Michelle Knight, the Cleveland kidnapping victim, came out to defend why she legally changed her name and also to explain her distance from the other two victims, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
She recently revealed on NBC’s “Today Show” that she changed her name to Lillian (Lily) Rose Lee. Additionally, she implied her distance from the other two kidnapping victims after the horrendous ordeal they endured was (and is) part of her healing process.
Michelle Knight (Lee), Berry and DeJesus were held captive for many years by Ariel Castro in a Cleveland, Ohio home. Last year, while Castro was awaiting a trial for kidnapping and other charges, he was found dead hanging in his cell.
Michelle Knight’s healing
Michelle Knight (Lee) may be ‘self-preserving’ as this is what she feels she must do in order to heal effectively. Her [willing] separation from the other two may be to avoid traumatic memories for her at this crucial time, which could be just what she needs to move forward.
Moving forward is a common mentality among people who need a positive change in their lives. It is the ‘leaving the past behind’ and focusing on the future. The idea is precedent for not only traumatized victims, but can be applied to other vulnerable populations such as alcoholics.
Alcoholics are advised to change their social network (friends) and start a new life in sobriety among other sober people. The theory is to separate the temptation to drink, which includes being around sober friends and socializing with those who do not consume alcohol.
Socialization is marked by mimicking other people’s behavior. Unfortunately, this socialization influences the past memories of inebriation and could also break down one’s will, which means they adopt the ‘oh, why not’ attitude. The temporary weakness may have undesirable results.
Michelle Knight’s positive attitude could be hindered by the mere presence of the other two, rendering an emotional weakness, or that ‘helpless’ feeling. Same idea of alcoholics, same self-preservation tactic.
There are situations where an individual is advised to confront past negative experiences for effective treatments, but for Michelle Knight (Lee), she knows what is best for her to move forward towards her own new beginnings.