2020: The Year of Fear

 

Just two and a half months ago we were celebrating the start of a new year. We made our intentions and we agreed to new commitments. We wanted to make this year the best ever!

WAIT! What happened to all those new intentions and commitments? Is it the Trump administration’s problems, the stock market acting like a tsunami, or the sudden emergence of the coronavirus that is making life in 2020 not so glorious as we hoped.

What do these 3 things have in common? FEAR!

Chronic fear and stress cause our immune systems to work needlessly overtime. The issue with fear is that our bodies experience it — whether it’s happening now, in the past, or in the future. For weeks, even months after a traumatic event, it is common for us to describe feelings of general uneasiness or jitteriness — a feeling that something bad is going to happen.

Fear causes our immune systems to weaken. This is not healthy especially when a virus spreads.

So what can we do about lessening our fears? Continue to exercise, eat healthy, get restful sleep, read inspiring books, and do deep breathing. We can also stand up to bullies and refuse to believe in fake news.

Don’t let fear ruin your year. And never ever give up!

NEW Fiction Book Now Available

Hi Wellness Seekers:

My life mission is to offer you healing tools to help you resolve trauma in your life. My new-to-be-released, fiction novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between, is the story of a young woman who can no longer live in a world of abuse. You will find this novel filled with hope and encouragement. If you have ever dreamed about taking your abuser to court, this novel is for you.

Filled with magical realism and real life events, THE BEAR will help you understand the complexity of trying to survive trauma. If you read and loved the book, The Shack, by William P. Young, this story enhances the ideas of survival vs. death and faith vs. fear.

Published by Kirk House Publishers, who print books with a cause, you can order the novel by clicking on this link: www.kirkhousepublishers.com

I hope you will order my novel today. Orders will be sent out after May 20, 2020.

Thanks!

Alexis Acker-Halbur

While COVID-19 Cases Increase — So Do Cases of Abuse

It seems our world is being devoured by pandemics. One pandemic that you don’t often hear about is childhood and domestic abuse. Here’s a recent update from nomore.org I thought you’d be interested in.

As more cities go on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NO MORE and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have teamed up on a new public awareness and action campaign to respond to a challenging byproduct of isolating at home: victims of domestic violence are increasingly trapped with their abusers.

National and local domestic violence hotlines in the U.S. expect huge increases in calls as states take more drastic measures to quarantine. The Hotline is hearing from survivors that COVID-19 is already being used by abusive partners to further control and abuse.

Like COVID-19, the signs of domestic abuse are not always visible. However, now that people are spending almost 24/7 at home, they might hear more coming from their neighbors’ homes than usual. That’s why NO MORE & The Hotline created #Listeningfromhome — a campaign that aims to heighten people’s awareness of the problem, learn to recognize the signs, and encourage them to safely get help if they do hear or observe incidents of domestic abuse.

“We want people to take COVID-19 seriously and be vigilant in staying home and trying to stay healthy, but while they’re home, we hope to enlist them as allies in the effort to stop the epidemic of domestic violence—now, and beyond this immediate crisis,” said Pamela Zaballa, Global Executive Director of the NO MORE Foundation. “It is an effort to do the most good possible during an especially scary, uncertain time.”

The campaign also calls on those who can to donate to The Hotline. The Hotline’s entire team, more than 150 people, began working remotely last week so that they can continue to provide critical, life-saving services for hundreds of thousands of survivors — no matter what happens.

Copyright © 2020 The NO MORE Foundation. All rights reserved.

Thank you NO MORE for this enlightening article. Keep up the great work that you do for abuse survivors.

Trauma and Health in a World of COVID-19

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in 2007. I truly believed that the cancer was caused by childhood trauma I had experienced. I began writing my book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, and made the bold statement that: Unresolved Childhood Trauma Causes Health Conditions in Adults. Several medical people said my statement had no statistics to support my belief. Still, I continued to work on my book to explain how I survived cancer. In 2014, when my book was published, I continued to get feedback from people saying there was no evidence to support my belief.

I never wavered in my belief that adults can resolve childhood trauma, and survive it without becoming ill.

In a May 2020 article in TIME Magazine, I found this amazing information: According to a 1998 landmark study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC, childhood trauma is strongly correlated with a person’s health as an adult. The study explored Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, surveying more than 9,500 adults insured by Kaiser Permanente about ACEs they may have faced as children. These included ‘psychological, physical or sexual abuse,’ ‘violence against mother,’ and ‘living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned.’

These study findings were from 1998 – that’s nine years before my diagnosis with cancer. I wish I had known about this study earlier. Nonetheless, my belief that childhood trauma affects adult’s health IS very accurate. (Note: Even one ACE in childhood increases adult health risks.)

Luckily, a company like Kaiser Permanente is investing in efforts aimed at reducing the number of ACEs in our communities.

It’s Time for TRUTH!

I would like to invite the people at Kaiser Permanente to consider my T.R.U.T.H. Program. (The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing.) The T.R.U.T.H. mission provides trauma survivors with the opportunity to resolve issues to achieve a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

All over the world, we’re trying to eradicate the coronavirus. Why not end adverse childhood trauma, too, since over 60 percent of adults in the U.S. experienced at least one ACE in childhood, while 1 in 6 experienced four or more.

To find more information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) please click on this link: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy

Perpetrators In Our Midst

Perpetrators In Our Midst

For years, I could never understand how Adolf Hitler (who was inspired by Benito Mussolini), Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Putin could rise to power and commit such acts of evil destruction. Looking at Donald Trump (who is inspired by Putin), and reading this article, I now fully understand how the American people voted for him.

I’m always struck by how, after some act of violence and crime, fraud/[manipulation], or abuse, everyone laments: Someone must have known! Why didn’t they say anything? And yet, time after time, it seems those who are in a position to see [the truth] are sidelined, discredited, or disbelieved.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shadow-boxing/201406/3-signs-inconspicuous-predator-in-your-midst

This quote makes me clearly see and understand how Donald Trump got elected as our U.S. President – because he’s a perpetrator.

Perpetrators of family and domestic violence [and political crimes] can vary in age and be from any socio-economic demographic, cultural background, ethnicity, or religion. They can occupy any profession or live in any geographic region. Perpetrators can be any gender, however, the vast majority are male (Bagshaw & Chung 2000).

To effectively respond to family and domestic violence, it is important to understand the tactics used by perpetrators including those adopted to hurt and/or frighten victims (coercion) and those designed to isolate and/or regulate them (control). Perpetrators of family and domestic violence are very much in control of these behaviors and are ultimately the only ones that have the capacity to change the situation (No to Violence 2005).

Perpetrators can be good at hiding the violence, publicly presenting as kind, loving, charming and likeable, but behave in cruel, violent, undermining and manipulative ways in private.

Perpetrators as fathers (and Republican Senators)

[Men] who perpetrate family and domestic violence [and political harm] are associated with particular characteristics. They are likely to use controlling behaviors and physical discipline, to display more anger with their [victims], to have unrealistic expectations and poor developmental understandings of appropriate behavior at different ages and stages. Many of these characteristics are underpinned by a sense of entitlement.

The role of fathers [and republican senators] can be central to men’s identity and is a significant motivator for [disruption]. Entitlement thinking prevails in their attitudes and they often see their child [American people] as their investment or possession, or as someone who should love them unconditionally.

It is uncommon for men who use violence [coercion, threats, manipulation, and secrets] to recognize that their violence toward [others]; this in turn prevents them from seeing or understanding the impact on their [victims].

Just as these men prioritize their own needs when relating to [others who seem weak], they can feel justified in neglecting basic care and using violence/[crime] against [who] fail to comply with their expectations.

When fathers who have perpetrated violence/[crime] often privilege their ‘right’ for contact over the traumatic harm that this might cause [others]. In this way, as in many others, these men put their own needs and wants ahead of those of [everyone else].

[Source: https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/Documents/2015/FactSheet3Perpetratorcharacteristics.pdf]

References:

  • Bagshaw D & Chung D 2000, Women, Men and Domestic Violence, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
  • No to Violence 2005, Men’s Behavior Change group work: A Manual for quality practice, No to Violence, Melbourne.
  • Department for Child Protection 2013, Perpetrator accountability in Child Protection Practice – A resource for child protection workers about engaging and responding to men who perpetrate family and domestic violence, Government of Western Australia, Perth.

You may not agree with me about this article, however, it makes a clear case for why so many Republican Senators are terrified of Trump.

Never give up when looking for the TRUTH!