The mind of an abused woman is one that no one will ever completely understand. Unless they've been in that situation. And the reasons that these women stay with the men who have hurt them vary.

Janay Palmer is in an abusive relationship. I see it on her face in pictures and after seeing the video footage of her being assaulted by her husband in an elevator in Atlantic City, I know that this wasn't the first time that she had been struck by Ray Rice. Why? Because that was once me.

I haven't seen much in the media about Ray Rice's wife, and I'm worried about her. Yes, I've seen the reports that she asked the NFL to go lightly when penalizing Ray for the incident in question, and yes, she apologized for her role in the incident (as the Ravens tweeted, and have since deleted). And, as everyone keeps pointing out, she did marry him after the altercation. So, everything is fine, right? No. Everything is completely not fine.

There is no way that I will ever be convinced that this was an isolated incident. What kind of man drags his fiancee's limp body around like a rag doll (and SPITS ON HER)? An abusive one. A man who has most definitely done this before and will likely do it again.

I hope that I'm wrong about this whole thing. I hope that this really was an isolated incident. If that is the case, I hope that they can move past this. But, I don't think I'm wrong.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I was in the same situation. Granted, my fiance at the time wasn't a super famous, very successful football player, but the things that happened in our relationship were every bit as violent as I am convinced they are in Janay's. And to answer damn near every person's question ever, I stayed with him because after he would hurt me, he would apologize profusely. He would swear up and down that he would never do it again, and I believed him. I also believed all of the terrible things he said to me about how worthless I was and how lucky I was to have him - how lucky I was that he wanted me because no one else ever would.

There are those, I am sure, who believe that Janay married Rice because he's a super-famous and successful football player with lots of money and that he can give her the life she's always wanted. This isn't the life she's always wanted, but there are reasons that she remains in this relationship. Why we all do. At least for some time. She loves him.

And the love makes it hard. The love is partially why she apologized for "her role" in the incident that occurred in April. The other part of the reasoning behind that apology is likely that she does legitimately believe that part, or all, of the blame falls on her. When a man is abusing you, he will often tell you that his violent outbursts are your fault. Completely. That you need to keep from angering him. And after hearing it time and time again, you start to believe it. You did anger him, you did fight back. You did it. It was your fault. And you will often find yourself apologizing when it should, in fact, be him groveling at your feet and begging for your forgiveness.

"But Wendy," some of you are thinking, "she also asked the league to go easy on him. What's up with that?" Well, let me tell you. When you are in an abusive relationship, you learn to say and do whatever you can to keep the peace. That whole "I have to keep from angering him" thing extends beyond yourself and you will do what you can to manipulate outside factors to keep him calm. It's just easier (and safer) that way.

I hope that I'm wrong about this whole thing. I hope that this really was an isolated incident. If that is the case, I hope that they can move past this. But, I don't think I'm wrong.

I wish that I could call her up, talk to her. Find out for sure. Help her out if she needs it. Put her in contact with amazing groups like First Step who have a ton of programs to help out women who are victims of domestic abuse. But, I can't. And I may never know what happens to Janay Palmer. I just hope that she finds a way out.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact First Step's 24-Hour Confidential Crisis HotLine at 1-800-658-2683.