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. 

2,727 responses

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  2. 10 outta 10 ace
    1 outta 10 pace
    Explains a lot! Experiencing grief and praise for the awareness of this information. Perception IS everything! Thru understanding the reality of my hardware, family & ancestry, I am beginning to learn how to work w what Ive got. What else you got? Everything else pales in comparison to the nuances of reality. Thank You for this. 🙏🏼
    ps…I found this info via book ‘Mother Hunger’ by Kelly McDaniel


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  4. I am surprised bullying is not part of the ACE scoring. I was bullied from as young as I can remember through high school. I was not well liked nor did I fit in well. I was however, oblivious to the rejection of others because it had happened for so long I didn’t pick up on the signs that people didn’t want me around. I inserted myself into the lives of others.


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  12. Wow eye opening!!!! Was trying to find out if I had ptsd (my pyschiatryst says I don’t have it) I think I do!! I now know for sure my aces(alot) has affected and traumatic life events I’ve experienced account for a huge amount of my problems! My loved ones (sister,family,friends) thinking i just have addiction to drugs and alcohol!!! They get mad at me cause I won’t grow up and just quit. Act like an adult,I would love nothing more if I could. They wouldn’t listen to “my excuses” when I told them it’s not an addiction to substance that causes people to abuse a substance! We abuse the substance cause of underlying issues from past experiences that weren’t processed/treated properly.
    I’m so glad I came across this info, now I have hope!!!


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  31. 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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  34. 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.


      • Lyn, One thing I keep hearing … consistently and from various sources… is that your ACE score does not have to define who you are and how you live. Knowing your ACE score is one thing. Choosing to live a particular way, perhaps in spite of your ACE score is another. If possible, make healthy choice s (even now!) to counteract that ACE score. I recognize that not everyone’s circumstances (financially, employment, retirement, social environment, family connections, etc.) support or even recognize healthier choices. But, you do have self-appointed agency to take one step in one direction. Perhaps the second step will be a little easier.


      • Ace score 8 pce score1
        I don’t go to the Dr so I can’t say but I feel like I’m sick all the time and I live in a really dark place in my head. I often hope for death.


  35. 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.


  36. 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.


  37. 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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  39. 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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  47. 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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  50. 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.


  51. 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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  55. 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.


  56. 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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  61. 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. ❤️


  62. 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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  70. it was very laid out ant easy to focus on what was said, presentations were easy to understand most encouraging in my daily job and life


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  78. My score is only 5, but first of all a lot was repeatedly. And another lots of things are not listed. Plus I was born severely premature and not given much of a chance to survive. As an unborn I already had to fight… not just one thing but two: Rhesus factor and Rubella. Rubella affected my heading and damaged my retina( but I can see).
    But it didn’t end there…went through lots more throughout my life. Many say it’s a miracle that I never got into drugs or alcohol !

    But I have some autistic traits, challenging to be around people. Many other interpersonal issues….


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  80. I am very lucky I was a happy child and I had a great childhood. Thank you for such interesting information. This is really useful and powerful for everyone.


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  84. The Adverse Child Experience chart is an interesting tool to measure childhood trauma. I had no idea how far reaching those experiences were and how they affected not only mental health but physical health as well.


  85. @acestoohigh – This is some very interesting information and research and I like the tests that can be used as a guide to help people analyze trauma responses in themselves and others. The only critique I have is the defensive tone used in explanation of the selected participants of the study. If RACE is not an issue or factor, then there is no need to defend that position. You could have used the academic writing style of a research report (research report: an explanation of a research project, usually divided into subsections such as abstract, introduction, methods, results, etc.) to explain the participants, their ethnicity, race, social background, financial status etc. and also the limitations of the study based on the number of persons interviewed and the demographic restrictions of the group surveyed. Lines such as these could have been excluded:

    “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”.

    As a student of psychology with an interest in trauma studies, this blog has given me much insight into many factors affecting persons experiencing PTSD and other trauma-related issues. So thank you for the great insights provided!


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  93. I’m a 7 on the ACE and a 2 on PCEs. Reading these comments has shown me that a lot of people have had it worse, yet still hope for and fight for a good life. I tell you, this has helped me feel forgiveness for my own failings and a better understanding of why I’ve made so many poor choices as an adult. One thing really struck me… the idea that I can grieve the childhood I didn’t have. I imagine how it might have been and it’s bittersweet. That poor little kid that was me — she just wanted love, as we all do. Well, I will give it to her now because she was and is a bright light. And I’ll look for that light in every person I see, no matter how dimmed it may appear. Because we all have it. We are all gorgeous beings, unique and worthy. God bless all of you. Keep fighting for the good!


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  95. 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.


      • Lilly, I think you need to talk to someone to help you so I am going to give you some hotlines that you can call or live chat: first there is CARDV 1-541-754-0110. They are in Oregon and are open 24-7. Livechat is not 24-7 but calling is. Livechat is open 10 am – 4 pm Pacific time Mon – Fri in Oregon. They also have an email address. info@cardv.org I have a score of 10 and they help me out a ton! The women are my favorite. If you get a guy you can be asked to be transferred to a woman. They just listen to you talk and they say kind words to you when you are done talking. Don’t be afraid; they are all trained in this. Helping people with bad experiences to get healing and recovery. ❤ The website is https://cardv.org. Because you are 12, you may be able to get help from the missing and exploited children's hotline. That is if your dad is beating you or raping you, because that is exploitation. 1-800-843-5678. If he is bringing other adults over and collecting money from them to rape you like how my mom did to me, that is a type of slavery and you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline to get help from the FBI: 1-888-373-7888. If the FBI agent who comes to rescue you starts screaming about hating his job and says that he wants to shoot you, like he did to me, please open the door and get far away from the door and the agent and ask him to leave. Then he will leave without shooting you (but also he will not rescue you.) If you have marks of abuse on your body and skin cells of abusers under your fingernails, you can call who ever in your county works for Child Protective Services. Just type in the name of your county into Google followed by the words Child Protective Services. If you do not know what your county is, just type into Google, "What is the county for (your city's name)?" You can try talking to your school counselor for help, but they may or may not help you. I hope this helps you. I only know the resources for you in the USA. But they have similar resources in other countries to help women and children. Just google for them. Type in "child protection" and your country. Lots of nonprofits and maybe some government organizations will show up.


  96. 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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  98. 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.


    • I’m so sorry for your suffering. Something that has helped me is the website called “The Crappy Childhood Fairy,” where there are lots of videos for recovery from childhood trauma. These videos also are on YouTube. Best wishes to you!


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  107. I feel this is affected by where you live, places change which affects the parenting and their capabilities. Some of the questions I needed to put (1/2 half) as it only applied to one side of the parenting structure. My scores were not great which I expected. I feel this test needs more work done on it please, like investigating parenting styles not just their abuse techniques. My father was a very intelligent Narcissistic Sociopath who could get around a majority of this test even with me taking it, he had control of me, luckily he has lost control of me now however taken a couple of years ago I’d of slipped through as everything ok on my score. I’m not moaning I want to help upgrade things if possible. Maybe you have enough for what you need to grade, however, I could give you at least 3 times more. I now have Autoummine issues and other troubles as part of the aftermath. Trauma being the wound, I’m trying to recover from. Gabor’s work is what led me here as it has been the best I’ve found in 23 years. Great work on the test so far and all the work as it’s all moving forward and improving things, hopefully. Good luck and thanks for putting the effort in for us. I appreciate it. If you need any Narssicistic Abuse input please contact me, years abused and years studying it. Thank’s Again. Rob


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  115. My own experience has revealed that notable adverse childhood experience trauma resulting from a highly sensitive and low self-confidence existence — especially when its effect is amplified by an accompanying autism spectrum disorder — can readily lead an adolescent to a substance (ab)use disorder. This, of course, can also lead to an adulthood of debilitating self-medicating. As a highly sensitive child, teenager and adult with ASD — an official condition with which I greatly struggled yet of which I was not even aware until I was a half-century old — compounded by a high ACE score, I largely learned this for myself from my own substance (ab)use experience. The self-medicating method I utilized during most of my pre-teen years, however, was eating.

    Autism spectrum disorder accompanied by adverse childhood experience trauma — unchecked chronic bullying, for example — can readily lead to chronic substance abuse as a form of self-medicating. If the ASD adolescent is also highly sensitive, both the drug-induced euphoria and, conversely, the come-down effect or return to their burdensome reality will be heightened thus making the substance-use more addicting.

    Since so much of our mental health comes from our childhood experiences, mental health-care should generate as much societal concern — and government funding — as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable. I would also like to see child-development science curriculum implemented for secondary high school students, and it would also include neurodiversity, albeit not overly complicated. It would be mandatory course material, however, and considerably more detailed than what’s already covered by home economics, etcetera, curriculum: e.g. diaper changing, baby feeding and so forth. I don’t think the latter is anywhere near sufficient (at least not how I experienced it) when it comes to the proper development of a child’s mind.

    For one thing, the curriculum could/would make available to students potentially valuable/useful knowledge about their own psyches and why they are the way they are. And besides their own nature, students can also learn about the natures of their peers, which might foster greater tolerance for atypical personalities. If nothing else, the curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally suited for the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood.


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  119. Great article! Many of us don’t realize until we are adults the effects trauma has had on our health. I score 6 out of 10. My own auto immune disorder led me to do my own research on this subject and my career in functional nutrition to help others like me who have auto immune disorders and trauma. I really appreciated the fact you included the PCE’s, a lot of articles don’t include that.


  120. 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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  124. 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.

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  127. 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 just wanted to say I’m so sorry that this has been your life. She is a monster and you have every right to want to kill her, the fact that you haven’t says a lot about how amazing a person you are.


    • I’m so very, very sorry Mike. I can’t imagine what your suffering must have been like. Please don’t give up on finding healing and a good life, because I believe it’s possible, in spite of everything.


    • It very obviously states physical assault by women on men multiple times in the article. I don’t think you actually read it. It’s obvious you’re going through something, so I suggest finding a therapist. Don’t bash a very good and informative article for being sexist when it very clearly is not.


    • My goodness! So sorry to read this. But u know what is brilliant , you a re aware of it. Et least…. I scored 5 on ace… am in therapy , still struggle but better than not ho have nothing.


    • I hope you can be brave to find some help. I’m sorry you had to go through such a terrible time as a child. And that you’re still suffering, that’s sucks.. and it makes sense considering your trauma. It’s possible to heal, and you’re worth it.


    • My belief is that we often do to ourselves what our parents or caregivers did to us. I am so sorry that you had to grow up with such a monster. I grew up with a monster too. We may not get rid of all our symptoms – ever, but we might be able to negotiate them, come to terms with them, as it were, and learn to live a more full rich life. It is scary to begin to learn new ways of treating yourself. Sounds like you are incarcerating yourself as a way to keep you and others safe. That sounds to me like thoughtfulness, having a sense of responsibility, and insightful about how behavior affects others. It might be worth it to take a step or two toward getting yourself out of self imposed jail time. My heart is with you.


    • 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.


    • Hello Mike. I have a score of 10 too, because my mom trafficked me to a whole lot of other violent psychos like herself starting at my birth and it went on for 30 years and I’m only in my late 30s now. She and they all raped me which she got paid for, and did most of the things you’re describing here, despite everyone telling me that because she is my biological mother I should love her and I am a liar. I just want to tell you that despite that bloody torture from her, my other relatives, and the pedophiles who paid my mom to torture me and try to kill me, I have started to heal, and that healing is possible.

      Some things I have done to heal include:

      1. Becoming a Christian and going regularly to Life Church Online. http://www.live.life.church Praying a LOT with any Christian I can find or the Crossroads 24-7 prayer hotline if I can’t find anyone to pray with 1-866-273-4444. They do not preach, I just say what is troubling me and then they pray over me and I listen and sometimes I pray for me too. It’s only 5 minutes and has a 15 minute wait time but it makes me feel a lot better. I can pray with Life Church in the chat room. Life Church chat room is open from 7 am – 11 pm every single day and is moderated by hosts that keep away the trolls.

      2. Talking a lot to this domestic violence hotline called CARDV. They have men and women working there 24-7 and they believe you when you talk about rape and even when you talk about cannibalism (I also had to deal with them drinking my blood because they are big into the occult/Satan/witchcraft…but no one I told to try to rescue me ever believed me about the cannibalism.) Anyway CARDV has no problems believing my experiences no matter how strange they seem to other people. So they would believe you. The hotline is 1-541-754-0110. It is based in Oregon. http://www.cardv.org

      3. Becoming a vegan (actually a lot of health problems are created from eating meat especially from all the hormones they inject cows with and part of your rage is coming from excessive amounts of stress hormones/overworked adrenals, etc.)

      4. Learning a lot about vitamins and supplements and taking what I need to balance my hormones and heal my mind and my body. You really need to start taking a probiotic for your health. It is essential.

      5. Yoga to increase calm and flexibility. Hopefully I will start Qi Gong soon.

      6. Get a trauma informed primary care doctor (still working on that one).

      7. Seeing a chiropractor because all the beatings I survived made my bones slide out of place easily when they were not broken. So now they just move around and get sorta dislocated but not completely (just twisted around and stuck) because I have hyper mobility due to my bones constantly getting dislocated by abusers. So I am going to an Activator trained chiropractor to reset my bones to help my body know exactly where my bones are supposed to be in relation to my muscles. I also give myself plenty of massages and I like to use safflower oil and peppermint oil. 🙂

      8. Journalling about all of my nightmares and all of my flashbacks that I have day and night.

      9. In progress: Looking to get 2 years of EMDR treatment to reduce or eliminate my psychogenic seizures caused by PTSD. It’s been clinically proven to work.

      10. Singing and dancing to increase my endorphins and help me process the torture by singing about it. I also sing about wanting to kill some of the abusers with my bare hands or weapons which helps me not actually do it. So musical theater is really helpful. Just pretend your life is a musical. Helps me cope.

      11. Spending a LOT of time in nature doing Sit Spots, just walking around. Try reading the book Sit Spots and the Art of Inner Tracking by Trotta. I am in progress of learning nature therapy and it’s part of my masters thesis actually. 🙂 Check out the Japanese research into Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy. 🙂 It’s in English. https://www.natureandforesttherapy.earth

      12. Read The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk because it’s super helpful.

      I hope this helps you, Mike, and God bless you. 🙂


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  131. The resilience assessment doesn’t take into account partial answers or other scenarios.

    “When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.” “When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.” Well, what if those could be answered in the affirmative only up to a certain point in time and, then, that person became no longer involved?

    “When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.” What is that was up until a certain point, then a child became home schooled and isolated?

    “We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.” What about if the rules were irrational, geared around the rule-maker’s mental illness?

    These can’t always be answered in terms of definitely true, probably true, not sure, probably not true, or definitely not true….


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  136. It’s not always the mother who os beeing treated violently. I come from a household where my mother throw things on my dad or hit him and shout at him.
    And my dad loved her so he let her, even though it hurt him.
    Not only woman are victims of violence. They can also be violent against others.


  137. This information is very interesting to me. I am a licensing foster care provider. When completing the survey and questionnaire, I answered the questions for myself but also for the little child in my care. It was eye opening to see how opposite we were in the scoring. Our life experiences are so different. Having her in my life has opened my eyes to many things.


  138. I have an ACE score of at least 4, but I can’t remember a lot of things or concentrate or think of things related to the questions answers. I couldn’t answer the resilience test either because of my lack of memories. I’m only sixteen and idk what to do or think. I want to go to a therapist and have been wanting to for a year or two (or maybe even longer, but I can’t even remember that either), but know my family couldn’t afford it and that even if I wanted to, can’t bring anything up since my family would get in trouble and my brother and I could be potentially taken away since we’re still minors. I think I have childhood trauma, but can’t tell if it’s real or not because it’s hard for me to recollect anything that could help me find this information out. If you’re reading this, can you help me?


    • I know of a hotline you can try to call in Oregon to talk about your trauma and discuss safety plans. It is open 24-7 by phone and the number is 1-541-754-0110. They are called CARDV, and they also have a live chat open on their website https://cardv.org/contact/ You can ask for a woman or a man to talk to anonymously although I think mostly women work there. It’s not therapy but they are all trained in trauma and they seem to have all been through their own trauma. I do not think they are involved in taking anyone away and are not mandated reporters.

      I was never taken away from my abusive home even when I did meet up with the child protective services (CPS) of the states where I was abused, so they don’t always take people away. That is usually their last resort. For me, they generally ignored me even though I got an ACE score of 10 out of 10 but they got me a reduced lunch through reduced cost lunch program for poor people.

      You may consider talking to your school counselor. They might have ideas. Some counselors can offer you training to help you cope with family issues. Sometimes CPS can require parents to take classes but they don’t take the kids away, or they only take them temporarily until they pass their parenting classes. IDK they never did that with me. Because no one cared. 😦 God cared and kept me alive.


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  142. I scored a 7 ACE and 4 on resilience.. i have chronic anxiety, struggle keeping a good attendance at work but i work very hard. I have chronic back pain, scoliosis, and severe depression. I have issues with my emotions.. mostly easily crying infront of authorities or bosses. I snap/ have a short temper.. my therapist thinks this is becuase of the abusive past with my family. I am looking into the PTSD of childhood trauma.. i feel like my body is storing so many past memories and bad dark emotions that are slowly poisioning my subconscious.


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  144. I scored a 5. My wife shared this with me and it gives me something to think about and more so, it is actually kind of comforting to know where all this crap comes from. No surprise I scored a 5 as growing up with an alcoholic mother and a schizophrenic father. Blessings to you all wherever you are on your journey.


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  146. I got 5 on aces, and the resilience I got 0. What does this mean. I have extreme anxiety and panic attacks. This last 5 yrs. its been hard. My step-father passed quickly and I had to take over my Mothers affairs. And its hard to pay and run her trust.


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  151. On the ACE quiz I got 8 and I’m still a very young teen that kinda worries me I have smoked and done alchohal and lost my virginity so yeah I’m fawked up that’s a great life there Christ I think I need help. Bye hoomans I hope u have a better life then me.☺️🥲


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  153. The test I took was too general. In every case, there are extenuating circumstances. The test should be updated for better results. Irregardless, I knew at a young age that my family was different than the others. And I didn’t realize till I started school, I was different too. I wasn’t told, because I was only 6 years old, that I stuttered. But my mother I recall did do two things for me, weather she did it out of shame or pitty. I could read and write before I went into kindergarten. I remember many tests. So, I was abused at home, I was tortured at school throughout, by my third grade teacher, shame on her. And by the State. ( I wonder if I can sue?)
    My mother was the worst of them all and she is the cause of most of my sorrow. She took advantage of me most of my life. And I suppose I just let alot of it slide outta fear and the realization that I’d never get retribution. Because I tried it once. Yet, today she suffers a debilitating disease and I’m of the opinion that she got what she gave. There was a lifetime of abuse. But I’m happy with the outcome.


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  155. After reading this, I don’t feel any better but more thar is was my fault I am messed up and wanting to kill myself even more. Having never being able build a relationship with anyone no matter how much I want to be with someone, it doesn’t feel good knowing no one wants you


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  157. I scored a 9 on the ACE test and 10 on resilience. It was good to read the resilience questions to remind me of the goodness around me during my childhood!


  158. Would a parent’s death have the same weight as losing a parent to divorce? I have a student whose mother almost died from medical issues when the student was three years old. Major medical concerns are still associated with her mother. Her father died of heart disease when student was eight years old. Do either of these events which effected both her primary care givers count as an ACE?


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    • If you experienced abuse in your school, you can read this https://www.vice.com/en/article/4adk4j/everyones-invited-me-too-private-schools and you can share your story here, if that helps https://www.everyonesinvited.uk (It doesn’t have to be a story of abuse in a school in the UK. Could be a school anywhere. I already shared some of my stories there.) Just feels good to get it off your chest. Therapeutic.

      Anyway I wanted to share with you the resources I compiled for another traumatized person that I met here and I hope they can help you too 🙂 I got an ACE score of 10.

      Some things I have done to heal include:
      1. Becoming a Christian and going regularly to Life Church Online. http://www.live.life.church Praying a LOT with any Christian I can find or the Crossroads 24-7 prayer hotline if I can’t find anyone to pray with 1-866-273-4444. They do not preach, I just say what is troubling me and then they pray over me and I listen and sometimes I pray for me too. It’s only 5 minutes and has a 15 minute wait time but it makes me feel a lot better. I can pray with Life Church in the chat room. Life Church chat room is open from 7 am – 11 pm every single day and is moderated by hosts that keep away the trolls.

      2. Talking a lot to this domestic violence hotline called CARDV. They have men and women working there 24-7 and they believe you when you talk about rape and even when you talk about cannibalism (I also had to deal with them drinking my blood because they are big into the occult/Satan/witchcraft…but no one I told to try to rescue me ever believed me about the cannibalism.) Anyway CARDV has no problems believing my experiences no matter how strange they seem to other people. So they would believe you. The hotline is 1-541-754-0110. It is based in Oregon. http://www.cardv.org

      3. Becoming a vegan (actually a lot of health problems are created from eating meat especially from all the hormones they inject cows with and part of your rage is coming from excessive amounts of stress hormones/overworked adrenals, etc.)

      4. Learning a lot about vitamins and supplements and taking what I need to balance my hormones and heal my mind and my body. You really need to start taking a probiotic for your health. It is essential.

      5. Yoga to increase calm and flexibility. Hopefully I will start Qi Gong soon.

      6. Get a trauma informed primary care doctor (still working on that one).

      7. Seeing a chiropractor because all the beatings I survived made my bones slide out of place easily when they were not broken. So now they just move around and get sorta dislocated but not completely (just twisted around and stuck) because I have hyper mobility due to my bones constantly getting dislocated by abusers. So I am going to an Activator trained chiropractor to reset my bones to help my body know exactly where my bones are supposed to be in relation to my muscles. I also give myself plenty of massages and I like to use safflower oil and peppermint oil mixed together.

      8. Journalling about all of my nightmares and all of my flashbacks that I have day and night.

      9. In progress: Looking to get 2 years of EMDR treatment to reduce or eliminate my psychogenic seizures caused by PTSD. It’s been clinically proven to work.

      10. Singing and dancing to increase my endorphins and help me process the torture by singing about it. I also sing about wanting to kill or hurt some of the abusers with my bare hands or weapons which helps me not actually do it. So musical theater is really helpful. Just pretend your life is a musical. Helps me cope.

      11. Spending a LOT of time in nature doing Sit Spots, just walking around. Try reading the book Sit Spots and the Art of Inner Tracking by Trotta. I am in progress of learning nature therapy and it’s part of my masters thesis actually. Check out the Japanese research into Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy. It’s in English. https://www.natureandforesttherapy.earth

      12. Read The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk because it’s super helpful.


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  166. – On the ACEs, I scored a 3. Since I couldn’t find a way to arrive at a summary Resilience score, I’ll report results this way: On the Resilience scale, I had:
    – no definitely true responses and two probably true.
    – six definitely not true responses, one not true and three probably not true.
    – two not sure responses.

    How do I score that? And what does it mean?


  167. I scored 10 “not sure” and 3 “not true” and 1 “definitely true” in resilience… I can’t remember my childhood very well! Also on ACE score where were the other/rare factors such as accidents and stuff? What would I score if I had 4 “bad”accidents, that 3 of them I could have died from? Also my grandad was a mean old man, who didn’t like our family very much, because we weren’t blood related! But grandparents aren’t mentioned… Just wondering whether there is a more extensive test?!


  168. Why is racism mentioned in the second paragraph but not on the quiz? It is a huge trauma for me, especially since I attended school during the 60s, when I was frequently harassed with the “N” word and treated differently by teachers. While everyone believes the world is a kinder, gentler place for Black children to grow and develop in, the trauma of my inferior socialization has informed my every move.


  169. Interesting. I scored a 3 on the ACES test, and 14 on Resilience. Likely why I became a social worker. A parent tried initially to blame me for my abuse, and I can remember clear as day the day I told both of my parents that my abuse was not my fault, it was theirs. Any possibility that me being an oldest child and them both being the youngest children in their families had something to do with that??


  170. Ace score of 8 and resilience of 4.
    I have CRPS, Gastritis Disease, had ulcers as a kid, Asthma, IBS, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD.
    I’ve always assumed my stomach issues were due to my childhood, guess this is more proof.


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  173. I am 0 ACE and 14 Resilience. All of this is very interesting. Not sure what it means though… 30+ years of Direct Services..


  174. I scored a 2. I had a good childhood growing up. My parents did get divorced when I was younger but they always co parented great together.


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  177. This survey/test score system is… okay, but needs some work. For one, many of the comments have mentioned this before, but I was surprised at the lack of mentions of bullying or loss of a friend or loved one.
    Furthermore, there were some specific details I don’t think should have been included. For number three, I don’t think the age specification really matters as sexual abuse can occur among peers of the same or similar ages, even between two young children. And for number seven, I think it can be really harmful to only mention domestic violence against women because men/fathers/stepfathers can be the victim of domestic abuse and is just as harmful for children. Pretending only mothers/stepmothers experience this kind of abuse is very harmful to male victims of domestic violence and their children.


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  179. ACE’s Score – 0
    Resilience Score – 13
    It sucks to hear that so many people have had a troubled childhood and hopefully things will improve. I’m glad they stay strong or try to heal things but it isn’t easy. I wish a lovely future to you all!


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  182. Anonymously commenting. I scored a 5. I grew up with a father who was conatantly belittling me, my brothers ans mom. I did stray in life at one point, drank to numb my feelings, drank to be social. I ran around with deviants to find acceptance. I ended up unscathed of some major issues. I graduated college, did a master’s and made peace with my past. I am not the words of my father. I’m the person I choose to be.

    I hope everyone finds healing. You deserve it.


  183. Aces 7/Resilience 2

    My wife, who I’ve been married to for just over ten years, has recently separated from me, She demands that I seek treatment for BPD, and only BPD. Also, I must be prescribed DBT, and only DBT, for the treatment. Otherwise, she will divorce me. She saw a video on YouTube about BPD, which I showed her. Ever since, she has insisted that I get BPD treatment, whenever I disagree with her about anything. She will say I am mentally deranged for my opposing opinions, but mostly ignores or dismisses me, especially whenever I’ve asked her to cooperate or compromise with me on family issues. For the last few years, she has often (probably about 100 times) gotten mad enough to leave our house, and spend the night elsewhere.

    I was looking a video about narcissism, searching for a reason of what might cause her extreme lack of empathy. I found one, and there I also saw that she had other possible signs. I then came across a video about BPD sufferers being abused by narcissists. So I then watched a few more videos on BPD. She watched one with me, and then concluded that I have BPD. She is unapproachable about any chance of being narcissistic, of course. In fact, when I later brought it is when she left me.

    Anyway, I read that CPTSD often mimics BPD. Considering the two scores that I posted above, Maybe it is the real problem that I have, instead of BPD. I don’t want to go to a therapist, and “demand DBT for my BPD”, as she insists I do even before being diagnosed. However, I really don’t want to divorce, and I think maybe I should just do want she wants to placate her.


  184. Hello,
    I am a third year student nurse and would like to know why question 7- only refers to abuse towards ‘mothers’ or ‘stepmothers’ when abuse towards men is also significant. This question is triggering and contributes to the stigma surrounding male domestic abuse and could be seen as a factor to why men are often afraid to speak out. I hope you rectify this and get back to me.
    Thank you.


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  186. 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

    Liked by 3 people

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    • 4 on ACES, 8 on resilience. I think a couple of things are missing in ACES: there’s nothing there about constantly relocating (I went to three high schools, so how was I supposed to find a mentor?). Also nothing about your parents treating siblings differently.


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  195. 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

    • My brother is and was a psychopath and i endured the worst psychological abuse in my home from him he was my eternal tormentor and he was simply allowed to. He also beat me and killed ome of my pets.
      This should definitelly be included.
      Abuse from Siblings


    • I would suggest to you that physical and/or emotional (mental) abuse IN THE HOME is what the question is about – not just inflicted by a parent. So, the ACE Survey does capture abuse by a sibling.


    • You are right in your conclusion that sibling abuse is rarely included in questionnaire, and that sibling abuse goes on in families because parents do not know how to curtail it. Throughout childhood and adolescence I was abused, mentally, by my older brother, and my mother to this day blames me for finally cutting him off and not wanting to include him in my life. I am 60 years old.


    • 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)


  196. 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

    • Phyllis, Your voice is very powerful. I commend you at such a short age for making the choices you are making now. My story is similar to yours. I also have chosen to use my voice for those who could not or aren’t able to now. I would not change my story if I could either, we are both a true testament that out of horrors does come light. I just wanted you to know, I hear you and I see you. With much love and respect, Anne Peshka


    • I’m 35 with a similar background. I discovered that being a “rescuer” was also a very toxic dynamic for me. Please be careful about over-doing it or becoming a workaholic so you can distract yourself from the pain. Gabor Mate is a good resource. Check out his videos and his book “When the Body Says No” because it could prevent you from getting fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue like I did. I don’t have a lot of hope for myself.


  197. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

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  199. 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.


      • I agree. Based on the ACEs listed here, I have a score of 3, but my real score would be much higher if it included things like severe marital dysfunction (but not divorce), sibling on sibling abuse, mothers being verbally / physically abusive to fathers, and homelessness.


    • 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

      • Sirius Black: I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.

        There is a quote that helped me. I scored an 8 and honestly I am too afraid to take the second quiz on resilience.. i would recommend a specialized therapist that specializes in trauma because with a normal regular therapist you could risk going in circles because we have this wiring in our brain that interprets kindness as a threat and idk about you buy I have hurt a lot of people because I had all this damn baggage so the sooner I deal with this the sooner I can be a person in the world again. Well anyway I hope the quote helped if not I am sorry. The quite is from harry potter prisoner of azkaban


      • You’re not alone fellow human, I scored 9 on the ace and 0 on the resilience.

        I also have cptsd – flashback, disassociate, prone to violent rage, etc….

        Fuck the implications – you survived actual hell, how is that not complete resilience.


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  202. 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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  204. 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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  206. 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.


  207. 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.


      • You’re just confirming that it’s unforgivable. Putting your insecurity about social awkwardness above your child’s health and wellbeing for the rest of their life *is* unforgivable.


    • My love, the wisdom that helped me heal, is that our parents are people too. They are not God’s as we see them when we are children. Withholding forgiveness harms the one who is doing the withholding. Your mother, clearly has issues that she is and has been unwilling to look at.. This need not define you any longer. Forgive her and release her from the shackles of your despair. With that, you too will be free…It doesn’t hurt to try… Now that you are an adult, you can learn how to reparent your inner child. Think of the greatest parents who lived…perhaps God, and model your inner parent after them. Many blessings


    • My love, the wisdom that helped me heal, is that our parents are people too. They are not God’s as we see them when we are children. Withholding forgiveness harms the one who is doing the withholding. Your mother, clearly has issues that she is and has been unwilling to look at.. This need not define you any longer. Forgive her and release her from the shackles of your despair. With that, you too will be free…It doesn’t hurt to try… Now that you are an adult, you can learn how to reparent your inner child. Think of the greatest parents who lived…perhaps God, and model your inner parent after them. Many blessings


    • Hello: As I read your words it reminds me of an interview I watched on Red Table Talk on youtube with Demi Moore regarding her mother and death. You may want to check it out. All the best to you.


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  209. 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.


  213. 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.


    • With you on this one 😍 though may not currently have the financial success, i have improved my life systematically in a similar way to yourself.. though mainly using EFT, TTT and tuning fork sound therapy… Identify the problem area, work on it and resolve it… many free sessions facilitated by swapping skills and much learning… many tears and moments of how much more is there? ACE SCORE OF 5 NOT SURE ABOUT RESILIENCE!! Though many traumas since my childhood have had to unravel…


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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.


      • Hi, Vince. This is kinda weird, but if you’d like a friend, I’m here. I am around the same age and also feel the same skepticism towards people. I know your comment is 2 years old, and I hope that you are feeling less alone now. Still, if you want to talk, please reply to this.


  215. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

  216. 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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  233. 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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  243. 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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  246. 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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  248. 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.


  249. 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,


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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?


  251. 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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  253. 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.


  254. Pingback: Parents and “ACEs” – How Our Childhood Experiences Affect Our Child’s Sports – Bellwether Hub

  255. 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.


  256. 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…


  257. Pingback: Anxiety Experts Reveal What They Really Want Everyone to Know About Anxiety – The Blogging Doctor

  258. Pingback: How Emotional Self-Regulation Tools can Soothe ACES. – The Freedom Center

  259. Pingback: Loving the Broken Again and Again and Again (Loving Someone with Adverse Childhood Experiences) – Bravester

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  262. Pingback: 7 Hidden Ways Childhood Trauma Affects You As An Adult | TCG trending buzz

  263. 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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  266. 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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  267. Pingback: Many doctors misdiagnose trauma as ADHD in some children - Holistic Wellness Center of the Carolinas

  268. 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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  269. Pingback: Resources | Silicon Valley Therapy

  270. Pingback: Slow Down To Do More: “Constantly being rushed is a state of stress.” – Ashley Graber M.A., LMFT

  271. Pingback: Loving the Broken Again and Again and Again (Loving Someone with Adverse Childhood Experiences) | Bravester

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  274. 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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  279. 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 ❤️


  280. 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.


  281. 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.


  282. 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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  283. 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

  284. 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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  285. 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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  288. 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.


  289. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  290. 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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  291. 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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  293. 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.


  294. Pingback: Raising Awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Jamaica

    • 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…

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  295. 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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  298. 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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  299. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

  300. 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.


  301. 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.


  302. 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.


  303. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

  304. 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.


  305. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

  306. 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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  310. 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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  313. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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.


  314. 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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  316. 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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  319. 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

  320. 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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  325. 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

  326. 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


  327. 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 ❤️

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  340. 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.

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  341. 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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  349. 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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  351. 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

  352. Pingback: Got Your ACE Score? | One Woman's Choice

    • 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 ❤️


  353. 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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  355. 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

  356. 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

  357. 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

  358. 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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  360. 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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  362. 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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  365. 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 w