It’s not to say they are a bad friend. Just a times I feel a little weighed down. We still have fun a lot of the time but other times its tricky.
I feel guilty for entertaining the idea of leaving because I’ve already invested so much and this person is damaged and put a lot of trust in me. It would break their heart a lot if i left. They have basically already hit rock bottom in life. I feel like me leaving would have a big impact. And the last thing i want to do is hurt someone again or fuck them up more.
When they get angry, it keeps me on edge. And I feel like I have to be very careful to not set them off more, so I conceal my own anger and act like im calm.
I also have this issue when i experience stressful situations or if i get anxious. I start to shake. I feel like its because of past trauma because i’ve dealt with a lot of stress but idk. Even mild stress makes me shake.
I still care about them a lot. But I wonder if its possible to love someone but still keep a distance.
I know you care about said person a lot. It truly is very very kind of you to do so. They are very lucky to have you. It truly seems to me like you are trying to be a good friend to them by respecting their feelings and boundaries. The issue is that in a good and healthy friendship this should go both ways.
This tells me that you care about the person very much but you also want to keep your distance because you dont feel comfortable around them at least some of the time. Healthy boundaries are important. It is totally possible to care about somebody but keep up enough boundaries to not get hurt a lot.
I want ask you about something. Why do you feel the need to distance yourself from the person. Does he hurt you somehow emotionally?
I echo @Ashwell saying that healthy boundaries are important.
Sometimes when it gets to a point where you feel guilty about how they react for setting boundaries it can start to encroach on a more manipulative or one sided relationship. If all that matters in the relationship is how they feel/ how you can make them feel, then perhaps distance is a good thing!
You can absolutely love someone and the friendship you’ve shared and set boundaries. How they react is on them, if they’re a truely good friend who cares just as much about you, then they may react instantly and then come to realise what the friendship really looked like. They’ll start to learn to move forward with you and learn what behaviour is acceptable for that to happen.
How has suppressing your own anxiety been impacting you?
Do you feel unsafe not being able to express yourself to “protect” someone else, or perhaps even annoyed that they don’t provide you with the same space you provide them?
What would you like to see happen?
You could start by writing down somethings that need to change and how you two can work to put that in practice. For example- them getting and expressing anger around you makes you feel anxious
When they start to feel angry, maybe they can tell you that and take time to find their own coping mechanisms to express that in a healthy way, but not around you. Then once they feel calmer they can discuss it with you if you’re comfortable.
Maybe they can start asking you in general if you feel in a good place to talk/vent ect to.
It’s hard work taking on someone else’s emotions, and you feel the impact. You have to make sure you’re safe too!
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