While she tries to put on a brave face in school, Hannah Anderson says that when she thinks about her abduction and her struggles to cope with the murders of her mother and brother, “I break down at night.”
The San Diego-area high-school junior, 16, continues to avoid all print interviews, but over the past few days has answered dozens of questions on her ask.fm page, where she also shared photos of her homecoming dance and happier times with her mom and brother.
Asked why she didn’t run away from abductor James DiMaggio while on the 1,000-mile trip from San Diego to Idaho – the query also presumed that Anderson wasn’t handcuffed – Anderson replied: “How do you know he never had me handcuffed? Because there you are wrong. Don’t assume things you don’t know. Just stop.”
An Anderson family spokeswoman declined to comment on the postings.
Anderson also shared many photos on Instagram. Juxtaposed against images of a happy-looking teen playing with her dog, hanging with friends and practicing gymnastics is a black-and-white shot of a different girl with her back to the camera, facing the ocean. The caption reads, “I’m not living, I’m just surviving.”
Another note on the page says, “Just because I am strong enough to handle PAIN doesn’t mean I deserve it.”
DiMaggio is suspected of killing Hannah’s mother, Christina Anderson, and her 8-year-old brother Ethan, whose bodies were found Aug. 4 in DiMaggio’s burning house in California near the Mexico border. On Aug. 10, federal agents confronted the pair in the Idaho wilderness, killed DiMaggio during a shootout, and safely rescued the teen.
Anderson writes about her reaction to reading some of the details about the brutal murders.
“I’m in shock. I found out about the autopsy at school and I read it. I felt so sick, I almost went home. I was crying all day,” she wrote.
“Why put yourself through that?” someone asked.
“Because I need to know what happened to them.”
The participants also asked typical teen questions, like, “What’s your favorite Drake song?” “Proud,” she answered.
Another: “What was your favorite memory of homecoming last night?” “Hanging with my girls.”
Those asking questions also offered their compliments and encouragement.
“Having memories are the best. Keep those close to you and think about them when you are sad. It will make you laugh,” someone wrote.
Replied Anderson: “Alright I will, thank you.”