Amy Schumer usually makes us laugh, but she gets candid about a number of serious topics, including an abusive relationship, in her new memoir, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo. She knows we think this can’t happen to us—we’re strong and independent. Schumer felt the same way, but she has a message for everyone: “It can happen to anyone. You’re not alone if it’s happening to you, and you’re not exempt if it hasn’t happened to you yet.”

In an excerpt originally published on E! Online, Schumer describes this chilling time in her life. Her story reminds us that relationship abuse is complicated and confusing, which makes it so difficult to break the cycle:

It proceeded to get worse and worse, and I started escaping the apartment whenever I could. I’d go to Starbucks, lock myself in the bathroom, and sit on the floor and cry. I knew I should go back to the East Coast, but I thought no one would ever love me as much as he did. I believed he was just as passionate about me as I was about him, and that if I did a better job of not making him mad, we’d be fine. I really felt he loved me. And I really loved him.

I think somewhere in the course of our relationship, I started to confuse his anger and aggression for passion and love. I actually started to think that real love was supposed to look like that. The more you yelled at each other, the more you loved each other. The more physical an demeaning it got, the more you were really getting through to each other. And the more I was willing to stand by him, the more he’d understand I truly loved him and that we should be together forever.