This was the title of an exercise within an online business course and I thought it might be helpful to others, but I plan to split it into two parts so that it isn’t too much to read in one go.

All of us are tried and tested at different times during our lives, and those trials come in a variety of ways. Adverse conditions in childhood that linger on, can, and do affect our adult life, and how we deal with problems. I recently attended a course update on a therapy known as The 5Awakenings which is a complementary therapy specialising in trauma release, and as each of us related our experiences, a teacher related to us a new method being tried out in some schools, called A.C.E Adverse Childhood Events. She explained that three or less events would probably be manageable but more than that was likely to have a dire effect on the child’s future, it would definitely effect the learning ability, which in turn could bring on mental illnesses, addictions, and possibly an inability to form meaningful relationships in later life; it would also affect their abilities in the workplace.

We all survive within the conditions that are our reality and that varies with each individual. For myself the experiences were loss of loved ones. My mother died at my birth so I was cared for by grandparents who I adored, then at age 7 a beloved aunt died followed by my grandfather one year later. These were the years immediately after World War2 and it was everyone’s reality at that time so I don’t think I felt especially unlucky. However, as an adult I was very worried about losing loved ones to the point of being obsessive. Many people today suffer from the effects of living in poverty, or having a parent or carer that has addictions or is violent and abusive, and homelessness is on the rise. This, has an effect on their ability to deal with everyday things and only too often they are judged: and until there is more understanding about each individuals ability to cope with their problem they will continue to be judged.

One of the more prevalent problems we are aware of today is bullying in whatever form it takes. My daughter recently told me that she had been bullied by a group of girls at school and I had never known. She told me how she dealt with it by challenging them, and asking why they were doing it although she was terrified at the time; they actually didn’t know why they did it, but how many children would be able to do that. As an adult she realised that the main person concerned had many problems of her own, and even as an adult continued to be untrustworthy, her family background seemed very ordinary and pleasant, but we cannot know what her reality was and what may have been hidden from sight. Therefore it can only be a good thing if schools look at a child’s life experiences when there are difficulties with their work or behaviour, and that is hopeful. Bullying in the workplace is also being spotlighted now and that also is hopeful. As more and more people in controlling positions are highlighted when they are abusing others, it will give those who have been abused the strength to come forward with their stories, and start a healing process. The fact that a persons problems are acknowledged, and that there is not one answer that fits all, can allow that person to see themselves as an individual, with a right to deal with those problems in a manner and time frame that they can cope with.

Many years ago whilst attending a lecture hosted by The Society For Companion Animal Studies, the subject of animal abuse was discussed in great detail with very graphic pictures. The general conclusion was that persons who abused animals are very likely to go on to abuse other humans in the future, because their reality said that it was acceptable to hurt something less able to defend itself. Also there was pleasure to be experienced by watching another living thing being hurt or killed. Obviously there a minority of people that never show psychological problems when young yet become pathological offenders, and I am not trying to show any understanding to those. It requires very highly trained people to deal with this subject.

The 5Awakenings Sequence is an easy to use therapy involving colour and sometimes drawing, there is a website under that name and a list of therapists from many areas. Also it is worth looking at the website of The Healer Foundation which carries lists of a variety of therapies.