With so many shocking celebrity suicide in the headlines this year already, the news of Ariel Castro hanging himself a month into his forever life sentence was different. My first instinct wasn’t to feel sad or bad for Castro or his family, and friends if he had any. My first thought went to Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Wishing someone like Castro dead for ten years, and then Castro ultimately hanging himself has to be gratifying. I don’t dare assume what feelings Amanda and Gina and Michelle maybe grappling with this morning, but I can imagine. As a victim of sexual abuse myself it’s sick that I’m thankful my experience was nothing close to what Castro unleashed on the three women. I cringe imagining what the women went through for 10 years of their life compared to what I went through for 20 minutes of my childhood. I’m happy for them that Castro is gone even if they don’t need me to be happy for them. I just am.
Putting away bad guys for sex offenses has come a long way since I was seven years old, and I believe that I could heal faster if my predator had killed himself. There. I said it. Instead, the person who abused me ended up in jail but back on the streets after a few years. He found me again. I didn’t know who to blame when I was a child, but I know now that the whole system failed me at the time. It was the early 80s. Fast forward thirty years…I believe the system is better.
Still, I’m happy Castro is gone from this earth for good. There’s a daughter that Castro has left behind and I can’t begin to wrap my head around what this means for her. A child should never have to hear their parent is dead, or that it’s something some people are celebrating. I hope for her that she is surrounded by love and understanding and patience, and I wish for her strength later when she knows more about this all.