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Warning: This article contains language that might be triggering or disturbing for those who have experienced similar trauma.

In early January 2018, tragic and terrible news surfaced of a group of 13 siblings who were being held captive in their homes. After an older sibling escaped and ran to the police, the world learned of the Turpin family and the trauma of its children. The 13 siblings were shackled to their beds and severely malnourished. Details have continued to surface about the details of the children’s lives, some who are in their late twenties but have the physique of young children. Being treated for severe malnutrition, doctors are wondering how the children survived for so many years of mistreatment and abuse. Among many other questions, doctors and investigators are asking: why didn’t the children leave sooner?

Such a question is common in scenarios of kidnapping and abuse. Why doesn’t someone, who is being tortured and controlled, have the will or the strength to just leave or run away? The seventh eldest Turpin child, of 17 years age, did find the ability to escape through a window to contact the police.

One possibility, writes Huffington Post contributor Anna Almendrala, is that the older siblings might not have left in fear of what would happen to the younger siblings. Until the children start to share their story, there is no way of knowing what kinds of threats were made against younger children to the older children in case the older children decided to leave.

The youngest children were born into the terrible situation created by their parents. With minimal contact to the outside world, these young children may not have known they were being abused, writes Time Magazine, and may not have known it was not normal. Additionally, the conditions under which children were living- starvation, being shackled to their beds for months at a time- might have disoriented them. Some reports have indicated that the children slept all day due to being kept awake all night.

Another possibility is that the children lost sight of reality. Abusive situations, especially those in extreme form like the Turpin’s isolation and abuse, can create extreme hopelessness. Taking the risk of reaching out for help, which is directly disobeying the strict rules of an abuser, means being able to comprehend the idea of another reality. Trauma can be defined as any event or series of events that changes the way an individual sees themselves and their place in the world, according to Judy Crane. Reality is changed by the reality of trauma. Overcoming the reality of trauma is a difficult thing to do, but not an impossible thing to do.

There is hope if you are struggling to cope with the painful reality of trauma which has occurred in your life. The Guest House Ocala welcomes you with open arms to start your journey of healing from trauma. Everyone has a story when they come to treatment. Everyone’s story can be changed. For information on our custom treatment programs and private care for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues, call us today: 1-855-483-7800