Ill just put
this bluntly: I have a problem trusting God. I just cant trust Gods providence.
I see God as always angry with me, and the failures in my job and lack of progress seem
to be punishment for my great sins. I havent been diagnosed, but I fit many symptoms
of borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorderenvy, jealousy, pride, suspicious
of others, secretive, all of that.
Im a Catholic convert, but born and raised Protestant. Converted three
years ago when I was 29. Attend weekly Mass, sometimes daily Mass, go to confession
Recently, Ive been getting more pressure at work, and all Im doing
now is failing.
Im having emotional breakdowns, and I just blame God and get angry at
Him because He claims He takes care of us (like the birds of the sky) but Im at a crisis
point with no help in sight. The success of others makes me insecure and envious. I dont
desire great success, just enough for my station in life and vocation. Im just tired of
the constant failed expectations, disappointments, and false hope.
Recently Ive been having suicidal thoughts, just thoughts, not
actual will to carry it out. I wonder how my body would look splattered on the ground, or if I
shoot myself how the blood spray pattern would look. Maybe Im being overly dramatic and
I just dont know how to cope anymore. God who I thought would take
care of me is just standing by watching me suffer with great anxiety and fear. He told us not
to worry. Well, its not like I want to worry. It just happens.
I pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy and Rosary every day.
But theres no way out of this. I just dont have the energy
anymore to gather together the little bit of hope left in God...only to be disappointed...again
and again and again.
How do I trust God? I know Im supposed to but I cant.
lthough you will be surprised to hear it,
the truth is not only that God has not been punishing you, but that you have been
punishing yourself. Throughout your childhood you experienced
complex emotional pain, but, just like a multitude of others who are afflicted with the same
problem, you find it terrifying to admit that your parents could have mistreated you.
Consequently, you have been unconsciously trying to protect your parents from
for their failures, and you do that by labeling yourself as the failure. It’s as if you have
put a curse on yourself to shield your parents from any accusation of their wrongdoing.
This is actually a common psychological problem
in some cultures—for example, Asian cultures—where it is unthinkable to say anything negative
about one’s parents. It’s also a common problem in the Catholic Church regardless of culture,
simply because the Scriptural admonition to
“honor your father and your mother” is commonly
misinterpreted and distorted into the idea that parents can do no wrong and that a child
owes them total allegiance no matter what they do.
But when parents are domineering or controlling
they cheat their children of the healthy autonomy and individuality necessary for the children
to work out their salvation, and the effects, as you have so clearly
described in regard to your story, amount to a pernicious curse of repeated self-sabotage and
failure. Even though you don’t want it, it just “happens” because it’s all
The False Beliefs Behind the
Behind the curse is a fundamental unconscious
false belief that you are defective. This belief usually gets expressed consciously as “God
hates me.” Underneath this belief, though, several other beliefs work a secret havoc. “I’m
not worthy.” “I don’t matter.” “I don’t deserve to succeed.” “I have no right to be
independent.” “I will die without my parents.” “My obligation is to serve my parents.”
“My parents need me.”
These are all false beliefs, and they work
like poison against you.
They can, however, be overcome.
I have described the process of refuting negative beliefs. This can be done in
psychotherapy, and it can also be done on your own
through study, meditation, and prayer. Regardless of how it’s done, though, one key element
in the process must be carefully acknowledged: you must feel the pain now, as an adult, of
the mistreatment inflicted on you in childhood. It’s not sufficient to “know” intellectually
what was inflicted on you; you must feel the pain into the depths of your heart. Myriads of
tears must be shed; let them speak.
Let your tears speak openly of the pain.
Bring the pain before God through prayer.
Without Blame and Anger
Yet be careful to not fall into blaming your
parents; that is, state the facts of what good they did for you, as well as what
harm they did to you, and what they failed to do for you—but always remember
that you must take responsibility for remedying the deficiencies
within you. You must take responsibility for paying the price of remedying those deficiencies.
You must take responsibility for doing the hard work of the healing.
Moreover, it must all be done without blame and anger.
Furthermore, be careful to not fall into blaming
God. God has been giving you all the graces you need to heal from the pain of your childhood,
but, despite all of the Masses you have attended and all the prayers you have said half-heartedly
and out of duty, you have been throwing those graces onto the ground, spitting on them, and
trampling them into the dirt. All that ingratitude was all done to avoid the terror of admitting
that, throughout your childhood, your parents did not love you in the true sense of Christian
love for a child. To avoid that terror you put a curse on yourself: you
convinced yourself that you had to serve your parents at all costs—and, sure enough, the cost has