To the friend stuck in a bad relationship,

You are strong. You may believe you are weak, because you could not get out. I promise you that is not true. You were absorbed in a relationship that began as beautiful and evolved into quite the opposite. This is the person that you believed you would love or could even spend the rest of your life with. You put your all into this relationship. This relationship slowly began to eat away at you. The person, your person, slowly began to take away the best parts of you. Your friends rarely saw you and your family feels pushed to the side. They were not angry with you, they just did not want to see what they suspected, come true. They loved you more than you will ever understand.

At that point there were only small signs and omens of what was to come. They did not allow you to wear that new tank top you just bought because it was too revealing. Thank God they were nice enough to lend you that sweat shirt to cover up. This was not the basic jealousy; rather, they are beginning to control you. Soon they wanted to know where you were 24/7. The little time you spent with your family was be interrupted with text messages from them asking where you were. When you ignored these messages, you were greeted with calls from that angry person asking why you did not answer. These acts were not small and you should not have brushed them off because they just got worse. I watched this happen and I did not know what to do. Your family noticed your absences, both physically and psychologically. We noticed but you didn't want to hear it because you love them so much and they're your whole life.

You have now allowed them to control these aspects of your life and you feel past the point of no return. You cannot dress yourself and you cannot choose who to hangout with. They have not laid a hand on you and you are blind to the psychological abuse. The breaking point finally came and you finally started to see who this person was. Your family wanted you out, but you still loved them. They apologized profusely and promised it would never happen again. You believed them too because you were engrossed in your relationship. You continued to put that person above everyone who has ever loved you. It seemed hopeless, until you hit rock bottom and then you were done with them.

You are not alone. That is the most important fact to know. Your friends and family have always been here, waiting for you to be ready to listen to them. We have tried to help you and bring the signs to your attention. Even with the frustration, we still loved you and would wait until you were ready. We want to help you get out of this relationship, but it will be hard. You love that person, more than any of us will ever understand. Now you are ready for our help and we are still eager to give it to you. That person may have attempted to create a rift between you and us; however, we never left. Approximately 1.5 million young adults are subject to dating violence in the United States per year. Abuse does not discriminate by gender, social status, age, or race. It could happen to anyone and it is never the victim's fault. There are places designated to help, but you have to be open to that help. There are anonymous hotlines, and therapists. You could talk to a teacher, nurse, doctor, friend, or family member. The goal of each person is to keep you safe.

I did not feel like I could successfully intervene because no matter how hard everyone tried, you were still in love them. I love you so much and I saw you hit your lowest point. It is not your fault, nor was it ever. It was hard to see you go through that time in your life. Now you stand tall. You became a stronger person from that horrid experience. I learned a lot from you during that time in your life. I saw my best friend rise from the ashes and become one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I know you will never let anyone take advantage of you again and I will never let the same happen to me. You are an inspiration and I will always be there. Through the good and the bad, friends have each other’s backs. I saw you at your lowest and from there you are now at one of your highest points. I am proud of you and you should be proud of yourself.

Love,

The friend who never left