A knife in the heart

Dear Michaela,

Many days … most days … I manage to bury my feelings deep inside. I talk about things but don’t really think about what I’m saying. That is the only way I have managed to survive for the last 23 years, as you can imagine. Today, however, reality kept just popping up. I walk discussing your case with someone, and I was talking about the lead that said you are in the UAE. Simple to say, maybe Michaela is in the UAE. But behind that, there is another reality. There was the second part to that lead, which was that you are “changed too much to remember.” Then there was the discussion on the web sleuths board in which someone detailed the kind of abuse you would have suffered if you had been alive in those circumstances, and wondered why I would think that was preferable. And the horror of it, the grief and sorrow just filled my heart. Jaycee brought so much hope. Jaycee made me believe that you could be alive and could be okay. But it could be that if you are alive, you are very much not okay, and I cannot stand that thought.

Then on my way home, I drove past the street where we lived when you were born. I do this almost every night, of course. When I started taking this route it really disturbed me, but I do it most of the time now, so I’ve grown more immune to it. But this evening, I looked down the block and saw the playground they have built there since we moved, and I thought how nice that would have been for you … and suddenly I could see your little tiny self. I could feel what it felt like to hold you in my arms. I could see your smile and hear your laughter, and all the promise of life you held that was stolen away. And it sliced through me, a searing hot knife. I still, in all these years, have not found the words to describe how this feels, this sense of betrayal of life itself, this wrenching heartache … the just plain furious anger I feel over this.

I am sorry, Michaela. I am sorry that I wasn’t about to keep you safe from this. I am sorry that I wasn’t able to find you. I know that every second you waited to be rescued, and I am so, so sorry that I couldn’t rescue you. I am so, so sorry, and yet words can never contain what I mean, how I feel.

I love you. I love you forever.

mom

167 thoughts on “A knife in the heart

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  1. Sharon, I love you for your honesty. Reading this post, I just want to say that if Michaela is being kept against her will, look what jaycee taught us. Kids cope. She would have adapted to survive. She'd be tough and resilient.

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  2. Sharon, once again I sit here crying, at a loss as to what to say, and for me thats something! As a mother I know why you have to apologize to Michaela,I would feel exactly as you do. But I believe in my heart that Michaela would tell you you don't have anything to be sorry for. I think she'd be so sad that you take the blame for not protecting her and/or finding her. You did and continue to do everything you can do. I don't presume to speak for Michaela but Im sure she would tell you how proud of you she is. YOU did nothing wrong, some horrible monster did. You were and are a great mother,even through your pain and sorrow,that is evident in your other children.You are an inspiration Sharon. (p.s.I dont know what the “select a profile ” means. So even though it says anonymous, it's me, Cris 🙂

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  3. I just watched a show called disappeared and it had a story about Colleen orsborne well way back they found a body and did all the ID stuff said it wasn't her but then dr.g (the coroner chick) redid it and they found out it was her after all these years like 27 years… Thought I would share not that I want Michaela to be gone or anything but the family was upset they worried and hoped for all those years meanwhile they had their answer waiting for 27 years.

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  4. You have no reason to feel guilty, Sharon. Just so you know, the comment I made about honesty was about the comments you wrote, not the post. It's probably good to release the deep pockets of grief, occasionally, that stay way below the surface. But don't blame yourself.

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  5. Click on the arrow next to Select A Profile and a list will come up. Click on Name/URL and type your name in. Your name should appear when your comment is approved and on the blog.

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  6. I try really hard to respond to comments when they are published, so sometimes when I am not able to respond to every one I feel bad about it. I just want all of you to know that I have read all of your comments (I have to approve comments, so if you see them here you know I have read them). But sometimes I am busy when I approve them, or on my cell phone where it's more difficult to navigate and type, so I don't always post a response. But I want you to know that I read and appreciate all of your kind words so much. Thank you all very much.

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  7. Sharon: I wish there was something I could do to reduce your pain, but I know I can't. Here is something I can do. This week I promise to perform a daily act of kindess in memory of your daughter Michaela.Sincerely,Kathy BarnettConcord, CA

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  8. Hi Sharon, I was wondering if anyone noticed the car/guy in the parking lot before Michaela was taken. Did any of the employees from the market see him in the store. It just seems odd that he would be just be sitting in the parking lot without entering the store.

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  9. Sorry also forgot to say that I think it is possible that this guy saw the girls before they got to the market and followed them there. Nancy

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  10. The comment above about whether Michaela was screaming really ticked me off! It just shows that some people are reading this blog for the wrong reasons. It shows they are not concerned at all with your feelings and certainly not for Michaela.

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  11. I think they were just trying to figure out how the kidnapper got away with her, and whether or not he might have used a stun gun, which we'd been talking about with Jaycee. I don't think their intentions were bad.

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  12. Oh ok but that's what they should have said instead of putting a horrible mental picture in your head. Everyone knows you have wondered about this a trillion times before. I just think that some people do not realize how Real this is for you. They need to think like if it was their little girl.

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  13. I asked about the tazer thing noMy intentions were not meant to be upsetting. Just really want her found she's the same age as me so it's relatable that way. I bet she has not forgot about you Sharon.

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  14. Is there anything that can be done to change the system in how to search for missing people?? A long time ago I sent you an e-mail suggesting something I had seen on the internet about a blog done in China where it encourages people to take pictures of homeless children and post them up because maybe one of them could be a missing child. I honestly do not remember your response back then, but what do you think of that idea?

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  15. I don't really know what you mean about changing the system in how to search for missing people. I don't think there is anything wrong with the “system” of looking for missing people. It's just a matter of fact that it's hard to find a needle in a haystack. And honestly, the only thing that might make a difference in the investigations into the missing is if investigators were allowed to use torture while questioning suspects or people who might know something, because the problem is that those who know aren't telling.

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  16. I phrased my question wrong, I didn´t mean there was something wrong with the system. I was trying to say if there was anything else that could be done. And yes, they should send suspects over to Mexico! Over there police sure know how to use torture! (I say this about Mexico because I am from Mexico, not as a racist comment)Anyhow I am very sorry about what you are going through.I say this sincerely, as your reader I wish I could do something to help, and I dare say all of your readers feel the same, that is why we try to come up with ways to help, no matter how bizarre.Thanks to your blog, Michaela and your family are in many hearts and prayers. Sincerely,Angelica

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  17. I know, I understand that is what motivates most people and I appreciate it. I am not really sure what people can actually do to help. I think the main thing in my mind is just to keep Michaela alive in your hearts, and I believe somehow that will help.I'm an immigration paralegal, by the way, so I have heard those stories you are talking about.

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  18. the abductors has tremendous strength his dignity is a good reason why he got away with this and has yet to be found. describes aesthetics such as beauty and charisma. This would seem to indicate that our kidnapper was very good looking and also charismatic, which may very well be true. Overall, it is my guess that he has feminine qualities and a feminized personality that may bring his sexuality into question. People may assume this man is gay when, in fact, he is not. He would be small in body size, delicate almost, with a good complexion and maybe even dimples. Long eyelashes, a bow shaped mouth, high cheekbones, all qualities normally admired in women, would make him attractive but in a feminine sense. He may attract the wrong kind of attention from others and this is a problem for his ego. This man may be vain and manly in his heart, wishing very much to be seen as masculine, strong and fearsome. He might lift weights or otherwise enhance his male physique. He might also be tall and shapely in a way, small waisted with fine, probably darker, hair. He might be a singer or dancer and love to perform for others. He is the kind of person who desires public approval and seeks an audience when he can.Other qualities he possesses might be artistic or musical talent, writing songs or drawing pictures. His home might be well decorated and pleasant; this would be his main home not the second home to which he brought Micheala. He would also be seen as a show off, a “fancy pants”, so to speak, a natty dresser. But he would also be soft spoken, outwardly gentle and seen as harmless by everyone who knows him. He would be last person you would suspect of this crime. In fact, it would almost be unimaginable. No one he knows could imagine him hurting a fly, much less a little girl. But, in fact, he did and he does this many other times, as well. As I said earlier, he is a complex personality with a weak ego who needs approval and cannot tolerate rejection. In his crimes against helpless little girls, he is the god he dreams himself to be and can take out his anger at the women in his life, one or more of whom is represented by the children he abducts and kills.

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  19. Well, we have an eyewitness description of the person who actually committed the kidnapping, and it doesn't match this, unless there was more than one person involved. It does make me stop and think about some people, and then I feel badly because I'm not sure something like this is sufficient to cast suspicion. I have always been thankful that we had an eyewitness so I wouldn't have to suspect every single person who has come into my life. But you never know.

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  20. Sharon, I know that you have said many times that they ruled out that the Garridos are not responsible for taking Michaela. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe I read in Jaycee's book something about a trailer that the Garridos took her to. Did they police check this area? It just seems so odd that there was a string of girls who went missing in the same way that Michaela did and within a short time. One would think that the Garrido's would have to have something to do with them. Not to mention the composite sketch. The witness stated the kidnapper had acne or boils. When Phillip was arrested he had that thing on his face too. I am too familiar with the dates the other went missing but were any after Jaycee or was she the last one to get taken?

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  21. I don't know why you'd think that just because there were several girls kidnapped in this area that Garrido would have to have anything to do with it. He is certainly not the only person who kidnaps children, you know. Also, he was in jail when Amber Swartz was kidnapped and Nikki Campbell was kidnapped after Jaycee. Ilene Misheloff isn't really in the same age group as the other girls, so I really don't think they are likely to be related. And I have never seen any photos of Garrido in which I'd classify him as having acne. This was acne that our kidnapper had, not a thing on the face. I really wanted Michaela to be found when Jaycee was. And Garrido was certainly worth looking at. But our PD did that, thoroughly, and they were able to conclude that it was not him. Believe me, we have better suspects.

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  22. I thought that because it is not very often that so many girls go missing in the same area within a short period of time. I never thought that Nikki was related. As for Ilene I thought that maybe she was small and he didn't know how old she was until afterwards. I know your kidnapper had acne, but that was years ago. Acne goes away when people get older. Garrido had that huge blemish on his face and just thought that he may have been prone to skin problems in the past.The post wasn't meant to make you angry. Just trying to help like the others on here.

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  23. Well, I wasn't angry before. However, I have to tell you, it irritates the living daylights out of me when people tell me that they have made me angry. I re-read my comment, and although you can't hear the tone of voice in written words, I think you have to make great leaps of assumption to come to that conclusion. Believe me, if I'm angry, I will let you know.

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  24. It's one of my other blogs: http://www.thewanderingjourney.blogspot.com.I'm in the process of trying to unify my blogs a bit, but for now that's where my astrology posts are.I didn't do an analysis of Michaela's natal chart, and I also didn't do an exhaustive reading about the time of the kidnapping. I did a brief analysis of our solar return charts for 2012, and I have included biwheels for both Michaela's natal and mine with transits for the time of kidnapping in this blog: http://thewanderingjourney.blogspot.com/2011/07/will-michaela-be-found-in-2012-charts.htmlThanks.

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  25. Ummm, I don't know. There is an e-mail group through Yahoo called Finding the Lost. They do horary and event charts. It's not something I have ever understood all that well myself. The group isn't really active, but there are probably a lot of cases in the archives. Sorry I can't give you more information, but I don't use yahoo except for groups, and I can't remember my log-in information….

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  26. I have always,personally,felt that Amber,Nikki,and Michaelas cases were connected. I'm not a detective and I'm certain not aware of all the circumstances surrounding the individual cases. But they were between the ages of 4-9,all blond,taken in broad daylight,in their neighborhoods,on a Friday or Saturday. Ilene Micheloff was older,brunette,and was not taken so publicly. I pray every day these girls are found safe.

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  27. There are no possible crime scenes or suspects in the UAE. I have not heard of anybody who resembles the kidnapper there, either, but if Michaela is in the UAE that would make her a human trafficking victim, and the kidnapper would only be the person who took her for the traffickers.

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  28. Hi Sharon, there was a kidnapping case in Finland this week that reminded me of Michaela. An eight year old girl was snatched on her way back from school, a neighbour witnessed it from their window and was able to give a descripton of the van. Kidnapping cases are extremely rare in Finland, and a search was started immediately and the boarders to Russia and Sweden were informed. Luckily, the girl had a mobile phone with her and was able to call her mom and the police from the van. What a courageous and smart girl! The calls were tracked and she was found three hours later in a cabin tied up. The kidnapper was a 22-year old man with no connection to the girl beforehand. Thankfully, this story had a happy ending, but it could have gone very differently. Made me think of you and Michaela, and the unfairness of it all. But there is still, always, hope.

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