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Thread: Gut Kicked

  1. #21
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    The fact you were "gut kicked" says you'd badly misread his behavior. That's what needs to be examined.

    Maybe it's because you're awful at reading people, but my original suspicion was a medical condition that makes this guy unusually hard to read. Or maybe, as you suspect, the church attendance, help, and conciliatory letter were just investments he's outraged to discover aren't going to pay off.

    I can't empathize with someone sitting in jail lashing out at someone trying to help them. Something's seriously wrong there, way beyond my personal experience.

    Bipolar fits the bill, but so does entitlement.


    Maybe you just wanted him to be better than he is.

    That's the right mistake to make, considering the alternatives.
    I wouldn't say I'm "awful" at reading people, but I do readily admit that I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, often discovering I was too charitable. I'd rather err on that side, though, than write somebody off who legitimately needs help.

    Mind expounding on the entitlement angle a bit?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  2. #22
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I wouldn't say I'm "awful" at reading people ...
    I inserted that possibility just to knock it down.

    ... but I do readily admit that I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, often discovering I was too charitable. I'd rather err on that side, though, than write somebody off who legitimately needs help.
    I'm acutely conscious of how my expectations for my students affect their performance. Sometimes I overestimate. That never works out badly. Sometimes I underestimate, which leads to personal angst.

    Mind expounding on the entitlement angle a bit?
    I had to "separate" a student from a lecture this term due to some wildly inappropriate behavior in class. She argued not that I responded beyond continuing to hold the door "I paid for this course!" Your guy put all this work in developing a relationship with his pastor. "I paid for your support!"

    That's entitlement.

  3. #23
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    I inserted that possibility just to knock it down.



    I'm acutely conscious of how my expectations for my students affect their performance. Sometimes I overestimate. That never works out badly. Sometimes I underestimate, which leads to personal angst.



    I had to "separate" a student from a lecture this term due to some wildly inappropriate behavior in class. She argued not that I responded beyond continuing to hold the door "I paid for this course!" Your guy put all this work in developing a relationship with his pastor. "I paid for your support!"

    That's entitlement.

    Got it! Thanks

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  4. #24
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    OK, so I wrote him back before Christmas, and included good clear copies of letters 1 and 2. I asked him, in my letter, to read both or his own letters, and see if it doesn't sound like letter 1 was "please help me get out of jail", and letter 2 was "OK, so I'm stuck here, screw you". I asked him to ask himself - "could the same man have written both these letters?" (I told him that I wanted to believe that the second letter was written by a man who had had a very bad week, or a horrible day, and was lashing out accordingly)

    I also pointed out that I had always treated him with the respect he deserved, and I ALWAYS went to him face to face when there was a problem - none of this "go behind his back" stuff. (I may be rehashing some things here) In our last meeting in person, before he was remanded into custody, I thought we had actually come to terms on some things. We had talked for about 2 hours in my office.

    The next morning, he came to the Church when he knew I would not be there, and resigned his positions (he was our soundboard operator, and he and his family cleaned the Church) to my ministry coordinator. He didn't have the guts to tell me himself. I pointed that out in my letter - that I always treated him with respect - going to him man to man when there was a problem - but he didn't respect me the same way.

    I was pretty harsh - I figured since he already hates me, I would just be brutally honest and tell him how I felt. (That letter went through about 6 edits before I finally mailed it, because I wanted it to be "firm" but not angry)

    Today, I received an EIGHT PAGE handwritten letter from him, admitting he totally screwed up. He was, indeed, having a really bad week, and was quite angry. Apparently, the flash point that set him off was that one of our deacons - a guy 84 years old - took his wife to lunch to talk about how to deal with Jim. (As most of you know, I'm pretty adamant about not meeting with women without my wife or somebody else present, so in my opinion, this was an error of judgement on Bob's part, but that's another matter.) Jim wrote that he fears he will lose his wife while he's in jail. Apparently, they have had a pretty angry-at-times relationship. The thought of his wife having lunch with another man (old enough to be her grandfather) really set him off.

    Meanwhile, I think Jim expressed some heartfelt things in that letter that he never could have told me face to face. I think this is actually good - that he is having to write down his thoughts in letters. He, for example, admitted that he doesn't know how to pray, that he doesn't have a prayer life, and he can't figure out how to get one started. He admitted that he never prayed with his wife. He assured me that he believes in God, that he knows Jesus is the Son of God, but I think he's hinting that he never really accepted Christ as savior.

    Anyway - this is an update, and is quite encouraging. I realize it could be "another scam" - an attempt to get out of jail sooner by winning me over - but I think there were a lot of things he shared in this third letter that didn't need to be shared were that his goal.

    I'm erring on the side that this is one really really confused man battling serious anger problems, and is begging for help. He told me I was welcome to come visit him again, though he doubted I would do that. (leaving shortly )

    There's hope.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  5. #25
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    and still ing

    I'm always still in trouble again

    You're by far the worst poster on TWeb -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

  6. Amen mossrose, Teallaura amen'd this post.
  7. #26
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Anger and reason are total strangers that dislike each other at first sight. Which is why I totally get the 'set off by octogenarian taking out my wife' thing.

    ing

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