Book Excerpt: Climbing Out of the Box by Dixie R. DiamantiThis is a guest blog post by Dixie R. Diamanti featuring chapter twelve from Climbing Out of the Box—My Journey out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse and Into Freedom and Healing.
Chapter Twelve: The Unraveling
The oppressive layers of my own childhood molestation, my daughter’s abuse, and my recent confrontation with my mother were finally all out in the open, and I didn’t quite know where to put them. Looking back on it, I now see this as a time of coming to the end of my self through a kind of unraveling. Even though I was profoundly changed by this time by the life changing revelation of my victimization, I had no idea where I was now heading.
My ministries to women who had been victimized as children were successful, but the constant recounting of my own traumatic story for these women, combined with the realization of my marriage falling apart, become too stressful for me all at one time. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but instead of focusing on my own problems, I found myself moving back into my familiar comfort zone of denial through busy ministries.
The things that needed to be dealt with were coming to the surface, quickly and all at once, and I had trouble shoving them back down again. As I had in the past, I turned to the church organization to give me my focus, not realizing I was, once again, using it as an escape – it was an old familiar friend. After all, I reassured myself, it’s a good thing, isn’t it, to be very busy working in your church fellowship? I was still seeking validation of my importance through the accolades from those in church leadership. Our long-term, beloved pastor had just left our church, and in the interim, I filled in with leading our large congregation of five hundred people in worship.
My home life was worse than ever. The financial stress and the emotional stress of finding out our daughter had been molested by both grandfathers had put a final nail in the coffin of our marriage. (I know this has become a cliché, but it really did feel like my marriage was dying, and someone was slamming down the lid on the box.) When the incest issues came out, it was more than our marriage could bear.
My husband’s father totally denied that anything inappropriate had gone on between him and Heather. Unable to deal with a conflict with his father, my husband chose to deny that anything had actually happened at all, which, of course, hurt his daughter and me terribly. I think this new insecurity of a possible breach with his father prompted his next move. At first he came up with the idea that after twenty-five years of marriage, he needed to move home to his parents and get a job and commute back and forth to our home to visit. His parents lived three hours away. Being in the beginning throes of burnout from everything that had happened, and exhausted from keeping up my front of denial, I enthusiastically agreed that it would be for the best. My energy was quickly being depleted by trying to keep everything up to my usual standards and appearances.
Because I was the more stable one in our marriage, five years ago I had gotten a job working in the cardio-vascular lab at a local hospital to support the family. At this time, I could turn to it for some welcome security, financially and emotionally. However, in addition to everything else going on, I didn’t have the energy to take care of my husband, too. So, true to my skill of making it all look great and exciting, we told everyone that he was going to commute and come home on week ends and it would work out well for all of us. The kids, who were teenagers by then, were reeling in shock from what was happening to their family. But I convinced myself that it would be just fine. In reality, how could I deal with their hurt, too?
The same pattern of dysfunctions in holding a job began again in my husband’s new home away from home. Because he had difficulty fitting in with the restrictions of employment, and remaining committed to his work despite adverse circumstances, he was unable to find and keep a job for any length of time. He needed to be cared for, and soon found someone else to do that for him since I was not willing to do it anymore without the aid of marriage counseling. He declined the counseling I suggested for us, and soon I received my “walking papers” from him. Everyone was shocked, including my children. For so long, I had put up such a good front. The payoff for all those years of walking in denial turned out to be the demise of our marriage, and the immense pain it caused my children.
I felt that I was just as much at fault, because I had become addicted to ministry, and had ignored the problems in our home. I had allowed my husband to become too dependent on me for almost everything in the marriage. I didn’t realize until later that by my making all household decisions and doing everything for him, I had enabled him to ignore his partnership role in our family –- I had become the co-dependent in our relationship.
Ministry had replaced my husband in my life, and, even worse, ministry — as I understood it — had taken precedence over God in my life. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. How could I deal with this? Divorce wasn’t of God, so where did I go wrong? I taught in my many classes that divorce is totally unacceptable to God. It was embarrassing and devastating, not to mention destructive to my precious children! How did my life get so out of control? What would people think? I felt that I had no power to change anything. This time, I couldn’t even paint a better picture for others to see. However, I still wasn’t at the bottom. There was more to come.
To get your own copy of this book go here: Climbing Out Of The Box: My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing
Dixie Diamanti’s long journey to recovery from sexual abuse began early in her life. As a result of the abuse, she spent many years struggling for purpose and identity. Through her need to feel safe and to be valued, she sought solace in the rigid confines of religion, and found herself the victim of spiritual abuse and addiction to “ministry.” The self-denial that enshrouded her led to her young daughter being molested by the same family member that had molested her. As her adult world fell apart with the loss of all that she loved and trusted, she found herself totally alone in life. It was in her most troubled times that she found a relationship with Jesus that far exceeded anything she had ever experienced before.
Dixie is a wife, mom, and nana to a large and wonderful family. She has discovered that God had actually been preparing her, through many years of adversity, for stepping into a new and exciting adventure with Him. As a Certified Life Coach, author, speaker, and teacher, Dixie has reached out to women and men on the Central Coast of California for many years, leading them to freedom and self-esteem. She believes that every child of God has a distinct calling, and through her work, she assists and coaches women and men in finding their unique purpose in life. Dixie’s passion is to see people discover how precious and valuable they are to God, and loves to encourage and challenge them in uncovering and making use of God’s hidden treasures within themselves.
Contact Info. http://reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com/