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“All sorrows can be borne if put into a story”

In our support groups, stories are central. The group is a safe place for women to talk about what is happening or has happened in their lives. For many women, the group is the only place they can talk about these things. We see how, by getting to tell the stories of their lives, women feel supported and understood. We see how the craziness they have experienced from their partner is less “crazy-making” when shared by others who have had similar experiences. We delight in seeing how women can become the heroes of their own lives as they claim their courage, strength and wisdom. As support people, we can sometimes forget the importance of story telling. We are sometimes tempted to rush a woman through her story and get on to a safety plan or our vision of what she needs to do. But the story telling, when done with compassionate affirming witnesses, is in itself healing and empowering. We see the truth of a quote by Isak Dinesen, “All sorrow can be borne if put into a story.”

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When Love Hurts