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She shares her story of surviving emotional abuse!

by Ana Lopez
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Lily Collins, who is 33, said the trauma of an emotionally abusive relationship she had in her early 20s is still with her.

This week, the “Emily in Paris” star took to the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast and told host Glennon Doyle that she often had panic attacks and severe anxiety. Collins said her ex-boyfriend, whose name she did not name, beat her down and insulted her.

Collins said, “My romantic toxic relationship consisted of a lot of verbal and emotional abuse and making me feel really small,” she went on to imitate her ex. “‘You should be Little Lily.’ He would use horrible words about me in terms of what I wore and would call me a whore.

“There were horrible words and then there were disparaging words,” said Collins. “I got pretty quiet and comfortable in silence and felt like I had to shrink myself down to feel super safe.”

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Collins played a character with anorexia in the 2017 movie “To the Bone.” Later that same year, she wrote a memoir in which she said she was anorexic in her twenties. She told People it felt like “my diary was being published.” She even wrote about her exes, and one of them still stands out.

“My skin broke out,” Collins told Doyle about the same ex-boyfriend. “I had these panic attacks and kidney infections… but I didn’t know two and two put together at that time of my life. As your body tells you, ‘This is not something you’re supposed to be in.’”

Collins said she is much happier now that she is married to director Charlie McDowell. They married in 2021. She told Doyle that sometimes her trauma “comes right back,” but she also said McDowell cares about her health and takes care of her when she needs it.

“When I’m in one of those moments, it’s so obvious to Charlie, who can read me like a book, and he calls it out in a heartbeat,” said Collins. “This is what healthy communication can feel like. If someone can help you lovingly… it may feel awkward, but it’s for the best.”

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