Addressing ACEs as a Social Transformation Initiative

 

Addressing ACEs as a Social Transformation Initiative: An Invitation to Nova Scotia and Canada 

Originally published March 14, 2018. Revised and updated Feb. 14, 2019

In 1998, the ACE Study was published, outlining extensive lifelong effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

I had been accessing mental health support for 12 years before I heard about this study.  After reading Bessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps the Score in 2014,[i] I started talking with other people about this research, trying to muster excitement and engagement with addressing this prevalent social issue.

The resistance I met was explained after watching Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’s Ted Talk explaining ACEs. She belied not being able to get people excited about addressing the issue as well, and concluded that it isn’t because it doesn’t apply to many of us. We’re resistant because it’s all too familiar. [ii]

The study was done in the US and the minimum effect of ACEs was identified to affect 64% of the primarily white, middle class respondents. [iii] Data on ACEs in Canada is scant,[iv] but an adapted study conducted in Alberta in 2015 found 56% of respondents reported at least one experience of abuse or household dysfunction, although physical and emotional neglect were not measured. [v]

When I talk about trauma in Nova Scotia, I get the response of nodding knowing heads, or redirected eye contact, bowed heads, and avoidance. The head nodders tell me they know all about trauma – that the ACE research has provided the basis for the increasingly popular trauma informed practice talked about among human services providers. The avoiders don’t want to talk about it – it’s too raw, too socially brash, too taboo - too personal. The mainstream health care and social services professionals don't want me talking about it because we don't have free services available for people to access if they realize they are affected. I say, they already know! They just don't know why and deserve to have access to this essential knowledge. I also believe if we inform the community, they will develop their own solutions.

When I hear the data and I observe the predominant nature of our society as well as recall my own upbringing and adult challenges, I am compelled to conclude that as long as we continue to avoid addressing the effects of ACEs in the adult population, we will never make the necessary changes we need to make in our society to reduce their incidence in our descendant children.

There is a strong movement in the US to address ACEs. Scotland has made phenomenal inroads across multiple sectors in less than 2 years. The movement has not yet gained traction in Canada. Although a webinar held in January 2019 cautioned about universal screening. Mostly the emphasis here has been to use the more subtle terminology of Trauma Informed and even that is severely limited. 

Trauma Informed Practice is an essential lens for those of us working in the field, but in the general public, the terminology creates distance from the personal connection to the topic. Also the over use of the word trauma provides a false sense of awareness.  I’ve heard people try to shut me up by saying, “Everyone has experienced trauma.” Another person optimistically informed me, “The greater the trauma the greater the opportunity for growth.” I have heard many people say in reference to daily experiences, “I’ve been traumatized.”

The significance of ACEs is trivialized by these perceptions of trauma. ACEs describe experiences of childhood that undermine the holistic healthy development of the human organism for the lifetime if intervention is not provided. 

What I’m talking about here is how we as a society have raised our children throughout the generations. This continues to inform our worldview as affected adults influencing how we make decisions in our own lives and in the lives of all those we are associated with. 

Until we are willing to acknowledge that we collectively have not fulfilled the needs of developing humans throughout our evolution, and therefore as adults we are not operating at our optimal capacity as human organisms, we will continue to perpetuate the social conditions that hinder optimal development, all the while pretending that we adults are unaffected and traumatic childhoods are normal.

Increasing emphasis in our health care and education fields is being placed on building resilience.in children. There are also a handful of programs being introduced in schools to teach social and emotional literacy. Although all this is beneficial, we are still not addressing the causes of ACEs directly – the affected adults in society. Additionally, resilience training has its own underbelly – it can create the precedent for victim blaming if people are still affected by their experiences even though they’ve been trained not to be because the overwhelming causes persist.

As long as we continue to make decisions as adults that undermine the long term habitability of our environment, disadvantage others disproportionately to fill our own greed, discredit the legitimacy of others’ perspectives and needs because they seem different from our own, and fortify our perceptions of self-righteousness and superiority – perpetuate inaccessibility to SDOH - we’re never going to make the substantive changes necessary to build a just, equitable and healthy society.

So why do we make these self-destructive decisions?

The answer comes from trauma research.

Trauma impairs brain development as a result of overwhelming stress that is not recovered from.

In a society that has normalized war, poverty, oppression, misrepresentation of the facts and consequent betrayal, and pathological posturing and denial and rejection of reality as perpetual elements exhibited and educated into our young, it’s no wonder few of us see clearly our role as one species among many in ecology.

The human organism is not built to withstand such constant and repeated threats to its survival.

The quote is from Stephen Porges; the artwork is by Christine Cissy White; the photo is by Margaret Bellafiore. This artistic piece is from an interactive community exhibit at Mobius. 

 

For generations we’ve exponentially piled on overwhelming experiences to the point where our current generation has the highest incidence ever recorded of anxiety, depression, obesity, suicidality, and bullying. [vi]

Advances in understanding pediatric mental illness are valuable. What concerns me is the fact that we are celebrating being able to diagnose mental illness in young people, but we’re not publicly talking about why our children are developing mental illness. In fact in January 2019 the lead child psychiatrist at the local children's hospital denied knowing why our children are developing mental illness. This is alarming and evidence of a continued denial of the extant research that explains cause as ACEs and Toxic Stress. 

I think this is the real question of our time that we are still too politically challenged to address. 

We’re not supposed to ask why our children are experiencing mental health crises because to answer that question we have to look at our adult selves, and we refuse to look at ourselves and the society we’ve brought our children into because we would have to admit that we are affected too and our society is a reflection of that.

In fact, lead trauma and ACEs researchers lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to include a diagnosis for developmental impairment as a result of childhood trauma and in spite of significant clinical research corroborating the legitimacy of such a diagnosis, in the 2013 DSV – 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) the psychiatric authority refused to endorse a diagnosis. The condition is too pervasive in society. To endorse a diagnosis would be to admit that what we have deemed normal in our society is actually illness. [vii] Dis-ease outside of our natural state. 

Many professionals in the field talk about Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Developmental Trauma Disorder and serve their clients through the lens of these informal diagnoses. They operate from a trauma informed practice, acknowledging in their work, even though it’s not endorsed by their leadership, that childhood abuse, neglect, and household and systemic dysfunction adversely impact the optimal healthy development of human offspring.

The developing human organism has certain requirements for healthy optimal development.

Most of us have known forever that we weren’t getting our needs met. As children our default setting is to think we’re the problem. To avoid being the problem forever we adopt facades of functionality and protect those vehemently throughout our adulthood to prevent the truth of our inadequacy from being revealed.

Some of us have been fortunate enough to land on our butts and be motivated to figure out the truth of ourselves. Many of us still diligently block out the early life subconscious messages that we don’t want to be true but that we can’t seem to shake and they’re too scary to face.

But we’re running out of runway. We’re destroying the habitability of the planet. We’re increasingly unable to convince others we’ve got everything under control. Our society is unsustainable. We don’t have enough money to provide for everyone what they’re calling for. We can’t afford to provide everyone with necessary health care. People are going hungry and without shelter while a few continue to siphon off wealth and resources and sock them away – isolated from collective access, for no measurable benefit. The 2019 Oxfam report reveals that 26 people possess the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population.  

It’s time for all adults, including those with wealth, power, and privilege, to face our fears, to proactively take charge of our situations, to face our demons, to heal our psyches, to own our own pain and stop passing it on to and causing it for others.

It’s time to build a society where everyone’s basic needs are met, starting with safety and security – food, shelter – where we and our children experience genuine belonging and our families get assistance when they need it to provide healthy psychological environments where we develop our autonomy and experience opportunity to achieve our potential.

If we address ACEs head on, identify them in our own pasts, recover proactively from them, offer compassion to each other in light of their likely existence, we can stop them from continuing to influence ourselves negatively. We can stop ourselves from passing them on to our children. We can adapt our social systems to eradicate them from our society.

Unresolved ACEs are serious risk factors for developing addiction, depression, suicidality, obesity, chronic heart, lung and liver disease. ACEs have also been identified as significant factors in violence, criminality and unstable economic conditions creating poverty and homelessness. 

The negative effects of ACEs can be reduced throughout childhood by the presence of protective factors including a strong social context and support, secure attachment relationships, reliable sources of food, shelter and comfort, as well as opportunities to learn and contribute.  

They can be reduced in adulthood by understanding the context, assigning accurate accountability, intentional processing emotionally, physically and cognitively, in order to fully integrate the hurtful childhood experiences into the shame free stories of our lives.   

Avoidance of the pain and confusion we experience is our default approach as children in order to enable us to survive with those we rely on who are the causes of our pain. As adults, avoidance becomes a dysfunctional coping strategy, because by adulthood we have developed enough intellectually to now be able to understand our situations and access resources for ourselves.

Unfortunately as a society we have belittled the value of mental health support for many generations. Although we talk about mental health more frequently in our society, it is still stigmatized. 

I still hear comments such as “Get over it. The past is in the past – leave it there. Stop whining. You’re an adult now. You have choice. Choose your destiny.  Don’t be such a negative Nelly. Stop being a Debbie Downer. I got over it. Look at me. I’m living in a million dollar house. I don’t have any issues, except that I can’t seem to help my son get over his addiction.”

On Twitter in Feb. 2018 I saw a post where someone was suggesting that rather than studying people who don’t do well in adulthood we should study the people who do manage to be successful in spite of their early beginnings. Of course many of the commenters agreed and made claims of being unaffected. But the question arises in me:  How do we define success?   

If we define success by creating social systems that create and serve only cream at the top and subjugate and starve the masses beneath, then I think that proves my point. The accumulation of wealth and resources for no substantive benefit to oneself while causing existential threat to all others does not sound like a healthy consciousness to me. People who hoard do so to fill perceived needs that they fear were not or will not be met. They avoid the origins of their fear of not having enough by over accumulating at the expense of others. As a society we have normalized this behavior economically.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, in a town hall meeting in Hamilton in early 2018 said we have to find the balance between protecting the environment and having a healthy economy. We could do this much easier if we didn’t enable wealth hoarding and in fact encouraged addressing underlying misperceptions of our identity, worth and true value in the world by addressing the pervasive effects of intergenerational adverse child rearing. 

We’re at a crisis in our society and evolution. We are running out of runway. We are not addressing the root causes of the dysfunction in our society. We are perpetuating them and allowing ourselves to dig ourselves deeper into self-destruction.

As children, denial is an effective coping mechanism. As adults utilizing denial forever has created the conditions where the long term existence of our species is questionable.

I could conclude that humans are simply stupid. I prefer to conclude that humans haven’t known better, and now that we do, we will change our priorities and start dealing with our issues and stop enabling disconnection from ourselves, others, and nature.   

Children are naturally resilient, because they find a way to survive.

We shouldn’t perpetuate a society where as adults we must also simply find a way to survive, instead of taking full command of our circumstances and creating conditions where we can all thrive – nature and humans in harmony.

That’s my vision. That’s my hope. It's time for adult children to fully recover from the lies they were programmed to believe about themselves and others when they were developing, and to adjust the norms in our society to ensure the healthy development of our descendants and the recovery of the adult affected. 

I’ve been working to inspire this vision all my life. Adults must take responsibility for being healthy themselves so they don’t pass that on to their children and others.  As a society we must prioritize this to stop our devolution to self-destruction.

 Ryse ACEs Pyramid

 

[i] van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.

[ii] https://www.ted.com/talks/nadi..._lifetime/transcript

[iii] Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults Felitti, Vincent J et al. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 14 , Issue 4 , 245 - 258

 

[iv] http://prevailresearch.ca/wp-c...ACEs-Panel-Afifi.pdf

 

[v] http://www.foothillsnetwork.ca...ab-ace-presentat.pdf

 

[vi] https://lop.parl.ca/Content/LO...ations/2014-13-e.pdf

 

[vii] van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.

Elizabeth Perry is an educator who is passionate about being a responsible cosmic citizen. She has an academic background in child and human development, early childhood and adult education, and linguistics. She is a survivor of ACEs, ACoA, and adult spiritual abuse. She is a mental health and self-help advocate.    

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Fred:

I too was relieved when I found ACEs Connection. Thank you Jane Stevens for your vision and tenacity And thank you Cissy White for your mentorship. There is a great team here and we are collectively making a difference. 

Persist onward Fred. Your efforts and you are worth it. 

Elizabeth

I thank you for your responses to my blog ,I feel the sense of community here and  reading these blogs helps to fill in the blanks for me.          The name of my book is "OFF THE GRID " A Father's Journey.    thank you Elizabeth for directing me to the works of Dr. Alice Miller and her book "For your own Good" .I feel like I really hit the jackpot here in finding information that I was missing or suspected about my own situation.I will only grow from here and hopefully be able to inform others as I learn. Fred Fruehan

fred fruehan posted:

Elizabeth Perry, I am not a professional in the field of trauma but an individual who came upon the ACEs website looking for answers because I am a victim .I took the ACEs test and came up with 6 ACEs although I think I may not understand some of the trauma that I went through to be an ACE so there could be more. My life has been filled with chronic adversity including many health problems involving my liver,heart,spine,and other problems which at times brought me to near death,yet I have a successful life outside of the adversities that I faced and yes,I questioned myself as you illustrated in your article --what is a successful life?At first I too thought it was about money because it was money that got me out of the childhood mess that I was in but then somehow I realized that life had to be more than just making and hording money and in my forties I made some drastic changes in my life and used my life experiences and money to enrich the world around me but the adversities never stopped because my life was set in motion and all that I had done ,gone through,experienced ,had affected my own children and finally 2 1/2 years ago my older son ended his own life at age 44.This made me look at my life and all that led up to this horrific event and I felt inspired to write a book about what happened.I finished my book ,my publisher released it in November only after I nearly died after writing it.Yes, I went into such depression that my health deteriorated to the point of my two month hospitalization which I had sepsis where the infection settled in my spine and I had 7 surgeries removing pieces of infected spine ,harvesting bone from my hip to rebuild my spine.I had 8 transfusions during that time and there seemed to be no hope for me yet again I survived .It was then that I connected the dots and wondered if the body was keeping score of all of the tragedies and traumas that I had endured and my son's death finally pushed me over the edge(the second child I had lost).Upon release from the hospital I realized that I had another book to write and that is how all of my life's traumas really affected me .The first book showcased my life and it's traumas and tragedies and despite  how successful that I had become but this next book will show what these tragedies and traumas did to me.When I read your article not only did I understand what you wrote about ,I could see that you really understand what ACEs do to a life and how it is passed on to the next generation. Mine started(I think) when my own father came back from WWll.We called it shell shocked then,now it is PTSD.                                  Your article was most enlightening for me and validated many  ideas that I had about my own situation. I am grateful for the ACEs website and those contributors and for this article on Addressing ACEs....thank you Elizabeth. 

           Fred Fruehan    www.fredfruehan.com

Thank you Fred for reaching out and validating for me that speaking what I know is needed and resonates with others. Your story is tragic. I'm sorry you have had to endure such hardship and pain. Unfortunately you are not alone, and I'm thankful you realized like I did, the origin of our adversities - the pervasive ghoul that is childhood trauma that follows us around and breathes cold on our necks, and catches up to us when we slow down. Many more of us survivors are speaking up now. Your books will be a valuable addition to the bounty of historical documentation of the effects of growing up in toxic environments. I too am a child of a WWII vet. In addition to those effects, I have been able to identify traumas from 5 generations ago that impacted my upbringing.

If you haven't read any of Dr. Alice Miller's work I highly recommend "For Your Own Good" where she outlines what I call colonial child rearing philosophy over the last 500 years. Her work, as well as Dr. Gabor Mate and Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk have primarily informed my perspective. They filled in some knowledge gaps but mostly validated what I already perceived to be true from my own experience. I highly recommend all of their work. 

Again, thanks for reaching out. Feel free to keep in touch. You are not alone, and yes, I do get it.

Take care of yourself. 

Warmly,

Elizabeth Perry

Elizabeth Perry, I am not a professional in the field of trauma but an individual who came upon the ACEs website looking for answers because I am a victim .I took the ACEs test and came up with 6 ACEs although I think I may not understand some of the trauma that I went through to be an ACE so there could be more. My life has been filled with chronic adversity including many health problems involving my liver,heart,spine,and other problems which at times brought me to near death,yet I have a successful life outside of the adversities that I faced and yes,I questioned myself as you illustrated in your article --what is a successful life?At first I too thought it was about money because it was money that got me out of the childhood mess that I was in but then somehow I realized that life had to be more than just making and hording money and in my forties I made some drastic changes in my life and used my life experiences and money to enrich the world around me but the adversities never stopped because my life was set in motion and all that I had done ,gone through,experienced ,had affected my own children and finally 2 1/2 years ago my older son ended his own life at age 44.This made me look at my life and all that led up to this horrific event and I felt inspired to write a book about what happened.I finished my book ,my publisher released it in November only after I nearly died after writing it.Yes, I went into such depression that my health deteriorated to the point of my two month hospitalization which I had sepsis where the infection settled in my spine and I had 7 surgeries removing pieces of infected spine ,harvesting bone from my hip to rebuild my spine.I had 8 transfusions during that time and there seemed to be no hope for me yet again I survived .It was then that I connected the dots and wondered if the body was keeping score of all of the tragedies and traumas that I had endured and my son's death finally pushed me over the edge(the second child I had lost).Upon release from the hospital I realized that I had another book to write and that is how all of my life's traumas really affected me .The first book showcased my life and it's traumas and tragedies and despite  how successful that I had become but this next book will show what these tragedies and traumas did to me.When I read your article not only did I understand what you wrote about ,I could see that you really understand what ACEs do to a life and how it is passed on to the next generation. Mine started(I think) when my own father came back from WWll.We called it shell shocked then,now it is PTSD.                                  Your article was most enlightening for me and validated many  ideas that I had about my own situation. I am grateful for the ACEs website and those contributors and for this article on Addressing ACEs....thank you Elizabeth. 

           Fred Fruehan    www.fredfruehan.com

Harper West, MA, LLP posted:

A very readable summary of ACES information. I, too, have been preaching about attachment and trauma (along with resulting shame and fear of rejection), as the real causes of supposed mental illness. The DSM and disease model should be tossed in the trash! I believe a major reason people are in denial is because to take off the blinders about their parents' abusive behaviors would be too destabilizing for them. We have been culturally and primally conditioned not to criticize our parents, who are supposed to be our protectors. In trauma, they are often our abusers. I also see a tremendous amount of unidentified emotional abuse by narcissistic parents, whom I call Other-Blamers. These people cannot be wrong or accountable, because they are hypersensitive to shame (due to their own childhood traumas.) Many people are also parents, so that when I bring up childhood trauma, they have difficulty with this topic because they may fear introspection about their own impacts on their children. Denial is a very powerful and helpful tool to avoiding shame. But we must address these toxic shame patterns that arise out of trauma and attachment trauma. More at www.HarperWest.co 

Harper, 

Just this morning in Canada there is a furor from many adults whose sleep was disturbed by an Amber Alert broadcast by the police to get all eyes out to find an abducted child. The child was found already deceased, but her murderous father was tracked down at least as a result of the alert. 

In the UK today politicians are belittling the youth that marched yesterday for the #ClimateStrike. 

These are representations of the persistent attitude of adults towards children. It's frustrating and offensive to me. 

I'm a real believer in Alice Miller's perspective. Her take on our consciousness rings true with my own experience. 

Adults throw children under the bus insidiously and we must stop doing this. I have spent my whole life trying to inspire adults to see children as valuable in their own right and to respect them. We obviously still have a long way to go.

I am thankful for people like you and others on ACEs Connection and elsewhere who are continuing to stand up for children. 

Thanks for reading and commenting on my article. 

Elizabeth Perry

A very readable summary of ACES information. I, too, have been preaching about attachment and trauma (along with resulting shame and fear of rejection), as the real causes of supposed mental illness. The DSM and disease model should be tossed in the trash! I believe a major reason people are in denial is because to take off the blinders about their parents' abusive behaviors would be too destabilizing for them. We have been culturally and primally conditioned not to criticize our parents, who are supposed to be our protectors. In trauma, they are often our abusers. I also see a tremendous amount of unidentified emotional abuse by narcissistic parents, whom I call Other-Blamers. These people cannot be wrong or accountable, because they are hypersensitive to shame (due to their own childhood traumas.) Many people are also parents, so that when I bring up childhood trauma, they have difficulty with this topic because they may fear introspection about their own impacts on their children. Denial is a very powerful and helpful tool to avoiding shame. But we must address these toxic shame patterns that arise out of trauma and attachment trauma. More at www.HarperWest.co 

Elizabeth Perry:

I love your writing and I AM THRILLED you like that image. For me, much of this work boils down to that image. Not just feeling safe but having to actually BE safe. Both. It was likely me who didn't cite it in the first place making it difficult/impossible for you. But my artist friend has let me know that while she's glad I'm spreading the word and happy to share anywhere/everywhere, it's also good to link it back to art credit to the artist. We did an entire series of art on old yoga mat mixing poses with quotes. It was a blast.

Again, thank you for what you do, how you frame and explain so we can all keep learning from one another! That is precisely what this site is all about!
Cissy

Christine Cissy White posted:

Dang Elizabeth: That is POWERFUL, POTENT and IMPORTANT. Thank you! I too will be reading this way more than once. I also have had mixed reactions when speaking about trauma from personal and professional perspectives. For many (though not all) it's way more comfortable when addressed as about others and that distancing, discomfort, and fear is part of the issue we're up against, as kids and as survivors and social change agents (in my opinion). 

Also, I LOVE that you included the art I did for an interactive exhibit. That's actually an outline of my daughter on a yoga mat. However, would you mind including that the quote is from Stephen Porges and the photos is by Margaret Bellafiore and that this art piece is from an interactive community exhibit at Mobius? I'm happy it's being used. Makes my day, actually but my friend, Margaret needs to be cited (I do not). She helped include global trauma to our exhibit (which was about sexual violence, surviving war, veteran experiences, childhood adversity, interpersonal / domestic violence. At the time we did not include community and system trauma or racial justice issues (because of my own short-sightedness and white privilege). Anyhow, Margaret is an art and art as social activism professor at Bridgewater State University, a feminist, a writer, and a photographer. I was lucky to get to work with her and I would feel bad if something we did together didn't reflect her lifelong work.

THANK you for sharing this here and for YOUR work!

Cissy 
Parenting with ACEs Community Manager
Northeast Region Community Facilitator, ACEs Connection

Hi Cissy, Thanks for your appreciation and especially for your help with citing the source of my favourite image. Sorry I didn't know where it came from. I've added a caption. I see that doesn't print beside the photo. I'll try to remedy that. I'm new using this platform so I've got some tech learning to do. BTW, I've been your secret mentee for a few years now. I would have seen that artwork in one of your posts and fallen in love with it and then sourced it from Google Images. Sorry for the unintended disrespect. Thanks so much for the clarification. Elizabeth

Dang Elizabeth: That is POWERFUL, POTENT and IMPORTANT. Thank you! I too will be reading this way more than once. I also have had mixed reactions when speaking about trauma from personal and professional perspectives. For many (though not all) it's way more comfortable when addressed as about others and that distancing, discomfort, and fear is part of the issue we're up against, as kids and as survivors and social change agents (in my opinion). 

Also, I LOVE that you included the art I did for an interactive exhibit. That's actually an outline of my daughter on a yoga mat. However, would you mind including that the quote is from Stephen Porges and the photos is by Margaret Bellafiore and that this art piece is from an interactive community exhibit at Mobius? I'm happy it's being used. Makes my day, actually but my friend, Margaret needs to be cited (I do not). She helped include global trauma to our exhibit (which was about sexual violence, surviving war, veteran experiences, childhood adversity, interpersonal / domestic violence. At the time we did not include community and system trauma or racial justice issues (because of my own short-sightedness and white privilege). Anyhow, Margaret is an art and art as social activism professor at Bridgewater State University, a feminist, a writer, and a photographer. I was lucky to get to work with her and I would feel bad if something we did together didn't reflect her lifelong work.

THANK you for sharing this here and for YOUR work!

Cissy 
Parenting with ACEs Community Manager
Northeast Region Community Facilitator, ACEs Connection

Hi Elizabeth.  This is beautiful!  So clear and thorough!  I will share on my FB page. I am thrilled to be amongst such a large group of like-minded activists!   Thank you for all you do!  The more we help people understand the less fearful they will be!  Cheers! 

I've read your blog two times and plan on reading it many, many more times!  Your vision is so powerful!  Though I've been singing ACEs from the rooftops, I hadn't envisioned it to the extent that you have:  as the road to the worldwide social transformation we so desperately need, NOW!  Thank you for such a powerful contribution to the ACEs body of knowledge.  I will be coming back to this blog many times.  Thank you!!

 

I just want to scream "AMEN!" at the top of my lungs.  It is so disheartening to see adults still using avoidance as their #1 method of coping, when there is so much healing to be had. I've been spinning my wheels trying to figure out how to reach these people to help them see how their past is still keeping them bound and prompting them to hurt the people that love them the most.  We can have all the resources and research in the world, but until people WANT help not much will change. Keep up all the good work! There are people who already want it, myself included, and I believe there are so many more who will want it in the future!

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