Covert Sexual Abuse and the Art of Solo Dating ft Holly Hartman

Holly Hartman is a Professional Cycle Breaker and a Self-Love and Solo-Dating expert.

As a survivor of CPTSD, Abuse, Addiction and Codependency she teaches tools and skills to empower people to heal and break toxic cycles so they may thrive in all areas of their lives. 

She is a mom of two exceptional boys. She has over 12 years in recovery and as an enneagram 2, her biggest passion and hearts work is in helping people.

Holly Hartman is an International Best Selling Author – “Recovery after Narcissistic Abuse”.

A Domestic Violence Advocate, A Professional Keynote Speaker & Podcaster, A Certified Life Transformation and Trauma & Addiction Recovery Coach. 

Holly is the founder and CEO of Mindful Missions Global and The Solo Date Challenge. She is the host of two podcasts: The Solo Date Challenge Podcast and The Healing Playground.

Holly’s main mission is to help people break toxic cycles so generations forwards and backwards may heal and the ripple effect will be felt around the world. 

What We Talked About

Erika welcomes to the show Holly Hartman, life & transformation and trauma & recovery coach, domestic violence advocate, international best selling author of How To Release The Shame Of Narcissistic Abuse, and the founder of Solo Date Challenge. 

Trigger Warning: Deep-end trauma and narcissistic abuse

Holly shares her story with Erika, including covert sexual abuse, faith-based coercion, and how her experiences led her to start Solo Date Challenge. She highlights some harmful messages, often perpetuated by religious environments, like the role of women in relationships and marriage and the implication that consent isn't necessary. Christian counselors would minimize and dismiss her concerns, essentially endorsing a type of authoritarian faith-based perspective of marital relationships. Then, Holly describes the effects that her physical body suffered from the extreme stress she felt.

Talk about what it was like to wake up in the middle of the night. What was the reaction, if you didn’t follow through with giving him sex? I’m curious about how that impacted how you saw your own body after the divorce? 

Holly says, “What I had to learn was how to quit betraying myself… learn how to love myself and who I am in all of my flaws and all of my strengths, and I did it through Solo Date Challenge. What that meant for me was that I had to start doing the things that bring me joy, the things that I wanted to do that I was not allowed to do in my marriage.” The shift was really in the intentionality, to not think about what other people would want her to do. 

What is Solo Date Challenge? – There are about 1400 women in 24 countries that have joined. It's teaching you to “fill your own cup first”. The unofficial motto is, “We’ll love you until you learn to love yourself”. It’s about discovering who you are, being unapologetic and being intentional about it.   

There’s something that happens when you start to surround yourself with a community of people who are rooting for you, how do you notice the shift in the ones that come into the group? – Solo Date Challenge creates a safe, loving, container for people to share their story, and the validation and solidarity that they receive allows them to give themselves permission to heal and creates that beautiful shift. 

External validation has its place. It can be a way to get needed feedback and perception checks. Things get messy when we have trouble making any kind of decision or choice for ourselves without getting validation from external sources. 

Erika gives us all food for thought: What does it mean when you cross your own boundaries? What does it mean to have your own boundaries and actually keep them with yourself? 

What might step 1 to recovery look like? – Holly suggests “Join the group!” Second: Discover your core values. 

How to Find Holly

To connect with all socials and workshops:

Mindful Missions Global LLC:

Solo Date Challenge:

21-Day Unmasking Self-Love Challenge


The Solo Date Challenge Podcast

The Healing Playground Podcast

BookI AM – How to Release the Shame of Narcissistic Abuse & Transform Financial Poverty to Wealth Beyond Numbers

WOMEN: Join Our Free Solo Date Challenge Community on Facebook

MEN: Join Our Free Solo Date Challenge Community on Facebook