Dianna and Patrick wed in 1984, and their relationship soon turned toxic. Dianna claims that her first husband suffered from substance abuse, which eventually spiraled out of control, and claims he couldn't hold a job.
In the memoir, Falling with Wings: A Mother's Story, Diana reveals an enraged Pat slammed a door so hard on Dianna's hand that she lost a finger.
It wasn’t until 1994, when the couple's second daughter, Demetria 'Demi' Devonne, was 18 months old, that Dianna finally built up the courage to leave her abusive partner.
Dianna, now 55, writes: 'I thought I could change him, and I think victims of domestic abuse often feel the same way. You’re not always going to be able to change someone, no matter how much you want to. There may come a point where your love for that person may not be enough to keep you safe.'
Dianna details how she turned to a women's shelter.
'I didn’t know how to leave, and I didn’t have any money,' she writes. 'I would call them every day and talk to them, trying to gain the courage. I would ask them questions like, ‘Am I doing the right thing by splitting up my family?'
Dianna adds that her daughter's wellbeing was the deciding factor in her decision to leave.
'When I realized they were not safe anymore, no matter how much I loved this person and wanted things to change, I knew I had to get out,' she says.