The 28 year old has spoken out about what it feels like to be abused by your partner, and not know how - or whether - to leave...
Lauren Mayberry, from the (amazing) band Chvrches, has spoken about experiencing emotional abuse at the hands of her ex boyfriend.
Writing for Lenny Letter, the 28 year old singer explains that she didn’t leave her partner – or tell anybody what was happening – because she didn’t feel like it counted as abuse, as he had never actually hurt her physically.
‘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),’ Lauren writes. ‘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.’
‘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.’
‘I must have known on some level that the situation wasn’t right. I deliberately hid a lot of the details from people close to me, discreetly covering up the cracks in the hopes that it was “just a phase” or with the misguided notion that I had somehow got myself into this mess and it was my job to get out of it. I told little white lies to hide his passive aggression (or obvious and outright aggression) from the outside world. “He didn’t come tonight because he’s busy” meant “He didn’t come tonight because he stormed out of my house earlier and has been sending me an abusive string of text messages since.” “What he means is …” became the standard beginning to far too many sentences used to excuse his actions.’
Like many women who experience abuse, Lauren grew up in a ‘great home’ with a ‘supportive family’ and a strong social life. She’s smart, ambitious, and a feminist. ‘I would have been the first person to tell a friend she needed to end that relationship if the roles had been reversed,’ she explains. ‘But I always made excuses [for my boyfriend] and didn’t view what was happening to me as “abuse” because he had never physically hurt me — only those few times where it seemed like he was hinting at it but then took it back.’
Now free from the relationship, Lauren is speaking out about her experiences because she wants people to realise that abuse comes in many forms – and one form is not worse, or more deserving of attention than another.
‘A relationship can be deeply damaging without anyone leaving marks on you. So many people — especially young women — end up trying to maintain those emotionally abusive relationships because we don’t think it’s that bad and that we are really some of the lucky ones because we haven’t experienced “real” abuse.’
Chvrches’ second album, Every Open Eye, is out now.