I’ve decided to move my voice out into the universe in hopes another survivor or friend of a survivor will find this daily dose of encouragement and share it so each of us can continue to heal, recover ourselves and discover magnificence that may be hidden by shame, fear, isolation or self-blame.
Statistics indicate that many of the people we encounter at work, in our communities and families have experienced and survived Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs.) ACEs are defined by the CDC as potentially traumatic experiences that occur during childhood – ages 0 – 17. Age matters because the human brain and sense of individuation and identity are developing throughout these early years of life. The CDC estimates 61% of adults report having experienced at least 1 ACE and 1 in 6 adults reported experiencing 4 or more ACEs. So, the odds are extremly good that this may resonate for you.
The specific ACEs I survived may be familiar to you, they may be shocking, what matters is that I survived them.
- I witnessed domestic violence perpetrated by my father against my mother and siblings.
- I lived with my alcoholic father and at times was a passenger when he was drunk behind the wheel.
- I was groomed and sexually abused by a trusted teacher for years and kept the secret and nearly drowned in the shame.
- I fled my family home with my mother and siblings at night to escape my father’s violence.
- I witnessed a life-threatening injury to my older sister, who fortunately survived to live a wonderful life.
- And I survived, with deep and dangerous wounds and distortions of myself and the world, I survived.
I am starting this blog now because I know that you are out there, waiting, as I was, for compassion, validation, support and encouragement. I’m doing this for us – the survivors still journeying to live without shame. My commitment to us both is to gather and share information to help us along the healing journey.
- Based on my own experience, I know healing is possible and a lifelong endeavor.
- I believe you have it within you to live well and to recover your self and thrive.
- I recognize that even decades after living through those Adverse Childhood Events, I am still in recovery, learning more about the unique strengths and perspectives of being a survivor.
So, why a blog?
- I have kept a journal for 40 years and I will continue to do so, however, I feel called to offer solace to any other person, perhaps you, who may be suffering alone, unseen and unheard, perhaps still living in the secrecy of shame and isolated by self-blame.
- My words of encouragement will be a mix of personal reflection and research by thoughtful others contributing to our understanding of trauma recovery.
- My aspiration is for this blog to assuage the hurt and isolation of others so they can live boldly and deeply, moving toward recovery of what was lost, broken or harmed within them.
- In a year, my vision is that contributing my voice through this blog will lift the shame, grief, isolation, and pain that burden so many of us well into adulthood. I hope that unencumbered by those wounds, each survivor will amplify joy, hope and compassion for themselves and others.