I know this girl who was married ten years to a guy who was so jealous that when they went out in public she was afraid to look other people in the face. She just kept her eyes to the floor until it was time for them to go home.
A friend comes over, she has a black eye. "It was an accident," she says. "We were fighting and his hand bumped into my face. He was mad because I danced with this gay friend of mine last night... he doesn't like to dance, but he doesn't want me to dance without him... he's so jealous! But so amazing in bed..."
Call from another friend: "Oh shit I told him I was going to the deli and now I'm on this public phone talking to you and I didn't tell him I'd be calling you, I've gotta go he's gonna kill me!"
These anecdotes fill me with indignation and disgust, but the fact is I'm guilty too. I censored & belittled myself; bartered my dignity little by little just so some petty tyrant would keep loving me.
In 2009 I wished for a new year's sword: I wielded it to sever toxic friendships. This year I used it to behead that weak, cowardly, self-abasing woman inside me who used to go begging for love in all the wrong places...