At 12:13 13/08/98 -0700, you wrote:
>I have been wracking my brains with this one, and although it is not BDSM
>related -

I some ways it is abuse of this kind happens in many types of relationships
and if in a bdsm one it is even harder to deal with.

>Is there ANYONE out there who can explain (a) what might be going on in her

As a former Lifeline counsellor I have come across this an unfortunate
number of times. Often the victim is in denial and further believes a lot
of the abuse is their fault. They bugged partner after a hard day...they
did not have dinner on the table when they should have... they dressed in
a revealing manner that caused jealousy....all mind games and brainwashing
by partner usually. They also lay the blame on 'things'...he had a little
too much too drink... his boss at work stressed him out... the general
pattern boils down to all is to blame but the one who is really to blame
that of course being the abuser.

This is not just because they are good at mind games but also because is
the victim admits it is the abuser at fault, it says to them I am also at
fault, I let it happen, I choose baddly, I have lousy judgement, I let it
continue. This is hard for the ego to take, sometimes harder than giving
up hope that the abuser will change and prove you weren't faulty in your
judgement. It is a very sad warped way of thinking of course.

>and (b) what on earth can Peter and I do.

As with most situations, you can not help someone until they truely wish
to be helped, and this is hard to read. You must learn to read between
the lines with them to know when they truely are ready to let go of the
fantasy that the abuser will change, until then nothing you do will
matter and you will just keep picking up the pieces.

>We feel almost 'let down'

Of course you feel let down, you have had all your help apparently thrown
back in your face. The victim does not see that though and pointing that
out can help to wake them up. It is all part of the screwy way an abused
victim sees the world, which is way help agencies get so tired and burnt
out - you help them and they throw it all away time and time again, you get
called out because they are being beaten to death get there and they abuse
you for trying to take their abuser away.....

>In frustrated tears

All I can say is one day she may finally take the steps and leave for good
and she will need all the help she can get. If you continue to help her
she is more likely to do this, as she has support unlike many.

Sorry there are no easy answers.

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