Thanks to Kitt O’Malley for her moving post on childhood trauma. I must admit I was a bit shaken up after watching the TED talk on the long-term effects of having an experience with childhood traumas such as physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and having a parent with a mental illness.
It is no surprise that my ACE score is high, and I have long suspected that I probably have some sort of PTSD from the way I grew up. I developed an eating disorder during my teen years as a way to cope with the chaos and have had ongoing generalized anxiety throughout my life. My brother passed away from a cardiac arrest at age 51, and I can’t help but wonder if it was partially related to the amount of stress we experienced early in life.
Despite the rather bleak outlook for people like me, I am banking on the fact that I am the type of person who believes in turnarounds and is always seeking out ways to improve my mental and physical health. The effort it takes to continually grow through writing, educating myself about mental health topics, incorporating recovery practices into my daily life, being part of a supportive community, and developing healthy relationships is well worth it to me.
I rest all of my hope on knowing that I am not a victim of my experiences but rather a student who can continue to grow, improve, and live a full and satisfying life, one day at a time.