Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402
Healing Beyond Childhood Trauma
Did you know that most people in the US have at least one ACE? ACE's are adverse childhood experiences that not only causes harm to the brain of children it changes they way they respond to the stresses of life, compromises their immune systems and causes other chronic health conditions over their lifetime. According to a CDC Kaiser Permanente ACE Study childhood trauma and ACE places people at risk for depression, chronic diseases, mental illness, financial problems, social problems and becoming a victim of violence and sexual crimes.
Other ACE surveys have expanded the types of ACE's and those findings while not surprising are also noted below. Below are traumatic experiences linked to social, financial, mental, emotional and physical problems.
1. A family member who is diagnosed with a mental illness or depressed.
2. Witnessing a mother being abused.
3.A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
4. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse.
5. A family member who is in prison.
6. Parental separation or divorce.
7. Physical or emotional neglect.
8. Living in an unsafe neighborhood.
9. Experiencing or witnessing racism.
10. Witnessing violence outside of the home.
11. Involvement with the foster care system.
12. Losing a family member due to deportation.
13. Witnessing a father being abused by a mother.
14.Living in a war zone.
15.Being bullied by a peer or adult.
If you have one or more ACE's you are not alone. Research shows that nearly two-third of adults have at least one. Additionally, the scores are even more revealing. For example people with an ACE score of 4 are twice as likely to smoke and seven times more likely to struggle with alcoholism addiction. Additionally, a score of 4 or more is likely to increase the risk of chronic diseases such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis by 400 percent, while also increasing the risk for attempted suicide by 1200. ACE's is also linked to chronic workplace absenteeism, ER visits, mental illness, criminal justice involvement and increased healthcare costs.
The higher the ACE score the more likely it is that people with these scores have more marriages, violence, drug prescriptions, increased risk for broken bones, greater struggles with depression and autoimmune diseases. Studies show that the life span of individuals with an ACE score 6 or higher are at risk for being shortened by 20 years.
The impact of childhood traumatic experiences doesn't just go away as people age. Rather, what a person has lived through directly or indirectly leaves bits and pieces. Harmful traces of the past that keeps showing up has the ability to be passed down from one generation to the next causing generational cycles of unhealed trauma and strongholds.
While the brain does not know the difference between one kind of traumatic experienced and toxic stress from the other we are not stuck with stressed out brains, painful memories, chronic diseases, mental illness or substance abuse.
It's essential that people receive an effective diagnosis from an effective team of caring medical professionals who can create qualified treatment plan so the journey to healing and recovery can begin.
Wishing you health and wellness,
Patrina M Torres, Founder, Totally Healed International
NCCA Certified Temperament Counselor, Certified Instructor
School of Counseling, S.A.C.C. Certified Academic Institution
Email: [email protected]
|Posted on September 10, 2018 at 2:29 PM|
It happened in 2004 but I can remember the scene just as if it was yesterday. As I drove on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey I noticed a woman pushing a shopping cart. It wasn't filled with grocery bags put personal items. Alongside of this woman were two beautiful children. I couldn't help but wonder about the circumstances that this woman and her precious children were facing and how could I help.
Without thinking about anything other than how I could possibly help I turned my mini-van around. I got out and offered her a ride. At first, she was very resistant. Perhaps she thought that I might be from an agency such as Welfare, Department of Social Services or Child Protective Services and wanted to take her children. But I gently explained that I was a long-time resident of the city, a mother and newspaper reporter who simply wanted to help. I shared with her that my concern was for their safety and well-being, which meant getting them off of that busy highway and taking her wherever she wanted to go.
She agreed to offer and I helped her and the children into my mini-van. But as we begin to talk what I learned deeply troubled me. This family was homeless and walking on the highway because the hotel voucher received from Salvation Army expired. This was a mother whose heart was broken into pieces because her family was torn apart. The voucher didn't accommodate her two teenagers.
This single mother of four had no place to go, no food, no job, no Section 8 and not even a floor to sleep on or an abandoned car to use as shelter returning to an abusive, raging alcoholic with her two small children was not an option. Enough was enough. She was BREAKING THE CYCLE.
As I listened to her story I knew this was a divine appointment and trusted that God was already at work. Even though this family was Hispanic and I am a African-American woman of color none of that mattered.
I took this family to my parent's house, where I knew they would receive a home-cooked meal, some clothes, prayer and a safe place their weary souls would find rest.
While my family was in one part of the house entertaining my new friends I was in the back of the house making calls to advocate on their behalf. My spiritual eyes wouldn't let me see this family, drive pass and leave them behind. When you're compelled to step out on faith and stand in the gap something good is going to happen. When you're trying to help someone raise your level of expectation.
I made several calls and not every response was favorable but I didn't give up. Finally, because I wasn't taking, "NO" for an answer this family was placed on the path to a NEW beginning. Everyone has a story. Abuse is a crime. Abuse is painful. Abuse traumatizes. Abuse breaks hearts. Abuse wounds spirits. Abuse damages life. Yet, even abuse doesn't determine your destiny.
No matter what darkness you faced with God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Your life matters. The life of your children matters. With the support of a compassionate and caring people individuals and resources families can break the cycle and begin again.
We'd like to invite you to join us on Saturday. September 29, 2018 for SOS Breaking the Cycle of Fatherlessness 2018. This strengths-based conference will inform, engage, inspire and empower fathers with tools and supportive relationships designed to help him become the man he is capable of being.
Children who grow up with fathers involved are less likely to live in poverty. Therefore standing by and watching children fail due to lack of a positive role model or mentor is not an option. To register or become a sponsor please complete the registration page below. Thank you so much! We look forward to hearing from you. Take care and have an AMAZING MONDAY!
Here's the link for SOS Breaking the Cycle of Fatherlessness Registration page: