Hi, SeekerOfTruth. First off, let me say that I actually just now signed up on this forum solely because of this thread. I wandered in on a link from another forum discussing your thread and predicament, and I find that I just really want to voice some support for you, if you want it.
First off, I want to address the whole situation. You ARE in an abusive relationship with a person who is manipulating you badly. But something that others haven't yet said that might help you to understand it.... This is the hardest part of it, for me; something I still hurt over from an ex-husband who was also abusive. Your girlfriend does not, probably CANnot, understand that what she is doing IS, very clearly and without question, abuse (assuming all you've said here is truth, of course). She does not feel that she has abused you. It has never been her intent to abuse you. But she has, and unless she DOES understand and acknowledge that, she cannot stop abusing you. It will continue, almost certainly, and will likely get worse slowly over time. Her point in her letter about behavior needing to be intentionally harmful to "qualify" as abuse is false. An abuser might not have that intent. She can tell you that 'til she's blue in the face, but it won't change the fact that she has manipulated you, set you up for failure, HIT you(!!), threatened you, blackmailed you emotionally....
Just because she wasn't thinking "I want to hurt Seeker by doing X, Y, and Z" doesn't change the fact that she DID hurt you. And she isn't even remorseful in her letter; she justifies and reasons away every manipulative action by saying it was okay for her to do because of her emotions. It is NOT okay. Try to separate yourself from the situation and re-read the letter in the context of someone else writing to a boyfriend, rather than from her to you. See if you can then understand the very manipulative, controlling mind behind that letter. Even though she doesn't INTEND to manipulate and control, IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT SHE IS DOING SO. Pay special attention to where she is telling you not to talk to your family or friends, and how if you DO talk to your family, she will have consequences for you. And then she tells you that she'll never tell you not to talk to your family. Another thing in the letter that irked me was that she chastised you for anonymously seeking help from anonymous folks on the web because she claimed it compromised her security somehow, but thought it fine of her to share the situation with other folks directly in her social network who might know you. And then she offered you HER FRIENDS to talk to, INSTEAD of your own; not in addition, but instead. I could go on, but I won't; I have other points to make still.
Next, I want to address your question about what needs to happen if the relationship is to continue. *Short and simple:
-She needs to stop manipulating you and controlling you through abuse.
-You need to define your own boundaries, and define what rules are acceptable in your relationship(s). I, personally, won't allow someone to dictate who I can and cannot date.
-She needs to define her boundaries. If any of them violate your boundaries (e.g., for me, if I were not permitted to choose who to date and when), then STOP, and go your separate ways. DO NOT let anyone violate your boundaries.
-You both should probably seek counselling, together AND separately, with councellor(s) not affiliated with either of your social networks (for example, don't take counselling from her friends or mentors; seek someone NOT attached to your situation).
Lastly, I want to address your most recent post. It's interesting to me that you used the term "get out" instead of "leave" or "break up".... This just feels like you're realizing your relationship is something to be escaped rather than ended. That's scary, huh? Or I'm putting too much into semantics, and my apologies, if so.
About HOW to end it, if that's what you choose.... Do it in a manner that will allow you to feel and be safe. If you will feel and be safe doing it in person, then that's most respectful. Just DON'T put yourself at risk of further abuse, physical or otherwise. Do it fast, like pulling off a band-aid.
Were it me, I'd reference her letter and state that if she honestly feels and believes that her behavior and letter have not been abusive, then there is no point in continuing the relationship, despite the love involved. Love alone is not enough to make a healthy relationship; both parties deserve respect and humane treatment, and these are absent.
As someone above said, I would cease all contact with her, though it'd hurt horribly. I feel it'd be necessary despite the pain of absence.
If you do end it, seek the counsel of the people close to you. Let them help you through this painful time. Get out; do stuff. And sort out your own feelings and experiences. Love yourself; you deserve it.
Last edited by ViableAlternative; 06-13-2010 at 11:17 PM.