Reese Witherspoon recently revealed that when she was younger, she was in an abusive relationship.

During a new interview with Oprah Winfrey in her “SuperSoul Conversations,” a free series on iTunes and OWN, Winfrey interviewed actors Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling about difficult decisions they’ve made in the past.

Winfrey asked:

“What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to fulfill your destiny?”

Witherspoon admitted that she was in a psychologically and verbally abusive relationship when she was younger. She said that although she was young at the time, a line had been crossed and she was able to stand up for herself and leave the relationship.

She said:

“A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I knew it was going to be very difficult, but I just couldn’t go any further. It was profound and I was young, really young.”

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Witherspoon explained that she had to go through the challenge of being in an abusive relationship and to stand up for herself in order for her to gain confidence and self-respect.

She said:

“I could never be the person I am today. I was a different person too. It changed who I was on a cellular level — The fact that I stood up for myself.”

Witherspoon is generally seen as a confident and ambitious woman and actor, but she said that when she was a younger woman, she had low self-esteem. She said that she only became confident when her abusive partner threatened to take that confidence from her.

Witherspoon continued:

“I’m a different person now, and it’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious.’ Because someone tried to take that from me.”

Fox News reports that Witherspoon has been active in the “Time’s Up” movement, which, according to Insider, “aims to combat sexual harassment and systemic sexism in the workplace.”

Winfrey, Kaling, and Witherspoon all star together in Disney’s “A Wrinkle In Time,” which hits theaters on March 9.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse in a relationship, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

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