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

I felt I had to tell the truth!

I felt I had to tell the truth!

In a recent article in TIME magazine, Lyz Lenz wrote a brilliant article “Shouting Into the Void: How many personal stories must women share to convince others of their humanity?” I am moved by this article, so I want to share some of it with you, and then a few comments from me.

“Women have long been compelled to share their most private moments in order to convince others of their humanity.”

“As more men, including the President of the United States, have been publicly accused of assault and misconduct, and more states have passed laws that restrict our abilities to make decisions about our own health care, women have been repeatedly reminded of this country’s disregard for our bodily autonomy [independence] and indifference to the reality of our lives.”

I came out publicly years ago stating that I was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by my father. I’m not the only one in our family, but I’ve chosen to let these siblings tell their own stories, yet, I needed to let go of this painful secret because it was causing my health and wellness to disintegrate. Yes, I became ill time after time because my mind, body, and spirit were overwhelmingly stressed due to the memories of my father and his abuse.

How many women must come forth and tell their stories until the world acknowledges that women are often abused and degraded every day by men? And it is not just in the U.S., women are harshly treated all over the globe. With online media, stories and stories of abuse are appearing daily, yet it does not seem like action is being taken to keep women safe.

I want to be safe in this life, and that means I do not want men to assume “I like” being abused and raped, because I do not!

“The President, who been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women, still sits in the White House, still overseeing a political system, still nominating judges to lifetime roles, stripping away our control over our own bodies. He’s denied all allegations, and the nation, by and large, has shrugged them off too.”

When powerful, rich men decide women are equal humans, we can get the dark secrets out in the open without feeling ashamed and start healing.

Thank you, Lyz Lenz, for your superb but sad article. Never Give Up, Lyz!!!


Do Something!

Do Something!

I haven’t written a post for quite some time. I admit that this year has me on edge with all the mass shootings, political divide, immigration crisis, and unemployment. Did I miss anything?

Even though I’m an advocate for HOPE, I must say that 2019 has really been a trial for me. Every time news knocks me down, I try to get back up. With the multitude of chaos in our lives, getting up is slower and slower. Do you feel the same?

I refuse to give in to fear. Fear does nothing except cause more fear. Once it begins, it’s like a live fuse already burning toward the end. Can it be stopped?

Yes, but the answer is complex and so many of us want the simple way out. THERE IS NO SIMPLE WAY OUT! We have to go through the flames of fear.

Fear slithers around our bodies, captures our minds, and floods our spirits with darkness. Fear creates stress, stress causes illness, and illness leads to death. How do we stop this dangerous spiral?

We refuse to listen to fear! We find the truth and shed light on the lies. Fear cannot exist when the truth is always told and the light is always on. No one has the power to make us fear – not our bodies and, certainly, not our country!

Stress from Fear Is Like a Three-legged Stool

The healthy connection between the body, mind, and spirit is often pictured as a three-legged stool. If stress takes one leg, the entire stool collapses. The same works for the other legs. Remove one part and your health suffers. Total balance of your body, mind, and spirit results in true healing of fear and stress.

Keep your body, mind, and spirit strong against fear and stress. This way, you’ll understand that fear is fickle and your special connection can release the stress.

How do you handle fear and stress? I would greatly appreciate your answers to this question.

Remember: Never Give Up!

Law vs. Justice

Law vs. Justice

I am a curious writer – one who wants to know how the world works. As I wrote my manuscript, The Bear: In the Middle of Between, I loomed over the court room scene where my main character fights for justice from all the damage that has been done to her. The most amazing truth came to light as I focused on this scene. Claudia, my main character, finds out the hard way that law and justice are two very different principles. The majority of cases in our law system stem on whether a particular law has been violated or not. If the law is broken then a sentence is delivered. If the law is not broken, an acquittal occurs.

Astonishingly, Claudia and I found out that justice is not a part of our legal system. Justice is a quality or a sense of entitlement for a loss – such as life, property, or reputation. No justice can be served to the person who kills an innocent woman or man. The perpetrator will be sentenced to prison because he violated the law that prohibits killing. Whether or not I agree with the verdict, or feel that it is fair, the fact remains that the judge/jury decides if a law has been broken. Justice from a broken law depends on our expectations.

In the recent conviction of Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of third-degree murder of Justine Damond, people cried for justice in the killing of an innocent woman. Noor was found guilty because he broke a law, not because Justine was a remarkable woman. As author Richard Greelis wrote in a recent StarTribune editorial, “There is no justice when an innocent life is taken. Whatever sentence the judge comes up with will be considered just by some and a miscarriage of justice by others.” I believe Mr. Greelis’ description is accurate. BUT, we ask, what about our sorrows and sufferings? By our legal system, the only mandate that matters is if a law has been broken.

So, what do we do now with fighting for justice? Should we fight at all? As a principle, justice must prevail, at least in our hearts. Without a sense of justice, our lives would be distraught, and our beliefs would be forever in flux.

When I think of justice, I think about all the individuals, who for decades were sexually abused at the hands of Catholic priests. Or, all the children who are sexually abused by parents. What is justice like for these victims? For us? For me? Priests and parents break the law but few are incarcerated. The Catholic Church settles lawsuits with money not prison terms – as if money can return a child’s innocence or lost years. Money is not the cure for such savage disregard for children. Perpetrators must be penalized and sent to prison because the law is broken. Period.

My goal is to help abused children, who are now adults, find our own sense of justice where our lives are filled with exceptional quality and love.

Never. Give. Up. On. Justice.

A New E-Book for You

A New E-Book for You

If you feel you need some new enlightenment on the subject of healing from trauma, you will enjoy my personal essays. This new e-book, published in March 2019 on Amazon, has twelve essays focusing on how you can take the lead in your healing. I address three of the most important elements needed to heal from traumatic events. They include: mind, body, and spirit. Like a three-legged stool, if one leg is broke, the stool collapses. The same applies to your health. You need your mind, body, and spirit working together to bring about wellness to every cell, muscle, bone, organs, and every system to achieve great health and recover from trauma!

Remember, trauma, in all its forms, constantly steals our raw energy, and it is up to us to save that energy to create lives full of potential, hope, and health. There are hundreds of traumatic experiences we face in this life. Remember, too, that abuse trauma is never our fault and we are not responsible. We ARE responsible for healing our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Let the truth of trauma propel you to use the repairing tools and practices discussed in these essays.

NEVER GIVE UP — EVER!!!