Your Number Story


Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris talk ACEs.


Find Resilience

In our history and yours

“I’m struggling with some stuff from my past that’s been weighing me down. When I was younger, I went through some really tough things at home, and bullying at school. Some of what I’ve been through includes being mistreated for not conforming to gender norms and for not being straight.

It’s been a while since my lowest points, but there are plenty of challenges I still face now. While I have made some progress in healing and putting the past behind me, it can seem like I take two steps forward and one step back. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fully recover, or at least feel some real relief from the baggage I’ve been carrying since I was very young.”

Healing is a journey, and what can feel like steps backward are often part of the process.

It’s okay to wander, or rest for a while, or to cover the same ground for as long as we need to until we’re ready to move in a new direction. Every path is different, each shaped by where we started.

Our experiences as children can impact the way we feel and function throughout our lives.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful, potentially traumatic events or circumstances occurring before age 18 that may have negative, lasting impacts. They include abuse, neglect, caregiver divorce or separation, growing up in a household with domestic violence, or having a household member who is incarcerated, has a mental illness, or has issues with substance use.

ACEs – along with adversities like poverty, discrimination, and community violence – create stress in our bodies as children. When the stress response is activated often, or for a prolonged amount of time – it can become toxic. This is more likely to happen when our caregivers and environments don’t have the resources to help us process our stress in the ways we need.

Toxic stress can have lasting, damaging effects on our physical and mental health. The more adversity we experience growing up, the greater our risk of negative outcomes – from educational and career achievements to relationships, and from more than 40 health conditions to our lifespan itself. LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience ACEs and other adversity, including abuse, neglect, and bullying.

There is hope. Healing is possible.While we can’t change or erase the past, and we can’t always control the circumstances around us – we can determine where our story goes from here. Your desire to reflect on and heal from your past experiences is a powerful statement of your own strength and resilience.

LGBTQ+ people have shown remarkable resilience throughout a history of oppression, including ongoing discrimination today. We’ve found ways to thrive, create chosen families, and build vibrant communities – while continuing to fight for the right to live with dignity and authenticity.

Remember that
you are not alone.

As you navigate your own healing journey, may you be inspired to keep going by those who have paved the way.

Tips and Tools

Be Mindful

Mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment, acknowledge your feelings without judgment, and cultivate a sense of calm and focus. A mindfulness practice doesn’t have to look like a wellness stereotype. You may find it works best to bring mindfulness into your daily routine, like a morning mindful glass of water, or an afternoon mindful walk. Start small and try to release any expectations of what mindfulness is or could be. Maybe there’s something you already enjoy or have wanted to try – tarot, gardening, astrology, drawing – any of these can be practiced mindfully.

Share with someone

Addressing our mental health can be key to our body’s overall well-being. Toxic stress can cause neurological, immune, inflammatory, cardiovascular, or metabolic issues. Many of us have found that the best place to start working on our mental health is to share what we’re going through with someone we trust – whether that’s a partner, a friend, a healthcare provider, or another member of your community. Consider reaching out – a conversation can be the start of feeling better.


Discover the Story of your Number to learn more about ACEs, childhood adversity, the impacts of toxic stress, healing (including exploring mindfulness and mental health care), and how to support the kids in your life.

The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (EndCAN) raises awareness of the impacts of abuse, and supports a community for survivors. They created the Louder than Silence: Ending Child Abuse and Neglect Survivor Community, a free online community where people can feel safe anonymously discussing their experiences among others who are likely to understand.

Wherever we are in our own journeys - we could all use some care and support.

Take time to check out some tips, tools, and resources around whatever it is you may be seeking.
You’re so totally worth it.
Find pride - it's more than a destination, it's a journey
Find community - Real ones who get the vibes
Find rest - so you can slay
another day
Find hope - shining through the darkest hours
Find joy - follow what sparks
your soul
Find support - you’re so
worth it, babe
Sacramento Resources
National Resources