Understanding and Healing from Childhood Trauma

by Jenn Brockman

Have you ever stopped to really think about how some of the early experiences in your life may have impacted your adult life both positively and negatively, or how your unhealed childhood trauma can impact your children?

Understanding and Healing from Childhood Trauma

Understanding and Healing from Childhood Trauma

In today’s fast-paced world, one way we can care for ourselves is to pause and reflect on the impact our early experiences may have on our adult lives, especially when it comes to childhood trauma. In 2021, ACE Resource Network launched an invaluable initiative, NumberStory.org, aimed at providing support and resources for people across the nation affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Via NumberStory.org, they have now launched a bilingual campaign offering additional activities and resources, with a community care focus: Together in Healing.

The Significance of Childhood Trauma:

Childhood isn’t always a time of carefree joy. For many, stressful situations or trauma can have lasting effects. Before age 18, most of us experience ACEs, which include abuse, neglect, or living in a household with other challenges like divorce, mental illness, or problematic substance use. Many of us also grow up facing other adversities, like poverty, racism, or bullying. The impact of these experiences can extend far into adulthood, influencing our health, behavior, and life opportunities.

Why It Matters:

Seeking to understand the lasting effects of early adversity is one step we can take towards healing. When we experience intense, ongoing stress as children, without the support we need to help us process it, our developing brains and bodies—including our genes—can be altered by what’s known as toxic stress.

Research shows that adults who experienced more ACEs and other childhood adversity are at a greater risk for health issues like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Understanding the science, knowing your risk, and seeking help can change the trajectory of our lives—and the lives of our kids. To learn more about ACEs and toxic stress, visit NumberStory.org.

Blah to mental health issues; nobody wants to deal with them, and I honestly think we all do to some point. However, to be completely honest, I never in a million years would have thought I would have dealt with them to the extent I have. The best way I know how to describe it is as walking through hell for years; it was awful, not just for me but for everyone in my life and my poor kids. No parent wants to be the cause of trauma in their child’s life, which is why it’s important to heal and help your children heal.

I won’t take you into too many details of my experience, but I believe there were a lot of life events I never completely dealt with, external factors, and, if I’m being honest, things that were happening that I didn’t understand. I don’t necessarily believe it was due to childhood trauma for me personally. However, I can without a doubt see how it directly contributes to childhood trauma for our kids. And after experiencing trauma to the extent I did, I can definitely see how it impacts our health later. Which is why I think it’s important to note that major life events such as divorce, mental and/or physical abuse, death, addiction, etc. can cause trauma for you and result in childhood trauma for your kids. However, there is help available, and it is not a journey you have to take alone.

Guidance can be extremely helpful and make the experience a lot easier to understand and maneuver through. There is help, support, and people who truly care. Healing from trauma can be a journey, though help and some guidance can definitely be beneficial for everyone. The better you are able to handle traumatic events, the better it is for your kids. Even if you don’t have children, don’t be ashamed to look for guidance and support; you don’t have to do this alone.

Resources and Support:

Just know that it’s never too late to seek help. While each path is unique and personal, we can all use some support along the way. NumberStory.org provides a variety of insights, resources, and activities designed to empower people as they take on the challenges of breaking cycles and creating new paths. For those in Sacramento County, California, there is also a guide to local resources.

Join the community:

If you find you could use some support and healing from childhood trauma, visit the Together in Healing landing page at NumberStory.org/together or HistoriaDeTuNumero.org/juntos en español. There, you can access a variety of information and resources curated to help you navigate with hope.

You can also visit NumberStory.org on their social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Healing from childhood trauma is a journey, one that no one should have to walk alone. Whether you’re seeking resources for yourself or a loved one or simply wish to learn more about ACEs, the information available through NumberStory.org can be a step toward understanding and healing.

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