8. Adverse Childhood Experiences How to Begin Healing


The reality of ACEs is that they have a profound affect on you for life. You just learned that. To simplify, the adverse issues in your life affect the pleasure center of your brain. That’s the reason many crave dependence-causing substance. You might crave alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sex. There are, in fact, neurological reasons why youth who are exposed to high doses of adversity engage in high-risk behavior. It’s cause-effect.

Children (that includes you in the past, way past, or at present) are especially sensitive to aggressive behavior; whether in words or actions because their brain and bodies are just developing.

High doses of adversity affect the developing immune system, hormonal system. You can get colds easier and get sick easier when your immune system is low.

Kids who have experienced high doses of adversity react with behavior and their learning is inhibited. Are you part of this equation? What about the bully in your life?

It’s time to understand the huge cause-effect in your life. Now you can make the choice to deal with it if you are willing to alter your own future by dealing with your past. It’s the choice you need to make in order to heal. “Psychological approaches are more effective than medication for psychotic people who suffered childhood trauma. …Simply making a connection between their life history and their previously incomprehensible symptoms may have a significant therapeutic effect.” What this then means for you is further encouragement to speak out, find support and heal. It will have life-long affects for you.

To clarify; what is needed to reduce the risk of adversity?

You and I need to treat what’s going on in our lives, understand the reason ACEs occurred and stop the occurrence of abuse. Easier said than done. The word abuse can mean emotional, physical or mental abuse. Effective intervention is to immediately create boundaries.

What are boundaries? The word “boundaries” means “limits, borders, restrictions, confines” (computer Thesaurus). What this means is establishing defining lines or limits. Simply when to say yes and when to say no defines it.

Physical boundaries are the first ones to tackle in terms of what is appropriate and what is not. Learning to define limits for these boundaries occurs when you set, decide, speak out and follow your own choices. Self-confidence will increase as a result. For example, being able to define what is inappropriate during encounters with the opposite sex and what is not enables you to define limits in a healthy way.

Mental boundaries are about setting limits as to what is recognized, regarded and tolerated as abusive words, tone, behavior or actions. Emotional boundaries are about acceptance of yourself; recognizing and honoring your own feelings instead of disregarding them.

When you have created boundaries or limits to your own comfort they allow you to increase your confidence and move forward in your daily life. You can read more about boundaries in my previous blogs.

If you are ready to explore your past experiences and would like my help please contact me.

1 Burke-Harris Dr. Nadine, How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime, The Struggle of mental health: TED MED, YouTube

2 Blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/07/15/stress-by-the-numbers-what-high-cortisol-mean-to-your-health/

3 www.healthline.com/health/cortisol-urine#uses3

4 McCollum Dr. Davie, Lecture on Child Maltreatment and Brain Consequences, Child Maltreatment and Brain Consequences, Academy of Violence and Abuse, April 6, 2007, YouTubeadv