Thursday, August 9, 2018

#BookSpotlight: I Am The Product of Rape: A Memoir by Catherine Wyatt-Morley & Jalyon Welsh-Cole @cwm_women

I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE: A MEMOIR by Catherine Wyatt-Morley & Jalyon Welsh-Cole, Memoir, 194 pp., $15.95 (paperback)

Authors: Catherine Wyatt-Morley and Jalyon Welsh-Cole
Publisher: Four Pillars Media Group
Pages: 194
Genre: Memoir

The phrase “secrets and lies” takes on terrible new meaning in Catherine Wyatt-Morley’s devastating book, I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR.

Wyatt-Morley’s shocking story traces the repeated patterns of rape and incest that plagued four generations of her family, including Wyatt-Morley’s birth in a filthy basement to her 12-year-old mother, who was sexually abused by her step-father.

“…In the process of writing this book, an extremely difficult journey that has taken years, I was taken to unfamiliar destinations and exposed to unfathomable pain,” Wyatt-Morley relates. “Part of that pain was learning that I was created through the atrocities of incest by a brutally manipulative monster and, while only moments old, (I was) denied by a heartless grandmother who never bothered to look at me.”

Wyatt-Morley wrote I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, she says, “as my way of dealing with my personal healing. But through conversations with many diverse women, I quickly began seeing I was not alone. So many had never told anyone of the abuse that has happened to them; yet they have a need to heal, to not feel isolated.”

Wyatt-Morley’s daughter, Jalyon Welsh-Cole, also suffered the terrible legacy of her family when she was abused by her eldest brother. She wrote the epilogue to I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, an essay she called BURNING HOUSE, in response to the continued pattern of abuse that formed her familial legacy.

“Most of my family members who have learned of this are dealing with it as well as one can,” Welsh-Cole says. “However, others are still in disbelief and struggle to understand. For over two decades I kept this heinous secret to myself. I have had time to bury it, cry over it, and finally seek therapy and come to grips with it.

Welsh-Cole’s mother’s story “made me feel as if our bloodline was full of secrets and lies that I wanted to expose,” she continues. “I knew after learning of my grandmother’s story that I wasn’t alone. Today, I cannot allow this to continue to happen in our family.”
As dark and unrelenting as it is, the story told in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR leads to a conclusion of overcoming tremendous odds, leaving readers riveted, inspired, and empowered.



A ferocious human predator ripped through our family, drooling over the innocent―leaving none untouched. Generations of child predators have devoured their vulnerable offspring and siblings, molesting our family’s youth unconcerned about the magnitude of their actions. Silence has become the gateway to mental health issues throughout our lineage.  I Am the Product of RapeA Memoir exposes generational secrets, lies, cover-ups and denial and their consequences. Told from my perspective, this is my family story, a glimpse into four women irreversibly scarred by traumatic abuse.
            The family matriarch, my grandmother, a prolific mother of ten, sets the tone for all of us women who would place our feet in the footprints of her journey. Her decisions transform her ancestry for generations to come. Refusing her child love, protection, safety and happiness for material wealth is significant to her legacy. Her story sheds light on the transgressions she not only allowed but participated in.
            Next, there is the vulnerable, shy girl who endured the death of her childhood at the hands of her stepfather. Incest, abuse, betrayal, humiliation, and rape inhumanly tore through her seven year old body. Well before puberty she was sexually exploited in her own home, her childhood, mind and body all repeatedly violated. While her mother, my grandmother, lived in denial of the events taking place in their home, this innocent child was consistently, savagely tormented by her stepfather who exercised power and control over her. To survive she separated her two worlds, disconnecting from the brutality she incessantly endured. Inevitable, at twelve years old that vulnerable, shy girl gave birth a child. She gave birth to me!
            Then, there is me, born on a filthy basement floor to a twelve year old. I Am the Product of Rape. I am an adoptee, I am a daughter, and I am a mother of three. In search of my future, I found the weighted baggage of the past. Catholic Social Services documents helped to chronicle my life, as did the many conversations I have had over the years with sometimes very reluctant people―relatives, social workers, and paper pushers, all of whom seemed to guard my past as it floundered aimlessly, leaving lingering, unanswered questions. Through the process of connecting with my past much was revealed. I came to learn that from my first breath I was discarded, unwanted, unloved and homeless. My journey through foster homes the adoption system, and the intense emotional peaks and valleys concluded with me being adopted becoming the fourth member of a middle class Catholic family.  The mother of the family had love enough for one of her children and I was not that child.
            Finally, along this sexual-abuse sojourn, I unfortunately discovered my daughter's devastating experience. Crushing my very core, this revelation sent my life careening in another unexpected direction, straight through my children's lives into a fourth-generation nightmare. The ripple effects of demoralizing incest, the sexual slavery of serial rape, and the brutality of molestation go beyond their impact on the direct victims, transmitting a trauma that oozes intergenerationally. This story intertwines the DNA of my family's bloodline.
            In conclusion, I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir initiates family table talks that have kept incest secrets silent for generations. Our goals are to make I Am the Product of Rape ―A Memoir and our other materials available to everyone, have I Am the Product of Rape ―A Memoir translated into the worlds languages and make I Am the Product of Rape ―A Memoir and our other materials part of the global platform for eliminating disparities. My daughter and I conclude by saying you are not alone.


Catherine Wyatt-Morley is the founder, chief executive officer and heartbeat of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community. In 1994, Wyatt-Morley founded Women On Reasons To Heal (W.O.R.T.H.), the first and what has become the oldest HIV-positive women’s support group in Middle Tennessee.

Wyatt-Morley has appeared in countless media outlets nationwide, including SELF Magazine, the Today Show, A&U Magazine, POZ Magazine, CNN, Voices of America, MSNBC, Talk America Radio, FX Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the Palm Beach Post, the Indianapolis Indiana Recorder, the Los Angeles Times, the Canadian Sun, Nashville Scene, and the Tennessean.

Jalyon Welsh-Cole has been director of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit social service organization, since 2010. Welsh-Cole began writing when she was very young, starting with short stories and poems. As a teen, she was inspired to draw, finding comfort and creativity in her art. She joined forces with Wyatt-Morley to share her story in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR. Together, they also have created #HealingSecretHurts workshops, which bring the spectrum of traumatizing sexual assault into the light.




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