What I experienced when processing my childhood traumasThe ACEs campaign I chose to focus on didn’t come to me by accident. On the contrary, it was through kismet or fate. I’ve been very candid about the reasons why I chose to start Choice MD, to help others going through health complications. With my 22 years of experience of living with Multiple Sclerosis, I knew firsthand what it was like to navigate the uncharted waters of a life-altering diagnosis and I also experienced the pitfalls of navigating the healthcare system. Choice MD is my effort to solve many of those issues. I suppose that’s why I was shocked when I stumbled across the ACEs information, a research study conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente of over 14k individuals, confirming that a score of 4 or more adverse childhood experiences would lead to health complications later in life, including autoimmune conditions. WAIT?!! WHAT??! I immediately took the test and found my score to be a 7.
At that moment, I melted in my chair into a puddle of tears. My MS could have been avoided? I lost the sensation of my legs when I was 21 years old and since then I’ve literally been stumbling through life as a disabled person. Well, the crying didn’t last long. I suppose because of all the traumatic experiences I had in life, one thing I knew is that if I wanted to move forward with a positive headspace I was going to have to turn the narrative around. Radical acceptance. I wasn’t going to stay the victim so I had to become the hero. Furthermore, initially, I started my research because I wanted to know the outcome of prolonged stress on young children. My little Amelie was having a hard time during the pandemic and I wanted to know how the pandemic would affect all children in the long run. If Choice MD was started to help people, this campaign could essentially save them.
I hit the ground running with the campaign and as I was attending the Legislative Round-Up by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce in 2021, I approached former Representative Duran and quickly gained his support. That initial plan was described here: link to https://www.choicemd.com/blog/pandemic-effects-on-adverse-childhood-experiences-ac-es, but as quickly as it was evolving I felt I needed to also understand exactly how these traumas were affecting my life.
So, I set off on my transformational journey, I had no idea what to expect and while it was possibly one of the most difficult times I had experienced in my life, it was necessary. Here’s a brief description of the process. At the beginning of the year, I attended a week-long retreat where I explored my traumas through three different modalities to create pathways for transformational change. Basically, I spent the week thinking about the stuff I tried hard to bury deep down and then figuring out how those memories were causing me to navigate life in an unnatural manner. For example, I had been held up at gunpoint at a Smoothie King when I was a teenager. I had my back to the door and with the sound of the blenders I had no idea what was going on until I looked around and saw everyone on the floor when I looked up I had a gun pointed at my face. For most of my life, I couldn’t sit with my back to the door. Well, that was just one trauma and it wasn’t even a question on the ACEs test so you can imagine how other traumas were affecting me too.
It was an eye-opening experience that lead to many more realizations. I became consumed with the process. Reading books, meditation, attending seminars, breathwork sessions, and following influencers in various topics because after every experience came more clarity and ease of just being myself. This post in particular gave me permission to start over because “You are forced to hurry your process of becoming a human whose personality becomes a cluster of defenses and adaptations. The burdens from the past are carried to your present through your body and brain. And that is what you spend your lifetime re-enacting until you address it at the root level. This is childhood trauma in a nutshell.” – @narcabusecoach
I never had the opportunity to just be me or even just focus on me, but it’s never too late to start. I’ll be honest, awareness of the problem was the hardest part of the process. Finding pathways for transformation has been rewarding as I’m finally giving myself the opportunity to discover who I was meant to be, and I like her.