When you meet the kind, soft, youthful face of Diana Joy, sister, mother, foster mother, adoptive mother and yes, Grandmother, you would never know the turbulent life she can now call her past.
On September 10, 2003, you would think that Diana had everything going for her. She was a successful business women/speaker with a wonderful husband and 8 children. Two of which she was in the process of adopting. But by the next day, her world would be turned upside down with accusations stemming from her diagnosis with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Diana’s world continued to crumble with social services coming into her home and removing the two foster children, which then triggered flashbacks of her own abusive childhood. She did not know where to turn, but to her journals from so long ago. Advice given from her older sister, to write, will make the monsters and the bad dreams go away. While reading and reliving these memories gave way to the first recollection of Peter. This was just one of her personalities.
This author claims to be no expert in MPD, but what I can tell you and as explained to me by Diana Joy herself is that these personalities saved her life. Each personality would take over to protect her and try to keep her from harm whenever an abusive situation would occur. But what is most powerful is that she is working through her own pain and healing right in front of your eyes on the pages of her recently published book, Looking Through The Eyes Of An Unseen Child.
While she shares with us about her horrible treatment as a young child at home and then in the facility where she spent 3-years “recovering” from MPD, she shows us that none of us need to be ashamed. Looking is Diana’s way of introducing the world to what they don’t or refuse to see. And, that people can change. Multiple personalities is how she coped with the terrible things that happened to her starting at a very early age. It was just her way of coping. A different way of coping. It was one of the six ways that she and her siblings coped. She was one of six.
She has since stripped off her mask and now when she proudly steps into the stage of life, she no longer needs to feel ashamed for there is no shame. Not only does she share with us these personal moments of her life, but is dedicated to teaching every “unseen” child (and adult) that they don’t have to be fearful of removing their masks. She does this with the formation of the Unseen Child Foundation.
The Unseen Child Foundation
The Unseen Child Foundation is to provide safe havens for children and young adults. She spearheads this movement by personally going out into the community, juvenile detention centers, prisons, the streets to speak and inform. Stayed tuned as you may be
seeing this story on the big screen. As, Diana is currently discussing film options with Hollywood. She’s adamant about society hearing from the people that cannot (or will not) speak. It’s a story that needs to be told, but they need to get it right. Diana’story reminds us that no one should have to live with the shame of who they are.
Letter from Diana Joy
I was the unexpected child. My twin sister and I have four other siblings. I must now open the journals of my childhood and share the gripping story of our struggles with a life of abuse. I hope that by telling my story, it will help give other unseen children, and my siblings, the courage to heal. I believe all things happen for a reason, and my life is no exception. I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage to my husband Dave, three beautiful biological children, five adopted daughters, and countless other foster children who shared our home over the years. This loving support, along with an uncompromising Faith in God, has given me the strength to find and embrace the wonder of unconditional acceptance – not only of others, but also of myself. Now, as always, I am using this Faith to help me overcome my many health challenges so I can enjoy my growing family of grandchildren. My husband and I still live in Colorado and say our prayers everyday that the unseen children of the world will find a safe and loving way to finally be seen.
About the Illustrator Jennifer Hettman, RN
My parents took Diana Joy into their home when she was young. She is like an older sister to me and helped raise me from birth until I was three. Now, over twenty years later, I am married to a wonderful man, Chad, with two children, Adam and Tyler. I am a nurse at our local hospital here in Montana.
All my life, I have enjoyed my love for children and my gift of art. So when Diana Joy asked me to illustrate this book, I was honored to help bring a good friend of mine’s childhood to life for others to understand. This has been a special way for us to reconnect.