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      Bound and Gagged

     


I'm 36, mother of a 15-year-old girl. Two months ago on a chilly January evening she looked at me and broke my heart. It's a moment I'll never forget. My daughter and I are so much alike. We are independent, intelligent, athletic and very attractive. But for some gray streaks in my blond hair we might pass for sisters. I've raised her to stand up for her rights and be confident in her abilities. She and her friends have always looked up to me and I've tried to be competent, dependable, attentive and loving. Also protective.

My husband works late on Tuesday evenings and on that terrible January day my daughter and I went to the mall and arrived home at 5:30. We walked in on two young men burglarizing our home. We were trapped, they indicated that they had weapons and demanded money, bank cards and pins. We complied but when one reached into his pocket and pulled out cords and duct tape my daughter went wild and began punching, kicking. They were bigger than us, looked like they wanted to clobber her, I panicked, grabbed my daughter in a protective embrace and told the men to tie us up and leave. It was an instant reaction, I wanted them gone and I was sure one of us would quickly break free.

They complied, thankfully neither of us were hurt but we were left very tightly bound and gagged, face down and hogtied. We began struggling as soon as they left but couldn't get loose and with our wrists and ankles bound together couldn't stand or even crawl. Obviously we couldn't communicate through our gags so we lay there, struggling occasionally, waiting for Dad to come home. As we waited I worried about how this would affect my daughter but was amazed at her perseverance trying to get loose. I was also amazed that she did not cry and that her muffled voice sounded strong whenever she tried to talk. I wanted so much to hug her. We were a few feet apart and with difficulty I managed to maneuver closer but my bound hands couldn't touch her. I could only mouth some muffled, soothing words. Finally at 9:30 we heard the car, then the door. My husband heard our "mmphs," found us, removed the gags and began to untie us. I couldn't wait to embrace my daughter but seconds after her gag was removed she angrilly blurted, "Mom, why did you let them tie us up?" I turned to her and saw a look of thorough disappointment on her face. Clearly she felt I had failed her. She repeated her question to me and only then began to cry but when I tried to hug her she moved away and gave me that plaintive look. I realized she was frustrated and maybe even embarrassed about being so bound up and helpless but I was hurt. I had tried to be protective but had disillusioned her.

Although months have passed and we seem back to normal I know she stills feels disappointed in me. That momentary look she gave me was more painful and humiliating than the hours I spent bound and gagged on the floor. Those cords that bound me are long removed but my heartache will linger.

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