Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Category: Relationships (page 1 of 2)

I was a clingy person

During my nine years of leading Living Room and raising awareness in the church, there was nothing that gave me more shame than my inability to leave my best supporters alone. In my book I Will Not  Hide I tell this honest truth about myself. A good part of the book shows how—in my neediness—I […]

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All of us his children

  See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 1 John 3:1 NLT   If our Father in Heaven loves us enough to […]

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Who would you believe? And why?

  Don’t you find it strange why, when there is a conflict between a powerful pastor and a person with a history of mental illness, the pastor is assumed to be right? The person with mental health issues doesn’t have a chance. Why is that so? Why was she given the blame for the trauma […]

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Comment on too much contact (2019)

I’ve learned a lot since I wrote the previous post. Yes, I was emailing my pastor too much, though he had assured me it was OK. It would have been a good time for him to set limits when I had asked. When supporting a person with emotional needs, boundaries will be necessary if it […]

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Too much contact

LIVING ROOM MEMORIES  149  (April 13, 2008) Yesterday I took a day off. I took a day for myself – just resting and reading. It was a beautiful feeling. I felt like I was on holidays. My husband was working all day so I was alone. No one interfered with the quiet solitude I had […]

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14. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Taking control: creating our own boundaries What can a person like me – a person who sometimes feels rather “small” – do when no boundaries are given? I wonder how many of you who are reading this feel “small’ like this? Small in your eyes. We too often forget that God does not see us […]

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13. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Our pastors as supporters Ministry leaders are often the most affected by the needs and demands of people with mental health issues in the church. They tend to be kind-hearted with great willingness to help those who are suffering. For them setting boundaries in the spiritual care of these people is especially important. Someone I […]

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12. Healthy relationship with our supporters

Caring for our caregivers Lord, I know that, despite the illness I struggle with, I’m a caring person, like so many of us. We help others whenever we can and many of us have made contributions to our communities. Even then we run into problems with depression and other kinds of emotional distress. It becomes […]

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11. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Suffering: a gift? Lord, when I go through hard times, all I feel then is the pain. I often wish I could die. Looking for a way to escape it, I call out to you. To friends as well. But I receive only momentary relief. There seems to be no apparent reason for what’s happening. […]

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10. Healthy relationships with our supporters

What did Jesus do? Lord, you yourself know how there’s no pain like this pain of being rejected. Not only rejected, but sometimes even mistreated. You understand how much strength it takes to accept what I’ve gone through. It took more strength than I’ve needed for anything I’ve done before. I’ve heard that you just […]

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