South Charlotte resident Resa Goldberg was waiting for an elevator when she received the email that Moonshine Cove Publishers wanted to publish her first book. Two more offers followed.
The interest reinforced what she knew all along: her life story is one worth telling.
“I feel validation as an author,” Goldberg said, who began her career as a business reporter and writer.
Over the last 25 years, Goldberg has helped launch three magazines including “My School Rocks!” and has served as contributing editor of “Charlotte Parent.” She has written about everything from sports and entertainment to education and the automobile industry. Now her own story is the subject of “Love Me Madly: A Memoir.”
Though Goldberg’s book chronicles a painful past, “Love Me Madly” details a familiar journey for anyone who has broken an unhealthy cycle of behavior while in search of their better self.
“Freud popularized the idea of, ‘repetition compulsion,’ – when the brain wants to perform the same pattern, because doing what is familiar is easier than doing what is good for you,” she said.
Goldberg’s story begins in 1982 in a small North Carolina town. As a normal 15-year old girl, she went to school, performed well and then met a boy she liked. Things quickly changed, however. One night, the boy sexually assaulted and brutalized her. Goldberg tried to distance herself from him, but he stalked her and threatened to kill her family if she told them. The young girl endured countless physical assaults and another rape over the course of the relationship. Though he moved away in 1984, the trauma she suffered lingered and manifested in shame and self-doubt.
“I felt I couldn’t tell my parents,” said Goldberg. “I felt like I had to handle it by myself.”
She left home after high school and never talked about what happened. Though she suffered from migraines and nightmares, she pushed through college and earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Georgia.
After college, she returned to Charlotte and her career took off. Soon, she met and married her husband.
In retrospect, Goldberg understands she viewed her husband, and all men, as “potential saviors.” Her memoir details her life-changing discovery that the only person who could save her was herself.
Goldberg began attending Al-Anon meetings, where she found the strength to forgive, and the courage to finally tell her parents what happened. She wrote down her experiences as a therapeutic exercise.
“At first, it was painful and hard to read. I cried and I was upset,” said Goldberg. “But then, I started reading it again as an editor.” Soon, she had three chapters written.
Over the course of three years, she refined “Love Me Madly.” Goldberg explains how the defining events of her youth shaped her relationships with men. The book covers her conversion to Judaism, the dissolution of her marriage and her relationships with her two sons. After many years of hard work on herself, Goldberg has found a way to laugh – “Love Me Madly” includes funny stories of dating disasters.
“Love Me Madly” ends where Goldberg is today: happy, healthy and whole. Though the journey has not been easy, she has found purpose in it and a way to help others.
“While writing this book was cathartic, my goal is to help girls and women who might be in violent relationships today or who have been victims of sexual assault in the past,” said Goldberg.
She partnered with Safe Alliance, a Charlotte nonprofit that provides services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, for her book launch on Aug. 27. She’s requested attendees bring donations for the organization, and she also will share a portion of the book sales with Safe Alliance.
“Love Me Madly” book launch will take place at Mugs Coffee, located at 5126 Park Road in Charlotte, on Aug. 27, a Thursday, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The book is available on www.amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble. Visit www.resagold berg.com for more information.