This Is What An Abusive Relationship Looks Like

My ex is a handsome, charismatic man and a soft-talker. He is highly educated. He is sharp and successful. When he sent me this email, after an argument over the phone, I was so distraught that I had to call in sick from work. I regretted having been born.

My first instinct was to load myself with antidepressants. But then I had an unexpected moment of clarity ... I wondered why I was losing this moment to enjoy my life. I remembered I was not a victim.

So I decided to dissociate myself from his anger and frustration. I decided that I didn't want to hate the way I look, or the way I speak English, or where I'm from, or the country that adopted me, or the career path I took ... I decided to not even hate the man who sent this email.

I can’t say that this revelation gave me the courage to leave the relationship right away. I held onto a foolish hope that he did not mean the things he wrote. After all, at one point in our time together, he hadn't minded my "big lips" and "cellulite'' and was proud of my career path. However, this was the first time I realized I would soon have to start making changes.

People want to hide these types of exchanges, even from themselves. By sharing this email, I want to show that verbal abuse hurts emotionally and even physically, but you can stand up, heal and carry on. I did. And I've even forgiven my ex.

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