The Long Term Effects of Violence

We are now living in a coarse society filled with violence, intolerance and hatred. Can we live with these influences without harm to our psyche? I think not. Must we always agree? No. Can we speak our truth? Yes.


It is important that we as individuals talk about our issues and points of disagreement. Is there damage from a violent society? Yes. I know this because there is damage left from violence in families and homes. I worked in Domestic Violence for over two score years, and counseled at Rape Crisis. I worked as a psych nurse for years. I am going to share a story of how long the effects can last.


One night, I was passing meds on my forty-two-bed lock down unit. I was in the hallway when I heard crying and indistinct words. I went into the room and both patients were in their beds and no one else was there. One woman was crying and screaming. Sobbing is more accurate. I was surprised because this woman had been in a catatonic state for many years. She never spoke.


I walked to her bed and said her name softly. She was in the middle of a dream. She was crying and saying, ” No, stop. I won’t do it.” “Don’t let them do it.” I lowered her bed rail and climbed up into her bed. I held her in my arms and crooned that she was safe and no one would hurt her now. I gently rocked as I held her and let her cry out her pain and fear. I listened carefully and was shocked at what I heard.


Slowly, she stopped crying and talking. I gently placed her back on her mattress. I was the one crying now. I wiped my tears quickly away, while putting the side rail back up. She appeared to be sleeping normally now. I could still feel the warmth of her body on my arms. Her tears were on my arms also.


I breathed deeply and finished passing meds. I was quiet and replaying her words over and over in my head. When I was done, I locked up the med cart in the med room and went back to her room where I found her sound asleep and quiet.


I returned to the nurse’s desk and pulled her chart to document the incident but first I read her social history. She had been married, not a surprise. Her husband was a long distance truck driver. According to the social workers’ notes, he had physically abused her and he had made her have sex with other men while he watched.


I felt sick. She had had a life full of violence, humiliation and sexual abuse. I was glad that I had been outside of her room when she was having the nightmare. I am glad that I had held her and comforted her because it seemed she hadn’t had much comfort in her life. Catatonic. She was at a better place than this world had been to her.


Checking dates and doing the math, these horrible experiences had happened about thirty years prior. I was sure this wasn’t the first nightmare she had had. It was just the first one I had witnessed.


Thirty years later, there was still enough painful damage to give her nightmares. To make her cry and talk. To beg not to let the men hurt her. This is an example of the damage done to a human psyche. Damage that destroyed this woman and left her very scarred.


I am sharing this story because we harm each other. We cause pain and suffering. There are long lasting effects for all of us. This is why we need to think of others. We need to create love, kindness, and acceptance in this world. We need compassion, forgiveness and understanding. We need to change us and our worlds. We need to put the positive energy into the world.


We need to expect the positive to come to our lives. We need to accept the positive and to be grateful for it. We need to breathe, open our hearts and let all the positive goodness flow out from us into the world. It will change our lives for the better and we will not be victim to the pain.






We are all part of one human family.

We are all part of one human family.


May Peace Prevail

May Peace Prevail


The parts of a happy life.

The parts of a happy life.


Focus on the positive

Focus on the positive

28 thoughts on “The Long Term Effects of Violence

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    That is very disturbing; rocking them was the perfect thing to do. ❤ We need more love and caring in the world.

  2. You are an amazing human being!!

  3. Angie Mc says:

    Barbara, your loving and generous heart were there for this hurting soul and it fills my eyes with tears of love. I, too, had the privilege of working in DV (I was an admin in charge of facility functioning) and I learned so, so much about pain, suffering, and the power of love to heal. The shelter also was for homeless women and pregnant/parenting homeless teens. This came after working with troubled kids and their families (mentioned here ). After such experiences, I cannot think I’m removed from the suffering of others…or that they are removed from mine. We are in this life together and love will conquer all.

    Stay strong, sista, and may you have a December full of love, peace, and everything that is good ❤

    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. There are thousands of people out there who have or are working to make home free from violence. Blessings for you efforts and support. We also had pregnant/parenting teens. May the victims learn that they have options and they are strong. Hugs, Barbara

  4. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on MrMilitantNegro™.

  5. We never know what pains haunt our fellow man and woman. Sharing compassion and understanding will help create a world of love and peace.

  6. Thank you Barbara, for being there and for sharing the story with us. You are a special and loving woman.

  7. Barbara, the effects of violence go so deep and last so long… as you explain here they may never go away. Thank you, on so many levels, for this post.

  8. Reblogged this on When Women Inspire and commented:
    This powerful post by Barbara of the Idealistic Rebel blog contains a story on domestic violence and the words “We need to create love, kindness, and acceptance in this world.” Absolutely.

  9. Aquileana says:

    Great post and a powerful message beneath it.
    Thanks for sharing. Best wishes. Aquileana 😀

  10. D.G.Kaye says:

    Your compassion is limitless. So true, it doesn’t matter how many years go by; some relive their nightmares for the rest of their lives.

    • After trauma the brain rewires itself, so no one is ever really the same as they were prior to the trauma…violence. Hugs, Barbara

      • D.G.Kaye says:

        Yes, there are the lucky few who find a way to get past reliving their experiences. People like you sharing this kind of info helps others to understand what others go through. Easy to feel your compassion through your words. 🙂

  11. Resa says:

    A very poignant article. Thank you for sharing this, and your care and love. Regards and respect, Resa

  12. Rajagopal says:

    Reading the episode described by you itself is very disturbing so one can fathom its effect on the hapless victim; you are a blessed soul barbara for the healing effect that you would have worked on the lives of hundreds of people…how i wish i could hold your hand and say a namaste…best wishes….raj .

  13. GrahamInHats says:

    I’m sorry to say that it has always been like this. I’m glad to say that it does improve, as history shows. I believe, and have seen, that the will to make the world better keeps on being born and is an indomitable force of nature, even though it can get twisted as we grow. fortunately, overall improvement Is rather slow compared with our life spans.

    Posts like this, keep reminding us to press on. Nicely done, both blogger and re-blogger. 🙂

    • I am so glad you stopped by and left a comment. You are right, there has always been evil.There have always been people who focused on the positive. People who looked for the beauty and the kindnesses and blessings in life. That is what we must do…look for the goodness around us and we will find peace. Hugs, Barbara

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