Hannah Anderson has made the brave decision to come out and speak publicly about her kidnapping ordeal this past summer. It was an abduction that had the entire country on edge as authorities hunted one-time family friend James Lee DiMaggio, the man accused not only of kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah, but of murdering her mother and little brother, Ethan. And now, in another TV interview with Today -- set to air this Thursday -- the teenager has revealed unsettling details about her captor's means of torture and of her own means of survival.
If her grace and maturity in answering questions while under fire on the Internet were not proof enough that this girl is a survivor, the horrors she shared with Today's Savannah Guthrie reveal a Hannah Anderson who is grateful to be where she is today -- despite the horrors of her past.
The worst among them?
Hannah knew what was going to happen almost from the very beginning. According to a statement to Guthrie about what happened when she got to DiMaggio's house after he picked her up:
When I got into the house, he handcuffed me and zip-tied my feet and then sat me down on the couch and told me what his plan was.
The poor girl knew she would be kidnapped! And she couldn't do anything about it, because she was tied up!
Laid out, that plan included taking Hannah to Idaho, although we now know it also included killing Hannah's mom and 8-year-old brother, a portion that Hannah said she didn't know. But even if she thought her family was OK, Hannah apparently didn't know that she would live -- the teenager also shares that her captor forced her to play Russian roulette with a gun, and more details are expected to come out in the full interview on Thursday.
But as I mentioned before, Hannah sounds grateful to be where she is today.
It's admirable, perhaps even worth mimicking? Lesser ordeals would have lesser people balled up in a corner. But she's had to deal with facing her own mortality and then some, at just 16, and she is standing tall -- if not thriving?
She's dealing with it ... and she's using the public's interest in her for good, rather than allowing the constant pressure to come out with her story to weigh on her shoulders. Indeed, Hannah is deriving solace from -- of all places -- the Amber Alert that made her famous and saved her life, prompting riders in the wilderness of Idaho to recognize her. According to Hannah, that Amber Alert:
It helped me keep going through healing knowing that people were looking for me and that they're on my side.
The public wants her; the public gets her. And she uses the public to move on.
That's not to say that Hannah isn't grieving; look at her Instagram, and you can see she clearly is, devoting a memorial to her brother on his ninth birthday earlier this week. This is a girl in pain.
But this is also a girl who knows how lucky she is to be alive.
What do you think of Hannah's statements this week? Will you be watching for more of her story?
Image via Today