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Lily Collins Recalls Emotional Abuse She Faced in Past Relationship

Lily Collins Recalls Emotional Abuse She Faced in Past Relationship

Emily in Paris: How Lily Collins Prepared for That Big Singing Moment

Lily Collins is looking back on a dark time in her life.

The Emily in Paris star recalled the abuse she suffered in a relationship during her early 20s, sharing that it changed the way she carried herself at the time.

“My romantic, toxic relationship was a lot of verbal and emotional abuse and being made to feel very small,” she shared during the Feb. 6 episode of the We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle podcast. “I became quite silent and comfortable in silence and feeling like I had to make myself small to feel super safe.” 

Lily said her ex would use “awful words,” calling her “Little Lily” and “whore” as a way to bring her down.

Ultimately, according to the 33-year-old, her body started reacting to the relationship to a point where it made her physically ill.

“My skin was breaking out. I was having these panic attacks and I had kidney infections,” Lily explained. “All of these weird physical manifestations but I didn’t, at that time of my life, put the two and two together as your body is telling you, ‘This is not something you’re supposed to be in.'”

And though the Inheritance actress said a decade has passed since that relationship, she can still be triggered by it to this day. 

“Even if I’m in the most healthy relationship, there can be a moment that happens throughout the day where history comes back like that,” she said. “Your gut reacts, your heart drops and all of the sudden you’re taken back to that moment where they said that thing to you 10 years ago but you’re not in that situation now.” 

Noam Galai/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Lily added that her husband Charlie McDowell, who she wed in 2021, has been a big help in helping her navigate this reality: “I’ve had these moments in the past but never felt like I was in a safe enough space to show it in the moment or the person wasn’t as aware or knew me well enough to see that look and know somethings happened.” 

She continued, “When I’m in one of those moments, it is so clear to Charlie, who can read me like a book, and he calls it out in a moment. This is what healthy conversation and healthy communication can feel like. When someone can lovingly bring to your attention or call out something that doesn’t feel right or that they want to help you with, it may feel uncomfortable but it’s for the best.”

For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself or someone you love, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org/) or call 1-800-799-7233.

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