Monday, August 28, 2006

As if being a teen isn't bad enough

Remember how much puberty sucked?

The gawkiness? The awkwardness? The bad hair, greasy skin, and clumsiness? The urge to fit in, the angst and the general state of being pissed at the world because nobody understands you.

I remember it. It was the worst weekend of my life.

Adolescence leaves everyone emotionally scarred and a complete headcase. Then we spend the rest of our adult lives trying to come to grips with all the psychological crap.

If we're lucky, if we've had patient parents and we didn't get busted smoking pot too many times, we might just come through it with the shred of an ability to have some semblance of normal relationships with other people (whatever normal means).

But imagine you have to go through all the typical teenage crap while a the same time being held prisoner by an Austrian freak (the entire state of California notwithstanding).

By now, we've all heard the sickening story of Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted as a child and held as a sex slave by Wolfgang Priklopil in Viena. After her recent escape and his subsequent suicide, she seems to be handling it better than anyone would expect (aside from a raging case of Stockhold Syndrom).

She gave a statement to the press today.
"I realised quite clearly what a strong impression the news of my captivity has made on people, but I ask for understanding in satisfying the tremendous interest of the public."
She seems to have a fairly strong grasp on the reality of what happened to her. If this were the end of it, one could almost call it a happy ending, at least as happy as it could get.

Unfortunately for young Natascha, she's got a huge struggle ahead. Not only will she have to come to grips with the last eight years of her life, she'll have to do so under the crushing pressure of a media spotlight and the severe strain of those trying to get a piece of her 664,900 euros compensation from the Austrian government.

I say good luck to her. I hope money and media don't make her a prisoner the way her captor did.

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