This is a guest post by Barbie
[Trigger Warning: detailed descriptions of rapes in an abusive relationship]
At the heights of our relationship, I loved him more than I can say. At the depths, I lost a sense of ownership over my body and feared for my life. As far as I knew then, love and abuse of any kind – emotional or physical – were supposed to be mutually exclusive. But as our relationship progressed, it increasingly involved elements of both love and violence, and I lived them side-by-side. My belief that the two could not coexist prevented me from acknowledging the abuse, and it stopped me from getting out.