ACEs Healing: History
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Whether you have one or many ACEs, your healing lies within looking back and identifying what happened. Where were you failed in your life? Who failed you? When? How?
If you are stuck for ideas and are not sure what to consider, take a look through the top six Adverse Childhood Experiences risk factors and how trauma disrupts development.
These risk factors include:
How has What Happened Manifested in your Life?
Now that you are aware and can consciously identify what happened to you, think about how what happened has manifested in your life, today and overtime. Studies have shown that Adverse Childhood
Experiences are linked to the occurrences of many chronic diseases in
life, such as ischemic heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, chronic
lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease. These are physical health issues that could result from childhood adversity and trauma that can be seen or diagnosed.
Some may find it more difficult to identify mental health issues that could result from childhood adversity and trauma explicitly because they cannot be seen in the same way as a physical health issue. These may include: anxiety, depression, self-esteem, self-worth, helplessness, promiscuity, aggression, violence, stress, ADD/ADHD, seizures, failure to thrive, quality of life, self-destructive ideations, shame, guilt, self-blame, eating disorders, poor self-control, lack of self-care, drug/alcohol abuse, insomnia, fatigue, self-isolation, exhaustion, addictions, migraines, fear.
To take it one step further, identify how both your physical and mental manifestations have affected your quality of life. These may include job loss, failure to commit (relationships, long-term goals), debt, mismanagement of money, repeatedly choosing the wrong partner, pushing friends away, blaming family members, increased medical bills, poor parenting, infidelity.
What's your ACEs Score? Tell your Story
Once you can identify what happened in your past and how your past shows up in your present, you can then make an informed decision on how you will choose to proceed into your future. The original ACEs study only identified ten (10) possible adverse experiences and I have added an additional 10, for a grand total of 20, which may still not include all possible experiences.
Take a look at the list below, add up the number of ACEs you have out of a total of 20 and share your story. You can add as much or as little as you would like, which will become its own web page, and even post anonymously. Comments for these ACEs stories have been inactivated, so you do not have to worry if someone will make a mean or judgmental comment. I want this to be a safe sharing environment you feel you can share your past hurts without fear.
What should I write about?
- Post your score
- Tell about a specific event
- Share 1-2 things you know now that you wish you would have known then
- Open letter to your younger self
- Whatever you feel comfortable sharing
a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at
you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that
made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
- Did a parent or
other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or
throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or
- Did an adult or
other person ever… Fondle, Groom, or Touch you or have you touch/see
their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or
vaginal intercourse with you?
- Did you often
or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you
were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each
other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
- Did you often
or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear
dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too
chronically ill, drunk, or high to take care of you or take you to the
doctor if you needed it?
- Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
- Was your
father/mother, stepfather/mother, or grandfather/mother: Often or very
often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at him/her? or
Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit
with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes
or threatened with a gun or knife?
- Did you live with anyone who had an addiction, was a problem drinker, alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
- Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
- Did a household member go to jail/prison or should have gone to jail/prison?
- Did you experience Mental/Physical/Sexual abuse by a sibling/foster child/family friend/neighbor?
- Did you experience the death of a friend or family member?
- Did you experience bullying online or by other kids/teachers?
- Did you
experience a failed adoption/foster care placement - Adoptive parents or
any person in the foster home abused you emotionally, physically,
sexually, or verbally?
- Did you attend a school where a school shooting occurred?
- Did you experience childhood obesity or was called fat/overweight?
- Did you experience homelessness?
- Did your mother
experience a difficult pregnancy, such as: suffering from mental
illness, in an abusive relationship, working multiple jobs, or was
- Did you/your
mother experience a difficult birth, such as: a C-Section, cord wrapped
around neck, or lack of oxygen resulting in you not receiving the
healing elements of a natural birth?
- Did you
experience early hospitalization, such as: for lifesaving procedures, in
the NICU, or medical trauma, resulting in not receiving the touch and
How to Reset your Body and Mind
Change can be slow, but with consistency, it can be very powerful and impactful. Think of the one drop of water that can change the surface and appearance of the rock over time. With that, your change will take time, but the first step is awareness, because how can we change something that we are not aware needs to be changed?
- Exercise in some form or fashion at least three times per week (walking, bicycling, skating, swimming,
- Read more books - start with your interests, what do you want to
become better at or better understand?
- Feed your spirit - meditation, prayer, whatever method you choose
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A Self-Reflection Based Action Plan to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit
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