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Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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I work for a woman that when she explains things she uses past

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I work for a woman that when she explains things she uses past examples of things I said that were just simple questions. Like I once wondered why the Pastor looked at me kind of funny once and she said she did that to her before when the Pastor is busy. So today this woman was explaining something to me because I asked why I always have to redo everything and while she was explaining she told me not to put any emotion in it or perceive something that wasn't there like when I asked about the pastor look.

She does a Tit for Tat kinda thing also and I am wondering how I can explain to her what she is doing to me when she acts this way with me all the time. She also suffers from PTSD from being in Afghanistan. She was a Capt there and injured and returned home. She has started this Ministry
for Veterans and I volunteer.

Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.


You are in a bit of a tough spot, as she started this Ministry that you volunteer at. As the boss, she has a right to establish how things will be done.


On the other hand, you are volunteering your time, and would like to be treated with respect. As you note, she has some psychological trauma from her wartime experiences. As a captain, she is used to being in charge and giving feedback in a very direct way to fellow soldiers.


She may think she is just giving you examples to illustrate what she's trying to tell you. But this seems to put you on the defensive and it feels like she's doing a tit for tat. You may just have two very different ways of communicating.


If you have already expressed that you don't think those illustrations are helpful, but she continues, you can do either of two things:


1. Decide to turn the other cheek, as she most likely does not do it to hurt you, but out of habit from being an officer. I doubt that she will be able to change her communication style to accommodate you. Unless you feel she has some reason to want to hurt you, this is probably just how she is. Some people actually like being given examples, but it's not for everyone. Sometimes women in the military feel they have to be tougher to prove their equality to the men...and these habits are hard to break, even though she doesn't have to prove anything to you.


2. See if there is another ministry whee you can volunteer, where the communication style is more comfortable for you. You deserve to be treated well as a volunteer who is giving up her time to help.It would be kind to try to find someone to take your place so that her ministry and its good works can continue if you decide to leave.


I'm sorry your attempt to do good has turned so unpleasant for you, but I'm sure there are other charities in town that will welcome you with open arms!

Best wishes,




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I volunteer full time and have already expressed that it would be good business to train someone else in my position. I am 66 and really could work less but I would not leave her without someone else to assist. She and I have been looking, however, she doesn't know that I want to leave permanently. If I told her she wouldn't understand and she would try to talk me out of it. This is going to take some time to find someone who can volunteer full time but I am trying to work on the concept of "job sharing" so I can train someone and also not work as much. I think this will help everyone all the way around, but in the meantime "the Capt" is wearing me down. Thank you for your time and if you have any further insite for this dilemma, please "shoot" it my way.

Your reply made me laugh!


Can you think of a way to put your sense of humor to work on her? Like teasing her by coming up with absurd examples when she starts in? Sometimes humor will work when a sledge hammer can't make a dent...


The job share idea is a really good one, and will have the added benefit of putting a buffer in the room between the two of you while you are training the new person. There are some internet sites specifically for finding's a few links:


I'll just send them, rather than shoot them to've had enough practice being a target ;-)

Best regards,


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