Last night I was on an extended training with Compassion Prison Project (CPP) from (10.30pm-2am) and I’m feeling inspired but kinda wiped out this morning, so I’m not going to do a long post as is my normal wont.
Instead I’m going to share a page from my new soon to be launched website. I can’t wait for you to see this, I think it shows my work in exactly the way I want it to be seen, as an investment in yourself, a way to gain peace and clarity that’s been missing, to finally reconnect to the core of you, who you truly are.
I spent ages writing this thing, and I am so excited to share it with you. There’s just a few tweaks in the copy, spelling and grammar mistakes and then ta-dah!
But in the meantime, I wanted to share this page about ACEs.
What are ACe’s? read on to find out.
But, let me tell you something, if you grew up in a household that was in any way chaotic, abusive, neglectful and/or harmful to your feelings of safety and security. Your feelings of – didn’t have to be actual harm, just feeling unsafe is enough to activate the body’s trauma response.
Then whatever way your body and mind adapted to that is still playing out in your adult life.
And there’s no shame in that. No matter what it is, there’s only a need for you to come to terms with your childhood, release the emotional chains to your past and move forward into life free from trauma, free from that maladaptive behavior, free to be the best version of you that you’ve denied space to since forever.
Want help with that – then that’s what I do. I guide you through the healing process and take you from that broken wreck, where maybe everything looks great on the outside but is a pile of burning ruins on the inside, to feeling whole, at peace with yourself, your past and the world.
I love my work, I love it because every time I take a client on the journey I myself am still on, I learn from them, I grow and the process gets that bit better.
Do yourself a favour and give yourself a chance to be the person you were always meant to be. Get in touch with me today. PM or email me to find out how to work with me and let’s get you past this sh!t to sunshine :).
Here’s the page:
What is it about you that makes you feel like something’s missing, or that you’re always f*cking up, or you’re just not thriving no matter what you do?
Did you ever wonder if it wasn’t about you but about what happened to you?
Have you ever heard of ACEs?
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example:
- experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect
- witnessing violence in the home or community
- having a family member attempt or die by suicide
Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding such as growing up in a household with:
- substance misuse
- mental health problems
- instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison
ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education and job opportunities.
Just in case you think is more psycho-babble ‘blame the parents/childhood’ stuff, let me tell you about the study that the ACE theories and conclusions have come from.
‘The original ACE Study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997 with two waves of data collection. Over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors.’ https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html
The study was actually of 17,337 participants, who were volunteers from approximately 26,000 private health insurance members. About half of the participants were female, almost 75% were white and the average age was 57. 75.2% had attended college, all had jobs and good health care, because they were members of the Kaiser. We are not talking about deprived backgrounds and dangerous home lives here, these were solidly middle class people so the results were not skewed by poverty or racial discrimination.
There has never been a study like this before or since!
And it’s results show, to me at least, that this happens to almost everyone, the results are undeniable and even worse if such a study were to be conducted in deprived areas, the results would probably show much higher correlation between ACEs and adult life outcomes.
Did you ever experience childhood trauma?
Before you say no, let me define childhood trauma.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, childhood trauma is defined as: “The experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”
What in particular is an Adverse Childhood Experience?
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood.
The 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences which appear on the official ACE Quiz include:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Neglect
- Emotional Neglect
- Parents divorced or separated
- Domestic Violence
- Parent or caregiver addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Parent or caregiver who is depressed or mentally ill
- Household member ever been incarcerated
And here’s the thing….
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a tremendous impact on future violence victimisation and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.
And they’re common. For example, 28% of study participants reported physical abuse and 21% reported sexual abuse. Many also reported experiencing a divorce or parental separation, or having a parent with a mental and/or substance use disorder.
They often occur together. Almost 40% of the original sample reported two or more ACEs and 12.5% experienced four or more. Because ACEs occur in clusters, many subsequent studies have examined the cumulative effects of ACEs rather than the individual effects of each.
They impact adult health, social and behavioural outcomes. As researchers followed participants over time, they discovered that a person’s cumulative ACEs score has a strong, graded relationship to numerous health, social, and behavioural problems throughout their lifespan, including mental illness, substance use disorders and failing in life.
ACEs can have lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, and opportunity. These experiences can increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health problems, teen pregnancy, involvement in sex trafficking, and a wide range of chronic diseases and leading causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide.
ACE’s and Toxic Stress
According to the CDC: ACEs and associated conditions, such as living in under-resourced or racially segregated neighbourhoods, frequently moving, and experiencing food insecurity, can cause toxic stress (extended or prolonged stress). Toxic stress and ACEs can change brain development and affect such things as attention, decision-making, learning, and response to stress.
The Compassion Prison Project has the original ACE study questionnaire and they’ve added another 11 questions that are really relevant to the impact of ACE’s in diverse communities. If you want to take the text yourself, click on this link and if you can, please consider leaving a donation.
As the esteemed Dr. Vince Felitti says in the seminal book Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa, ‘just one conversation about the fact that ACEs matter in a person’s current health status can have enormously beneficial outcomes.’
Asking (including about subjects we’re taught as children that nice people don’t discuss), Listening, and Accepting that person for who they are, and all their human complexity, creates a powerful model for addressing childhood trauma and can bring great relief to people as they engage in their healing journey.
About the CDC-Kaiser ACE Study
The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being.
More detailed information about the study can be found in the links below or in the article, “Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults
Many states in the US and Wales and Scotland in the Uk are now creating ACE aware programmes for schools and police services. The focus is on trying to prevent ACEs in the future by improving support for parents who and children who are struggling today.
But what if you’re an adult and this happened to you years ago and you’ve adapted to survive but not to thrive? What’s available out there to help you?
This is one of the reasons why I do what I do. I grew up in an ACE rich household, and I experienced the lasting effects of growing up in challenging circumstances and for years I displayed the cause/effect paradigm the study highlighted.
And I know how hard it is to be stuck there. And I know you can change your mind and leave this behind to thrive.
If you lived through ACEs, and you want to leave that emotional and spiritual burden in the past where it belongs, then get in touch.
You are the reason I do what I do.