... Almost Della
As a teenager, Della Barbato was groomed, molested and eventually raped by a close family friend twice her age over the course of three years. As is common, she didn't know to call it rape at the time. Young Della had adored and trusted this man completely, and she was head-over-heels deep inside her "first love." That is the strongest one.
…Almost Della: From Sexual Abuse to Survivor tells the true story of sexual abuse through the diaries of Della Barbato from the ages of 15 through 40. The book chronicles the author's personal emotional trauma over the course of three decades of subsequent physical and emotional abuse, self-blame, self-hatred, addiction, depression and ultimate healing and recovery. She'd told no one of the abuse until age 45. To survive extreme emotional pain, her inner child, Casey, built a dungeon of blame and shame for herself and condemned Della daily. Her toxic shame had molded her adult life by creating the recurring pattern of bad choices in men. Her emotional pain manifest in severe anxiety, depression, hives and suicidal thoughts. She turned to alcohol and drugs to "cope."
Only through years of recovery and therapy was Della able to release her inner child from her dungeon of condemnation and begin to cultivate a love for herself. Her hope is that her book encourages rape, incest and other and sexual abuse victims to connect with her story and foster the courage to heal, release their shame and become healthy, at-peace survivors.