In terms of health, happiness and deepest values, the worst thing that can happen to a woman is to live and be trapped in a relationship with an abusive partner. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is way too hard to be noticed and it’s often very well-disguised that it takes months, or years for some, to even detect it, let alone to act on it.

Remember how long it took you to realize that you were actually being abused? Remember how long it took you to accept that the man you were utterly and irretrievably in love with was in fact an emotional abuser? Remember how long it took you to see that for the love you were giving him, you only got belittling, mean words and him tearing your confidence down in return?

It felt like there were thorns in your heart and that you were bleeding but there was nobody to see it. Your emotional abuse was so well-hidden that people would think you were over-exaggerating or even lying about the things ‘your’ man was doing to you. You were left all alone in your battles and what should have been your safe haven turned into your cage in which you were tormented on a daily basis.

Remember how you used to look yourself in the mirror, on the days when you gathered the courage to do so, and you couldn’t recognize the person you saw? Remember how many times you told yourself how you didn’t like yourself anymore, how you were no longer the woman you used to be? Oh, darling, I know you remember it too well.

The things you lived through, the torment you underwent every day, made you forget your strengths. You felt like you had lost all the power in your body, you stopped appreciating yourself as a unique human being, you stopped reminding yourself how you were an ever-growing, competent and compassionate person because you stopped believing in it. But I’m here to remind you of all of that.

You might’ve forgotten what an incredible human being you are but it doesn’t mean that person has faded away. It doesn’t mean that person is no longer alive. It doesn’t mean that person is not coming back. You’re still there, you just need to remember what it feels like to live life without fear of your abuser.

I know you feel like your soul has been ripped apart but that’s because we all get a bit bruised after our life’s battles. Have you ever seen a strong person with an easy past? Me neither. So remember, you are not a victim, you are a warrior. Healing after emotional abuse is a long process but you already took the first step—you freed yourself of your tormentor.

You’re still not over it but you have to know that’s okay. The aftermath of emotional abuse is something we all need to go through but remember the worst is over. Hold on for a little while. It gets better, I promise.

You need to know your life changes after surviving an emotional abuse. You know those triggers you have? You know how you’re still questioning your self-worth, you know how you sometimes tell yourself how you’re not good enough or how nobody is going to love you or how you don’t deserve to be happy? Well, that’s not you, those are the remains of the hell you’ve been through. Hence: been through and survived.

Now you’re walking on eggshells. I know you’re carefully choosing your words, your actions and everything, in the fear that you could be treated badly again. But what I feel obligated to remind you of is that it’s not your fault. See, an abuser will be an abuser no matter what you do. Even if you’re the most well-behaved person in the world, he’d still find something to make you feel miserable about. It might sound like a cliche, but really, it’s not you, it’s him. You just had unfortunate luck to fall for the wrong guy. That’s where your ‘part of the guilt’ begins and ends.

I know you wish someone had told you about emotional abuse and all the things a woman needs to know but I’m afraid we’re still scared to talk about it. I feel like we’re still ashamed to speak up about the things that we go through because we don’t want to be labeled as damaged. And the worst part is, it’s not us who need to be ashamed but those who abuse women. I live for the day when the world will function that way.

Perhaps I’m late to tell you everything you need to know about emotional abuse but I’m right on time to stop you from caging your heart. See, the worst thing you could do now is see yourself as a person unworthy of love or see every other man as a potential abuser. I promise you a good guy will come along, don’t cross him off of your love list just because of your past.

You’ve had your lesson but now it’s time to move on with your life. Perhaps you’ll be feeling the effects of the hell you’ve been through for a little while but now at least you know the difference between real men and abusers: real men protect their women, they don’t control or abuse them.

A real man will understand the hell you’ve been through and he’ll choose to love the woman who walked out of it. Give love another chance. You deserve it.