Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Also learn about: Borderline Personality Disorder | Resilience | Narcissism | The Book Deep Cover
Were you raised by a narcissistic parent?
When you were growing up, did you:
feel like no matter how hard you tried at everything, that it was never good enough?
feel like one or both of your parents were competing with you, whether it was to see whose suffering was worse, or whose problems were bigger?
ever wonder why your parents got married, and then why they stayed together as long as they did?
feel like you were never allowed to make a mistake, and having the perpetual fear of being heavily berated for a mishap?
feel humiliated and sad because of things that one or both of your parents said to you?
ever have thoughts like, “I wish I hadn’t been born?"
feel like you couldn’t talk to one or both of your parents about a problem for fear they would reject or yell at you?
did one or both of your parents compare you to other kids, asking, “Why can’t you be more like so-and-so?”
did you ever feel that as you grew older that one or both of your parents pushed you away?
ever become humiliated and embarrassed in public by something your parent said about you?
ever feel like you struggled to be accepted for who you are?
were you consistently told one thing one day, and the next day your parent would say or do the opposite?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are, one of your parents had narcissistic traits.
What are ACEs?
ACEs are also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences. Adverse Experiences are also commonly known as Trauma.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a soul wound that occurs as a result of an event in which you were unable to escape. In this eBook, we will explore aspects of Complex Trauma, also called, complex PTSD. Complex Trauma, although not in the DSM (Manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose), is nevertheless recognized by trauma-informed therapists who’ve acquired a working knowledge of this psychological illness. Because complex PTSD traits are so similar to those of borderline personality disorder (BPD), some of the information included will reference BPD.
Complex trauma develops as a result of repeated traumatic experiences, beginning in childhood. Although it’s against the law for a parent to abuse their children physically, emotional abuse is prevalent, but doesn’t bear the obvious marks such as bruises. Children living in a home where domestic violence or alcoholism are present, will eventually begin to “act out” what they’ve been exposed to. The Family Systems Theory teaches that children in a toxic home can become “symptom bearers.” In other words, the child’s mental illness or behavior issues are accurately mirroring the behaviors of the parents.
Our brains are wired for survival. When we encounter danger, our brain’s limbic system becomes engaged, and our senses become primed for action. Whether it’s a child growing up in domestic violence, or an adult being kidnapped, the brain switches on the fight or flight response system, that says, “Alert! Danger!” In fact, when the limbic system has been switched on repeatedly, a biochemical imprint is left on the brain that makes the person hypersensitive to cues in the environment that might be signaling danger. This hyperarousal is why someone with PTSD can react as if danger is present, when it isn’t. This is because the person has repeatedly been in situations where they were not safe, or they did not feel safe. Since our survival instinct is so powerful, we adapt to our environment. Problems occur when those adaptations, spawned by managing life in chaos, are carried over later in life. The skills you learned in your dysfunction will not serve well outside that toxic environment—the environment that generated the dysfunction and emotional dysregulation in the first place. Therefore, new habits and healthier ways of thinking are part of the process of healing from trauma.
The good news is, you don’t have to remain stuck.
I didn’t. I had an ACEs score of 8, but thanks to something called resilience, I was enabled to survive.
What’s resilience, you ask?
Think of it as a soft place to land. Resilience is that compassionate friend who holds you while you cry. Resilience is that tender hearted parent who comforts and encourages you. Resilience is that teacher who listens to you when you share a problem with them, and offers heartfelt encouragement.
Resilience can also be defined as a gauge on a person’s ability to cope with stress. Resilience gives you the strength to endure trials, and it eventually helps you gain strength from the hardships. How well do you rebound from unexpected life stressors? To assess your coping skills, take this resilience test.
Developed in the 1990s, the ACEs Test consists of a series of ten questions (click the button above), about specific traumatic experiences that can occur in early life
The test tallies different kinds of of abuse, neglect, and other behaviors that of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems.
Know Your Score.
Change Your Life.
Know Your Score.
Change Your Life.