In 2017, during a difficult time of my life, I wrote the following:

For a long time the concept of boundaries didn’t make sense to me. It hurt when I was shut out of various peoples lives. Oh, Lord, it hurt! How could I tell all I want to tell? How can I help others understand the great pain of rejection, often bad enough to make me want to die. When I’m shut out of parts of peoples’ lives, I wonder why. Am I too “weird” to be around “normal” people? I wonder if there’s something terribly wrong with me, though I myself thought I was a good person in every way I could be.

For both supporters and those receiving support such a boundary is good to have, providing a place they can call their own. They need a place where they can find protection from the world where no uninvited person will intrude.

All of us—supporters and those needing support—need the same thing. We need boundaries. With boundaries, we have equal opportunities to have the lives we want and need. Although the world too often thinks and treats people with mental health issues as abnormal, in this respect we certainly don’t differ from others. Each of us is a person like any other. Each of us needs his own place of safety.

However, if a person builds a wall maintaining distance simply to exclude someone, that is stigma—a form of sin.

I have been a victim of that stigma and still am, and I know it to be evil. I know what it does to me and how it makes me feel disrespected and not seen as a real person. I know what it feels like when a person who was once a friend will not acknowledge me when we pass each other.

And I never know exactly what brought that treatment on. If they would talk to me, maybe I could find out, but they’re never willing to talk. They are unapproachable. Another wall, another form of stigma. So, Lord, how can I possibly live alongside people who put up walls and maintain such a distance? People who, for whatever reason, shun me, considering me a nonperson? How can I bear the pain? The treatment causes me to lose confidence and self-esteem. What can I, as the wounded party, do?

My comment, written in 2022:

When one human being sets a boundary to protect himself from a person with mental health issues, it implies to me that he feels superior and has primary rights. The implication that follows is that the human being with mental health issues is inferior, and has no choice but to accept things.

How much better and less painful if the two needing to have a boundary drawn, were to collaborate to sort out a solution. How much better to talk with each other about what’s not going well, and then discuss how their friendship would benefit from making changes.