+A WORD ABOUT “RESILIENCY” – A CONCEPT MISAPPLIED AND MISUNDERSTOOD?

++++

Sunday, April 5, 2015.  Easter day among Christians.  A day of resurrection, of hope and healing.

Speaking of which, I feel very fortunate to have just received a comment on this blog today about this reader’s new blog entitled “Guiding Hope – Let Hope Rise” – and it is BEAUTIFUL!!

++

My life is very intense these days.  I am not left with much inner time or space for writing here, so this will be a rather indirect and short post.  There is a picture on Facebook by EARTHWORKS’s Page I am posting the specific link to RIGHT HERE.  It shows two pictures of a California reservoir and lake side by side.  On the left is the full lake and on the right is a pitiful remnant of water as drought and fracking have dangerously depleted this water supply.

I notice that even those supporting the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) research and findings are still using the concept of “resilience” and “resiliency” AS IF someone knows what this means in reference to survival of severe early trauma.

Briefly, I am opposed to this concept.  Most simply put in today’s writings I refer to the reservoir image at the above link to Facebook if you can access it to illustrate what I deeply feel and believe.

Those people who come out of a dangerous, malicious, malevolent, abusive, traumatic early life – and without safe and secure attachment — in essence have little access throughout their lifespan to an array of essential resources that non-survivor “people” recognize and take for granted so that high ACE-score people’s reservoir matches the image of the pitiful depleted lake.

With those depleted essential resources survivors MAXIMIZE their lives!  Not only do we survive what should not be survived most often from birth but we exist as caring, compassionate, giving people who sacrifice greatly to help OTHER people – including those we love most dearly – MAXIMIZE their resources.

But we often do this by depleting our inner resources in ways we do not detect often until way, way down the road of our lives.  We give and give and love and love and help and help and sacrifice and sacrifice until finally  – if we are not very, very astute and careful – we make it to the ending stretches of our life being left with nearly next to NOTHING.

On top of this predicament very few low-ACE score (safely and securely attached people) EVER know who we are, what happened to us, what it took to survive, and how we sustain our ever-giving willingness to share even our scarce, rare and precious resources with others.

“Regular people” need to become willing to LISTEN to us.  Yes, the power being provided by the CDC ACE research is finally making its way as ripples into the awareness of the public on many important levels.  But, from my point of view, bandying about the concept of “resiliency” is not all that helpful to survivors.

We have done incredible things with our depleted reservoir of resources.  If that is not “resiliency” that we have had and developed and used heartily ALL of our lives, I can’t begin to imagine what “others” are thinking that concept means.  WE DO NOT NEED MORE RESILIENCY.  That is “blaming the victim” mentality.

What WE need, what everyone who is unjustly suffering needs – is for those people who DO have full reservoirs, plenty of resources, to wake up to the truth!!  In this world of haves vs have nots, in this world where terrible conditions are allowed to threaten infants and children and even their caregivers, what we have is ignorance that can foster bias and prejudice against those who suffer most.

Education is a must!  Many non-survivors have no tolerance when it comes to investigating what the suffering of others really is.  The truth makes those others too uncomfortable.  “Get some resiliency going, folks!  Toughen up, learn the truth, put your efforts into the work of truly healing this world!  Ignorance does not set you free, and getting “more and better resiliency” is NOT going to make a high ACE-score survivor have anything like a magically better life.  What we need is the added resource of YOU!”

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

++++

Leave a Comment »

++++

NOTE:  I am stuck with a new version of the blog’s posting page that I do not like and cannot get out of.  It has refused to post or include my chosen tags:

, , , , , , , ,, , ,, , , ,, , , , ,

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “+A WORD ABOUT “RESILIENCY” – A CONCEPT MISAPPLIED AND MISUNDERSTOOD?

  1. My stand on “resilience” is that this term is a “mechanistic” term by definition best applied to an object such as a piece of elastic. The idea is that “something” once “stressed” can be easily returned to its pre-stressed state.

    Yes, this might be a good idea if not applied specifically to survivors of severe trauma, especially if this trauma takes over the life of a new little human being who NEEDED to be safely and securely attached in the world — not neglected, abused, hurt and/or terrified by the very people whose life it must depend.

    I believe in FACTORS as they interact and interplay within everyone’s life, be they RISK factors or RESILIENCY factors. I believe we would be better off in every way to spend our efforts carefully examining which is which. We need to remove risk factors whenever possible and add resiliency FACTORS whenever possible.

    Here are a few of the posts related to these ideas on this blog:

    +A REFRESHER ON ATTACHMENT AND RESILIENCY found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/a-refresher-on-attachment-and-resiliency/

    +MEASURE OF AMERICAN WELL-BEING: 2010-2011 RISK AND RESILIENCE REPORT found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/measure-of-american-well-being-2010-2011-risk-and-resilience-report/

    +A FEW THOUGHTS ON CHILD ABUSE TRAUMA MEMORY “WORK” (for survivors) found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-few-thoughts-on-child-abuse-trauma-memory-work-for-survivors/

    +WORDS FAILED ME. (A POST ABOUT ADJUST AND JUSTICE) found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/words-failed-me-a-post-about-adjust-and-justice/

    +DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA – RESEARCH REVEALS NEW LEVELS OF POWERFUL TRUTHS found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/developmental-trauma-research-reveals-new-levels-of-powerful-truths/

    +RESILIENT: MY RANT ABOUT THIS CONCEPT found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/resilient-my-rant-about-this-concept/

    +ABUSED BY A PSYCHOTIC? WHAT SENSE IS THERE IN THAT KIND OF UNIVERSE? found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/abused-by-a-psychotic-what-sense-is-there-in-that-kind-of-universe/

    +FASCINATING NOTES ON LIVING WITH TRAUMA found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/fascinating-notes-on-living-with-trauma/

    +RESILIENCY: LOOKING AT PROTECTIVE FACTORS found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/resiliency-looking-at-protective-factors/

    +RESILIENCY – ARTICLE LINKS ON FAMILY COPING STRATEGIES found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/well-being/resiliency-article-links-on-family-coping-strategies/

    *RESEARCH LANGUAGE ABOUT RESILIENCY found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/page/2/?s=resilience

    +WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO US: VIOLENT TRAUMA, MALTREATMENT, ATTACHMENT – BIRTH TO AGE THREE (and beyond) found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/what-really-happened-to-us-violent-trauma-maltreatment-attachment-birth-to-age-three-and-beyond/

    +THE MISSING MONTHS OF THE ‘ANTWONE FISHER’ MOVIE-STORY: WHAT WE MOST NEED TO KNOW found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/the-missing-months-of-the-antwone-fisher-movie-story-what-we-most-need-to-know/

    +ABUSE SURVIVAL: NOT A TRIVIAL PROJECT found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/abuse-survival-not-a-trivial-project/

    +NO REAL CHOICE: WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND OUR DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES FROM INFANT-CHILD ABUSE – NOW! found here

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/no-real-choice-we-have-to-understand-our-developmental-changes-from-infant-child-abuse-now/

    +TRAUMA AND DISAPPOINTMENT – POINTING TO OUR TRAUMA WOUNDS

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/trauma-and-disappointment-pointing-to-our-trauma-wounds/

    +HOW DOES THE SELF GET FORMED? HERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF IMPORTANT INFO

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/how-does-the-self-get-formed-heres-a-whole-lot-of-important-info/

    *Attachment Simplified – Still More Complicated Information Including ‘Feeling Felt’ and ‘Healing in Solitude’

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/attachment/attachment-simplified-still-more-complicated-information-including-feeling-felt-and-healing-in-solitude/

    *Attachment Simplified – The More Complicated Yet CRITICAL Information

    https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/attachment/attachment-simplified-the-more-complicated-yet-critical-information/

    • Way to go Linda! I’ve been something of a leader on ACEsConnection.com for two years and I keep trying to explain this on there… Here’s what I wrote to the editor: Mar 10, 2015, at 10:30 AM, Kathy Brous wrote:
      > Hi Jane
      > Saw your Story of the Week on ACE and Resilience scores at http://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/
      > I’ve long had a question about the Resiliency score. My ACE score is 4 and my Resiliency score would be zero (since zero parenting was done in our home, so then I alienated teachers, kids, everyone else I met) — except for numbers 10, 13, and 14. For example: #10. “we had rules,” nothing but — like having rules in prison or the zoo. Rules were enforced abusively to push us away from attachment, feelings or relationship. #13 I was “an independent go-getter” because with zero parenting, often comes premature ego development and zero trust of others. So like “The Boy Named Sue,” we “grow up fast and we grow up mean/our fists get hard and our wits get keen.” Not mental health. And #14 “life is what you make it,” is often also produced that way.
      > So I still think my childhood Resiliency score is zero.
      > Now as an adult, “How many are still true for me?” Well, I don’t know if my current situation is really any Resiliency score — it seems more like an “earned secure attachment” score which could only be earned by years of incredibly painful therapy, emotional and body work. I can now claim #11, “When I feel bad, I can find someone I trust to talk to,” but that’s my therapist and my Recovery partners in this journey of incredibly painful hard work. And such folk are few and far between; most folk haven’t the guts. You can’t just call up any old person and spill the real stuff that must be shared “in dyadic consciousness” to be healed.
      > And sure, as an adult, #12 “people always noticed I was capable and could get things done,” but again that’s the pre-mature ego development which kept me grinding out high-tech documents for the Pentagon and working 2 jobs to support my ex’s addiction for the last 15 years of my abusive marriage. Not mental health.
      > Maybe we could add a third survey, an “Earned Secure Attachment Score (ESAS)”? I’d bet a lot of high achievers on ACEsConnection and in the responses below are in my boat. If we all could start to discover the difference between being The Boy Named Sue, and actually doing the deep emotional work it takes for people like us to fully attach to other humans, we all would benefit enormously.
      > – Kathy

      • Thank you so much for your comment, Kathy! I think those of us “from the worst of the worst” have a very important perspective to offer on these subjects. I am working up to writing another short post on “the resiliency debate” – but even thinking about what I need to say – well, it about knocks the wind out of me.

        Your points here are excellent!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s