Trauma, adversity, healing, and hope
In April of 2019, Alfred White reached out to me on ACEs Connection. Shortly after, we spoke at length about the plans he had to create a place of healing and hope in Federal Way and King County, specifically for individuals with a history of trauma and who were now impacted with symptoms such as addiction and homelessness. I recall sharing with Alfred that there was such a need for this in that community, but doubt if the community was ready for such an endeavor. It would be another ten months before I spoke with Alfred again, and when I did, I was happy to learn that he had proven me wrong.
When Alfred and I reconnected in early 2020, I was shocked to learn that he had been battling extensive chronic health conditions – health conditions that resulted from a generational and lifelong history of trauma and adversity that had begun before he was even born. Alfred shared with me that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer and was awaiting a liver transplant. He shared that he also had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a series of other health conditions. The trauma impacting Alfred’s mind, body, and soul manifested in his life as substance abuse, homelessness, and criminality. Despite the extensive challenges on top of intergenerational trauma and early adversity, Alfred demonstrates a great deal of hope and resilience. He secured a property and partnered with a general contractor to renovate a space into a resilient residential treatment facility, and he continues to pursue connections to breathe life into his vision for a healing center. Alfred impresses and inspires me on a daily basis, proving that our traumas and our histories do not define us.
-Melissa McPheeters, Community Editor, Tacoma-Pierce County ACEs Connection