On my good day (you'll notice that I only mention one good day) I had a realization, with the help of friends.
In recovery I always hear the phrase "feelings are not facts." This phrase is helpful to me when I find myself in a funk, and I can use it as a reminder. When I feel like I'm alone. When I feel like a failure. When I feel hopeless. When I feel like life is just too hard. I can remind myself that these are feelings, and they are not facts. This doesn't mean that they don't feel very real to me or that they cease to be painful, but that they aren't my truth. And then I can sort through them, find truth, and cling to it.
Well I realized that Pete's feelings aren't facts either. The things he shared with me are the way he feels, not actual reality. But his feelings are as real to him as mine are to me. I can look at his feelings and see how they are not true- he feels like I assault his character. He feels like my behavior is making his life miserable. And I can take comfort that his feelings aren't facts. What I can't do, is convince him that his feelings aren't based in truth. I can't take responsibility for it, and I can't even do it out of love. He has to sort through his feelings on his own, and figure out where truth is, and then cling to it.
Pete's feelings are very real to him. This doesn't mean they are true. And it doesn't mean they aren't going to be hurtful to me.