By Sandra Gonzalez
July 11, 2011 at 05:00 PM EDT

When I was a child, my mom told me the story of Jaycee Dugard, the little girl who’d been kidnapped in 1991 on her way to school, as a cautionary tale. And all these years later, following her shocking reappearance in 2009, her story still resonates with me — and many others, I imagine. But now, her story is the ultimate tale of survival.

In her interview with Diane Sawyer that aired last night, the  kidnap-victim-turned-prisoner shocked me with her poise and ability to speak about her harrowing experience. Judging from the interview, I got the impression Sawyer was equally impressed by the composed and well-adjusted woman she was interviewing.

As Dugard detailed everything from her kidnapping to her rescue, she was the picture of strength. She talked about how she stayed one with the world, the secret journal she kept, and the way she tried to make a life for her two daughters despite horrific circumstances.

Prior to watching, I was sure I’d cry through the entire thing. But I didn’t. I found myself simply inspired. Inspired because this woman, who was once, to me, a lesson about the dangers of the world, had turned into a lesson in the strength of the human spirit.

Did you watch last night, PopWatchers? If not, you can watch below.