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Parlante Writes:


Recently, a man that I considered a friend and admired a lot was arrested for murder. I knew him because he was a member of our choir. We are all close and have traveled together. This is the last person in my life who I would think was capable of such a crime. (He confessed.) I also knew the elderly victim since she had come along on an overseas trip with us. I think I could cope except that he killed her last November and put her in a chest freezer where she wasn’t discovered until a couple of weeks ago. I saw him many times at rehearsals, chatted, hugged, etc. as always and there was no inkling that anything was wrong. I can’t put this out of my mind. After the initial couple of days of being in shock, I have been very depressed. I feel confusion and self-doubt, even though virtually everyone who knew him liked him a lot. I just can’t reconcile this gregarious, extremely generous, affectionate person doing such a heinous thing. I find myself actually worrying about him being in a dirty jail with no privacy although my mind tells me that is where he should be. He took care of this woman for many years like a son although they weren’t kin. She was wealthy and the police cite greed as motive, but I can’t make that fit with the person I knew. Scenarios keep going around in my head, but the only one that makes a little sense is that he was a person who couldn’t say no, and she used and abused him until he took a crazy way out. He apparently did spend her money (she was a multi-millionairess), but he had several businesses and apparent money of his own, as well as having a lot of access to her money when she was alive. I don’t know why this is so painful for me. I try to stay busy to keep it out of my head, but it is just consuming me. I’ve tried talking about it, even to a psychiatrist. What can I do to resolve all of these conflicting and overwhelming feelings?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Many times we look for fairness when there is none. It is human nature to believe in a just world. Believing people get what they deserve comforts us. Unfortunately this is not always the case. You can’t let this situation make you stop trusting others. Understand that you must trust people in order to develop healthy relationships. Don’t let this one exception change your entire outlook on life. This person’s behavior was definitely an exception to the rule. Sometimes people do things that don’t make sense to us. Don’t waste your time dwelling on a situation that can’t be changed. If anything, this experience will make you see things in a whole new perspective. Good luck to you, – Anne

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