I have a sign over my desk that says, Destructive emotion is one of the primary causes of disease. What a powerful statement! Negative energy of any kind has an impact on your body. Dr. Vincent Felitti, along with Emoryville University and the Center for Disease Control did a study from 1995 to 1997 of 17,000 Kaiser Permanente patients. Each study participant completed a confidential survey that contained questions about childhood maltreatment and family dysfunction, as well as items detailing their current health status and behaviors. This information was combined with the results of their physical examination to form the baseline data for the study.
Childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors that they termed adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are common. Almost two-thirds of the study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one of five reported three or more ACE. The short- and long-term outcomes of these childhood exposures include a multitude of health and social problems. If you go to www.cdc.gov/ace/index.htm you can find out more about this important study. Copied below is their Pyramid that explains so clearly how Adverse Childhood Experiences play such an important part in how your life turns out, as you grow older.
During the time Dr. Felitti, who was the Director of the Preventive Medicine Dept. at the San Diego Kaiser Permanente facility, was developing this study I happened to be trying to get my REPAIR program started at all of the different Kaiser facilities. Dr. Felitti was a great supporter of mine and shared at length some of the findings in his study. I had already gone through five years of recovery and was saddened at the thought of so many people out there who needed this information and might never get it. My plans went awry when my current boss told me that if I tried to teach my program to Kaiser Permanente patients she would fire me. She said it was a conflict of interest which it wasn’t as I was her Administrative Assistant in the Preventive Medicine Dept of a different Kaiser facility. So many had been looking forward to learning this program and so many people who worked at Kaiser felt that it was badly needed. It was one of the major dissapointments in my life.
But I went forward on the path of life never forgetting the ACE Study. I felt it was such an important part of the life of someone who had been abused as a child. Today my REPAIR Your Life program has been published and is a major part of most of the Lamplighter Movement chapters I have studied. Today we have 100 chapters in thirteen countries.
I receive many emails and phone calls from people who are angry, depressed, suicidal and so filled with despair that it is hard to see how they are able to put one foot in front of another. I think of their bodies and all of the body systems: the digestive system, the urinary system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the muscular and skeletal system, the immune system and the nervous system. So many parts of our body that need to work together in a healthy manner to give us a long life with no major health problems. If we are angry and in despair how can these systems work as they are supposed to. It is as if when we were born we had a General who was in charge of all of these systems. He had a certain number of soldiers that guarded each system and kept it running smoothly. If a trauma happened to us our immune system was badly attacked and he had to take some of the soldiers from one of the systems and send them to that immune system to keep us alive. But it weakened the system he had to take the soldiers from; it left that system vulnerable to disease and early death.
I say all of this not to frighten you. I say it to give you information that will change your life if you are one of those who are angry and in despair. Get help. If you were sexually abused get a copy of REPAIR Your Life and start working the program. Look at the above attached link to more fully understand how the ACE study works. Join a 12 step program, check to see if there is a Lamplighter Movement chapter near you. Get healthy by first healing the trauma that happened to you as a child. It is a wound that has become infected and the infection has spread to other parts of your body because you failed to take care of the wound. It needs to be lanced, it needs to be medicated, it needs to be healed.