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Trapped as the rescuer

Hello Tealers!

I'm in a deep dilemma regarding my relationship, and you could say i've reached a point where i feel desperate.


We met eight monts ago. She was 18, i was 23. I loved her from the beginning, we had a unique chemistry, the most harmonious relationship you could think of. In many ways she is the sweet girl from nextdoor, she's lighthearted, energetic and very child like. The three rows we had in eight months lasted about half an hour and ended in hugging after some tears. That is us. Many nights i helped her with trauma release, it felt good to put my knowledge in shadow work together with my love for her. I don't want to reveal much, but this girl was and still is deeply wounded. The intensity was unparalleled to what i've experienced. Many nights were something between holding her for a few hours in the most extreme pain, to flashbacks where she lost complete connection to reality. Part of why i needed to be with her was the aggravation that she used to be a cutter. Her pain was often so intense that i physically needed to hold her so she couldn't hurt herself. It was always hard to hold my ground in everything, beeing with her with all my consciousness, but i loved her. And it deepened our connection. I don't know if i consciously wanted it, but i became her rescuer.

Eight months later. I've lost my romantical feelings towards her and will soon break up with her. I still love her as my best friend. She feels like my little sister. I've reached a point in my life where i feel deeply depressive, pretty much a state in which i can only handle the basic necessities in my life. Shadow work gets super intense for me,  i'm getting really deep in my root traumas; life is okay but many days it's hard looking upwards to the light. And i feel like i can't help her. It is just too much. Problem is i am the only one who is there for her. Her parents are an alcoholic mum and a deeply narcistic dad. We had her in a clinic and she has a therapist, but nothing was of true help. Some days i'm sitting on my coach, between tears and raw desperation, and she writes me. Everything in me screams "NO. I can't do it!". She is not even beeing manipulative about it, she comes to me like an innocent crying child. And i take my phone and call her, calm her down and am there for her. And i know in these moments i leave my inner child and go over to hers. I feel so awful some days, but i know she is gonna cut herself if i'm not there for her. Or i rationalize "Her is pain is probably much more unbearable, i need to help her". When she leaves or i hang up the phone i usually cry for us both. Her darkness is additionally hard to hold up against in myself even though i try to lighten her up.

A long time i didn't want to admit it to myself but i feel resentful towards her, and it feels horrible because i still love her. I know i have a rescuer personality(helping yourself in others), but i also know that i truly want help her as a  friend. And i'm certain if i cut her off, she is going to fall into the darkness. We tried everything, the clinic experience was a disaster, and the many therapist were only of mild help. She needs a bear, and i'm a wounded wolf. She is deeply craving for someone to take care of her. Not that i could even do that, but i'm the last helping hand in her life. She also told me she has suicidal visions, but she promised she wouldn't do anything. We talk a lot, she understands me, sometimes when we say goodbye she supresses her feelings so it wouldn't bother me, and it breaks my heart. I don't know how to keep on going, it eats me up from inside. A big part of me wants to cut her off, another wants to help, it's tearing me apart. 

That was one novel, but maybe you could get something out of it. Thank you for your thoughts!

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I am sure that Teal must have a video on this topic.  Maybe something about codependent relationships?

Off the top of my head, you need to look after yourself first.  Meditate.  Work on your own growth and development and have a circle of friends.  Don't make this girl the center of your universe.  

Do her parents know she is cutting?  The alcohol mom and the narcissistic dad should damn well step up to the plate.  And mental health professionals have more tools to help than you do.   You're a nice guy and you can facilitate your friend getting the help she needs but she needs her parents and professional help.

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