Healing

I may be the quiet neighbor in the brownstone.

Or the rambunctious classmate from the farm down the dirt road.

 

I may be the gregarious boy at the playground

Or the wallflower in the dance class.

 

I may be the middle child following my dad into the shelter

Or the youngest child living in the gated community.

 

I may check the race box that says “Pacific Islander” or “White” 

Or maybe “Black or African American” or “Asian.”

 

I may be a toddler or school age.

A teenager or an adult.

 

Adverse childhood experiences exclude no one.

 

My father may have thrown things and blamed me

After my mother abandoned us.

 

I may have watched my grandmother drink her sorrows away

After my grandfather was sent to prison.

 

I may have watched my step dad verbally abuse my sister

Because she ate the last of the peanut butter.

 

I may sit in class in a daze

Or act out with the strongest of emotions.

 

Unless strategies are put into place

These experiences might disrupt the development of my brain.

Or my immune system may be compromised.

 

My days need to be filled with healthy social interactions 

Or I may be plagued with high blood pressure 

that sets me down a path of serious health risks.

 

If you come to our basketball game

One of my teammates on the floor may have had one adverse childhood experience

And another may have two or more.

 

These are the things I need you to consider

As you ponder about my well being and my future

Whether it’s in the classroom, on the field or in the studio.

 

A safe relationship with an adult

Moments of mindfulness 

And plenty of chances to move

Are all great ways to relieve some of my stress.

 

If you really cared about me

These activities would be non-negotiable and scheduled into my day.

 

No matter what my reading level is

Or my score on the math state assessment.

 

This is what is important for me right now

If you really want to see me flourish.

Thank you to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris for her book The Deepest Well on Adverse Childhood Experiences and stress. Please check out her book to learn more!

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