Love is strange... for some, love is often filled with joy and laughter, other times it's laced with despair and lies. Many of us would agree that love should be patient -- should be kind... But what happens when what we thought was love, raises it's hand against us? Why does this love tear us to pieces? If love is good, why does it hurt so badly?

I'm talking about a kind of "love" that would destroy a wild flower, the kind that would cage a bird, the type of love that steals innocence away... Do you know this kind? Abusive "love." Abusive love is quiet, and it looks an awful lot like real love -- but there are silent rules, rules that must be followed... or else...rules that aren't open for discussion and which can't be shared with family or friends. Abusive love creates a sort of high. "Flowers after the beating," meaning after you have been beaten (abused), an apology (the flower) feels so much nicer than the flower could have otherwise felt. It is the "flowers" that convince an abused person that this thing called "love" is the source of their pain, rather than abuse being the source of their pain. Here is the thing about abuse: it is only an illusion of love, a beautiful(?) illusion that is built on a web of lies. For those with little self esteem and a whole awful lot of brokenness, this beautiful illusion becomes something we will settle for. After all, who would choose to face pain -- rather than "love", it's easier to convince ourselves that an abusive relationship is the real thing called love.