Unconventional Grief Under the Tree?

Some of us will spend the holiday season–and the New Year–with someone we once knew but has, for a myriad of reasons, changed. And we feel a real loss, not unlike the actual loss of a life. That person is gone. The following link is to a blog from The American Academy of Bereavement. I include it here in hopes that those who are struggling can find some perspective and a sense of community in moving forward, into the face of a new kind of grief this season.

http://thebereavementacademy.com/unconventional-grief-grieving-someone-alive/#top

 

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Trauma and ACEs missing in response to opioid crisis, says national organization

A thoughtful, eye-opening presentation. Worth Reblogging!

ACEs Too High

A policy brief issued in July by the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) forcefully develops the case for trauma-informed approaches to address the opioid crisis—to prevent and treat addiction—based on strong evidence that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are at the root of the crisis. CTIPP is a national organization that advocates for trauma-informed prevention and treatment programs at the federal, state and local levels.

Successful strategies to attack the opioid epidemic must recognize the powerful correlation between ACEs and substance abuse demonstrated by the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), according to CTIPP. While recognizing the complexity of addiction pathways and contributing factors such as job loss, CTIPP argues that understanding the role of ACEs and trauma in addiction is essential in developing effective strategies to prevent addiction and treat those already addicted.

The brief, “Trauma-Informed Approaches Need to be Part of a Comprehensive…

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To My Father & All the Silent Heroes

Powerful testimony of an adult child of trauma with parents who didn’t have all the answers, but loved anyway.

ADOPTING FAITH: A Father's Unconditional Love

My son Alex penned this sincere message from his jail cell, as he continues serving time for an addiction problem that eventually erupted in violence. I hope you will take it to heart.

I could write about all the pain and darkness that was my life. I could speak of the horrors that I saw as a child. But you and I already know the kinds of thing your children saw and what they went through. What I will tell you is that I understand completely what life is like for an abused child and neglected child.

Looking out Jail CellI remember everything that happened to me.

And I remember clearly what it was like to be that child each day as I survive in prison.

No, I’m not here to call attention to evil. Instead, I’m here to offer hope. It could be that one of you is at the point where…

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Mom-Bragging: A New Look at an Ancient Sport

Thanks to Laura L. Wolf for the following blog.

And here’s to those of us who can relate, those of us with young adult kids traveling winding paths toward adulthood. When the mom-bragging starts we just get quiet because there’s just too much to say–too much to try to explain. But it’s okay. Absolutely and radically okay.

 

About That Mom Who’s Not Bragging About Her Kid

There were a few regularly-used Yiddish words in my house when I was growing up. Like the word “kvetch” to refer to my great-aunt, later dubbed “Aunt Kvetchie,” who was a known complainer.

Or “you are such a klutz” – as in uncoordinated. I heard this one often. An accurate description of my always bumping into things, not the least bit athletic self. And “what a schmuck he is” – my dad describing someone who was a real jerk.

One Yiddish word I didn’t learn until I became a Mom is “kvelling” – when a person is bursting with pride and pleasure. As in – “His mother was kvelling over his early admission to Harvard.” Kvelling is done by all mothers, Jewish or not, when discussing their children.

In my lawyering years, I ate lunch several days a week around a conference room table with younger female colleagues. There was a lot of kvelling among us. My friend, Lisa, would tell us about her daughter’s star soccer skills. And Michelle would let us know that her son got an A on a tough social studies test. Denise was naturally thrilled when her daughter was elected class president in 6th grade. I shared my kids’ accomplishments as well. And when your kids are young, you have lots of achievements to kvell about. It isn’t boasting or bragging; you are just proud of your child. And okay, I’ll admit, maybe a little back-patting.

When Lisa, Michelle and Denise’s kids were in elementary school, mine were of high school and college age. Kvelling gets a bit trickier as your kids get older. Especially if your kid happens not to be on the direct path from high school to early admission into Harvard, then on to elite grad school or Wall Street or a fancy internship.

What happens to kvelling if your kid is on his or her own very different path?

By the time one of my kids was in high school, we were on a first-name basis with mental health struggles. In college, the same mental health challenges grew worse. An elite grad school, Wall Street or a fancy internship did not seem likely. (Although hope does spring eternal.)
Continue reading “Mom-Bragging: A New Look at an Ancient Sport”

How facing ACEs makes us happier, healthier and more hopeful

Knowing and understanding your Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score can get you to happy and healthier. Take the 10-question quiz!

ACEs Too High

Ahappy

Won’t it depress people?

Isn’t it triggering?

Aren’t the topics troubling?

Won’t it make people sad or upset?

Fear is what I often fight when talking about ACEs — adverse childhood experiences. It’s not my fear though. It’s the fear others have about all things ACEs. Adversity. Abuse. Addiction. Abandonment. Neglect. Dsyfunction.

I don’t think this fear actually belongs to those of us who have lived with ACEs, who have lived through ACEs, who live with the aftermath of ACEs as adults.

When I found out about ACEs I was overwhelmed with joy. I felt radical relief. What I experienced was a profound sense of validation. It was epic.

I also felt rage because the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and related science hadn’t been shared with me. Not my doctors, therapists, shrinks, teachers, social workers or anyone while I got ready to become a parent.

Why?

This one study…

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Thankful for 20 Years

Important reflections from an adoptive dad who has been transformed on the journey–and is thankful. Welcome, Donald Craig Peterson.

ADOPTING FAITH: A Father's Unconditional Love

It’s that time of year – to reflect and be thankful. As the 20th year of my parenting journey begins, here are 20 things I have learned.

  1. Like nearly all parents, I know my children best – even when not using fancy words or technical jargon.
  1. I care deeply about my children – as I have seen in countless moms, dads, grandparents, step-parents and other caregivers.three-boys-in-a-tub
  1. I’m not a perfect parent. Yet I’ve grown stronger from my mistakes.
  1. Eventually, I learned to be on own worst critic – because I could become a better parent by listening. First to my children and then to others. While my children are unique, their challenges are strikingly similar to thousands of other children.
  1. Adoption is trauma. My children had a life before they came to me. So many unanswered questions for them. How easily people forget!
  1. Triggers are real. They can easily…

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