Providing Insight and Understanding on the Effects of Early Childhood Adversity
Trauma is not what happens to you. It’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you.
Lost Sparrows is working to provide insight and education in the area of childhood trauma. Understanding the impact of early childhood adversity is vital to helping ourselves and others overcome and resolve trauma. Too often the word trauma is misunderstood, and carries with it a stigma not easily overcome. Anyone that has experienced trauma is a victim of circumstances outside of their control, and should not feel ashamed to admit that they might need help. We all need help to varying degrees, it is a part of our humanity.
Much research has been done recently into the effects of childhood adversity such as the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study. This research has shown that many of us are suffering effects that we might not connect to our childhood experiences. Many of the participants in the ACE study were enduring physical health issues as adults without knowing there was potentially a link to their childhood experiences. When we work with parents, or even inmates, it can be emotionally challenging and scary to process through your own history. But it can also provide the beginning of healing and understanding why you have certain behaviors or thought patterns. Many tend to feel that they are broken beyond repair, or a bad person, but possibly they may just be a victim of their circumstances and childhood. This change in perspective can be life changing. It is important to not attempt to walk this road alone. We are designed to receive support from others, so whether you are able to speak with a friend or a counselor, we recommend everyone find support as you seek to resolve trauma.
“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”
“As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma