I'm afraid of several possible outcomes:
- he might just be overwhelmed and confused and hurt--it might feel like I had taken candy from a baby
- it might make him face the feelings he is avoiding facing and send him into deep depression
- it might drive him to paranoia
I worry particularly about that last alternative. He has never been someone who went very deeply into his own feelings and when I suggest he is avoiding certain issues (such as not responding when I say I am depressed) he feels I am criticizing him. He thinks I'm exaggerating how bad things are and he finds ways to make it my issue rather than his--for example, he says I take things over that he could still do because I am too sensitive about mistakes.
John admits he is having cognitive problems and he doesn't resist my taking things over. I'm lucky in that, and I don't want to endanger a relatively positive pattern by wanting to be open about my feelings.
I don't think there is a right answer; in the end I will have to trust my intuition.