Interview of Caitlin at the end of the novel
|Interview between Julia Payne (Daily Saturn) and Caitlin Monroe
J: Hi, Caitlin, it’s good to see you.
C: Hi. Thanks.
J: Caitlin, I’ve had a huge response from women across the country, with questions for you today.
C: (Giggles nervously)
J: Just to recap, you were held prisoner for three days last October, is that right?
C: Four days, actually. And, yes, that’s right.
J: And your attacker was a psychologist, Patrick Self?
C: Yes, that’s right. He took advantage of my vulnerability - I had just been beaten by my husband - and he took me in, saying he would take care of me, keep me safe. Only, that wasn’t strictly true.
J: No. He locked you in a single room, didn’t he?
C: Yes. But I broke free, after four days. I escaped and his neighbour helped me after that.
J: You must have been terrified. Im guessing it took a lot of courage to escape.
C: Oh, I don’t know about that. I had no choice. If I hadn’t tried to get free, I would probably be dead by now. It was more about survival than courage.
J: Even so. There are a lot of women who now see you as their role model. After all, you testified at the trial against this man, and against the your husband’s trial. That can’t have been easy.
C: No, it was awful. But I was so relieved once I had given evidence. I felt like I’d finally stood up to them, stood up for my self. I felt free. Even if they hadn’t been convicted, I think I would have been less scared of them than before. You see, I faced my worst nightmares and I survived. That’s a wonderful feeling.
J: They were both convicted, though, weren’t they?
C: Yes. They were.
J: You must feel the events of the last year have changed you in some way, surely?
C: Of course. The past year would change anyone’s life, no matter how strong they were in the beginning. But I wasn’t strong. I had endured years of abuse, beatings, all kinds of horrible punishments. I was weak. Mentally, I had no self confidence, I despised myself. Which is probably why Patrick singled me out as a potential victim…But now, things are different. I’m still not my biggest fan, but I’m comfortable with myself. I have confidence, I’m independent. I’ve survived the worst imaginable experience, I feel like nothing can stop me now.
J: That’s a big change. So, it leaves me with the question. If you could go back and not agree to stay at Patrick Self’s house, would you?
C: (Exhales) Hmmm. That’s tricky. Honestly, I would never want anyone to endure the things that I did. But, if I hadn’t, I know I would still be living with my ex husband, terrified of my own shadow. I guess I would want to be in this mental space, without the hell in between. That’s an acceptable wish, isn’t it?
J: Yes. I think it is. So, Caitlin, how is life for you now?
C: Really good, actually. I’m living with my sister. Our relationship had grown apart during my marriage, but now we’re as close as ever. I have enrolled in a three year diploma course in therapeutic counselling, which is something I feel passionate about. At the end of the course, once I’m qualified, I’m going to work with abused women and children. Reaching out to women like me, giving them an alternative to abuse, telling them they are okay. I feel like I’m working toward something I was born to do . It’s great. I’m also waitressing in the evenings and that is a lot of fun. Life is, probably, the best it’s ever been.
J: That’s wonderful. I know my listeners will be happy for you. Thank you for speaking to me today.
C: Thank you.