DISCLAIMER: Trigger warning, self-harm and self-hate
I don’t think I am beautiful, or strong, or brave, or courageous.
I don’t value myself as a person. When I look in the mirror I try my best to avoid it because I can feel so much hatred rising up in me when I see my reflection.
I hate myself. Sometimes I don’t even understand the purpose behind my breathing, why God even wants to keep me here.
Yesterday this rang ever more true for me. I struggle very deeply with shame. In light of my attachment figure leaving me, my shame has become increasingly hard to bear. About 3 days ago I started crumbling and for the first time in a short while thoughts of cutting resurfaced in my mind. I was maxing out, and my coping resources were getting scarcer. Yesterday even though she told me not to reach out to her I still did because the pain was getting so hard to bear. I knew she wouldn’t respond and a large part of me hoped that she wouldn’t. I prayed that God would soften her heart towards me and help her realize that I am struggling and pray for me without coming back because though I don’t understand I need to be here.
But as is the case for sufferers of BPD rationality continues to slip as pain increases, and before I knew it I was cutting myself again deeply. Begging to understand and begging for reprieve.
I spent the whole day covered, and pinned down to my bed in shame. The shame I have felt since I was younger was hitting me full force. In my culture pining after people and hyper-attaching as I tend to do is considered shameful, as it probably is in most cultures. However, my culture labels people that do that dogs. They tell you your being a dog for the person. I hated when people told me that when I was younger and I hate it when I tell myself that now.
I don’t want to be a dog. I want to be accepted. I want to be loved. I want to not get left or ignored. But I do. I do get left and ignored and society tells you it’s ok to grieve for a while and feel hurt, but pining and begging for the person means you have no self respect and no dignity.
Last night as I tried my hardest to just fall asleep and escape the day I surrendered to the worlds labeling and admitted to God, that maybe then i’m just a dog. I began to just feel at peace at accepting the label instead of trying to fight it when according to society my natural disposition merits the name “dog.”
So I gave in and said God, i’m a dog. I told Him, I don’t understand why I don’t want to let her go, I don’t understand why I won’t give up, but it’s just not who I am so if i’m a dog then so be it.
In my peace I heard God say that even dogs eat the crumbs from their masters table, and my heart softened because I understood. I knew what God was referring to.
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
This passage in the bible troubled me for a very long time. The first time I ever read it I didn’t talk to God for a week because I was so angry and it made me cry. Every time I got mad at God I would refer back to this verse on why I shouldn’t be with Him because I thought He was a low down dirty hypocrite and only cared about me, a gentile, as an afterthought. This passage gave me so many problems and it wasn’t until last night that I drew the parallel between my shame of being called a dog and Jesus calling this woman a dog. In hindsight I find it so strange that I never made the connection, or if I saw it, never fully internalized it.
Everything that hurts me so much, Jesus did to this woman. He ignored her, told her that she wasn’t meant to be helped by Him, and when she persisted because of the heart she knew He had, He called her a dog. Some of my deepest wounds were caused by believers. The reason being that unlike other people I persist after them to help me. I see their faith and their belief in God and so I don’t see why they would want to hurt me. I see them as God’s tools, and so if they say they want to do Gods work, I think that surely they would want to help me. I beg and plead for their help even after they give up because I knew the problem had to be me. I was just too undeserving of love because of my anger or whatever else I did, so if I came back with a different disposition then they would love me and help me again.
But I understand so much now. There is a reason why it is hard to accept a persons love when you don’t love yourself. My most recent attachment figure tried so hard to get me to dispel the beliefs I had about myself but they just run too deep. Nothing she could do or say, unless she weathered my storm indefinitely, would get me to believe on my own that I am a person worthy of love.
So up until last night, I have been trying to change myself to receive love. I have been working so hard to not be a dog anymore, to not hyper-attach anymore, to let go more easily, to not become so depressed when people leave me. I believed that all of those things are just too shameful and I can’t be loved like that, and people won’t want to stay with me if i’m like that. But last night after accepting myself as I was where I was, God only drew me in closer and reminded me that there is love, even for me, at His table.
He loves me even though I am a dog. He knows that for now, like the Canaanite woman, I was brought up in a world that because of who I am, I am labeled as less than, and that I have accepted that as truth. Because I see it as my truth God showed the Canaanite woman and me that no matter who I am, or what I believe about myself, if I believe He can then He will. He will help me, He will save me, and He will love me.
And ironically as only God could, in his infinite and wonderful sense of humor, I discovered that today is national dog day.
I love my God.