Adverse Childhood Experiences
Is the story I tell myself about who I am really true?
Does "my story" get in the way of who I want to be?
What do I want from life? Do I have it, why or why not?
If your life isn't quite looking like you want it to, you have a choice...
Do you want the life you currently have?
Do you want the life you know you can have?
If you choose to work on getting the life you know you can have, follow the steps to the right.
STEP 1 Uncover your ACEs score
STEP 2 Schedule Your Complimentary ACEs Consultation
STEP 3 Read about H.E.A.R.T.
STEP 4 Subscribe to my website & get
your Complimentary Course
"The Power of Authenticity"
STEP 5 Schedule a Conversation from the H.E.A.R.T., this will plant
the seed for your growth &
Nearly 20 years ago, researchers for the Center for Disease Control and Kaiser uncovered scientific proof of just how damaging our childhood experiences can be.
They uncovered a Science Behind Our Stories.
The findings of the ACEs study just may give you the answers as to why you are the way you are! Prepare to say "It all makes sense now - my whole life makes sense!".
ACEs: The Science Behind Your Story
the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
First, the Story- then the Science
Next, you can choose to find out YOUR ACEs Score
After that, schedule your complimentary ACEs Q&A session
Together, we'll develop a plan to best utilize this new information
The Story: You
What is The Story?
"The Story" refers to the story you've been telling yourself about who you believe you are; it isn't the "real you" but it is how you see yourself. This view of yourself comes from all the different beliefs you have about who you are - the "I am _______" statements of your life. Some beliefs are true but most are not; when we find ourselves stuck in life a false self-belief is often the underlying cause. Beliefs are formed from your life experiences.
The Cycle of your Family's Story
The Real Truth about the Cycle of any Family's Story...
- Your beliefs, thoughts, values and coping mechanisms are influenced by the people who raised you. As kids, we are like sponges taking in all the water around us.
- Your parents, my parents and us, did the best we can with the resources we have available at the time.
- Many parents/adults have yet to unpack and heal from their own childhood experiences.
- As much as we promise ourselves we won't, many of us end up turning into our parents!
- You may hate the dysfunction of your family, but as a kid it was what you knew - it was your comfort zone.
- Your brain is wired to seek out what you know and unless you intentionally look for something different, you will find more of your comfort zone.
- Your "comfort zone" zone may suck but you settle for it because you know what to expect.
- Growth and change involve jumping into the fear of what you don't know!
Will Sara Pass on Her Childhood Story to the Daughter She is Carrying?
The above graph depicts the timeline of Sara childhood. We see her as she grows - as her story develops. We then see Sara as a young woman expecting a daughter of her own.Will Sara continue the Cycle of her Family's Story by parenting her daughter like her parents parented her?
The Real Truth about the Cycle of any Family's Story...
Almost all.families have some degree of dysfunction hanging on their "family tree!".
Unfortunately, most families don't even know they are dysfunctional because to them, dysfunction is all they know.
Smart people can stay in dysfunctional situations if they've nothing to compare it too. The graph to the left is my family tree of dysfunction - I thought my family was like everyone elses!
The ultimate cause of the Cycle of the Family Story is lack of awareness.
To fix something that's broken you first have to realize it's broken.
Cycle of the Family Story
The only way to Break the Cycle is to see that the Cycle exists!
You Break the Cycle of the Story with Self-Awareness !
Wait, come back - don't run away!
Self-Awareness isn't scary - it's actually kind of fun at times. You do have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. None of us are eager to uncover our flaws and take the blame for things we've blamed others for.
But if you want for your life to change - YOU have to change.
There's no way around it. The only way to move beyond the pain of the past is to feel it! Only then will you be able to finally let it go.
The good news is you don'[t have to go it alone.n I've been where you are going. I am here to support you if you wish.
Once you decide that you want to Break the Cycle of your Story and the patterns that keep you stuck, I can help you...
the Science- ACES
It isn't You
Do you ever feel like you're different than other people? Not better or worse, just different. You can't really pinpoint what it is, you just have the nagging feeling.
Maybe you notice it in social situations. You just want to feel like you belong but you never really "fit in".. Everyone likes you yet you have very few friends.
Maybe you notice it in your work life. You walk the same path as the people around you but you just don’t seem to move forward at the pace they do.
Life for you rarely seems to "flow" with ease. It seems like one crisis after another!
You beat yourself up thinking...
“What’s wrong with me?”
If that sounds like you, I have some great news! There’s a really good chance it’s not you, it’s what you experienced as a kid!
Yep, that damn story again!
This time, you may uncover that there is a scientifically proven explanation for what you are feeling.
You see, there’s a “Science Behind Your Story” and what researchers have discovered will help you see yourself, your life in a whole different light!
Reclaim your power as you learn about how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) change your brain, your body and you!
You may finally be able to put the pieces of your puzzle together!
You, your struggles, your life will finally all begin to make sense!
What are ACES?
The CDC Report
*The following statement defining ACES is taken directly from the CDC's website.
"Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest
unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.”
-Dr. Robert Block, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics
"Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to
risky health behaviors,
chronic health conditions,
low life potential, and
As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes.
The wide-ranging health and social consequences of ACEs underscore the importance of preventing them before they happen. CDC promotes lifelong health and well-being through Essentials for Childhood – Assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. Essentials for Childhood can have a positive impact on a broad range of health problems and on the development of skills that will help children reach their full potential)."
Note: 1) Experiences were combined in the above graphic
2)The 10 ACE's identified in the study are not inclusive of what can be considered adversity. It's simply those that
were identified in study participants.
My interpretation of ACEs
Speaking as a woman with a high ACEs score,
here is what I believe about ACEs...
They are experiences in childhood that leave a child
feeling physically and/or emotionally unsafe,
whether the danger is actual or *anticipated
Most of us have a story about who we believe are. That "story" often comes from the experiences we have in childhood.In the past, we've been told to simply "move on from" or "get over" the not so pleasant experiences from our childhood. These experiences were once believed to only affect our emotional well being. The ACEs Study provides scientific proof that certain childhood experiences can have significant consequences that can last a lifetime. The "fallout" from ACEs affects every aspect of daily life.
The Faces of ACES
the Faces of ACEs?
They are the faces of the people
you see everyday
babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, parents, grandparents,
nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles,
friends, bosses and coworkers.
They are the faces of those
you respect and trust
doctors, nurses, lawyers, business professionals,
law enforcement, military,
students, teachers and preachers
They are the faces of those who
you may not understand
those with addictions,
criminals, gang members,
the homeless, those with mental illness,
prostitutes, rapists and runaways
just to mention a few.
ACEs Don't Discriminate.
The feeling of "I am not safe" can be in response to an actual threat or an *anticipated threat. The brain doesn't differentiate between the two - it responds the same way regardless.
An anticipated threat can happen when at some point in the past you were in actual danger (a tiger was chasing you). Ever since then you are constantly on the lookout for the same experience (tiger).
When a child senses an underlying feeling of being not safe their "mind" is on high alert 24/7 waiting for it to happen again!
This is referred to as Chronic Toxic Stress and it triggers Fight, Flight or Freeze" (FFF) - a system intended to protect us from danger.
ACEs bring on
Chronic Toxic Stress
Most of us have a story about who we believe are.
That "story" often comes from the experiences we have in childhood.
In the past, we've been told to simply "move on from" or "get over" the not so pleasant experiences from our childhood.
These experiences were once believed to only affect our emotional well being.
The ACEs Study provides scientific proof that certain childhood experiences can have significant consequences that can last a lifetim eand impact every aspect of daily life.
How does the
Have you ever felt different than other people, like there's something wrong with you?
Well, ACEs may give you an explanation to the question "What's wrong with me?
Scientific research may just validate the short and long term consequences of your unresolved childhood hurt; hurt that you may not even realize is buried deep within you.
ACES is by no means to be used as an excuse as to why you cannot change what's not working in your life. It is however a possible explanation as to why you seem to have a more challenging time moving forward in life than those around you.
If you live your life with the belief that you are innately flawed, your life will be harder than it need be. You may fall into the "poor me" trap which leads to you playing the victim and acting powerless.
The ACEs Study explains why I am who I am because of what happened to me in childhood - those experiences that left me feeling unsafe. When you read about all that ACEs can bring about, you will most likely find yourself saying " it all makes sense now"!
The ACEs Study makes it possible for you to move out of that "poor me" victim mindset and into a mindset of " now that I know what the problem is, let me find a solution". Finding a way to correct a problem leaves you feeling more in control of your life. You have the power to choose a way to "undo" the fallout left behind from your childhood.
How do we
Speaking as a woman with an ACEs score of 6, I believe that the only way to prevent ACEs & the Cycle of Your Story is through Awareness.
Awareness starts with general awareness; bringing ACEs to the general public, both adults & children, will help individuals identify a potential problem.
The above chart was taken from the CDC's website
The second phase of awareness is self-awareness; a process that requires the individual to be willing to delve into the good, bad & ugly of their thoughts, behaviors and perceptions. It's not an easy fix - but it is the ONLY fix!
People like myself can teach you the tools to develop self-awareness and support you through your journey - but like me, you must be willing to do the work. The work involves asking a lot questions and of yourself and being prepared to see things about yourself that you may not like.
The ONLY way to deal with the pain from the past is by feeling it! The Cycle of the Story repeats generation after generation when we choose to deal with pain by pretending it's not there.
The ONLY way to heal from any painful experience is to feel the pain! When we are young the way most of us deal with hurt is to keep pushing it further down so we don't have to feel it. The problem is the pain doesn't go away; it simply festers year after year causing us to feel deep rooted anger, shame and guilt. Any.idea who you are angry at?
Would you be surprised if I told you it was YOU? Yep, there's a good chance you've grown to dislike who you are. The reason is that not allowing yourself to feel the hurt you've hidden you have ignored yourself. You didn't see you - hear you- validate you!
When we are hurt, particularly those we love, our minds have a hard time justifying the experience. Since it doesn't make sense to us we separate ourselves from the experience. The end result of doing this is a disconnection between our mind and body.
Healing from ACE's requires reconnecting mind and body. The chart below illustrates some ways to connect mind and body.
*** There is an onslaught of information on the web about ACEs and not all of it is consistent. The information you will find here with me is a compilation of the evidence based findings and what I believe to be true based on my personal experience and my experience from listening to the stories of thousands of women over the years. I am a RN and have been for 25 years however for the purpose of this website, I am speaking to you as a woman - not a RN. I also want you to know that I am not a licensed mental health provider and none of what I do falls under the classification of"therapy".