In Defense of Carl Probyn

Discussion in 'Jaycee Lee Dugard' started by mjm076, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    In seeing all the nastiness on Youtube toward Carl Probyn I thought I would write up this defense of the man whose name has been dragged through the mud only because of Jaycee's book (this is not to say I blame Jaycee):

    People making nasty comments about Carl Probyn, including on interviews done with him just after her rescue, and prior to her book, are basing their thoughts solely based on Jaycee's book. However, those making the nasty comments are forgetting a number of things:

    1) When Jaycee wrote "A Stolen Life" she was, and she admits this somewhat herself, still psychologically an eleven year-old girl. Her psychological growth was stunted by this nightmare that happened to her so she still sees Carl Probyn as she did as an eleven year-old. This is also why she still saw Carl as she did when she asked whether her mom Terry Probyn was still with him

    2) It's easy to forget that even if a child perceives something, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true. Yes, Jaycee may have perceived Carl as being mean or not liking her but that doesn't mean it's true. Carl has never spoken badly of Jaycee in any of his interviews, describing her as mellow etc.Yes he may have done things that in retrospect might seem cruel or mean (not letting her go to the Movies because she didn't brush her teeth or making her watch herself eat in the mirror) but what Parent hasn't done something that would look bad in retrospect. All parents make mistakes. I sure he made some mistakes with Shayna as well before he and Terry Probyn split up.

    3) Carl was involved with the search for at least the first five to six years. He was by Terry Probyn's side doing interviews, participating in TV re-enactments etc. The only reason Carl and Terry split was because Carl felt that there was a good chance Jaycee was dead and felt Terry needed to move forward and focus on Shayna, which is a fair thing to think (Dr. Phil told another mother of a missing minor the same thing on his show) Carl never hated Jaycee and never wanted her to be abducted. One of the great tragedies of this case is that the relationship between Jaycee and Carl never was able to grow and become a healthy father-daughter relationship which I'm sure would have happened!

    4) Jaycee was a highly sensitive child, as I have perceived from her describing her relationship with Carl Probyn. Yes Carl may have wanted Jaycee to be more responsible but is that so horrible? In Carl's mind he probably thought Jaycee was very spoiled and babied hence his emphasis on her being more responsible. Remember that Jaycee was part of the millennial generation which is now known for being the Trophy Kids. So while Carl's perceptions of Jaycee in this regard may have been unfair and inaccurate, they make sense as he was probably raised in a different manner than Jaycee or even her mother Terry.

    5) In regards to her being sent away to live with her Aunt Tina for a year, unfortunately this is typical of mixed families. It happened with me when my Dad would have me spend the day with my grandparents while he and his girlfriend would go do something. Again, another mistake Carl made (that Terry I assume was part of as well) but not something unforgivable.

    Please note I do not blame Jaycee for any of this. She was a child when she was abducted and still very much a child when she returned and wrote her book. I do hope Jaycee can mature in her feelings toward Carl but it sounds like that won't happen as Terry Probyn and her family seem to hate Carl and are not encouraging contact between the two which is unfortunate.
     
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  2. cocomod

    cocomod Well-Known Member

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    Blending families is tough. What a child may consider to be cruel may just be parenting. Although, parenting a step child is often more difficult than parenting your own; and as you state, some step-parents make more mistakes in the beginning and learn as they go.
     
  3. Swirlz

    Swirlz Well-Known Member

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    She described being sent to eat dinner in the bathroom by herself because he didn't like her table manners. That's sounds abusive to me.
     
  4. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    I'm iffy as to whether abuse is the right word. Was it an unorthodox form of parenting, yes! But today, some would argue that even making a child eat all their vegetables and not letting them leave the table until they do so is "abusive", yet this was a common parenting technique once upon a time. Besides, this is not something he made her do on a regular basis. She describes this as happening only once.

    I truly believe that if Jaycee hadn't been abducted her and Carl would eventually have come to a healthier relationship.

    Again, Carl was hard on her, and I understand that Jaycee probably took his criticisms to heart due to her sensitivity. But I don't think the demonization of Carl that has happened since 2011 has been fair.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  5. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    In light of what I've read of "Freedom: My Book of Firsts", I get the impression that Carl Probyn has been cut off from Shayna (Jaycee's little Sister) as well as Jaycee which is very sad as there is no mention of Carl being present at, or invited to, Shayna's Wedding as Jaycee discusses in "Freedom" :( I can't help wondering whether Shayna decided to cut Carl off on her own or whether she felt pressured to do so in light of the hate Terry Probyn and Jaycee seem to have for him. This, in my opinion, is the only grievance I have with Jaycee: for all her talk about how her entire family was affected by her abduction it seems Carl has been ignored, kicked to the curb and demonized by her and her Mom's family.
     
  6. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    bumping this thread in order to get more responses.
     
  7. Synergizer Bunny

    Synergizer Bunny Well-Known Member

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    I'll respond even though I am not familiar with Carl. Perhaps, Jaycee was raised with a lax attitude with her (single) mother. When Carl came into the picture, he tried to totally change the rules of the household. He definitely didn't go about it the right way. Jaycee didn't feel loved by him. Kids know when they are loved.

    I can see Jaycee, a child, being jealous of the relationship between Carl and her Mom. It was Carl's and Terry's place to include Jaycee as much as possible.

    Why did Terry agree to send Jaycee to a relative for year? Jaycee was her child. She should have refused. This was a package deal or no deal, IMO. Jaycee felt that Carl didn't like her. Why didn't she blame her own mother?

    Think about it. What if Terry had asked Jaycee to send her own daughters away for a year so that they could spend some time together. Do you think that Jaycee would have agreed to do that? I don't.

    I think that it was out of line for Carl to tell Jaycee's mother to move on and accept that Jaycee was dead. That's not his place to tell her how to act or how to feel.

    I just hope that the younger daughter, Shayna, didn't experience one cold parent (Carl) and one distracted parent (Terry). That would certainly make her feel like she was not loved or important to anyone.

    JMO.
     
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  8. Springrain

    Springrain Buckskin Girl was Marcia King

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    I think multiple things can be true at once, and the situation with Carl Probyn is multifaceted and everyone probably has a different perspective on it. We (presumably) weren't there with Jaycee and Terry, and all of our information on him is drawn from Jaycee's writings and things others have said or implied about him. I don't think he was a horrible, child-abusing monster, but I do think he was probably a distanced, not-warm stepfather (and father, to Shayna). Some of that is probably his personality, some of it just might him being an a$$hole. I agree that if she had not been abducted, their relationship would have at least moderately improved. When she wrote her first book it was very much from the perspective of a child, even though she was legally and physically an adult, and she may have misinterpreted or had a different perspective on Carl than she would have if she'd had the hindsight of having the privilege of growing up normally. She probably also viewed her mother with more rose-colored glasses than is true in reality, and that makes sense: she was a child, who obviously adored her mother and was very close with her, cruelly taken from her mother, so obviously, she was going to view her mother in a different light and probably going to mentally omit certain negative details of her upbringing caused by her mother, like Terry and Carl sending Jaycee away for a year. That was on both Terry and Carl, but it was probably easier, and more logical, for Jaycee to mentally blame that on Carl in her mind, because she was preserving the positive memories of her mother, and she was already pretty distanced from Carl.

    I think he has gotten some disdain that is unfair, and some of it is fair and has been of his own doing. He wasn't perfect or a great stepfather or father (or husband, I'm assuming), but he also wasn't, like, Josef Fritzl. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.
     
  9. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    I think you make a great point Springrain!

    I don’t know if any of you saw my new thread about Shayna Probyn’s Tik Tok but she is slowly writing a book, which presumably will be about her experiences as the sister of Jaycee and what it meant for her growing up and afterward. Someone asked how her Dad, Carl, reacted to what Jaycee wrote about him in her book. Shayna responded that it had been a while since she read the parts about her Dad and that those parts hurt to read.

    I very much would be interested in hearing what Shayna has to say. Perhaps her and Terry (her and Jaycee’s mom) could co-write a book about those 18 years. If not, it will be a treat to hear from Shayna anyway.
     
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  10. Springrain

    Springrain Buckskin Girl was Marcia King

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    I didn't see it personally - I don't normally hang out in Jaycee's subforum. I don't know how to use Tik Tok, but I'll check out your thread. I'd like to keep an eye out for Shayna's book. I can see where she may have had contrasting memories of Carl that were very different from Jaycee. She probably felt some level of guilt about Carl preferring her and treating her better than Jaycee. It's not her fault, these things just happen sometimes with blended families - but with Jaycee's abduction and captivity it probably makes her feel 10x worse.

    I also do agree with Synergizer Bunny that Jaycee seems to have had the more lax childhood with just Terry, and Carl coming into their lives was more strict and more focused on authority and structure. To what extent he was, and the harm of that, can be argued, but I can see her having disdain for him based on him being more strict and adding more rules to her world than she previously had and being frustrated by that. And then carrying those sentiments into her adulthood, where she was stalled in childhood and most people would have moved past it and gained more perspective she didn't have the chance to gain.

    Without knowing the deeper details of Jaycee and Shayna's lives and their relationship with Carl Probyn, I do think he was given a raw deal by the media and the general public, and as I said above, some of that is probably of his own doing, some of that is probably as a result of Jaycee being in arrested development and viewing their relationship through the eyes of an 11-year-old, and some of it was probably just people being catty and looking for someone to blame. I don't think he was a warm welcoming guy, but I do think he cared about Jaycee in at least some way. Hearing about him chasing frantically after Phillip and Nancy on his bike after Jaycee was taken made my heart hurt a bit. To think about the suspicion he was cast under and how many assumed him to be a liar when he was telling the truth, and he was trying to get her back home safely.

    On the topic of Carl telling Terry that Jaycee was probably dead, that was without a doubt a crappy thing to do, and cruel, but I can't fully blame him, because he was not wrong about the likelihood that Jaycee was most likely dead. Thank God she turned out to be alive, but with how long she was gone, the chances she was alive like she was were minuscule. And, while hope is tremendously important and helps keep people functioning, sometimes it can drive parents and other loved ones of MPs and murder victims to the brink of insanity, refusing to accept the likelihood that their daughter, son, etc. who has been missing 5+ years is most likely deceased. Some examples off the top of my head where the family believes they are alive because they NEED that hope to sustain themselves, but evidence suggests the MP is more than likely dead, include Tara Calico, Amy Bradley, Relisha Rudd, Johnny Gosch, and more. A MP case in my state, near my hometown, was Misty Copsey who disappeared in 1992. I read a heartbreaking interview or article or something that quoted her mother saying something along the lines of, "I have accepted that my daughter is no longer with us, that she didn't join the circus, she wasn't sold into human trafficking, she was almost certainly murdered the night she went missing. I just want to find her remains and bring her home and get some sense of closure." (not her exact words at all, just the gist of what she said). I still think it was a horrid thing to say to your wife, or any grieving parent of an MP, but realistically I can make sense of why he said it.
     
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  11. mjm076

    mjm076 Active Member

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    I just realized that I should make it clear that I do not know Carl or any of the Dugard family in any way, shape or form! I only know about as much as the rest of you (what's been shared in news articles, Jaycee's book, etc.) In addition, I live in Canada and only became familiar with the case in 2011 when Jaycee did her first interview with Diane Sawyer (the National News on CTV did a brief story about it the night the interview aired).
     

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