Hello! As a RN who has spent the last 13 years providing home care to women who have a history of ACE's and as a woman who spent 50 out of my 55 years living with the day to day effects of chronic toxic childhood stress, I am thrilled to see this platform introduced into the schools.
In my work I have discovered that the Cylce of Poverty is so closely tied to the Cycle of Our Stories, which often include the Cycle of ACE's. As crazy as it sounds, families need to first be aware of their dysfunction if any of our efforts are to truly be effective. I know this firsthand from my own life. I didn't know that the experiences of my life during childhood weren't "normal"; I had nothing to compare it to. You see, my experiences were mostly centered around verbal and emotional abuseand neglect. Looking back, physical abuse may have been easier to recognize than "mind games" by a parent and spouse. Here is where we need to really hone in on children. Unfortunately, by the time they reach school studies show that their self-beliefs have been formed! We need to teach parents about this in daycares and pre-schools.
The old addage "sticks & stones may break my bones but words shall never hurt me"; if those words are repeated daily damn strait they hurt and cause long term issues with self- worth and the " I am not enough" belief, concepts which is at the root of almost all emotional "baggage". I know because almost daily for as long as I can remember I every word I uttered was called "dumb, stupid and crazy" - it took me nearly 5 years to undo those false self-beliefs. I have also seen the women I cared for routinely verbally disrespect their kids - I would tell them of my experience and what it did to me. They were often shocked at the impact those words could have on their child's future. Equally as often they did not even realize they were speaking to their chldren that way.
We cannot forget to address this crucial element of how the next generation is raised. Self-worth and sense of self are at the core of every aspect of our lives - love, trust, relationships, boundaries, confidence, self-esteem, decision making and the list goes on and on.
Please forgive as I just realized that I have gone on and on. There are so many more practical issues that need to be addressed in all the fabulous work that is being initiated. If you are still reading this and need a RN who has extensive professional and personal experience with ACE's and who also has figured out how to move beyond survivor to become a thriver - please reach out to me.
My story is not a curse, it is my gift and it has led me to my life's purpose - a self-proclaimed "Ambassador for ACE's" . All kidding aside, I am on a mission to help adults heal and to prevent the need for this healing in generations to come!
With gratitude, Leslie Peters RN