How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Kate: That all makes sense about Jim. He and I used to be

Resolved Question:

That all makes sense about Jim. He and I used to be better friends, but never as close as he apparently has in his mind. He used to be funny. We would joke around and played basketball before (years ago) and golf a few times (with other people) and I did like him. Part of his inappropriateness was my fault. About 7-8 years ago, we were at choir and his wife wasn't there. We were talking about Crosby, stills & Nash, and I was talking about a song of theirs he hadn't ever heard. I had a cd in my car. So after choir, he came out to my car to listen to it. While we were sitting there, he said "it's obvious that there's a chemistry between us, and I just wanted to tell you that I would never act on it because I'm married. ". I was floored. He had totally misread things, because I was not attracted to him in the least. But I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I just said "uh, okay.". Then he got out of the car and I called p and was like "what the ...?" I thought it was funny, kind of, because he couldn't be further off-base. But I think the fact that I didn't tell him how it really was confirmed, in his mind, his thoughts. He didn't start being weird until a few years later. We used to have him and his wife over sometimes to play games and went to a few concerts together. But then he started getting weird and saying the inappropriate things. So maybe part of it is that we don't want to do things with them anymore and he senses we're not as good friends as we were. But we were never that good of friends. But he obviously thought we were. He used to do some weird stuff, too, like purposely make other people feel like p and I were doing stuff with them and a few others and excluding everyone else, even going as far as telling people they weren't part of the "elect." like we went to P's family's cabin in CO, and Jim and his wife, and another couple really wanted to go. So p invited both couples and another woman from Sunday school we reall like who was sitting there while we were talking. Anyone else would have been welcome. It's just that those are the ones who were there and they had specifically asked if we all could go up one weekend. It was no big deal. But Jim made it into a big deal and purposely told a lot of people and made it seem like we specifically excluded anyone else. It made people feel bad, and I thought it was very 7th grade when someone told me some time later, and it made me mad because it made p seem mean, and she's nice to everyone. Things started going downhill since then, and maybe he is feeling it and that's why he acts as he does. But I don't understand, because we were never that close. He has, in general, been very negative and angry the past few years. He just lost his mom in the fall, and I feel bad for him, so i don't want to add to his problems by having the pastor or c talk to him or really going off on him myself, but I also don't want to be around him. Plus, c said he has talked to him several times about a lot of this stuff, and Jim won't even consider he may be acting poorly and just gets mad. So it was probably my fault at the beginning because I should have told him his take on things was dead wrong. But all the same, he has become out of control. Sorry such a long story - I just wanted to explain that we actually were friends to an extent.

I actually feel a lot better about it today. I think yesterday I felt threatened, because he somewhat attacked both Jamie and Debra. Also, I do think I am sensitive because of what happened or because I am now dealing with it. I do get annoyed lately when men at church touch me. Hugs are okay, but I have felt more nervous about them, and men at my church hug a lot! I think I told you about the one man who pinches my cheeks and tells me how cute I am all the time. That sometimes bothers me, but he does it in front of his wife (who I love) and he's acting more like a dad - not sexual in any way. I think people at church, in general, think they know me because I am friendly and outgoing and because I used to be up front singing or aging drums every Sunday. That stuff just happens. Everyone knows my name and who I am, because I sing all the time by myself and am one of only 2 or 3 women up front on praise team each week. But we have like 800 members - I couldn't possibly know who they all are. I think everyone who is up front has the same thing. But to others, I think I seem more approachable (until we're in a small group or class or something, then I apparently seem otherwise). I don't know. Plus, everyone seems to think I'm a lot younger than I am. It is a nice chane hat so many people act parental towards me, and some people there are downright overprotective. Nice change from my childhood and it's nice to feel so loved and I've gotten used to it. But Jim is different. It's creepy.

I think you are right about the shows. Now, every once in a while, I will think, "That could be me," and it's disturbing. But looking at it more objectively, some of them weren't nearly as violent probably as mine, but the women still died. That feels weird to me. There seems to be a great deal Of strangling, though. Also, in all these shows, they catch the person(s). And it makes me feel bad for not reporting it. And you are also right - it seems so beat and simple and over when it's done. Not messy and hurtful and difficult to deal with. But the bottle thing the other night caught me off-guard. Also because she died from her
injuries - not from strangling or something. I don't think I really beliee I could have died. That doesn't seem real or true to me. How could it? I've been very much alive this whole time.

Well, need to flyer ready for work. I have court this morning, which should be fairly easy, but I have a bunch I need to get done, since I spent the weekend doing work on the house and not work work.

Talk to you later. :)

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


It is very telling that you feel to blame for what Jim assumes about your relationship with him. Although it is very common for people, especially women, to accept blame when someone acts out like Jim is doing, there may be an added guilt for you because of how you grew up.

Blaming yourself for how Jim acts because you did not make yourself clear when he first brought up how he felt about you is saying that you have some control over how Jim behaves. For one, when he was in your car with you and told you how he felt, he made it sound like you were aware of this "chemistry" as well. That is manipulation. It is putting feelings on you that he does not know you have, nor has he asked you if you have. It just assumes that you do. That takes some arrogance on his part to put those feelings on you without your consent.

Two, you did not react because you were caught off guard. In your mind, there was no relationship. Most people who are confronted with something shocking to them will pause to absorb the information. They also need time to process what they hear because it is new to them. They need to think about the facts and feelings of the situation- Is that true? Why does he feel that way? Do I feel that way? etc. You reacted totally naturally by just saying okay. It would have been unusual for you to respond with a whole speech about how you don't feel that way, especially since a relationship with Jim was not even on your radar.

Three, Jim manipulates. His behavior is proof of that. He assumes others feel things he wants them to, like the situation with you. He purposely berates people, he crosses boundaries socially, sexually and psychologically. He pits people against one another and he doesn't respect authority. He also has no insight into his own behavior so he is unwilling to change. Overall, the behaviors you mentioned describe someone with a personality disorder. If that is so, Jim is highly unlikely to ever change. And if he does have a personality disorder, taking responsibility for his behavior and blaming yourself is only hurting you. You will never be able to control what he does or reason with him. Your reaction to him will be the only way to deal with him. The more neutral you can be, the more you can avoid him the better. Try not to let him affect you emotionally. And use only certain phrases around him like "Sorry you feel that way" or "Thanks for letting me know. I need to go now". By setting strong boundaries, it will help keep a distance between you.

Those shows are a way for you to deal with what happened to you and process it in a distant way. Realizing that you could have died during the attack is very traumatizing, but important. By realizing how bad the attack was, you can deal with your feelings fully. But it does take time to get to that point. Most people need time to take such a realization on because it is so devastating. And although those women all had different types of attacks, realizing that you belong to their group is hard. You are just different because you survived. The key here is to not get stuck at this stage by seeing what happened to you at a distance.

I hope court goes well and you get all your work done!


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you