Rihanna: 'No One Can Understand'

2009 probably wasn't exactly the best year in Rihanna's life, but she's trying to end it on a high note. In addition to her new album and her new single, the singer has been named one of Glamour's Women of the Year.

In the new issue of the mag, Ri opens up about the night that everything changed for her – when an argument with her then-boyfriend Chris Brown ended with him violently beating her.

"It has taught me so much," Rihanna says of the assault and the media blitz that followed. "I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day. It was like, 'What, there are helicopters circling my house? There are 100 people in my cul-de-sac? What do you mean, I can’t go back home?'"

The pop star says she was deeply hurt by the leaked police photos of her badly bruised face. "That is not a photo you would show to anybody," she says. "I felt completely taken advantage of...like people were making it into a fun topic...and it's my life. I was disappointed, especially when I found out the photo was [supposedly leaked by] two women."

Though nine months have passed since the incident, Rihanna finds letting go of the hurt to be difficult – no matter how much support she receives from her family, friends and fans. "At some point," she admits, "you are there alone. It's a lonely place to be -- no one can understand."

But, as traumatizing as her assault was, Rihanna is able to see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel. "Domestic violence is a big secret," she says. "My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery. The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that."

Woman of the Year? Absolutely.

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