It’s been a rough week. I had therapy this week, and it’s the fourth session with my new therapist. I guess you could say I downgraded from a psychologist to a regular talk therapist. But I don’t think that’s really how it works. I was no longer benefiting from my old psych. She has helped me a lot with my anxiety but the therapist I’m seeing has a lot of experience with abusive relationships, romantic, platonic and familial. I felt transitioning to her was far more important as this is where a lot of my anxiety begins.
We decided to get into the “nitty-gritty,” and I’m feeling rather down. I understand that you have to muddy the waters to work through your own issues, but I’m feeling so torn. I struggle with boundaries, especially when it comes to others emotions and behaviors. I take it on to myself. I’m responsible for their actions and feelings regardless of if I have anything to do with it or not. If someone is hurt, I automatically feel guilty or bad for them. If someone treats me disrespectfully, I must have done something to cause it.
A friend who I pulled back from is hurting. I haven’t spoken to her in a while, and I feel the need to reach out. I feel guilty for pulling away as s/he was so mentally and emotionally draining to me. I feel like I abandoned her and may be I acted too selfishly. S/he wasn’t kind or respectful of me, my time or the boundaries I needed. I was often being yelled at or lashed out on. So I walked. Yet now, I’m confused. I’m confused on if I did the right thing, or if these hurtful situations occurred the way I truly remember them. May be s/he was right in the situation.
This is what my therapist wanted to get into and discuss…why my need to care for or help others is greater than my need to do so for myself. She doesn’t feel that I’m looking at the situation from a clear perspective, that I’m looking for faults to put on myself, a way to take responsibility for someone’s hurtful behavior. I’m struggling with if I should apologize, even if my departure was to put my well being first. After all, when you aren’t treated well, shouldn’t you walk away from the situation regardless of who the person is? When is it appropriate to end any form of relationship? And when should you not feel bad about it?
So this is what I’m fighting with. I’m unsure of if I’m doing the right thing. If someone is hurting and I can be there for them, but choose not to, doesn’t that make me a bad person? But, everyone says you have the right to be in positive relationships and prune those that aren’t. To me, these are contradictory ideas, and I don’t know how to walk this line. I’m confused and I feel like I’m hurting someone, purposely, by not being there for them.