The Bruises We Carry, The Bruises We Lay Down
Carrie Melissa Jones

This essay has several powerful moments, especially your observation that abuse comes “dressed as everything we’ve ever dreamed of,” and I think you’ve balanced the universal with the specific (in your own experience) very well.

In response to one of your comments below, learning about “gaslighting” helped me post-relationship, too— it’s amazing how effective it is as a manipulation technique until you’re able to name it. It has also helped me immeasurably, over the years, to read survivor accounts and realize again how small and ordinary my ex truly was: just another abusive partner, not special, powerful, or even original. Thank you so much for writing and sharing.