A mother entered the washroom of the local cinema with her 5-year-old child. The mother pulled the daughter by the arm and then pushed her into the cubicle. The mother said harshly, “I told you to go before the movie – and you didn’t listen - again. Hurry up before you pee your pants - you’re making me miss the movie.” And the little girl, maybe 5 years old, through her tears said “I’m sorry, mommy, I tried to hold it.”
In our culture how do we view this situation? Some of us tsk tsk about that mother. Perhaps the more compassionate understand that mom must be under a lot of stress to act that way. Maybe the trained professionals realize that the young girl is making decisions about herself that will impact her self esteem and her behaviours forever.
But how many of us truly understand the physiological, biological impact of that experience on the little girl’s brain and body – and how that impact will predict the course of her adult health and success?
And that the cost of this goes beyond the damage to one life – to the enormous cost that we pay as a society?
Most of us are under the mistaken impression that, although unfortunate, this experience doesn’t really matter for that little girl, maybe she’d cry and feel badly for a little while, but she’d get over it. Time heals all wounds – right?
Not right. Not right. So not right. Let’s welcome the truth exactly as it is. The body does not forget. The mind may unconsciously pretend that time has healed these early wounds, but, as the title of therapist Bessel van der Kolk’s latest books suggests, "The Body Keeps The Score."
We have compelling evidence through the ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Events, 1998) demonstrating a PROFOUND link between childhood adverse experiences and adult onset of physical, mental and emotional disease.
Adults with more than 4 categories of ACE’s have significantly higher rates of heart disease, cancer, addictions, anxiety, chronic pain, gastrointestinal pain, stroke, bronchitis, diabetes, skeletal fractures, chronic fatigue, obesity, depression and so on and so on.
For example, 60% of women in treatment for gastrointestinal illness (irritable bowel) had a history of childhood adverse events. 64% of patients with fibromyalgia had experienced at least one type of childhood trauma.
The conclusion of the ACE study and its follow-up studies is that adverse events in childhood lead DIRECTLY to poor physical and emotional health in adulthood. The correlation is 4600%.
Regardless of the role(s) you play in your life – parent, teacher, medical professional, mental health professional, coach, first responder, community services manager – this is information that is important for all of us to know.
If you are willing to care about the enormous cost being paid by individuals and society as a result of adverse childhood experiences, please join us on July 16th, 2017, 9am – 3pm in Markham, Ontario as we explore this topic further, develop preventative and recovery strategies for ourselves, our families, and our clients as well as examine how our social support programs and educational and community organizations could become more trauma- informed.
Sponsored by the National Emotional Freedom Training Institute
Cost: $25 plus hst.
Link to register: http://neftti.com/community
All over the age of 18 welcome. No EFT experience or training required.