As anyone with a sibling or more than one child knows, people will respond differently to the same situation. How much do individual traits change or mitigate the effect of ACEs?
A. If you take a population of 1,000 people or 10,000 people or 100,000 people and they all have one ACE versus two ACEs versus seven ACEs — what you’re going to see is this substantially increased risk of health problems. Are there still going to be folks who by virtue of their biology or circumstance or environment are able to be resilient in the face of adversity? There are. Just like there’s the guy who smoked two packs a day and drank whiskey every day and lived to be 100. The takeaway for me is how we’re trying to reduce the exposure on a population level.
Q. You’ve said that your work on ACEs led you to your husband. What do you mean by that?
A. I won’t comment on any of my ex-boyfriends, but I was like — whoa — the type of relationship that I have has a profound impact on my life span and my health. Not just how I feel, but this could seriously shorten my life expectancy.
My husband is a person who I feel heals me from the inside out. He’s been really instrumental in what I’ve been able to accomplish in terms of starting my organization