.Everything isn’t great but believe it or not, there has never been a time when everything was great, not even in those innocent Fifties we
- OUR VIEW: Every town that has any sort of waterway -- whether it be a river or a creek or just a stream -- knows it will be used as a trash can. And oftentimes, tires are a favorite trash to be tossed into the waterways. Many organizations and concerned citize
- WERNER: The mystery of the Indian grave at Dykeman Last summer I contacted Thelma Conrad, executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, to ask her if she had any information on the Indian grave at Dykeman Park. Thelma had heard of it but had never seen the small marker that tells of the I
- THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo
- RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco
- KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue
- MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office
- More Opinion Headlines