The Haint and Childhood Trauma

In class last week, while we were discussing The Turner House, the topic of trauma was brought up. Assuming that the characters encountered no trauma as children made me think of the Xerox Seminar Series titled “Adverse Childhood Experiences.” Specifically the first lecture of the series, “The Impact of Health, Wellness & Education” discussed the the statistics of an original case study involving the over seventeen thousand sample size initiated in 1995-1997. The study asked each person yes or no questions using continual monitoring through morbidity and mortality. The researchers found that there was a prevalence of trauma and a correlation between stress and negative outcomes in childhood. The questions asked if a person had experienced any of the following before age eighteen: abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical and/or emotional), and/or household dysfunction (mental illness, mother treated violently, divorce, incarcerated relative, and/or substance abuse). The presenter stated that children who encounter trauma live twenty years less than the average American when the trauma is not addressed.

This is relevant to Cha-Cha seeing a haint. Is the haint a result of Cha-Cha being the eldest and taking on all of the family stress? Therefore, is the haint a result of unaddressed emotional trauma from his childhood? Addressing his father’s alcoholism through therapy sessions, unlike the other characters, helps Cha-Cha come to terms with his father’s depression. This in itself is a traumatic childhood event, and ultimately could be the reason why Cha-Cha sees the haint when he was a teenager to begin with.

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