While in principle groups for survivors are a good idea, in practice it soon becomes apparent that to organize a successful group is no simple matter. Groups that start out with hope and promise can dissolve acrimoniously, causing pain and disappointment to all involved. The destructive potential of groups is equal to their therapeutic promise. The role of the group leader carries with it a risk of the irresponsible exercise of authority.Conflicts that erupt among group members can all too easily re-create the dynamics of the traumatic event, with group members assuming the roles of perpetrator, accomplice, bystander, victim and rescuer. Such conflicts can be hurtful to individual participants and can lead to the group’s demise. In order to be successful, a group must have a clear and focused understanding of its therapeutic task and a structure that protects all participants adequately against the dangers of traumatic reenactment. Though groups may vary widely in composition and structure, these basic conditions must be fulfilled without exception.Commonality with other people carries with it all the meanings of the word common. It means belonging to a society, having a public role, being part of that which is universal. It means having a feeling of familiarity, of being known, of communion. It means taking part in the customary, the commonplace, the ordinary and the everyday. It also carries with it a feeling of smallness, or insignificance, a sense that one’s own troubles are ‘as a drop of rain in the sea.’ The survivor who has achieved commonality with others can rest from her labors. Her recovery is accomplished; all that remains before her is her life.
Judith Lewis Herman
There are parts of a woman’s heart that are reserved for certain types of love. Experiencing the love of a father figure in an appropriate way is essential in paving the way for the love of a man to be experienced in the right way.The love of a father is vital in ensuring that a woman’s heart is kept open in this area. If this area is not kept open, it produces problems later on in a woman’s life, for that area is also reserved for the romantic love that comes in the form of a marriage relationship. This is an extremely sensitive area of the heart for a woman and has plenty of opportunity to be easily bruised. When that does occur, she will put up a protective barrier to try and avoid any such pain occurring again. If this barrier isn’t dismantled fairly soon, a woman’s heart becomes accustomed to its protective barrier and the heart shielded inside gradually becomes hardened. As women, we may be able to function like this for awhile. But there will come a time in your life where God will begin to peel away those hard layers surrounding your heart and you probably won’t like that sensation. But you have to fight your natural instinct to run away.This is where many Christian women may get stuck. They view every man through the lens of what their father was to them, or what he was not. Their perception of men is shaded and often damaged, by the very people who should have been modeling the world of adult relationships to their daughters. As a result, their judgement is often clouded and women find themselves settling for less than what they truly deserve. Many marriages, even Christian marriages, have been damaged and even terminated because one or both partners refused to sit down and deal with their past issues.
Corallie Buchanan