Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

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8. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Fences make good neighbours? Lord, this photo of a fence with flowers growing on either side is helping me learn some important lessons about boundaries that I didn’t understand before. For a long time, the concept of boundaries didn’t make sense to me. It hurt when I was shut out of various people’s lives. Oh, […]

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Joy?

  For to us a child is born,     to us a son is given,     and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called     Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6   Is Christmas a joyous time of year for you? The nostalgic side of us tends to […]

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7. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Overcoming our insecurity I was just thinking, Lord. It would be so good to have a second chance at having a mother who would be all the things a mother could be for me. Warm and kind. Understanding. Giving. At times I sure long for that, though I have found friends in whom I see […]

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6. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Controlling the urge to connect Some people have what’s called “anxious attachment” which starts during childhood. They seek approval and reassurance from others, never having a relief from self-doubt. In their relationships the feeling that they’re going to be rejected worries them and causes them not to trust. This drives them to be over-dependent. They […]

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5. Healthy relationships with our supporters

Respecting boundaries Lord, this morning I emailed a brief note to a friend. I thought I was getting pretty good about respecting her boundaries, trying not to email more than every couple of days or so. We had not formally discussed that this should be a boundary, yet it’s what seemed to work best. But […]

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4. Healthy relationships with our supporters

ALWAYS LESSER THAN Lord Jesus, I know it’s hard for those who don’t have mental illness to understand: I, and many of us, feel small next to our supporters. I don’t think they consciously set themselves above us, yet we feel lower. We feel inferior. For me it was like my supporters were father and […]

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3. Maintaining healthy relationships with our supporters

I confused them with God himself My Monday devotional from December 18th explains how badly I need God in my life. How very badly I need his love! How very badly many of you need his love! It’s at  http://marjabergen.com/archives/he-watches-over-us if you’d like to have a look. Lord, I see your love shining through the […]

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2. Healthy relationships with our supporters

  Seeing beyond our own needs: a prayer   Lord, I feel dreadful – ashamed that my needs overtook my reasoning. It was not until after the damage was done that I realized my grave mistake. It was not until later that I learned, with great difficulty, to stop myself from writing so many emails […]

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He watches over us

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches […]

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Healthy relationships with our supporters

I wonder how many people with mental illness understand the importance of boundaries? Not only the boundaries set by their supporters and caregivers, but also the boundaries they themselves should put in place in their relationships with those who care for them. I’ve lived with mental illness for over fifty years and am only now […]

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