If Only I Was Playing Cards
There is a brand new book, Childhood Disrupted, out about the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. It was published earlier this month and I really, really wanted to get it….but I was a little bit nervous about it as is touted as more of a self-helpy kind of book than a research summary/data analysis/practical application kind of book. As much as I wanted to get it, I was worried about it being triggering, so I sort of shelved the idea. However, my curiosity got the best of me and so I ordered it and it has arrived. So far, I have just looked at the table of contents. I don’t know when I’ll settle in and start reading the book….
When I blogged about the ACE study before, I didn’t mention my score. I scored a 4 (4 ACEs). According to the study, that puts me in the “life is probably going to really suck” category. (Was that too loosely paraphrased?) Luckily, even though my life does really kinda suck, I also have had some pretty good resiliency. Actually, the Art Therapist and I were talking about that a little bit on Thursday. He asked me if I thought I had intrinsic resiliency or nurtured resiliency. I am pretty sure that my resiliency is innate…It’s the pluck that has kept me going all these years. Maybe it was nurtured here and there…but by no means consistently.
The ACE questionnaire, from which I got my score, is ten questions about traumatic childhood experiences…things that happened before you were 18. However many you respond “yes” to is your score. My “yes” questions are the following:
- Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
- Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever…Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
- Did you often or very often feel that …No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
- Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
There is one other question that I really kind of wonder about…
- Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
That one depends on what they mean as marks…red marks? Bruises? I am sure that I was hit so hard with a spoon or a belt (mom liked the spoon, dad liked the belt) that it left some pretty good marks. And when I was little…I had quite a few run ins with the spoon and belt. (As a matter of fact, I got so tired of being hit with the spoon that I hid it so well that it wasn’t found for years. Plucky, eh?) I suppose I could ask the AT if he thinks that counts for another ACE or not. But if you want a true confession…I am more than likely not going count it because I am pretty sure I deserved to be hit. And I know that I am not supposed to think that way, but I do. And ultimately, the difference between a 4 and 5 is negligible anyway.
I survived day 1…though I did have a pretty good headache from about midday on, which is a possible side effect. Or…maybe I just had a headache. We’ll see how today goes.