Even though Jaycee Dugard, her two daughters and their family are said to be overjoyed to be back together, the horrible ordeal Jaycee and the girls went through will probably "overwhelm" them when it all starts to sink in, and take years to recover from, according to one expert.
And keeping them away from the media would be a huge help, the expert says.
Police say Jaycee, 29, was held captive and repeatedly raped in sheds and tents in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's Antioch, Calif. home. Authorities say Phillip snatched Jaycee off the streets of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 18 years ago. Jaycee and her two daughters, 15 and 11, both of whom police say were fathered by Garrido, were freed last week.
Orange County Register reporter Greg Hardesty, who interviewed Jaycee's aunt, said on "The Early Show" Friday that Jaycee and family are apparently dwelling on the here-and-now and experiencing at being back together, putting the "darkness" of those 18 years aside.
The aunt, Tina Dugard, is the sister of Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, and witnessed the reunion.
On "The Early Show Saturday Edition," Hardesty told co-anchor Chris Wragge he thinks "they realize the horror of the reality and it has set in, but I think they're so busy reconnecting and enjoying the connections that they're sort of pushed to the side a little bit. But they're under no illusion that this will be an easy time moving forward."
Hardesty said, "The message they wanted me to get out, I believe, is that these two young girls aren't some, you know, wild children running in the wilderness with no education, that they're very literate, that they're reasonably well-adjusted given their upbringing."
How is that possible?
"I think that Jaycee is a remarkable mother. I think she had to have exceptional parenting skills to raise her daughters to the extent that she has. And she got that from her mother."
Hardesty says it's his understanding that the Dugards "plan to remain low-profile for awhile, but, within a couple of weeks, they plan to relocate" to Probyn's Southern California home in Riverside.
But psychologist and author Dr. Susan Bartell told Wragge, "It would probably be better for her to be in a different place, although for some people, it is better to go back, to revisit and to have the chance to work through a little bit what they had been through.
"I think what's most important, though, is for (Jaycee) her to really stay out of the spotlight -- I think that's critical -- and to really focus, for all three of them to focus on their healing, to get into counseling as soon as possible, and to stay away from the media as much as they possible can."
Bartell says that, even though Jaycee and her daughters may be dong well now, being reintroduced to society, and all that went on in that backyard, will be "overwhelming for all three of them, for her, for the kids, very overwhelming. The idea that they are having this reunion with their family is wonderful, but what's going to happen gradually, as the weeks and months go ahead, is the trauma is going to begin to overwhelm them, and it's going to take a very, very long time to heal from this. And they're going to need to gradually learn to adjust to being back home, to learn to live in a different kind of environment. They might even miss where they were for all those years, weirdly enough."
Not only that, Bartell continued, but, "I suspect it will be even hard for them to talk to their family about it. They're gonna want to protect their family and just let their family feel the joy of being with them. So, they're not even going to want to share that with hair family, and rather, (will) want it to talk to their therapists about it."