CHVRCHES singer Lauren Mayberry has for some time now been outspoken about the rampant misogyny that she and other women in the public eye are subject to, and now she has opened up on an even more personal level, sharing her own experience of living in an abusive relationship.
In a gripping and deeply personal essay penned for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter series, Mayberry writes first hand about her past experiences with domestic violence, describing both the physical and emotional abuse she faced while describing how what seemed to her a healthy relationship at the start, slowly spiralled into an abusive one.
“At the time, it felt like things changed slowly, like I woke up one day in a relationship and a reality that I did not recognize, but I’m sure the signs were there the whole time,” reads an excerpt of the essay published by Stereogum.
In the emotional and powerful essay, Mayberry also details the “final wake-up call” she needed to leave the relationship.
“He hated me, but then he loved me and I was the best person in the world — until I wasn’t anymore.”
The full essay will be published in the new edition of the Lenny Letter, which is due to arrive later today.
Read the full excerpt here:
We were arguing, again. Like most times it happened, I wasn’t quite sure why he was so upset. I had tried to placate him; I had tried to reason; I had tried to apologize, but nothing seemed to be having any impact other than making the situation worse. Then he backed me against a wall and slammed his hand repeatedly on the surface above my head. When I broke down in shock, he said, “Oh, don’t act like I hit you.” That moment was the final wake-up call I shouldn’t have needed.
Things like this had happened before but to a lesser extent. 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). 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.
At the time, it felt like things changed slowly, like I woke up one day in a relationship and a reality that I did not recognize, but I’m sure the signs were there the whole time. 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.
CHVRCHES will be heading our way this summer as part of the Laneway Festival 2016 lineup, as well as their own headline sideshows.
For those needing assistance, 1800 Respect – the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service – can be reached on 1800 737 732. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
Watch: CHVRCHES – Leave A Trace