The Big Secret a Stranger Shared. You’ve Got to Hear This!

The Big Secret a Stranger Shared. You’ve Got to Hear This!

“What if no one believes you?” She asked. I could tell she was nervous by her expression as she approached me after a speaking engagement on a college campus. She paused before continuing on. She could no longer keep her secret silent. My story resonated with her. In fact it was as though I had held a mirror up, and she saw her own situation with a new perspective. He was a star athlete, Mr. Popular on her campus. People regularly told her how lucky she was to be his girlfriend. But they didn’t know. They didn’t hear her confessions to me at the front of an auditorium following a talk on abusive relationships. They didn’t know her internal struggle – that she couldn’t reconcile her love for him and her fear of him. “I believe you.” I told her. A look of relief instantly washed over her face. There in that moment, she took her first step towards freedom. She had no bruises, but the abuse she was dealing with was still very real. The reality is controlling, manipulative, emotional or physically abusive relationships have far more warning signs than bruises. The longer someone is in a toxic relationship, the more they doubt the dangers and question their own strength, making recognizing the signs critical. If you or someone you know recognize the characteristics in this list, it’s time to get help and get out. (This list can be true for both men and women. For the ease of writing, I’ve written “he.” All of these statements can equally apply to a “she.”) Warning signs that shouldn’t be...