The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Personal Story Part 3

Dear Parents,

Finally, I get to the end of this series.  It seems I have been dragging my feet.  What originally started as a three day, three part series on Adverse Childhood Experiences has turned into a week plus procrastination fest.

The point of this story is to get you to look at your own life through the lens of adversity in childhood.  Once you do that, then what?  It is what it was, right?  Yes, there is no going back.  There is, however, going forward with new awareness the impact of trauma has had in your life and what you can do to live more fully.

If you are fostering or adopting children, be-aware of your own trauma history so you can take precautions.  Fostering and adopting can be stressful.  Stress impacts the after-effect of trauma on your biology–mind/body complex.  When traumatic psychology becomes distressed biology, you can pay a high price.  So, also, will your children who need you to be tip top to help carry them through to a healthy adulthood.

If you have 4 ACEs in your childhood, you have probably already had a manifestation on your psyche and your body.  These are some of the diseases related to a high adverse childhood experience score:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain(especially abdominal fat)
  • Exhaustion
  • Reduced Growth Hormone Levels
  • Compromised immune function
  • Bone loss
  • Mental Illness

Knowledge is power, yes.  Knowledge is hope, amen.  There are resilience factors, too. By definition foster and adoptive children have adverse childhood experiences usually topping four before they are 2-years-old.  Then they have you–a great big protective factor (unless you are in denial about your own childhood trauma). Protective factors and resiliency are not new to the world of psychology, but they are new buzz words for combatting ACEs.  Here are 4 published ways to build resiliency:

  • Letting yourself experience strong emotions, and also realizing when you may need to avoid experiencing them at times in order to continue functioning.
  • Stepping forward and taking action to deal with your problems and meet the demands of daily living, and also stepping back to rest and reenergize yourself.
  • Spending time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement, and also nurturing yourself.
  • Relying on others, and also relying on yourself.

There are hundreds of protective factors, some more substantial than others.  YOU are a substantial protective factor for building resiliency in your children.  For you to do that, you need to be building resilience in yourself.  Know your own ACE score, investigate the impact of trauma in your life and on your body, pinpoint sources of stress, and resource ways of de-stressing yourself.

These are a few more things you can do to combat the negative, lingering impact of childhood adversity and over-amped stress responses:

Eat Whole Foods

Stop the Sugar Dragon











Do Yoga

Get Massaged, Spa’d, Accupressured, Accupunctured, Saged, Cleansed, Vacationed

Do less, Be more

Go Slower

Set Limits

Say YES to Life Affirming Things and No to Everything Else

Attachment Help

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Those things I just wrote are not ideas; they are actions you can take today.  Add one new thing or delete one old thing.  Life changing starts with changing something now.  Don’t wait.  Life is too short or maybe too long for that. Please read this short article from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Love matters,


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