The ACE study
I recently learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study. I had never seen this study and its’ data, so I have been pretty intrigued by it and reading up about it as I have time. My short summary of the study is this: Bad things that happen to people in their childhood have lifelong ramifications and impact people in areas of physical and mental health, relationships, and work absenteeism. The more bad things that happened, the more likely the adult is to manifest such problems in later life.
Okay, so that is all well and good. It makes sense, and the reason the study is so pivotal is that it had a huge participant group and the data that came out of the study was so consistent. There is clear empirical data to support what many of us have known and suspected based on our personal experiences. Plus, the data was used to create a scoring system which can be used as a predictor of later outcomes.
However, what I find profoundly stunning about this study is the information collected from the obesity clinic drop-outs and the doctor’s observations as detailed in Part 1 (which led him to ask questions which ultimately became the ACE study). Reading that part of the article was like reading about my life. I am living the life of the very obese woman who has lost huge amounts of weight (80lbs the first time, 145lbs the second time) and then could not cope with the new body and male attention and lack of protection/security and then gained the weight back. I even meet the markers of being born a normal birth weight and rather than continually gaining weight, I have weighed pretty much the same weight, give or take 20ish lbs (even while pregnant) my whole adult life.
I have always had enough insight to know that I am heavy for a reason (to feel safe) but I had no idea that this was something that other people have experienced. And I am blown away. I don’t even know what to feel….I will have to try to figure that out later. (Those damn feelings…confusing me again!) I am not quite sure why this realization or seeing my experience in print is so moving to me, but it is.
There is one thing in the article though that does not resonate with my experience. The article states that, “The obese people that Felitti was interviewing were 100, 200, 300, 400 pounds overweight, but they didn’t see their weight as a problem.” I see my weight as a huge problem and it is one of the reasons I hate myself. I hate my body. While my big body may feel safer, I think the damage I do to myself by loathing it actually puts me in a worse place.
Anyway, these are just my first reactions to reading the article. I am sure I will be writing more about all this in the near future after I do some more processing.
A Red Eft
So, let me veer in a completely different direction.
Yesterday, dh and I were walking on our road and I found a red eft. I pretty much squealed in delight because I love red efts! I scooped him out of the road and carried him to safer ground, but before I sent him on his way, I got a couple of good pictures of him that I want to share.
Nature makes me happy! 🙂