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Michelle Renee Headshot

5 Year-Old Hostage Victim "Unharmed"?

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I was sitting in my living room this morning watching the Today Show when I heard Matt Lauer say that the 5 year-old being held hostage by a total stranger in an underground bunker is being reported as "unharmed." Really?

This child may not be physically harmed as of the time of the airing of the Today Show this morning but to say this little boy is "unharmed" is irresponsible.

The emotional aspects of this situation and the harm being caused to this child throughout this entire ordeal is worth mentioning. The wounds that are unseen are sometimes the most devastating. There is no amount of coloring books that can be sent down a tube that will take away what he has seen, what he has heard, the fear he has felt that has and is still pumping through his veins. Do they think he is laying his sweet head down at night to a lullaby feeling safe, secure, snug and loved? No, he is not. He is as scared as a 5 year-old can possibly be.

I looked into the eyes of my 7 year-old daughter after she survived a hostage crisis. She was in shock, she was riddled with trauma and PTSD, she was never the same child she was before three thugs kidnapped and held her hostage. It took 2 years of PTSD therapy for her to learn how to manage and process her trauma from surviving that horrific ordeal. I was right there with her discovering how to do the same with my own trauma from that ordeal not only for myself, but for my daughter.

Take it from a mom who knows first hand what it is like to hold your child again after being kidnapped and held hostage, he is not "unharmed". Newscasters and reporters, do us a favor and remember that not all harm shows up in the form of an outer visible wound. Internal trauma, emotional wounds...let's address them instead of brushing them under the media hype rug.