LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - All should hear Dr. Felitti's message

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I am writing to you regarding the information about the ACEs - adverse childhood experiences - and how my life has been affected. I was invited to a community forum that was held at Walla Walla Community College nearly four years ago.

There I was given an ACE survey, and I scored a 10 (you score anywhere from 0 to 10). When Dr. Rob Anda, co-researcher of the ACE study with Dr. Vincent Felitti, spoke at the forum, I became aware that how I was raised had affected me as an adult.

This was a life-changing moment for me. I had always thought I deserved the negative life I was living and that's just the way things were going to be.

But by realizing none of my childhood traumas were my fault, I "woke up." I now live my life in a positive way, I am no longer the victim and I surround myself with positive people - people who encourage me to do the impossible (or so I thought). And people who believe in me and what I stand for.

I want to help others realize they are important and they, too, can let go of the blame and shame and live in a positive way.

I enjoy life and what it has to offer. I love the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," because once I found my village, my life became positive.

They are people who give me hope, they listen to me, they include me in their lives and best of all, they allow me to be myself. They boost my spirits and encourage me on a daily basis.

This information is powerful, you just have to accept who you are. This has allowed me to lift my head up high and carry on with life.

I don't focus on the negative anymore, only on the positive.

Dream until your dreams come true. I encourage everyone to hear Dr. Felitti's messag. He is the doctor who created the ACE study and what we now know about health impacts of trauma.

Annett Ridenour

Walla Walla

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