Her protector in the film may not have been her first protector. Who knows how long the cycle's been repeating? I haven't read the novel either, so the speculation intrigued. If she truly can't remember when she was born or how old she really is--how old is she? The entire film intrigued. I didn't realize what a mind fuck it was until it was over and I realized that I'd watched a little boy consign himself to a lonely, horrific fate and he was smiling--completely unaware of the loneliness and emptiness in store once he becomes a teen, a young man and finally a middle aged man whose whole life is consumed by the care of his "charge" whom he's outgrown, at least physically. No chance to get married or have a family of his own. He thinks he's escaped the loneliness and isolation of his life, but he's only traded one form of loneliness for another.
Total manipulation on her part. Why "leave" and then come back to save him?