How many can say they can relate when we talk about flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety?
In instances of having witnessed or experiencing a terrifying event, one knows that we may recall the sequence of events as if they were happening all over again by simple triggers as simple as seeing things on TV. By using this as an example, then I want to bring us to being mindful of what we say and how we say it. Especially as parents and role models that we are to our youth. More than ever, we see such violence and aggression in ways that seem more cruel and lacking in compassion. Almost as if there were no control over emotions. This means that as parents and adults we are the first ones that need to have control over ourselves and not allow rage to take over us. Essentially, to help us from causing emotional and physical harm to our loved ones. It sounds easier said than done in moments of anger does it not? Especially, if some come from the culture of using physical beatings or spankings to discipline our children. But, we must think of us as being the mirror and teaching from that old school of physical aggression will teach and foster violence.
Perhaps, after disciplining in a physically abusive manner now you can see how children have nightmares while they sleep. Especially, in a household where there is domestic violence toward a parent. Or the use of alcohol and drugs. For example, a side effect of the emotional damage that the physical discipline has caused for some children can lead to bedwetting, creating an additional problem for the parent and the child. Processing physical aggression is difficult, the language spoken in the heat of anger and when there is the loss of emotional equilibrium leads to much sadness and confusion. Often, it is heard that there is a sense of guilt and feeling bad. The bad part is that at that point, the damage is done. And, while there may be forgiveness in many instances it will not be forgotten. This is ,the point I want to make and bring to light. With PTSD there will be a constant recall of what happened.
And, what do we find happens after these types of behavior have been carried out? Often times we see anxiety at a different level which can also be accompanied by depression. Most parents can identify when their children are depressed as soon as the child is withdrawn and does not want to go to school. Children can also be very anxious even about daily things when they are in an environment of aggression, emotional abuse and physical abuse. In extreme cases, where there is also sexual abuse then we see severe anxiety and depression. It is so important to have awareness for these areas of our well-being as well as that of our children.
As parents and adults of our communities we can take steps for prevention and to foster healthy lifestyles for our families when we keep our hands off our children.