Got Your ACE Score?

What’s Your ACE Score? (and, at the end, What’s Your Resilience Score?)

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. 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 the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. 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.

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’ve got your ACE score, 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.

acescores

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.)

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: ACEs 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 ACEs science, go to ACEs Science 101.

_______________________

What’s Your Resilience Score?

This questionnaire was developed by the early childhood service providers, pediatricians, psychologists, and health advocates of Southern Kennebec Healthy Start, Augusta, Maine, in 2006, and updated in February 2013. Two psychologists in the group, Mark Rains and Kate McClinn, came up with the 14 statements with editing suggestions by the other members of the group. The scoring system was modeled after the ACE Study questions. The content of the questions was based on a number of research studies from the literature over the past 40 years including that of Emmy Werner and others. Its purpose is limited to parenting education. It was not developed for research.

Rains wants everyone to know that the resilience questions are only meant to prompt reflection and conversation on experiences that may help protect most people (about three out of four) with four or more ACEs from developing negative outcomes. A secure early childhood is helpful, but not necessary. A higher number of positive experiences is not necessarily more protective. He regrets that the questions have taken on a life of their own and that people may have misinterpretted or misunderstood their experience of risk and resilience, based on the ACE or “Resilience” questionnaires. For more information, he suggests reading this article on ACEs Too High — Putting resilience and resilience surveys under the microscope.

RESILIENCE Questionnaire

Please circle the most accurate answer under each statement:

1.  I believe that my mother loved me when I was little.

Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

2.  I believe that my father loved me when I was little.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
3.  When I was little, other people helped my mother and father take care of me and they seemed to love me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
4.   I’ve heard that when I was an infant someone in my family enjoyed playing with me, and I enjoyed it, too.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
5.  When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
6.   When I was a child, neighbors or my friends’ parents seemed to like me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
7.  When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
8.  Someone in my family cared about how I was doing in school.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
9.  My family, neighbors and friends talked often about making our lives better.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
10.  We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
11. When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True
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
How many of these 14 protective factors did I have as a child and youth? (How many of the 14 were circled “Definitely True” or “Probably True”?)   _______
Of these circled, how many are still true for me? _______

2,363 responses

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  2. 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

    BUT

    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

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  4. ACE=9 (not counting racism & gender discrimination)
    Resiliency=8
    For every person that did me wrong there were others who showed me love, unfortunately I lost most of them at an early age. But they taught me that it was possible to be loved for the short time they were with me and I carry memories of them everywhere I go.

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  5. 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…

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    • 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.

      Like

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  22. 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…..

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  32. 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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  35. 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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  37. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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

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  38. 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.

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    • 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,

      Allen

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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?

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  40. 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.

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    • 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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  41. Pingback: The Power of Resilience, Coaching and Caring | Edge Foundation

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

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

  44. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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  52. 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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  53. Pingback: At the Front Lines in Tennessee: Rural Clinic Offers Trauma-Informed Treatment for Substance Use Disorder - CHCS Blog

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

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

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  63. 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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  68. 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 ❤️

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  69. 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.

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  70. 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.
    Teressa

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  71. 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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  72. 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. ❤

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  73. 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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  74. 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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  77. 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.

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

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  79. 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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  80. 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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  82. I have a score of 8. I’m 17. I’ve had depression and tried to end things. I’ve done drugs and started to not care about school and care about friends more then anything because that’s all I had. Now I have no friends due to me moving and with the family abuse I have a school abuse due to students that touch me and bully me. I have been trying to drop out for three years but I can’t. Life isn’t all that great.

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  83. 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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  84. 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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  87. 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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  88. 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?

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

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  89. 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.

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  90. 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.

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  91. 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.

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  92. 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?

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

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  93. 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.

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  94. 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,
    Raederle
    (Ray-der-lee)

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

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  95. 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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  99. 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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  100. Pingback: Substance-abuse doc says: Stop chasing the drug! Focus on ACEs. | Stop Abuse Campaign

  101. Pingback: Children are Resilient, So They Say – Miss Ivorie

  102. 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.

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  103. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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
      Irenelyon.com
      She is also on Facebook:
      Irene Lyon the missing link
      Good luck , Alison

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    • 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

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    • 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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  105. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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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  108. 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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  109. 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.

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    • 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.”

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    • 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.

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    • 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

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    • 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

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    • 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.

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    • 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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  110. Pingback: UVM Larner College of Medicine Blog | Learning about Adverse Childhood Experiences in Medical School

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  114. 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.

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  115. 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

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  116. 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 1 person

    • 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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  128. Pingback: ACEs & TIPs – #slowchathealth

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

    Liked by 1 person

  130. 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..

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

      Like

    • 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
      ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  138. 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 1 person

    • 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.

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  140. 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

  141. 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.

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      • 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 ❤️

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  142. 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.

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      • 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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  144. 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

  145. 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

  146. 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

  147. 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.

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  149. 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.

    Like

    • 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….

      Like

      • 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 💖

        Like

    • 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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  151. 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.

      Like

    • 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!

      Like

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  153. Pingback: Episode 29: en(gender)ed Reflections on the needs and impact of domestic violence on survivors and children–a look back with our guest, Michael – engendered

  154. 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 1 person

      • 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 1 person

    • 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).

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

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

        Liked by 1 person

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

      Like

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

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

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

    Liked by 3 people

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

      Like

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

      Like

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

      Like

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

      Like

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

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

      With love.

      Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

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

        Like

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

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  173. 4/0
    Been lonley my entire life and has never had anyone caring about me, I´m 28 years old and began putting my foot down half a year ago. It´s been hard at especially working places people and bosses have been really nasty to me since I have a hard time creating boundaries. Luckily I´ve started to strengthening my upper body which has affected me and given me courage and strength to say no. I´m still lonley. I feel happier not having contact with my emotionally abusive mentally ill narcissistic egocentric father and my emotionally abandoning slightly manipulative never incouraging mother though. I really don´t care what happens to them. Really don´t. They took my fire away from me and won´t acnowledge that or apologize. They both are weak and misrerable.

    Liked by 2 people

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

      Liked by 1 person

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  175. Hi,

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

    Liked by 1 person

  176. Hi Everyone

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

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

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

    Sounds overly dramatic I know…

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

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

    JJ

    Liked by 5 people

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

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

      Liked by 5 people

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

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

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

    Liked by 4 people

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  185. ACE score=6
    Resiliency Score=6

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 3 people

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

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

    Liked by 4 people

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

      Liked by 1 person

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

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

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

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

      Like

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 3 people

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

        Liked by 2 people

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

        Liked by 2 people

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

      Like

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

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

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

        Liked by 1 person

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

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

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

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

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

      Liked by 2 people

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

        Liked by 2 people

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

        Like

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

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

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

      Like

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

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

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

      Liked by 1 person

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

        Like

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

        Liked by 1 person

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

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

        Like

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

        Like

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

        Like

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

    Like

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  210. ACE score of 9
    Resiliency score 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ACEs: 8
    resilieny: 13

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

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

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

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    • I’m happy you’ve been able to move past those things, but I just want to caution you:
      I thought I did too–accepted my circumstances, considered forgiving and reconnecting with my father and his family, and a few other things– then all of a sudden, it was like a physical blockage was removed one day.
      I realized my attempt at accepting things was actually a kind of surpression and toxic coping mechanism (looking into dissociative and depersonilzation thinking and emotional dysregulation. It came about under immense stress in college (always been an extreme over achiever) and after realizing I feel unequipped emotionally to be the best partner for my amazing, compassionate bf, whom, because of all this baggage, I feel I don’t deserve and will just end up hurting in the end.
      So although my whole life I thought I could get past it and make my own future and that “well yeah, but I don’t have it as worse as other people” (which is a common theme for those abused as children and indication that there was abuse), I realized I couldn’t accept what I never confronted, acknowledged, and actually felt–without the crutch of my justification and depersonalization coping mechanism. This is recent for me, so I’m not acting like I know this is the right path, but already it feels like there’s no going back.
      In absolutely NO way am I saying this is what you should/need to do. Everyone deals with trauma differently and in their own time (and maybe your resiliency really does protect you from affects). I’m just saying don’t feel bad if you–the person who seemed to rise above and overcome everything–one day is encountered by past-related thoughts and feelings. And maybe to focus on mindfulness and wellness practices not even related consciously to the past. After all, even if we are mentally and emotionally resilient to this stuff, it’s being evidenced we need to counteract against the physical and medical affects it had/s on our bodies. Best of luck to you!
      A

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  239. I have an ACE score of 9. My resiliency score is 2. Given the statistics I have a good chance of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or an autoimmune disease which I have – Hashimotos and arthritis. I have been very healthy amd strong bodied most of my life, however my mental and emotional state I didn’t quite understand and no one else seemed to understand me either until I discovered this study. I continue to read books on ACE as I need to get it together. I understand more now why I am the way I am. I have hated myself, felt unloved, undeserving of love, and value, felt guilty because i should have stopped it as I knew it was wrong, however i would have been accused of lying as i have been accused as an adlult when i came out with my story 8 years ago when my mother passed away. . I was cast out of my family as a result. I am 61 and am now very much alone. I have no family, but I do have a hand full of close girlfriends that have been with me for the last 16 years and a very accepting and loving church family who accepts me for who I am and love me in spite of my short comings. I don’t want to die with unfinished business and damaged relationships. I am in weekly counseling working through the trauma I experienced as a child beginning with the molestation by my step brother when I was 5. I have been sexually abused by 3 family members, I have been abused emotionally and physically. I was also neglected having no nurturing or love as a child. No hugs, kisses, bedtime stories or tucking in at night. My father was an alcoholic and my mother was bipolar clueless to the events going on around her. My father often beat my mom in his drunken state in full view of us 4 kids. Though my older sister was only 5 years older than I, she stepped in as our carehiver as my mom spent most of my childhood in her bedroom. My sister was the mom doing what she could as a 10 year old, doing laundry so we would have clean cloths and cooking all of our meals. It was way too much of a burden for her, but she urged forward. When she went away to college that responsibility fell on me at age 13. I could go on and I but I think you get the picture. I am determined to be different and she’d this ugly skin that had covered my life.

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    • I functioned as the older daughter in that capacity as a mom. Our mom had cancer and was on drugs. Her men around her after my dad’s divorce were abusive.
      She abandoned the boys later after I was in college . I dropped out so the 15 yr old and 7 yr old lived with me. I diapered them so I had been their mom.
      I hope you understand the greT sacrifice your older sister didfir your family.

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    • I am so sorry that you experienced such a crap childhood. I understand the damage it can do. Prayers that you find peace.

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  241. My ACE score is 4, but my Resilience score is 12 … I don’t really know how to interpret this. The ACE is a bit clearer, though at age 62 and for most of my adult life I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, nor am I in an abusive relationship. Chronic disease — I’m about 70lbs overweight, but that’s it. Sooo, what does it mean?

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  242. Based on my own childhood rxperience, I would agree that trauma does set the stsge for low self esteem and not loving yourself in a heslthy way as an adult

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  243. Pingback: The Block Center Mentors Completed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Training « The Block Center | Come Build With Us!

    • Even though I have an ACE score of 8/10 its difficult for me to believe that all my health issues come from my childhood experiences. Just as I don’t believe that my anxiety causes all my health issues as several doctors have told me. I have always felt that I just did not try hard enough to figure this all out. I do keep trying new therapies and believe I can get there but I think basically I have a stubborn side. My siblings and I were abused in multiple ways by an aunt and uncle and our cousins very badly for over 10 years. In todays world they would be in jail. Parents dead before I was 8, one a murder, but they gave us a great beginning so we are pretty resilient. Not broken but badly damaged.

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  251. What a great tool and an enlightening study. I think understanding this will help many professionals be more empathetic, and perhaps even be the “soft touch” that the child needs. I hope this is recognized by childcare centers, schools, administration, healthcare, law enforcement, etc etc. and most of all parents. I do think reading some of the comments that there is a tendency to take the scores too literally. I think this is a guide for childhood response and the effects, and there are many variables that don’t figure into the scoring or the resiliency. With that said, it is still a tool that can provide insight into how lives are acutely affected by childhood experiences. This is a great opportunity for continued professional development and continuing education for those working with children.

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  253. Mine is an 8-9… some of the wording is a little weird..

    All the data only goes 4-5.. so what’s after that?

    Anyways, I’ve accepted my past and I’ve moved on. I feel fine, people look at me and they’d never know what I’ve been through. My past has made me stronger and who I am today. It’s not going to hold me back from my dream.

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      • My ACE is a solid 8 (perhaps a 9 if a mother involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility is equivalent to prison). I’m in my late 40’s and feel like all of the ACE effects are hitting at once now, after an (outwardly) successful education, career and family (MDD, Complex PTSD, Developmental PTSD, unexplained health issues, cognitive issues, etc.). It’s unclear what options there are for adults, especially those who “froze” during childhood and had no adult buffers. This is after many years of various therapy and medication, the former of which helped me to understand my past and present (but did not relieve or reduce symptoms/effects – perhaps intensified them, actually), and the latter I had to discontinue due to side effects and lack of efficacy. The approaches outlined in The Deepest Well (if I can remember correctly, sleep, nutrition, meditation, exercise, etc.) seem necessary, but insufficient, at least for adults after a lifetime of dealing with ACEs. I know this is a big question for an internet comment, but I feel like later-in-life treatment has been overlooked in the focus on children and trauma-informed care, which focus I applaud of course. I also worry about disclosing ACE score and trauma information to health providers – because ACEs are so strongly correlated with chronic health issues over a lifetime, it seems this information could be used in health records to deny insurance coverage or increase rates, or interfere with things like approval for organ transplants (I understand depression itself can disqualify a patient for a heart transplant, for instance). Thoughts?

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      • The approaches in The Deepest Well are the basic foundation for health (mind/body/social). If you aren’t making sure that you’re including them in your life, therapy won’t cure. What I learned is that if you have a high ACE score, taking care of yourself is a full-time job all in itself. Because it’s not intuitive — i.e., not ingrained when I was a child — I have to work at it every day, every week, every month, every year. And when I do, life is so much better. And now, at nearly 70 years of age, I can catch myself when I start to backslide. I just figured out how to catch myself from backsliding in the last few months.

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      • I would never share my ACE score with any doctors. Telling them I have Anxiety or Depression is detrimental as it is. I feel like that should only be shared with my therapist. I think if my doctor could blame my symptoms on an ACE score then I would never get any treatment. I lost a brother to illness when I was 4, my father to a plane crash when I was 6 and my mother remarried a psychotic pedeophile who sexually abused us and she was killed by him when I was 8. We then endured 10 years of physical and mental abuse from an aunt and uncle. (In todays world they would be in jail) They continue to hold our parents possessions from us including wedding rings. I think the only reason I did not revert to drugs and alcohol is due to what I remember of our loving parents. So I am understanding that is where the resiliency comes in. But I still cannot accept that all my illnesses are due to childhood trauma and what difference that makes. I am the only one of my 6 siblings working in therapy. But even that is not enough. I am currently trying Hypnotherapy which is like peeling an onion. I have ah ha moments in remembering which causes me more issues. I read one book on this that seemed to say that unless we accept that our illness is from this ACE score than we would not get better. Telling me I have no choice on accepting this is a repeat of the abuse in my childood. I would appreciate thoughts on this. I am willing to try new treatments but do so with reservations.

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      • Melody, my understanding of this research is not that all our illnesses “come from” the abuse but that there is a causal chain that is logical. It can help for us to see the chain so we can interrupt it. For instance, if we’re abused, we may survive by learning to self-soothe through food or drugs or alcohol. These have a chemical affect on our bodies that can lead to disease. Whereas if we’re raised in a loving home, we can have a cupcake and not eat the entire box because we have happy things to look forward to, like a nice house or a fun relationship that isn’t based on alcohol. If we go out for a bike ride with our nice spouse, we are less likely to develop a disease that is related to poor nutrition or alcohol consumption, etc. So the key is to see our behaviors as prompted by something, or as ways to address something deep and old, and try to address those things – then adopt healthier self-soothing mechanisms and get real things to look forward to.

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    • I find myself wondering the same. It all caps at 4. I think I only new 1 or 2 people growing up that would have been under that score. I tagged a perfect 10, with a resiliency score of 3. How am I supposed to interpret those numbers, when I don’t do most of the self destructive things the people at 4 seem to.I don’t drink or smoke, or abuse people. I do have many physical health issues.

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  255. Pingback: An Important tool to measure childhood trauma: ACE Study – Knowledge Becomes Power

  256. I understand that violence against women is much more common than violence against men, but it there a reason why the question only asks about violence against a mother/step-mother? Surely for a child, seeing their father being harmed can be just as damaging?

    Like

    • Seeing a father being harmed can indeed be just as damaging.

      As mentioned in the introduction to Got Your ACE Score?:
      There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — 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, 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.

      Like

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  259. ACEs- 8/10; though how many struggles or hardships faced in childhood- it is real and existing. To avoid such ACE incidences in our current families or community, we as an individual must changes our psychological perspective of our past and be a advocate for an environmental friendly behaviours.

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    • We have to do this and more. We have to really change our whole society. The hyper-competitiveness of our business communities creates massive stress on the human brain. When people learn that money is not the sole determinant of human worth and can accept and support one another unconditionally, most of these problems will heal and few new ones will grow.

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  262. I scored a rough 4 for my childhood and teenage years, but I feel like I could score 7 or so, with 5 resilience factors.

    Indeed, I really don’t feel like leaving out of the question

    – 12 years of (often threatening and intense) school bullying

    – 3 years of serious, invalidating physical illnesses

    – and the multiple physical sexual contacts/humiliations of sexual nature I experienced during 1 year of middle school from the other kids.

    All of this without consistent familial or external validation.

    This clearly plays a big part in who I am today, and in how abusive I grew towards myself and my close ones during my teenage years. My parents talked about foster care or internship as communication went impossible.

    I also felt/saw that

    – money was quite a big preoccupation in my childhood (but not in my teenage years)

    – and that my mother was emotionally violented, under influence and unable to protect me from my father. She was afraid of him, though he never hit her.

    I never, ever talked about what I went through before I turned 18/19 and went away for my studies. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t ever think about it. I was very isolated, had barely no friends and acquaintances and no one in my family dared telling me my situation was critical: they were afraid of my father and gradually kept some distance. Thus, feeling abused/very lonely/under pressure was somewhat my 24/7 normality, at home and at school… well this is how I see it retrospectively.

    Today I’m 21, and I often -among many other things- loathe myself for struggling with my emotions, my proneness to emotional abuse, my self-centeredness, my lack of boundaries and my insecurities by the damn number. I just get better with time, but moreover I wish I was an insightful, calm and safe person, as appeasing and internally secure as my boyfriend.

    So I don’t know which of these events mentioned I should consider as ACEs or not…
    I know several versions of the test have their questions formulated differently and/or have additional ones.

    If I was asked, I would say I score 7 at the test. But I really don’t feel legitimate, neither do I feel that “broken”. On the other hand, I don’t feel like putting such impacting life events out of the equation.

    I wonder if someone could give me his or her opinions. Could the events I enumerated in this message count as legitimate ACEs ? Thank you.

    Like

    • Yes, you can count those other experiences as ACEs. Subsequent to the original ACE Study, other ACE questions now included bullying, racism, witnessing violence outside the home, physical illness, etc. In other words, ANYTHING that causes toxic stress, that results in a person responding by fight/flight/freeze/appease response, damages the brain and the body.

      Like

    • I believe those events count as legitimate ACEs. It is great that you are looking at this and getting a broad perspective of your early years. Counseling can help your recovery to proceed faster that just doing it on your own.

      Like

    • All of your experiences I have had and then some. ACE 8/10. All of this affects how we look at ourselves and what we think of ourselves. I have been in therapy for over 20 years and still don’t have it all figured out. So give yourself permission to try different therapies such as the one I am trying now called hypnotherapy – no you are not hypnotized. But its’ like peeling away the layers of an onion and you gradually see and accept that you are changing. I can now verbalize my anger at my aunt and uncle for the way the treated us where I could not do that in past years. What you have is probably PTSD and it will take time. I tried antidepressants but could not tolerate them. I am considering anxiety meds now and take over the counter stress pills. They help. But you need to be kind to yourself. My positive is that I had 6 and 8 years with my kind loving parents but their deaths were brutal and tragic and affected me horribly. There is no real “normal” as we are all different. Its all about “fake it till you make it”. Good luck with your journey and keep trying. You will get there.

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    • Hey Violetta,

      I’m 21 now too and relate. I never considered myself “abused” or “broken” from my childhood– and I still think the latter word isn’t helpful to employ anyway. But recently–under stress from college and going on 3 years with a loving man I care deeply about– I realize I have behaviors and tendencies that are going to affect my life and relationships that I am not even consciously aware of sometimes, actually, am only starting to become consciously aware of. Also, I realized something about my acceptance of the situation too. Idk about you, but for me de-emphasizing and depersonalizing my experience was my coping mechanism. Recently with the insane stress of college and social expectations, self-esteem and adequacy issues have come up. I thought I have always been a stressed person bc of the insane load I put on myself…but then..I realized that load was bc of my childhood and my narcissistic father, oh and alcoholic father, and apathetic stepmother, who allowed my father to neglect her child, who was actually adopted….. etc, you get the picture. I guess all I’m saying is that you don’t need to be emotional and feel negatively towards yourself all the time to constitute being an abuse/neglect victim. and It doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from some practices/exercises/therapy (In your OWN time though). Just don’t be scared if these things come up. I never thought they would for me, but I realized in order to accept something, you do actually, have to confront or acknowledge that something first. Or at least for me, I realized I was actually suppressing vs. accepting.
      Best of luck to you! A.

      Like

  263. Pingback: What Oprah knows for sure about adverse childhood experiences

    • Same? I’m sorry. The clarity I have come into is something I can’t explain but I feel incredibly fortunate to be a survivor of my traumatic upbringing and incredibly greatful to my husband for his patients and support. I have been estranged from my father for almost 10 years (for self preservation) and it has been nothing short of empowering. Ironically it was after that relationship ended that the panic attacks really kicked in. I find that having grown up in my particular environment has made me guarded. Many people cannot understand or relate so you chose friends cautiously. Still, I’m proud of who I am.

      Liked by 1 person

      • After my parents divorced my mother was abusive and beat us severely. Because I was the oldest daughter of 6 I took the beatings for the others.
        The boys have problems in marriages because they did not learn to set boundaries. And their wives take advantage of their abuse. They remarried It is a learned response, to trust.
        You have to restrain yourself from gushing when you have friends about the abuse. Some do not know what to say and can be indiscreet and cruel .
        I take a supplement that lowers cortisol
        The fight or flight syndrome . It’s called pregnenolone . OTC. Less than $11 for 60 capsules.

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  265. I am now 50. I scored a 7 out of 10 on the Ace test (almost an 8). Question 7 leaves out mental abuse. I would have had an 8 with that one. At 40 I suffered from panic attacks. They came out of nowhere. I am married with three children. Financially secure, occasional drinker, don’t smoke and exercise regularly (running mostly). The exercise keeps me from needing medication. It’s the most productive way I have found to value myself everyday. My sister was my support and still is to this day. Chin up everyday. You are important. Your past does not define you.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Mental abuse also counts.

        As mentioned in the introduction to Got Your ACE Score?:
        There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — 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, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

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

        Liked by 2 people

  266. I wish this had been around when I was younger. I was raised in a violent alcoholic family with codependent parents. Struggled all my life with issues I now realize are result of this childhood dysfunction and trauma.

    Liked by 1 person

  267. I wonder why the question about the mother being hurt isn’t also offered about the father. My step children witnessed their mother hitting, slapping, kicking, and punching their father on a regular basis for several years, as well as screaming at him, throwing things at him, and then sometimes ignoring him for days. I don’t think they would have the wherewithal to answer yes to that question because it specifically says the mother only.

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    • I agree. I thought the same thing. I saw my father and my grandfather being abused by my mother. Eventually, as a teenager, I witnessed her abuse her own mother as well. All three of these people were kind and loving to us. I feel the statement should have been inclusive of any close family member being abused including grandparents and fathers.

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    • I would think they should replace that question with mother “or” father. It would definately have the same affect on children whether it’s their mother or father that was beaten.

      Like

  268. Pingback: Got Your ACE Score or Even Know What It Is? | American SPCC

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  273. RE Question 2: What if you only experienced violence to the point that it left marks once, and on several occasions things were thrown at you (hair brushes, wet-dry vac, etc)? But mostly the abuse was verbal and psychological, but also you were occasionally chased down with a car?

    RE Question 8: What if you lived with a problem drinker, but it didn’t affect you too much? But when it did, it was significant (driving to friends houses drunk looking for me, getting very angry, etc.)

    RE Question 5: What if I definitely had enough to eat, and had clean clothes, etc. but I felt like no one was able to protect me emotionally/psychologically, or stand up for me? But I was always taken to the doctor or dentist as needed, etc. But, like…I also really felt like no one was there to protect me from my mom?

    RE Question 9: What if the family member has an undiagnosed mental illness? But certainly displays lots of symptoms of narcissism and BPD, possibly a light bipolarity? What about families with members who have cognitive disabilities present as well??

    This test is confusing me, I think. When I answer ‘yes’ to some of these questions (the ones listed above) I start to wonder if I’m ‘making things up,’ which I guess I was often told I was doing in my childhood.

    But then I wonder if I am saying ‘yes’ to justify some of my crappy qualities like laziness (ex: I miss a lot of work, mostly I make anxious decisions to call in more often than I’d like). I wonder if I’m trying to avoid responsibility for decisions like that, and put that on my family??

    I like to think I try very hard to positivity build my own character and take responsibility for myself and my actions…but what if I have a blind spot, and it’s this? I feel guilty about that possibility.

    I wasn’t regularly beaten, or physically neglected. I didn’t ever feel like I might die in my home. But I was very often yelled at and told I was the cause of our family’s problems. I was constantly picked on and could never do anything right. I did experience some violence, but never to the degree where I was seriously hurt. More so things like being violently thrown out of bed to wake me up in the morning, chasing me with a car, physically restraining me if I tried to leave the house, throwing things at me on occasion.

    But this behaviour was normalized because my father didnt protect me and would not acknowledge my mother’s behaviour as bad or wrong, and my only sibling is cognitively disabled, so he couldn’t express any opinions on the matter/was often not involved. So I did often feel really alone and I was angry and resentful because of that.

    I think I’m posting here because I’m looking for some sort of validation? I know I wasn’t in the worst home in the world (like I said, I always had food, clean clothing, access to medical care), and my early childhood (0-7 ish?) was actually pretty great. But I do feel deeply affected by my family. I struggle with anxiety and depression. My relationship with my family continues to be strained. Sometimes I can’t sleep bc I worry about how my mom is treating my dad (she has taken all of the anger she used to unleash on me and has directed it at him), or what will happen to my brother after my parents die. They have no plan for him and assume he will become my responsibility.

    No one in my family has acknowledged my perspective, they probably never will. But what I’m saying is messed up, right? A mom shouldn’t yell at her daughter for hours and make her feel ashamed, and tell her that she’s horrible, chaotic, inconsiderate, lazy, unintelligent, fat, etc. right?? For years nearly every time she spoke to me it was about something I had done wrong, or something I had to do (which I would probably do wrong). She’d scream at me and tell me how I was somehow abusing her? And that all she’d done is give me unconditional love, and how I reject it and that I’m ungrateful? And a bunch of other shit.

    All of that stuff is wrong, right? Moms shouldn’t do that, right?? What about questions 2, 5, 8, and 9? I feel like I can say yes to those…but based on my descriptions does that count??

    Liked by 1 person

    • The answer is yes to all four questions. People who experience ACEs tend to minimize their effect. You may not be conscious of the effect, but your brain and body are. Read The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk for more info.

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      • You sound like me. There were a lot of aspects in my home growing up that were absolutely fine and normal and that normality that was fairly prevalent and gave a sort of equalibrium to the whole of my childhood…or so I thought. You mentioned your mom quite possibly had BPD. After years (we’re talking into my mid to late 40s) I was convinced I had a distinct portion of me that was no good and deserved all the sick ire my mother has heaped on me off and on my entire life because she functioned fairly normal day to day. That’s the subversive nature of BPD —often sufferers are reasonably fine and functioning—especially to the outside world—until they are behind closed doors and then things go south. I’m like you—I didn’t want for a home, clothes, medical, dental —but my mother struggled (due to her severe abuse as a child) to show me any connectedness and closeness. She’d go around the house bellowing: THIS IS A DICTATORSHIP NOT A DEMOCRACY! The older I got, the more bizarre and angry her behavior seemed. I was physically and emotionally abused by her as a teen especially. And my gosh, her anger and ire toward me for offenses that she literally made up in her head about me were epic and unbelievable …she continues to do this to this day.
        Bottom line—what you went through was not normal, not nurturing and not healthy. You can’t say —because I had ‘this and this’ that was reasonably standard or normal as a child —-that it cancels out the abuse I suffered. I had to go through Christian counseling to realize my mother suffers BPD and abuses because she was abused. Furthermore, often with someone who has BPD, you’ll find them honing in on a child they deem as ‘the all bad child.’ It’s a punching bag position in the family that you can’t dig out of. I was the all bad child in mine and no matter what I’d do, I’d be pegged as the villain. Perhaps this is your dynamic with your mother….my advice is to get the book ‘The Borderline Mother’ and be open to counseling and have very solid boundaries with your mother and anyone else who did not treasure you and treat you with respect as a child. I’ve had to distance myself from my mother. It’s not ideal but God never calls us to take abuse when it comes to trying to honor our parents.

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    • Sweetie you were abused in so many ways! Your mother sounds like a very sick woman. Please find a competent and compassionate therapist so you can get insight into your past and how it affects you. I’m so sorry you have had to deal with all this pain. I have dealt with it as well. Get the book “Complex PTSD” by Pete Walker. C-PTSD is a condition of living with abuse over a long period of time (as opposed to a one-time thing like Sept 11 or a car crash. Also, “The Body Never Lies: The Lasting Effects of Hurtful Parenting.” These books are changing my life.

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    • It sounds like you experienced severe emotional abuse! Among other things! Your mother was not available to meet your needs and validate your feelings and instead made you feel bad about yourself and was looking for you to vailadate her. I’m so sorry you went through that. The good news is that as an adult you are now aware of what you went through, that it was damaging and unacceptable!! So , now that you have awareness of how it impacted you, you can move forward with taking care of yourself, building your self confidence and learning to express your emotions.

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      • The abuse I had from my mum was that she would use me as an emotional crutch, tell me everything she was feeling in her depression and I somehow got the feeling that I should try and make things better and that really scared me. She wanted me to be her mum. I was 10. I still get a very bad trigger reaction around people who are upset.

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    • So sorry for your experience. I completely understand your perspective. I sometimes feel like I use my upbringing as an excuse for my guarded personality. I definitely feel like my siblings don’t agreed with my take on our family with the exception of my sister who experienced most of it. The one difference with her is that I was the bad kid and she was the good. Not reality but in the eyes of my severely narcissistic father. My mother had mostly checked out emotionally and used alcohol to get through her own trauma, my brother a drug addict, my oldest sister moved away and my oldest brother took his own life. My father was a master at making people believe we were something we were very much not. I struggle with anxiety. The holidays are the worst. I always end up with a phantom illness. My parents eventually divorced (thank God) but my mother still struggles to connect emotionally. There were never hugs or “I love you” moments. It was a cold, emotionally void upbringing. I have not spoken to my father in ten years.

      With that said, I am quite the opposite with my own children. I have their back. I love them openly and hugs are regular. My few very good friends know my past and love me and support me. It’s a crazy past to have and even crazier to explain. Not many could understand and embrace it so I chose wisely. People are can be very judgmental.

      Don’t doubt yourself. Your life was yours. My older sister didn’t experience what I did. She can’t relate. You are seemingly in the same boat. Narcissists use Triangulation to manipulate the group. The chosen ones are loved but the one on the outs becomes the victim. I was often the victim.

      You have been the victim. Your mother should never belittle you. She certainly let her frustrations out on you but it can only control you forever if you allow it to. Everyone is worthy of love and happiness.

      Like

    • I guess I’m a 10….. Both parents in the psych ward. Dad had shock treatments., Mom delusional violent psychopath. She used to wear a nun costume in public and preach the end of the world. Name calling by her was so damaging. She called me “scum” and syphillis bitch.when I was little , threatening to kill us in our sleep.
      So I was raped in a construction trailer in the schoolyard at 11 or 12 and felt I couldn’t tell anyone. My mom was a monster to me ! One of the men also took mel to his apartment for more rape …. So I guess my life seemed over before it began.. My mom is 92 and still a source of trauma….. Alcoholic and abusive…. My brother has schizophrenia , one brother died young and was commited to the psych ward and jailed… My resilience score is low because even to this day my siblings are uncomfortable sharing or listening , also no relatives were allowed in our house . Mom’s orders ! So its hard because my emotions come rushing out too powerfully and people just can’t handle it, You’re never heard and can’t heal . Me I work constantly and am a loner because of it ,but I finally am healing by just not caring if people come and go from my life. My life is valid. I validate myself now and new people come into my life all the time. I don’t hide my story anymore and its really helping. Everyone has pain ! I love to listen to other people share their stories . Peace and Love to you all !

      Like

      • Helena, It’s astonishing that you’ve withstood that level of neglect and abuse.. and feel as you do. I’m awestruck at your self-validation and resilience (you say low, but I say: really?!) and determination to heal and move on.
        There’s a very helpful ‘support’ group on FB if you’re interested.. contact me via my blog (healingpilgrim.com).
        I know the feeling of not hiding a story…my book comes out later this year (it’s not just about ACEs and DTD, but it’s in there)
        Peace, love and light to you too!

        Like

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  275. My name is Andrea, I’m from nothern California. My father abused me in every way possible, especially sexually my entire Child hood. all the way up until I was16 until he passed away one morning from a pulmonary embolism & died pretty much instantly in my presence. I was diagnosed with ptsd, phycotic depression, and I believe I have disassociate identity disorder but I’m not sure. To keep this short , I don’t know how high my aces score is & i have no resilience whatsoever. I probably have an aces score over 10 because of being repeatedly raped as a young girl. There is much more trauma I have endured in my short 23 years but honestly I would have to write a book to in order to say it all.

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    • Andrea: I am so sorry to hear about your childhood. You didn’t deserve to be treated so badly by someone who you should have been able to trust. I hope you are getting some help to deal with the trauma that you have experienced. You have a lot of life in front of you and my wish for you is to find recovery and wholeness.

      Like

    • We’re you angry a lot? I am raising my grandchild who was sexually abused by her father. Even though she has not seen him in 4 years, she just seems to be very angry. I feel she takes her anger out on me. Just wondering how I can help her. She is 12.

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      • Marie, please make sure your granddaughter gets counseling. She is angry that she was horribly violated and that no one protected her. Even if there’s no way you could’ve known, she may still direct her anger at you. She surely feels violated and vulnerable and finds it hard to trust anyone. If her own father could hurt her in that way, then what hope could she have that anyone would ever take care of her and protect her? I suffered childhood sexual abuse and had a hard time trusting any adults for the rest of my life. I didn’t get counseling until my 20s. Give her lots of love and patience. Tell her you will never let her down and stand by that. Good luck and I hope she finds peace.

        Like

    • Andrea, I am so sorry to hear of your story it seems to be all to common to hear of life stories such as yours these days but not as extreme as yours.
      I too came from an abused and I mean severely abusive family but mine was physical. 62 years and still working on my self however I have GOD’s help which has kept me alive and enjoying life most of the time. I had two brothers that passed away at an early age and one that is struggling. Hope is very powerful and there is a GOD that loves you so much that GOD gave His only begotten son who gave his life to help you and me and all people of the world wanting it so hope is very powerful. I will be praying for you that GOD will continue to cause his face to shine upon you and cause to smile upon you.
      GOD Bless
      JW

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    • Andrea I am so sorry that you had to experience so much in your short 23 years because you didn’t deserve it. I, myself experienced trauma and I found my inner strength by externalizing my traumatic experiences which gave me a negative perception of self and the world. I realized that what happened to me didn’t mean that I was not special, loved, worthless; it meant that people that had perhaps experienced trauma themselves had never healed therefore they were acting out; used me in their story line. Sadly, in order for me to heal; I had to revisit the traumatic situations. I cried, screamed, shouted, and then I spoke to my inner child and told her how special and beautiful she was/is and I held her. Also, I became intentional about feeding my mind with positive reading content that gave me hope. Hope gives you an expectation for a better life in the future. I refused to allow what happen to me to define me or rob me of enjoying my later years of life. I am 45 now. It has been a healing journey that was the best thing I gave myself permission to do. I hope you can find healing after trauma also. You are a SURVIVOR!

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  276. Pingback: » What is Your ACE Score and How Does it Relate to Resilience? Emerging Wisdom

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  278. Wow this is amazing !about time someone pulled together what we all are thinking. Loved resiliant perspective because it gives hope.

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  279. This really opened my eyes to so many of my issues. I scored a 9. I am college educated (barely struggled) on an antidepressant, smoke cigars and have health issues. Oh and i am in the most horrible financial debt ever. I feel like my entire life has been a huge ball of WTF. I have gone to many therapist but mostly, I feel like they don’t understand me.
    The strange part is that I have a great husband, never abused me and we have a beautiful little girl together and she is great.

    I struggle many days of just wishing i could have had a better life as a kid and maybe then i would not be in debt. I also tell myself to pull it together because society does not care about your life just do your job.

    Like

    • We can’t do anything about our past except challenge what it means to us. As far as the spending goes, I know quite a few people who have Bipolar Disorder who go massively in debt during their manic stages. If you have some form of clinical depression, the spending may be a symptom of dopamine depletion. When your brain doesn’t have enough dopamine it gets you to do things that cause its release, which usually mans things that excite people. Mostly that’s rich foods and sex, but a lot of people become addicted to things like gambling, extreme sports or shopping. I was a huge eBay junkie until I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder and given Wellbutrin, which is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. If you still feel compelled to shop, you might ask about Wellbutrin.

      Like

    • Dear ZaKiya, I have struggled with depression and excessive drinking and have seen big shifts doing Neuroptimal Neurofeedback, somatic empathy and i now offer those to others. I also use tapping and have done 1 ‘the journey’. there is hope and spending or drinking etc are effective strategies to alleviate stress or stimulate pleasure response.

      Like

  280. Melissa, you did not say where in Minnesota you are. One place to look is go to the website RAINN and see if they can help you find somebody. As an out of us as this might see you can also go to http://www.psychologytoday.com and look in your area with the specialty is that you would like – your events would qualify as trauma and/or PTSD and/or sexual abuse survivor. You want to be able to resonate, you want to feel some compatibility, and you want to trust that they have enough training and expertise. You could also try going to http://www.emdria.org, and see if they have someone in your area. What you’ve been through is very painful. I wish you the best of luck.

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  281. Pingback: We Cannot Hate And Blame Our Way Towards a World Free From Child Abuse - Anna Michelle Richards Life Coaching, Spiritual Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy

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  285. Thank you for making the ACE and Resiliency assessments available – very insightful and valuable.

    I know this may be outside the research – are you aware of any comprehensive integrated programs for “recovery” from ACE?

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Michael

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  286. I got a 10… I honestly do not know how to go about finding a therapist. Everyone in my family says that is a stupid waste of time but they all do drugs. I don’t want to do that. All my feelings are overwhelming. I feel broken. My dad molested me until I was 11. My mom was an abusive alcoholic. My dad went to prison when I was 12. I had no one to raise me. My mom got a girlfriend who was even more mean than her. She had 3 children. I was the oldest so I took care of all 5 of us. I remember stealing money out of my moms wallet in order to go buy groceries. I started drinking that year. It was the only way I had ever saw that people cope. I was a damn good mom though. I made sure the kids never saw what I saw. I made sure they just did their homework well and got food. They are all top of their classes I am so proud. Though while I was taking care of them I never took care of myself. At 14 I lost my virginity. He left me. Then at 15 I got into my first abusive relationship. It took me 7 months to leave. Then I continued to date a few more rotten guys. None were ever as bad as him though. I was raped by a 24 year old man who had come over to my friends house to see her boyfriend who she lived with. I was asleep and woke up to it happening. My boyfriend at the time was in the other room. We had been in a fight. The next day I told him what happened and my friends boyfriend what had happened as the man who did that to me was asleep. They beat him up and told him to never touch a woman again. I do not like violence. It does not solve anything it did not make me feel better. I still feel dirty to this day. I never turned him in. Then it happened again. My mom had broken up with her girlfriend. We were living with my uncle. My cousin’s boyfriend did it this time. I was sleeping on the couch because there was not a room for me. I woke up and he was simply sitting on the couch next to me. He was 29. He raped me multiple times making me feel to ashamed to ever tell anyone. I made sure after this incident it never would happen to me again. I decided if a man tried to touch me he was going to lose an eye. When I was 17 I got into one more really abusive relationship. It took me a year and a half to end it. I probably would have stayed. (This is where my life starts to get happier.) One night James and I had got into a fight and I left to stay at my mom’s. My mom went to the bar that night. I had to work at 7am but in exchange for her letting me stay the night I said I would pick her. I accidently fell asleep. So at 2am 8 drunk people come bustling in to the house. My mom starts yelling at me. A typical day at home I thought to myself haha. Then one of my mom’s friends who was also my friend tells me she has someone she wants me to meet. I roll over telling her I don’t care. They all go downstairs. Then Ben came upstairs and asked me where do I go outside to smoke. I know it seems lame but no one had ever had that kind of respect for our home. I helped him find his shoes and jacket and we sat outside talking. As soon as I saw him I knew this is why it had not worked out with anyone else. It has been a year and and 3 months since that day. We have our ups and downs but he still treasures me. I live with him in our own two bedroom apartment. We have gone to iceland together and Florida. He makes me feel like I was never dirtied in the first place. I now work two full time jobs. I am also a full-time college student. I just got an awesome new vehicle. I may still be poor but I have not and will not let all of those things you just read bring me down. I am 18 now. That is my life story up until now. I struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. I know I can’t continue to stay in my bliss with all this baggage still waying on my shoulders. So if anyone knows of therapists in MN. Please a comment. I don’t want to return to the darkness of my childhood. No one owns your adult life but yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Melissa,

      I’m so sorry you’ve had such pain and abuse and such a rough go of it. And I’m so happy for you that you have someone kind and supportive in your life now who treasures you. And congratulations on being in college. These are powerful signs of the tremendous underlying health and capacity that already exist within you. Therapy will help you continue to access these innate strengths that you have have and you will feel much better.

      I’m a former family doctor who retrained as a trauma therapist and have written a post on how to find a therapist. It talks a little about how to find and choose a therapist (there are many different ways to heal) and includes links to different kinds of therapies as well as websites where you can look for a therapist in MN.

      Hang in there and keep following your intuition and your dreams! You are doing a terrific job.

      https://chronicillnesstraumastudies.com/therapies-chronic-illness-stress-triggers-perception-threat/

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    • Consider EMDR and DBT at some point, also yoga or other relaxation training that includes movement. To make these childhood experiences into strength, will likely take a long time, but focus more on progress than goals will give you hope and confidence. (Progress is not linear, though.) You can find EMDR and DBT trained therapists via an internet search. Check https://emdria.site-ym.com/. Best wishes for your future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Melissa, I’m sorry I don’t have a therapist to recommend to you…maybe you can reach out to a women’s shelter or suicide hotline? However, I wanted to note that you’re one of the most resilient ACErs I’ve ever read of/from. As you were writing, or re-reading what you shared above, I hope that you can realize that out of the depths of such a horrific childhood and youth, you somehow found a deeper capacity to care for others and you’ve emerged perhaps scathed, but intact and taking precious steps to rebuild your life. I don’t know how you did it, but you’ve got a gift. You have so much light inside of you… keep that spark going even in your darkest days. Sometimes it’s only that helps you (us) make it until tomorrow! Blessings and love

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    • Melissa, I am so sorry for what you have had to endure. But you are obviously a very smart and strong person. Something I think might be helpful for the stress,anxiety and panic attacks would be to download “Insight Timer” to your phone. Then listen to Glenn Harrold “Mindfulness for releasing anxiety “. It really is so helpful and their are lots of positive support groups there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I live in Illinois and am a Meditation Therapist. I do not know a good therapist in MN. I will tell you this, I am sorry that you were abused. That should have never happened to you. Shame was delivered to you that had nothing to do with you. In the face of this you acted courageously. Don”t let anyone tell you that you were or are a bad person because it is simply not true. You do need someone to walk through these things with you and help you remove any mental obstacles that may be preventing you from achieving your goals. You might try calling the University of Minnesota Psychology Department and ask for a reference.

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    • What a wonderful ending to your horrible childhood, Melissa. I am so happy you found
      goodness and mercy in a world that can be so cruel. Focus on what you can do to feel good everyday, that’s within your control. Meditation, dance, yoga, hula hooping, laughter—lots of hugs. These are things that heal more than talking, imho.

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    • Melissa, hang in there, you’re life can and will get better. Be kind to yourself, your a young person who has experienced trauma, none of it was your fault. Consider cutting contact with your mother, she has not been a decent parent and you do not need a toxic person in your life. Wishing you peace and love xxxx

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    • Dear precious Melissa, I am also a victim of childhood abuse, but no longer a victim, but an over comer. I have been in a recovery program for 44 years, called “Al-Anon Adult Children of Alcoholics.” The book that was written for this group is called, “Hope for Today,” I combine this with the, “12 Step Recovery Bible.” I also accepted Jesus as my Savior, I was born again, cleansed by water baptism. I attend a Christian based church every Sunday and am always in bible studies. Although I live in WI and spend 5 months in FL, it took me three years to find a church like my home church, Jacobs Well, that’s how important my Spiritual recovery journal also is. I have heard great things about a church in MN called Edgewater. If you haven’t read the book, “The Deepest Well, you may want to see the reviews and see how many of the ACE list you suffered, Dr. Harris has identified the effects of childhood phycological trauma. You are an amazing women and in recovery and healing, God has a plan for your healed history to help others like us. Love and prayers sent your way!!!!

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  287. Im 20. So when I was 13 or 14 my dad went to jail for around 9 months. Does that count for ace #10?
    And for ace #3 it says 5 years older. My Aunt is 4 years older than me and sexually abused my cousin (who is a year older than me and just got sent to prison for armed robbery with a pellet gun) and I on several occasions when I was 4/5 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

  288. Does the question at the end of the resilience questionaire:”Of these circled, how many are still true for me?” pertain to only the question directly above – How many were circled Definitely True” or “Probably True or to all 13 questions?

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  289. The Ace questions don’t even come close to my situation. Multiple birth defects and birth trauma’s 1951. Father died Thanksgiving night 1958 at age 41, I was 7. Attempted molestation and murder age 9. Treated with dilantin until age 15, they were just thrown away. Drug dependent Mother who wasn’t there emotionally. Full story at my website. I have yet to find anyone that understands this type of survival. Maybe the physical damage done but not the physical pain. Not even my pain doctor will address the pain I have due to a crumbling body that was deformed from birth. Got any clue’s?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry that happened to you; what a lot to cope with. Although I’m not a professional, my two suggestions based on my own experiences is to find a good acupuncturist, who can often do wonders for pain (I had one end a lengthy migraine with a single pin and it did wonders for other chronic pain condition). You can try both classic kinds of acupuncture and medical acupuncture, which is a specific kind of training. Mine involved them attaching a mild electrical current to some of the needles, which was quite weird but also relaxing and very effective. Also very helpful for insomnia. Secondly, if you can, find the best pain clinic you can at a university-based medical school in your state. Most states have a university with a medical school and pain specialists. Regular GPs are reluctant to prescribe pain meds these days so you need to see a specialist working at the cutting edge of pain needs. Best wishes to you.

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  290. Hello all,

    I scored 8 on the ACE, but could have easily been a 9 or 10 if I’d replaced the word “often” with “sometimes” I’m quite resilient as an adult (and was as a child), but this resiliency scale doesn’t quite capture it. I think one thing that really helped me survive such a tumultuous childhood was that somehow I knew it wasn’t normal to experience all that (trauma), and that I needed to do whatever I could to protect myself and get away, even if adults weren’t listening or helping. Had to fight tooth and nail to escape, but it made all the difference. My father was always very supportive and was that person I could always trust. You need at least one of those I think.

    I went through some rebellious times when I was younger, but doing great now. Struggled with depression a number of times but don’t currently need to take any prescribed medications and haven’t needed to for years. I’m a successful social worker and very good at it, accomplished in my work, with an uncanny knack for helping others, as well as a lot of creative pursuits and wonderful friendships.

    It’s not all roses, to be sure, and it won’t always be, but I know what to do to keep myself feeling well, and I know enough to intervene before I ever sink too low (definitely been there in the past).

    It’s interesting to read some people looking for validation for all the pain they’ve suffered that wasn’t named in this questionnaire, almost a hope they’d scored higher, and others, afraid because they’d scored too high. Remember, it’s just a tool. I do find the comments and rallying support very touching. I am a tobacco smoker but hoping to quit this year, so you’ve got me on that one, although I hate to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Otherwise healthy and glad to be alive. Funny thing is I have 2 brothers – we all grew up in the same household, at least for 10 years or so, but we all experience trauma and the world differently. One of them struggles every day and might always, the other does well and doesn’t have a care in the world.

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    • Hello,
      It might be that the difference between your two brothers is genetic. Most likely the one who isn’t doing so well has the more sensitive version of the oxytocin receptor, but there is so much about the genetics we don’t know yet. We can only look where the light is, always keeping in mind that we don’t know everything. From books and articles I’ve read since I was diagnosed I strongly suspect that a lot of us here would have the more sensitive OT receptor if we had the money to get tested. Sensitivity makes for vulnerability. If all is well, we would be warmer, friendlier people than most, but when we face trauma we suffer much more, too. Biology isn’t always nice.

      I also found all the support touching (and more support for the OT receptor idea). The search for validation probably comes from the fact that many of us have felt like there was something wrong with us all of our lives. Discovering that we were right all along is a bit of a mixed blessing, but at least it tells us that we were right and not just paranoid. The other side of the coin, though, is admitting to ourselves that yes, we are crazy. We have chronic diseases that might get better but will never really be cured. The relapse rate is pretty frightening. If you have an anxiety attack strong enough to hospitalize you, it’s 50/50 in the first year, but unlike bacterial diseases the chances don’t go down as time goes by, they go up. 60% in two years, and by the time you get to 15 years it’s at 90%. That’s pretty scary. Even with all the treatments I am getting, I still have SI almost every day. Be glad that you are doing better and have for awhile. I go to DBSA a couple times a week, and while the camaraderie and being around people who understand is great, I still come home to the same life. That’s the trouble with psychological and psychiatric treatments – they might raise your mood temporarily, which temporarily increases the good chemicals in your system and lowers the bad ones, but they don’t fix your life.

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    • I have to say everyone is different someone with a low score can be haunted into exhaustion and others not so much. one common thing is we were all effected and our bodies and mind remember.
      lets keep supporting each other so as to know we are not an island unto ourselves left isolated. so care for one another and don’t allow some expression of ACE distance you, come close to those who hurt and be genuine and don’t decide to give in to those who display toxicity just wait time will expose the need of those in need. you may be the only one who displays HOPE.

      mike

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  291. Pingback: Episode 24: The Mind-Body Connection with Donna Jackson Nakazawa

  292. Pingback: Every Parent Should Know About ACEs - MindKind mom

  293. My Ace score is 10 I am 31 I am four felony charges I am on four years probation I’m divorced from an 8-year marriage I am disabled after 15 years of work was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school and learning disabilities birthday defects heart problems lung problems neuropathy thyroid spina bifida occultist gastritis and PTSD I take over 17 medications daily thought some of this information would help you

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  294. Pingback: Peer mentor uses her own ACEs story to teach med residents how to help traumatized patients « ACEs Too High

  295. Pingback: Montefiore Medical in Bronx screens 12,000+ kids for adverse childhood experiences « ACEs Too High

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  299. Hi!
    So I’m doing my Masters Research and I have used both your ACE and Resilience tool. I have a few questions.
    1.Why is a score of 4 or more on ACE considered complex trauma?
    2. Could you tell me how to cite and score the resilience tool?

    I’d appreciate a prompt response.
    Regards,
    Shiromi Chaturvedi
    Mumbai, India

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  300. Pingback: Know Your ACEs So Your Kid Doesn't Know ACEs - First 5 Shasta

  301. Pingback: Trauma Resources - Parent Base

  302. Why is it stressful to see a mother or stepmother being a victim of domestic violence but not seeing the same in a father or a stepfather? I don’t know what the incidence of female-on-male DV is, or how it compares to male-on-female DV, and those who say it is nearly equal generally make misogynist or anti-feminist statements as well. But sure SOME women abuse SOME men, and surely this affects the children who witness it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is the same; it just wasn’t measured in this study. See second paragraph in Got Your ACE Score?:
      There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — 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, 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.

      Liked by 1 person

  303. The fact my parents separated/divorced and my father was (briefly) in prision after I got out of home, even though I was under 18, still applies to me? Just so I can make myself clear, I went to live with my paternal grandparents when I was about to turn 17.

    I’d really appreciate if a professional could answer my question.

    Liked by 1 person

  304. Pingback: Episode 17- "Parenting With Trauma" - Parent Base

  305. Pingback: Episode 17- Parenting With Trauma - Parent Base

  306. Pingback: Childhood Trauma Makes You Obese? | MICROWINS4U.com

  307. after over a year in a co-occurring drug addiction and personalty disorder recovery center 3 day each week with 45min one on one therapy each week. It took a year to peal away the self protecting and defenses to expose my self in the raw flesh (ACES 5 resilience 6). In a 2 months period I went to the wall to finally get to the source, Than in a weeks time i was ask to leave, leaving me in harms way to suicide ideations , trying to hurt myself, and now totally high everyday to turn off the music in my head. I feel so hurt I’ve described this hurt as the greatest Ive ever felt, every day for 6 weeks now I am lost on what to do.everyday extreme rumination I feel very harmed by this recovery center and the therapist who turned her head offered no ending direction other more harm just before Christmas. I cant stop the noise inside my head. i know i don’t think like others. I am very alone here. any advice I just could not began talk it out again to someone new. I transferred all of to this the therapist and she understood this transference was were i needed to be she said we were finally ready to attack one by one.abandonment, molestation, constant bulling , alcoholic father , non attendant mother, mental illness from my father, adult mental abuse.

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    • That sounds awful and sad Michael, I really feel for you and for your painful experiences. The constant ruminating, sense of loss and abandonment are a heavy toll to bear. You’ve been given a harsh hand, but you’ve also survived. I really hope that you can reach out to another therapist, friend or hotline for a compassionate ear and guidance.

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    • Michael,
      I am sending you love and positive energy. I’m sorry you met with such an unprofessional therapist. You are not alone. The way you think is okay. You called yourself out about the ruminating… negative thoughts and words can manifest themselves in your life, and you don’t need that. You are a unique loveable amazing human being and you deserve love and care. Please do what makes you happy and calm as much as possible (music, art, walks in nature, whatever!). When you’re ready, seek out a new therapist, and interview them carefully to see if you feel safe with them. There’s also a therapy called EMDR that does not need you to talk out your trauma, which can be triggering and scary. Keep the faith. Lots of love. You are awesome. You are a survivor. You are going to be ok.

      Liked by 1 person