It's a feeling of being trapped. I want to do what's right, but I'm not clear on what that is. I should be, and sometimes I am, but mostly, I'm not.
Right now, I know it is the right thing to stay by my friend. I recognize that he needs a friend he can count on. I see that those people are few for him now. Right now, I think it's right. I think I would be wrong if I abandoned him now, not without some new information, some reason, to do so. If I just did it, it would not be right.
But, there are times when I think it might be wrong to show my friend I support him. This very moment is not one of those times, so it's hard to elaborate on that now. There are times when I feel like I shouldn't still be his friend, because he did do something wrong, something awful, and he deserves to pay the penalty for that. It would not be unreasonable if part of that penalty was losing my trust. It didn't happen that way.
I have no intention of leaving my friend to deal with this turn of his life on his own, even though I'm facing feelings of guilt in either direction. Sometimes, I feel guilty of not caring about the victims, and I show I don't care by not severing ties with my friend. But I do care, I care more than many people would, even more than the people who don't consider Monty a friend anymore for what he did. But, if I stepped away now, I'd feel guilty about abandoning Monty when he needed me and the comfort that our friendship provides. I couldn't do that to him now.
The truth, really, is that I can't do right by everyone. I can only do my best. It is impossible to please everyone. At this point, it means more to stand by my friend. It doesn't take away my feelings of guilt for not standing by the innocent strangers, but it is what makes me want to help my friend through this time. My friendship is not bestowed lightly. That is what I can hold on to, that's where my obligations are.
It wouldn't be a paradox if it was a simple thing.