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Resiliency + Trauma, the Rearview

Resiliency + our ability to bounce back, regroup + self regulate thru.out our lives is often shaped by this measurable merging of adversity, kindness + positivity in our childhood experiences.


Everyone can make a difference + contribute to the wellbeing of children. Many cultures + communities around the world take a tribal + collective community approach to the raising of families whether those community members choose to have their own children or not. All families need support.


Most all of us have grown up with multiple points of adversity which expand even beyond the ACEs [Adverse Childhood Experiences] we often see listed in that standard 10 question test. These PCE [Positive Childhood Experiences] + BCE [Benevolent Childhood Experiences] questions can help us better define our resiliency as to create a well rounded view of what was challenging yet where we may have also found support to help us weather the ups + downs of life. Resiliency + a peaceful sense of individual identity is best built + fostered thru the diverse layering of consistent + recognizable, seemingly mundane, micro investments of stability + gentle redirection. Not all of us found refuge in our families + communities of our upbringing + still measuring these 3 areas of our upbringings can help us find a more comforting relationship with our personal refuge today.


These 3 tests will help confirm the struggle you’ve experienced while also illuminating the places you can also create stability + that relationship with self regulation in your life today by measuring the quality of your support back then + moving forward..


Co.regulation is not always found in the adults around us. Many of us developed a relationship with our co.regulation thru routines, art, our Spiritual lives or even therapy.

The questions below can help you sort thru your relationship with trauma, resiliency + how we do our healing work today. And then we can also model this for the kiddos in our communities.


To get a BCE score, measure how many of these ten items you’ve experienced before the age of 18. Would you respond "yes" or "no" to the prompt, "Growing up, I had.....


Benevolent Childhood Experiences

  • At least one caregiver with whom you felt safe

  • At least one good friend

  • Beliefs that gave you comfort

  • Enjoyment at school

  • At least one teacher that cared

  • Good neighbors

  • An adult (not a parent/caregiver or person from #1) who could provide you with support or advice

  • Opportunities to have a good time

  • Ability to like yourself or feel comfortable with yourself

  • Predictable home routine, such as regular meals and a regular bedtime


The seven items on this Positive Childhood Experiences, PCE test include answering "yes" or "no" to a prompt, "Before the age of 18, I..."

  • Was able to talk with the family about my feelings

  • Felt that my family stood by me during difficult times

  • Enjoyed participating in community traditions

  • Felt a sense of belonging in high school

  • Felt supported by friends

  • Had at least two non-parent adults who took a genuine interest in me

  • Felt safe + protected by an adult in my home

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire Finding your ACE Score


While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:


1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often … Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?


2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often … Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?


3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Try to or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal sex with you?


4. Did you often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?


5. Did you often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, + had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?


6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? Or did a parent die or we you estranged from one or both parental relationships within the home or removed into foster care?


7. Was your mother/father or stepmother/stepfather: Often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at them? or Sometimes or often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?


8. Did you live with anyone who was a problematic or consistent drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?


9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill or did a household member attempt suicide?


10. Did a household member go to prison?


Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score


Once you get some time to sit with the emotions of this macro view of your childhood sense of danger + sense of safety + wellbeing, I’m available to connect with you on navigating tools + healing work around resiliency + trauma processing. As always, I work on a sliding scale, so please feel free to reach out.


-Amy Joon


ACES: a felt sense of danger BCE’s: a felt sense of safety


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