In 1982, and to his good fortune, he met and married the most trustworthy person he could have ever met. For thirty-five years now, Colette has proven to be a true ally in every sense of the word. The two then had two children, and now have two grandchildren. Jim strives to create and perpetually nurture this amazing little family who, unlike his past family, practices unconditional love for each other, and gives gossip and lies no soil to grow in.
In 2008 the unthinkable happened. Jim's little sister, and lifelong supporter, died mysteriously and alone, during a particularly deep depression of her own. She had been talking with him about finding a medication or a therapist who could help, but she didn't live long enough to find either one. Her death tore him in half and completely changed his life. His big Catholic family fell apart. His grieving mother passed away a few minutes before that following Mother's day. PTSD, combined with dementia turned his father, a war veteran, into an angry, crazed old man.
By 2010, his world was a tornado. Two of his elder siblings had banded together around a series of lies they'd made up, and with the help of some cousins and his father, his own family bullied Jim to the point of suicide. But, on the second anniversary of his little sister's death, by some inexplicable coincidence, a serendipitously timed phone call came in and saved him literally minutes before he executed his plan. At the moment that he was rescued from his own suicide, he came to the stark conclusion that it was time to make the decision he'd been putting off for decades. To save his own life, he and his wife and children walked away. They completely isolated themselves from the rumors and lies and from anyone who would listen to them. His father, his siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and anyone who knew any of them--anyone who could be reached by the lies that were made up to hurt him. As radical a loss as this was, Jim and his wife and kids learned that abundant life grows among the ashes of destruction. For Jim, losing his enter family changed his direction only for the better.
When the trauma ends and the abuse stops, that's when the healing begins, but it's also when the ghosts begin to haunt.
In 2011, At fifty-one years old, and free from the lifelong shame of his family's judgements, the Bullies & Allies Series gushed freely from Jim's imagination onto the page. And even though the scenarios, the town and the characters are mostly made up as composites of people and places he's known or learned about, Jim's fictional story of someone else's life, family and trauma, addresses, head-on, the real issues of anyone who is living with the lifelong traumas from a confusing past. He discovered that there is almost no support in any public setting for non-military men who have PTSD. Jim learned that American novels and movies take audiences through horrific events, but don't adequately expose how traumatized the participants of those events eventually end up. Many other novels and movies begin post-trauma. They tell us that the characters are traumatized from past events, but we, the audience, just have to accept that. The writers never take us through the internal workings of the victims while those characters are developing their broken personalities. Bullies & Allies fills this critical gap in social understanding. Jim's readers are experiencing the trauma with his main character, Kyle, and will stay in Kyle's head while his PTSD symptoms are developing.
One reader said "I've always known that people who had difficult pasts had developed current day problems, but now I understand how they got from there to here."
Jim's healing has been the main focus of his life since he was twenty. He spent years working with hospitals to advocate for victims of childhood abuse, and by empathizing with others, he learned as much as he taught. For Jim, the healing didn't really get traction until he was fifty, and after he was able to remove himself completely from the abuse. Looking back on it, and then writing a fiction story, based mostly on his own life, but with the added information from others who've lived with similar traumas, Jim created a world that has been granting permission to his readers to explore their own traumas, and their own dysfunctional self-protections from the dysfunction of their own families and friends. Some readers have contacted Jim to thank him for putting his life on display in such a way that their own lives could be expressed into words that they can resonate with. Others have contacted him to report that they are now more able to empathize with their husbands, brothers and sons, who have been through similar pasts themselves.
Today, Jim, along with his wife and kids, have learned to value trustworthy honesty, and are enjoying a stronger, more grounded, and more successful life. Jim's theme is that once you learn how to trust the right people, you can then learn that we're all connected, and if we give love and respect, we receive it also. Once we build alliances we can trust, then we're all stronger together.
Jim Johnson has always lived in the greater Seattle area. The fourth of five children, he spent his early grammar school years in a Catholic school which, through mob-style bulling (Aggressive Isolationism), turned him suicidal by age twelve. Having no support from a dysfunctional family at home, Jim hid inside his imagination to find peace. He survived because he had some friends in the neighborhood, boys his own age, who didn't attend Catholic school, and therefore didn't know what sort of abuse he was dealing with on a daily basis. Between the friendship of those boys, and the undying love from his little sister, he held just enough grip on reality to survive the unfair mobbing treatment at Catholic school. But he survived with scars.
When ninth grade began, Jim went with his small group of neighborhood friends to public high school. To his shock and joy, he discovered that he was not what his former classmates had labeled him as. Here, he was likable, funny, caring, and intelligent. He soared from straight D grades to straight A in one beautiful transition. He quickly began making scores of lifelong friends, and today, in his late fifties, this trend continues.
If we all have our paths to follow, why do I keep following the SOCIO-paths?
But as an adult, Jim has worked hard to neurotically reinvent himself many times in search of that feeling of acceptance. From being an educator, to a public speaker, to a singer, and even to a stand up comedian, Jim eventually discovered that the mind-numbing effects of trauma don't simply end once you leave a life-threatening, traumatic situation. Jim discovered that even though he left the Mob-bullying, Mob-bullying didn't leave him. It took courage and hope to survive what he'd been through, but by not grasping that he was now a sufferer of civilian PTSD, Jim mistakenly believed he was born weak and crazy. No matter how incredible his life became, nor how many accomplishments he was able to conquer, he continued to suffer with crushing self-esteem issues. He lived with chronic nightmares, sleep disorders, trust issues, digestive issues, depression, self-esteem issues, suicidal behaviors, addictive tendencies, and what appeared to be bi-polar mood swings. Catholic school was finished, but for five decades, he continued to draw close to his family, despite their inability to support his neurotic personality. He was conditioned by the toxic environments he'd been raised in, both at home and at his first eight years of school. Jim trusted the people who said they loved him, even though their actions showed they were not on his side. Not fully understanding what unconditional love truly looked like, Jim became somewhat drawn into more toxic relationships that felt familiar.
The BULLIES & ALLIES Novel Series
Sexual Assault Victims Advocate:
- Crisis Line Intervention Volunteer
- Sexual Assault Victims' Advocate
- Crisis Intervention Guest Speaker on Mulitiple Sub-Topics:
- Support Group Organizer/Host:
- Adult Male Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Non-Offending Parents of Sexually Abused Children
- Non-Offending Parents of Ritual Abused Children
- Blog Articles on: Jamesfjohnsonblog.com
- Men Without Scars: Finding Support for PTSD in men who
never went to war
- I Dreamed I Was Alive: A brief theory on reality and spirituality
- Biting into the Shiny Red Apple: Surviving in the presence of sociopathic family or friends
- Novel series: Bullies & Allies, by James F Johnson
- Disaster Island
- The Goat Driver
- The Puzzled
- New Novel in-work: I Get Up Again
- How to support the victims of bullying and assault
- Success by Your Own Design
(U.S.Navy Professional Development Seminar)
- Aligning Your Funny-bone: Finding humor in a dry world.
- Champions Shape Their Change: The Richer, Fuller Life Project
- Performed during the 1990s and early 2000s in the Seattle area
Advocate for the Good People
- Survivor of many Anti-Social situations:
Sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissistic jerks
Bullies & Allies is a beautiful and realistic story of the destructive power of Bullying & the healing power of Friendship. It brings light to lifelong Trauma & to lifelong Healing
Paperbacks & Kindle books are available at Amazon.com
Kyle Rickett is young, attractive, energetic, intelligent and funny. So why is life so difficult for him? Why is he suddenly withdrawn, lonely and even suicidal?
At times the faces of Good and Evil are nearly identical
And if you're being bullied by the people you love, then your Bullies and your Allies are the same people. How do you deal with that?
Learning how to trust is not so easy when you aren't sure who is even on your side