Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry has always been vocal about the misogyny she’s seen in culture, giving pieces of her mind to 4Chan trolls and live-show catcallers. And while she doesn’t often open up about her own personal life, she’s just now shared a story about the abuse she once suffered in a relationship. In a new essay for Lena Dunham’s online newsletter Lenny Letter, Mayberry writes about a dangerous relationship that she was once in. She never gives out any specific details about who her abuser was or how she found herself in that situation. But she does write powerfully about the process she had to go through to come to the realization that she really was in an abusive relationship and that she needed to get out of here. Here’s a quick excerpt:
We were arguing, again. Like most times it happened, I wasn’t quite sure why he was so upset. I had tried to placate him; I had tried to reason; I had tried to apologize, but nothing seemed to be having any impact other than making the situation worse. Then he backed me against a wall and slammed his hand repeatedly on the surface above my head. When I broke down in shock, he said, “Oh, don’t act like I hit you.” That moment was the final wake-up call I shouldn’t have needed.
Things like this had happened before but to a lesser extent. He would pull me by my arms and wrists when he was frustrated and thought I wasn’t listening (and then say he was sorry). He would slam doors on me (and then apologize). He once grabbed at the steering wheel of my car when I was driving so we could pull over to “talk,” then shouted and beat his fists repeatedly on the dashboard when I didn’t stop the vehicle.
At the time, it felt like things changed slowly, like I woke up one day in a relationship and a reality that I did not recognize, but I’m sure the signs were there the whole time. When we met, he seemed charming. He was smart, passionate, creative, and caring. But after the first few months, he became increasingly paranoid, insecure, jealous, and depressed. Everything became my fault. I was careless. I was stupid. I was selfish. I was not trustworthy. I was a weak person who would fail at anything she tried so I shouldn’t bother. He hated me, but then he loved me and I was the best person in the world — until I wasn’t anymore.
The whole thing won’t be online until tomorrow, but you can read it by heading over here and subscribing to Lenny Letter.