Being in love hit different when you know who you are, and Tyra Banks learned this at the hands of an emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. Sometimes words can hurt just as bad (or worse) than sticks and stones, and the supermodel says she didn't come to this realization until she experienced the trauma of being with a verbally abusive partner firsthand.
In a recent episode of TV One's Uncensored, the 45-year-old supermodel opened up about how a toxic relationship in her 20s turned her into a person that she no longer recognized. She explained:
"I remember being kind of judgmental for women that were in bad relationships. And I'm just like, 'Get out. Come on, like what are you doing, leave him, I don't get it.' Until I experienced it myself. I was in a relationship for many years, and we probably broke up fourteen/fifteen times."
I once read that the amount of abuse you tolerate from others is indicative of the abuse you tolerate from yourself and I see no lies. Tyra says that while her ex caused a great deal of trauma in her life, she realized that her emotional wound was much deeper than her current relationship, it was a reflection of her self-esteem:
"There were things that he said and made me feel like, I couldn't leave, or if I left I had to go back. He told me that that is what he does. That he knows how to break a woman down. And it took so many different friends and family for me to finally say goodbye to him."
From the outside, looking in, even the most turbulent storms in a relationship can go unnoticed. But anyone who has ever endured verbal abuse by a loved one knows that emotional wounds don't have physical scars. In 2009, when Tyra opened up to Oprah about the relationship, she said that this was especially true:
"He never hit me, but I would say there were blows to my spirit, blows to my emotional well-being every day."
"He was a master at being able to be happy and nice to everybody else but whispering these negative things to me. I'd start complaining to my friends, and they're like: 'Well, he's fine, girl. He's fine with us. Everything's fine.'"
It wasn't until one day when Tyra had a moment alone that she realized that she deserved way more than she was requiring and made the brave decision to walk away.
"I walked to the mirror in his bathroom. He wasn't there. Out loud, I looked in that mirror and I said: 'Tyra, who are you? What the hell are you doing? Get out of here.'"
With the help of close friends and of course, her mama, Tyra was able to walk away from a relationship that didn't make her happy and became a woman who does.
Check out the full clip below!
Tyra on abusive relationships (EXCLUSIVE) youtu.be
Featured image by Instagram/@tyrabanks.