One of my friends has been needing emotional help, which, me being me, I've been providing as best as I can, of course. I don't mind in the *least*, this is something I absolutely love doing (though it'd be better if I didn't have to, but given that it's necessary, I will happily provide). But . . .
how can I know I'm helping? I mean, how can I *really* know? The last time there was someone who needed my help, who I thought was helping . . . I wasn't. Or maybe I was, I don't know that either. But after she stopped needing help, she left me saying that all I'd done was hurt her. How do I know that won't happen here? How do I know I won't be talking to her someday and she'll say, out of the blue, "oh, by the way, I realized recently that I hate you." (I may have gotten the wording wrong, but besides that, it's an actual quote.)
And I know the person I'm helping now will say that nothing like that will ever happen, that I am helping, that there's nothing to worry about . . . but that doesn't change the fact that that's exactly what I was told before. So I know my judgement is flawed here, and I know that you can't trust the person in question . . . so how do I know it won't work out the same way? How do I know that for all my good intentions, all my empathy due to going through similar things in my own life - how do I know that despite all that, I'm not doing more harm than good?
Sometimes I just want to give up and leave it to the professionals, except then I remember that the professionals aren't any better at it, and in most of the cases I've heard, worse. But . . . if I'm hurting also . . . maybe I *should* get out. I don't know. But how do I know that won't be even *worse*?
there's no way to solve this one, except muddle through as best I can and hope the same thing doesn't happen again.
Or if it does, at least hope I'll have helped out somehow before that . . .