Martha was born in a pious Catholic family. The priest was a family friend and made weekly home visits.
From the age of seven until she moved out at age eighteen the priest raped Martha. However, her parents did not believe her when she told them and the family relation deteriorated. Martha developed autoimmune disorders and died in her mid 50s because she could not breath anymore, the trauma has taken her breath away.
Carla’s mother had a Borderline Personality Disorder and engaged her children in medical experiments and asked them to go out with a pedophile. Carla was a sweet girl who never showed her anger, and the rage remained hidden but resulted in fibromyalgia years later.
In the mid-1980’s two doctors who worked at the Centers for Disease Control surveyed nearly 20.000 patients for various forms of childhood trauma and the results were astonished by the results. Childhood emotional trauma and stress have a strong correlation with a greater risk of serious physical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and chronic lung disease as well as an increased risk for addictions, high risk behavior, and mental illness.
The test is called Adverse Childhood Experience test or ACE test. It is a quick test that generates 1-10 score, which can offer insights and risks to your risk for serious physical, mental health and addiction problems.
The test is based on various categories of adverse childhood experiences.
Psychological, physical or sexual abuse
Violence against one’s mother
Living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill, suicidal or imprisoned
Absence of an emotionally supportive environment
Loss of a parent due to divorce or abandonment.
Before your 18th birthday, did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often swear at you, insult you, put you down, humiliate you or act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
Before your 18th birthday, did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often push, grab, slap or throw something at you, or ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
Before your 18th birthday, did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? Or attempt to have oral, anal or vaginal intercourse with you?
Before your eighteenth birthday, did you often, or very often feel that no one in the family loved you or thought that you were important or special? Or your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
Before your 18th birthday, did you often or very often feel that you didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes and had no one to protect you or that your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to a doctor if you needed it?
Before your 18th birthday, was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment or other reason?
Before your 18th birthday, was your mother or step-mother often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped or had something thrown at her? Or sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a flat, or hit with something hard? Or repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
Before your 18th birthday, did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or used street drugs?
Before your 18th birthday did anybody try to commit suicide or was anybody mentally ill or seriously depressed in your family?
Before 18th birthday, did a household member go to prison?
Early adversity greatly influences health throughout life as well as life expectancy. But this does not need to be your fate. Many people are able to work successfully through their issues and turn their life around.