"Bright, Beautiful, and Deeply Troubled"

Unless a pastor or counselor understands the nature of borderline personality disorder and takes concrete steps to establish safeguards, difficulty or even disaster may follow.
—Victoria Martin

Linda was the divorced wife of a Presbyterian pastor. She was bright, articulate, and charming. Inwardly, though, she was filled with a paralyzing sense of confusion, emptiness, and need. Having dallied in a number of promiscuous relationships, she had yet to sate her emotional hunger.

One morning after Sunday school, she approached Jim Smith, a counselor in our church-related center, about her problem. That week they met for an initial psychological evaluation, during which he first suspected the nature of Linda's problem. His suspicions were confirmed when a short time later she handed him a two-page sonnet she composed in his honor entitled Gantos for Counsel.

Here, with her permission, is a portion of her poetic idealization of Jim, whom she had known for less than two weeks:

OBSESSION


I discover ...

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