“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Mark 14:34-36


Last year, listening to a sermon about Jesus at Gethsemane, I was deeply moved, weeping throughout, never letting up. I so genuinely felt with Jesus and what he was going through. My feelings about him are often like that. I can identify in so many areas: his experiences with rejection, his compassion for the sick and suffering. Although I would – of course – never say I’m Jesus, I do feel a fellowship with him.

Many would say it’s my over-sensitivity that makes me react this way. And that makes me wonder: If over-sensitivity is as bad as everyone says it is,  is it wrong to feel so strongly about my relationship with Christ? For some of us it’s a part of the stigmatized borderline personality disorder, BPD. (more accurately described as emotional dysregulation)

Because we’re so sensitive, many of us tend to have excessive, often inappropriate responses to things that anger or hurt us – to injustice or unfair treatment. We do so before we even know it. Although we may not have bad intentions, people come to think poorly of us. They believe that what we display on the outside is what we are on the inside. Our behaviour hides the good. It hides the heart of God we still have inside.

If only our feelings were not so intense! If only we had better control! But that’s what strong sensitivity does to you.

Yet, though we might have a disorder with unfortunate symptoms, we who live with intense feelings have much we can contribute too. Personalities like ours can have value. Extra sensitive people are sometimes better able to empathize with others’ pain. We can be creative and imaginative in many ways. God can use people like us.

I’m praying that our family and friends will learn to understand us. I hope they will be patient and see who we are inside. We need encouragement. Along with everyone else – the sick and the healthy – God has immense love for us. My prayer is that our Christian families will pass his love along to us.


NOTE: For more about BPD, as well as how stigma affects those of us who live with it, go to: http://marjabergen.com/archives/living-with-borderline