Sexual assault, the little girl and the swimming pool;
Cannabis cures the same grown woman
By: Cathi Locati
Jan 3, 2018
SPOTUS (Sexual Predator of the United States) Trump expertly advises “grab ‘em by the pussy!”
His supporters say no harm, no foul!?!? Dead Wrong!
Thousands of victims of sexual assault are dying to prove it.
Sexual molestation on any level is criminal.
Damage to victims is complete.
The summer day I remember was scorching hot like only Kennewick in southeastern Washington state can be, 100 degrees in the shade a true Pacific Northwest sort of day peak of summer.
If it's possible, I learned to swim that summer by fire. Save myself or die.
I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, one of 6 kids in my catholic Italian American family growing up in the late 1960's and 1970's. My brothers and sisters and I were all born one or two years apart to teenage parents who themselves were uneducated, abused and neglected as children before they started pumping out more babies according to their beliefs in the swell catholic plan of no birth control, no matter what. Babies having babies, not so great for any babies involved.
Fuzzy details of the group of kids from the neighborhood going to the public pool that day all tossed into the loaded 60's station wagon with no seat belts and too many sweaty bodies, no air conditioning and only the chance of diving into an ice cold pool our only break from the summer heat made the car ride semi-tolerable.
I loved the water I but didn’t know how to swim yet. Standing on the hot cement on the side of the pool, one foot up, too hot, one foot down, too hot – gotta jump soon but I was afraid, unskilled, no one to help me and I had lost sight of my group of people and friends.
In the middle of the pool between the shallow end and the deep end, before you get to the rope that divides the two, someone was waving at me, beckoning me to jump. I recognized one of the older boys who had ridden with us in the car earlier and I still cant remember who he was, so traumatized am I to this day. Even after 7 years of psychoanalysis, the very best New York has to offer a middle age woman, when I imagine the moment when I could clearly see his face and could verify his identity, my brain draws a blank. I remember most of everything else.
Excited to swim and cool off, forced from the pool ledge by hot cement burning my feet and craving that sweet cold water, I jumped as far as my little 7 year old legs could carry me as this new smiling friend, this older neighbor boy(?) who, waving and yelling promised he would catch me. I jumped.
There were no open arms.
I went under water so fast I hit the bottom of the pool and was allowed by this stranger to sink. Flailing and terrified I looked up through the water and the blue sky above unbelieving as the smiling, snarling look on my savior's face said, "I am doing this on purpose". What seemed liked an eternity later and after he made sure I was near drowning - he "saved" me.
As he pulled me up and toward him I was coughing choking and scared to death, he waded out into the deep end of the pool and jammed his fingers, his hand inside my vagina as hard as he could and didn’t stop. Pain tore through my little body like I had been ripped in two pieces right down the middle as icey water went inside me with his hand. Drowning with water in my nose, my eyes, I couldn’t see - but I could smell the stench of chlorine even in my child’s mind a promise of a certain death. I didn’t know what happened until years later, because I was too young to understand that I had an opening between my legs other than what was needed to pee. Confused and fighting for my life, kicking and clawing my way weightless in water and falling against slippery skin I couldn’t grab hold of anything.
Reflexes took over as did my need to live, survive and get away from this monster who wouldn’t stop hurting me as long as he kept holding onto me. He repeatedly dunked me under water to quiet my escape attempts. Rage, early and sweet coursed through my veins as I scratched, grabbed, and screamed in between mouthfuls of water, choking and fighting I was introduced to the venom of boys who grew into venomous men. Maybe luck was on my side that day as my feet made contact with his chest and I broke free flailing myself to the edge, gulping water and crying, sobbing afraid he would grab me again and pull me back out into the bottomless abyss. I had no more strength to fight again. Shaking and trembling I scrambled into the cold dark locker room, shocked, terrified with no one to help me, and no idea what to do next. I waited and waited, the hours seemed like days.
To write this down for the very first time after literally being haunted by it for 50 years, my heart rate has increased, my palms are sweating, I feel nervous and scared even though I am perfectly safe from harm. That physical reaction from sexual assault which caused great psychological injury describes PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress – I have been battling it alone my whole life. I can be snapped right back to the moment of abuse, in a heartbeat when something reminds me of it; a flash of light reflecting off waves, the sinking feeling when I jump in a pool. PTSD is associated with many more groups than just veterans of war, it applies to anyone who has experienced traumatic events, sexual molestation, sexual assault, whatever you want to call it, and is called a disorder for a reason when observing the lasting damage it causes in the victim from life-altering trauma. When I find myself firmly planted in a PTSD episode, rational thought eventually returns but not always, leaving me in a space unable to cope with the world around me in my immediate vicinity and I am overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to bolt: this is part of my social disorder. Damage done.
For me during the awful moments of a PTSD ‘memory attack’, my attempts to carry on with the job at hand, my work, my career in the moment is stopped dead in its tracks and I cant get back to that mind space of concentration, experience physical reactions, start to shake and feel anxiety like I’m being chased down for the kill. All of which I know, rationally are irrational thoughts. For me those are symptoms from PTSD. Its really fucked up and it makes me angry that I cant cope with what’s right in front of me, because I cant get that other bad shit out of my head. Or can I?
Because I’ve had so much sexual assault trauma in my life, this story is the very first one I can recall. So two months ago Oct 2017 when I joined the ‘Me Too’ movement of women on fb who have been sexually assaulted and are publicly announcing their perpetrators and telling their stories, I knew I had to start somewhere. So like Vincinni says via a lost and searching Anigo Montoya in Princess Bride, “go back to the beginning; and so I have”. I have joined the thousands of other women I hear on the news every night, naming the names of sexual offenders in their lives. And this proclamation of mine has taken constant authorship focus (like when I’m being the fine artist I am and paint photo-realism) over two months to complete as I realize it could be the most important string of paragraphs I ever write. I am doing the very best I can to bring the facts to light and birth myself a new life at the same time, in real time in front of a live fb audience – at 55. Damn I wish I would have had the chance earlier…none the less -
I have carried this pain for so long that to not drop it now when Hollywood has taken Weinstein down, Lauer, Franken, Cosby, Spacey and how many more, and with victims speaking up loud and clear; with the strength of the populace behind me, if I don’t say my truth now, I’ll go down with the ship.
I never thought I’d get the chance to pull my story together, I’ve been recording it in writing for 40 years and only now compiling it, saving, editing, telling it like it is. I gain my courage each day to keep going, keep writing through the bravery of other targets of sexual assault, victims who continue to stand up and admit their truth in public. I am finding the courage and making the time like it’s the last thing I will ever do. I fear for my life when I name the names of perpetrators, starting with my family of origin. I want to think my life was worth something so through my writing and paintings, if I help other victims, I am also helping myself to heal. My risk is that I stay alive long enough to finish my artwork and Manuscript for my books, finish drawing a comic strip about this mess, this web we weave – trying to find the humor in it if possible and provide a path of redemption for all parties.
After I make public, that which I was warned to remain silent about, 10 years ago, I do not know what will happen next, but because I was brave enough to confront those accused (even though I lost my shit becoming enraged during the phone call) I have been paying the price ever since. The treatment I have received from my immediate family members is shameful and would have killed a lesser person. So the silver lining in it for me is that somehow I lived through it, that which does not kill me makes me stronger. I am pisces, I know how to swim. I was taught by my childhood friend, Mary, who we knew as innocent girls and young ladies both of us were carrying the open secret of catholic teacher sexual abuse within our high school in Billings, MT. We became athletes because we knew we had to be quicker, faster, stronger better more than boys, men – if we wanted to survive.
By determination I would not allow my swimming pool sexual offender to make me afraid of water for the rest of my life, so Mary and I became the best of swimmers. As a pisces (two fish intertwined) I’ve learned to be a great swimmer through the torrent of life and have grown strong in my fight against predator men which makes me sad wishing I could have known men as the feminine, beautiful, sexy creature I am and having a great guy by my side who loved and protected me. Instead I learned to become a boy, a man, to be like them, act like them, deny everything about being female. I learned to survive on land and in the water but having recently crawled out of the ‘don’t talk, don’t tell’ surf barely alive but hungry to tell my story, I am victorious for having lived through it but feel very tired now that I am reaching the “time to post publicly on fb moment”. I dare say I know not what I do. Its with fingers crossed I continue.
I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway because every day I do that, I become healthier and more detached from the incidents easing the painful emotions away. The more I write and stick with this project every day, the more free I become. It’s as though the stories are no longer a part of me, they are magically outside of my body now and I feel strange, like I’ve just kicked a really bad habit. I’m out of my comfort zone however, which is really scary for most people, but a place I’ve learned to be in most of the time, after all, I am artist.
I am she who is stepping out of painful dependence on painful memories by using the analogy of quitting smoking (deadly cigarettes) or stopping heroin, I must have an idea, a glimmer of what do I do now, with the new improved me? How do I fill my life with good feelings after I have grown so accustomed to feeling bad?
It’s more than doable, simple and easy really – with the help of Cannabinoids found within the Cannabis plant, a female plant which strengthens us all.
So, everyone back to the pool! Even though nearly 50 years have passed since that super hot sizzling day poolside in Kennewick, the torment of it no longer resides in my being, now that I've written it down and plan on posting it on fb today, it still scares the crap out of me, but onward…every day I write of each sexual assault episode in my life, (there have been too may to count) I get lighter and become free for the first time in my life. Its really kinda weird! But its working so I’m going with it.
Its true – the truth shall set you free.
You, fb audience and online crowd of Cathi supporters are experiencing my artist’s life as it plays out, day by day. Many of you crave to be an artist, what’s it like, you say? Its like this - I never know what the hell is going to happen day by day as creative production herds me through it without the choice to do anything else. Its kinda like jumping into a water slide tube at a water park two stories up, you cant go back up – you have to ride the ride and execute a soft landing to live another day and do it all over again.
Here is the crux of it though, this is what’s so important in light of victims coming forward now after a lifetime of silence:
The thing I remember most when the molesting teenage boy tried to drown little 7 year old me, is not only what he physically and mentally did to me that day at the pool but this:
…. no one did anything at all when they found out about it – not even my mother. She wouldn’t let me tell her in detail, she shushed it up. The event was treated as though it never happened. As though I didn’t matter because after all I was only a girl, I didn’t exist. I couldn’t tell my father, not the family of the offending teenager, no one. As a middle-age woman, I am still too traumatized to see the perpatrators face, see who it was but I clearly learned the lesson that day in what everyone else didn’t do.
After he attacked me I waited for hours freezing dripping wet, no towel inside the dark public locker room, there were no cell phones in 1969, there were no public phones accessible to a 7 year old child. I knew I had to stay away from the molester, I was scared to death, shaking, bleeding, terrified, crying, alone until we were picked up in the station wagon again bound for home. I tried to tell my mother immediately but she told me to be quiet as soon as she picked us up at the end of that terrible afternoon. The rift cracked open and widened that day between my mother and I, as she modeled for me, my worth as a female.
The molester who had "grabbed me by the pussy" – got in the car with us.
He sat across from me in the car on the way home, smirking and laughing at my helpless little girl pain and useless outrage, knowing he would get away with it because he watched me try to tell my mother and was vindicated to molest again and probably has spent his life doing so.
How horrible it felt when I realized that no one in my family would do anything about it, ever. Everyone went on with business as usual, there was no one to tell: not my older brothers who weren't there that day, not my father. I walked about the land of adults astounded, insulted, appalled and ignored as though the event never happened. The most unkindest cut of all however, was soon to follow as I found out they too would become perpetrators of incest against my little sister and I, in our family (my own father Tom Locati Sr – deceased, Walla Walla, Wa and Billings, MT) and my two older brothers Tom Locati Jr. Owner, Russ Lyon/Sothebys International Realty, Scottsdale, AZ (and previously Butte and Billings, MT) and Jerry Locati, Owner, Locati Architects, Bozeman, MT (previously Billings, MT) were already headed in that direction in the days and years ahead unbeknownst to me, the first little girl born into a patriarchal family of uneducated, immigrant Italian entitled males. The telling of that mess is for another time, another day all together…
SPOTUS Trump (Sexual Predator of the US) and those who support him saying this is not sexual assault – you couldn’t be more wrong and any less accountable as the accomplices you are in your judgement of us, the targeted victims.
It is clear, damage is done! Is this your plan Trumpites - to make America great again by condoning sexual violence against children? This is ok with you? Who do you molest with a clear conscience?
Through all of this, I keep the positive possibilities open to forgiveness and healing, asking predators be held accountable once their actions have been found out in public. I want to hear them say they’re sorry and sit down together to make amends, lets make this right and move on like the solid family I know we can be when females are considered equal. I look for the silver lining in the telling of my memories because having been sexually assaulted so often in my life starting so early, it is who I have become, it’s the brick and mortar that built me so if there can be an upside it is this:
Because I live in Washington state, a legal state for Cannabis, I not only make the claim, but through living example, I live the truth that Medical Cannabis fuels me, Hemp heals me which allows me to tell my story. With Medical Cannabis healing me, calming my anxiety and giving me strength over the past year in 2017 and without the use of a single pharmaceutical or opioid, I feel physically able and mentally stable to continue writing and possess the bravery required for the public posting of it.
Medical Cannabidiol releases the sexual assault shame in me that has kept me quiet and afraid for so long. Today, I make the right choice to save my own life, battling to get out of the pool using my little girl super strength, now old woman super strength fueled daily with non-psychotropic medical Cannabis CBD THC no one gets high – but everybody gets healed – no opioids, no pharmaceuticals.
Physical reaction to sexual assault stays with the target (victim) forever, its why so many reach for the alcohol cocktail after work, the bottle of wine, the hard drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth. Its why hundreds of thousands take opioids like Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Valium. Everybody wants to feel better and forget for awhile. At the end of the day, we all are Humans seeking the end of pain desperate for feelings of pleasure. As human beings we just want our bodies and minds to feel good if just for a little while.
Most victims of sexual assault use their minds to shut off the memories temporarily because to recall it is to remember it, is to relive it is to shine light on an action that never should have happened in the first place and that never goes away for the victim….ever. After awhile, sexual assault episode after episode, the little girl (boy) comes to believe this is normal, acceptable, functioning behavior for boys and men and we learn to react out of self defense, responding accordingly to save our own lives, which is usually with terrified silence, masculine false bravado behavior in women, nervous energy, inability to get close to anyone, racing thoughts, solo living, depression, suicide, addiction, homelessness. For the pain, we reach for the thing that is ironically legal: man-made killer opioid drugs and die from overdose and addiction - 250,000 deaths every year.
Cannabis Hemp is a plant, not a drug and DOES NOT BELONG ON SCHEDULE 1 list of dangerous drugs. The DEA (which was invented in the 70’s by criminal president Nixon) incorrectly, criminally has it FALSELY scheduled, blatantly lying about having zero medicinal benefits when we know the opposite is true.
The American government is lying to our faces! Peer-reviewed scientific fact tells us Cannabis Hemp is the leading medicine across the planet – look it up online. Cannabis info is available to anyone willing to learn. We’ve been lied to for 40 years by the American government and like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, we believe it but is it true? (www.norml.com)
Patent # 6630507 clearly defines the medicinal value of Cannabis. The DEA bought the patent in 1998 and stole it away from the public (while teaching the opposite of its benefits and scaring the crap out of the public – FALSELY) so that GW Pharmaceuticals could copy, patent and profit from it. This story is fact. Google the patent!
Now that I have legally found my daily dose of Cannabis I’m no longer overcome by anxiety, fear, depression, rage by default, racing thoughts, out of control suicidal tendencies caused by sexual assault and other disasters and fucked up family catastrophes life has thrown my way. It is what is. I am calm and protected by Cannabinoids that massage my bruised heart and brain.
It has been a year and a half since I moved to Washington state March 2016 and through conscious choice, I turned my life over to Medical Cannabis ONLY; going cold turkey off of every pharmaceutical pain killer, muscle relaxer, aspirin, Acetometophin, ibuprofen, psychotropic anti-depressant, opioid. Personally, I don’t like alcohol but if I did, I would have mixed that into finding my pain relief like millions of Americans do every day and die for the legal privilege. Conventional doctors can only prescribe killer pill after pill to help numb some sexual assault memories and some of the physical pain from compounded massive injuries.
But that FDA approved chemical cocktail was killing me.
Cannabis saved me and can save you too. Simply.
See Oct 2017 NW Leaf Magazine, Wa: https://issuu.com/nwleaf/docs/northwestleafoct2017
One full year of Medical Cannabis, full time from Jan to Dec 2017and I am a completely different person, at peace, finally and I use it every day 24/7. There is no such thing as addiction to Cannabis – this we know on scientific terms since it is a base nutrient our brains and bodies cry out for. The nation is currently experiencing the epidemic of 40 years of Cannabinoid deficiency. No one has ever died from Cannabis and no one ever will. It would take a mountain of bud flower (THC not CBD) smoked all at once for that to happen, a mountain the size of Everest. Get the picture now? Medical cannabis (CBD) usually isn’t smoked any way, its ingested as an edible, a medicine.
The most amazing female plant on the planet: Cannabis, delivers the remedy to memories best forgotten. It grows free for our consumption as the weed it is and was meant from the very dawn of time to be the most integral ingredient we put in our bodies, dogs and cats (mammals) included. It is natural, non-addictive and necessary for the perfect balance of homeostasis regulated by every mammal's endocannabinoid system. Medicinal Cannabidiol (CBD) along with a smaller quantity of THC ignites the beautiful Entourage Effect, which works wonders to calm PTSD caused by a variety of trauma, this example being sexual assault by a teenage boy on a little girl in a swimming pool.
I cant learn enough about fascinating Cannabis Hemp so I earned my Medical Cannabis Consultant Certification in Oct 2016 from the Medical Marijuana Institute of Seattle taught by a Medical Doctor and an attorney. I invested my time and hard earned dollars, attended the classes, sailed through the tests and can say it is fun being a Cannabis scientist of sorts.
I am a solid, sane, functioning, relaxed middle-age woman who is happy and producing work to the best of my 20% ability. I will always have chronic pain every day from irreparable injuries physical and mental PTSD, anxiety, depression), being 80% disabled through a crippling injury at 15 years old and 5 not at fault car collisions over the past 20 years, broken neck, fractured spine, obliterated knee.
I absolutely love my career and run my own NY based C Corp small business as CEO, Areonip Architect of Final Mile Ink Medical, internationally renowned fine artist and artrepreneur. I use my art talent and business skill in bringing breast cancer survivors back to life with Medical Pigmentation. Its literally all I can do these days and I am the best in my industry but I only have 20% output capacity when to survive above the poverty line, I must fulfill the income demands of a two person income household in Seattle which barely covers a single person’s cost of living. I’m doing absolutely all I can, plus some. It hurts to be me every day on some level, but finding my perfect daily dose of CBD THC, works and keeps me on the planet, functioning and contributing normally.
So, my fb, blog and online friends to whom I've told this story in person over the past few weeks they ask me what do I want from the telling of it? I want the truth of sexual assault to be known and felt - like the way we victims feel it all the time, not just to hear the extended list of offenders and how they’re going to rehab – really? What about the victims? I want offenders (and those who are not) to feel the damage it does to the victimized target - how horrible it is and how the memories are completely etched in stone in our minds and psyches.
It is time for predators to be held accountable by public disclosure - no more open secrets carried by the victim.
I am posting it on fb, my blog and online for my own protection, that’s why I am going public with it, to protect myself from any 'accident' that might happen – if I disappear or wind up dead from something unexplainable, its not – just saying. Any Trump supporter who can work, love and play normally because they don’t deal with life-altering memories of sexual assault and don’t know how scary it feels to live under threat if anyone finds out, are narcissistic and blissfully ignorant, (often because they are the perpetrator themselves) and if not, are lucky to be unscathed but glaringly apparent hypocrites in their judgement of me. Like the Emperor’s new clothes, we can see and prove the sexual assault not apparent to the perpetrators until it is. Everything is transparent now with the internet of things so I can only hope that the same thing will happen for them, that the truth will set them free. Because until my immediate family and I deal with this, the elephant in the middle of the tiny apartment remains crumbling, unsustainable after decades of denial.
Victims of sexual molestation live daily longing to tell someone, but we never do, because there is no one to tell. So, time after time we learn that no matter what happens, never tell. There will be no one to help. And those you do tell, just might make it worse.
I am beautiful and compassionate, I'm a bitch and a risk-taker, I’m a born creative (ya it’s a thing), savant photo-realism painter, an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person – it’s a thing too). I make lots of mistakes because I’m human, I’m a daughter, mother, aunt and sister. I’m a fighter, strong and able to endure, I’m talented, educated, professional and intelligent (3.9 GPA), a former beauty queen in the Miss USA pageant 1981 (as Miss Montana USA 1981) and I am NOT shit; like my family of origin wants me to believe, even when I feel like it often (PTSD, Depression, Suicidal tendencies). I know now, I am worthy of love and goodness. Can I get sexual molestation memories out of every fiber of my being and pull myself up to claim my right for love? Is too late for me?
With the help of my fb friends, my fb family, my online following, my blog – with people who respect and love me - watching, reading, weighing in, supporting me the way I was never supported as a child, yes I can reclaim my inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Its never too late to try.
Look to Yoda.
Thank you for reading. What will you do with the information you've picked up here?
I was taught as a young girl everything that is wrong with sexual assault, was normal. The mindset was I had 'asked for it' by wearing clothes that showed my figure in any way. Any woman with double D breasts knows it is impossible to hide them, no matter what and mine appeared early in 5th grade. The way Republicans felt in my household was that I deserved to be molested, assaulted if I was sexy in any way. They said it was my fault.
They were wrong.
In my family of origin, just showing up female, walking in the room as a girl was grounds enough for abuse of any kind. There were no male boundaries, zero personal male responsibility in curbing personal or sexual needs nor the manner in which it was acquired within my family or within the catholic schools I attended for 12 years. That too is a story all by itself of which I hope to get to in my writing soon.
Throughout my childhood I was beaten into submission by my father and sexually molested by him (he was a sadist and alcoholic who enjoyed a sexually perverted manner of abuse with me). His mental disorder in the form of psychological and tyrannical brainwashing had me convinced I was deserving of the abuse, that I did something to make it happen and that I must be crazy because no one would believe that dear little Johnny poolside or dear daddy would do such a thing. Hating myself early and totally was cemented into my brain and heart. Damage Done.
The way my dad molested me was overlooked by the female parent or caregiver (mom), because society in the 1960’s was just beginning to fight for human rights still in acceptance of condoned violence within the home and catholic schools so much so that it happened as a matter of course. Unfortunately since her father abused her as well in the 1940’s she considered it the normal thing that dad’s do and with her sons - just boys being boys.
I’ve comforted myself a little by recalling the mental disorder called Cognitive Dissonance; if the accomplice or the person who doesn’t stop it, really saw and felt the awful abuse for what it truly is, their brains couldn’t handle the info. and they would lose their minds or something, never stopping the abuse as it occurs. Astonishingly, they "go blind" to the offense as it’s happening, pretending it never happened at all. My mother still lives in this world of denial and is great friends with my brothers, but not with me. In 2008, after I learned what happened from my sister, the whole family hung the scarlet word around my neck: Enemy.
I am not the enemy. I am an equal family member regardless of net worth. I no longer accept Locati men self-righteous ostracizing behavior towards me and my terrific, kind, intelligent adult son and daughter.
I guess that’s the luck of the draw, which family you're born into. My next post speaks of my family experience, as it was from my point of view. Recording to the best of my ability, this particular first Chapter has proven to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’m taking my greatest chance knowing, betting that the love that still exists in my family of origin can be disinfected of the poison imposed on us, the children of a very hurt madman father figure (he was enraged, drinking alcohol all the time). So too, enraged are my brothers, sister and mother (and me too, before Cannabis).
But, We can fix this.
The writing down of all of this my greatest shame, allows it to disappear like a poof of smoke, giving it back to those who handed it to me in the first place, squelching my rage with it. The Albatross of sexual assault memories dumps off me like slimy grease.
I have a life to live, unburdened. Get out of my way, memories.
My personal goal: to publicly express the details of the rest of the sexual assaults in my life hoping it will somehow get easier, releasing me completely, giving my life back. That’s what I want. And since I know how to create my own reality – artist, author – with Cannabis Hemp which strengthens me, this is my newest body of work including my current artwork of 21 oil paintings in progress visually depicting all of this human shenanigans. The work, my Magnum Opus is called: Medical Areonip meets Cannabis – fractal Mandelbrot.
Sexual molestation isn't about sex, its about the predator lording power over the helpless. Its about the weakness of the offender sucking the very life out of those they harm, walking away satisfied, to molest again. Their crime is to 'forget' - saying that it never happened and shame the victim, blame the victim, call them liars. The more sexual aggression is condoned, the more men think it is normal and continue it, even in their business dealings, exasperating the issue with women in the work place, who say nothing. And for the duration of my working life, I was one of them too.
Today, I say something. I take my power back and ask one thing: I ask my family to come back to the egalitarian round table, for discussion one at a time, with me and not all five of them at once on the attack. As I have for the past 10 years, in many different ways and always blocked, to them - olive branch extended.
I heard the words today
You have breast cancer
I heard the Oncologist say
we need to cut them off
to save your life
I heard amputate my breasts to save my life
I didn't ask
what will they look like when you're done Dr?
I felt to ask was to fly in the face of death
until they were gone
until they had been cut off
my breasts and chest have been cut and pasted so many times now
so much blood, sutures, swelling, pain and healing
over and over to give me back my nipples and some weird white shit areola cut scarred, white, angry
the areolas and nipples are wrong! areolas too big and almost square, nipples are wrong shape and in the wrong place, white and flattening out, what was the point of that surgery - really?
THIS is how I'm going to look for the rest of my life?
You've got to be kidding me
after so many bandages and weeks of healing, even during my work day and I never say anything to anyone about it
no one sees me under my shirt
no one not even me no one not even my husband or boyfriend
I stopped looking after I heard the amputation went well
is to remember
I do not want a man to see me now
I am so glad to be alive
I hate the way I look
the way I feel is even worse
and no one knows
and I would never admit it to anyone
except another survivor
who understands the loss
the disbelief with the trail of scars left behind on my chest
but emotionally ravaged too, raw
To know or not to know
to be ignorant is to be the norm: people don't know what is breast cancer really?
its breast amputation
but America doesn't realize this
because no one talks about breasts in America
looking at breasts in America is considered all sorts of bad (beware NSFW!!) even when its medical
when its breast cancer, still not allowed to show the truth
In print and on TV, the breasts themselves are approved for public view, yes (the soft breast mound, implant shape) but the areola and nipple is BANNED from public view! WHY?
Europe has no problem going topless, why so restrictive USA?
The big secret! Except every living soul has an Areonip set; men and women alike
the absurdity of it all
when I look like this
and no one knows
there are pink ribbons till I'm pink in the face
but no one sees how slashed up my chest is
I wonder if I will ever feel sexy ever again
how could I
my plastic surgeon has done all she can
I look great, she says
all white and blank, missing, obviously, colored areola's and nipples
ragged purple scars stare back at me in the mirror
dont look, I say
turn off the lights
my breasts do not define me as a woman
yet without them my brain and eyes are not happy, not seeing color there at the end of my breasts
there is nothing to imagine here for me
this is the real face of breast cancer right here on my screaming insulted chest
I got nothin left to see that makes me feel sexy
but maybe that's just me?
I got life
the trade off brutal
Today I stumbled in disbelief as I saw the light at the end of the tunnel - right there online in Seattle and New York!
I was thrilled to discover I had reached the Final Mile Ink - I had no idea, who knew?
the cathi.ink Areonip tattoo sang to me like an angel
why hadn't anyone told me of this before?
why tell me only half of the story - amputate my breasts to keep me alive, without saying there is someone who can fix me when they're done?
Give me my color back...with no more surgery? Hell yes! Where do I sign up?
AND its covered by health insurance according to federal law! Amazing, incredible. Thank god.
Why hadn't anyone in the medical community said three words to give me hope and help me smile again?
Final Mile . Ink
If I would have known about the beautiful Areonip in the very beginning of my diagnosis
so many sleepless nights averted
so many thoughts of self-image resurrected during the horrendous process of removal and reconstruction
At least I found the Final Mile Ink now
my survivor girlfriend from Boston who flew to New York for the cathi.ink Areonip told me she too had reached the Final Mile Ink
my hope to look great again was reborn
and so was my female spirit
I flew twice from California to Seattle and got my cathi.ink Areonips on!
and my life has changed for the very best forever.
After two sessions at Final Mile Ink and with expert skill and care that only a fine artist can provide,
I feel whole, happy and sexy again.
I'm turning those lights back on!
I want everyone to see me now.
It was so easy, just the medical version of a tattoo and I was done and gorgeous for life
with permanent ink and master areola and nipple illusions like I've never seen before.
I love how the areonips are anatomically placed correctly on my chest by a world renowned fine artist and painter of people, Cathi Locati - we both worked hard at that! We became artists together and had lots of fun doing it!
People who see my areola/nipple tattoos cant believe what they're looking at -
they think they are real areolas and nipples
but they're just illusions in permanent ink
so convincing I forget what was before,
Seeing my beautiful new colorful breasts helps me forget what I just went through
something I thought I never could do
a little ink goes a very long way
done by a skilled fine artist not a surgeon or nurse who is untrained in the field
Tell everyone, tell them early
I wish I would have known earlier
but glad I know now:)
Testimonial as told to Cathi by April A. 2015
I posted this blog on fb on August 8, 2015 in response to a woman named Beth Whaanga who posted her mastectomy scars on fb and 100 of her friends, unfriended her…here is what really needs to happen:
As an expert Areola Architect, my specialty is replicating photo-realism areola's and nipples in 3D with permanent ink over the top of mastectomy scars, giving the sexy back, making survivors whole again. When people discover what I do, including close friends and business colleagues, I hear that they are 'offended' by the photos I have on my business card showing what post mastectomy looks like - this is incredible to me. The problem lies with the public opinion over misinformation, lack of education about what it means to have a mastectomy. Breasts are removed sometimes completely, including the removal of the dark color skin that surrounds the nipple, called an areola and the nipples themselves are removed as well! The general population has no idea what survivors are left with after surgeries are done, the horrific scars and sadness the survivor feels over the amputation of the breasts/areola's/nipples. What if this happens to you?
As you can imagine, a woman's psyche is affected negatively after mastectomy, even though she is thrilled to be alive, she is left with constant reminders of the cancer every time she looks at her naked chest in the mirror. After these brave women and men (yes men get breast cancer too) have survived this ordeal, they are treated with horror and shame by their friends - are you kidding me? This topic is NOT to be discussed or viewed in public? Really? Is this the byzantine dark ages or 2015 where every topic in the world is available online?
In my professional opinion, the real face of breast cancer lives on the chest of every survivor (male or female). Going topless in NYC is legal, and yet news coverage blurs out the areola - why has our society deemed the areola - the circle of sin? Why doesn't Dr. Oz discuss and show on tv, the areola and nipple like he does for every other part of the human body? I'd be happy to present my areola paintings on tv and educate everyone about the reality of breasts after mastectomy and what can be done to get them back - easily, quickly (with NO MORE SURGERY) - and so that they last forever. Does anyone have a connection to a tv show, can you hook me up?
Areola tattooing is about education and education is key, education is power! Downplaying this topic hinders survivors growth and any 'friends' who don't want to see it, are not friends at all. And from my experience, since breast cancer is so wide spread, every ONE of the people who unfriended Beth Whaanga knows someone personally who has breast cancer, has had it, or is recently diagnosed.
Its time to grow up America. Why is there shame attached to the anatomical body part that feeds us and keeps us alive as infants? The areola/nipple is shunned because it has been sexualized by our society and religious beliefs that hold no bearing in scientific, basic human anatomy. And here's the kicker: we ALL have them. Everyone of us.
Think about this: the male areola/nipple is identical to the female in every way, there is no difference. We accept the male chest, topless, naked on tv but we shame the female to hide? The female breastmound (the soft, fleshy, breast part) is ok to show on tv, on covers of major magazines, everywhere....but the areola/nipple is not, females only. What the what?
THIS MAKES NO SENSE!
Here's a simple question:
Why do women HAVE breasts with areola's and nipples?
What are they used FOR?
What purpose do they serve?
When America stops sexualizing the female breast, and remembers the true function of the breast and the courage of the survivor who went through hell and lived to tell about it, the public will embrace the reality of the loss and the joy of the recovery. You cant solve a problem until you know what the problem looks like!
Listen to the survivor, look at their scars, ask them if they like the way they look after mastectomy. This is honoring their fight and their win! Survivors have a real chance of discovering their NON-SURGICAL solutions to getting colorful, vibrant areolas and nipples back - for the rest of their lives when they find specialists like cathi.ink.
And btw: my colleague Vinnie Myers and I agree; surgeons and nurses should NOT be doing areola tattooing - they are not trained fine artists! They are not trained in tattooing! They know nothing of light and shadow! They can not produce a believable areola/nipple set as a painting or drawing, yet they're implanting ink into the skin of the survivor using ego alone. They use the wrong needles, temporary ink that fades and disappears, they hurt the patient causing more problems, making a mess that cathi.ink has to fix. The current acceptable process of having a medical professional do tattoos is beyond ludicrous, it is archaic and should not be allowed by law. It is time to give the honor back to the survivor and stop patronizing their desire to have colorful areolas and nipples after mastectomy.
FACT: There is absolutely NO SURGICAL way to attach permanent color to human skin. It never works. Areola cutting surgery looks awful, is too big too small, square, cut in the wrong place and leaves white/pink/purple scars that scream, "LOOK! I have no color on my breasts - just ridiculous cut scars!" Nipple building surgery, nipple reconstruction never works either! I see all sorts of attempts by all sorts of surgeons and every single time the nipple flattens out, fails and does not work. After two or more additional surgeries for the poor mastectomy survivor, they are still left without color and covered in scars, but placated into believing more surgery is the only solution.
Are we really going to stand in judgement over the loss of breasts, because we dont like the way they look after they've been amputated? Do we the public really recommend that survivors keep them covered up, who wants to see that? Really? Is this the most compassion we can muster? Maybe now the conversation can change, since you are now aware of the real story here.
America's aversion to the female breast needs to come out of the closet. It makes no sense other than societal control to keep everyone in the dark about the aftermath of breast cancer & mastectomy. Now is the right time to do more than 'walk for a cause" - accept the facts. Start talking to the survivors you know. They will be so glad you did and you alone can make a difference in their life.
In response to overwhelming need in the Puget Sound area, Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Canada, cathi.ink is now available for cosmetic breast repair and breast cancer survivors! No matter where you live, its simple to schedule cathi.ink areola procedures via this website. At the home page, follow prompts under START HERE and do #1 - #4, fill out the contact form and I will get back to you at the time you asked me to reach you! Cathi.ink is mobile and ready to give the sexy back to brave mastectomy soldiers the world over. Scheduled appointment times available in New York, Europe, Asia, Australia.