Dateline   |  September 06, 2013

Kidnapped, Part 5

With a strong will to survive, Amanda endures very difficult days.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> narrator: ammanda and nigel tasted freedom for a brief moment but they were violently recaptured and amman za plunged into the darkest depths of their captivity.

>> we had crossed the line with our kidnappers and it was like everything that followed was punishment. i was alone and locked up in a room that i named the dark house . it was a room that was pitch black .

>> no light?

>> no.

>> no windows?

>> no.

>> that's enough to drive somebody crazy.

>> it was terrifying.

>> amanda was sexual assaulted that day by her captors, some acted, some watched. there was no one to help, nigel was still held separately.

>> it feels like that's a pivotal point where they do pretty terrible things, but they're all in it together now?

>> the abuse that happened to me after the escape united them in my suffering. that prevented any one from judging the other.

>> narrator: severe beatings followed, they kicked and punched her, leaving her with bruised ribs and broken teeth. amanda was not even allowed to move off the matt, let alone around the room, something that had one given her solace.

>> my prison was now the matt on the floor and i was in chains.

>> do you remember what you were saying to yourself in the dark to get through every hour, every minute, every second?

>> in the dark house it was very often every second, every minute. i felt like i was hanging on by a thread. but the dark room was also where i found my house in the sky, which is the place that i would go, a safe place that was in my own mind. where i could escape my reality, this brutal, violent existence.

>> narrator: amanda doesn't suffer in the house in the sky. the hardest part was knowing it wasn't real. but this imaginary place was a tool she used to make it through the darkest days . back in canada, her mother lorinda searched for strength too. ten months passed since the kidnapping. all that time lorindaed that the canadian officials to guide her through the negotiations. but now they had shut down the operations center.

>> you're all by yourself now, no negotiators sitting next to you, just you on the phone. that's an unbelievable amount of pressure.

>> you do what you have to do. and i had to do it. i didn't have a choice.

>> are you healthy at that point?

>> i wasn't eating, i wasn't sleeping, i was just running on adrenaline.

>> amanda and nigel 's family decided they need help so they hired a security company that specializes in helping hostages get out. they helped raise the ransom money. it had been almost a year since they were taken, theirde deteriorat deteriorated.

>> they felt like if only my family could come up with this money then they would have their lives back and they took that growing frustration out on me.

>> narrator: at home in the canadian rocky mountains t private security company suggested that lorinda, having a relationship with the captors, be firmer with the kidnappers.

>> they felt like this would help secure nigel and amanda 's release. so she was a little bit firm.

>> if i had the money i would pay you. we are not playing games, it's you that is playing game.

>> narrator: things got much worse for amanda after that phone call .

>> they tied your arms and your legs and pulled your body up by ropes and leave you?

>> yeah, it's very hard for me to go back to that and think about what happened to me during those three days. that i was tied up in that room. yeah, the three longest days of my life.

>> after three days, they let her down, but told her they would be back.

>> when they left the room and i lay there on my mat alone, every single part of my body screaming and throbbing and absolute agony, i made a very calm decision to end my life.

>> narrator: amanda had a small razor blade allowed for hygiene, she was going to use it.

>> at the moment i was going to slit my wrists, i saw a movement out of the corner of my eye , a small bird came through the window and looking at me, and he flew out. and what i felt next was this almost overwhelming desire to live and to be part of the world.

>> narrator: amanda couldn't know how close her mother was to making that a reality.