Today, we’ve got ‘The Coverup Girl’ with us. Delfina speaks to us about her incredible journey and life, and how she is back as an artist and stronger than ever. You have to read this one. Her resilience and God’s intervention in her path is remarkable. Thank you, Delfina for your vulnerability and passion in sharing your story. We are so grateful and inspired. Please be advised that there is sensitive material and material that may be triggering or inappropriate for a younger audience, in this interview.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I thought I was a virgin until I was 20. The revelation came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks when I stepped off the big stage in Times Square in 2010, where I performed my song “Window” for the 1.2 million people had gathered to celebrate New Years Eve. It was my big debut — “Window” was featured in 3 national TV commercials for Nivea, and I got to be in People Magazine, too. I had finally “made it ” as a singer/songwriter. But just like that, trauma forced me to go into hiding and I left behind my career.
I moved to the anonymous mountains of Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles and barely left my house for two years. Luckily, I had enough money from the deals I had just signed so I used the time to hike, write songs, learn to play the piano, and journal every memory and dream that came back to me. Eventually, I pieced together the picture of what happened to me and figured out that my dad had done some pretty awful things to me growing up.
The moment I could see clearly into my past immediately my neck swelled up like a balloon, and I was stuck looking like I swallowed a football for the next 9 years, going in and out of hospitals for operations. Seven procedures and two surgeries couldn’t fix the medical mystery. Doctors reassured me it wasn’t life threatening, that it was just a deformity I’d have to treat with a medical surgery every three months. “Forget about being in front of the camera, Delfina!” I thought to myself.
[Delfina before and after]
Eventually, I grew out of the need to be tucked away in privacy, and I moved off the mountain to be in Santa Monica where I picked up my guitar and took the stage again, re-building my career from the ground up. I still had the ridiculous tumor-thing on my face and was going in and out of hospitals for specialist appointments, but I decided to just push through the pain and shame and go after my music career anyway.
I searched for healing through ayurveda, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, reiki, meditation, yoga, astrology, past life regression, dieting, and anything I could get my hands on. I even bought a tiny trampoline once and bounced on it every single day for lymphatic drainage, but nothing helped. So, I continued on.
I was in and out of relationship trying to heal my sexual wounds through partnerships and sex. I moved around a bit, ending up in New York and Buenos Aires, briefly. I took up work writing for some big health magazines, I worked as the front desk girl at Exhale Yoga, and taught kids music on the side. I managed to get through life appearing “fine” on the surface, but my inner life was wrought with the pain and confusion of not having a family, and I struggled to have a “real life” and find “my place” in the world after going through so much trauma and feeling like I fell from the highest peak anyone could ever fall from in their career.
My emotional turmoil and search for self took me on a long journey, and in 2016, I found myself driving down to Skid Row twice a week to run with the Skid Row Running Club. I poured out my heart for the homeless, there. I became friends with recovering heroin addicts and ex-convicts, finally feeling like I’d met the people who could understand the level of pain and despair I felt inside. I identified with the sadness on Skid Row and felt the desperation over my friends’ broken relationships and lost destinies. I suffered with them and understood their need for self-harm, all the while knowing I wasn’t far off from giving up on my life entirely myself. I ran through the dirty streets with the Skid Row Running Club for about 6 months training for the LA marathon. We were a fun group; an odd arrangement of LAPD officers, our founder Craig Mitchell, the superior court judge of LA, district attorneys, regular citizens like me, and recovering addicts and ex-convicts living at the Midnight Mission in downtown LA. Every once in a while, a camera crew would come film us for the morning news or we would reshoot scenes for the documentary they were making. I felt like I belonged to a family for the first time in a long time.
“I identified with the sadness on Skid Row and felt the desperation over my friends’ broken relationships and lost destinies.”
Still, there were things that brought me a lot of pain. Especially at Christmas– I had to borrow a place at my friends’ Christmas dinner because my family had shattered into a million little pieces. But 2016 Christmas was an especially sour one for me. Somehow, I found out that my entire family was going to be vacationing together in the same place in Argentina without me. It’s not like they were a happy family unit — my mom and dad had divorced, and I’m pretty sure my brother and sister somehow tagged along with one of them to be there. But when I heard about it something inside me broke and my pain pushed beyond the limit of what I was familiar with. I felt the artist in me urging me to rise up and break the lies that forced me out of my own family because how could this be happening? How could I have spent the last 10 Christmases alone? And how much longer would the lies destroy my family?
“How much longer would the lies destroy my family?”
So, I made a big move. I locked myself away and decided to talk about what happened to me. My goal was to make a short little video for social media just to say one thing, “This happened to me.” Beyond what was happening in my family, I also felt I owed my fans the real story behind my lyrics, that breaking the silence to free my inner artist would also bring a catharsis to anyone else struggling with the same story. So, I went for it.
What started out as a quick selfie video turned into a 17-minute short film called, “The Coverup Girl Movie.” I shot and edited the film on my iPhone over the course of 2-weeks at Christmas, and when I finished it, I shared it to Facebook. I didn’t think twice about it, but the film would forever change my life. A social activist in Argentina, Rufino Varelo, got hold of the movie and shared it on his Facebook page and the film went viral. Argentina’s national newspaper, Clarin, flew out to interview me for their “fallen-hero” story since my dad was a well-known rugby [player] in the 80s and the people in Buenos Aires needed answers.
Survivors from all over the world started reaching out to me, and I quickly found myself in a mess of social activism that I hadn’t anticipated, 10-months before #metoo would even be a thing. Miracles broke out like crazy as God backed my big move — UCLA Medical pardoned all my hospital bills, the giant swelling on my neck went down significantly, and I recovered my relationship with my extended family in Buenos Aires, as they stepped into my life.
2017 went on to be a year full of supernatural advancement and establishing as I stepped into my calling with full-force. I became a rape crisis counselor for the YWCA hotline, I started a non-profit, I finished the LA Marathon with the Skid Row Running Club, ran two additional half marathons, I wrote articles for the biggest health magazines in the world, I became vegan, and even gave up sex!
But I wasn’t walking with God, so as the pressure mounted and the spiritual resistance came at me, I was not prepared to stand in the fight the way I know now. It was a tricky time of feeling like a superhero one minute and then feeling empty and broken inside, plummeting to the depths of depression and suicide the next minute. The highs and lows made me feel like a total fraud because here I was saying, “I’m healed and you can heal,” when my reality was still riddled with so much pain, and I hadn’t a clue what to do about it.
Then, #Metoo happened. October 2017. It was overwhelming and shocking to hear the ENTIRE world talking about rape all at once, but it ended up being a giant relief to me to know that other women were stepping into the fight. It was especially helpful to know I wasn’t alone when the “cease and desist” letter came from my dad’s lawyers in January 2018. He threatened to sue me for defamation and slander if I didn’t take down “The Coverup Girl Movie”. I wasn’t prepared for the legal battle and I had to make a choice. I reflected on all the good things that happened after sharing my story and thought that maybe it was just time to move on. So, I took the film down from the internet, and I promised myself that come summer I would take time off to figure out my new “voice” as a singer/songwriter so I could start something new.
But God had other plans for me.
Some time between taking the film down and waiting to reinvent my artistry in the summer I bought a ticket to Paris, France, thinking a trip would spice up my life. The days dragged on and on almost unbearable, but little did I know I had just bought my ticket right back into the middle of the fight. The week before my summer birthday trip, I got a knock on the door and women shoved the lawsuit in my face. I couldn’t believe it! Here I was getting ready to fly to Paris to reinvent myself and now I was faced with a major lawsuit and had to find a lawyer! But I took the film down, why was this happening?
The fiercest flash of fiery passion I’ve ever felt surged from within me as I processed what was going on, and in that moment I was supernaturally empowered with faith and knew I was just handed back my life. It was time to put my gloves back on and fight my way back to freedom. But I had NO idea how I was going to do it.
In desperation to find a lawyer before my trip I called a friend in Malibu to see if he could put me in touch with Gloria Allred (the lady lawyer who represents the biggest rape cases in the USA,) but he couldn’t. Instead, he offered to put me in touch with his sister, except she was going to be out-of-town for a while. IN PARIS! I told him I was on my way to Paris that very weekend, so he put me in touch with her, and I flew across the globe to sit down with Jill Smoller, Senior Vice President of William Morris Endeavor and agent to Serena Williams who was gearing up to play her comeback match at the French Open 2018. Jill told me she believed me and reassured me that she’d help me get out of this. She added that she was a survivor herself.
I got back to LA a few weeks later, overwhelmed by the fortuitous serendipity and fell to my knees in prayer. I cried out to God, “Please God! If you help me win this lawsuit. I promise to give you my life and serve you with my gifts! Please, JUST HELP ME!” Two months later, I won the lawsuit, and it didn’t even cost me a thing! Jill had her friend and lawyer Benedict Morelli represent me for free and my dad lost the case with prejudice, meaning he can never sue me again for talking about my life! I forever won the legal right to talk about my own story.
“I forever won the legal right to talk about my own story.”
You see, in the USA when you sue someone, you have “the burden of proof” to prove your side of the story. Basically, when my dad sued me, he immediately lost because he would never be able to prove that he didn’t abuse me. So he lost. And just like that, God handed me back everything I had ever worked for. He handed me back my story, my music, my dignity, my honor, my honesty, and my self-worth. But He also opened up my heart to His wisdom, and after 10 years of wandering around the New Age world with gaping wounds that chakra meditations and surgeries couldn’t heal, He gave me a new start and a new heart.
“He handed me back my story, my music, my dignity, my honor, my honesty, and my self-worth.”
I got baptized the following year on my 30th; started walking with the Lord in total purity — I gave up trying to heal myself through sex (this time taking my no-sex vow seriously, and vowing to wait until marriage), I started taking communion every day, I replaced marijuana and alcohol with prayer and worship, and I finished reading the entire Bible. Nine months later, I had a powerful encounter with Jesus and I got 100% set free from PTSD, sex demons, and the spirit of suicide. Jesus just removed all of this from my body, my mind, my emotions and my soul. I have a list of 60+ symptoms I struggled with for 22 years that got 100% healed after this encounter with God!
Now, I’m sitting here writing this story in 2020, shaking my head at the wild ride my life’s been, and I’m grateful for every square inch of my pain and recovery because I know God is going to use my life to heal survivors worldwide. And this time I’m not easily shaken because my confidence isn’t in my ability to heal, but in HIS ability as Healer.
I don’t have the secret remedy to healing sexual abuse because HE is the secret remedy to healing abuse. I know that there is no shortage of miracles in heaven and there is no person too far-gone for God to revive. #SurvivorRevival is here! And I am 100% committed to using my gifts and life story to honor God, just like I promised him on my knees when I begged Him to rescue me from the lawsuit. He has turned my mourning into singing and has made beauty from the ashes of my life. IF I CAN HEAL, YOU CAN HEAL!
Here are the projects working on for survivors of sexual abuse:
MY BLOG | “The Coverup Girl” Healing & Recovery for Survivors
MY NON-PROFIT | KISS, Keep It Sacred Sister.
Instagram @thecoverupgirl • YouTube @thecoverupgirl
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “God goes into your future to prepare the way, and in kindness He follows behind you to spare you from the harm of your past.” Psalm 139:5
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I’m learning to let God go before me to open the way for me, to let Him do the heavy lifting so I can rest in His goodness. I’m going into a season of telling my testimony and speaking in front of people as we build the non-profit, so remembering that He’s got this, and “the battle belongs to the Lord,” takes a lot of pressure off me!
Profession: I am the CEO and founder KISS, Keep It Sacred Sister, a non-profit dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual abuse, and I have a blog called “The Coverup Girl” where I write about my recovery.
[KISS team featured above]
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? “From Coverup Girl to Covenant Girl”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first encountered God when I was 12 years old. I heard the story of Solomon’s wisdom and I asked God to make me wise like Solomon. That was the year I first gave my life to Jesus.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? Knowing God intimately has changed me completely. I now believe 100% that there is no limiting situation in life that can keep us from our destiny or from experiencing total freedom emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I read the Bible, worship, and take communion daily. I also get together with my best friends weekly so we can be in fellowship and have accountability on our walk with God.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m reading Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson’s book Little Black Stretchy Pants because I’m fascinated by the growth of this yoga company. And I’m reading Master Potter by Jill Austen, an allegorical tale of a woman’s journey from Forsaken to Beloved, and I listen to Bethel’s Pastor Bill Johnson on YouTube every day.
Top three essentials: Tambourine, open road, and WiFi.
How did God speak to you recently? God speaks to me a lot through license plates because I’m always on the road. But He also speaks to me out loud in my heart/head when I ask Him questions. It’s especially hilarious when He has sarcastic or funny comments — like when I say, “God did you really say to do this or that?” and He responds with, “Did I stutter?” and this emoji: 💁♀️
Hobby: Gardening and interior design
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Eat well, exercise, sleep, and read your Bible.
Favorite person in scripture? Joseph, the dreamer.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? How he’s so generous and always ready to step in with humor or signs and wonders.
How do you engage with your community? I go to church and fellowship with my best friends weekly.
Favorite holiday? Valentine’s Day — for two reasons. First, it’s the day before Susan B, Anthony’s birthday (the mother of the feminist movement, 1820, and a believer) and second, because I’m a big mush when it comes to romance. Currently single, but believing for and holding out for my husband.
A goal you have? Transform the lives of millions of women worldwide and own a Ford Bronco.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My sisters are my family — our tradition is purity! No sex before marriage. We even have wedding day cards we wrote ourselves like a time-capsule saying, “Well done, you did it! Now go get it gurl!!”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Can I see all the keys of the kingdom?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Purity and the sacredness of our sexuality.
What does your morning routine consist of? Worship as soon as my feet hit the ground, communion, coffee & oatmeal.
What is on your nightstand? Aromatherapy
Define Christianity in a sentence: Believing that Jesus is God and working with God to bring heaven’s kingdom to earth.
For more Delfina:
Until next time, keep witnessing!