COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The tentacles of trauma are far-reaching. Violence too, even for those who want to escape.
Bishop Jerry Pierce, of Miracle Cathedral, recounted the story of a young man who appeared at his church. The boy wore a t-shirt with a picture of a gun.
Trayvon had been sent by his mother to Columbus to escape gang violence in Little Rock, Arkansas. He asked to carry the bishop’s Bible.
Within three weeks Trayvon had been shot outside of Bishop Pierce’s church, which was on Livingston Avenue at that time.
“The trauma affects people, even those who don’t know someone who got killed,” Pierce said. “It affects the whole city — depletes, and depreciates the city.”
Pierce says each person has their own length of time that it takes to heal. “You can’t tell people how to heal, how long to heal. The five stages of grief — that’s good for a book.” For many people, it takes much longer, and they turn to coping mechanisms.
“These young kids that come to the funerals are traumatized. The first murder the kids deal with. The second murder they aren’t crying as much. The third murder they don’t cry. They get numb about life. Am I going to be next? That’s how kids are thinking now,” Pierce said.
“Some families go into addiction because of trauma, to deal with mental health problems they didn’t have before,” Pierce said.
“The chain of events and tentacles are far-reaching. There isn’t an area that isn’t affected by this trauma.”