Friday, March 6, 2015

I Got Knocked Down

I came across an idea of Adverse Childhood Experience as a health indicator from a Facebook post by Brene Brown. The test asks 10 questions about what happened before we turned 18. It covers what kind of abuse and neglect we survived.

After I clicked, took the test and read the article, I noticed another reference to the CDC studies below. I like all the interesting charts and graphs with this article better. Plus it spoke about resilience as well as adversity. Have a look here: Got your ACE score?

When I took the test, I answered every question with yes. I survived every kind of abuse and neglect it covered. The first article scored me at 13. I find that a little odd, because there are only 10 questions. I can only guess that I get extra points for yes to all. Kind of like bowling, where you get extra points for the strikes you make in a row.

I got knocked down a lot. Maybe I should change my nickname to bowling pin. My resilience score came up eight out of 14, so I guess that helps mitigate some of the trauma. The most important things that reflect on me come from my dad loving me, doing really well on an IQ test and my favorite high school teacher believing in me.

So my health might suffer some from my past. I can see that. I know that I have given up on the fantasy that I can emotionally handle being skinnier than I am now. I am trying to eat healthier by adding good food, rather than living in deprivation.

We all need to find a way to practice far more radical self awareness. Honor all that has happened and the coping skills we adapted to survive it. I do feel a bit of shame about being fat and that it makes me sick to some degree. I know it helps to love myself and my reactions.

That's all any behaviors are, reactions to stress. So what if my drug of choice is sugar. I need to love my way through just like an alcoholic or heroin addict needs to sort out their life.

I cried when I realized that researchers had studied something I realized a long time ago. I felt so "known."

I wish I felt confident to bring up such things with medical professionals. The sad fact remains that physician training removes compassion from the equation.

I'd like to have a team that coordinates between psychological, medical and nutritional professionals to help me heal. Maybe for others, the punishment model works to push good behavior. Though for me, I prefer encouragement, guidance and a genuine belief in a good outcome.

I see criticism as abandonment. I spent too much of my childhood neglected and pushed aside.

Good healthcare would appreciate those things that reduce stress which encourages our bodies to heal themselves. Abuse survivors tend to have their fight or flight hormone thermostat set too high. It takes very little to set us off.

I know that a good emotionally supportive therapy place can make up for a lot of health harming coping skills. I've read that scientists found that rats in a calm and varied environment take less drugs than a rat isolated and unstimulated.

I sometimes feel funny saying how much I love who I am. Like somehow that's something you're not supposed to say out loud. I'm alive therefore I get to be healthy and happy. You too.

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