We’ve all experienced trauma in our lives, and it can lead us to some really dark places. Connecting to our inner selves, and more importantly, listening to our inner voice fueled by the spirit of who we are, can help us learn how to use our physical voice to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

Welcome to Lean In. A podcast that explores ordinary people’s extraordinary lives through honest storytelling. My guests share with me their journey of discovery, laughter, personal experiences and healing.

If you are going through a change or challenging period in life, Lean In is the space where we can surrender to the cycle together.

I recently had the opportunity to speak to my friend, Ashlee Donohue. Ashlee is an extraordinary woman who has lived an extraordinary life. She’s written about her personal experiences with domestic violence and childhood abuse in her stunningly honest book “Because I Love Him”.

Ashlee has found her voice by telling her story, and she finds that the incredible strength and resilience she possesses comes in part from her rich Aboriginal ancestry. She has spent the better part of the last twenty years helping Aboriginal communities deal with, and heal from the scars of domestic violence.

In this episode of Lean In, Ashlee tells her heartbreaking story with incredible openness and authenticity. I must warn you, if you’ve experienced domestic violence or childhood abuse in your life, there could be triggers in this episode for you. However, I encourage you to listen anyway, and use those feelings to facilitate healing by reaching out for help.

Also in this episode:

  • The incredible story of Ashlee’s mom
  • Ashlee’s experience with prejudice as an Aboriginal child 
  • How Ashlee was swept off her feet at 21
  • The warning signs she missed from her abuser
  • Ashlee’s view on her role in the toxicity of her relationship
  • How loving an abuser can be an addiction
  • Why you should never give up on therapy
  • How to speak up when you know something’s wrong 
  • How to talk to your kids about healthy relationships

Because I Love Him Book

Ashlee’s Website

Ashlee on LinkedIn

Australian Helpline for Domestic Abuse

American Helpline for Domestic Abuse

UK Helpline for Domestic Abuse

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