A memoir of healing from abuse and leading a loving life

When a long buried memory surfaced after nearly half a century, it sent Mary Dispenza on a quest to understand how the unforgivable happens and what a person can do to survive.cover of SPLIT by Mary Dispenza

SPLIT, her courageous memoir, reveals the shocking story of her rape by the parish priest at seven years of age, an experience too horrible for the little girl to face.

Leaving the abused part of her self behind, Mary tried to live a normal life, while carrying her terrible, forgotten secret. SPLIT tells of her lifelong struggle for the intimacy, healing and love that always seemed to lay beyond her reach and the events that finally brought her to wholeness.

SPLIT is a story that leaves the reader engaged in current events, encouraged about healing and hopeful of a better future for the faithful and the church.

Where to get your copy of SPLIT

SPLIT is available in either paperback or ebook from online bookstores. You can also order it from your local bookstore.

Praise for SPLIT

Abused as a young girl by a Catholic priest, debut memoirist Dispenza sets out to reassemble her life’s “invisible pieces of spirituality and sexuality” . . . Like the life it depicts, Dispenza’s memoir consists of one courageous act after another. After coming out, Dispenza recounts scrambling the letters of “depression’ to spell “I pressed on.” Her stirring narrative embodies overcoming trauma to bravely stand against injustice. A raw, cathartic read that unflinchingly tackles issues of rape, shame, and, ultimately forgiveness.

Kirkus Reviews

In this powerful and poignant memoir, Dispenza finds her voice as a survivor and uses that voice to help her readers comprehend her struggles with the Church that she deeply loves.  I wish every Catholic Bishop would read this.  Maybe, just maybe it would help them change their approach to sexual abuse and to sexuality.  We live in hope.

Marie Fortune, founder of Faith Trust Institute and author of Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for Christian Abused Women

Mary Dispenza’s story shoots an arrow of heart-breaking betrayal into the hearts of her readers. What an honor to have this story in its tenderness toward the rights of children and fierceness toward the shame of the Church.

Christina Baldwin, author of Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives Through the Power and Practice of Story

My forty years as a therapist have honed a keen awareness and respect for the long journey and intense inner work demanded of those determined to put the pieces of their life back together after a traumatic childhood experience. SPLIT offers an exceptional portrayal of such a journey, chronicling the ways this author is able to find healing from the brokenness, and create for herself a life of wholeness.

Rita Bresnahan, Ph.D., author of Walking One Another Home

Reading Mary’s book, I was lit from within by her courage to take what life handed her and shape it into a life of beauty and service. Here is a story of true life bravery, the kind we too often overlook. This book is beautiful, harrowing, honest soul food to help us all know, no matter what, we can be a force for good. Brava Mary, brava.

Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and The Life Organizer 

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