Episode 61: Relationship Toxicity, Red Flags, Abuse, and the Impact of Not even Knowing it

Guest: Dr. Shelley Morgan

Shelley brings forward a story where her first deep relationship transformed into marriage, and later a relationship so toxic that even she could not recognize its depth. After giving birth to each of her 3 children, she developed postpartum depression, which gradually shifted into situational depression. She describes how her third pregnancy was tough and the morning sickness she endured was around the clock, not to mention many other factors that she faced. Shelley shared that her husband at the time was absent from the marriage, not there to support her as he himself was overwhelmed with his career, leaving Shelley to feel helpless. She opened to speak about how abuse was never physical for her, rather deep subtleties, and overtime the person she was began to shrink and continued to become smaller. She was on the receiving end of manipulative comments, intimidation, blaming, being gaslit, and this only influenced Shelley to strive for more and more perfection, yet unable to attain perfection. She spoke about the many ways she was bullied and lectured through long emails, and later faced a period of financial abuse. Shelley expressed there were moments she felt scared, judged, inadequate, and she also began doubting herself. This idea of not being able to make a mistake haunted her and made her out to lack confidence in herself and her abilities, all which produced high levels of anxiety. Her key message to the listeners is that: get help, take the risk, your life can be free; photocopy all documents and information, and know where all your paperwork is kept; keep a separate account; prepare while you wait; the narcissist never changes, so make the necessary changes yourself.


Guest Bio: Dr. Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario and a postgraduate Doctor of Pharmacy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is also the Founder and CEO of Rx Billing Genie, a technology corporation where she co-developed an app that helps pharmacists save valuable time when processing prescriptions. Since its launch, she and her business partner have collaborated with a national pharmacy Association, and they have been featured in the Pharmacy Practice and Business magazine.

Dr. Morgan has been a panelist in several community, provincial and national discussions. She has learned a lot from her father who advised her to focus on solutions for problems, this has resulted in her being an entrepreneur to look out for, she continues to work on projects to improve the disposition of those in marginalized communities. In her spare time, Dr. Morgan has helped to create a charity organization, Educate GenNext, which supports students in both Jamaica and Canada. Her favourite pastimes also include, reading, watching movies, and of course, creating new ideas.


Passionate about:  

Home Sweet Hope: https://www.flightforhope.com/hsh

Halton Women’s Place: https://haltonwomensplace.com/


Episode 60: Since Childhood she Lived with Uncertainty, from Psychological Abuse to Sexual Abuse

Guest: Candace Alley

As early as 6 years old, Candace recalls experiences of sexual abuse which she openly speaks about, she expresses as a child it was a confusing period for her, knowing it wasn’t right, but not knowing what really to do about it. Candace grew up in a dysfunctional home, and continued to strive to make her mother proud, but felt she could not no matter how much she tried. She was struggling with her mental health at 14, needing time and attention, her father came to recognize her needs which led to relocation to live with her father. The relocation resulted in being far away from her familiar surroundings, family, and friends. She shares at that time how she attempted suicide, and despite being able to see life from a different angle, she still found herself in multiple tough situations. At 17 she was forced into a sexual situation, became pregnant and then gave birth, 13 months later she then gave birth to a stillborn. Candance speaks about her journey through substance use, how she was introduced to it, the downward spiral she went through, learning of mental health diagnoses, the marriage she was in before she made changes to her life that stuck. Candance found light at the end of the tunnel, she describes how hard it was to work on herself and face her demons, but with her newly built support system she made it to where she never thought she would get to. Her key message to the listeners is that: when feelings of hopelessness and helplessness show up, know that people can relate to you; people care about you; there are resources out there; if you don’t know where to start, start with your national suicide prevention hotline, any resource line is a good starting point.


Guest Bio: Candace is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Trauma Resource Network Inc. She has combined experience of 17+ years in the non-profit sector and being self-employed. In prior years, Candace owned an online fashion mall and as a business and leadership development coach has served her last nine years in the role of an executive board member for Magnolia Place Homeowners Association. Candace also serves on her county’s Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (CFAC) and has organized and led multiple community events in Orange County since moving to Hillsborough, North Carolina in 2010 from Caldwell County, North Carolina where she was born and raised.


When asked, Candace often refers to herself as a ‘human doing’ rather than a ‘human being’ because she is always trying to do something to pay it forward in some way for others. Candace is actively involved at the local, state, and national level for peer supporters across the country. She believes wholeheartedly that people with lived experiences that are willing to admit to and work through their struggles will always be valuable to the treatment team model. Candace is a firm believer that bonds are formed through shared experiences that peers can convey in a professional setting while still maintaining and creating boundaries.


Passionate about:  




Episode 59: Struck with grief. Navigating control. Impacted by choice. Learning Resilience.

Guest: Sara Westbrook

Sara shares an emotional journey she experienced at the age of 21 when her father died, only 4 weeks after a health diagnosis. She mentioned that her journey of grief started 10 years before that when her parents separated, and she had to learn how to accept not seeing her father every day. Sara explained the relationship with her father growing up had its own challenges and differences, while they both shared the ability to use humour, they didn’t connect with morals and values all the time. She was able to learn from her father distinctly who she wanted and did not want to become. Sara grappled with the idea of what in her life she could control, and food became that way for her, she started to control what she was eating, until it became unhealthy. She realized at a later point that she had a false sense of power thinking. She described herself as being happy and outgoing on the outside but lacked confidence and felt like the inner turmoil was too big. In her grief process, Sara recalls how she remembers her father and how she focuses her control in grief work. She did learn how to navigate control, understand how to set healthy boundaries with herself, while making sense of all the other confusing emotions brought on by the experience of death. Describing her experience as a combination of tragedy, sadness, betrayal, transition of shock, longing for her father, and feeling as though she was left behind. A big learning is that she couldn’t control all aspects of life, or all things that happen in life. Her key message to the listeners is that: challenges are chapters of your life, not the whole story; emotions will be triggered, and they will feel awkward; find ways to bring them in the light; seek help, commit to the process, and stay determined to put in the effort; overtime effort will pay off; there is so much more of your story yet to write.


Guest Bio: Sara is a professional speaker, author, and Emotional Resilience Strategist. She has spent the last 16 years researching and presenting on the topic of emotions and the impact they have on choices, well-being and resilience in both adults and youth.

Over half a million people have been inspired by Sara’s enthusiasm, life experiences and the transformational power of her message. She has appeared on many media outlets including Global, CTV, CBC, Sirius XM & Roku.

When she is not presenting, writing, or singing, she can be found in her kitchen whipping up yummy, healthy treats for her husband George and son Kai or at the arena, with coffee in hand, watching her son play hockey.


Passionate about:  

Kids help phone – https://kidshelpphone.ca/

Here is the link to my blogs – https://upowerpresentations.com/my-blog/