Dugard comes across poised and strong, recounting with clarity how she survived the unimaginable.
"I can't imagine being beaten to death and you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped, so you just do what you have to do to survive," said Dugard.
The now 31-year old was only 11 when Phillip and Nancy Garrido abducted her from South Lake Tahoe. They kept her locked up in their Antioch area backyard, where early on, she was often chained to a bed. Parole agents came to the home 60 times -- each time not realizing she needed to be saved.
"During those long 18 years of captivity, did she ever consider suicide?" asked ABC7's Kristen Sze.
"No, I asked her questions like that and here is one of the lessons we learn about who survives and who does not. She loved her mother, she yearned for her mother and for her wonderful baby sister. And she never let hope disappear," said Sawyer.
Hope grew the day Dugard went into labor in that locked shack and gave birth to her first daughter at age 14.
"I felt like I wasn't alone anymore. I had somebody that was mine," said Dugard.
Sawyer says Dugard has chosen not to carry bitterness, but to live and cherish every day. But her own mother is still wrestling with rage and regret.
"I chose not to go in and kiss my girls goodbye that morning. I wanted to be on time. For 18 years I kicked myself for not kissing my baby goodbye," said Dugard's mother, Terry Probyn.
"How could you have known? You can't beat yourself up for that," said Dugard.
You can watch Diane Sawyer's entire interview with Jaycee Dugard in a two hour prime time special this Sunday at 9:00 on ABC7.
As for hopes for falling in love and getting married someday, Diane said Jaycee knows it would be complicated, but a beautiful thing. And as she's proven -- nothing is impossible.