I might have been born a serious child since there was some serious shit going on in my parents’ lives. My mom was 19 and Dad was 22 when they married. They got married on December 22, 1962, and moved to Pensacola for my dad’s Navy pilot/officer training. In January 1963, they found out Mom was pregnant with me. I was induced two weeks early so they could move to Corpus Christi. My sister was born 14 months, my brother five years after me. Thus, began my childhood.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I was 52 when I discovered how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) had affected my life. Dr. Felletti presented his findings on the physical, psychological, emotional, and social impacts ACEs have on our adult lives.
Those with high ACE scores (4 out of 10 is considered high) are more likely to experience toxic stress. This translates to high-risk behaviors like smoking, alcoholism, and drug use and impacts on physical and mental health like obesity, diabetes, depression, suicidal attempts, and cancer. This toxic stress led me to be hyper-vigilant, Type A perfectionist. This meant little time for having fun, for being a child.
EMBRACE YOUR INNER CHILD
It’s not too late to enjoy childhood. My story is one of a missed traditional childhood. Today, at the age of 59, I’m enjoying childhood. I have a safe and loving home, I spend time with my family and loved ones, and I play, sing, read and talk.
Here are ways to embrace your inner child: Play (build a sandcastle, go down a slide, make a friendship bracelet or paper airplane), Imagine (read a favorite childhood book or build a fort with blankets and pillows), and Be Social (plan a picnic with friends and family). Sisters, don’t listen to the voices in your head. You know the ones that are telling you to “grow up,” “be mature,” and “take care of business.” Give yourself the childhood you deserve. Skip, laugh, touch, feel, and dance.