Imagine being a 10-year-old girl, kidnapped, and chained by the neck in a small coffin-sized box for two weeks. That'd be enough to ruin anyone's life, but miraculously, Katie Beers says it was "the best thing that happened to me." Beers was only 10 and living an already wretched life, neglected by her mother and repeatedly sexually abused by a father figure, when she was kidnapped by a family acquaintance and held in a dungeon under his home for 17 days.
Beers has written a book about her experience, called Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story. In it, she details being a child who was ignored by her mother and left to fend for herself. She was also raped from the time she was a toddler by her godmother's husband.
When she was kidnapped by a family friend, John Esposito, who is still in prison, she was actually taken out of this situation -- which she considers a blessing, and one that eventually led her to the foster family that changed her life for the better. Says Katie:
I try not to be sad about what happened, because ultimately it made me who I am today, and I'm very satisfied and happy with my life.
Wow. What an amazing attitude. Katie is now 30 and a married mother of two who lives in Pennsylvania and works as an insurance broker, but wants to be a motivational speaker. Surely she is qualified!
I know so many people who had less-than-ideal childhoods -- and who cannot, for the life of them, seem to see past it. Despite the fact that Katie says she was raped by Esposito (he was never charged with this and denies it), she is still able to see the "bright side" of this profoundly horrific situation.
Once police found Katie, she was moved to a foster family in East Hampton and raised with four siblings. There, she was made to go to school regularly and do chores, but also received the love and care she'd never gotten until then.
The difference between people who come out of bad situations and end up thriving and those who are beaten down by them is often their perspective. Katie has an amazing perspective, one all people who had difficult experiences should hear. She's not only a survivor, but a mentor.
What do you think of Katie? Have you ever taken a negative and turned it into a positive?
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