Spent the morning at the Department of Public Health with May Reynolds of the Casa Central violence prevention and intervention program. We learned the differences between imagined threat and perceived threat. It helped me put a lot of things into perspective because we forget that children are good observers but poor interpreters. One of the slides on the powerpoint read “Children see children do” which I think is a very accurate and powerful message that we should all take into consideration. As an older sister Im forced to always question my actions and make sure that Im always being the best I can be because I have younger sisters that are looking up to me and following in my footsteps wether I want them to or not. Its sometimes difficult having that ‘burden’ but I believe that if we were all more worried about the examples we’re setting for he next generation, perhaps this world could be a better place.
Towards the middle of the presentation I found myself feeling uneasy and kind of anxious. Although I don’t know first hand I know a person that lived in a home where domestic violence was a daily occurrence. Even though we were close I always felt like she constantly put up a wall and it was hard to get any closer to her. As May was listing the effects of domestic violence on adolescents it all began to make sense. Mood swings, learning problems, difficulty planning your future, self destructive behavior, under/over estimating danger, anxiety, insomnia, quick to react to threats, self criticism, self blame, she went on. I tried to hide my disturbed and unsettled face behind my hair and pulled it together, something I’m very good at. I wish that people would consider these effects more before they let their kids or loved ones witness these situations because violence is most definitely a learned behavior. I was so distraught by the end of the meeting that all the questions I had suddenly fled my mind….I wish I could heal the world.