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Candle In A Dark Room

Candle In A Dark Room

By Desi Garcia
Welcome to my podcast Candle In A Dark Room. I will tell you the story of my life, how I survived trauma & how I live in recovery today. I will also interview other survivors & let them share their experiences & give advice. Survivors of all sexual violence, mental health, eating disorders, sex trafficking, & any other trauma. We talk about all of the "off limit" subjects that society has taught us to sweep under the rug. You won’t finish an episode feeling sad, but you will finish the episodes with hope & encouragement. This podcast helps survivors take their power back!
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S 2, Ep 16 "Parenting Safe Children" w/ Feather Berkower
Season 2, Episode 16 “Parenting Safe Children” w/ Feather Berkower is now ✨LIVE✨ LINK IN BIO 🎧 I got the pleasure to sit down with this awesome women Feather who is a LCSW, author, and advocate, and have an in depth, honest and educational conversation. Feather Berkower is the Founder of @parentingsafechildren. She is a licensed clinical social worker and one of the nation’s leading experts in child sexual assault prevention. She has dedicated her career — which now spans over three decades — to educating parents and youth professionals on how to make their communities “off limits” to child sexual assault. Using her community-based approach, she has trained over 150,000 school children, parents, and youth professionals across the United States. In this episode Feather shares that knowledge—along with all the prevention strategies she’s learned throughout her career on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse. She also does a workshop for professionals, parents, teacher and whoever else in Denver, and now nationwide through her online workshop. These workshops empower adults to keep children safe from child sexual assault. I’m excited to share this episode with anyone who may have questions on this topic. It’s a hard topic that most don’t want to think about, but education is what parents and loved ones need to know to keep children safe, and parents aware! Feather starts her online workshop at the end of February so make sure you check out her Instagram page to find the link in her bio or her website https://linktr.ee/ParentingSafeChildren so you can sign up for it! EVERY parent and person who works with children should take it. You’re welcome to message feather with any questions as well! Thank you so much Feather for taking the time to share your professional wisdom! 💛 You can follow Feather on instagram @parentingsafechildren  ✨Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast and our YouTube which has the video of our conversation, so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom Remember, you can ALWAYS find light in the darkest of darkness✨
57:38
February 13, 2021
S 2, Ep 15 "Baby Be Brave" w/ Michelle McManus
Season 2, Episode 15 “Baby Be Brave” w/ Michelle McManus is now ✨LIVE✨ LINK IN BIO 🎧 We’re back!! We took a break from podcasts for a bit, but we’re back now excited and ready to share more amazing and inspiring episodes. We have incredible guests and stories coming up that I’m so excited to share. So today let’s start with this inspiring one that I did with a very close friend of mine, Michelle McManus from the IGTV live series Baby Be Brave. Michelle is 32 and lives in Philadelphia. Michelle has an Instagram feed called Baby Be Brave where she talks to other adoptees live about their experiences. In todays episode she talks about being a product of rape, being put in an orphanage as an infant in Romania, and then being adopted at 2 years old by an American family. She talks about the effects that it has had on her life and the feelings she’s struggled with about herself because of it. Even though she grew up in a healthy and happy home with her adoptive family, she still always felt she had a missing hole and that she needed answers. When she was 18 she hired a PI to find her birth mother in Romania which only resulted in more heartache and abandonment when her mother basically shut the door wanted nothing to do with her. Michelle talks about all the feelings she has had to deal with because of that, and the feelings she’s dealt with growing up as an adoptee. She shares the true affects it can have someone’s self worth. Her honesty and openness is so brave and I’m so proud of her for being vulnerable and sharing her story. Please give Michelle some love because she deserves it. You can follow Michelle on instagram @babybebrave  ✨Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast and our YouTube which has the video of our conversation, so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom Remember, you can ALWAYS find light in the darkest of darkness✨
01:05:47
February 5, 2021
S 2, Ep 14: "Carried by grace" w/ Allie Whitworth
In today’s episode I sat down with this beautiful and inspiring momma, Allie Whitworth. Allie was married to her high school sweet heart Cale, until everything changed a year and a half ago when he unexpectedly lost his life at just 27 years old while recovering from the flu. They had two daughters together and new baby boy who was only 6 months old. They had just built a house together and were living their best life. They had a beautiful life and endless love for one another. This story breaks your heart because of what this women went through and is still recovering from. She lost the love of her life and was left taking care of their 3 children, something she never thought she would do at 27 years old. Allie is a freakin warrior and even though this world has tried to knock her down, she continues to be an amazing mom and live life to the fullest everyday, because she knows that’s what her husband Cale would have wanted for her and their children. I’m so grateful Allie decided to share her story with me and all of you! I know others out there are grieving the loss of a loved ones and I’m hoping Allies story brings you encouragement, especially to those who have lost a spouse. Please go show Allie some love! 💛 You can follow Allie on instagram @alliexwhitworth ✨Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
51:56
September 23, 2020
S 2, Ep 13: Silent no more w/ my LA girls
In this episode I got to see down with 5 amazing women! Cassie Scerbo, Seak Smith, Amber Rose which of who have all already been guests on my podcast and are here for amazing support. Then we have two new amazing women that I’ve had a chance to meet because of Cassie! Brittany Sugarman and Alexa Mey. Brittany and Alexa talk about their experience with sexual assault. They both live and work in the entertainment industry and know a lot of important people so because of that they felt they couldn’t tell their stories. Until now. Brittany who is a professional dancer for celebs like Lady Gaga and Jlo is also Cassie’s BFF. Today she talks about the sexual assault that happened to her from a very known dance producer. Brittany now knows from more than one person he’s done it to multiple others. He’s an “important” guy who thinks he can’t be touched so he has gotten away with it for too long! So Brittany takes her power back by telling her truth and without holding back! Something that’s incredibly brave! Alexa who is a beautiful model and a good friend of Cassie’s as well also sat down with us and told us about two different incidents of assault. One that was out of her control when she was drugged at a modeling gig and one about when she lost her virginity. These women are incredible and I am so grateful to have met them and sat down with them so they could tell their truth! They are so freakin brave and I’m so proud of them both for doing this hard thing and talking about these intense and vulnerable topics! Please go show them some love! You can follow all these ladies on instagram  @cassiescerbo and she has two others @boo2bullying and @b2b1on1 @brittsugarman1 @alexamey @amberrosebud_ @seak_smith ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
01:28:21
September 18, 2020
S 2, Ep 12: "Grace And Grit" w/ Nola Hayes
I got to sit down with my friend Nola Hayes. Nola is a survivor of child sexual abuse by a family member, sexual assault, she's an activist and the co founder of the podcast "Sex, Love and you". She is also an actress, dancer and the social media director for the Do good bus. In this episode Nola talks about how she didn't remember her trauma until she was an adult and the damage that did to her once she remembered. Nola talks about how her trauma affected her so much which ended up resulting in an eating disorder, substance abuse and unhealthy sexual activity. She talks about the hard work she has had to do on herself and with her trauma to truly get to a good place not only mentally, but also physically. She also talks about how she has learned to take her sexuality back after her trauma without guilt or shame which is a very common feeling/response that survivors struggle with after their trauma. This was a great episode with great information on how to recover through trauma in a healthy way before you're too destructive to yourself and to feel empowered within yourself.  You can follow Nola on instagram @littlebird787 or @dogoodbus ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
44:55
August 25, 2020
S 2, Ep 11: "Deceived and trafficked" w/ Jose Alfaro
On this episode I got to sit down with my friend Jose. Jose is a Human Trafficking Survivor, Public Speaker, Author, Advocate and Activist. Jose was physically and sexually abused as a child. He did not have the love and support of his parents or family because he was "too feminine" and later came out as gay, and his father strongly disapproved. When he was a lost teenager looking for love and acceptance, he was put into human trafficking through a massage business. He was a young teenager who was put in a dangerous, uncomfortable and forced situation by a way older man who he thought was his friend and cared about him. After 3 months he was able to get out of the situation physically, but mentally its something that took work and that he has been carrying with him for years. He is ready to speak up and bring awareness to this situation because unfortunately its a very common issue. You can follow Jose on instagram @joselewisalfaro ✨Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
01:32:23
August 14, 2020
S 2, Ep 10: "20 years silent... until now" w/ Zach Deardorff
In this episode I sat down with one of my brothers closest friends, Zach Deardorff. Zach is a survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of his own brother.  1 in 6 boys are sexually abused or assaulted, and unfortunately Zach falls into that statistic. He talks about how he was trapped in a life of abuse with no one to count on and protect him including the relationship with his toxic father. Zach had to basically raise himself and figure out life on his own at a young age which has not been an easy road. Zach never reported his brother, and only in recent years he told his dad about the abuse. Zach talks about how he tried to numb himself by using substances, having toxic relationships and always being in chaos. Zach has been through hell and back, but he has worked hard to be where he is now. Even though he still struggles at times, Zach now has a beautiful wife, a house, has a relationship with God and has cut ties with his toxic relationship with his family for his own mental health. It was important to have Zach on the podcast to help break the stigma on male sexual abuse/assault. It can happen to anyone and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Abuse does not discriminate. Im so proud of where Zach is today and I'm proud of him for turning his life around and breaking the cycle. Please show Zach some support so more men feel comfortable with telling their truth no matter what it is. Zach does not have social media, but if you would like to speak with him just let me know and I can put you in contact. ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
52:24
July 24, 2020
S 2, Ep 9: "Unapologetically me” a w/ Kay Kenkins
Todays episode is with the beautiful Kay Jenkins. On this episode Kay and I dive deep into her life, how she grew up and the traumatic events that changed her life and made her who she is today. On the outside Kay is a beautiful, fit, confident and an independent strong women. She is a top real estate agent here in Utah, a business consultant, life coach and a model. But Kay has not always had the life she has now. She grew up in a trailer park in a toxic environment with parents that were addicts. Kay has one older brother name Kyler. They grew up with basically only being able to count on each other and were best friends. Today she talks about the night her life changed forever with the traumatic accident involving her brother. Its honest and raw and will bring tears to your eyes, but at the end a smile in your heart. With everything Kay has endeared she could have went down a completely different and toxic path, but after some time and a lot of self help, she made the choice to have a better life and to learn from her past and to make her brother proud. Kay is incredibly strong and a perfect example of turning beauty into ashes.  You can follow Kay on instagram @kay_jenkins.co ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
50:34
July 16, 2020
S 2, Ep 8: "It starts with love" w/ Kenny Akers
I got to sit down with Kenny Akers. Kenny is a black man that has recently been known in Utah because back in June he stopped and gave a powerful speech to the looters who were robbing and destroying a 7-11. He spoke to them and gave them empathy and understanding, but all while teaching them this isn't the right way to handle the situation. Kenny talks about how he has dealt with racism in Utah and that he has learned that love is the answer to all of this chaos and hatred going on in the world. He is a war vet, a husband and a father. Kenny is a great example and I'm happy to share his point of view with you all. Because of what Kenny did, he has made it on the news, radio and has even been asked to speak at the city council meeting. He is using his voice for good and is making changes for the black community.  You can follow Kenny on instagram @keneakers ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you are notified when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
50:00
July 11, 2020
S 2, Ep 7: "Finding the beauty in my broken" w/ Ashley Simpson
In this episode I got to interview my friend Ashley Simpson. Ashley is a survivor of child sexual abuse from her step father as well. We have similar stories except Ashley has had to unfortunately deal with the backlash from her family after she reported her truth once she was an adult. Her family including her own mother, chose to side with her perpetrator (her step dad). In this episode Ashley tells us her story of survival as well as what happened when she told her truth and how she has had to cut ties with family to take care of herself and her own mental health. Listen to Ashleys story of strength and resilience because she is a true example of a survivor.  You can follow Ashley on instagram @_ashley.simpson_ ✨ Make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast so you know when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
58:37
June 30, 2020
S 2, Ep 6: "Learning to love me" w/ Paige Watts
In this episode I sat down with my girl Paige Watts. Paige is a social media influencer and digital creator! Paige is in front of the camera often and comes across as having confidence in her beauty, but what people don't know or see is the struggle she deals with on the inside. Paige has struggled with body dysmorphia, anxiety and other mental health struggles. She talks about why doing what she does actually helps her and how it may seem so glamorous behind the camera, but its so much harder and more stressful than people even know. She talks abut her future goals and gives advice on learning to love yourself even when its hard because its something she has to do often. Paige is beautiful inside and out, smart and one of the nicest people I've met. Plus she's an amazing singer too! She has a heart of gold and I'm honored and excited to share this honest and vulnerable episode with you. You can follow Paige on instagram @paigearmita ✨ So make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the podcast so you know when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
53:25
June 16, 2020
S 2, Ep 5: “Black Lives Matter”
Hey everyone! On this weeks episode I have 3 of my friends here with me. I have Tamika, Lisi, Jordyn and myself.  We are all have different colors of skin and are all different nationalities, such as African American, Polynesian, Caucasian and Latina. I thought it would be a good idea to get all of our perspectives on our thoughts about the black lives matter movement and about the recent events that have triggered it. This is our raw emotions about how this has affected us all in different, but painful ways. Please be mindful that this is OUR opinion and you don't need to agree, but I felt like this needed to be talked about. The 4 of us are all strong independent and passionate women who want to use our voice in hope of making a difference. Remember Love is the answer. Love over fear, love overcomes hate, and loves triumphs darkness. Lets all stand together in solidarity. Be a candle in a dark room and use your lights to guide others out of the darkness. ✨ So make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the podcast so you know when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
51:46
June 11, 2020
S2, Ep 4: “This is my truth, not my fault" w/ Keelan Ramos
This is one of my favorite episodes to date! In this episode my beautiful friend Keelan talks about the horrific ordeal that occurred in October 2018 while she was abroad with some friends to Portugal. Keelan tells the story of how her last night there turned into a complete nightmare when she woke up in a brothel type setting with dozens of men around her. The last thing she remembered before waking up was being in a bar and getting served two drinks by the bar tender. Unfortunately when keelan woke up she had no idea where she was, who she was with and what exactly the men had done to her.  On top of this traumatic incident, when Keelan returned back to the states her two "best friends" that had gone with her completely turned their back, spread rumors to her other friends and shamed Keelan calling her a liar. Keelan tells her truth in this episode and takes her power back because unfortunately there was no legal justice to these men that hurt her that night. Im SO proud of her.  Please listen to this episode and then go comment on my instagram @candleinadarkroom with the post about Keelan and tell us what you think about the episode. Also spread some love to her. Victims deserve to be heard, validated and told how important they are and loved despite the horrible circumstances that were out of their control. 💛 So make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the podcast so you know when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
01:07:35
May 20, 2020
S2, Ep 3: "The Unseen" w/ Amber Rose
Amber Rose is a survivor of sex trafficking! When amber was 17 she was forced into the sex trafficking business by someone she knew. Listen to Amber tell the story of her experience, how she escaped and what she has done to start to heal. 💜 So make sure you LISTEN AND SHARE SHARE SHARE! Also don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the podcast so you know when new episodes are released, AND of course make sure you follow our page on Instagram and Facebook @candleinadarkroom
38:26
May 12, 2020
S2, Ep 2: “My Second Chance" W/ Brittany Piper
On this episode Brit tells her story of how the unexpected death of her older brother turned her world upside down. In the midst of her downfall Brittany was brutally raped by a stranger on the side of the road. Her story made national news. She then talks about how she changed her life around and how she got to where she is today. Brittany is now a public speaker, A sexual violence expert and a healing coach! You don't want to miss this episode! Brittany is the definition of a survivor and how to go from trials  to triumph.  You can find her on instagram @Brittanypiper or www.brittanypiper.com to find out more about her and what she does. 
01:12:45
May 5, 2020
S2, Ep 1: “This season we got our shit together... hopefully"
My team and I sit down and recap on season 1, update you on our personal life, talk about the effects of the pandemic and tell you about SOME of what's to come in season 2. You don't want to miss this episode. Season 2 is going to be SO GOOD. Make sure you subscribe so you're updating on when new episodes come out and follow me on instagram @candleinadarkroom
53:40
April 27, 2020
17. Cassie Scerbo- Actress/VP for Boo2Bullying
Catch my interview with the beautiful and amazing Cassie Scerbo. Cassie is a actress best known for her roles in Make it or break that was on ABC family, Nova from Sharknado and most recently Grand Hotel. Thats just to name a few. Cassie is not only a talented actress and singer, but she is an activist and the Vice President for the organization Boo 2 Bullying. Listen to her talk about why this organization is so important to her and how she has been affected by bullying, trauma and major anxiety. 
38:39
March 16, 2020
16. Surviving His Suicide w/ Natalie Zoie Hansen
I got to sit down with Natalie Hansen who is 20 year old beautiful and thriving model, but unfortunately she has had to do it without her dad. When Natalie was 14 years old she and her family were left devastated when she lost her father to suicide in a public setting. Natalie was one of the last people to speak to him. After losing her dad Natalie has had to deal with all the stages of grief from sadness all the way to guilt.  For the first time after 6 years Natalie is telling her story. I got to sit down and talk to her about the day her dad died, and how it has affected her life to this day. It hasn't been an easy road but Natalie is ready to share her story in hopes of helping someone who might be in a similar situation either with themselves or with someone they know. 
45:17
February 12, 2020
15. Journey To Self Love W/ Stef Iliff
Stef Illif is a self coach, single momma of two and a CEO power house.  She's also a recovering binge eater, addict, self sabotager, shame bully perfectionist who used her biggest mistake to help her wake up and find self love, self discipline and self worth. 
52:31
December 30, 2019
14. The knowledge of Trauma & EMDR w/ Dr. Beall
Listen to me sit down and talk to Dr. Beall. Dr. Beall is the director of Utahs trauma trauma center and has been since 1994. He has PHD in psychology and specializes in trauma and EMDR.  He has worked in the truama field for over 30 years. Listen to him answer our questions and give us knowledge of trauma and EMDR.
45:08
December 4, 2019
13. "The Storm Within" AnnaLynne McCord
AnnaLynne McCord is an American actress best known for her role in 90210 and Nip Tuck. On this episode AnnaLynne talks about the secret she had deep inside for over 30 years, a secret she didn't even know or remember until last year. She talks about how it turned her world upside down and how she has, and continues to use her pain for good. For the last 3 years AnnaLynne has been the president of the organization Together 1 Heart. Together1heart helps rescue and rehabilitate girls as young as 2 years old from sex trafficking. Annalynne is one of the best people I've met with the heart to change the world. Im lucky to call her a mentor and friend.
44:50
October 30, 2019
12. The Courage To Heal w/ Tessa Danielle
Tessa is a close and long time friend of Desi who actually has a very similar story to Desi as well. She was sexual abused by her adoptive/step father from around 13 years old to 17. After she reported him, her whole family including her own mother disowned and shamed her. This episode tells the story of how she survived and conquered it all with no support except from a cousin. Tessa talks about where she is today and what gave her the courage to heal.
57:36
October 9, 2019
11. Stronger Than My Anxiety- Caleb Herrera
Caleb come on for a short episode and talks about his struggle with anxiety and depression at just 18 years old but it all started when he was a child. He had a hard time with it last year but talks about what he's learned and what has helped him. Thank you Caleb for being vulnerable and sharing your story. 
25:15
September 25, 2019
10. “Darkness Before Dawn” w/ Alex Rodriguez
“Darkness Before Dawn” with Alex Rodriguez is now available!! You guys, seriously this is a good one! Go listen to this amazing story of resilience and surviving losing not only one, but TWO of the most important people in your life (one being your husband) to suicide only within 20 days apart!! Then surviving her own horrible thoughts of suicide! Alex is a warrior and has been through the kind of pain that most of us can’t relate to! But she’s stayed strong for not only herself but for her daughter! 💜
51:56
September 9, 2019
9. Chalyn- The process of healing
On todays episode I was lucky to have an old friend of mine on! Her name is Chalyn and we actually worked together at a treatment center about 5 years ago. This episode she talks about the healing process that she's been going through since she was young with an eating disorder, distorted image issues and trauma. She actually went to treatment last year to continue to work on herself and heal the areas that still need healing. Its a process but she's worked and is continuing the work to truly heal. 
59:59
August 30, 2019
8. His Evil Obsession
The newest update on Desi's story. We thought it was over but this is something  that none of us expected. Now the triggers and court process she has to go through once again and the road to healing.
51:21
August 8, 2019
7. "Don't Label Me!"
Listen to myself, my mom and our friend Val talk about how labels and bullying from when they were growing up, STILL affect them today and how even as adults labels make an impact. Have fun listening to 3 Latina's laugh, but still discuss this serious issue. You will laugh, cringe and maybe even shed some tears but lets shed light on how negative labels can have a long term affect. 
01:02:50
July 23, 2019
6. Truth about my eating disorder and more
Details of my ED and some advice on how to recognize if someone you know is struggling with one. Also I provide resources for help!
46:11
June 21, 2019
5. Alexis Haines
Most of you know her from her previous reality tv show on E called Pretty Wild. She was known for her part in the Hollywood scandal The Bling Ring. Alexis Haines is now about 8 years sober, a mom, a wife, a doula and she has her very own podcast called "Recovering from reality" She was so fun to talk to and I'm excited for you all to hear this episode. 
39:16
May 27, 2019
4. You took my childhood but you won't take my future
I finish up my story and talk about my marriage and where I am now. 
45:41
May 20, 2019
3. If mommy can’t see you, she can’t protect you!
This episode is a little different. On this episode I talk with other moms about fears, miscarriages, mom guilt and more.
59:47
April 29, 2019
2. Innocence Gone episode 2
Part 2 of my story 
54:20
April 1, 2019
1. Innocence Gone episode 1
Chapter one of my story.
46:49
February 28, 2019