I have had the pleasure of meeting remarkable, extraordinary women during my life. Unquestionably, I know how privileged I have been to have many of these individuals teach and guide me in deep and compelling ways. Without question, I have become a better man and the type of father I had hoped to become for my son due in part to the influences of some of my female friends, teachers, and colleagues. I am so thankful to each of them. Recently, and to my delight I have met a woman so extraordinary, so caring, so strong, and so talented, that I know my life has changed for the better ever since our first ‘hello’.
It was several months ago when I had the absolute enjoyment of meeting Pamela Michell over a late-night tea in our hometown of Los Angeles. Prior to my meeting with Pam, I never comprehended accurately just how strong and powerful the human spirit is or how absolutely empowering and life-changing my meeting with this incredible woman would be.
As a point of reference, I should point out that I have been deeply affected by more than a handful of individuals ranging from, but not limited to the voice of Africa - Noble-Laureate Wangari Maathai, to America’s first female war correspondent, Mary Walsh Hemmingway (last and longest of E. Hemmingway’s wives), to the remarkable Jacqueline Saix - who was one of the world’s first female television producers for the BBC, to the tireless activity of homeless advocate Sister Joan, to Barbara Greig – who gets up every day and tries to protect our nation’s children from abduction, to my amazing fiancé Maria – who accepts my flaws and celebrates our differences, and finally, to both my loving, optimistic mother Barbara and my incredibly wise, life-loving 95 year-old grandmother, Ida.
And yet, here is Pamela Michell: a fountain of humanity and inspiration for all of us to learn from. But it wasn’t as if Pam’s enlightened ways was not in part a by-product of excruciating pain, unbearable suffering, inhuman torture, and physical and spiritual imprisonment. Yes, there was a steep price that she paid to become the source of unequivocal inspiration for so many, including myself. And like so many who actually change the world, with their sense of humility blinding them from seeing just how big of an impact they have on the lives of others, Pamela Michell undoubtedly does not realize just how much of a positive impact she has had on the lives of so many.
So Pam, if you’re reading this, you should know that you have had a remarkable impact on my life, and surely on the lives of countless others. The world is a much better place with you in it.
Pamela Michell was a victim of physical and spiritual abduction that lasted nearly six months, held hostage by a monster that literally and figuratively claimed her as his prisoner. Locked under key, brutally beaten, severely tortured, physically broken, sexually abused, and denied the simplest of human rights of the human condition for so long, her ordeal as not only a survivor but as a conqueror of domestic violence, immoral spiritual abuse, and the victim of the incomprehensible act of human enslavement all provide insight and lessons that each of us may learn from.
It took time and careful planning and courage, but Pam was able to escape the evil monster that took her life for so long.
A monster that believed that her imprisonment was a right that belonged to him.
A part of me is pleased to share that today this monster is in prison, where he will remain for the next 29 years (he was sentenced to spend 30 years in prison). It should have been a sentence that included ‘for the rest of his life’. The only tragedy about his existence is that he will not suffer in ways similar to which he wielded his abuse. And as much as I know that it is wrong to wish such harm on another person, I am honestly disappointed that this human-trafficker remains somewhat safe in the confines of a maximum prison.
But I hope he knows that as his body rots away, Pamela Michell’s body has beautifully healed, her spirit has soared, and her fear has been washed away. And my talented friend Pam, who had previously spent a great deal of her time advocating for those who needed humanity to pay attention to their special circumstances – it didn’t matter if these individuals were men or women, children or adults, black or white or green or yellow – sees these individuals for who they are – our brothers and sisters in this club we all share called the ‘human race’.
Today, Pamela Michell is actively involved in many causes, including advocacy in the areas of domestic violence, human trafficking, and child abduction. I do not know where my friend gets her energy, but nevertheless, I am thankful all the same that she exists, and that her voice is heard.
As a product of my friendship with Pam, I have been deeply touched and motivated to make a positive difference in the world, particularly in areas that I have knowledge of including the area of parental child abduction and literacy. I thank her for being a spark that has ignited my engine.
Pamela Michell’s very existence is a reminder of just how important it is to not sit quietly on the sidelines while others suffer. It too is a reminder of how necessary it is for each of us to share our wisdom so that others may not face the same difficulties we have experienced or know of, and, most of all, how one voice can make a difference in this world.
Through action and deed, Pamela Michell is an inspiration and reminder for all of us on just how powerful and capable mankind’s spirit is. But overcoming the cruelest of hardships or challenges is but one of many necessary steps in truly gaining your freedom back. One of the other essential acts mandates that you do something positive so that others who will come after us will benefit from our experience and our voice.
I am so happy to share that my beautiful friend Pamela Michell has captured and embraced the magic that exists in life. She sees all the wonderment that exists. No more, in no way, shall she ever be a physical, spiritual, or mental prisoner.
Pamela Michell is a Conqueror of evil and a Defender of humanity. And the world is a better place with her in it.
As for me, I know just how fortunate I am to have this spectacular lady in my life. In no uncertain terms am I reminded of how important it is to stand strong in the wake of what is not right. Pamela Michell is a reminder to me that I must remain 'Unbowed' in my beliefs and stand strong in order to make positive change in areas that I may be able to.
Peter Thomas Senese is a critically acclaimed author of several international novels including the upcoming book publication on international child abduction tilted ‘Chasing The Cyclone’, the producer of the groundbreaking documentary on child abduction titled ‘Chasing Parents’, and an advocate of child abduction prevention laws, and increasing literacy in our nation.