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ACEs "quiz" - printable version

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by JanAtheCPA, Apr 15, 2023.

  1. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I created a printable (PDF) version of the Adverse Childhood Experiences questionnaire from the NPR article I've been referring to lately. I included a link to the article and a few key excerpts.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Manjuno

    Manjuno New Member

    I've been wondering why the test doesn't account for intensity of a given type of abuse. I would probably score 4 or 5 but some of the issues were few and incidental in my case while another person may tick only one or two of those but with an extreme intensity. I'd say that person is more traumatized than I am and yet they would score way lower.
  3. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for posting this @JanAtheCPA!

    @Manjuno, “intensity” is still so subjective. I would never have thought my own childhood would see me score a 3. My mom was never diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Most of her anxiety was not your “typical” - it was very much more subtly expressed and we were the tools she used to try and control it. We were rarely yelled at, but often forced to do things through guilt and subtle manipulation. There was a look and a voice she would use, ever present watchfulness, moments of quiet relative peace would suddenly on a whim become these stressful bouts of forcing us to do chores to an exacting perfection ( with 0 fun).
    Most people would never call this abusive. It was manipulative, sure. But the intent was punishful without cause. We were never smacked around but the wooden spoon ( which was deemed acceptable back then) got a work out but only from her.
    It took another set of eyes to put this list in front of me and tell me what I went through, and what continued, to be ACE’s worthy.
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  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was writing this as Cactusflower responded - I'm excited by the opportunity to examine the gazillion different ways in which individuals are affected by their childhood experiences.

    @Manjuno - as always, the advice is "Don't Overthink It!"

    Or, in this case, don't try to complicate a simple tool!

    If you read the full article it's clear that the test is not meant to be anything other than a simple tool. As far as I'm concerned, it basically provides a starting point for therapy or for the kind of self help work offered here.

    The article also explains all of the mitigating factors that might come into play in any one individual's life experience.

    To try to make it something more complex and analytical defeats the purpose.

    I have read in other places that 3 ACEs is reliably predictive of serious physical and mental health problems in adulthood. But that is NOT an absolute. When you're dealing with the human brain, nothing is an absolute.

    My score is zero. I can answer #4 as follows: between the ages of 4 and 8 I experienced a sense of isolation because my parents had three more children after me, and they were too busy to give me the attention I was used to. It didn't last, and they made it up to me later.

    The questions ask specifically if the adversity occurred "often" before age 18, and of course my answer is no, because it was only about four years, and of course I had not been abandoned at all - just slightly overlooked in the chaos. I was actually extremely fortunate to have had an excellent childhood.

    So I made it to age 60 with only mild TMS symptoms that came and went as my anxiety and stress fluctuated. I definitely got the anxiety from my mother who was a first-time mother at 30, with three years of marriage and at least one miscarriage before I finally came along. Also zero experience with babies or small children. Thus my mild TMS - I was born with anxiety but my upbringing mitigated its effects for years.

    Age 60 is when it went to hell, much of which I attribute to repressed rage about aging and mortality. I also had to finally address the anxiety seriously.

    @Cactusflower, that's an amazing description of subtle abuse. Damn.
  5. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Jan, I always find it astounding how what we can see as adults to be the teeniest of teeny slights, can be catalysts like full trauma. My score is just 1. My mom could be demeaning. But I also knew she was proud of me and loved me. Maybe I'd also get a half a point for when my dad had a heart attack and I thought he was going to die. I was about 15. He didn't die until nearly 40 years later. But I was traumatized by it.

    I think of all the people who have had "real" trauma. My traumas were so mild in the scheme of things. And yet, still, I have little Booble inside of me. Scared, mad, wanting to be loved, afraid to be abandoned etc etc etc. I tucked her all away for years and she silently rebelled with physical symptoms. "Pay attention to me!!" TMS has been a real key in helping to unlock this.
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