The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study:
The largest, most important public health study you never heard of — began in an obesity clinic
Synopsis: The study began in an obesity clinic in the 1980s. A fancy-pants well-funded research clinic. And their program worked. Morbidly obese people were losing weight. But of the people who were successfully losing weight, they still had a 50% dropout rate. Which didn’t make any sense to them… why would obese people who were successfully losing weight want to stay obese? So they started doing surveys. They surveyed every sort of question they could think of, figuring nothing out. Until someone accidentally asked, “How much did you weigh when you were first sexually active?” The answer: “Forty pounds. When I was four. With my father.” This broke things open. Once they interviewed everyone in their clinic program, they found out that most had been sexually abused as children. This is why they were obese. The obesity was a functional solution to the unhealed wounds of their abuse – it made them invisible. Losing the weight took away their safety. They started getting attention and compliments. It was taking away their shield. That’s why they dropped out.
This led the researchers to ask questions about the correlation between experience of abuse & trauma in childhood, and adult disease, criminality, and mental illness. This was the first time that researchers had looked at the effects of several types of trauma, rather than the consequences of just one. What the data revealed was mind-boggling.
The first shocker: There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.
The second shocker: About two-thirds of the adults in the study had experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences. Of those, 87 percent had experienced 2 or more types. This showed that people who had an alcoholic father, for example, were likely to have also experienced physical abuse or verbal abuse. In other words, ACEs usually didn’t happen in isolation.
The third shocker: More adverse childhood experiences resulted in a higher risk of medical, mental and social problems as an adult. ***END SYNOPSIS
I thinks this undermines the prison industrial complex, rule of law, and justice system.
If an adult person’s actions, health, and chemical dependencies are a direct result of the environment they grew up in, then the idea of “punishing people for making bad decisions” is not very useful. More acurately, it is not very affective at acheiving desired outcomes, which is a change in the behavior. The only way to heal the behavior is to heal the trauma at the source of it. And at deep root, the only way to prevent further “dysfunctional” behaviors and chronic health issues is to heal the environment. The only way to heal the environment is to completely restructure society, because our entire society is built on a foundation of rape, slavery, hierarchy, dichotomy, right/wrong, good/evil, white/black, victim/villain, power over, interference frequency constantly broadcasting the lie that we are all alone, we are not connected, we are suffering because we are bad, bad, sinners, and all we can hope for is redemption in heaven…
Yes, each individual makes choices, and each individual always has the power to make the “better” choice, but you can’t make a different choice unless you can think of it in the first place. And if, instead of presenting a viable set of options to choose from, one’s environment mostly provides trauma, then the course of ones life will look like some reflection of their environment.
Reality [collective consciousness / consensus reality] is made up of all of the thoughts of individual people, which are made of the stories we tell ourselves. If we can tell ourselves new stories, then we can imagine a different reality, then that reality will be real. But we are like ants with our thoughts… randomly wandering out in all directions, until a food source is found, and then developing a habit of returning to that food source, reinforcing the habit every time food is found at that source. Healing, growing, evolving, becoming more complex, more subtle, is an art of developing healthy habits. Habits of wellness. Healthy habits nourish, and are nourished by, healthy environments. Healthy environments have complex, diverse ecosystems.
Humans are large, complex organisms, and we require large, complex, healthy ecosystems in order to thrive. Heal the chronically sick organisms in the ecosystem by healing the entire ecosystem together.
You do not heal a chronically traumatized person by inflicting more trauma on them. You heal them by healing their environment. You heal them by addressing their trauma, each and every one, one by one, until you get back to the core, the first, the original, the programming flaw, the seed.
When we heal ourselves, we heal the whole world.
When we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors and our descendants.
We are, each and every one of us, a literal programming template for all of reality. When we heal ourselves, when we teach ourselves how to program our own thoughts, how to program our own reality, that is when we really begin to take responsibility for our lives.
As within, so without.