This article is part of an ongoing series, “What is Your Ace Score?” that explores Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and the community.
Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma can have a major effect on our lives. So what can we do with this information? If you experienced abuse and trauma as a child, you may be asking yourself many different questions after learning about ACE: Why were other family members affected in a different way? What can be done to reverse this? How can I help my children and other family members? Why am I more resilient than others?
Resiliency is a way people can overcome and resist the cumulative effects of adverse childhood experiences and trauma. There are many characteristics that contribute to a person’s resiliency in life including their personality, socialization, genetics, and life experiences. Our resiliency is boosted by protective factors, which are the insulation to our “exposed wires.” They help us protect, resist, and overcome adverse experiences. Resilience may be built through the positive people, places, and activities in our lives.
Learning and experiencing concepts such as kindness, compassion, consistency, unconditional positive regard, and empathy can protect us from the negative effects of adverse experiences and trauma. Observing these concepts from people we trust can positively impact our lives in a big way.
We seek connections with our family members and support from friends and role models in our communities. Teachers, coaches and volunteers can be major protective factors in our lives as well as different programs and activities within the community. Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and the Be-Hive are great places to learn and grow in healthy ways.
What can we do to create positive growth in our lives and our communities? The following are a few resources for adults and children that can strengthen our resiliency:
- Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation
- Jefferson County Parks and Recreation
- James Rumsey Technical Institute
- Berkeley County Adult and Community Education Services
To understand more about resiliency, check out this 14 question resilience quiz here. The website acestoohigh.com notes that these questions have been used for parental education and not necessarily research.
Tell us about your protective factors in the Eastern Panhandle. We would be happy to share their stories and your experiences with them.