ACEs Mind Motivation Resilience Spirit

Got Your ACE Score?

Feelings buried alive continue to echo from the grave. 

I really dislike the statement, “…everybody has a story.”  I feel it is dismissive.  When people begin to share their childhood stories, typically there are reasons.  Perhaps they need to express something that is deeply troubling.  Yet, many people have come to believe it is better to repress those memories and “get on” with life.  My other least favorite saying is, “…time heals all wounds.”  Not true!  Especially if infection is presented and not properly treated!  Truth is – it isn’t that simple.  

Feelings buried alive continue to echo from the grave.  To truly heal our minds, bodies, and spirits, we must identify the root of our pain and give it a proper burial by silencing it for good.  In my post, Daily Musings #2 – Intro to ACEs, I allude to my own pain of the past.  My adolescent years were wrought with confusion and pain as I sought to deal with so many conflicts at an early age.

I was introduced to ACEs during a professional development program hosted by the Gila River Indian Community for teachers of students on the Reservation.  The topic was teaching with trauma sensitivity.

That day, I completed the ACEs Questionnaire (same as the one below).  My trauma score was nine (9).  As I attempted to mask my tears, I realized my mission.

Since becoming a teacher, I have naturally empathized with my students.  ACEs put it all in proper perspective – finally, I knew my WHY.  

I understood why:

  • my concern for my students runs deeper than academics
  • I relate to them at a deeper level that seems inexplicable
  • nothing else matters to me more than seeing others recover from the pain of their past
  • I relate to adults who appear to have many issues in a different more tolerable light
  • I can forgive my own past poor decisions and missed opportunities with seemingly unimaginable resiliency
  • years ago, the P3 Journey™ (Pain ~ Passion ~ Purpose) became my mission to share, which leads us to NOW!

STEP ONE – Determining Your ACEs Score

Complete this questionnaire from the perspective of prior to your 18th birthday:

  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  2. 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?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  3. 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 or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  5. 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 Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?                        No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  10. Did a household member go to prison?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

Source: Got Your ACE Score?

I welcome thoughts and feelings – please share in comments!


Click this link for an important DISCLAIMER.


    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I believe all teachers should familiarize themselves with ACE – just to be aware and more sensitive to how students are responding at times in the classroom. All behavior is a form of communication. Thanks again! Peace and blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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