It will be simple at first, as all loves are.
It will be easy, relieving almost, because a girl that has been abused will love independence as much as she loves you. When a girl has been abused, she doesn’t cling onto others, and maybe this will be refreshing to you, to find someone who doesn’t wrap themselves around you so tightly you can’t breathe.
But that independence will become lonely, as you’ll discover pieces of her life that are missing.
You’ll talk about your families and your friends and all of the years played in the sandbox as a child, but you might be missing information about the years in-between, or the family members left unmentioned, or the friends that suddenly disappeared from her life. It won’t seem all that strange at first, as you can’t expect to know the entire detailed life of someone as you are first getting to know them.
But a girl who has been abused will deliberately leave these details out. She knows what questions will be asked, and she knows how to avoid them. She knows how to reroute the conversation to be about you and not about those missing people in her life. She’s been doing this for years since the abuse, so much that it is almost a ritual with any new relationship.
And if you love her, you will want to know.
And if she loves you, she may not want you to know.
To love a girl who has been abused means knowing when the right time to learn about her abuse, and when the wrong time to ask questions is. A girl who has been abused will want you to know, so badly, because she doesn’t want you to think any of the obscure habits she has, such as avoiding conversations or suddenly pulling away from you in the middle of the night, to seem strange.
She doesn’t want you to think that she isn’t attracted to you, because I assure you she is, but what she doesn’t find attractive is the terrors she has in the heat of the moment that bring back flashbacks of abuse.
She wants you to know, but she doesn’t want you to leave.
To love a girl who has been abused means giving her time. A girl who has been abused will stop hinting if she trusts you and start slowly telling you.
It will not be all at once.
She will tell you as she learns more about you. She will tell you when she feels comfortable with you, when she knows that you won’t leave her or hurt the same ways her abusers have.
A girl who has been abused is insanely protective of herself, and if you love her, you will respect this.
It will not be easy.
Because the more you fall in love with a girl who has been abused, you will learn her triggers. You will learn the ways you can’t touch her or the conversations you have to refrain from in order to allow her to stay at peace with an abusive past. Any girl who has been abused will know her triggers and if you ring them, she will leave you.
Do not leave her.
She is so, so worth loving, even though she will most likely never believe that.
Even though she is difficult, and exhausting, and it may feel like digging through an encyclopedia just to learn anything about her, when she loves you, she will love you like no one else has or will.
She does not casually give her love anymore.
To love a girl who has been abused means loving both her present and her past, and instead of overlooking her tragedies, you find a way to embrace her as an entire story.