Oprah: At what point did you say, "You can't treat me like this anymore"?

Brandy: After he'd treated me that way about 20 times. I was like, "Okay—I'm stupid." That's when the voice kicks in and you know you've got to get out.

Oprah: Did part of you ever believe love is supposed to be painful?

Brandy: At the time, yes. You become a victim of pain. You start to unconsciously want it. It feels good when the person comes back and says, "I'm sorry—I will never treat you that way again." But then you accept the apology once, twice, and on and on.

Sonja: And someone has to bring that to your attention. During the second relationship, I bought her this book called The Verbally Abusive Relationship .

Brandy: Oprah, I have to go upstairs and get the book so I can show it to you.

[She leaves the room].

Oprah: Sonja, did you witness her being verbally abused?

Sonja: I strongly believe God has given me some type of antenna. It only takes me a few seconds to know whether someone is good or bad. Every guy Brandy has met, I would tell her right off the bat: "He's not the one." I got her this book because I knew she wasn't getting the message from me. I said, "Bran, we're gonna sit down and go through it together." [Brandy returns and shows Oprah a page in the book.]

Oprah: Here's a list of ways to know if you are being abused. "He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week, although you hadn't meant to upset him."

Brandy: Check!

Oprah: "You sometimes think, 'What's wrong with me? I shouldn't feel so bad.'" Did you feel that way?

Brandy: Yes!

Sonja: Every day I would ask her, "Did you finish that book?" When she finally finished it, she called me on the phone and said, "Mom, I'm being verbally abused."

Brandy: I was a victim! I felt like I was dealing with Satan—and yet I thought I loved him so much. He'd say things like, "You ain't nothing—you and your little castle."


Next Story