Houston — Poet, activist, and author Aija Mayrock collaborated with ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Resource Network, an organization that spreads awareness of childhood trauma on their NumberStory Storyteller Series to share her story of hope, healing and experiences with bullying.
The series is a collection of voices describing stories of healing and challenging journeys of childhood experiences and trauma and is geared toward all age groups and audiences and seeks to bring diverse stories and perspectives to the platform.
Mayrock shared her story of feeling different growing up with a speech impediment and learning disabilities and the bullying she encountered growing up, but using the power of words through poetry to spread a message of hope and inspiration through her struggles.
“Aija Mayrock’s advocacy for anti-bullying has empowered me into being true to myself,” Texas High School Senior Chambie Elliot said. “Whenever I hear Aija Mayrock speak, I feel inspired, valued, beautifully unique, and I feel like I have a purpose that can add goodness to the world.”
The network started the campaign in May 2021 to increase awareness and bring healing to life's difficult experiences and childhood traumas. It provides an understanding of the short-term and long-term effects of traumatic events as well as healing strategies for coping and recovery.
It has also collaborated with other influencers, advocates, and leaders, including Oprah Winfrey and Camila Cabello, to spread the message of the beauty of a number story and to find healing from adverse childhood experiences.
“Our goals with this series are to reach as many people as we can with awareness of the lasting impacts of our childhoods, but really, it's about healing strategies," Joy Thomas, Leader of Community Engagement and Learning at ACE Resource Network, said. "I think that's one thing that's really effective about having a storyteller series is that every story is going to capture different hearts and minds in different ways."
Mayrock's full story can be found on the MyNumberStory Instagram page, along with other collaborations. ACE Resource Network offers research, guidance and strategies on its website to help people understand what ACEs are, how they are created and how to understand their impacts on our lives.
"What happens to us in childhood will follow us for the rest of our life," Mayrock said in her Number Story video on Instagram. "I think it is really powerful to find different outlets to open up … own your story like you wrote it yourself … wear those wounds like crown jewels."
Mayrock has shared her story on various platforms, including in her two books “Dear Girl” and “The Survival Guide to Bullying”. She plans to continue to be an advocate, sharing her journey of transformation from pain into purpose through the power of words.
“The healing journey is not linear, and there's no beginning and no end necessarily,” she said. “I think the healing journey is a lifelong journey, and I think what is important to remember is that it is just a part of a life story.”