When That Idiot Shawn went on, alternately, about how it was All His Fault for being such a Bad Person (and then never took steps to change it) and how it was All My Fault for getting him in trouble, and no one would have known about what he'd done if I hadn't called attention to it... that was probably time to tell him to get buggered, and then bug out myself.
You never, ever, ever make someone better by harming them. *Harm*, not hurt. You sometimes have to hurt someone to get their attention. Then the idea is to *heal*. Not harm.
Shawn's method of helping me with my mental issues was saying, "You're so nuts." His method of helping me overcome issues of social nonadjustment was to point out the offending behavior to me, rant about how it was bad, and then not speak to me until I stopped it.
I used to cringe and hide after saying things I thought might have been Wrong to say. I don't talk about things that are close to my heart with people who are close to me, because they'll use it against me. Every time someone tells me that we need to talk, I panic and try to figure out what I said that could be loosely construed as having been Wrong, and how to justify it so that it could have been an honest mistake and not my fault, because if it was my fault I'd be ostricised.
Darkside tells me the truth. We hurt each other sometimes, and when we do, we see how we can make it better, and work on how to not do it again. We explain what we mean. If we do something stupid, yeah, we screwed the fuck up, and we're probably in trouble. And he cares about me just the same, no matter what I've done.
There were nights when I was up crying about something, terrified that I was a perpetual fuckup. Over the phone, he hugged me and held me and let me know that I was a piece of work, all right, but we're none of us perfect. And he shared his own scars. And he showed me how you can move on. And he showed me how you kick ass. And he showed me how if he is ever a bitch to me, how to kick his ass. (garnetdagger
did, at one point.)
He's concerned about me if I do self-destructive things, and he gets frustrated with me -- not mad, frustrated -- if I don't stop. He reminds me that I know it's not good, so why am I doing it? He cares about me too much to see me doing bad things.
And I listen.
And I tell him to take care of himself.
And if there's anything uncomfortable we're talking about, he treats me carefully. He holds onto me, and he makes sure I'm all right, and if it hurts too much to talk about, he understands, and he lets me not talk about it. And because I know that, I can tell him anything but the things that would harm him, or the things that he's too sore to think about yet...