whirlwitch (whirlwitch) wrote in _survivors_,

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Reality Check, Please!

Hello, my name is Whirlwitch and I have boundary issues.

Back in February, I got into trouble for supplying information about someone to her girlfriend. I was trying to prevent an emotionally fragile person who had been abused before from getting entangled with someone known to be psychologically and physically abusive to her partners. In the resulting fallout, I was forced to accept that this wasn't a good thing to do. I have accepted that it wasn't my place to get involved in that situation. I acknowledged my mistake, apologized, committed to never doing it again, forgave myself, and tried to move on.

Here's the current issue: I only learned about the whole "physically abusive" bit after the abuser's previous live-in girlfriend had escaped, never to be heard from again, and I only knew about the psychological abuse a short while before this happened. I tried to reach out to the girlfriend a bit, but I was in an awkward situation there, because she was still living with her abuser, who was keeping her isolated as part of the abuse, and I was still trying to maintain good relations with the abuser.

I'm feeling a lot of guilt over the way things turned out, specifically feeling that I failed the previous girlfriend by not knowing what was going on and helping her sooner. She didn't think she could trust me - her abuser told her that everybody in our social circle hated her, and she believed it. The abuser also told a number of lies about her girlfriend, casting herself as the victim, and trying to get everyone to hate the girlfriend. I feel very bad for having believed these lies at first. I can't even apologize, because I can't reach the person in question. I'm also beating myself up for trying to be friends with the person telling them. The upshot is that I have this huge load of guilt and no way to atone for it.

On the other hand, this assumption that I failed someone by not personally being the one to save them sounds, to my logical brain, like another example of what my therapist calls my world-saver delusion. If you agree, could you maybe tell me that I am, in fact, being wrong-headed again and that I am not at fault because I couldn't stop something bad from happening? Just swat me upside the head or something. Gently, please.
Tags: boundaries, guilt, seeking opinions
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