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Rihanna: It “Took a Lot of Strength” to Leave Abusive Chris Brown

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By continuing to speak out about Chris Brown's violent Feb. 8 attack, Rihanna says she is slowly moving past the ugly incident.

"It's relieving," the singer, 21, says in the January issue of GQ. "Because it was built up for so long, and all these thoughts and emotions have been running through my mind for the past eight months. And now it's like I finally get to let go and move on."

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Although she says doesn't like "talking about it" a lot, "every time I do, it's better; it's easier each time."

She says she finally decided to speak out about the incident because "I wanted to move on. And I knew that was the only way I could have done it. And I wanted people to move on with me. 'Cause the last big thing they know about me is That Night. And I don't want that to be what people define me as."

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Although pal Jay-Z gave her "advice and guidance," she says "nobody" helped her move past the incident.

"I didn't really want to be around anybody, for them to stare at me and stuff, and feel sorry for me. So I just — I stayed in the house a lot. Then I started to get cabin fever. I was like, I'm going crazy in here," says the singer, who just dropped her latest album, Rated R.

Returning to the studio was therapeutic, she says. 

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Looking back, Rihanna says the biggest lesson she learned is that "love is blind."

"It took a lot of strength to pull out of that relationship," she says. "To finally just officially cut it off. It was like night and day. It was two different worlds. It was the world I lived for two years, and then having the strength to say, 'I'm gonna step into my own world. Start over.'"

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She says the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional pain.

"The bruises fade away," she says. "But the thing that stays with you is the emotional scars."

Asked if she'll ever be friends with Brown again, she says, "Maybe in like ten years, you know? But it's not something that I'm depending on. I'm not depending on his friendship."

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Her message to women in abusive relationships?

"Stop blaming yourself for that outcome," she says. "There's nothing you can do, ever, to excuse a man's behavior like that."

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