WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington woman who lived a life of abuse as a child and as a wife took a leap of faith and is telling her story so others know that they can do it too. Just five years ago she was homeless. Now she is “Becoming Diva” or Delivered, Inspired, Victorious, Anointed. WWAY’s Daniel Seamans introduces us to the Extraordinary Person of the Week.
“He went to the car to get his work stuff. And when he came back, I walked out with my head held high. I slammed the door behind me closing that chapter in my life,” she read from a poem she wrote.
Dierdre Parker took a leap of faith. “I struggled to regain my footing,” the reading continued.
She left behind a lifetime of abuse. “The terrain was treacherous,” the poem continued.
Abuse as a child. Abuse as a wife. “Anytime my ego began to grow, he was there to didactically deflate it with a verbal velocity that cold make dynamite jealous,” she read.
Finally, she left. “….so I kept falling but I kept getting back up, and I found my balance.”
She checked into the Salvation Army homeless shelter in 2012.
“I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. It was hard,” Dierdre told Daniel Seamans.
Dierdre only told her daughter that she was homeless.
“People treat you differently when you don’t have an address,” she said. “It helped me to understand all of those things and helped me understand every person, no matter, where they lived, no matter what they’ve been through, they are still human beings and deserve dignity and respect.”
She would eventually get some footing. She graduated from UNCW. Dierdre now works for the department of social services.
“I want everyone to know that something like this is not the period at the end of the sentence of your life,” she said. “You can keep growing. It can be a comma, a semi-colon, a colon, but you can keep going after this.”
Now Dierdre is writing a new chapter and passing along her experience to inspire. “As I have begun to see myself through other people’s eyes, I see my own value and that’s the purpose of the show I’m doing in October. It’s to encourage other women,” said Dierdre.
This October she tells her story on the campus of UNCW. It’s called “Becoming Diva. Unpacking the junk in the trunk”.
A personal performance on what she has learned.
“Never give up on yourself. You never give up. As long as you do that you can make it. It doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. Life is not easy,” she said.
It’s not. Dierdre’s journey is proof. But her journey also proves just how extraordinary Dierdre Parker is. “The beauty is in the struggle. It builds the character that you need to be who you were created to be,” Dierdre concluded.
Dierdre is looking for sponsors for the upcoming show at UNCW in October.
You can contact her by email, at this address: Diva2deproductions@gmail.com
And keep track of her upcoming events by checking out her website here.