Dianne Darr Couts' memoir, Things Fell Apart, but the Center Held
, spans continents and cultures. It tells the story of Dianne's extraordinary childhood, rich with wonderful experiences juxtaposed with sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse. Personal and institutional betrayal would impact Dianne and her family for life, but her candid memoir also expresses gratitude for the people and experiences that fostered resilience and helped her survive.
As the daughter of missionaries, Dianne lived and went to school in Ohio, France, Senegal, Guinea and Mali, West Africa. Her memoir includes stories of adventures in all those places, but it also recounts the abuse she experienced. In the final chapters, Dianne reveals how the physical effects of that trauma followed her into adulthood.
Drawing on her own experience of trauma and its lasting effects, and on her years as a board member of MK Safety Net, Dianne speaks at national conferences and in churches to raise awareness of abuse in religious settings and to encourage abuse survivors on their healing journeys.