SoloMoms! Talk
Dec. 6, 2021

Turning the Trauma of Sexual Assault Into an Opportunity to Thrive - Carrington Smith

Turning the Trauma of Sexual Assault Into an Opportunity to Thrive - Carrington Smith

Carrington Smith is a divorced mom of two sons, an attorney, and an author. She shares her story of not only enduring sexual assault while in college but also the devastation that came with unsupportive family members.

Carrington pours her story into her new book, Blooming: Finding Gifts in the Shit of Life.

With adversity comes opportunity”. ~ Carrington Smith

Despite multiple traumas, Carrington has not only overcome but she is thriving as an entrepreneur while caring for her teenage sons.

Watch on YouTube at SoloMoms! Talk TV

Connect with Carrington: www.carrington-smith.com to receive a free gift.

Website: www.solomoms-talk.com

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J. Rosemarie: [00:00:00] My guest, today's Carrington Smith. Thanks for coming and talking to me today, Carrington, we're going to talk about her life and a book she's written, and I'm not going to say anything about it, but I'm going to let you carry into an introduce yourself and tell us about you.

Carrington Smith: Thank you, Jennifer thank you for having me on your podcast. I really appreciate it. So low moms are a particular passion of mine having been divorced now. I guess for 11 years I have two boys who are now 16 and 18, so I've walked through their child, much of their childhood as a single mom. So my book is called blooming and the subtitle is finding gifts in the shit of life. And the way I came up with that subtitle was I had this epiphany as I was going through a lot of the different trauma in my [00:01:00] life that the gifts that I had been given. We're because of the traumas I had experienced and it just really came to realize that. What we would consider the shit in our life, the horrible experiences we're actually truly fertilizer and that's what we needed to grow and bloom into our greatness. J. Rosemarie: Oh, that sounds very interesting. Very insightful. Too, but before we get to that, how did you become a solo mom? You said you were divorced, but tell us about that. And what has been your biggest challenge? Carrington Smith: Wow. That's a good question. Yes. So my, we, I got divorced when the kids were pretty young, like around four and six years old and. One of the first challenges and I'm sure a lot of moms can relate to this is having to play [00:02:00] dad when dad isn't there. We shared custody, but the times when. They're like, mom put together this Lego toy and do it really fast. They're really impatient and I'm not mechanically inclined. And you watch their frustration because I just am not up to snuff compared to dad. And you're trying so hard to make your kids happy, but you see this just disappointment on their faces. And that's just so incredibly hard as a single J. Rosemarie: mom. Yes, it is. And we sometimes, because of all the stuff going on up in our heads, we think that we, we're a moment died. We can handle this, but really, and truly we can't. Carrington Smith: No. One of the things I'm passionate about and really care about is the fact that there's so many single moms about there who have absolutely no support in their lives. In fact, when I think about mother's day, I get angry because [00:03:00] the people who worked the hardest, the single moms, particularly the ones who don't have family support. Their kids don't mean, particularly if they're young, they don't do anything for them on mother's day. So there's no celebration. There's no celebration. The women that work the hardest. And in some ways, those holidays are particularly cruel because you see the mom who's married. Spa day. And we're just like, okay, another day where I'm playing both roles and it's not a day off. So yeah. Have a real heart for single moms. And I often am thinking of, I still am one myself, but I realized that I'm economically advantaged. And so I have some ways to purchase support, and there are plenty moms out there who cannot, so my heart really goes out to them J. Rosemarie: for sure. All right. Thank you. That is so true. [00:04:00] And. I appreciate you being so candid with us today. I want you now to talk about your book. Cause it seems very interesting. What, tell me what the, I don't like to say the word on the air, but tell me what your S H I T was that launched into this book? Carrington Smith: The initial. Trauma in my life. There were many, but the wedding that was really pivotal in me writing this book was when I was in college, I was raped and I was told by everyone around me not to talk about it because I, first of all, would get kicked out of my sorority house. There was a girl that the year before had been gang raped. And she spoke up about it and she was kicked out of the sorority and labeled a slut. So I kept it a secret. And when I went home finally for Thanksgiving break and [00:05:00] I told my mother. Wow. Was I surprised by her response? She said, we are so disappointed in you. We had hoped that you would remain a Virgin and she got angry and was like, you should never speak of this again. And you must never tell your father. So I got no support from my mother. And in fact, she, at the time was the executive director of the crisis pregnancy center in our community. Wow. So it just really, I buried it that secret. So for six years, I didn't talk about it. And what happens when you don't talk about a trauma is that you're not dealing with it. Takes over your life, even though you're saying I'm not going to think about it. It doesn't own me. And the reality is that it did. I learned later that is really [00:06:00] common for people who are raped to to act it out again and ways by becoming permissive. Because they've received this message that they're only worth worthy of being sexualized. And I became the messenger for that message. I became promiscuous and I never could have a normal relationship. I had, no, I would go on one or two dates. I had no boyfriends through college or when I got to law school. And then in law school, I met a guy who we were friends for. And I would say we became friends with benefits, but there was that emotional component to it. And the secret came to the surface. I went home one day and I sat down at my computer and I wrote the story of my rape. And that was the first time I'd ever told the story. And for whatever reason, it came out in the form of me writing it. And that's how this whole thing got started. J. Rosemarie: Yeah. [00:07:00] Thanks for sharing that. And it's really too bad. Your mom. I didn't take your side in this crime against you. And it happens quite a bit. I am the stand. And the other thing is to know that when we have trauma, it's like having a monster. And when we don't deal with. When we push it on Berlin, she's a previous gas would say she was pushing the monsters under the bed. She was sticking them on the glass. Each time something went wrong, some trauma happened, she just stuffed it down. But eventually mentally there's going to be not going to be too many months is under the bed. No room, no more room. And we blow a gasket literally. Yes. I'm happy that you, your way of doing it was writing a book as opposed to, I know you probably went through some heartache because of your response to what happened to you, but I'm glad you also shared your story because I'm sure that was cathartic as well.

Carrington Smith: [00:08:00] One of the things I think that's unique about my book is I take the reader on a journey of how I recovered from that trauma. So the first part of that was writing my story and sharing it with the guy that I was having my situation with. We'll say And I got a positive response from him. He was the first person that showed me compassion. And so that helped me to seek out therapy and start going through the process of healing. But I still was so intent on this thing, not owning me. And it wasn't until I came to the realization through therapy and other self-help books and whatnot, that what was really pivotal about any of these traumatic events is the story that we tell ourselves about them. And by changing the story that I was telling myself from [00:09:00] being a victim, To being someone who was victimized and indeed was a survivor. I changed from a place of weakness to a place of power. And once I claimed my. Shit and owned it. It turned into a superpower for me. So I walk the reader through the journey of how I got there and how that plays out for the rest of my life in many ways.

And. I'm a huge believer in how we view our lives. The story we tell ourselves that internal dialogue will absolutely determine the outcome of events.

J. Rosemarie: Yes. Sure. Wow. My heart goes up to you and I appreciate you coming and sharing your story and we'll take note of the book so that, we can put a link in the show notes maybe we'll help someone. Carrington Smith: Yeah. Sure. J. Rosemarie: So what is [00:10:00] Carrington grateful for today? Carrington Smith: Today? I'm particularly grateful for my kids. I'm sure other single moms can relate to this there's that period of time where when they're older, they go into their rooms and they don't come out for boys. They start ignoring you and yes. They finally started to come out of their rooms again, and I'm really enjoying the time that, of getting to spend with them right now. So I'm really grateful for that. J. Rosemarie: Yeah. I can relate. I have three sons, so that's for sure. All right. And do you practice self care and what does that look like? Carrington Smith: Oh, yes. I was just talking to my assistant about this with the launch of the book. I said, In order to get through, which is such an exciting experience, but also a stressful one. I said, we have to be protective of my exercise time because that is what helps me release any stress that I have. [00:11:00] And I'm like, we've got to work that into my schedule every day or, it's, it won't be a pretty situation. J.Rosemarie: Self-care first. Yeah. Yeah. That's for sure. Okay. Anything else you want to, so you're right. You're right. No marketing your book. Yes. Okay. What one piece of advice do you have for a solo mom right now? Anything. Carrington Smith: I think the biggest piece of advice I would give to sella moms right now who are, we're all collectively going through this pandemic together and dealing with all the different things that come up is that with adversity comes opportunity and. That may be harder to digest sometimes, but I like to say mindset is a muscle. And if every time an adverse situation comes up, if you can stop yourself and say, okay, this really sucks right now. Hot. I know there's some good. That's going to come out of [00:12:00] this and start looking for it. Literally have your mind looking for it. You come out of these hardships faster. You come up with creative solutions. It's again, it's all about how you approach it. Adversity comes opportunity. Yes. Yes. J. Rosemarie: Your perspective. And for those who believe God says he won't give us more than we can bear. Yeah, Carrington Smith: absolutely. And that having that spiritual connection, just knowing, talking to God, that really helps. J. Rosemarie: Yes, for sure. All right. I appreciate you Carrington coming and talking on Solomon stark today. And I like to stay connected with you and maybe you could talk to her audience some other time. Carrington Smith: I would love that. Sure. Thanks. Bye-bye.