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Leaving abuse and building a better future with Lindsay Carlson

In this interview, we talk to Single & Mighty co-host, Lindsay Carlson about her single-parent story.
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Trigger warning: this episode includes themes of intimate partner violence & abuse.

Hey it’s Lindsay. In this interview, I tell you my story about leaving an abusive relationship behind and starting over as a single parent.

It’s really important to me to tell this story. It’s been one of the main reasons for me to start this podcast with Carmel. I don’t think we (as a society) realize just how common it is for someone to live with domestic violence and abuse. Since leaving my relationship 10 years ago, I’ve been shocked by how many other people tell me they have similar stories.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I was building a family. I was busy parenting my kids and helping my partner to run a business. We owned a house, planned for the future, and had a lot going on.

It may have looked good from the outside, but on inside our home was a different story. Every day I faced intimidation (things like dishes being smashed, walls being punched, my stuff being destroyed) and physical, emotional, and financial abuse. The trauma, shame, and isolation that can come with that abuse slowly tore away my sense of self. My children witnessed this environment and it had a huge impact on them too. At the time, I thought I could love them enough to protect them. I didn’t understand how damaging this environment was for all of us.

Through a series of small realizations, I found the support and courage to leave that relationship 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve parented my 3 children on my own. I can’t believe how much we’ve grown as a family and I’ve changed as a person since leaving that relationship. Our life feels completely different now. And I am happy, peaceful, and more and more confident in myself.

A lot of people never leave their abusive relationship because they are scared of ending up penniless and alone. I want you to hear my story because I felt that way too. It was very scary to think about losing everything we had in life. And yet, it was so worth it. I’ve been through the fire, emotionally and financially. But I’ve learned that I can depend on myself to come through it. And I’ve been able to build a stronger financial future for myself and my kids than I ever dreamed possible.

Leaving an abusive relationship is hard, especially when you’ve built a life with your partner.

I hope that by sharing my story, others who may be in a similar situation will find the courage to seek help. It’s never too late to start a better life for yourself.

Resources to learn more:

If you are not in a safe situation, please use caution while accessing resources. A record of websites you visit may be kept in your computer’s cache, cookies, and Internet history, among other places. Make a plan for your safety. This may include using a computer that is not connected to your household.

Warning signs of abuse – Women Against Abuse

Creating a Safety Plan (PDF)

Cycle of Violence

Power and Control Wheel – Abuse isn’t always physical. This wheel shows some of the different ways abuse can show up in a relationship.

Why it’s so difficult to leave – Women Against Abuse

Domestic Violence Resources (Canada)

Police: Your local police may also be able to help. NOTE: I’ve had mixed results with police help. Some officers have training in domestic violence and recognize the signs of abuse, but others do not. If you talk to a police officer who does not see what’s wrong, try to find a different contact or look for a specific domestic violence unit.

Thanks for listening. If you learned something from this show, please leave a review and share it with someone you know.

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