What ACEs/PCEs do you have?

What ACEs do you have?

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. (There are many others…see below.) Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and experiencing divorce of parents. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.

There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences, depending on the positive childhood experiences you had (see below).

Prior to your 18th birthday:

  1. Did 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?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  2. 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 were injured?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  4. 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?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  5. 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 drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at 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?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?                        No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  10. Did a household member go to prison?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score


Now that you know your ACEs, what does it mean?

First….a tiny bit of background to help you figure this out…..(if you want the back story about the fascinating origins of the ACE Study, read The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — the largest, most important public health study you never heard of — began in an obesity clinic.)

The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Studyuncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.

The first research results were published in 1998, followed by more than 70 other publications through 2015. They showed that:

  • childhood trauma was very common, even in employed white middle-class, college-educated people with great health insurance;
  • there was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as depression, suicide, being violent and a victim of violence;
  • more types of trauma increased the risk of health, social and emotional problems.
  • people usually experience more than one type of trauma – rarely is it only sex abuse or only verbal abuse.

A whopping two thirds of the 17,000 people in the ACE Study had an ACE score of at least one — 87 percent of those had more than one. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have done their own ACE surveys; their results are similar to the CDC’s ACE Study.


The study’s researchers came up with an ACE score to explain a person’s risk for chronic disease. Think of it as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. You get one point for each type of trauma. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems. (Of course, other types of trauma exist that could contribute to an ACE score, so it is conceivable that people could have ACE scores higher than 10; however, the ACE Study measured only 10 types.)

As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems. With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; attempted suicide, 1,220 percent.

(By the way, lest you think that the ACE Study was yet another involving inner-city poor people of color, take note: The study’s participants were 17,000 mostly white, middle and upper-middle class college-educated San Diegans with good jobs and great health care – they all belonged to the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization. Prior to the ACE Study, most research about effects of abuse, neglect, etc., involved poor people of color who live in the inner city. And so the notion was that it was inner-city people of color who experienced abuse, neglect, etc., not white middle-class or white upper-class people….that somehow white people of means were immune from the kinds of problems affecting people who were poor. That’s not only ridiculous, but it was just another way to perpetrate racism and classism. The ACE Study quashed that notion. So, it’s not that I’m saying that the ACE Study is credible because it was done on white people, I’m saying that the ACE Study opened the door to an understanding that ACEs are at the root of nearly all problems of physical, mental, economic and social health in humans, no matter where in the world those humans live. The ACE Study and the other research that makes up ACEs science provided an opening to a better understanding of the constructs that make up our notion of why people suffer ill health — physical, mental, economic, social — and that includes systemic racism. )

Here are some specific graphic examples of how increasing ACE scores increase the risk of some diseases, social and emotional problems. All of these graphs come from “The relationship of adverse childhood experiences to adult health, well being, social function and health care”, a book chapter by Drs. Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda, co-founders of the ACE Study, in “The Hidden Epidemic: The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease.”






What causes this?

At the same time that the ACE Study was being done, parallel research on kids’ brains found that toxic stress damages the structure and function of a child’s developing brain. This was determined by a group of neuroscientists and pediatricians, including neuroscientist Martin Teicher and pediatrician Jack Shonkoff, both at Harvard University, neuroscientist Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University, and child psychiatrist Bruce Perry at the Child Trauma Academy.

When children are overloaded with stress hormones, they’re in flight, fright or freeze mode. They can’t learn in school. They often have difficulty trusting adults or developing healthy relationships with peers (i.e., they become loners). To relieve their anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and/or inability to focus, they turn to easily available biochemical solutions — nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine — or activities in which they can escape their problems — high-risk sports, proliferation of sex partners, and work/over-achievement. (e.g. Nicotine reduces anger, increases focus and relieves depression. Alcohol relieves stress.)

Using drugs or overeating or engaging in risky behavior leads to consequences as a direct result of this behavior.
For example, smoking can lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or lung cancer. Overeating can lead to obesity and diabetes. In addition, there is increasing research that shows that severe and chronic stress leads to bodily systems producing an inflammatory response that leads to disease.

In addition, toxic stress can be passed down from generation to generation. The field of epigenetics shows that we are born with a set of genes that can be turned on and off, depending on what’s happening in our environment. If a child grows up with an overload of toxic stress, their stress-response genes are likely to be activated so that they are easily triggered by stressful situations that don’t affect those who don’t grow up with toxic stress. They can pass that response onto their children.  

Fortunately, brains and lives are somewhat plastic. Resilience research shows that the appropriate integration of resilience factors — such as asking for help, developing trusting relationships, forming a positive attitude, listening to feelings — can help people improve their lives.

For more information about ACEs science and how it’s being used, go to: PACEs Science 101.

For more information about the ACE Study, check out the CDC’s ACE Study site.

Here’s a link to the long questionnaire (200+ questions).

For more information about PACEs science, go to PACEs Science 101.


What are PCEs — positive childhood experiences?

Although there is still much to learn about ACEs and how to prevent and mitigate their effects, we also all know that childhood experiences are not limited to those that involve adversity. All childhood experiences matter. In the last few years, researchers have started to examine the impacts of positive childhood experiences (PCEs) on children and adults.

In 2019, a team of researchers — Dr. Christina Bethell, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Narangerel Gombojav, Dr. Jeff Linkenbach and Dr. Robert Sege — found a dose-response association between positive childhood experiences and adult mental and relationship health among adults who had experienced ACEs, irrespective of how many ACEs they had. This means that it’s really important to have positive childhood experiences, no matter how much adversity you have in your life. And if you have a lot of adversity and a lot of positive childhood experiences, you are less likely to suffer the consequences of ACEs. However if you have no positive childhood experiences and few ACEs, the consequences of the ACEs are more likely to appear. Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample: Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels | JAMA Pediatrics.

To find out what positive childhood experiences you have, answer the following questions. How much or how often during your childhood did you:

  1. feel able to talk to your family about feelings;
  2. feel your family stood by you during difficult times;
  3. enjoy participating in community traditions;
  4. feel a sense of belonging in high school;
  5. feel supported by friends;
  6. have at least two non-parent adults who took genuine interest in you; and
  7. feel safe and protected by an adult in your home.

In terms of research, these are still early days, says Dr. Robert Whitaker, director of Research and Research Education at the Columbia-Bassett Program and professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University: “This area of PACEs research is emerging, but the boundaries of that research have not really been defined, particular as complement to the well-established body of research on resilience.”


From  “Brains: Journey to Resilience”, Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.



“PCEs may have lifelong consequences for mental and relational health despite co-occurring adversities such as ACEs,” noted Dr. Christina Bethell in Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample: Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels. Bethell is professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and founding director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. “In this way, they support application of the World Health Organization’s definition of health emphasizing that health is more than the absence of disease or adversity. The World Health Organization’s positive construct of health is aligned with the proactive promotion of positive experiences in childhood because they are foundational to optimal childhood development and adult flourishing.”

However, in terms of integrating what we know about PACEs, we have enough information to continue integrating the science into our work. If we want to change individuals, organizations, communities, and systems we need to talk about both positive and adverse childhood experiences — PACEs — and how they intertwine throughout our lives….

  • At the individual level, learning about ACEs helps us understand why we behave the way we do, and that our coping behavior is normal…a normal response to abnormal circumstances. Learning about PCEs provides direction to heal. The key concept about PACEs is that learning about both, together, can help improve our health and well-being. It gives us hope.
  • At the organizational level, staff and leaders can use knowledge of PACEs to create healing-centered work environments and programs in all sectors.
  • At the community level, educating the public about PACEs can provide hope and foster the development of innovative ideas about how to support families, organizations and communities. Understanding the interplay between positive and adverse experiences offers opportunity for engagement with all sectors. Communities can use this new lens to create mindful, healing-centered, research-informed approaches to prevent adversity and encourage connection and healing.
  • At the system level, policymakers and leaders can use research about PACEs to find common ground across fields and to support policies that promote the understanding of PACEs and how adversity and positive experiences work together.

At least two organizations are taking this approach and doing research to guide their actions:

  • The Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) team at Tufts Medical Center have identified four building blocks that lessen the negative effects of ACEs: relationships, environments, engagement, and social emotional development. HOPE – Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences
  • The Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, focuses its research on the “science and power of hope as a psychological strength, especially among those experiencing trauma and adversity.” The Center defines hope as “the belief that the future will be better and you have the power to make it so.” Hope Research Center (ou.edu)

If you’re interested in becoming more involved in the PACEs science community, join our companion social network, PACEs Connection. Just go to PACEsConnection.com and click “Join”. PACEsConnection.com is the leading advocate for information about the science of positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACEs) and the rapidly expanding, global PACEs science movement. 

2,517 responses

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  10. The stats are informative, I do have experience of dealing with adults who have revealed childhood problems with parents and other adults who now are heavy smokers, drinkers, drug users, usually these children were not fed properly or had no attention from adults in, were in general deprived, and now they have health problems such as heart problems, dental, liver, COPD and asthma etc so it does all add up in the end.


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  13. I got a 5 on the ACE score and a big fat zero on the PCE’s – I guess having a rare chronic condition (Addison’s Disease) caused by autoimmune disease is now understandable, as is the hypothyroidism, the severe clinical depression, the Asthma the type 2 diabetes, then high blood pressure, the obesity, and hypertension. Yay, go me.


  14. Though it may be clinically labelled as some other disorder, I have a self-diagnosed condition involving ACE trauma, ASD and high sensitivity — which I freely refer to as a perfect storm of train wrecks. It’s one with which I greatly struggle(d) while unaware, until I was a half-century old, that its component dysfunctions had official names.

    When around their neurotypical peers, young people with ASD typically feel compelled to “camouflage” or “mask”, terms used to describe their attempts at appearing to naturally fit in when around their neurotypical peers, an effort known to cause their already high anxiety and/or depression levels to worsen. And, of course, this exacerbation is reflected in the disproportionately high rate of suicide among ASD people.

    I still cannot afford to have a formal diagnosis made on my condition, due to having to pay for a specialized shrink, in our (Canada’s) supposedly universal health-care system. Within that system, there are important health treatments that are universally inaccessible, except for those with a bunch of extra money. … If one has diagnosed and treated such a formidable condition when one is very young, he/she will likely be much better able to deal with it through life.

    Nonetheless, my experience has revealed to me that high-scoring adverse childhood experience trauma that essentially results from a highly sensitive introverted existence notably exacerbated by an accompanying autism spectrum disorder, can readily lead an adolescent to a substance-abuse/self-medicating disorder, including through eating. Though I’ve not been personally affected by the addiction/overdose crisis, I have suffered enough unrelenting ACE-related hyper-anxiety to have known and enjoyed the euphoric release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC. The self-medicating method I utilized during most of my pre-teen years, however, was eating.

    I also now know that my brain basically uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. It’s like a discomforting anticipation of ‘the other shoe dropping’ and simultaneously being scared of how badly I will deal with the upsetting event, which usually never transpires. It is like a form of brain damage.

    Perhaps not surprising, I’d like to see child-development science curriculum implemented for secondary high school students, which could also include neurodiversity, albeit not overly complicated. If nothing else, the curriculum would offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally/mentally compatible with the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood. … Really, the best gift a child can receive is a healthy, properly functioning brain thus mind for life.


    • For one thing, our standard educators need to be further educated on Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially when it comes to preventing the abuse of autistic students by their neurotypical peers and teachers alike.

      I feel that not only should all school teachers receive mandatory ASD training, there should also be an inclusion in standard high school curriculum of child-development science that would also teach students about the often-debilitating condition (without being overly complicated). If nothing else, the curriculum would offer students an idea/clue as to whether they themselves are emotionally/mentally compatible with the immense responsibility and strains of regular, non-ASD-child parenthood.

      It would explain to students how, among other aspects of the condition, people with ASD (including those with higher functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent, when in fact such behavior is really not a choice. And how “camouflaging” or “masking,” terms used to describe ASD people pretending to naturally fit into a socially ‘normal’ environment, causes their already high anxiety and depression levels to further increase. Of course, this exacerbation is reflected in the disproportionately high rate of suicide among ASD people.


  15. This unit is very interesting it tells me about a lot of complex issues that a lot of people don’t think about when working with residential young people.


  16. Could my child’s acute anxiety and Tourette’s be a function of ACE? The fact that she is a difficult teen with teen brain makes it hard to help and hard to unpick whether the pre verbal traumas are part accountable, or whether it’s just being a teen. She was traumatised aged 2 by her birth parents and being removed from them although they were loving.


    • Hi, Monica: It could be. As Bessel van der Kolk says in his book, The Body Keeps the Score, a traumatic childhood gets into our body’s systems and shows up in different ways. If you haven’t read it, it might be helpful.


    • OK, this reply is long because this is my work in life. To try and say this to any parent who will listen. First thing to do in your situation is try to take yourself out of it a bit and observe your behavior from the outside: Is there anything that might make her feel as if she can’t trust you to validate her feelings, help her or meet her needs? Be gentle to yourself! Maybe it’s purely situational. A kid can feel that when their household does’t have enough food, no matter how hard the parent may be trying to provide for their kids. Maybe it’s something you’ve said with one intention that was interpreted differently in her mind. She probably couldn’t even name it, but she needs your help to figure it out.

      Even if what you find is a problem with your own behavior, it doesn’t mean you are bad or that you intended harm or even that you did anything wrong per se. Sometimes we do harm without meaning to, and sometimes kids just don’t have a full understanding of interpersonal communication! Kids can’t physically protect themselves from an adult with ill will, so their brains have some extra sensitive failsafes. A child may internalize an idea that an adult never intended. All we can do is figure it out as soon as possible, stop, and try to make it right. We all make mistakes and it’s the only way to make amends for something we can’t take back. Again, it’s also totally possible this is rooted totally outside of your relationship with her.

      I really wish my mom could have done this, just took herself out of the picture long enough to realize that people don’t generally act out for no reason! They REact because of something. If we could have gotten to the bottom of it, it would have saved me a LOT of self harm and very serious hospitalizations. I have to believe she would have acted to stop the torrent of abuse I was receiving at that time from family, strangers, abuse of all sorts. I’m sure you would help if something was wrong in your kid’s life.

      Here’s a concrete example from my life. My ACEs score is 7, so I was reacting to a lot when I was a “difficult teen.” My mom thought I was a “difficult teen” even though I was 10 years old when my anger became too big to hide. Just 10. But what her brain could handle is looking back at that time and believing her kid was just being normally reactive for her age. Remembering it that way protects her from guilt and her own trauma. Otherwise she might have to think that she lived through trauma and then allowed it to happen to her own daughter. That’s so hard. She can’t even describe her own trauma as trauma. It can be hard to even admit you were harmed in the past. Her kid brain learned some ways to deal with trauma that didn’t serve her so well when she became a parent. She couldn’t face it and move forward to a place where she could look at her own behavior clearly. I feel so bad for her. Yet, at the time, I was so angry that I was trapped in situations that were seriously damaging me and no adult was stopping it. When you’re little, maybe that’s the only way you can understand it. It profoundly changed how I felt about all humankind. The world became a dark place.

      When I was angry, she made a habit of making fun of me. To her, it was some ribbing that would hopefully show me how silly I was acting for “no reason.” Her intentions were good and to her, how she handled it seemed innocuous. But it taught me that even if I desperately needed help from my parent, I would just be ridiculed for asking. She would pile abuse on top of abuse. Why would I put myself through that? She would surely have helped if she had known! I bet you would, too. But I had already been harmed so much that my brain developed stricter screening methods when anticipating the actions of adults. Our brains are built to protect us from things like this. A suspicious child may manage to avoid additional harm to her body. It was safer for my brain to assume we couldn’t trust my mom anymore, with so much lived experience showing that adults are totally willing to hurt kids. And even now, with the danger decades in the past, I still can’t trust properly and struggle to maintain healthy relationships.

      It’s good to remember that trauma doesn’t just change abstract behavior, it changes how a child’s brain is structured and “wired.” I know you don’t want your kid to live out her life feeling alienated from the world. What’s happening to her also may not be a life-altering big deal. If you broke your arm, the best time to get it treated would always be ASAP. Better to address things before they’re big. So I’d gently suggest that you try to be brave and figure out what your kid is reacting to, just in case, even if it’s messy and so difficult for you to do and even if you feel bad or defensive. All we can do is be better. I wish my mom had tried. I wish she could have done the work as the adult in the situation instead of leaving me to figure it out before it kills me.

      Just keep in mind that the problem at hand could simply be any need that one or both of you aren’t aware of. It only has to feel important to your kid for it to cause problems. It doesn’t mean you are bad, just that she doesn’t feel like she is safe/protected/has needs met/whatever the case may be, no matter how big or small it may seem to you.

      Also, it is a harrowing read, but I second the recommendation for reading The Body Keeps the Score. It saved my life.


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  18. Knowing my ace score is Extremely helpful to helping me develop a plan of action for myself as I do not want to live like this I have survived for almost 50 years experiencing the trauma that I’ve experienced!


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  26. I scored 10 on ACEs, 1 on Resilience. Was recently diagnosed with CPTSD. I struggle everyday with panic attacks. I smoke wayyy too many cigarettes, but I can’t stop.

    I used to self harm a lot, and always wondered why I stopped. Well I figured it out the last time I attempted to quit smoking. I picked up one vice for the next.

    Feels good to be heard in therapy, finally. Hoping my therapist can save me, because a lot of the time I worry that if this doesn’t work this time, I doubt anything will be able to help me.

    I will say that I’m lucky in the regard that I am very good at my job, and often get complimented by upper management on how I am at the top performance-wise. They tell me I’m the best worker they have, however my downfall is that I miss work a lot. Somedays it hurts to move or to even form a coherent thought. It’s like I’m falling apart and breaking down on the inside, but the outside appears to be sunshine and daisies to everyone else. I wish I could see a fraction of what they see in me. I wish I could believe that I was worth something, but how- I can’t even muster up the energy to get out of bed most of the time. It’s hard to see worth there, when I’m not really contributing to society.


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  29. This was an eye opener. I didn’t realize all the things listed could cause trauma. I know of the biggies, but wouldn’t have guessed some of the lesser things.


  30. i was the love child of 2 irresponsible teenagers running from there own abusive lives and created a world of destruction and made 4 souls lives a prisiom of fear and control through cruel manipulation emotion head games ,
    my parents were narcissistic/ psychotic self absorbed piers who used their children to fulfill their empty souls ,con-artists, drug addicts , resists hate mungers ,swingers heroine dealers , i was abused physically mentally sexually as a toddler, child preteen and teen , we moved homes 20 times before high school, i never had any close friends or meaningful relationships the first 14 years if my life .i finally ran away after my mother tried to rape one night and i pushed her off and she attacked me , i fought her off , for the 1st time in my entire life .i jumped out of my bedroom window .6 months later i got s job cooking at a hotel.
    i rmoved into a shit hotel room for the next 2 years just surviving .
    i am the oldest boy of 4,kids
    i couldn’t protect myself my siblings or escape the beatings then soothing apology’s followed by sexual touching from my mother. my father was in and out of jail, he had a heroine addiction from 19 years old till he died at 42 years old , i was 17.
    it was push and pull my whole life ,
    i was taught to lie steal cheat to hate others to to take as much as i could from others , never contributing or knowing what true love was
    we were in constant survival mode,
    my personality split and i was told to just deal with it.
    at 20 i had a spiritual awaking through the top of my head and a month later i met the 21 year old university student who would later move me into her doarm room , she brought me home and 5 years later married a broken adult, i repressed all my abuse
    .i repressed my dark life and attempted to live life as i saw through her family’s eyes .
    i failed miserably at knowing myself or what love was i just felt i my now wife had known me beyond this life, she loved me and shown me a kindness that i had never know
    how could i tell her the darkest times of my life
    i had lived a life of hating myself for 15 years until i had my son at 34 and daughter at 36
    i was addicted to everything my doctor would prescribe me
    i was sick with multiple major problems
    non mental .
    i was someone who hid my dark past for another 6 years until i couldn’t look in the mirror at myself
    i was trying to kill myself
    ended up in jail for printing prescription for years , cheated
    stolen arrested
    reckless driving
    shooting up
    left my family for days on end
    i was never home
    i was my parents …..
    i attempted suicide for the 3rd time
    1st time anyone had known about anything that had happened in my life
    it was hidden from everyone
    how bad it really was.
    a dark family secret
    my grandma and grandpa were millionaires and knew about it all
    anytime something happened they cleaned it up and paid the lawyers and moved us
    they were ashamed .
    i’m 46 today, married 25 years and i know who i am finally.
    i am loved
    i am love
    i am working on my best self
    i’m therapy for everything i can handle a little at a time .
    working on marriage counseling.
    in drug rehabilitation outpatient 6 years .
    MY children tell me i’m the Best dad in the world and i know it .
    i don’t speak to my mother and never will again
    grandparents left me enough money to give my family a home that will never move again .
    i’m a broken man glued together with love and today is hard , but i’m okay
    i’m safe .
    i’m happy


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  34. I learned a bit more about myself, but it’s hard to not feel like my situations aren’t real when other people tell me differently.


  35. Thank you for this video, well detailed and elaborated on what causes/triggers of trauma could be, and also understanding how to work with people suffering from it, just like most of us going through one thing or the other. Thanking you once gain


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  40. I’m a 5 on this list. My mother took her own life when I was 14, I think. I have blocked this horrific event so well that I can’t remember when it happened. I remember a month after it happened, I had a very sad birthday celebration with an empty chair (Moms) at the dinner table and I wore a sign that said “Be nice to me- it’s my birthday.” The loss of my mother affected the rest of my life, but I didn’t know how or why until now. All of my offspring are struggling (along with me) and I thought it was because I was a bad mother. I am still trying to understand how my mom could leave behind 5 children. Thank you for helping me make sense of something that has haunted me for 50 years. I have forwarded this article to my siblings, children and grandchildren. At least there is still hope that we can fix this before another generation of my family is lost to addiction and mental illness. ❤️


  41. I’m a 9 on ACES.
    CPTSD… dissociate… Disorganized Attachment that leans towards Avoidant.
    Raised 3 children by studying, learning and seeking help in order to offer them a sense of security, safety and unconditional love and respect. I now need to learn how to feel safe and trusting with men. I would like to consider having an adult relationship based on compatibility and mutual respect. I need help because I know nothing about healthy, sustainable relationships with men. Very difficult finding experienced therapists who work with Attachment disorders, CPTSD, dissociation, etc. Even harder to find a competent therapist who accepts insurance. And… let’s be real…a maximum of 6-10 visits a year is a mere drop in the bucket. It takes 6-10 visits to just share my biography. Very frustrating and sometimes kinda hopeless feeling. Attachment Therapy requires a sustained relationship with an experienced, and preferably trained, trustworthy person in order to develop new attachment areas in the brain. Not a simple fix. Plus, CPTSD is not even recognized in the DSM. I did my best to break the cycle for my children and now would like to learn how to find some peaceful and satisfying opportunities to bond with adults (not trauma-bond). At this point, I stay away from meeting new people because I am very aware of my lack of healthy relationship skills. Where is affordable, accessible help for adults who are ready to retrain their brains towards healthier and maybe happier lifestyles?


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  47. I am comforted by your comments. In my childhood experience, my younger sister had such horrible mental issues. I didn’t understand that at the time. So my parents focused on helping her, I had to pick up her chores with no explanation on why. I just figured in my childish way that I was the Cinderella in the family. So I don’t think I developed emotionally. My emotions are sometimes uncontrollable. I have had very few good relationships. As you, I’ve been picked on because of my “strangeness “. I so want to be free from my bad thoughts so I can properly serve our Father God. Again thank you.


    • Im 12 and i have an aces score of 3 all because of my dad he is so mean but im afraid to tell anyone ells. he is a narcissist and does not under stand that what he is doing is wrong.


      • You are self aware. You must love yourself. You are worth loving. Your father is damaged and damaging.


  48. These studies are only regarding people with and ACE score of 1-4. I have an ACE score of nine. I’d like to know what you’ve found out about people like me.


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  50. I have a ACE score of 7 ish. And my PCE’s are generally mixed with bad, I have very few purely good memories. I grew up in a cult and was homeschooled, so very few outside influences for the first 13 years of my life. The cult had its own music, videos, children’s tv productions, novels and “literature”. We had a completely rigid schedule and very little parental input that was positive. I am currently on a waiting list to be seen by a physiologist and hopefully start to learn move resilience and coping skills. I have kids of my own now and if terrifies me every day that I may become even a fraction of what my parents and other adults around us were like.


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  55. I’d love to speak to someone about my ACE score and get an experts perspective on the way my life has panned out, is this possible??


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  59. Wow.. I scored a 3 on the Ace and about a 4 on the resilience. But I had a very supportive mom and sisters. There were crazy events that took place when I was younger, but I never used drugs or drank more than occasionally. There was some early inappropriate sexual behavior as a result of childhood molestation. I will share this information with my friends and family so we can get a better understanding of ourselves and our children.

    Liked by 1 person

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  62. Funny how this is skewed. Its assumed the man is violent. The survey is inherently sexist. All of the violence was started by a vicious step mother, who married my father, after my real mother a drunk and druggie, just left when I was 4.
    The new step monster was their to rob him blind and nothing else. I was hit with bats, belts, pans, once a turkey, bottles, plates, I had multiple bones broken, was stabbed with scissors, a kitchen knife, fork, was burned, got raped with a wine bottle and she then smashed on my head, stitches, I was intentionally starved, intentionally sleep deprived, and used as slave labor.

    My stepmother was a monster. I got a 10 score. 2 at bottom.
    I wish I had killed her. I should have. She definitely deserved it. I still want too.

    She was so crazy, she beat herself up, and called the cops, said my Dad beat her and left. They arrested him on his way home from work. And wouldnt believe me, when I told them what happened.

    I was beaten and starved to the point, I got taken by state. Then, dumped in a bad boys home where I got raped. Again… nobody believed me. Again.

    As an adult.

    I am extremely prone to violence. Not just a little either. If I’m set off. I literally may kill you with my bare hands.
    I have no sympathy or empathy.
    I have maybe 2 friends. They are psychos.
    I cant maintain any relationship, because at the first sign of anger in a woman… I want to kill them in retaliation.
    I have a permanent flinch. If someone is near me, and moves suddenly, I expect to be hit. Ive reacted poorly, numerous times in public. Which is embarrassing.
    Ill never have kids. I wouldnt wish, what I went through, on anyone.

    In the upside… all this quarantine isolation people are complaining about…
    Thats my regular life.


    • I don’t know how nobody has replied to this. This sounds like the most awful, traumatic childhood experience, and when I read it I just had to tell you that I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve any of that, and yes, that step monster deserves to die a horrible death. Not that me saying that can help or change the past. But I hope you find some comfort knowing that someone has read your story, and spent time thinking about you. I’m training to be a child play therapist and I hope I can somewhat help children have or are experiencing horrific childhoods for whatever reason. Be kind to yourself. I hope you can heal from this past of yours. Good luck 🙂


    • My mother was also the primary abuser, a lot of what you talk about is the same stuff I went through. I read this and I felt for you. Please try to get help somehow. You don’t have to be what these people tried to make you. Please don’t let them win. That’s what I always thought, as a kid—‘a few more years, just a few more years and I can escape’, and ‘I will never let her beat me or break me’. You are better and you deserve better. Peace, friend.


    • I am so sorry that your childhood went this way Mike. It is awful. I hope you reach out for support. It may not be easy, but there are many qualified people who can help you through some of your trauma and reflexes. I really think a quality professional who specializes in EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming could really help you get a handle on this. I’m sorry this happened to you and I am a complete stranger who was looking for a particular article and came across your comment. I couldn’t scroll past it. I wanted you to know, I hear you, I believe you and I am glad you are still here. Your simple comment like this is helping people and what an abundance of courage, strength and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. This is what the human experience is all about. So thank you. Don’t give up, keep going.


    • I’m sorry you went through all of that.
      I wish you only the best in life. Is there any way you could start listening to meditation music or positive affirmations? I believe you!


    • Hey Mike, I never write comments on forums but I wanted to say, I hear you and am sorry you went through that. Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story and speaking your truth despite not feeling heard in the past. You have incredible self awareness about yourself and understand why you exhibit certain thoughts and behaviours – I have yet to come across a “violent” person who is self aware and looking into healing, like yourself. This speaks volumes about your soul and true nature underneath it all. There is light and goodness in you, I sense it and know you can re-train your nervous system, heal from trauma, feel safe in your body, and live and love freely.


  63. I scored 9 on the Aces and 6 on the resilience. I’m not sure what this all means? I’m drug and smoke free for 12mths. Alcohol working progress. I suffer with chronic anxiety, non epileptic seizures fibromyalgia. Diagnosed with complex ptsd. Nerve pain to the face, hand and feet

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    • Pete Walker has a book titled Complex PTSD from Surviving to Thriving if you haven’t found anyone yet and want to try self healing. 😊


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  72. I would like to know why severe never-ending mental and physical abuse from a sibling is not included. Why the ignorance that it does not exist? And parents that do nothing because they are afraid of one of their children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The more recent ACE-related studies have broadened the adverse experiences content:
      Sibling and peer victimization
      Property crimes
      Parental death as a child
      Community violence


      • What about frequent relocation? I think that should be on the ACES list. My dad, for whatever reason, kept changing jobs and moving us to different states. I went to three high schools in three different states. This made it almost impossible to have #4, 5, 6, and 7 on the Positive Experiences list. I was able to make friends and teachers and other adults liked me, but I had to keep starting over. And the “fitting in” part was different in each place. (ACES 4)


  73. I have an ACE score of ten but a resilience score of 12. I grew up in the system, came from the cream of the crop for poor parents. My dad molested me from 4 years old until I was 7. I was finally taken from him and put into a group home until 9 when I was sent home for 6 months to my blood mother who was abusive, manipulative, an extreme drug and alcohol user, and couldn’t afford food because she needed her fix. Eventually, I landed in the system and bounced between that and being sent home to her. Thos bouncing between her, foster homes, and group homes continued until four months before my 17th birthday when finally I was set free of her as well. The court finally found her incompetent and stripped her rights. I am now 22 years old, I am still working through all of the experiences and learning that the choices I make without thinking even come from these events. I am pursuing a career in foster care. I want to be the voice for the kids who are too traumatized to speak up. I want to make sure that youth know that they are loved and cared for and that someone understands the cards they are dealt is not their fault. Knowing my score helps me realize everything I truly overcame and looking back oddly I am thankful because I wouldn’t be me without the horrors.

    Liked by 6 people

  74. Mine was an eight.I do not get this.If you are high scored .Then you passed.I must be one big sick boy which I am here.To go through what I went though in life here and still alive.I just do not know.

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  76. This is so interesting however some of the questions i felt needed to be included on the ACES survey are- did you have a parent or immediate family member die? Did you have a close friend who died? Were you raped by person(s) around the same age?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree, this question should be included in any further research on ACES. “Before you were 20 years old, did someone die in your immediate family or among your close friends ?”

      There should also be a question about domestic violence perpetrated by the mother. In interviewing kids for 30 years I was surprised by how many mentioned DV by the mother against the father. I think that women get away with all kinds of abuse more easily than men.

      Another question that should be added to the original ten is “Did you experience significant or sustained bullying before the age of 18?” I’ve interviewed kids about abuse at home who told me that there was much worse abuse — bullying by other kids or a teacher — in school.


    • Hi, I almost don’t want to leave a comment with my score for both, out of fear of what it might mean! But here goes..

      Quiz 1 Score 7
      Quiz 2 Score 0 and I’d have to say I feel the same today I fear psychological and physical intimacy of a sexual nature. It triggers emotional distress, disassociation episodes and fight/flight.

      I’m curious what my score means though, even if it isn’t good.

      Liked by 1 person

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  79. My Ace score is 9
    My resilliance score is 8
    5 of them are still apply today
    Can you give me a reading now? Or what does this all mean?


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  81. ACE Score 7
    RESILIENCY Score 12 back then and 12 now. How come? I have always been curious, loving, defiant, optimistic etc. I have 8 siblings and I am the only one that has been convicted of a felony! Ha! ( credit card fraud in my early 20’s) I am also the only one that became a Recovery Coach and travels all over the world to speak on recovery, mental health and hope! I am in excellent health, vegan and do not smoke. I quit 10 years ago. My mom and dad would fight, I was molested at church and school, I was bullied, but I was also in all the gifted classes and developed this insatiable appetite for learning and books! ah books! I read and read and found answers! No therapy, no psychiatrists or counselors until I was way into my 30’s. I had 1 year of counseling with an Art Therapist. WE NEVER DID ART, LOL. We talked once a week for about a year. A year later I was different, I also reconnected with my old church. I am a spiritual person, who loves God and knows that he fights on my behalf. I AM VERY RESILIENT and I had to be, the only other option was death. Who wants to die? Nit me, not yet, I have too much to do! I am a woman of purpose, a woman of destiny a woman of hope…


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  83. ACE 7
    Resilience 13

    What helped me not fall into a hole was a network of older women I could turn to and talk to for advice and comfort. I call them my grandmothers and aunties. They were friends of the family mostly who were there for me, even let me stay with them at their house when things were really bad. My mother also acted as a shield for much of the abuse and encouraged me in school and things. Writing was a major comfort for me as well. I’ve kept diaries of my thoughts since grade school. It helped me make sense of what was going on and keep myself focused on the ultimate goal: escaping and making something of myself. A life well lived is the best revenge. And seeing what happened to my abusive brother it has proven totally true.


  84. All good questions but circumstantial. For example, my granny adored me and was always there to wipe my tears and hug me when she came to our house but this was maybe only 3-4 times per year. My mother was a cold fish who was shy and insecure and self immersed in her own social awkwardness. She often didn’t show up for my events or was last to show up making me extremely upset scared and feeling unloved. Later in life she said it was because she didn’t want to interact with parents of my peers – the very thing I wanted so much for her to do to help me gain new friends. I found this inexcusable because she was a college professor and had no problem teaching in large classrooms. She put her own insecurities before a 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12 year old. We all struggled because of her insecurities. Life was very hard. Some kids used to wonder if I had a mother or not. I was left to my own devices because she was so absorbed on her own life and school work. No drinks or drugs just severe emotional neglect that I am paying dearly for today in and with my own life. She is 88 today and we don’t talk because of her. When I try to tell her how much she hurt me she closes the door on me and even threatens to call the police. I shared this with many people and they all say “forget her”
    Which I will have to do. When she dies I can’t go to her funeral. She abandoned me so many times and even in my adult life she has abandoned me too. I will abandon her in death. It is my only recourse. I do not really care. I hope she lives long so I don’t have to deal with that for a long time. She has abandoned my other sibling too. Everyone thinks she is so great and wonderful but the reality is that she was a very bad mother who neglected her kids on so many levels especially emotionally. Unforgivable what she’s done to me.


    • Dear Phoebe, your words gave sadness to my heart. Please do yourself a favour, and forgive your stone cold hearted mother. Who knows, what happened to your mom when she was a child. People don’t become TOUGH, cold and calculating, out of secure sweet loving experiences. We become cold, sometimes, out of need to survive infinite spiritual pain.

      I used to be against a commandment that tells us to HONOUR our parents. Used to look everywhere for a justification to hate my mother.

      Many years later, I became mother, and I committed worst mistakes than my mother. And realized, I had WRONGLY, judged my mom. Seventeen, years in recovery, has taught me: she did her BEST, with what she had, all she had were her own childhood adverse experiences. Money and status, don’t make a difference. Spiritual pain, is the same, here and in China. By spiritual pain I mean: shame, bitterness, sadness, anger, anxiety, emotional neglect and many more.


      • Strongly disagree. Someone who tells a person to forgive is doing the same harm already done to that person. Phoebe gets to choose forgiveness, on her terms. There is no longer a “should” see from her mothers pov. That’s what an abuser already spent years forcing us to do when we are vulnerable in their care—world is about them. We get blamed, we get shamed, we get guilted, we get physically & emotionally harmed when we don’t do things on their terms.

        It’s in our healing journey that we choose our terms. Those change over time as we:
        – accept what was done
        – forgive ourselves
        – stop seeing the abuser of ever being capable to do what they never done
        – grieve for having never been given what we deserved
        – Let go of ever needing it from them now—they didn’t take responsibility for a vulnerable child then, they’ll have to do a lot work/growth be accountable to the adult that child became
        – let go of the unhealthy ways of living they gave us—all that shame, blame, guilt, criticism
        – and many other steps so we can give to ourselves & grieve what was taken

        It’s about making the healthy choice to meet your needs. I know my beliefs & thoughts about that choice are for me. Then, I’m honoring myself and my truth to meet my needs. My healthy choice deserves to be respected and accepted.

        My choice can change when I’m ready — needs become wants, wants to needs. There is 1 thing I simply will never forgive my mother for. I’ve told it to her letting her know that no # of sorrys will change that—I need to do that to stand up to her, to remind myself just how she was. The choice is for me. It’s been some time. I understand that choice even more. I have some survivors guilt to still let go. I don’t know when I will, the amount of time it’ll take. It also doesn’t mean I’ll forgive her for it at the end of day. That’s okay. That’s my choice. It’s a healthy choice if it’s not doing me harm, chewing me up inside.

        And I still know everything she was put through. I’m saddened by any creature ever being put through such things. I’m an adult, she’s an adult. We all went and go through things. Difference is that I’m an adult who takes accountability for my actions.

        Sidenote—don’t have to give any forgiveness. I can give understanding and do no harm just like I do with any other creature. My grandmother gets none of my forgiveness. She also doesn’t get anger, frustration, annoyance, joy from me. She was a woman who lived—she likely has a personality disorder, lived at a time when men treated women like brooms, was a terrible parent and was very lovely-generous for OTHER people (just not her family).

        Liked by 2 people

    • That’s very sad. You have been hurted so many times..
      Just think of forgiving NOT FOR HER. Do it for yourself. I don’t know How. But I believe that when we can’t forgive, we also can’t live and be happy. It is very Hard to do – I have the same with my ex husband. But it would be good to forgive and do it for us, Not for them.


    • Phoebe based on my own personal experience, your Mother’s actions (or lack of) could also be due to her wanting to protect you from the flaws or social awkwardness that she has and has a fear that she would/will pass them on to you. She may believe that the less contact she has with you, the better off you will be and that she believe’s she is doing you a favor.


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  86. ACES: 9

    I was so shocked when I read an article about this. I wish I had had the tools available to me when I was growing up.
    I couldn’t believe I got 9/10! So many people have had it so much worse than I have!
    This is the first time I have taken the Resiliency test, and now things make a lot more sense to me.
    It’s amazing to consider how one grandmother and several teachers made such a difference in my life!
    It’s easy for me to look at the world and see all of the negative things. What amazes me is that regular, otherwise unremarkable people make all the difference! I feel so empowered to be that person or to somehow help the people who are the ones providing that resilience for kids out there like I was! I’m going to look for opportunities.
    Because I was inspired by other comments above, maybe it’s useful to say a little about myself.
    I went to boot camp three days after graduating high school. I became a Special Operations Team Leader. I ended up getting a degree in philosophy with a minor in chemistry (because I needed a degree for a job at the time). I got half-way through an MBA and decided to stop because I was making more money than the people who already had MBAs, even though I really enjoyed my studies.
    I’ve been married for 8 years, I have two brilliant and interesting children, I own two homes, and I work as a technical lead and split my time between the East and West Coasts.
    For everybody out there with high ACEs, my heart goes out to you. It hurts me to realize that so many of you just didn’t have the people in your lives who could provide the resiliency to help counteract the ACEs. I may not be able to say or do anything to help, but I’m with you. I am with you.

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    • Now, build in new forms of resilience. New connections, new supports. This gives you a basis for understanding why and a place to start healing. Try CPTSD (Complex PTSD) resources.


    • Hi Myrna,

      I also have a high ACE score. I would recommend speaking with a professional counselor trained to help someone with a higher ACE score. It’s not always easy or affordable to find someone you can connect with. A counselor who can also integrate EMDR therapy is exceptionally helpful. You can search for a counselor at this link:

      Many of the EMDR therapists have a social work masters degree and EMDR therapy with them is more affordable than with a psychiatrist.

      Also, 2 suggested books for those of us with this struggle:

      The Body Keeps the Score by Bassel von der Kolk
      Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro

      Also, a great podcast with Bassel von der Kolk is with Niki Gratrix at The Abundant Energy Podcast from August 24, 2018 on Healing Emotional Trauma.

      Much love to you and wishing you a successful healing journey. Stay strong there are wonderful tools available for your healing and it will be worth it.



    • Your scores are a guide to help you know what your risk level is. An ACE score above a 4 means you need to watch your symptoms and you have a high risk of mental health issues as well as physical health problems from the corrosive effects of adrenaline pumping through your system. Adrenaline can cause inflammation, nerve issues that can lead to things like fibromyalgia, physical pains like chest pains, migraines, intestinal issues, etc. Your doctor should definitely be made aware of this and be screening you more closely for stress related illnesses. It also serves as a social tool. If you know you have these issues you can monitor your triggers, manage your social environment to help avoid triggers or prepare for bad days when you can’t avoid triggers. As well as develop an awareness that you need to have strong social supports. A strong social network of trusted people can really help recovering from PTSD. That’s another thing to look out for. Dr. Judith Herman has a book called Trauma and Recovery that describes all of this.


  90. Ace score 10. + additional elements – racism, social circumstances etc. Resilience score 3.

    Ok – so family, sister, brothers have all the stuff – suicide attempts, murder attempts, addictions, prison, mental illness, incest, pedophilia etc etc etc


    I graduated school with highest grades they ever had
    Had 3 jobs from age 11 to feed myself
    Now own properties worth over 2.5 million
    Have a success career doing job of my dreams – and one of the hardest professions to crack.
    Have never been on anti depressants
    Have never taken a sleeping tablet
    Have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol
    Have never had an abortion (not that anything wrong with having one just showing my lifestyle choices),
    Have never been arrested or have a criminal record
    Not over weight – exercise regularly – etc.
    Never had to spend the night in hospital
    Am on no medication and have never been on anything other than odd antibiotic. Not even Vicodin for a tooth work.

    Still some issues – dont choose the best men – but no violence etc. Don’t always choose the best friends – but learning.

    How ??

    12 Step programs Alanon and DA and Under Achievers Anon.
    Meditation and more meditation
    Self help course, books – The Presence Process, the feminine Power Course, Rich dad Poor Dad, The letting go process – Sedona Method, and currently learning about limbic system brain damage caused by trauma and how to repair it.
    Therapy – wherever and whenever I could get it. For free, paid, swopping with friends 12 step whatever i could get, and firing crap therapists fast.
    Faith – no particular religion but garnered a believe in something large than myself to help me and pray in times of need
    Being willing to drop people places and things as I outgrow them in consciousness – a necessarily requirement as I have to grow a lot and fast
    Learning self love, self worth changing my self image
    No longer communicating with my family
    Leaving the city I was born in at 18 to a youth hostel and never moving back.
    Learning to take vitamins, eat better and do self care
    Learning each area i was f*cked in and fixing it. Abandonment issues, rejections issues, fear of being alone, fear someone would kill me, never feeling safe, not taking care of myself, not trusting anyone, isolating, trying to save people, co dependent, piece by piece i take them on and heal them. Then another then another then another… as I do parts of my life change incrementally. I start to love myself more. New challenges come – often I find stemming from my childhood issues. But I diligently take them on and win. Never lost a battle yet. Is it easy ? No ? Do I fall to my knees humbled and cry ‘why me’ sometimes? yes. But Is it worth it – is it worth the fight ? For some of the glorious moments I have experienced, for some of the successes I have had, the wondrous peaks of happiness, utter pride in myself and proof of the positivity of life – yes. I have witnessed miracles on the journey. I’ve lived 10 lifetimes worth of growth already and I’m not halfway through this one.

    Born literally in hell. But I dont believe anyone has to stay there. Its a choice – a warriors choice. But you can win. And I believe life itself supports you on this journey. Some people are born, chosen to be alchemists to transmute the darkness into light. Be one. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Julie, congratulations on your accomplishments. You are one of a few souls who did figure out their way out of chaos. I scored, 7 and 5, so you got me beat on who has better numbers, or in this case worse numbers. I think the stories like your successes are great. I am trying to write a book about my family, 10 marriages, 25 moves, that shows that although there are great examples of people like yourself, many, most do not make it. Suicide rates are up, and those who may get away for awhile, get pulled back due to bad behaviors and decisions.

      Depending upon your beliefs, either all people are responsible for themselves, or many people do not have the training and social skills to grow and change, and therefore need help. Based on your success, just curious which camp you ended up in.

      Also, did you end up going down the family path, trying to create a better version of what you didn’t have growing up, or did you decide to be more selfish, and manage yourself and maybe a spouse, but no kids? Again, just curious of the path you took.

      I did not find meditation, yoga, and many other life balancing things until late in life, after cancer, divorce, etc, and I am just curious, if people understand the exceptional strength it takes to break from these family and cultural stories we have in our head, and why many people are not able to make these changes.

      I am writing the book as I believe it is critical that more stories are told about how tough it is to break away from these ideas and stories we have in our head. Even years later, 20s, 30s, and 40s, we carry these stories, and unless some major event occurs, we do not seem to change our ways. And even then, many stay the course, and accept the life they have, and continue the cycle, generation after generation.

      I like the idea that it is a choice, but it has to be a warriors choice. Unfortunately, how many warriors have you met that can compare to your story?


    • Julie, this is remarkable. I’m a warrior as well working through one of my biggest battles yet. Reading your words today were exactly what I needed to pick myself back up and fight harder. Thank you for sharing your insights.


    • I just read your post and hope you know how inspiring it was. I have foster children who have had lives much like what you describe. I pray they can learn what you have and see their potential to change and overcome what life handed them. Thank you!!


    • I wish you hadn’t included “never taken antidepressants” in the list of things clearly indicating not doing well. Therapy is good and necessary, but taking prescribed medication is… weak?


    • My ACE was 7, but my resilience score was 9. My childhood was chaos due to a bipolar parent who was also an alcoholic, could not keep a job, and was abusive toward 3 of his 4 children (the “special kid” grew up feeling guilty that he was the only one who was loved as he watched the rest of us trying to please our parent and failing every time). He threatened suicide in front of his kids, went into his bedroom and fired the gun. He was faking, and we were so numb to the craziness that we just went to bed instead of calling 911. I was lucky to have a loving mother, grandparents on both sides who did their best to protect us, teachers who pushed me to do well in school, and friends with normal parents which showed me that a better family life was possible. I really struggled in my late teens and early 20s, but was able to get my life together, marry, and raise my children in a stable family home.


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    • Dang, I didn’t realize how much chaos my life was. My Aces score was 9, excluding the sexual abuse. Only 2 were what I’d consider “probably true” and still are in the second survey. I’m 16 years old, male and a sophomore. I’ve done therapy and have experienced suicidal thoughts and have attempted it many times. I’ve excelled academically but by habit I keep school, school and home, home. I am challenged when it comes to trusting others, im very introverted and shy. I used to be extremely violent but now I have self control and cry Alone over my conflicts Instead of hurting others, myself, or property. I take medications, but never have done illegal drugs but I have been offered it by some people that I’d consider “friends”. I have a hard time opening up to my adoptive parents and everyone I know. It’s hard for me to engage or converse unless it’s online. I’ve made better friends and connections through social media. And before people think I am totally wrong. These people are not fake or lying. I’ve FaceTimed and messaged these people enough to know what they are like. I’m able to open up more with them. Recently I’ve lost contact with a very close friend and I’m very conflicted about it. I don’t know how to tell anyone how I’m feeling. I’ve never felt more alone than I do now. I find it annoying to hear these people say that they have created fixes when they have no idea what it feels like. So I like being able to talk one on one with people who have been through the sh*t I have and come out successfully. If anyone has some advice please let me know how to deal with this.


  92. ACE=9 (not counting racism & gender discrimination)
    For every person that did me wrong there were others who showed me love, unfortunately I lost most of them at an early age. But they taught me that it was possible to be loved for the short time they were with me and I carry memories of them everywhere I go.

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  93. I had a score of 4-feel fortunate that I am a survivor in some regards. I believe you can either be a victim or you have the ability to change your situation-unfortunately, this highlights why some are never are to break that cycle, which makes me feel very sad for so many who cannot…


    • I’ve taken this and realized how things I may have perceived as “normal” is not everyone’s normal. It certainly explains a lot of what I’ve learned about my life.


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  110. ACES 9
    Resilience 13/13

    need help navigating the past in order to tell my story, mostly for me but also for my 2 children as they begin to move from adolescence to young adults. if they were to take the two tests their aces score would be lower than mine and their resilience score would be in line with mine – i think? i’m pretty sure…

    unpacking 55 years of memories feels daunting. i started looking at some old photos in albums that my mother did a really good job of keeping/preserving for all 6 of her kids over the years. we each got a photo album and letter at the back of it from her one Christmas in the late 80’s early 90’s. she also made one for herself. 2 of my siblings have passed as did my mother – all young 30, 50 (both brothers) and 61 (mother). i have her album and i think both of my sibs or portions of…when they died one was homeless and the other was just starting to make a home for his growing family. so things were moved and stored and moved and stored over the years. it’s amazing how these photos have survived all these years. i was thinking after looking at them that they were all of good times happy times and there are a ton of them…so as i said to my therapist yesterday, it wasn’t all that bad. but still no photos of the horror, terror, fright, helplessness, neglect, abuse – just memories that are stored in fright and frozen as a little boy.

    i feel like the answers and relief (relief from what a part of me is asking), relief from the constant fear and anxiety that the other shoe is going to drop – that around the corner is trouble – will someday go away. deep down i don’t believe that to be true, i believe fear and anxiety will be constant companions for the rest of my days and accompany me all the way to my door of death. i hope here or somewhere else that the answers to come that will help at a minimum, minimize the fright and terror that manifests itself as a constant buzz of anxiety, fear and hopelessness…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing a piece of your story.

      I encourage you to look into Positive Psychology and Mindfulness.

      Understanding the past behaviors of others and how they shaped you are important. Your fear and anxiety will always be there to a degree (its our biology as humans! They are extraordinarily important and tell us important things about ourselves – Our boundaries, limits, morals, etc. Keep them always!) but it is how you understand your emotions in the present moment that will make the daily impact you are seeking.


    • My ACEs is 9 too. At 65, my health effects have started showing: diabetes (age 62), heart issues (age 64), depression (for years), chronic anxiety (for years), panic disorder (age 61-64), and breast cancer (age 52). Thanks to Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), counselling, meditation, mindfulness, a mild antidepressant, and a LOT of reading and learning, I have gained the perspective that was missing. I’m now living in the present (rather than reacting to it from past emotions), feeling emotions and dealing with them in healthy ways and practicing self-care. There is no quick fix but I now have real hope for my present and future. It is never too late! Trust yourself, have self-compassion. You are not alone.


    • Me to, at age 58 I have scoliosis in three directions, neural foramina stenosis, compressed base nerves, extensive degenerative disc disease, Complex PTSD, disassociation and now that my last protector past away, my mother my abuser my maternal uncle has been attempting to finish the job he started what I was age 4.


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  120. I. have an ACE score of 6. However, I had major trauma for which this test doesn’t account. Dad suddenly became seriously disabled when I was a kid and my uncle was murdered. I’ve had years of therapy and self help groups (12 step). Not only that I have a very strong faith in Jesus, and HE is what has kept me sane. Jesus has delivered me of alcoholism, depression, and overeating. Trust in Him. He wants to save you and help you.

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  123. ACEs=10 (+unincluded extras of foster care since a baby & failed adoption because those parents were psychologically / physically / sexually abusive & so I went back into foster care until finishing school & moving out at 19).
    Resilience score = 6 then, 4 now.


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  125. Ace: 9 , resilience questionnaire: 2. I’m 16. I’ve been diagnosed with sever anxiety, acute depression, complex ptsd after a month of counseling . I’ve struggled with self harm, smoking, drinking, drugs, and watching my own self destruction. I isolate myself and have tried to kill my self twice. I feel weird saying all this but I don’t know what to do with my self anymore, I feel empty and worthless.


    • Trinity, please talk to someone at your school or someone you trust. There are so many resources out there to help. Medications, faith, and healthy relationships can all help. Reach out and let someone help you. Bless you.


    • I have an ACE score of 8 and much more trauma from people I surrounded myself with as I grew up. I’ve tried killing myself twice and the second time was an accident I was still alive. I was raped while drunk back in 2009 while I was drunk. I struggled with alcoholism until 5 years ago, from the age of 14, but I still smoke pot. I’m still working up the courage and willpower to quit. I met my wife at the end of 2009, were still together. I’m 34 now, going on 35. I wanted to be dead by 30, at least that is what I would say. I’m not dead, and I’m finding the guilt of my actions while drunk-or-not weighing on my self-worth. At 16 I had already tried killing myself and was doing the same thing as you, including self-harm which was apparent in my choice of friends. Difference is, you know you have issues and you want to change. My biggest regret in those days were the people I chose to cling to. Get away from the drinkers. Drinking will fuck up your life so beyond belief, you will do things that will haunt you for the rest of your life while drunk – trust me. It is easier now to stop than later. Listen to binaural beats on YouTube. Delve into your studies if you can. Find a positive outlet. Exercise, surround yourself with good people. Doing these things isn’t easy. Start with binaural beats and abstaining from alcohol and/or hard drugs. Consistency is key to a successful life, and it is also key in destroying your life. As you get older, you will find the less the world cares about you, or what happened to you. The view is: you control your life, you therefore have no excuse… which is triggering in itself, but true nonetheless. You are at a pivotal place in your life. Make the choices that are best for you. The only thing that matters is how you react now, which drives the future. Hang in there please. Binaural beats, please look them up. It’s not too late.


    • Hey Trinity, it gets better, you’re awesome and there’s a meaningful reason you’re here. Go outside and look at the trees when things get really hard, that’s what I do. It helps me believe Tomorrow will be a better day. I isolate too. Trees and plants and nature are so sweet and kind and generous. It gets me through. We gotta keep believing. 🥰 sending you love


    • Trinity, You’ve touched 4 people from this simple post. One of life’s lessons is about learning to love right from where you are. Because you chose to share your pain, others have reached out to you. There are many more who are hurting. When you focus not so much on your pain but that others are hurting also, you can help someone and at the same time find the strength you need to help yourself. There are many, many ways to find healing, actively search for the one that works for you. In that search, know that finding the higher power that exists in each of us- the abuser and the abused- is important. Knowing that we are all flawed in some way makes us human but it can also make us stronger, just for knowing it. Forgive others not for their sake but for your own. Leave the baggage in the past, acknowledge it- YES, absolutely, but leave it. The control someone has on you, emotionally and psychologically is in your hands. Once you realize that, you realize where the strength comes to overcome. It comes from you, from within. We all have it, it’s just easier sometimes to believe we don’t. Once you’re stepped on, it’s hard to get up but that’s exactly what you have to do, if for no reason but to save yourself so you can save others! YOU matter, YOU ARE WORTHY! You are MEANT FOR MORE, know it to the depths of your soul because it’s true. It’s true for all of us. Good luck, I will be praying for you! Many of us have walked a path similar to yours. I am one. You, too, exist in paradise.


    • Just reading this and wondeirng Trinity if you ever got any help sweet girl. I work with teenage girls who live with trauma every day. It is so hard but can be won if you will put the work in and are willing. I wish I could leave you my personal informatoin on her but cannot. I can tell you to conact teen challenge and tell them that you are desperate for help and I believe they will help you. Yes it is a place of faith and you may not be a believer but they will be there for you and help you get your life on track. God Bless you.


  126. My Ace score was 8. I wanted to know if that was bad? I’m am 14 years of age and people say that I am mature. I don’t think that what they think why is the reason I think why. I’ve always been told that I need tot air care of myself and was left alone for hours at a time. Now I have to watch my two brothers as if I’m their mom. I don’t know if this is considered child abuse, but I know I am verbally abused, emotionally, and suffering from depression, stress, anxiety, and personality issues. I am scared to do anything my parents wouldn’t let me do, even when I’m away from home like, drinking and eating sugary things, crying, saying what’s on my mind, give my 10 cents, going out of the house, and so on. I want to know if this is considered abuse also. My step dad yells at me and curses. He tried to hit me with a bat once, and hurts my mother. My mom yells cruel things at me, and all I want to hear her say is that she’s proud of me. We don’t have enough money to go out and do something so I am stuck at home all day unless school. I feel suffocated and controlled. I can’t do anything without asking my mom for her approval. I have done drugs and tried to kill myself. Sometimes I do things so extreme to let my mom see me for who I am, I get into trouble for months. I don’t have very many friends, and I often see myself failing in a class. I think about death almost all the time, when I know I’m alone, I’ll cry for hours on end. I don’t feel like I am loved or that anyone would love me. I have a lot of anxiety attacks. I feel like I have to do the biggest things just so my mom can feel like I am worthy to be here daughter. I just want to be normal, and I really want to know if this is abuse or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Len,

      What Jane Ellen says is true but I think it would help if you had a bit more of a roadmap.

      When I was your age, in another Galaxy, far, far away, I lived with the close confinement that I think you’re experiencing, and that makes it difficult to find a sympathetic ear/shoulder.

      I don’t know if you’re allowed to participate in sports or after school activities, but that’s where you’re most likely to be able to find allies and kind souls. The “jock culture” with males AND females can be kinda ruthless, so if you do get involved with such, take your time in searching out a person with whom you can confide. The same may be true of other school activities, but I suspect you’ll find many of them less clique-ish, and you’ll have better opportunities for one-on-one intimacies.

      I’m adding onto Jane Ellen’s note because back-in-the-day (BITD) we also moved around a lot, about once a year…

      Which meant for me, that like clockwork, and being a new guy, I had to fight somebody from the football/basketball/wrestling teams, and they’d keep coming until I either got my butt kicked or smartened up enough to simply lay down. I didn’t cry or beg. I just simply took my whuppin’ and went on about my business.*

      And this: After a very long time living on my own I finally got to where I could genuinely forgive my parents for their abuse, coldness, and indifference; and I could do so by getting <> inside their heads. Their lives had not been easy, and what they knew of parenting was the kicks and punches the delivered, believing that was what you had to do. It was a twisted notion of “love,” but they, and I didn’t know differently, back then. My “Aha!” moment came when I was in counseling to deal with what I thought were “just” my military PTSD issues, and my counsellor helped me see that many of my service-connected mental health issues were, in fact, levels of additional scarring on top of old childhood traumas.

      And this, too: You have wisely reached out to this community and I suspect you’ll find many more sympathetic souls that you can cultivate who can help/teach you to protect yourself now, when you need it most. You can listen to us, but don’t take everything we say as gospel. Each of us learns to survive by our own wits, the “maybes” of friendship and family, teachers both good and bad, and <> good luck. The same CAN guide and help you…

      * One final point. Living by your wits at home AND in high school or some kind of boot camp setting can harden you, and make you brittle. Sometimes that’s unavoidable, but you can mitigate that kind of imprinting if you practice a conscious awareness of the things that make you hard and indifferent to others. Being able to see changes like that in yourself can turn the harshness and bitterness to more productive channels, making you a fierce and noble defender of others; someone who might, like you, be lost at sea and in fear of drowning…

      So, I’m not usually on these ACEs pages, but I drop in from time to time, and for the next few days I’ll look in to see how you’re doing, if that’s okay?

      So, on a positive and upbeat note, you’re not alone Len. You’ve got allies and supporters, and you’ll find more as you find your balance and move ahead. Good luck, kiddo, and keep us informed of how you’re doing…

      Warm regards,


      Liked by 1 person

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    • Mine is an 8 and basically no resilience either. I am also 33 and struggling… I’m currently homeless, but I have weaned off of drugs. I don’t know what to do next. Just therapy, I think. Different kinds. There’s nothing to do but fight.
      What ways are you struggling? Have you found anything effective as far as coping strategies?


  128. Finally, a 10 in something.
    Honestly, Im only 24, luckily not to many health issues, just accident prone and get sick heaps. This makes me fear for my future. That being said, Im also a functioning drug addict, suprisingly, ive managed to keep decent jobs, things are expensive. I would definitely have some sort of mental issue/s. Tried to kill myself 10 years ago, failed, figured ill die soon enough. I have terrible impulse control, attract companionships in which we enable eachother to drink to excess, smoke weed ect.
    Trusting anyone deeply is a struggle, i can get make friends, but pull away when i feel to exposed. I have a facade of confidence and humor to mask the empty shell.
    Theres always a uneasy feeling, i don’t even know how to explain it. Its like i subconsciously want to ruin my own life. Or make it complicated, because i dont know how to deal with simple/normal anymore.

    Thanks for listening Internet.


    • For Amy and Coral
      I scored a 10 on ACE. Actually I scored a 6 first go then realised I’d lied and redid it. Personally I think I am a 9. On the resilience i originally scored 3 then re-did and scored 5 I am not in the United Stated and assume that is where you both are? I have 10 siblings all of us are or have been addicted to one thing or another (usually several) 4 have been in and out of hospital based psych units; 4 have been in prison; 10 of us have been involved in crime of some sort and courts and police; All of us where involved in child protection in one form or another; I was the only one (until my sister) to make it through a high school education and that was a struggle. 5-6 are periodically homeless; and only 3 of us currently work though we are all hard workers; and some of the next gen have been involved in similar stuff already, I watched my cousins/aunts/uncles/elders die to suicide;drugs; alcoholism; broken hearts or someones violence or their own internal violence. I watched my cousin burn; my mothers everything burn; and everyone coping with their own trauma and no one realising what they were seeing until decades late. The constant looking out; looking over your shoulder; and the constant state of preparedness to fight or flee but you ended up freezing in place…. watching your siblings back or ready to jump in to help mum. Constant. Uneasy feeling was a constant companion and still is. Wondering when or where the next shit is going to fall from and when it does going.. see?? Its me. Thats my life. born with. part of me. IS.

      Trust was an issue until recently though it still is an issue under most circumstances. I know what a facade of confidence and humour is; I have several facades of my own. And I often wonder who can spot it about me cause I can spot it about others easy as. But no one has…. so yeh know some of what you describe.

      My mother was the single rock for all of us and even though she wasn’t the best mother, she tried her best even amidst her own shit. And she never let us go ever, even when others wanted to take us – and they had their own reasons as it turns out – not good. But her one stand out feature was her ability to be open and honest; to say sorry for her mistakes and to always believe anything we said. Plus we all saw the shit she was put through and we all knew where the blame actually sat.

      I don’t have any answers for you.. but I can say.. it does get easier. Sometimes its hard to tell especially when people arent listening. And believe me, most – MOST – people are shit. But there are some good ones (rare; genuine & authentic) and occasionally you find them and they help overcome the battles. There are also some things – and I wont say God or Jesus but I will say a loving creator and decent scripture and faith that preaches a loving caring God and not a punishing hypocritical and exclusive religion. We were/are Christians and we saw the worst and best but mostly the hypocritical and judgemental…. but you get that in everything really. Also wanting to protect the next generation. That can be a big driver when you dont want the next gen to go through what you did. But good people most of all. And cut out the bad ones. Unfortunately I still struggle to do some of that myself but when you see em and recognise em, you know.It aint easy and may get harder. And while you may think you are alone – you are not. It just takes a LOT to reach out to (usually) the one good person you know. So reach out. And stay away from the ……disguised ones. They are the ones who look good, look real, sound real, everyone says they are great, but in reality they are the bad ones who have their own interests only and yours to exploit. Usually they practise all the bad shit; keep it secret; hide their shit.


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  130. This assignment has brought so much awareness to my past life events and things I’m suffering from today. This is an excellent exercise to administer to troubled youth or adults to help identify the true nature to their dysfunctional or lack of proper behavior. If they score high on the aces test, then into will be advantageous for the individual to seek treatment instead of detention or confinement. A better way of managing life circumstances should be given through guidance for an individual.


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  132. ACE=8/RES=3 …..KKK heritage, Thomas Jefferson is my cousin, father (Mr Quick – we were told to call him “Master”) still is a Satanist who continues to attack me and promises to live to be 100 and will never let up. After 48 years of torment, I have been awarded the most programmatically favorable input as a monthly disability supplement and a lifetime of back pay.


  133. My ACE’s Score is 8.
    My Resilience Score is 7.

    I have attempted suicide 3 times and have chronic suicidal ideation. I gave my gun to a friend to keep for me, because I’m not convinced I won’t use it to kill myself. I have been psychiatrically hospitalized twice. I am 30 years sober from alcohol and other drugs; I will celebrate 31 years in 2 months. Sobriety/Recovery is my single most significant protective factor. I have very few friends and tend to isolate myself. My love relationships chronically fail. I have been in psychotherapy episodically all of my adult life. I excell in the areas of work and academics. I am in a Master’s MFT program and am Program Manager of an outpatient mental health program. I’m also a psychiatric nurse and a certified addictions treatment counselor. I have a cat who helps me feel loved and loveable. I have two close friends. I have always felt more close to and accepted by animals and children. I LOVE animals and kids. They are honest and authentic. My mother and I healed a very toxic relationship within the 10 years prior to her death. It was a painful and fulfilling process. She indeed became my best friend. Her death was devastating. I wouldn’t change a thing. I have a strong belief in God (The Goddess Mother, Great Spirit, My Creator) but a strong aversion to religion. I am grateful for all I have been given and all I have lost…


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  140. ACES 8, Resilience Score 11. I had a traumatic life, mostly between 5th and 12th grade. However, I am now working on my third college degree, I am healthy as a horse, I have a loving partner, and I live nice safe neighborhood. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but more days than not I maintain a very positive outlook on life. I’m thankful for the life I live now and feel I am a stronger person for the hardships I’ve suffered, even though those traumas will always haunt me.

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  143. Im 18 now. My Ace test is a 5 or 6. Resilience is was an 11 and now its about the same. There is way to much to write here but I never new this test existed. Ive gotten a long ways in the past 4 years. My life includes an alcoholic abusive father, separation/divorce, separation from his family, a rare really rare neurological sleep disorder that took three years to diagnose, over 600 days in hospital, multiple suicide attempts, self harm, missing over 4-5 years total of school (im graduating in a few days yay), and other stuff. This has all left me with mild-moderate C-PTSD/PTSD. Stay strong everyone and remember to smile. There is hope.

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  144. Pingback: Many doctors misdiagnose trauma as ADHD in some children - Holistic Wellness Center of the Carolinas

  145. Too bad having lost my mother to breast cancer at 5 years old and the home to home shuffle after that isn’t adorable because that was devastating.

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  151. My ACE score is 9/10. Miraculously I graduated from college and have very good physical health. In the past I’ve had some episodes of depression. About fifteen years ago I got married and had two children. Creating a healthy happy family was extremely therapeutic for me and I very much prided myself on beating so many odds. Unfortunately two years ago my marriage fell apart and I haven’t been able to recover this time. Maybe the ACE is just too high.


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  156. ACE score 9 or 10 if we count the female aggressor. Resilience score 6/14.
    I found the ACEstudy in 2015 in USA and realised what had happened to me was going to reduce 20 years from my life span if I didn’t act immediately. I printed off a copy of my ACE score took it to my GP explained I believed all my autoimmune issues, pre diabetes, obesity, depression etc were a result of my appalling childhood. Zero response from her and I quote “ you’ve had your therapy, it’s probably going to be antidepressants for the rest of your life”. After being housebound with agoraphobia for 94 days I changed GP and changed my whole life. I will not stop ridding myself of negative neigh-sayers, people or professionals that are ignorant and do not have my best interest at heart. Self care is crucial!
    YOU MATTER, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Your childhood told you the opposite and that was a lie.
    Take care of yourself ❤️


  157. ACEs score was 6, resilience score only 4:/

    I’m only 22. I suffer from anxiety and depression, I have attachment issues and fears of being abandoned. Due to issues with work I’m feeling lower and lower to the point where going to work is a constant battle. I turned to alcoholism to deal with any hardships throughout university. I have had 1 root canal and I have 2 fillings in my teeth. One (unconventional) chronic health problem. It’s likely that I will develop some form of cancer in the possibly near future.


  158. Ace score is 6.
    Resilience score is 2.
    I currently have 29 years free from drug addiction. I struggle with PTSD. The reality of further trauma after childhood trauma stood true for me. Also struggle with depression, anxiety and I haven’t worked outside the home for 23 years. I spend a lot of time trying to eat healthy and exercise to stay healthy…but this is exhausting and most days I just want to quit, stop trying to be healthy and just eat and do what I want. Yes, it helps the depression…but it doesn’t stop it. And some days the depression wins. I don’t take medication because they make things worse in my head and they also completely take away any drive I have to exercise or eat right. I will be 54 years old this year. Thanks for your PTSD posts.


  159. I am an 8 on the ACE and an 8 on the Resiliency test. I am 50, in great health, gave up smoking after 35 years (urgh), did not get the education that my fine mind deserved, prostituted, became a drug addict, had one physically abusive relationship when very young, did mainly low level jobs. Married late, at 44. All that aside I got into recovery in my late 20’s, and though my path has not been smooth I feel lucky to have the life that I have – happily married, working in mental health, clean and sober, in functioning relationships with family and friends, solvent, good health, having done some therapy including EMDR, and find myself having a reasonably upbeat attitude. I have recently found great help in ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics – it feels as though there is finally space and love in my life to go back and reclaim the little girl in me that was left miles and miles behind. I am looking forward to the depth of feeling, and processing all those griefs that ACA seems to offer me.

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  160. Toby, it is never to late!! A lot of us that have taken these tests and scored higher like you and myself, have been through so much. The good thing about these tests is that we can see WE are not alone.
    There are others out there that have experienced trauma and tragedy and we can relate to one another.
    Not in a way of who’s childhood is worst but in a supportive understanding way.
    You are NOT alone Toby and it is never to late friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  161. I grew up in Domestic Violence so I can’t tell you how incredible ACES is for me…my ACE score is 7 but my resilience is 13..my heart goes out to all of the people out here who are suffering…

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  162. It has been my observation that many students are experiencing stress and anxiety i have observed students in K-2nd grade just guessing on their virtual learning. This is delaying their oral language and writing skills. Some of the curriculum that they are expected to do independently is too rigorous and I feel that they are assessed too much.


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  165. Ace Score: 6
    Resilience Score: 10

    12. As a youth, people noticed that I was capable and could get things done.
    Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True
    13. I was independent and a go-getter.
    Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True
    14. I believed that life is what you make it.
    Definitely true Probably true Not sure Probably Not True Definitely Not True

    I answered “not true” to these 4 resilience questions.
    Growing up as a boy i believed myself to be entirely useless and incompetent.
    That belief system remains ingrained in my life to this day, and it’s fairly accurate.
    Common sense escapes me, and menial task that require industriousness i utterly fail at or am abnormally slow to learn.
    My confidence to be a capable and competent man is severely low, and I believe this mindset has destroyed my potential for a happy dating life more than anything. I chronically fail with women and it’s very painful.
    The lack of money is destroying my life, because in order to climb the status hierarchy to acquire high quality women, or learn skills that can fulfill me, i need considerable amount of money to invest to succeed at this. I feel stuck in a rut.
    It’s incredibly stressful how i reject myself to go to skill in hopes to do an online business, that’s im too lazy to even begin.
    The stresses on myself to achieve are at an all time high.


  166. My ace score is 8. When i was 20, i became a member of a 12 step program because i could no longer function in life and my 3 suicide attempts had failed. I have met few people throughout my life that can understand the complete insanity of my youth and my responses to life. With the help and guidance of the people i met in the twelve step program, i have slowly been picking apart my childhood and learning how those experiences have led to the decisions and experiences that i’ve had in life. I have high anxiety, ptsd, fibromyalgia, compulsive eating disorder, adhd, heart disease, diabetes and various other illnesses. I also do my best to avoid abusive people but often find myself in abusive scenarios, especially at work. I have learmed that all my health issues affect me worse when i am stressed out and have been working hard to remove the stressors from my life. I may have had some bad experiences, and i may be having some bad experiences in my current life, but i believe with the help of a few good friends, that i can build a much happier healthier future. I have the option to take baby steps to change today.

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  167. My ACE score is 9. My siblings and I were split through out the foster care system because my blood relatives could not provide care. My mother is an addict, an alcoholic, in and out of jail and lost custody of the children she gave birth to. My siblings and I don’t know our father. My younger sister has a disability called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Statistically I’m prone to leaving my children, become an alcoholic and addict, should not have graduated, not go to any type of college or in other words become a failure. Wrong. In reality I graduated high school, never touched alcohol or drugs, and becoming the first out of my blood relatives to be in college, and work 45-50 hours at 19 years old while biking 10 miles a day as my only way of transportation. I understand why there are study’s made for trauma. I also understand when there’s a study there’s statistics made from that study. I noticed that most trauma studies states that you are more likely to become an alcoholic or something bad because your parents or you witness it as a child. So, I knew a statistic always has a negative and a positive outcome. I made it my mission to make a outcome that a scientist couldn’t make a statistic about. I defined the odds.

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  168. ACE 5
    Resilience 5
    I’ve lived with anxiety since childhood and I’m now in my sixties. The whole time. I’ve coped and functioned well when I had to, but relationships have failed and I’ve had bouts with risky behaviors and drinking too much. I’m trying to get to the root cause and finish strong and don’t believe it’s too late to do that. But I need to understand it and I need help. Thank you for publishing this article.


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  170. I have a score of 8. I’m 17. I’ve had depression and tried to end things. I’ve done drugs and started to not care about school and care about friends more then anything because that’s all I had. Now I have no friends due to me moving and with the family abuse I have a school abuse due to students that touch me and bully me. I have been trying to drop out for three years but I can’t. Life isn’t all that great.


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    • Kisha, You might try to seek out a trauma-informed therapist (including, especially specialists in EMDR) and go from there. You can also look into other practices: Somatic Experiencing, TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), breathwork, yoga. I think Donna Jackson Nazawa has some more suggestions in her book, Childhood Disrupted; it’s an important and useful read. Also Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score. Good luck, take care of YOU…

      Liked by 1 person

  172. I have an ACE score of 8 and a resilience score of 8. I’ve known about the ACE quiz for a couple years, my step-mom introducing me to it, but I didn’t know about the resilience score. It’s interesting to read about, compare it to the studies and research done, and then to either my life or reading about others experiences. I’ve struggled my whole life with anxiety, not actually realizing that till now at 23 my parents referring to it as whining, same as crying. I’ve also been told from other family members that even as a child I used repressing my emotions as my main coping mechanism. With all of the crazy events (actually happening every 2-3 years since I can remember like clock work) and being raised by some psycho parents it actually surprises me that I am still alive sometimes. My resilience score is not that high but I’ve never let myself give up, even if on a daily basis it hurts to breathe. I learned at a young age to be selfish; which I have seen as one of the hardest things for people to learn and accept. So at 15 I made the decision to “break up” with my mom and learn that it is okay to focus on yourself and tell people No. I am now almost done with my bachelors in social work, trying to just help one person at a time know that they are not alone and if they want there is someone there to help.

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  175. 5/10/2
    Im 29 and am so tired of all the illnesses I have. The list of doctors I have to visit to try to solve them is disproportional to my income and energy levels. The first boyfriend I lived with turned out to be a sociopath, who almost killed me once while drunk and was stopped by my sister. Overall I haven’t had a single long term relationship where the guy didn’t have a full blown mental illness, that I didn’t realize until it was breaking apart…because what do I know about healthy, functional relationships and people? I’m going through the worst depression that I can remember (don’t think it’s been worse, but my memory isn’t great.. Definitely don’t remember crying for 4 months straight, though) and I really don’t know what to do at this point. I can’t do repetitive jobs, because I get really depressed. I do some one off gigs, but during times when I’m depressed and get lost in my mind I don’t look for them, so I don’t work until I get out of it.. So I really can’t afford full on therapy. I’m feeling pretty hopeless. I just learned about this ACE thing and it all makes so much sense now… Too bad I don’t make the money to get real help.

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  176. I recently discovered ACEs from hearing Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ TED talk. I have been in education and have always wondered about some of the situations involved in the ACE questions. I myself can easily say I have a 4 ACE score but wonder about the sexual abuse question. Why the “5 years or more” delineation? I was abused by a person my own age but at the time felt unable to stop it (size and strength were not in my corner). Can this question be explained?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe the authors were focusing on sex abuse by a family member or friend of family member, but that doesn’t mean experiencing sexual abuse by a peer isn’t an ACE. It is. It’s just not what they included in the original 10 ACEs, which were based on a combination of what the original pilot study revealed, as well as existing research.

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  177. ACE score of seven, not sure how to score my resilience. Diagnosed with lupus, Sjogren’s, anxiety, depression, insomnia, sinus tachycardia, bradycardia (pacemaker), multiple arrhythmias, GERD, and IBS.


  178. ACE Scores are something each one of us has. It is absolutely something that some can deal with and others have difficulty with. Students come less prepared than most. They need to be taught coping skills and appropriate responses to adversity.


  179. My aces is 0. My resilience is 12/14. I’m bipolar with an anxiety disorder. I’ve tried to kill myself 2x. Definitely biologically induced in my case.


  180. I’ve wondered why a death in the family while you’re a child is not included. My brother died in an accident when I was 10. It changes the entire family dynamic. Other children lose people to violence. Wouldn’t this be a factor?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A death in the family is an ACE, however it wasn’t included in the original 10 that were studied. The original 10 weren’t an exhaustive list, but ACEs that were chosen because they were identified in relatively small pilot study and/or in research publications that showed a link between the ACE and health consequences. Subsequent ACE studies include many many more ACEs, including death of a parent.

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  181. 7 ACEs and 7 Resiliences
    Hospitalized twice for mental illness.
    Now. On high dosage of anti-depressants, low dose anxiety meds, prolonged meds to aid in effect of meds, therapy every month. Sleep meds. 2 to 4 nightmares a night.
    Now getting my doctorate in trauma informed care in elementary schools.
    Husband won’t let me have a service dog and is overbearing and controlling.


  182. Jane,

    How can we account accurately for all the kinds of trauma someone has? Or does it really matter? Is a general sense enough?

    I feel this ridiculous urge to have an “accurate” reflection of all the trauma I’ve been through, perhaps to prove to myself that it is “real” and that it “really happened” to me so that I can accept it better or something.

    It seems that most of the trauma I encountered isn’t actually covered by the original ACE (my parents renting rooms to people many of whom were mean to me and one who stole from me and eventually got me into a car accident, for example). The worst traumas of my childhood were all related to health: getting mono four times, strep throat almost every year (and having it for three weeks at a time sometimes), chickenpox twice (as a baby and as a toddler) among many other illnesses, weaknesses, sensitivities, etc, besides.

    I also had parents who were obsessed with this idea that I was a “leader” and a “prodigy” and “advanced” and any little evidence that I wasn’t made me feel terribly humiliated.

    Later I learned that my high degree of sensitivity is probably a HSP gene. My mom was always, always saying, “You’re just too sensitive for your own good.” She always made it seem like it was a choice: like I could just “choose” to stop being sensitive, but I couldn’t. I could only *pretend* that I wasn’t hurting terribly when I actually was. That made more people accept me and stop harassing me, but it meant that I wasn’t getting compassion from anyone anymore; not even from myself.

    Dietary changes were a saving grace for me when I had to hit the internet for answers to my early-onset of severe health problems at the age of sixteen. At seventeen I went on a potent elimination diet and got the chest pain (acid reflux) to finally stop, which had been plaguing me at all hours of the day for literally months and months. I sometimes curled up all day long holding my stomach, not attending school or doing anything else because the pain was so bad. My jaw had been locking up a lot, and the new diet fixed that as well as my skin problems, headaches, dizziness, among other things.

    With the overt health problems out of the way, my other sensitives magnified. I became ambitious about writing, but monitor light scalded my eyes. Now I use a low-blue-light, zero-flicker monitor as well as taking a (highly effective!) supplement called Bold Vision which contains two little-known nutrients for building macula in the eye. (I was astonished this supplement made my regular eye-strain significantly diminish in just the first week!)

    No longer plagued by extreme fatigue, I started wanting to be more active in my twenties, yet I was horribly under-muscled and found I didn’t have the strength in my ankles to stand up wearing figure skates, or the strength to get up after falling over while wearing a snowboard. As a kid, my thighs were so under-muscled that the area above my knee was like a pit rather than a bulge. I recall reflecting on the shape of my knees at the age of ten; I figured my knees were normal and other people had weird, “fat” knees. My knees didn’t look anything like other people’s knees until I was eighteen (after that first dietary change started to make physical exercise possible for me).

    Even at eighteen I still found walking to be painful and exhausting. I was no longer getting constant acid reflux, headaches and dizziness, but I was having labored breathing and chest pains even from a mildly brisk walk sustained for ten or so minutes. It wasn’t until I discovered a raw food diet at the age of twenty that I could walk for more than fifteen minutes in a day.

    I also suffered from extreme sun sensitivity my entire childhood. Even mild or brief sun exposure would leave my skin feeling as if I’d burned even when I hadn’t, and I couldn’t even look at the blue sky without tears streaming down my face, even if I was looking away from the sun. This also changed at the age of twenty when I first went on a raw food diet.

    Nevertheless, even as a raw foodist with the most severe health problems behind me, I still had severe problems: I wasn’t able to remember the faces of people I met or read body language. I had narcissistic tendencies (as are common among people with so much physical pain) and tended to talk about myself endlessly without really hearing other people. I was constantly confused about why other people didn’t befriend me and I wasn’t aware when I was being abrasive or rude. Fortunately, I met my husband and twenty and he began coaching me in a very kind, slow way. We’d attend events together and review what had transpired afterward. He’d tell me how I was coming across to others and give me gentle tips for how to be received better.

    By the time I was twenty-three I had pretty much mastered the social etiquette I never learned as a child (at least to an average or normal degree). But during this time period I became increasingly sensitive to fumes of all kinds. Burnt food smells would give me migraines, candles and perfumes too, and many fumes also made me feel queasy, dizzy, and/or confused. This fume sensitivity got worse and worse and by twenty-eight I was afraid to go anywhere with lots of people because I knew I would get sick from the plethora of chemical odors that would come with a mob of people.

    At the age of twenty-four I was introduced to hypnosis and consciousness techniques to delve into my own subconscious. At twenty-five I embraced these techniques as the center of my life for a while and uncovered tremendous amounts of information about myself I had previously not known. On the surface it looked like I was falling apart because I became incredibly depressed, dark and anti-social. But this was because I was embracing so much of what I had repressed and I knew others wouldn’t understand what I was going through (and for the most part, I was right). Fortunately my husband was there for me through all of this; I couldn’t have done it without him.

    At age twenty-seven I began experiencing increasing social anxiety, perhaps because this feeling of “nobody will understand” continued to increase as I started to see my own past and inner workings more clearly. By twenty-nine I was generally terrified of leaving the house to go to a social gathering, convinced it would only make me miserable. My fume sensitivities abated a little by having moved out of the city and into a home with a generally clean environment. At the very least, I no longer get migraines from brief exposure to wood smoke.

    Nevertheless, at the age of thirty I am still impacted by many, many residues of my childhood. My general life-long inactivity has, not surprisingly, now led me to back pain and joint pain. As usual, I’m researching and reading and doing a combination of herbal remedies, dietary adjustments, physical therapies, as well as emotional therapies. Despite having some success at “getting better” yet again, I feel really sick of this cycle. I want, for once, to just do what I’m inspired to do and not get interrupted by life-altering pain, sensitivity, or depression!

    Perhaps I feel like having a “higher” ACE score would help me feel justified and validated.

    Your reader,

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are many other ACEs that weren’t included in the original 10 that were studied. The original 10 weren’t an exhaustive list, but ACEs that were chosen because they were identified in relatively small pilot study and/or in research publications that showed a link between the ACE and health consequences. Basically any childhood experience that causes toxic stress that damages the structure and function of a kid’s developing brain is an ACE.

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  183. Like many others here, this helps me understand myself, and the very peculiar dichotomy between my only brother and myself; Mike is one year younger. Our parents divorced when we were young, and neither parent was (nor is) especially warm or nurturing. My brother and I were never especially close, nor were we greatly estranged; then as now, we are more like close acquaintances than anything else. In most ways, we are either total opposites, or virtual twins. It sounds trite, but we’ve always had what might be called a sixth-sense for each other; for lack of a better term, a sort of “magnetic balance.” He was never very interested in school, got by on D’s and a few C’s, and did not go to college, but has had a reasonably successful “blue-collar” career. I got A’s and some B’s, went to college and graduate school, and have had a reasonably successful “white-collar” career. We are both in our late 50’s, and are both unmarried. Neither of us have any children, nor want any. He is straight, and has lived with the only girlfriend he has ever had for 37 years. Yet she is his “girlfriend” only – not his “fiancee.” I am gay, have never been in a long-term relationship, nor have I ever had any expectation that I ever would. I’ve never told him that I’m gay, yet I’m faIrly sure he knows. After all, I’m fairly sure he’s straight, yet he’s never told me. Obviously, my brother and I are both deeply affected by our shared past;neither of us is able to properly bond within a close personal relationship. The irony in this, however, is that while I cannot say for certain, my impression is that he is as uninterested as I in effecting much change in the way we each live our lives. This pattern was set long ago, and there seems to be no real reason to either of us to seek change. Frankly, what would be the purpose? It would seem that neither of us stands to gain anything by it.


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  187. It is good researchers have developed & continued to study the effects trauma on children. My aces test was abysmal yes to everything except the last question which was kind of a yes because my mother was locked away in the loony bin as white women in America in 197’0s rarely went to jail. It’s good people are aware that abuse is real now.

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  190. My ACE score is 6. My resilience score 9.
    I’m now 46. I have suffered depression 3 times in my life and Tried to kill myself twice when I was in my 20’s.
    In the last 3.5 years I have suffered significant physical illness which almost killed me twice. I’ve lost 2 organs and part of another as a result. Countless operations and now medication dependent to stay alive. However I am very grateful to be alive and am embracing my latest rock bottom to really make permanent and fundamental changes to my life. I have already started. I’ve only just this morning started to read about ACE, so the start of a new path now, but one of life change rather than packing everything back up in a box again, storing it and continuing along the same cult de sac. Time to release and truly heal rather than the continuous fight…. thank you so much for these articles

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. Despite what occurred to you, your fighting to keep going forward is an inspiration to me. It helps me to know that I’m not alone in my struggle or in my recovery. I wish you peace and happiness in your journey.


  191. I have a score of 9. I have a lot of health issues at the age of 26. I’ve had 2 colonoscopies because of digestive issues, 4 root canals and all of my teeth have fillings and one has been pulled. Migraines, body aches, and anxiety all the time. Random lumps that I’m getting checked out, chest pains. People I work with and friends are always saying “you’re too young to have these issues it’s all in your head” I think my ACE score can speak to why I’m having health issues. Mentally, I am always on edge, but I have been able to put myself through college and I now work at a Fortune 500 company and followed my dreams. My sister didn’t graduate high school, got pregnant as a teen and has addiction problems. I’d say these tests are very accurate in predicting the futures of the children who deal with major issues, it’s very sad. I’m glad I have a lot of resilience and was able to get out of it and live my own life..it sucks that I’ll be dealing with my childhood my whole life but thank god for other adults in my life or I’d probably be dead.


    • I had an abusive mother. I was the oldest daughter of 6 children. I was raised to be the man because my mother lost her family money with her many
      Inappropriate relationships. There were a lot of beating and stress. I started out w health problems
      The same way everyone else did feeling powerless
      I was lucky I was a good talker and salesman
      And working makes you evolve. Other people not your family tell you that you are smart strong wonderful
      Still I got manipulated by men who needed someone to pay their bills .
      Until I completely broke ties with my manipulative mother who continued to drain me financially I was not mentally healthy. She reinforced that broken record in my brain
      I also take a supplement called pregnenolone It lowers cortisol and BP in less than 10 minutes. It’s a natural anti inflammatory . I don’t have the stress. In pretty good health.
      To release the demons you have to get rid of the voices.
      Sorry it took me so long. I have friends I help in the health and financial industry. I have multiple licensure. I am blessed
      But feel sad sometimes too. What is normal ? Trust me , in the end no one has a normal like. We all take twists and turns.


    • Hi kay, I have an ACE score of 10 !!!
      I’m finding the work from Irene Lyon very helpful, if you’ve never heard of her Check her out
      She is also on Facebook:
      Irene Lyon the missing link
      Good luck , Alison

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kay, I hear you. I’m thirty now. I developed stomach ulcers at the age of sixteen, but because I was pretty uneducated/clueless about various conditions, I couldn’t explain that I had “acid reflux.” My pain was misdiagnosed as “anxiety” and the meds I was given made things worse so I immediately went back off of them. I’ve read The Highly Sensitive Person and there is no doubt that I am also a HSP, which means I react more strongly to the same stressers in a physical way. Now, reading Childhood Disrupted, I’m learning about the brain inflammation I suffered which explains why my memory was soo poor as a child. My ACE score is “only” a five, but I had many other highly traumatic things happen to me that aren’t covered by ACE, such as a house fire at fifteen, and repeated misdiagnoses and painful/scary medical events going all the way back to being a baby. I bit a glass thermometer as a toddler (while at a daycare where I was left alone with the bit of glass in my mouth to fend for myself) and had to have the mercury pumped from my stomach and glass picked from my teeth.

      The good news is that you CAN change things. At the age of twenty I began making huge strides. By converting to a high-vegetable, high-fruit, diet that omitted animal products, refined foods and even cooked foods, my energy levels sky-rocketed. I also entered a healthy relationship which I’ve been in these past ten years. I researched nutrition and biological health increasingly from age sixteen to age twenty-six, and then mostly switched to over to learning about psychology and hypnosis from there. I highly recommend reading the two books I mentioned above as well as The Plant Paradox. Completely omitting foods that are a problem for you can make such a huge, huge difference and make it so much easier to get into a healthy frame of mind.

      I also had issues with cavities. I combined what I learned from The Plant Paradox and a book called Cure Tooth Decay I was able to cause all my cavities to harden over. My dentist confirmed that I had no decay anymore in my mouth and even plaque has stopped forming. (Plaque is a sign that you’re not getting enough vitamin K2.) I have a very detailed article on healing teeth on my website: http://www.Raederle.com

      I hope some of this information gives you hope. You will heal! Just set your mind to it and keep seeking inspiration and stories of healing every day. For the longest time I just read other people’s success stories and learned from them. It is so beneficial to be inspired and to learn in that state of awe and hope!

      Much blessings, love, care, and compassion to you Kay.
      ~ Raederle


    • Kay, I admire your resilience and your courage so much. Your comment stuck out to me because some of your symptoms were also my symptoms. I am sure your health care provider has tested you for this, but if not, have you considered being tested for celiac disease? It can impact your digestion, dental health, and increase that inflammation in your body that can cause headaches/pain. I also thought so much was “all in my head” until a doctor discussed celiac/gluten intolerance with me and “prescribed” me a gluten free diet. I hope this wasn’t an overstep and that you experience reprieve and physical restoration.


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  193. The ACE questionnaire gives a very sexist view of domestic violence. My mother was the aggressor and abuser in my household. The phrasing of the question that includes only a mother or stepmother being victimized invalidates the experience of many taking this test.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother was the abuser in my family too. I counted it in my ACE score because there’s no reason why it should count any less – it was just as traumatic.

      The study or the corresponding test could easily have taken this into account, and should have.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! My bio-mother was the aggressor too! Women are still getting the benefit of the doubt in 2019. Yet facts & history shows us females are more than capable of hideous abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think the test could still be accurately calculated by you replacing ‘mother or stepmother’ with ‘father or stepfather’. It’s the same abuse, it’s the same type of domestic violence no matter what sex is the aggressor.


    • If you look into what was included and why, it was the most common events. There are many other ACEs that people experience, but these 10 are the most common…. and therefore the mist easily studied. Incan see that changing the language to just mention one parent or another rather than mother seems simple enough. I’m sure it was traumatic for you regardless. I hope you don’t allow this to make you feel your experience to be invalidated. However, I don’t know if changing the language to be gender-neutrL would be as scientifically valid? Not sure. Remember, precision in defining these is what allows them to make this area of study valid.


    • Scored 6/9.No doubt my mother was a malignant narcissist with BPD. She made it her mission in life to destroy my father’s and her children’s spirit, shes EVIL. I can’t even fathom how my father remained stoic and strong, he eventually fell to her abuse and became her zombie. I went no contact twice, once in my 20s for 2 yrs then again in my 30s , going on 15 yrs this time and what a sense of peace. No contact is the only way.
      I have been studying psychology, molecular biology and Neuroscience now for about 8 years. Very thankful for the internet and the universities that put out there free webcasts. What started out as just an interest and self-education turned into therapy. I realize that I’m counter dependent and was raised in a narcissistic family Dynamic and I was the scapegoat. Once you have the understanding of how the mind body Connection functions everything becomes crystal clear. Check out the webcast from our major universities and also the following people Gabor Mate, Richard Grannon of the Spartan life coach, and Sam Vaknin the author of malignant self-love narcissism Revisited. Much love & good luck to all in your recovery


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  196. 6/7/7 feeling like shit after I saw this and realized what what problems stem from and tbh it kinda helps me to understand but i still dont feel any better after i understand

    Liked by 2 people

    • Now that you know, it’s time to do some self help. I lead a book study group with the book “Wounded Heart” by Dr. Dan B. Allendar ~ Check it out! It’s tough to study your own personality straights, but this book goes through the symptoms we can carry from our childhood trauma into our adult lives. We can’t fix other people, but we can find happiness ourselves, without waiting for others to do that for us!

      Liked by 2 people

    • You might try reading “Childhood Disrupted” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. I have an ACE of 7. This book was very eyeopening as well as sharing what we can do NOW to improve mentally, emotionally and physically. If you choose to read it I know you will find ways to get help. I did.

      Liked by 2 people

    • It may take more time for the understanding to lead to any benefit in terms of feeling better. But for now at least you’re less in the dark about the causal link.

      Liked by 1 person

  197. 48 and just found out I’m not totally lost. Found C PTSD is my struggle, and having taken the tests (or surveys or whatever their called) I’m at 8 & 0. Seeing that….only messes with my mind more. I’m at a really…..feels to late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toby, it’s never too late! Other studies have shown that increased positive experiences can actually have an impact on your brain’s wiring to overcome or help to overcome negative experiences. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and appreciate you. Avoid all the negative people and negativity. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”


    • It’s not too late Toby. I’m discovering a lot of these things about myself. What an amazing opportunity to delve deeper and start to find resources/therapy to help us heal. 48 is the new 30 anyway. I hope you seek help, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not too late. Find a good therapist if you’re up for it and start talking about these things. I’m sorry you didn’t find this sooner, but you can still feel a lot better than you do now.


    • I’m 58, have about the same results, and I feel like it’s quite a bit late for me too. Just taking one day at a time and trying not to think too far ahead. I wish you well


    • I’m an ACE9 and totally get the feeling. On the other hand, we’re not crazy- there is a clear set of reasons we feel this way, and now we’re old enough to intellectualize this information at least. It’s all up from here. We’ll keep learning and building ourselves up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aces score of 9. It is never too late. I quit drinking 20 years ago and that has helped, but I still struggle with depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety and sleeping disorders. My life still hurts, always has, probably always will. But I still can find joy, happiness, love, and beauty in the world. I can still ride a horse, have a dog ( lots of critters actually ) laugh at a good joke. I delight in the company of those as odd as I am, and the list goes on and on. I’ve tried to learn to accept the pain and grab the Joy. Carpe Diem brother


    • Dude, are you me? Actually, are you me in 2 years? I am at at 5-6 on the ACE (Dad was never diagnosed but was most likely mentally ill) and 7/4 on the Resiliance, and I am just hoping it doesn’t get any worse, but it seems like it likely will.


    • I scored the same as you Toby. I should be crazy but thank God I’m not. I do go through mind battles but I have coping skills I use.


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  202. The “protective factors” seem a little skewed towards a healthy childhood ideal, for example my step father cared deeply about rules being followed and grades being above a B- at all times, but I don’t include them as protective factors because we were physically punished if we got bad grades or broke even the slightest rule. It wasn’t a protective factor in my life it was a stress and fear inducing factor.
    Things like “people notice you get things done” well I was the oldest in a family of 3 children who were often left unsupervised besides myself, what the hell else was I supposed to do?

    I dont know if this questionnaire is quite as well thought out as they believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  203. My ACES score was 7 and my Resilence score 0. Would like to know how to find someone who can help me with chronic pain (physical pain). In Los Angeles area


  204. Six protective factors
    ACE score six. I was the oldest and was given a lot of responsibility in a large family. I always did what I was supposed to do. In my day children were seen and not heard.


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    • I took both the ACE test and the resilience test. No surprises, I had a very high score on ACE and an almost zero score on the resilience test. I am the over achiever (working long past retirement, afraid of having nothing to do). I am a loner, divorced and gave up on relationships.I am a super health nut person. I’m stuck inside my head, inside a book and very self dependent. My son says I did a very good job raising him mainly alone. He is well educated and follows the same over achievers’s pattern as I. I was very afraid to use drugs and alcohol because I always felt that I had a tendency for dependency sine my father was addicted to both. It took me years of psychological help to feel that I was worthy. My greatest competition was my self. I can finally wear a size 8 and be good with that. I can finally laugh at my self and embrace my me. ruby, from south carolina.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’d say the major milestones in my healing journey were 1. being introduced to the world of psychotherapy due to a suicidal attempt. Before that my parents/family blame me for all the unhappiness at home. 2. Moved away from home to go to college. I experienced how different other people outside of my family viewed me. 3. Realized my mother had many narcissistic and borderline personality disorders traits. 4. Cut off contact with my family. This was best decision I’ve made in my life-no close second. 5. Learned about ACE research studies. I’m in my mid 50’s. It took my whole life to find out ‘what’s wrong with me’ in large part because of the cultural (Chinese Confucius) iron grip of ‘parents can do no wrong’. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” applies to family dynamics too. My first glimpse of hope came about as a result of my suicide attempt soon after immigrated to the US. I was interviewed by a social worker and referred to a community family therapist, who met my story with compassion and understanding, not accusation of betrayal. I hope US continues to strive to value facts, not wishful thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your story has similarities to my own as I am NO CONTACT with most of my family. They feel better blaming me for all the family woes. They don’t need any therapy because they did nothing wrong! I’m so glad to be away from the chaotic drama they live in. These type of people want you to remain in a little box, where you can be continually abused, despised, blamed or pitied. They feign care and genuine love because they cannot give you what they do not possess! LOVE YOURSELF ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

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  217. My ACE score is 7 and my Resilience Score is 1. This is my first time hearing about this. I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and depression many years ago. I need to do more research on this.

    Liked by 2 people

  218. So since my score is 8 where does that put me within the 4+ risk factoring? I know that a bad childhood made me believe that my first relationship then a 30+ marriage to a man consisting of constant mental/psychical abuse involving control, manipulation, kidnapping, rape, years of him having affairs and one night stands (which I did not have knowledge of until 25 years into marriage), along with mental and psychical abuse to his children was normal. This stopped when I learned of his sexually affairs which increased the abuse and cost him a prison sentence. He and my first child suffer from severe schizophrenia…. I am working towards my Master’s right now in criminology..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Identify, great first step. Learn techniques to think and behave more healthfully for you. Behavioral Dialetic Therapy (sp) is one way. Build skills to never be deceived or harassed.
      Build a life worth living.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Alex, It doesn’t get worse or tougher than 10 on the scale. I feel for you (I’m slightly lower down). I don’t know what you mean by you not being able to get help, but one place that might help is the Healing journey for C-PTSD Facebook group. Lots of resources, references, and *support.* Might be worth checking out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex – I don’t know why you are unable to get help, but I was moved by your statement. My ACE score was 4; I didn’t take the resilience test because it looked like my score would be very low. But I have been greatly helped by the on-and-off therapy I have received as an adult, spread over a period of almost 30 years. Please, for your own sake and mental health, try to find a therapist who can help you. Even though I don’t know you, I care about you, and I hope you are able to find the help you need.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex you’re here – that is a testament to your inner wisdom. You know you deserve better, you know can have a life worth living. Get all the resources you can from this website & other users

      Liked by 1 person

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  226. One 1 for sexual abuse. 11 out of 14 “definites” or “probables”. As an adult 12 out of 14. So why am I as screwed up as I am? Autism spectrum (high function Aspie though that’s no longer recognized) and traumatic brain injury at 15. Can’t really blame much on my childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ITs not as if “a little trauma = a little screwed up”. The way in which that trauma was perceived by you at the time would have a massive impact. You may have lacked the skills or not have been taught the skills to capably deal with the knocks and challenges and as a result suffered greatly from things that would have little impact on people who did receive these skills. That one traumatic experience in your life may have been enough to wreak you, but a child that was strong and resilient could have gotten through it and more.

      By the way, any brain injury is a huge setback for anyone so maybe that plays a bigger role than you think.

      Liked by 2 people

    • As I have learned through doing, head injuries themselves are traumatic events and they can do a lot to leave you not feeling right. I struggled over a year and a half after my last TBI (so many, because 8/3) before getting a good diagnosis from a neuropsychologist who has specialty in concussion. She connected me with a great neuro optician, med management, and finally picked up the complex trauma history. Don’t under estimate the power of a head injury; the deficits are super hard to see from the inside and also from the outside. To get the right care you need a load of self-advocacy and some luck. Have hope that there is opportunity for improvement with the right interventions.

      Liked by 2 people

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  228. My ACE score was 6, I didn’t see “death of a parent” listed in the ACE questions, so if I missed that, my ACE = 7. Resiliency was 7.

    All things considered, I feel like I escaped from the dysfunction of my childhood as well as can be expected, and compared to others it could have been much worse. If only I had handled my marriage better, we’d still be in love instead of in a perpetual Cold War, remaining together because divorce would be cost both of us too much money. I do suffer prolonged bouts of depression, but I’m still physically well at 50.

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Neville, maybe do the very best you can for yourself, and those around you. The world and country can go to heck (as it often seems) but if you can be and love and ground YOURself, there is hope. For you.. and maybe for others too.


      • It doesn’t have to. Toxic stress comes from a bunch of different ACEs: having a family member who’s incarcerated, living with a family member who has a mental illness, witnessing violence outside the home, experiencing racism, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, it can have a lasting impact upon children, my youngest brother has been severely hampered throughout life because he was unable to access proper bereavement counselling. But, the good thing is, you can always go back and sort out your feelings in your mind with a trusted counsellor [even if that person is a close friend].

        Liked by 1 person

    • Death of a child is absolutely an adverse childhood event, but it wasn’t one of the factors addressed in this research. This is probably due to not having sufficient participants who had lost a parent as a child, to adequately represent the population for statistical analysis, when considering the number of factors being analyzed. The more factors analyzed, the greater the population needs to be and the more precise the effect needs to be, to determine statistical significance. (Statistical analysis is complicated.)
      I suspect death of a parent would be very traumatic, and greatly impact a child, and would be at least as adverse as some of the other factors listed, but I don’t know if their is research to support my position.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is defined as loss of a significant loving relationship. My grandfather lost 3 younger siblings and he was screwed up by that. This is very important for a child. At 6 yrs old my foster father was killed in a car crash on Boxing Day. I saw this man as my father so it is a significant loss. At 4 yrs old one of my abusers gave me a puppy & she was killed when I was 8 yrs old. My grandfather then died when I was 10 yrs old. These events really unsettle children, they don’t trust that good things can last (led me to deep depression).
        LOVE YOURSELF ❤️


  230. What about children who grow up with frequent medical intervention? My child has not been abused, but she had brain surgery as a toddler and has been in and out of the hospital her whole life. It is not like a little kid can necessarily understand that the person who is hurting them does so for a good reason. What research is being done on medical trauma in medically complex kids, especially those whose adverse medical experiences begin early in development?

    Liked by 2 people

      • My ACE score is 2, but my childhood was had repeated hospitalizations for sex organ deformities by doctors who treated me like a piece of meat; neighborhood with roving gangsters who wouldn’t think twice about getting me bloody; physical and mental abuse by religious school nutcases; and other fun times. But hey, my parents, though ignorant, only occasionally spanked me!

        If this test is to be taken seriously, it needs 100 questions, not 10. And a serious examination of the effects of all kinds of institutional and other home-external environmental abuse, which is far more likely to occur below the middle classes. For too many of the upper classes, I’m convinced the only real environmental insults they can relate to concern parents.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Okay this is about the profoundly different world in which those who are genetically wired to provide basic concern for you not only fail you but traumatize you. This is about having no safe place or person to go and everyday is defined by how you can raise yourself, protect yourself (from sexual or psychological or physical abuse) or be an adult to save yourself from the nightmare around you. This is when your parents say this is for your good then terrorizes you and you’re told never to tell anyone.

      No offense, but as a person with serious chronic health issues, they are a walk in the park compared to this stuff (and I was abused). The world cares about the sick little kid. They rarely turn the same caring eye toward the dirty little child whose mother didn’t care enough to clean them up. As a healthcare provider, I can tell you plenty of people work on the issue of child healthcare related trauma. Pediatric hospitals have pleasant floors, kids have items to soothe them and the last one I worked at had everything from xboxes to specially trained social workers and a host of other resources to help parents and their children cope and thrive despite the medical trauma.

      No offense but that doesn’t happen when a child has mental illness compliments of their abusive parents. They wait in the ER for hours stuck with ER adult psych patients much of the time. People watch them 24/7 and often there are no toys, TVs, or child focused things. Just a cold, sterile room without a phone, an oversized gown with drunk patients nearby as they await a bed that’s two hours from their home. Wait times can be for several hours or even days.

      So yeah. This is different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I never comment on the many things I read and scroll daily. So please take this in. Thank you. Your word affected me in quite a way. Please contiue to share your perspectives wherever possible.


      • Yes I agree, if you have been hospitalised you are under the microscope but the minor ailments which are frequently associated with high levels of cortisol were unseen. I had an ear infection so bad I went to the doctors surgery alone aged 11, the doctor asked where’s your mother and I said at work. From 3 or 4 yrs old I had repeated bouts of Migraine, ear infections, tonsillitis, Eczema & this is when I started to steal food. This carried on until my teens. Then I turned to Alcohol and Cigarettes. No one stepped in, no one noticed. I kicked the people who did this to the kerb. Now I come first and I love 💖 me 💕


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  232. I scored a 9 on the ACE and I think that’s sad because I remember thinking as a child in my very dysfunctional family that it would be better when I can leave and build my own life but it wasn’t. At 50 years old I am alone, I have autoimmune issues and I’m permanently pissed because it has ruined my whole entire life and I just don’t understand!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Joey I am 49 now and I just heard about the ACE survey and I as well scored a 9 as well. I as well could not wait to leave my home and break the cycle once I had children. Huuummmm i actually did the same thing that my parents. I ended up losing my child however she was cared for by her grandparents. I as well suffer from a chronic disease. I actually have many disease that I inherited from my mother. The sad part is knowing that how they cared for me cause me to suffer from trauma and at times feel that they had ruin my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  233. this is really depressing. ace score of 8 or 9–what do you score being held at gunpoint a couple of times and the gun fired near by onece?? and how do you scoreoccasional sibling mild sexual touching? and ,many attempts by .older siblings to expose me naked to strangers???

    and a resilience score of 1 then and now. maybe zero then, depends on how you look at some issues. it’s amazing i have never been sucidal, don’t drink do drugs or nay crimes. but i have several chronic ailments.

    Liked by 1 person

  234. I just learned about the ACE score in church yesterday from my pastor. I am grateful to be able to read about it, because my 10 year old grandson has had a difficult life and is acting out in school. He and his family lived with me until he was eight and left under unpleasant circumstances. I and our church and pastor were his security during those eight years and weren’t allowed to see him until recently. I see all of the effects of the study. Fortunately his mother is getting help from mental health for him. It tears my heart out to see his pain and hear him wishing he could stay with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. Our school system needs to incorporate this test along with classes meant to deal this neglect and abuse if 87% of the population has an ACE score of 1 or higher. Our education system was developed 200 years ago, and hasn’t changed much at all. I don’t know how to pay taxes, take out a loan, manage a bank account, purchase a vehicle, vote, function as an adult, but most importantly… I don’t know how to take care of myself. Classes should be integrated into the school system where our children can actually learn crucial information that will help them grow into healthy adults. Looking at these test scores, it looks like many of our parents have failed us in ways that have drastically changed our lives and our ability to cope and function. The schools need to step in where the parents have failed in order to aid our children in learning the life skills to overcome and compensate for childhood trauma, neglect, and simply never being taught how to manage life in general.

    Liked by 1 person

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  237. I was sexually molested by kids my age. They dont have to be older than you. I fear my children willl be harmed by all the fun businesses and events that seem to celeebrating the offense.


    • I was sexually molested by a kid my age and I agree. it does not need to be older than you. This kid was a year older and it lasted about 6 years because I didn’t understand what was happening and my mother didn’t do anything about it. I have lasting issues from it. The person definitely does not need to be 5+ years older.

      Liked by 1 person

    • couldn’t be more true. i was molested as a child by my brother who is 3 years older than me, is that somehow not traumatizing bc he wasn’t 5 years older than me….


      • One thing to remember is it’s not what happened that is the issue.
        It’s how YOU felt and still feel about what happened- that is the issue. You have a right to be angry, sad, depressed or however it makes you feel. You come first no one else. Ask yourself “what would someone who loves them self do?”
        Would they allow their abusers to permanently keep them down? No, they would fight for their right to be heard, their right to help & good healthcare!
        In 2012 I accepted my bio-mother did not love me at all but she continued to abuse & use me because I allowed it. When I told her to F off it felt like her foot was lifted off of my head, never felt better. LOVE YOURSELF 💖


    • i agree. i was raped repeatedly by a child my own age for 6 years of my childhood. the fact this well known test attempts to belittle and invalidate the experience of being sexually abused as a child “because they weren’t at least 5 years older than you” deeply offends me. it spreads misinformation on an issue that is already severely misunderstood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really feel for you, Lea… But, when I recall the context in which the original questionnaire was created (originally, in response to results from a study on obesity) – which was long before ACEs were seen as a phenomenon worthy of research and study – then, I forgive the gaps and seemingly skewed perspective. My sense is that Drs Felitti and Anda, together with their colleagues and others, have come to understand, over time, that the relevant criteria must comprise factors (ages, gender, circumstances, etc) that lie far beyond those included in the original study. Clearly your own harrowing situation should help establish the broader parameters of future research and understanding of ACEs. Wishing you peace…


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  239. ACE score of 8, resiliency score of 5. My childhood made me fiercely independent with a hidden craving for a happy family. I really have no experience with healthy relationships so nothing has worked out the way I hoped. My stepfather molested me from 6 to 10 when I got my first period. My mother closed the door. They divorced within 6 months and after teenage years trying to find hope in physical relationships I got unhappily married at 20. He died at 24 leaving a pregnant girlfriend, I became pregnant and married a pallbearer. I’ve been divorced since 2009 and spent 7 months last year taking care of my mother at home with stage 4 metastasized breast cancer. I did the absolute best I could to be a caring, compassionate daughter but it still didn’t matter to her. I never could say I forgave her because she would never admit that her life wasn’t perfect. I tried to hold her hand as she was dying and she shook me off with the last of her strength. Things like that have made it very hard for me to keep reaching out to people but I do…hopefully one day I will find a hand that fits. I’ve raised my beautiful smart daughter in every way different…so even if I never manage anything else she understands and appreciates that I consider her the best thing I’ve ever done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amen to you. I too have tried to push forward and treat my own children the way I wish I had been treated. My past shall remain my past. Focus on what you have done that is positive and build from that. I applaud your courage.


    • Amy,
      I understand your thoughts and feelings. I can relate. I understand the path that you’ve endured. I also know the strength that it took to stand strong, to raise your child in a better home situation, to still be able to show compassionate care towards someone who failed to show you the same.
      You are amazing and strong ! I applaud you! ❤ Well done!


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  242. ACE: 7, Res: 7.

    2 things:
    Interesting that the question on sexual abuse doesn’t include people who weren’t actually touched. I may well have been touched, as I have big sections of time in my childhood in which my abuser (who lived with me) is just… Missing.

    Be that as it may, he did a lot of damage verbally, emotionally, and with body language, much of it extremely sexual.

    Triggers for childhood sex abuse

    He leered at me; commented on my clothing in incredibly vulgar ways, “You shouldn’t wear that. Some man will come along and shove his meat in you” (I was ~13); would peek through my door or the bathroom door when I was changing; called me a whore, a slut, etc. on a regular basis for years; snuck up on me and my boyfriend making out, turfed bf out, then lectured me on how much of a slut I was for ~20 mins while holding my shirt and bra, so I was sitting there covering my breasts with my arms the whole time; made constant comments about me “fucking every guy in the neighbourhood” (actually lost my virginity at 18); etc. etc. Also abused my Mum in every way. Used to lie awake at night listening to her trying not to cry while he raped her.

    Triggers over

    It took me until the age of 41 to understand that all of that had really affected me. I still struggle to call it child sexual abuse, because others have experienced so much worse… Anyway.

    There was a lot of other stuff going on too.

    My response was to bury my head in school, work incredibly hard, and shut my feelings down completely. I got into one of the best universities in the world, got 2 degrees there (with really good grades), did really well at my job, etc. School/work was the only thing I felt good about – the rest of me was worthless – so I couldn’t ever fail at it. Never.

    But I burned the candle at both ends. I took care of friends and family and lovers, but didn’t take care of myself. Sleep only happened when I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. Stress levels, in and out of uni/work, were insane. I suffered from mental illnesses from a young age, and went to counselling, took meds, but regularly had severe depressive episodes, which cost me a few years of uni. I had all kinds of weird, abusive, coercive, stupid relationships, probably because I didn’t realise that a person or situation was dangerous. I was a difficult friend/lover, I’m sure.

    I’ve had chronic pain since I was ~10 due to a genetic illness, but I never thought of it that way. I just pushed through it and ate ibuprofen like candy. I got sick all the time: colds, pneumonia, flu, Lyme Disease, an uncommon ear infection bacteria in my throat, strep over and over, gallbladder disease… I landed in the hospital multiple times, and each time the sickness, whatever it was, was worse. When I was 33, and insanely stressed out, I injured my back, had surgery, and developed chronic pain. I’ve been disabled now for a decade. All my hard work, time, effort and stress… and I’m disabled, unemployed and on benefits. The thing is, I did it to myself. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I still did it. I pushed myself so hard that finally, my body/mind said, “You haven’t been listening. We keep getting sick, having breakdowns, and you just keep going! You broke your ankle and 3 days later went on a field exercise in the Carribean! Walking through the jungle in a cast! Are you insane?!”(Yes). “OK, we’re going to do something permanent, this time, and you will finally STOP AND REST.” Yup. Sigh.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Heather,
      your childhood was a truly horrific one! Be aware that when you did this to yourself, you never had a choice, because you were conditioned to act this way, just to survive short term.
      And the same is true for your parents – did they have any choices, regarding how their upbringings were? So I avoid the word ‘blame’, it’s rather a situation of ’cause and effect’. And the effects are gross.
      Thanks for sharing your insights.
      The 10 questions cover the most frequent abuses, and yours was a bit different. Only a limited number of questions can be managed in questionnaires like this.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Erik. I didn’t have a clue how bad it was until I started telling my university bf a story from my teen years. I had no emotions about it (numb), but he actually stopped walking and gaped at me. Funny how we normalise things, isn’t it?

        My Dad is a closed book, but his sister is very similar, and my grandparents were curiously emotionless. They all lived in London during WWII…
        My Mum has been abandoned, abused and neglected over and over throughout her life. I understand her pain and forgive her, but it still hurts.
        Stepdad… All I know is that he stopped talking to his parents long before they died, and his brother killed himself. Suggestive.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ace 9, Res 7:
      Although my abuse was every kind except sexual… our adult lives have played out so similarly I got goose bumps. I just crashed and burned in middle age even worse than in my 20’s, lost everything I’d since achieved and am right back on disability, it’s just 15 years later and now has a diagnosis of Complex PTSD.

      After 40 years of hyperarousal my body has switched to hypoarousal for the first time ever to stop me … and I am lost in the woods with no supplies for this one. No clue who I am anymore, when I can’t run from my past like the Energizer Bunny of people-pleasing over-acheivement.

      So much for resilience then.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, our lives have gone similarly! I’m sorry that you had to suffer through so much crap.
        I seem to be switching between hyper- and hypo-arousal at the moment. Massive anxiety, hypervigilance, racing thoughts, insomnia for 50-65 hours (to the point that I was gently asked by a nurse if I had a meth problem 😜) , then crash to sleeping very deeply for days, lying around like a slug, unable to do much. I used to think hypo would be better, but oh no.

        Liked by 2 people

      • How are you now?
        I had a bit of a revelation a couple of days ago. I’m still here. I’m not very functional, no, but I’m still here, despite everything. The only thing to take from that fact is that I’m incredibly resilient, seriously strong, and incredibly stubborn! You are too.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Heather! My name is Stephanie Lynn. I acknowledge your courage woman!!! I am so grateful for that powerful share.

      You seem to be very aware now of what to do in order to find health and peace.

      What you described IS sexual, emotional and physical abuse. And I can say that having experienced it myself. My story is a bit different.

      I was abused by my biological Father for many years. Sexually assaulted (touched and penetrated), I was pushed, held against my will, forced, slapped, brainwashed/persuaded/lied to, drugged (crack to be precise)… The list goes on…

      I am currently doing cognitive processing therapy. I am putting my effort and energy into rewiring my brain. I have a lot of wounds from childhood. I can remember being touched at age 2 approximately, the abuse stopped when I was 14 years old. I am now 32. I kept it all in for many years, I created a monster of myself. I was a bully at one point in my life, I hated myself most of the time, I did lots of drugs, I was in self destruct mode. I remember always saying that I would die young… I always thought that way, that my life had no meaning to it. My self esteem was almost gone and my will to live as well.

      A lot has changed for me since those days. I have done a lot of meditation, energy healing, I did the Gratitude Program (super powerful retreat!! Totally recommend it), I pressed charges against my Father with the intention to get a full confession and for him to get the help he needs and not hurt another soul again (starting with himself) now I am doing this therapy for the first time at a Rape Treatment Center nearby… I am also creating a documentary about overcoming sexual trauma and the whole process I am currently putting myself through. I want to spend my life living joyfully, light-fully and compassionately. I want to remind the world that communication, connection, vulnerability and courage are right there for us to access when we want, all we have to do is look in that direction and begin framing our thoughts around them, then speaking up about whatever it is that ails us and experiencing the effect of it.

      Your message is a big step towards healing. Thank you for that!
      The reason I speak up is to heal. This way I also set an example. There is no reason to suffer in silence for years when it is so easy to speak and heal right away. So Thank you again and again for speaking up!

      Are you feeling better? Can you update?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Stephanie, thank you, and damn, your response is equally powerful. Thank you for making me feel less alone, for joining me in my vulnerability (eek!) and for validating what I went through.

        Obviously your abuse needs no validation. God, your father, and your childhood…I’m so sorry you went through that. I’m constantly amazed by the horrific things that people do, especially to their own kids, but also by how many of us make it through. I wonder how many of us there are, who survived but lived for so long in silence? I couldn’t put it back in the box, now; could you?

        “Self-destruct mode.” YES. I didn’t always realise it, but that was my modus operandus for much of my life. Still is, sometimes, although I’m getting better at self-compassion. I had some self-esteem, at times, although where it came from I’ll never know. No matter, I quickly ended up in situations that thoroughly squashed it again. The self-hatred never got squashed. Unfair. It has shrunk a lot the past few years.

        I think you’re much further into recovery than I am, and I’m grateful for your example! I’ve been practising moving mindfulness, because meditating while still just doesn’t work for me. More later.

        It’s like I have a part of myself that always knew it all, always loved me, and would send help if possible. If I were religious I suppose I’d call it God, but I think of it as a safe parent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our minds are so intertwined with our bodies that I’m with you, Heather, on the moving mindfulness. Partly because I can no longer sit (accident-related sequelae), and partly because I know that my body took a huge hit from years of abuse, it’s through my body too that I find healing. Walking meditation, yoga, dance, authentic movement, Qi Gong and TRE are all a balm for my mind and body. Listening quietly to my body is all the confirmation I need, to know if I’m on a path of wellness or spiraling into an abyss. (See “The Body Keeps the Score” if you haven’t yet, van der Kolk’s insight on the connection).


    • I am so sorry you went through all this pain Heather. I was molested by my father for fifteen years. All the illnesses, all the pain in my body my mind and my spirit were healed through my walk with Jesus. God is not the unloving person that we all hear about He is truly love at the greatest form. The devil comes to kill steal and destroy. In the norm its wasn’t possible for me to be who I am today, but through Jesus it was a miracle. I don’t know if I am offending you if so I don’t mean to I just know when hopelessness had a hold of me Jesus was the only one to bring complete healing. There are promises in the Bible and I would pray these out loud over myself. Those are Gods promises to use and he cant lie. Rest every as you talk to the King of Kings let his love cover and heal you. Let him tell you who he sees when he looks at you. You are his precious daughter and what is his is yours. I am praying right now that you will have the sweetest encounter with Gods love. I declare every promise you claim as yours will take hold of you life your body and your spirit. Im not religious I just love my Daddy God and I know he loves his daughter Heather.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Tammy, I really appreciate your response. Unfortunately I don’t believe, and have found, despite years of trying, that one cannot make oneself believe. You do, or you don’t. Sigh.

        I’m so sorry that you had to go through so much, too! I’m glad that you’ve found support and healing through God.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sheesh, woman.. what courage and resilience you’ve had. But what strikes me as curious is the physical journey you’ve been on – that so deeply resonates with me. I was broken as a child (from targeted verbal / emotional / psychological abuse, thanks to my mother’s – now acknowledged – cruelty). I existed for decades in such profound dissociation / suicidal ideation, that I never realized that all the physical symptoms were merely manifestations of the brain-sludge that was building up. Ulcers. Years of unexplained anaphylactic episodes, sending me to the ER more times than I count – and of course, not a single medical professional asked me: What HAPPENED to you??? And then, whammo: 10 years ago, I tumbled 30 ft off a bridge. Mercifully, miraculously, I survived. But my body broke in many places. So I got that lesson too: You Have Been Broken – but you’ve ignored all the signs. Now Your Body is Broken Too. Are you ready to pay attention? Chronic pain has certainly given me pause, taught me to look inwards, face the demons – including my mother, and hers. Heather, what we have done is survive.. What happens hereon in, is whatever we allow and can. If I could, I would give you a gentle hug, and listen, and share…

      Liked by 1 person

  243. For people who have four types of childhood adversity — an ACE score of 4 — alcoholism risk increases 700 percent; attempted suicide increases 1200 percent. Heart disease and cancer nearly double. People with high ACE scores have more marriages, more broken bones, more depression, more prescription drug use, more obesity.

    Liked by 1 person

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  246. ACE score 6 Resilience 8 – still the same today. I can see the effects and why I still have so much work to do on myself. The main obstacles to healing seem to be the people who caused much of the trauma are still around and behave in ways that either compound or trigger the trauma.

    Liked by 1 person

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  248. Pingback: Episode 108: Trauma & Autoimmunity with Dr. Maureen Pierce

  249. My ACEs is 8. If they changed one question to read, “should a family member be in jail?” and another to say, “addiction” and not just drugs and alcohol, my score would be a 10. There are so many criminals who do not get caught and so many other forms of addiction. My resilience score is 2. It is a miracle that I can walk and talk.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Arlene,
      Whatever ACE score you have, mine is 7, I found understanding of my predicament, and a great relief, by reading books and blog by the legendary Dr A Janov.


    • Hi, Arlene–I have an ACE score of 6. I tried all sorts of things for decades with very little result, until I did limbic system retraining, which is a treatment for PTSD. It was truly transformative. When we have high ACEs, our limbic (fight or flight) system gets triggered to stay in the “on” position, with wide-ranging effects on both mind and body. The retraining switches it back to the “off” position, so that it can finally function normally (i.e., only sounding the alarm when there is an immediate threat present in real time, instead of being hyper-vigilant all the time). You go to a seminar to learn the technique, and then practice it daily for 6-12 months (for me, it took about 10 months). Best effort I have ever expended in my life, I have to tell you. If interested, you can find more information at http://www.retrainingthebrain.com. All the best to you and others reading this. We’ve had a hard start in life, and deserve to have some relief, and some joy! The brain retraining really helped me a large measure of both, and I’m so grateful for it.


  250. Hi,
    I have an ACE score of 10, and a Resiliency score of 1. I was independent as a child. Everything else was Definitely not true. Most of my family who knew I was abused/neglected, etc. either turned a blind eye, or encouraged it. I was abused sexually, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I was forced into human trafficking, and had to work as a prostitute, or a sex slave for older men. They would beat and threaten/attempt to kill me. I was homeless, and went to live with my father, he was on drugs. He left grease on the stove while I was sleep, and he left. The house caught fire. One of his girlfriends was walking towards the house and saw the fire. She had to pry open the back door. I have asthma and the smoke nearly killed me. I had to be hospitalized. So I went in foster care again. My first time I was 11. My mom burned me with cigarettes, locked me in a room with the dog, and whatever was closest in a fit of rage, she used it to hit me. She would drag me out of my room with the dog by my hair, into the garage and stomp on my ribs. Then left me there for days. If she ended up cutting me, she would force salt in the wound. I also developed my anorexia from her. I was only allowed to eat one slice of bread a day, whenever had to start going back to school because they were going to charge her. At that time I had a younger sister. My mom never beat her. Even though I was only 2 years older than her I raised her. My mom would change moods like we blink. It was a cycle, things would be tense for no reason, she just beat me because she wanted to. Then she would leave the house for days. When she came back she would bring candy, and stuff. She cried saying she wouldn’t hurt me again and to forgive her. But then she started to beat me until I couldn’t walk right for days. The last time was the day before I went into foster care. I had to practice walking right after. Those bruises cuts and burns took 11 months to stop hurting and fade. Her friend that lived with us raped me continuously and she threw me out after I told her. He wasn’t the only one, but it hurt a lot. I was pregnant with his child at 14 and she threw me out. So I became homeless again. I miscarried, and then she let me back in and tried to suffocate me with a plastic bag while I was sleep. Eventually I was removed and put back in foster care for the third time. I used to run when I was younger because my mom would try to kill me. Whenever she decided to feed me, she mixed sedative pills in my food, bleach in the water, held me at knife point, tried to suffocate me, held my head under water and banged my head if I held my breath. I was only allowed to take a shower when she used water she boiled or ice and cold water and I had to sit in the water or she would beat me extra. Rare luxury to take a shower, even if the water burned my skin or made the burns and cuts extremely painful. To this day, I take no less than an hour in the shower. I’ve had many boyfriends, all but two were abusive. Some came from the trafficking. I “serviced” as they called it, to men about three times my age at that time, (11) to men who could’ve been my great grandfather. I was sold to a man about fifty years old, and stayed with him, God knows how long. I mixed in sleeping pills with his alcohol when it was time to bring him dinner. Usually he wouldn’t give me any, but claimed a major headache. He gave me five. Wasn’t enough to kill him they weren’t that strong, just knocked him out long enough to find the key and leave. Then I moved foster homes. Domestic violence here, domestic violence there. Many suicide attempts, my drug use got bad, then had to move again. When I continued be raped and abused. I felt forgiveness didn’t do me any good if I continued to be hurt and broken again. Last time was about 3/4 months ago. Was suicidal since 7, been cutting since 6. So everytime something happened, it made me have a complete relapse in recovery. With the anorexia, the suicide attempts, and substance abuse. Was a junkie since 11, I witnessed my mother pop pills more than 5x daily whenever I was out the cage, either for a beating or to care for the siblings. She used xanax, triple c’s, percocets, molly, I think esctasy, and a couple others. Took them like candy. I was sent to a program for my suicide attempts and was required to do substance abuse treatment as well. Per court order. At that place I had two major suicide attempts. One I slit my wrist with glass until I could barely move, then looped a pair of headphones around my neck and pulled tight then tied a knot. They found me and sent me to a psych hospital. The second time I climbed to the highest point on this thing like a playground. I dropped the suicide note I wrote the night before under where I was going to jump from. No one was watching. I broke the string off my dress and tied the knot to where it gets tighter and hard to undo with weight. I was about 8 feet up. I put it around my neck and jumped. Then it got black and I started to suffocate. I could hear screaming. Someone climbed over me and fumbled to cut it for about 2 minutes. I went unconscious. When they cut it, the male staff under caught me. Then I went to the ER, then psych. I used to be really impulsive, but now I think more than I used to. Still struggle with it but definitely much, much better. Attempt suicide much less, so less hospitalizations. Still struggle with self-harm, but clean for a couple of months. Almost relapsed a couple of times. I dealt/deal with anorexia but I actually eat daily now. Clean from drugs a couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jazzy,
      Non of the suffering is your fault , God has kept you through all of this, I will Pray to God who knows you I In his eyes you are the most precious, Lift your eyes to him know he is sending an army to your side and I am one of them my name is Michael a friend sent to you from the spirit of God himself by his son Jesus. Call out to him he has heard your plea.


    • youve got so much living to do and love to receive. if you can make it through all that has happened to you and still be a good person then you are a remarkable person never forget that. i think one of the hardest things to do is stay sober but its an absolute must for people like us since its impossible to build your life up when your not sober. you can do it 🙂 sending you love and power x


    • You are an incredibly amazing person to have gone through so much yet still be standing. I really believe your story can help and inspire others to keep going when things get rough.

      You are an amazing, inspirational person, please don’t ever forget that.

      With love.

      Liked by 1 person

  251. Aces= 10. Resilience= 14. Sometimes it can be so difficult to reconcile all the bad that happened simultaneously with all the good that provided me with resilience. Strange. I don’t know why I was the only one in my family or neighborhood to “get out” and create a wonderful life. Survivor’s guilt is a real thing, I can tell you.

    Liked by 2 people

  252. Pingback: 10/22 "Paper Tigers" - Daily Class Blog - Teaching Academy 1 - Issaquah Connect

  253. ACE score of 6, resilience score of 3. I had a horrible, frightening, confusing childhood and I have rarely ever felt loved or cared about, certainly not by my family. My partner is kind but has Autism and doesn’t really understand why I need to be told that I’m valued and loved, although he knows all about my childhood. I have had a lot of near misses with alcohol, drugs, s3x work etc. and had two disastrous abusive marriages. I turned 40 this year and realised that my job in a caring profession was hollowing me out, so I quit. I don’t know who I am or what to do next…

    Liked by 1 person

  254. Pingback: Anxiety Experts Reveal What They Really Want Everyone to Know About Anxiety - Mind, Body & Soul

      • 6 and 8. Life fucked. This information is something everybody should want to know about themselves. Know the risk you’re at. Higher risk of everything. And it would have been helpful to have this information, maybe to kinda know what odds you’re up against. My gf says she has 7 aces. But she is successful, and very healthy. I think she just must be more resilient. Cuz I have 6 aces and I’ve been in constant trouble with the law and with substance abuse my whole life. I don’t trust anybody. Violence and the criminal world were my entire existence. It’s who I was, and now I don’t know who I am. , I latched on to the older dope boys in school and they became like cool older brothers, I found something I was good at, and respected for and my life became selling drugs full time, with no other plan for the future. I had no other source of income.
        The thing about exposure to aces is it begets more aces. If your parents fight it make you angry. Now you’re hurting people, I used to beat my brothers ass after my dad would whoop me. I’d fight anybody, and gonna go to prison for it someday. Now when you’re in prison your marriage falls apart, your child is being neglected cuz daddy is in jail. You yourself have a littany of undiagnosed mental problems. Severe depression that comes and goes, suicidal behavior bouts of mania, undiagnosed bi polar, mood swings, very happy one minute to very low self esteem another. Gets out of jail with no clothes on his back and is sucked right back into the criminal life. Where Violence and brutality is the common language. physical and mental abuse are a way of life. People going to prison all the time. People dying frequently, People betraying your trust, all types of manipulation. This becomes your normal, it’s not an adverse childhood experience anymore, it’s just the adverse experiences that are your life.


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  257. I scored 6 on ACE and a 4 on Resilience. After reading everything this far I feel like I have truly beating the odds. I had a horrific, Terrible, scary childhood. I was a very depressed teen and I had very low self-esteem. At 15 I ended up pregnant. I was one of the lucky ones though, because I had an amazing man by my side. We have been Married for 17 years/together 20, and we have 6 boys. Yes life isn’t a bowl of peaches and cream. I have learned to work hard and fight for everything in life. I have made sure my kids will never go though what I went through. My scores me nothing to me as I have concord my deemons.

    Liked by 2 people

  258. I liked the homework even though I got some personal questions and some of them hurt me but i am okay with that now I’m an adult and know how to prtect myself . My score was 4

    Liked by 1 person

  259. There were at least two questions which were not so black and white. Question 8: T here was care only if I received a deportment comment and a grade C or less. Question 13: I believe I exercised a independent personality, but I was not a high achiever as a child. Question 14: The idea is good but I never had control of my own life. It belonged to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. Pingback: New Study: Immune System Changes Caused by Childhood Adversity Increase Susceptibility to Substance Use Disorders – Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home

  261. 4/0
    Been lonley my entire life and has never had anyone caring about me, I´m 28 years old and began putting my foot down half a year ago. It´s been hard at especially working places people and bosses have been really nasty to me since I have a hard time creating boundaries. Luckily I´ve started to strengthening my upper body which has affected me and given me courage and strength to say no. I´m still lonley. I feel happier not having contact with my emotionally abusive mentally ill narcissistic egocentric father and my emotionally abandoning slightly manipulative never incouraging mother though. I really don´t care what happens to them. Really don´t. They took my fire away from me and won´t acnowledge that or apologize. They both are weak and misrerable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Neil, I am sorry you didn’t/don’t have the care you deserve. The more self-love you have the less the lonelies show up. At least this is what I practice and believe. I care enough to send you hugs. Peace, from your Childhood Trauma Buddy

      Liked by 1 person

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  263. Hi,

    I am a nursing doctorate student and have used this questionnaire for a project. I want to make sure I have the correct permission to use the questionnaire. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  264. Hi Everyone

    I Have an ACE Score of 7 and Resilience Score of 5.

    Just recognizing this is a little overwhelming as I am generally perceived as a “happy-go-lucky” guy though I feel like I have never been able to get out of “2nd Gear” all of my life.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have managed to wring an awful lot of happiness out of my life, though I feel like I start most days at -5/10 and have to just constantly drag myself into a happy state of mind.

    Sounds overly dramatic I know…

    But I have a wonderful, understanding wife and I have made every effort not to repeat the mistakes of the past, though I think maybe my past has made me not want to have children as yet.

    WoW, wierd what you write sometimes isn’t it. I hope you all manage to find Peace & Happiness


    Liked by 5 people

  265. Pingback: My Story – Human Trafficking and ACEs – carradinecenter

    • ACE 9 (pretty much all but sexual abuse)
      Resilience 13

      So glad for the rest of my family, especially grandparents, for being my support group. Even with an ACE of 9, I ended up getting a PhD, marrying another PhD, and having a very healthy and loving relationship with my daughter.

      Liked by 5 people

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  267. Pingback: We’re not gonna take it – Interpretation – nathan musings

    • There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

      The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

      Liked by 2 people

  268. I scored a 10 on the test. My childhood was not fun. My mom struggled with addiction, in abusive relationships and suffered from untreated mental illness. Long story short, we were in and out of foster homes, homeless shelters and floors of family/friends/neighbors.
    My 3 sisters and I went to live with an aunt and uncle who were well off (financially, emotionally and physically).
    My mom as a child suffered from mental illness that no one talked about and was raped by a uncle that no one believed. She started using at a young age.
    My two brothers stayed with my mom.
    Now, years later. My mom is clean (has been for 6 years and lives with her sister and doing “ok.”)
    She suffered from many illnesses, and is hard to be around, but is capable and strong. She is 57 years old.
    Her kids:
    Oldest son (39) has suffered from almost the same life as she did. In and out of rehab, off and on drugs, has overcome and then had many set backs. Can’t handle life if it gets too hard. He has 4 wonderful boys has been married twice and now for the past 2 years has struggled with Meth use. Is right now in a mental facility and is struggling to stay alive.
    Myself (36) grew up in a loving home after being g taken out and got out in counseling right away. Joined the church and had that as a foundation for my whole life. Married a farmer and has 4 kids. I struggle with a lot of chronic pain, anxiety and shame. Had an eating disorder for 10 years and stilll struggle with weight and body image. I’m married to a loving husband, his family is amanzingly functional, does everything together and literally has no one that is remotely crazy, struggles with drugs, drinks, smokes–nothing!! They are just really freaking great. My husband and I have been married for 12 years.
    My twin (36) is a terrible person. Beats his wife and kids. They both do drugs. He’s scary and doesn’t talk. He suffers also from a lot of chronic pain, is mean, controlling and probably has untreated mental illness. He’s been married since he was 17.
    Younger sister (34) has been married 3 times. Is married to a man who hits her, but she medicated him in a smoothie that he doesn’t know about and I guess the abuse isn’t as much. She has two kids. She is a guidance counselor. Is crazy (to my standard), but has made it. Suffers from a lot of pain, has anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, and anything else she diagnoses herself with.
    Youngest sibling (31) has two boys, married to a man in the service. Does well, is a teacher and loves her boys. She doesn’t acknowledge my mom or her dad (he kidnapped her when she was a baby). She doesn’t talk about our childhood at all. Is over and done with and to her she doesn’t need to rehash the past.
    She’s driven and has overcome a lot, but has no feelings, she loves her boys but shows not a lot of emotion, but loves them and you can tell she’s proud.

    It took a long time to come to a place where I am and I’m so thankful I am the person I am today. I love my mom and the strong person she is. I hated my childhood, but gave me those life experiences to help others and tell a greater story on mental illness and all that it does and who it affects and I’m not ashamed anymore of the person I’ve become.
    Just thought I’d share on my life, to maybe give some hope to someone? So many things happened to me and my siblings, but also to my mom.

    Liked by 4 people

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  273. ACE score=6
    Resiliency Score=6

    Heart disease
    Complex PTSD
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    Panic Disorder
    Major Depressive Disorder
    Traits or Borderline Personality Disorder
    Dissociative states

    Liked by 2 people

  274. This quiz and score are accurate for me. How many circumstances happened to me in my life growing up. Today I can honestly say these events occurred when I was younger I got passed them, and I’m a better person after getting professional help.

    Liked by 3 people

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  279. ACE 5, resiliency 9. Tough start and sometimes I still struggle, but overall very successful. Did not perpetuate anything. I have been working on myself for nearly my whole life.

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  282. ACE score is 8 and Resiliency is 6. I identify with most everything said. As a senior now, I have struggled with anxiety, depression, food addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, teen pregnancy, and high stress/sleep disorder. About the only thing I haven’t experienced is smoking and opioid addiction. I was also bullied mercilessly in middle school and never told anyone. I would categorize my entire life as being engulfed with guilt, shame and never feeling good enough. I have been somewhat successful professionally but recognize all the ways I derailed myself – I could have accomplished so much more, given my intellect but I lacked a drive or belief in myself and am a perfectionist, which is a character flaw in itself. I was too emotionally vulnerable and didn’t make friends easily. I’m surprised bullying isn’t one of the factors in the ACE survey, because I’ve seen how destructive that is to the psyche and self-esteem. I think being bullied had the biggest impact on the shame I grew up with. Despite a reasonable score on resiliency, I certainly haven’t coped well in life, being emotionally reactive and overly sensitive, struggling with these addictions and demons of not being good enough. This program seems promising and am glad this study has been done. I cannot tell you the # of times I’ve heard that being happy is a choice and I just need to let go of the past and focus on the present, count my blessings. I am blessed in many ways but letting go of the past – both in terms of what happened to me and the self destructive behaviors I engaged in, well it’s an area I have a long way to go even now that I’m in my 60’s.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. You are very brave. Continue to dwell on the positive things in your life. You are valued and important! Your experiences can help young people who are experiencing similartraumas. I teach and find it rewarding to work with young people..Take care!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Emily,
      My ACE score is 8 and I haven’t taken the resiliency test yet, because I’m too overwhelmed. I have NEVER felt wanted or NEVER felt safe.
      You talked about how being bullied has been the biggest impact on the shame you grew up with. I know being bullied was my leap downward into a cycle of shame and of not being good enough EVER which continues to this day at 62 years old.
      Letting go of my past of pain that is merged into my soul; will always be with me as I work towards doing the best I can in life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, you sound like a very sweet person. Some people have to carry more load and it just isn’t fair.

      And no one can just ‘let go’ of the past, as it leaves many traces and scars and shapes who you are. So I respect you a lot for searching for ways to feel better!

      One thing I would want to advise you is to always try to be as nice to yourself as you want to be to others, take care of your needs, watch them carefully, and forbid yourself to be hard on yourself. It sounds easy, but maybe you could feel a little better about yourself. I think you deserve being well taken care of!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Emily, I do not know if you will see this but this sounds like you may have undiagnosed adult ADHD.

      ❤ Perhaps there has been more going on than you have realized.


    • Acaravello, your post made me so sad. Please know that you are a valuable and lovely human and nothing that has happened to you in your past can take away your worth. I hope you can find someone to talk to, and find the strength to find hope in your future. You deserve happiness!

      Liked by 2 people

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  285. Aces 7 resilience 6
    I still struggle with feelings of being an outsider and not good enough to join groups etc
    I take small doses of anti depressants and I think I will forever
    My marriage just about survives as long as we don’t have too much stress
    I’m just thankful that despite having had a fairly awful childhood , thanks to grammar school and having had a good job I fought my way up the social ladder at least

    Liked by 1 person

  286. My ACEs score was 9 and my resilience score was 8. I agree with this article completely and I’m happy to say I have overcome a lot and lucky never gave into alcohol or drug use but had lots of struggles along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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  289. hello. i just turned twenty in may and i have a score of 8 and a resilience score of 2. the two ones were, people took care of me when i was a baby, and people played with me when i was an infant. my family doesn’t know what they did to me. they were extreme opiate addicts and i never got to leave. i’m very skilled at handling my mental health, but i can’t work. i might need to go on disability soon. my brothers aren’t as bad as i am. my family will never know what ive seen. thank you for reading this

    Liked by 3 people

      • hi!! ive been in therapy for 2 years. when i discovered what the ACE score was, i was bewildered, hurt, shocked. to have EIGHT… and they didn’t even take a look at the test subjects who scored eight!!!! i feel like i’m in the seventh circle of hell compared to the lower scores. i feel like i could die when i’m 50. it’s nuts. anyone else with a score of 8/10 want to weigh in ??

        Liked by 2 people

      • I have seven. I was surprised, but relieved. It explained so much of my life, and it helped me accelerate my own healing. If you start changing your life to support and facilitate your health, it can help extend your life. Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book, Childhood Disrupted: How your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal is very useful.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I just want to send you some love.
      Hoping you find a kind community of people to be with when
      you journey into healing. Much love, Sandy


    • I don’t know you, or what your life is like. I never would unless I walked in your shoes. However, I just want you to know that I (a complete stranger) read this, and I thought “I hope this woman is having a good night.” Sending good vibes.

      Liked by 2 people

    • “and they didn’t even take a look at the test subjects who scored eight!!!! […] anyone else with a score of 8/10 want to weigh in ??”

      I got a 10/10. Like you found myself frustrated that they don’t look at anything past a 4. As bad as they describe the effects of a 4, and then just drop it from there; it almost feels like they are implying that if you got worse than that, you are so far beyond hope it’s not worth the resources or effort of researching.

      My wife, like you got an 8/10. Fortunately we are leading reasonably normal lives. Our kids are pinging about a 1/10, and with just a little luck and effort their kids will tag a 0/10, which (while I find it nearly impossible to believe) is what i’m led to believe most people score.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not sure what you mean that they didn’t take a look at the test subjects who scored eight. Because of this study, Kaiser Permanente preventive health division, which most Kaiser patients participated in at that time, screened all patients for ACEs (more than 400,000 people) and talked with all of them about their ACEs, no matter how many they had. Unfortunately, Kaiser closed the preventive health division and forgot about ACEs until just the last couple of years. Now there are several pediatric clinics that are screening for ACEs, and one clinic that’s screening adults for ACEs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jane,
      While I can’t speak for Kirstie, at least my perception of “and they didn’t even take a look at the test subjects who scored eight!!!!” stems from how little data is displayed for higher scores. Of the 12 charts on this page, only 3 mention 5, and of those 3, only 1 mentions 6 specifically. scores of 7-10 are simply left in the “+” or “>” indicators, but not actually spelled out.

      Other articles I’ve looked at also pretty much all stop at describing the specific effects at 4. Those combined effects imply you are basically guaranteed to be a nonfunctional wreck, and it’s a bloody miracle if you are a functional adult if you hit 4.

      look at the charts on this page.
      If you get 4, you have just a 0.16% chance to escape all of the described effects. To reiterate, they are pretty horrible to one degree or another: be an alcoholic, suffer chronic depression, be on antidepressants, be a domestic abuser, have liver disease, be a smoker, be raped, be suicidal, be a sexually active teen, be an absentee worker, have serious job performance issues, serious financial problems, or COPD.

      Presumably your chances are even worse if you score higher than a 4. From one of the few charts that does hit a 5, it looks like at that score you have a 0% chance to escape all of the effects, as it says that at a 5, 100% of tested people are prescribed antidepressants. I, for one, would like to know what the stats are for people like me that pegged a “perfect” score on this test.

      I have to wonder how many others have similar attitudes to things like me that are probably unhealthy, but just are a part of who we are. As an anecdotal example of what I mean. A co-worker found out that her husband grew up in the same neighborhood as I did, at around the same time as I did, when my response to talking about getting stabbed was the same as his. “Meh, it was a Wednesday.” And like his stories, the getting stabbed wasn’t even the point, or the interesting part of the story. These charts don’t talk abut the likelihood of other violent incidents, although other articles I’ve seen did. They were equally bleak statistics.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s mentioned in comments that scores “4 and higher” mean even worse outcomes for the victims. This is a conclusion regarding a very large sample. It is not a tool for giving a diagnosis or recommending a treatment for a particular patient.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Adam, I could be wrong but I don’t think the scale is intended to work geometrically – that is, with each additional score, your risk of negative consequences getting that much higher. It’s that once you’re at a 4, you’re in a risk category in general. Then it’s a question of how much resilience buffered you against risks. If you came from alcoholic parents but managed not to drink because you had friends who did not or you got into Al-Anon, you will escape cirrhosis and DUIs, etc. If you had a friend with parents who were kind to you, or seek out kind and pleasant people now, and work on your self-talk and do cognitive exercises to increase your positive talk about yourself and the world, that can buffer the verbal abuse you got. I see it as a way for us to understand where certain triggers came from and address them. It’s like knowing you have a hereditary predisposition to an illness that you can avoid by avoiding a certain food or climate. Self-care after the fact is the key, or at least that’s the way I address it.


    • Ace 9 Res 7 – at 50 I have depression and fibromyalgia – I would advise you STOP negative self talk, pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion, all the ways you hurt yourself – because your body is more delicate than the average person and you will trigger problems!

      Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a lost 4 yr old – we get so used to telling ourselves that we’re worthless, that everything is our fault, that we deserve every bad thing that we get. We become oblivious to what we’re doing – perpetuating the hatred that was piled on us as children – it’s hard – I bought a book on increasing self worth and couldn’t get past the 2nd exercise – looking in a mirror and saying “I love you” – just can’t look at myself, never mind the faking it till you make it part – but I keep moving forward – trying to care for myself instead of neglecting myself – when I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine I could live to this age – my risk taking and my suicidal feelings (and relationships with abusive nutters) seemed like they’d get the better of me – but we’re super strong people – you are going to get better and better and live to be 100 ❤

      I can definitely recommend creating things (art, gardening, music, working on cars – whatever appeals) best therapy I've found.


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    • I have a problem with Question #5 when it asks if someone “at least 5 years older” molested you. What’s the relevance of that? Why not 4 or 3 years? What if the person was the same age but was bigger and stronger? Rape is rape and I think it should be considered an Adverse Childhood Experience regardless of the rapist’s age. Someone please enlighten me if I’m misunderstanding something here.

      Other than the aforementioned issue, I respect the research done on the concept of ACEs. This has the potential to be truly groundbreaking in solving problems related to mental and physical health. It was interesting hearing Nadine Burke Harris’ lecture on TED, and I look forward to seeing additional findings on the subject. I’m especially interested in seeing more mention of studies separating “risk behaviors” and causal genetic factors for behaviors and health disparities.

      This has article has shed a new light on several of the issues I have in my life. Looking back, I somewhat understand more and more how I got to my current situation. But since other people who’ve experienced the same as me don’t have the same struggles, I can’t use my experiences as an excuse for failure. I’m just hoping I can get everything together.
      ACE: 4-5. Resilience: 7.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps the age has something to do with the person being in a perceived position of influence? Just a thought…
        BTW, my ACE was 6; resilience 9.


      • I agree that any sexual assault should be counted, but I would have to say the reason for the age difference specification is because as children, we expect people who are older to be a force of guidence and potentially protection. When that concept is violated, it goes past just the powerlessness and pain of the assault and can cause one to question everything they know about trust and security.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah. Well thank you Maddie and Sheri for the good answers. I’m still not quite seeing the relevance of the 5 year limit because it’s still possible for a child to look up to someone with influence less than 5 years older. And even if the offender(s) are the same age, I think that’s still an “adverse childhood experience” by definition. But thanks to you both, I may have a better idea where they were going with that particular question.

        To be fair, they were probably trying to separate the more innocent sexual curiosity that typically happens between people in the same age range, but the creators of this test weren’t thinking that it doesn’t always work that way. I think it should just be framed as anyone being able to assert any control over you.


      • Hi Tony. I had the same thought. I completely agree that the casual “at least five years older” indicates that the researchers believed children closer in age could somehow not abuse one another. To me, it points to the lack of compassion/understanding EVEN these researchers have about how children are affected by trauma. Think of a 15 year old boy “curiously” sexually experimenting with a 12 or 13 year old girl. Is there anyone out there who thinks that wouldn’t be traumatic? Or a 10 year old with a 6 year old? C’mon. I’m afraid that type of abuse is so prevalent that even the researchers have to throw it out as being baseline. I’d like to work on changing that belief.


      • Hey M. I know my message is late, but thanks for your reply. I hope the abuse isn’t as common as you mentioned, but luckily, I’ve seen other versions of this test without the age limit. My scores vary from 4 to 7 with the different question styles. But as someone who was molested by a boy 3 years older, I dealt with a lot of shame of not being strong enough to fight him back. The question sort of reopened that wound, and the wording was very irresponsible. But this research is still relatively new, and I’m sure the framer was well-intentioned.


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  292. Thank you for your tests and all of the informations.
    I’m glad that we’ve got soooo may self-help tools, such as EFT tapping, TAT, Matrix Energetics, Healing Code, Advanced Clearing Energetics (ACE), ZPoint,… to release the emotions and pain, that are connected to the stuff that happend to us when we were children.
    The knowledge of the 5bN and META Health helps us understand: why are we sick?
    There’s lots of work to be done. These informations have to be spread.
    But hopefully this will be mainstream one day.


  293. My ACE score 9 (or maybe 10 — I would like to think that my mother had mental illness but I have no idea that she was ever diagnosed). My resilience score is 6. I was able to take the high-achiever route for coping and today I pass well as coming from just your average background in my professional spheres. I also had access to some intermittent counseling as a child and in my late 20s/early 30s started intensive CBT with a remarkable therapist, and continued it for six years. The insights here are very helpful and I plan to share them with my doctors as a screening tool. I have asthma, all the environmental allergies, and issues with chronic inflammation, which I attribute to a food intolerance or allergies (am about to start a special inflammation reducing diet) but am otherwise in good health. Knowing that I am at increased risk (and therefore screening conservatively for conditions) could help maintain a good quality of life for me as I continue to age. I really appreciate this work and your efforts to publicize the work. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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  295. I’m glad I have an opp to leave a reply. I have taken the ACE quiz many times. It’s always the same. I score a 7 out of 10. Today, I learned about the resiliency score. I scored a 9 out of 14. Some answers I am just not sure about. I also scored 9 out of 14 that are probably still true, although some of those were negative still trues so I don’t know what to think about that.
    I have dealt with childhood sexual abuse, molestation (some with a cousin), physical abuse, emotional abuse, my mom went to jail once. I don’t know how long she was gone. I lived with my uncle during that time. My mom moved me all around the west coast and Texas, sometimes I didn’t live with her, sometimes I didn’t want to live with her. For the past 13 years she has ignored my pleas to reconnect, (there was a mistake made on my part and she never forgave me). Now she’s passed on and I’ll never know if she still loved me. I hope that she did and was just mad.

    I have spent my life making adjustments to my life. Making conditions, trying to make things acceptable. I have diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and I’m very overweight. I smoked most of my adolescent and adult life, but have been able to quit (7 years) and have no intention of going back to smoking EVER.

    I don’t know why it’s important to say this, probably becvause I can’t tell my therapist everything. I gloss things over. I make it less important. I justify things. That’s how I survived my childhood. I found a way to get through the trauma by justifying what happened. Go figure. Now, I need to stop doing that and live my life. I gotta say though, I’m doing much better. I’m going for my master’s in social work and doing well!

    Liked by 3 people

  296. I just ran across this and I do think my problems could be related. I was kidnapped at 18 months old from my abusive alcohol biological father by my mother to get me away from him. After that we lived with my grandparents. I got the belt and a few other punishments but for the most part I know they loved me. When I was five my mother remarried to my molester. Once again we fled with just the clothes on our backs back to my grandparents. I was diagnosed with dyslexia at 6 years old. Was bullied in school. Chubby. Grades weren’t good, I hated school. When I was ten my my mother remarried and things were tumultuous because my grandparents didn’t like my step-dad so there were quite a few incidents. We moved to Illinois shorty after I turned 11/12 and we had a car with no heater and ate generic Mac and cheese. Once again, I hated school. I never felt good enough, low self-esteem. After a year there we moved to San Diego in a bad part of town. In junior high I was beaten up by five people after school. Propositioned by many men as I walked home eight blocks. Numerous accidents by our apt. That I called 911 for, car accidents, fires, etc. it was a horrible experience. My step father was starting to try to get sexual with me and my mom tried to OD because of it. I dropped out of school at 15 and hid in our apt for a year. Married an alcoholic when I was 17. Just recently my same step-dad passed away, my mom is ill and lives in northern Illinois as I live in Florida. The car trip was awful, my daughter broke her ankle while we were on the road and by the time we returned my stomach hurt so bad I was transported the next day to the ER. They found nothing but I was crying, shaking, depressed, diarrhea, etc. act scan and fecal tests were negative. I lost 20 pounds in one month. Since then I’ve changed to a healthy diet, exercise almost everyday, my mind runs scared with What-ifs, I find it hard to function or interact with people. Still having stomach aches and intestines problems so will be having a colonoscopy and a down the throat procedure done in a week. I’m scared to eat anything because I don’t know if food is related or not but it seems that I’m more suffering from mental/gut issues having read this story. My scores were 4 and 8.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes your mental status can definitely impact your physical body/being. Its seems you are possibly carrying your past hurts and stressors in your stomach as a manifestation. I would ask that you somehow seek help to get a deeper understanding of how your past trauma is showing up today in your everyday life, because you don’t want your daughter to possibly have the lasting legacy of generational trauma..


  297. Ace score of 9
    Resilience score 11, looking fully at present circumstances resilience score is now 14.
    Diagnoses are Complex- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), Alcoholism, and Stage 4 Endometriosis (Endo). Treatments are years of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a whole lot of spirituality of my own design, and Complete Deep Excision surgery with a doctor who has specialized their practice in Endo. Also for Endo having a women’s health physiotherapist who has researched and understands Endo, providing Pelvic Floor physiotherapy. Some of the other treatment methods I have found effective as part of my growth in healing/resilience includes massage therapy, some talk therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy in group, emotional regulation therapy in group, and a whole wide array of physical activities and different forms of meditation practice. Social activities are important too, however I have learned to be very slow moving when it comes to new relationships of any kind. One example of this is I used to make the mistake of moving in with a partner weeks or months into the relationship, and now I wait years. I now find I enjoy my own company best. Also for my own personal comfort, when it comes to the professionals involved in my care I seek out females whenever possible. Ultimately I am the one who keeps me safe today. I have left a lot of abusive people behind. I know today that by not allowing people like that into my life is the number 1 thing in breaking the cycle of abuse that was my past. ❤


    • May I also suggest some art therapy? I’m an art therapist. It can be a very powerful tool in overcoming trauma. It’s processed based so you can really learn to “paint from the gut” and learn to trust your instincts again. I wish you well. You can contact the American Art Therapy Association to find a local provider near you.


  298. ACE score of 9
    Resiliency score 2

    I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD
    My childhood was chaotic, abusive and terrifying.
    I’ve managed to pull through and finally have a successful marriage (27 years and still going)
    and have given birth to 3 children (now adults)
    I always knew I desperately needed therapy so now at the age of 57, I have been in weekly therapy for a year and a half.
    I’ve got a very long way to go before I trust anyone outside my immediate family.
    I do, however, have hope!
    Find a therapist you can trust! It is life changing!

    Liked by 3 people

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  300. My earliest memories were of different foster homes abusing me. Then around 4-5 being reunited with my abusive alcoholic father. Mother was not present, ever. Within a few years, I noticed my older brother of 8 years being beaten. I fell line shortly after for the next 15+years. I’m 37 now, my father passed 9years ago at age 60. My mother attempted to save me from the trauma, but gave up to easy. Then the state stepped in and worked their magic. My Ace was 9, minus the sexual abuse. I have developed a ritualized compulsive comfort seeking IV meth. I just recently learned of the 4600% likelihood of (IDU) it’s the only way to block everything out, and for a short time I feel nothing. Only now have a begin to talk with Mom on the phone. What a wonderful world it is.


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  303. My ACE was 6 and resilience was 14. I am the product of a deliberate teen pregnancy. My mother wanted to drop out of school in the 10th grade. The only way her father would allow it was if she got pregnant. She basically seduced my dad so she would get pregnant. My dad’s family refused to believe that I was his child because my mother was also known to be with my dad’s cousin.

    I’m 62 and don’t know for sure who my dad was. Based on my looks at birth dad’s family said I was his child. My parents married three months before I was born. I was told they married a year before my birth and it wasn’t until I needed my birth certificate to get a driver’s permit that I learned the truth. At the time of my birth my mother was 16 and dad was 18.

    My dad was diagnosed with MS when he was 19. Throughout my early years my parents were apart because dad would leave the coal mining area of VA where we lived to find better work. Mother wouldn’t wait for him to find a job and proper housing so we could come with him. She would leave me with her parents and follow him. The first five years I lived more with my maternal grandparents than I did with my parents. I have a sister who is 22 months younger than me. There have always been jokes about who her dad is because she looks nothing like me or our younger sister. She has a dark complexion and brown eyes. The younger sister and I are fair skinned and blue eyed, like our dad. I have wondered if my sister has the same father.

    My earliest memory is of being about three years old. My parents both worked and my sister and I were left in our two room apartment alone all day. There was a neighbor who was supposed to be watching us but all she did was bring us soup and crackers and water for lunch and leave. I would eat the crackers and feed the soup to my sister because she was the baby and needed to eat. I remember one day we got bored and took the ketchup and mustard, they were in squirt bottles, out hof the fridge and squirted it all over the walls. When my parents came home I was beaten and made to clean it all up. One day my maternal grandfather came unannounced to check up on us and when he found us alone, he packed us up and took us back to VA. I’ve been told this happened more than once but that is the only time I can remember.

    There was never any doubt that my dad loved me. He would do whatever he had to so that we had what we needed. He played with us and gave us lots of hugs and cuddles. I never felt love from my mother. I always felt like the redheaded stepchild with her. It wasn’t until I learned the truth about my birth that it all made sense. Growing up I was always the reason she couldn’t do what she wanted or have what she wanted. When she wanted to drop out of school she didn’t think about the responsibilities motherhood would bring. I was regularly slapped, hit beaten with belts or whatever she could get her hands on. Dad often stepped in and tried to get her to stop but she wouldn’t. As I got older I was given more chores to do. At eight years old I was expected to have dinner started by the time my parents got home. At 10 I had to have the dinner cooked and ready to put on the table the minute my parents walked in. After dinner I was usually given the chore of washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. The middle sister would have to dry the dishes and put them away. My sister and I were also responsible for doing the laundry and hanging it on the line regardless of how cold it was even though we had a dryer in the house.

    The youngest sister was eight years my junior. From the time she came home from the hospital I was her basic caretaker. Her crib was in my room and I was the one that got up during the night to take care of her. Mother would do some of the daily care but the nights were my responsibility. Actually that sounds pretty fitting since at three I was taking care of my other sister. The baby became my shadow and looked to me for comfort.

    Mother never wanted to spend any money on us kids. At age six I got strep throat but she didn’t take me to the doctor until it had progressed to rheumatic fever. One year at Easter we were scheduled to go to my paternal grandparents’ home but my middle sister got sick. She was running a fever, vomiting, couldn’t even keep water down and mother insisted that she was faking so she could get out of going to our grandparents. I knew she wasn’t faking and I tried for hours to convince mother that she was very sick. My sister was about 10 at the time. Dad even tried to get mother to take her to the hospital. Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands and told mother that if she didn’t put her in the car and go to the hospital I was calling an ambulance to come get her. We all loaded into the car and went to the ER. When my sister was examined it was determined that it was her appendix and emergency surgery was needed. After the surgery, the doctor said that had we waited a little longer to get her there the appendix would have ruptured and she probably would have died. It didn’t phase my mother and she let me know that she didn’t appreciate the fact that I had been telling her all along to get help for my sister. These type occurrences were normal growing up. I do believe that there were no more cases as severe as this but still serious.

    I was never taken to a dentist because my teeth looked good and looked nice and straight. I had sucked my thumb until I was seven years old. Looks could be deceiving. I actually had an overbite that got worse as I got older. My sisters were both taken to the dentist and the orthodontist. I had severe migraines and painful knees and legs and although it was mentioned to the doctor no additional treatment was given.

    At the age of 13 I was smoking cigarettes and secretly meeting a boy three years my senior. He introduced me to the hippie lifestyle. I was soon smoking pot and drinking. I was good at hiding what I did and was able to make my mother think I was a perfect angel. It wasn’t long and I was sexually active without using any protection. I was told I couldn’t date until I was 16. So to make my mother think I was a goody two shoes I started seeing a guy was was probably one of the biggest nerds on campus. He could come pick me up in his car but we had to be home before dark. He theory there was that after dark is when you can get into trouble. Little did she know that I was already doing all the things she was trying to prevent.

    At 15 I was informed by mother that I would have to have a job at 16. I would then start paying room and board of $25 a week. I was also responsible for all my clothes and school expenses. Basically she told me that she was not going to spend one more cent on me once I reached 16. I asked her what would happen if I couldn’t find a job and she said I would have to drop out of school because she wouldn’t pay for it. Until then I had always been told that I had no choice but to finish my education. Her abuse and neglect continued until I was 17 and ended up pregnant by my then boyfriend. I left home in the middle of the night and went to his house. The next day I called to let her know why I left. I was afraid she would beat me to death if I told her in person. She insisted that we get married. I was totally against it as was his mother. I had a “shotgun” wedding. I didn’t return home. A couple of months later I miscarried. I was furious! Of course the marriage didn’t last. Four months into the marriage I moved out and in with a girlfriend. I went back home for a couple of months long enough to save up some money to get my own place. At 17 I had my own apartment and lived on my own. First time in my life I was truly happy.

    I eventually got divorced and remarried and had two fabulous sons. I totally distanced myself from my mother when she divorced my father and took everything but the clothes on his back. He was totally disabled and not able to care for himself but she left him all alone. She moved in with my dad’s best friend who she had been seeing for a number of years. He left his wife to live with my mother. His daughters disowned him as well. I tried years later to mend fences because I had two sons that didn’t know their grandmother. I should have left it alone. She had little or nothing to do with my boys. She would be in the town we lived in and not even call or stop by to see them. Still the redheaded stepchild I had always been.

    I have always felt unwanted. When mother died almost eight years ago I didn’t really feel a loss because that relationship had been lost many years before. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 14 years ago. I also have degenerative disc disease, IBS, osteopenia, mild cognitive impairment, melanoma and other issues.My middle sister is an alcoholic who has been married and divorced twice. The younger one has been married twice and divorced once and has turned so deep into her religion that she has to be at the church any time the doors might be open. Each year it seems something else is added to my laundry list. I only hope I haven’t done the same thing to my sons.


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  305. ACEs score 4, resiliency score 7. My mom was a caring person but also bipolar. I’m bipolar as well. My dad was abusive. The ACEs test made me really grateful for what I didn’t go through. It’s still hard to accept my limitations and at the same time to push them, a difficult balance.


  306. ACE score of 9 and resiliency score of 6. My childhood was not pleasant. I feel like I have conquered most of it though. I have a degree, the same job for 20+ years, 3 great children, and zero addictions to substances. I’ve never been in jail or even been arrested. I definitely agree that life is what you make of it. I didn’t ask to be subjected to the things I was, but I’m sure not going to let it define me!

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  307. Pingback: Adverse Childhood Experiences | Big Thought

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  313. ACE score of 6. Resiliency score of 10. My childhood was dysfunctional; my stepfather is a rapist and my older brother used drugs and was very violent with me. Nonetheless, my mother and father have always loved me and there were always other people looking out for me. I credit those factors for making me into the functional, sober, and peaceful person that I am today. I’m certainly not perfect, but things could’ve been a lot worse.

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  314. Pingback: Trauma: Sperma verlässlicher als Worte? – Nudusam.com

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  316. With an 8 ACES score and an 8 resiliency score and now in my 50s, I can say that the most difficult thing has been the unsupportive comments and behavior from friends, acquaintances, and others who don’t understand or don’t believe what I say. Often, when I share a story about my childhood, I am called a liar or I am told to get over it. When I relate a story, I am not complaining or negative. It is simply sharing a story about something that happened when I was growing up, often in alightjearted way. I removed myself from the bad situation as a teen. Stayed away. Life got better and hopeful. I completed college and had a good career. The sad thing is I am unable to honestly share stories without making people uncomfortable. This adds some isolation to the situation. I do have many of the illnesses such as pituitary problems, overwork, overweight, etc. It confuses me in trying to figure out where to look for something to turn the physical health stuff around before it becomes worse.


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  318. I am someone who has been working on recovering from my childhood trauma for about 10 years now. I am amazed mostly by the resiliency score. I used to give myself credit for being an overcomer (though I had many unhealthy coping strategies) but this test made me so grateful for all the supports I had! It reminds me that anyone can be a support for a struggling child.

    ACEs: 8
    resilieny: 13

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  320. My ACE score was an 8 and my resilience score is a 9. I am an Alcoholic and an Addict. I attend AA regularly and have worked the steps with a sponsor. I also attend NA meetings occasionally. I am grateful that my Higher Power lead me to AA and my amazing sponsor. Through working the steps I no longer have all the childhood resentments that I carried for so many years. I am learning to apply the principles of the program in my daily life and I would have never imagined my life would be so wonderful!

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  324. Pingback: I have a 4 on ACE, what about you | Eslkevin's Blog

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  326. My ace score was 9 and my resilience score was 11. I consider myself to have had a happy childhood. There were times when very bad things happened but there were more times when there were not. I remember being happy and playing with my sister. I don’t spend time dwelling on the negative in life someone somewhere is having a worse or better time than me every moment of my life. The depression can be difficult but I am always coming up with new strategies to combat it. My goal is to be happy and have love in my heart for myself and everyone else. I do my best and believe the more love we have in the world the better

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    • Ik think your ‘case’ is interesting, as it shows how protective the resilience score is (in your case very high). People who haven’t had that probably cannot see things and act as positive as you can. I think you are blessed because of this, even though you struggle as well.


    • I’m happy you’ve been able to move past those things, but I just want to caution you:
      I thought I did too–accepted my circumstances, considered forgiving and reconnecting with my father and his family, and a few other things– then all of a sudden, it was like a physical blockage was removed one day.
      I realized my attempt at accepting things was actually a kind of surpression and toxic coping mechanism (looking into dissociative and depersonilzation thinking and emotional dysregulat