thepalmofhishand

What in the World is God up to?

Month: February, 2013

Morning Epiphany…

I was praying today, asking God to forgive me for my struggle to believe He loves me unconditionally, when I suddenly realized that the root of the problem goes deeper than that.  I’m scared of Him.

My therapist and I have worked through some of the lies my childhood told me about who God was and what I was.  But not this issue…and it’s a biggy.  I’m scared of God–always waiting for a punch in the stomach or a picture of an 0pen-mouthed shark in my bed.

Scared of God…what an oxymoron in light of this verse:

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

If you’re reading this, please pray for me.

Blessings.

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Anger Lists…part deux

On Monday, my therapist and I talked about some of the people on my anger list.  He was one of them, so we rummaged around that for a while and got him off the list. (I’m not sure he should have been there, but he wanted to work through it anyway).

Tomorrow, I will talk with him about my anger with God.  Yeah, it’s scary to even say that I’m angry with God, but the fact is I am, so I’d better confront it and move on.  I’m angry that He didn’t keep me from being abused.  That abuse created this borderline personality disorder and all the charming aspects that go with it.  I’m angry that He didn’t make my parents more aware of the trauma I was going through with the abuse and the loneliness of going to four different elementary schools in six years….all in the same town.  I’m the only kid in the family that didn’t go to grades 1-6 at the same school.

I’m angry that He didn’t keep my husband from seeing porn at an early age and it becoming an escape for him from the pain of his childhood.  I’m angry that He didn’t make me realize how bad my husband’s porn addiction had become.

I’ve posted previously that one of the lovely little foibles of BPD is a deep sense of being unlovable, which majorly impacts my relationship with God. Being angry with God means (to me) that He’s ticked that I have the nerve to be angry and question Him.  And if He’s ticked at me, who knows what might happen.

Yet, I’ve read enough scripture to know that God is not a score keeper or someone who scrutinizes my every thought, word and deed in order to ‘zap’ me when I screw up.  Don’t get me started on how many people have told me repeatedly that God loves me unconditionally.   Today, I came home and got on my knees to beg God to heal me from this agonizing strand of my disorder.  It is so painful that there have been times when I have asked Him to just kill me so I’ll quit hurting.

I want beauty from ashes for me, and my husband.  We are flawed, screwed up people who are desperately trying to put our lives and life back together, and right now, it feels like that won’t ever happen.  God seems mighty far away, and my heart fears that He’s staying away because I’m angry with Him…a mere human having the unmitigated gall to be angry with the Creator.

Pray for me.

Blessings

I Got Nothing…

I’m defeated today.  I got nothing of my own to say.  So I have borrowed the words to the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North to speak for me.

I’m tired, I’m worn

My heart is heavy

From the work it takes to keep on breathing

I’ve made mistakes

I’ve let my hope fail

My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world

And I know that You can give me rest

So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win

Let me know the struggle ends

That You can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.

I wanna know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up

But I’m too weak

Life just won’t let up

And I know that You can give me rest

So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win

Let me know the struggle ends

That You can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.

I wanna know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin

And I’m worn

Even before the day begins

I’m worn

I’ve lost my will to fight

I’m worn

Heaven come and flood my eyes.

Cause I’m worn

I’m worn

I’m so Conflicted

I absolutely do not know what to do with my borderline personality diagnosis.  I had found the local chapter of National Alliance of Mental Illnesses and was going to go to a meeting tonight.  But after talking to my therapist today, I’ve had second thoughts.  He told me that I shouldn’t  Google BPD because so much stuff on the web is the worst case scenario.

I felt dull-witted in therapy today.  It’s gray, cold and raining, which really does not help, but I also had a good weekend and it seems I can’t have good days without paying for it with a bad one.  I should be happy that I actually had a really great day and a fairly good day back-to-back because usually if I have a great day, the next day will be horrible.I don’t know why that is.  Well, that’s not entirely true; it’s quite normal for me to feel guilty about feeling good.

I’m absolutely worn out.  In the past eight months, my life has been turned upside down and dumped on its head.  My husband was arrested for harassment and the video was shown on all the local stations.  He lost his job and hasn’t been able to find another one. (This town in the Bible belt really doesn’t believe in redemption.) I was suddenly the wife of a recovering porn addict.  We started therapy, then he went to a therapist that works with sex addicts, among other disorders,  then I went to the same therapist for us to do some counseling together to help manage his addiction.  Little did I know that the therapist and my husband had figured out that my quirks weren’t quirks; they were characteristics of a borderline personality disorder.  So I have been in private therapy sessions for that.

I am a borderline woman who is the wife of a porn addict, and we’re staring down the barrel of financial ruin.

Can you imagine how much praying I have done in the last eight months?  More than all the rest of my 56 years put together.  My husband is doing so well with his therapy and his 12-step program.  He has learned a great deal about how to manage his addiction and the problems in his life that he had used porn to escape from.  I feel like he is way down the road from me.  He doesn’t wonder if God loves him.  Of course he has days when he’s down because he can’t find a job, but he doesn’t doubt God loves him.

And here I am.  Still reeling over the trauma of the arrest and loss of job, and now, I have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder to deal with.  It’s a nasty disorder because one of the hallmarks of the condition is that I feel unlovable and unworthy of being loved.  I live in basically a black and white world.  Someone either likes me or they really don’t like me.  This is all a defense mechanism from a time long ago when I continually felt unsafe and unimportant.  That’s a nice way of saying I was abused, sexually, physically and emotionally.  And, no, it wasn’t my parents.

I got on my knees to pray today, but I don’t know what to pray for anymore.  How many times can I ask God to heal me from the worst aspect of this disorder?  How many times can I ask Him to provide a job for my husband?  How many times can I ask if the promises are true?

I’m tired.  I wonder if I will ever have a good week again the rest of my life.  I wonder if there will ever be a morning when I don’t dread getting out of bed.  I wonder if I am doomed to live in this limbo world of “God might love me if I do things right.”  The stupid thing about that is if someone else were to ask me if God loved them and what works they needed to do to earn God’s love, I would tell them, “Of course God loves you.  You can do nothing to make Him love you more or less.  Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to bring us into a one-on-one relationship with God.”

But I can’t make myself believe that is true for me.  Being a borderline is torture.

To Tell…or Not to Tell

I can’t decide whether or not to tell my family of origin about being a borderline.  I’ve told my youngest sister, but no one else.  I’ve told some friends, but don’t think I’ll be telling any more.

When my BPD symptoms were at their worst, I, my husband and kids lived overseas and so my family of origin didn’t see much of my borderline behaviour.  They saw some, but they never knew about the gaping hole in my soul that made me hate myself and convinced me that God didn’t like me, either.  They didn’t know very much about the depression.  I don’t much talk to any of my siblings these days; haven’t for the last few years.

I keep reading how much stigma there is to letting it be known that I’m a borderline.  Now I find that a little strange because I read a ton and I’d never heard of BPD before this summer, or if I had, it didn’t register and I didn’t know the characteristics of it.  I’m thinking of renaming it Beelzebub’s Perverse Delight because, as a Christian, this disorder is especially frustrating because satan doesn’t have to work very hard to make me feel like crap–unlovable and unworthy by human standards or God’s.  I think my despair over not being able to make myself believe that God loves me unconditionally is the worst aspect of being a borderline.

Today, I asked my husband how many times in a day he wonders if God loves him.  He said zero.  He doesn’t wonder about God’s love.  Do you know how that just eats me up inside?!  I wonder if God really loves me numerous times every stinking day.  And, yes, I know how many times in scripture it says God loves me.  I read those verses over and over.  But another borderline will know just what I mean when I say I cannot make myself believe that in a real way.  We don’t feel deserving of love and there is a dark, scary place inside us that never seems to go away.  It’s horrible.

Wow, I’ve strayed from my starting point.  To make a long story short (yeah, I know; too late), trying to explain how this disorder affects me is painful to talk about and so I don’t want to try to make people understand what it is and how it cripples me.  I know that’s the coward’s way out, but I’ve got enough on my plate right now.

Before I was diagnosed, on the really bad days, I would tell my husband that I felt like I was demon-possessed.   The diagnosis helped me feel less nuts, but what I’d give for a 24-hour break from wondering if God loves me unconditionally.

Today’s my Birthday…BPD, another gift that keeps on giving.

My title sounds a little pessimistic, doesn’t it?  I don’t mean it to be; it’s just that I don’t know what to do with this diagnosis.  It feels like something in me has changed because I now know where the dark nights of my soul come from.

It’s my birthday.  My husband invited a couple over to eat with us tonight.  The wife is the good friend that I sent an email about discovering that I was a borderline, and then didn’t hear a peep out of her–still haven’t.  So I’m apprehensive about them being here because I don’t think she really wanted to be, but didn’t know how to say no.  How’s that for borderline thinking?  I oughta get 9 out of 10 for that little gem.

Our money is very tight right now (my husband still doesn’t have a job), but he asked if he could buy me a gift and I gave him a limit on how much he could spend.  I opened it today and couldn’t quite figure it out for a second.  It was a set of sweats (we really enjoy getting into “comfy” clothes in the late afternoon.  I looked at him and he said, “They’re gray.”  I laughed out loud.  Can’t think how many times he or my therapist have told me there are shades of gray between black and white.

I’ve been begging God to tell me what I’m supposed to do with my knowledge and the recovery process. (Don’t tell my therapist; he told me I couldn’t pray for myself for a month, but I cheated because it’s my darn birthday).  It just feels like I should be doing something.

The number of people out there who are gut-wrenchingly suffering with BPD makes my heart ache.  I’m going to my first local NAMI meeting Monday night.  Maybe I will find a way to plug in there.

As “enlightened” as we are in this country, there are too many suicides, people who are suffering from depression, BPD, being bipolar, or just simply being so stressed out that they can’t make themselves sit down and relax for 10 minutes.

Hmmm…I feel a sermon coming on, so I’ll quit for now.

This is going to be my BPD theme song:

Blessings to all those that are hurting and feel as though no one understands what they are going through.

Borderline Support Sites

I’ve been reading posts from other borderlines on a support website. They break my heart because I so recognize the pain, suffering, and the dark, dark night of the soul. I want to hug every one of the people who post and tell them that things can get better.
Now that I have a name for what’s plagued me for decades, I’m not sure what to do with it. I told one really good friend about it and she hasn’t called, emailed or sent a text since I told her. You know that’s a borderline’s nightmare, don’t you? You used to be my friend, but I’ve told you something a little unusual and now you’re not communicating.
Tomorrow is my 56th birthday…well, if wordpress doesn’t post this until tomorrow…Anyway, on Feb. 23, I will be 56. I have never felt so old. The past 8 1/2 months have just knocked the stuffing out of me. Being diagnosed as a borderline is just the most recent development.
So, how many people do I tell about this? The sibs who were such huge contributors to it’s creation in the first place?
My therapist wants me to confront them, but I’m not ready for that.
For now, I’m just praying and asking God why it took so freaking long for me to learn that this demon had a name and could be treated.
If you’re a borderline, you are in my prayers.
Blessings

The Grieving Has Begun

I accepted I was a borderline a couple of months ago, but I have just lately started reading about it.  My therapist recommended that I read Stop Walking on Eggshells, but I can’t make it past the first 40 pages.  It’s too painful.  I had a staggering moment a few days ago when I could see myself 20 years ago screaming about something that happened.  I was literally watching myself from that moment in the past, and the recognition of myself nearly made me physically ill.

My husband and I are slogging through each of our disorders together and separately.  We are putting our therapist’s kids through college.  I don’t care; I so long for this hurt to go away, I’d sell a kidney to get the money to stay in therapy.

But right now, I am grieving–grieving the mother my children had and the wife my husband had.  Grieving the dark, dark places that my mind lived in for so long.  Grieving the little girl in me that was robbed of her bravery and self-worth at such a young age.

Grief is a huge part of the recovery process and it can be biting.  I want therapy to go faster, but that won’t lessen the grief.  I’ve begged God to save me from this.  I have a massive load of memories I will have to go through and grieve, and I’m so worn out from all of it.

I’m amazed that I never succumbed to some kind of addiction to numb the pain.  Being oblivious would be wonderful, especially now.  But I’m a glutton for punishment and no one can punish me better than I can.

Dear Lord God, please save me.

Guess What…I’ve Been Behaving Like a Borderline!

All weekend I spent time processing the implications of being a borderline.  Now, that’s kind of screwy because I’ve been living with it for 40 years, but now that I have a name for it, I view it differently.  Right now, it is classified as a mental illness, but in May 2013, new guidelines will be published regarding what is and isn’t a mental illness.  BPD will not be classified as a mental illness anymore.

I wonder if that’s because many therapists don’t like working with borderlines.  Anyhoo, if you’re a borderline, live it up because in three months you won’t be “mentally ill” anymore.  I’m betting that doesn’t decrease my feelings of inferiority one bit.

I have gotten woefully off-track with what I had planned to write.  I decided to tell a very close friend, and my younger sister that I had been diagnosed with BPD.  I thought they were the two most likely people to be supportive outside of my immediate family (although my kids have made no response to my email telling them about it.)  I’ve heard nothing from my friend or my sister.

No response from these people who mean so much to me has, of course, made me start running all the scenarios through my mind.  They’re tired of me, they don’t want to deal with me, and they never cared that much anyway.  I mean, there’s nothing lovable about me, right?

To compound my insecurity, I have been reading articles about the treatment for BPD and ran across one article that described to a T what my therapist has been doing.  So, he hasn’t meant anything positive that he’s said about me as a person–he’s just following the protocol for treatment.

My mind is my worst enemy.  It’s horrible to have one part of your body that works so hard against the rest of your body.  I have so many self-inflicted defensive wounds; years’ worth.

So I won’t be telling anyone else I know about my BPD.  I don’t need anymore rejection. When I told my husband all this today, he said, very kindly, “You’re responding just like a borderline.”  What he doesn’t realize is the torment that puts me through.

Some scientist created a pair of glasses with tiny little speakers that he could program to simulate how he felt during his schizophrenic episodes.  It was eerie.  I wish I could create something that would let someone know how a borderline feels during a 24-hour period.

The phrase, “walk a mile in my shoes” has never been more apropos.

Blessings

Trying to Adjust…

It’s a gray, cold, cloudy day.  I wish the sun was shining because I am trying to adjust my mind to “normal” thought.  I have had a couple of epiphanies about my borderline thinking and have been caught off-guard by them.  It’s been a learning curve for my husband, too, because now he realizes that some of the irrational things I’ve said in the past were things I actually believed.  I wasn’t saying them to be dramatic–I honestly believed them.

For instance, we were living overseas when my younger sister got married.  She chose a date that we couldn’t make and I was convinced that she had chosen that date so that I couldn’t be there.  After hearing about the wedding via a phone call from my mother, I burst into tears and ran up the stairs screaming, “She did this on purpose so I couldn’t attend.”  At the time, my husband told me how ridiculous that was.

We were talking this incident the other day and when he quoted what I had said, I had a sudden recognition of how crazy it must have sounded.

This kind of thinking has been my nemesis for so long.  Even now, when a friend of mine doesn’t text or call me for a couple of days, my first thought is that I’ve worn her out.  She can’t take being around me anymore.

I hate this, absolutely despise it.  I keep wondering why it took so many years for me to discover this was a mental illness.  God knows I felt mentally ill often enough.If my therapist hadn’t put a ban a month-long ban on prayer for myself , I’d spend every day, several times a day, on my knees begging God to tell me why this knowledge was coming so late in life.

I may have said this in an earlier post; my therapist says impatience is the biggest obstacle to my learning to cope with this.  I want to make up for lost time, but this is going to be a slow process.