Cat Cottage, how it all began, part one.

Hello and welcome!!

If you are wondering why I’ve started this blog, here’s the reason: my home, Cat Cottage, has been key to all that I am doing now. I thought it deserved a space of its own. Without my home, I wouldn’t probably be living the way I am.

Also, I think my story is worth being shared. It’s nothing special, but it’s not boring for sure. I went through a lot of pain but I changed it completely. What I want to say by telling my story is: improving your life is absolutely possible. And legit. If you are unhappy now, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to be unhappy forever. Yes, it takes a bit of courage. You have to be willing to take chances and make mistakes. But the biggest mistake would still be not trying.

I come from a dysfunctional family and sadness made 90% of my life. But here I am. My life isn’t the same. And hasn’t been the same for a long time now.

For obvious reasons, I won’t share the entire story and a lot of details won’t be told. It’s too personal and too dark. There would be a lot more to tell, but not now. Who knows, maybe in some future post.

Anyway, let’s begin.

This below is the place where I was born, in Milan. A fancy building with enormous gardens (yes, plural) in a fancy neighborhood downtown.

My family was pretty wealthy: we had a house by the sea, a small yacht, a few horses, and I attended the best of private schools.

the original cat cottage

Life was good from the outside.

My parents were young and beautiful, and I was their only child. And I had everything.

Including an incredibly violent father.

When I say violent, I mean that kind of cruel violence that makes you scared of everything, that blacks out your mind and paralyzes you. He would beat me and my mother for absolutely no reason. The kicks were so hard that I would almost faint. He would slap me with such vehemence that I was livid all over my body. He insulted me all the time. My mother was always silent. She never protected me. I feared my father, but I also wanted to fight him. My natural inclination to fight saved my life, I think.

My other family.

My mother had a career that took a lot of her time. And had no help from my father. So when I was 40 days old she left me in the care of another family. They were a couple with a seven-year-old daughter. With them, I felt like I was in a proper family, loving and supporting. There were no feelings like those when I was home. I’ve stayed with them until my parents divorced. Their daughter was like a sister to me. Later in the years, they saw me suffering so much that they tried to foster me legally. But this is a detail I’ll skip.

I won’t go into why my mother, who was from a rich blue-blood family, with a good job, economically independent, stayed with my father. It’s her story, not mine. I’ll just tell you that my parents were married for 15 years and they were never happy. We basically lived a lie. We spent almost every weekend away. We went to restaurants all the time, went to the movies a lot. It all looked as if we were a happy family who was enjoying their time together. And while all we did was pleasurable for sure, there was no pleasure in the company. My father could be violent in the car on the way to the restaurant, or as soon as we were back home from the movies. Nothing would stop him. Not even a happy moment.

As a child, I was painfully insecure. Growing up in constant danger, being insulted all the time, does that to you. I had no self-esteem. But as I reached my teens, I decided I had enough.

I told my mum to ask for a divorce.

I couldn’t stand him anymore. My mother understood that the situation had gone too far, and went to a lawyer.

The day when my mother’s divorce request arrived, my father’s violent attitude escalated to where he almost killed my mother. She was saved only because a neighbor called the cops.

What had to be the beginning of a new life, free of fear, was actually the beginning of another nightmare.

To cut the story short, as I believe you don’t have all day, my parents finally separated. It was long and painful and, of course, violent. But I’ll spare you the details. Anyway, by the time they were separated I had two additional problems:

Problem one: my father had run away with all the money, leaving us without a cent.

Problem two: my mother had a new boyfriend that was even worse than my father. Something that I really couldn’t think of being possible. And because she had left her job while she was still married to my dad, we’ve had to go live with this guy. He was not physically aggressive, at least not with me after the first try (I had learned how to fight back hard, you guys!), but verbally, he sexually harassed me all. the. time. While my mother stayed silent.

read part two