Q. Dear Dr. Heller, I am a 48 yr. old female living in NYC, have been married for nearly 25 years, have had a mildly successful career as a singer and have been plagued with this underlying terror my whole life. I believe my entire family has this disorder--all of us putting on a "face" for the world, my father (now deceased) very rageful and an older brother who cannot control his anger either. I struck out to be different, to show that one can live happily, with a light heart and, to the world, it "seems" I did so. I had a terrifying experience nearly 15 years ago (while attempting to perform in a very high pressure situation) in which I sank into an abyss that I have been running from ever since. You see, a fellow singer told me exactly what the "problem" was--as he put it there are those who walk in the light and those who do not and one cannot change this nature. I had that horrible rushing/whooshing thing occur and he smiled at me saying "You are in shock to know this about yourself" I was paralyzed with fear.
I read again and again how BPD's lack empathy--and put forth this (I admit bizarre) theory. I know you adhere to the idea of NDE "embraced by the light" experiences, and for most people this holds true, but for those others I submit that there is another "place" from which we came and will return--one which causes us to feel trapped, incapable of creating anything worthwhile. We come face to face with ourselves and no matter how we attempt to "be" we feel the guilt that comes with lying -- to ourselves and to those around us. We act as good as possible and wish not to rock the boat, so people will like us--for this is how we can feel "safe" for a while. It is written in all the major r in the "Ring" cycle of Wagner--this rising up of goodness and love to become God-like. It is in the Mystery of the Pyramids, the curse of the Pharaohs. This millennium will see the second coming and the Bible makes it clear that the meek (the loving) will inherit the earth. This is the ultimate abandonment--to never have had the chance to be "of God" It is a feeling of such profound unfairness that causes these rageful outbursts.
A feeling of "Why do anything?" we are simply going to die and go into that abyss.
There is not the spark of Life that motivates most people--the life that never ends--other people "know" this intuitively and can therefore go into the world and "do" without questioning. What are we to do, Dr. Heller? You know well that there is a spiritual quickening--it is so prevalent in our culture--nothing bizarre these days to speak this way. I have read all the books you mention and a zillion more looking for a way to the light. I am seeing a therapist and am taking Remoren and I continue to try to live my life (although were my husband to find a "true" love I know I would spiral out of control). I am surrounded by brilliant, talented people who "gobble up life" and in comparison, I know how truly bereft I am despite my attempt to "be/act like them". Ironically because of all my reading, I have given great advice and even "helped" them on their own paths to themselves. And as they get stronger and more secure I feel more and more diminished. I know you may dismiss this letter entirely due to its length but I wanted to share these other possibilities and possible explanation. You have created a wonderful place for people to come and I respect your work. Thank you.
A. I do indeed believe that learning about the near death experience can be of enormous help to people searching for meaning, comfort, and a sense of hope.
What you're going through is something completely different however. Much of it seems very medical - problems that need diagnosing and treatment. If you have the BPD, it strongly resembles chronic dysphoria - particularly the despair. You seem to have developed a belief system designed to explain away your pain and negative experiences that is not comforting and appears destined to cause yourself lots of misery.
Don't ever give up on yourself!