Not all abuse leaves a mark on your skin, finger prints around your arm, or a bruise under your eye. Some abuse leaves scars you can't see.
Emotional abuse leaves harsh words ringing in your ears, puts negative thoughts into your mind, and seeps sadness into your heart. Just because no one can see the pain on your body doesn't mean you don't feel it.
You don't cower when a hand comes towards you, and you aren't afraid of him pulling you close or feeling his hands on your skin.
He doesn't give you any cuts or bruises, black eyes or broken bones, and he's never made you feel fearful of him.
The only fear you ever felt was if you considered life without him. You love him, with your whole heart and you never felt the need to leave him, why would you?
You don't realize you're being abused.
But you are being abused.
Everyone sees a nice guy, the one that smiles for pictures on Facebook and is around during holidays to visit your family.
But looks can be deceiving. An arm with no bruises doesn't imply a heart with no scars.
No one sees what's said behind closed doors or when no one else is around, but you hear them, then and now you can still hear those cruel words coming out of that once posed-smiling mouth.
But it wasn't always that way. You fell in love with a guy, a sweet and gentle man, who fell in love with you also.
You fell in love with a person that your friends were fond of and your parents adored, one that put your life ahead of his own and always told you he loved you.
But it didn't stay that way.
Life can change in the blink of an eye and people stray from who they once were.
The loving words soon become scarce, long declarations of love become shorter and shorter, and less frequent until they disappeared completely.
You quiet your inner voice by convincing yourself that's just what happens when you've been together for a while. The honey moon period had to end some time, right?
He starts going out with his friends and drinking more. He pulls further and further away from you until he has you forever at an arm's length, and you desperately want him closer so you give him the space and you hope it's enough.
But the guy that once used to build you up starts doing things that tear you down.
The more drinks that go in the harsher the words that come out. Night after night you get told you're the worst girlfriend ever, that you're suffocating him, that he wants you to leave him alone. So you back off.
But it doesn't stop.
He tells you he hates you, that you're worthless and he doesn't know why he wasted time on you or why you're even together. He calls you a whore, slut, bitch, and a cunt.
He tells you that your life isn't even worth living. At first the comments make you mad, but the next day he says sorry and he didn't mean it and how much he loves you. And so you believe it.
You let every word sink deep into you, you let him cut you down, drag you through the dirt. He put your confidence in the trash, and you didn't even realize it. He made you feel so worthless and inadequate. You want it to stop.
But he keeps hurting you.
And he'll keep hurting you, unless you wake up and realize that you're in an abusive relationship.
No, he never hit you, he never left bruises on your skin.
But he causes you more pain than laying a finger on you ever could.
You don't realize you're being abused, but you are, and you can stop it.
You just have to walk away.