In your life, can you identify some sounds of violence that permeated the walls you grew up in?
For children, sounds of violence may be parental yelling, police sirens roaring, or alarms that pierce our peace. For others, it might be the overwhelming quietness that comes before an onslaught of abuse like a soft knock at the bedroom door, or the silence of neglect.
I grew up in small west Texas towns and sounds of violence were the stories I heard from others or viewed on TV. I was young during the years of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War and watched news reports of the violence occurring on the 6 o’clock news. They didn’t affect my day-to-day life in my elementary and junior high years. It was happening too far away. But it did leave a lasting effect on my brain.
I became friends with some vets and those affected by segregation in and after my high school years and saw the devastation that came from their time in history. Many of them had a hard time living a normal life and holding down a job. I recalled the pictures and news reports I saw of the violence they endured. And the violence that occurred around protests on our own university campuses.
The second-hand trauma I experienced came through their stories. They planted anger and suspicion in my heart towards our government and leaders. This contributed to years of rebellion and cynicism towards authority figures. It took many years for me to see how this affected my view of authority and my relationship with my parents, teachers, employers, and ultimately, God.
Today, sounds of violence blasts our children within social media, their schools, and neighborhoods that should be safe and secure. Going to school may mean never coming home again. Losing a friend or loved one to a drive-by, suicide, or untimely deaths are situations that can leave the effects of trauma. It alters and changes the way they react and deal with life’s hardships.
Here are two articles that bring understanding and furnish information on what exposure to violence can do to children, How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD and Teaching Strategies to Support Trauma & Grief. These articles are just a few examples of how trauma can affect us as children. With prayer, inner healing, diligence, and research we can overcome the affects of trauma in our lives and the lives of our families.
Was there anything that stood out to you or you recognized as possible effects of trauma due to violence in your life or your children’s? It is never too late to seek healing and restoration. I would love to hear your comments and stories of restoration and hope.