|BWS Stories - "Take A Walk On The Wild Side"...Dating|
"Take A Walk On The Wild Side"...Dating - Innocence Lost
Though Rosanne Catalano, a.k.a. R.C.Kayla, is editor-in-chief of The Cat’s Meow for Writers & Readers e-zine, she continues to write her nonfiction/fiction short stories, articles and poetry. The Cat’s Meow for Writers & Readers e-zine was created by Rosanne to complement her author web site after much publication success in a book and online. Her e-zine recently received a “Bronze Award”; Rosanne herself has received a “Golden Pencil Award” for her short stories and poetry. Please check out Rosanne’s author web site: http://www.rosannecatalano.net.
On a warm, fall night eleven years ago she was leaving a ‘7-11’ Convenience Store, while opening a pack of cigarettes she had her head down when suddenly an arm tightly clamped around her shoulders, she quickly looked up in surprise, thinking it was someone she knew, but the face she saw was no one she knew… He was a total stranger to her; white-skinned, short blond-hair. In the next instant, she looked into this man’s eyes and a wave of terror washed over… there was no emotion whatsoever in his eyes, she thought, as her mind began to spin with thoughts on how to get out of this nightmare unfolding.
“Pretend you know me, otherwise I will kill you,” the man demanded, as he quickly steered and dragged her toward his car, parked in the ‘7-11’ parking lot.
Once inside this man’s car, she knew she was in terrible danger… She had taken psychology years ago in high school, so she knew all about rape and what made a rapist ‘tick.’ Fighting back would turn him on, and most likely get her killed, so she began to ‘talk’ to him as if he were a ‘person’…
But before she could even blink, the man leapt on her, ripped her jeans open (zipper and all) and raped her. Then, to add insult to injury to what he was doing to her, he forced her head down to finish the job he had begun. All the while, she was ‘talking’ to him as if he were not the ‘monster’ she really thought he was.
The rapist then said to her, “SHUT UP! Otherwise I will kill you…” threw her out of the car, and quickly drove away. Leaving her, lying in a fetal position, on the side of the road.
As she watched the car drive away, she realized he could have taken away her very faith in life and people except for her guardian Angel saving her a year prior, she dealt with it by brushing herself off and going to work the very next day.
She slowly got up, and began to walk; she just wanted to get back to her car, which was still parked in the ‘7-11’ parking lot.
Though she had no idea where the rapist had driven her; she remembered he hadn’t driven too far so she had to be close to the ‘7-11’. She did feel lucky to be alive, at least. As she walked, slowly toward her car, she realized that her whole ‘insides’ hurt badly.
She finally made it to her own car (a beautiful, blue-colored, Chevy Cavalier) and drove back home to her apartment, she barely got in the front door, when she reached for the telephone to call the police first.
In the immediacy of her trauma, there was no way she could ever imagine the laborious passage she would face to recovery – or that it would take 11 years.
She was surprised at how many stages and how many years she needed to recover. “I remember a nurse in the hospital emergency room, where the police had taken me after I reported the rape, telling me it would take three years before my life would come back, and I told her she was crazy, that I didn’t even have three weeks for this. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t want to devote any time to it. It was an arrogant reaction. I had no idea I had so far to go,” says Rosanne.
“I have no anger at the rapist anymore,” she says, “but I do have a martyr complex I’m trying to work through. I’ve gone through bouts of depression that are usually set off by the anniversary date.”
Rosanne’s husband saw her through strained sexual relations, wild anger and crippling fears that left her unable to walk from her car to her front door all for many years. Just when she thought she was finally doing better, it took her getting deathly ill to hit rock bottom.
One night, while she was still ill, she awoke from a nightmare; in it she was lost, had forgotten where she lived, but was trying to find her way home to the man she was in love with; her husband, who had been patient with her for nearly 8 years; though even he did not fully understand her fear of other people and anxiety-ridden, nervous person she had become was caused by the rape 3 years before they had met and fallen in love.
While the tears streamed down her face that night – she also had not ‘cried’ about the rape (she had wanted to “get on with her life”) – she prayed to God.
She prayed and cried for hours to our Father in Heaven to please help her to be ‘normal’ again and to get well.
The next day, unexplainably, she felt a peacefulness and calmness that even she did not understand at first. But she began to understand that she had ‘changed’ after the rape… She had not really been ‘living’ life to the fullest as she had before that terrible day in 1994.
“I knew then I had finally come back, that the person I had been before the rape was no longer dead as I had felt and thought for years, and I grieved for myself because I had not mourned the rape,” she says. “It’s also tragic for the man who loves you dealing with a woman being raped. Especially if it happened before he met her.”
She was remembering when her and her husband first met, and she would duck if he only raised his hand while talking, and the ‘flashbacks’ she had while they made love took years and years to slowly heal. It takes a strong person to deal with their spouse’s or loved one’s reactions.
Rosanne is still recovering (she had lived all these years ‘denying’ the rape ever happened to her; even though she and her hubby of 8-years did ‘speak’ of it, she, herself, had not really dealt with the rape). She has now decided to write about what happened to her so it may help another.
As one woman told Rosanne, “Rape is very powerful and a horrible crime against a woman. But that power can eventually be used to transform your life for the better. You can come through it to have a happy life again.”
On the 11-year anniversary of her rape, she sat down to write her story in hopes that another woman never has to go through what she did. In hindsight, Rosanne wishes she had sought out therapy as soon as possible instead of pretending it had never happened to her… then the healing process may not have taken as long.
A Few Great Resources Where You, Your Family and Friends Can Go For Help Online:
Justice for Women: http://www.justicewomen.com/help__special_rape.html
Alliance Against Sexual Assault: Advocacy/Education/Research: http://www.alliance.com
Safe Horizon: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: http://www.rainn.org/
*Government Office of HELP for Victims of Sexual Assault and Rape: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/rape.htm
Family Doctor.org – Rape: What to Do If You’re Raped: http://familydoctor.org/314.xml
English Major.com: http://englishmajor.com/postrape.html
Suffolk County Victims Information Bureau (Suffolk County, L.I., NY): http://www.vibs.org
--written by Rosanne Catalano (a/k/a R.C. Kayla), writer/author & eBook chief editor
http://www.rosannecatalano.net; “The Cat’s Meow for Writers & Readers” eBook
© January 24, 2005 by Rosanne Catalano