I’m Not Sure How to Make People Understand
I have borderline personality disorder and I’m a Christian. BTW, please don’t tell me that my disorder is because I have a sinful heart and I need to repent to make it go away. You wouldn’t say that to a diabetic, so don’t say it to me just because my illness can’t be measured by a blood test.
One aspect of BPD is that the person has feelings of being unworthy and unlovable by others, and by themselves. My BPD extends to feeling as though God cannot possibly love me unconditionally because I am unworthy and unlovable. This struggle causes a great deal of grief and downright torment in my life.
I can’t seem to make people understand that it is not just as simple as reading a lot of verses about how much God loves each of us. I’ve done that and still do it. I am seeing a therapist who is helping me work through this nasty disorder and find ways to “manage” it. But I can’t seem to make people understand that I literally cannot settle in my brain that God loves me no matter what; that He adores me; that He enjoys me. It’s as though something is misfiring in my neurons.
A number of people have asked me how I cannot believe something that is very plainly stated in scripture. I can give you some of the psychological answers to that, but they can’t be proven, although I don’t care what anybody says about clinical proof–if a kid is abused physically and verbally long enough, that kid is going to believe they’re not worth one thin dime. I translated the negative treatment I received onto how God felt about me. Sadly, I didn’t find out about this disorder until I was 55, so the old tapes have been playing a long time.
I know people mean well when they repeat the same advice over and over, but it’s frustrating because they simply cannot understand how this disorder works. It’s torturous and there is NO ONE who wishes more than I that I could make this characteristic just go away. I’ve prayed every way except standing on my head for God to take this from me and so far, He hasn’t. I don’t understand that because it has a very serious effect on my relationship with Him.
Think before you speak to someone who is wrestling with a tough issue. No one needs a simplistic statement tossed off in a cavalier manner pretending to be advice.