The Impact of Adverse Childhood Events and Toxic Stress | The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 262

On episode 262 of The Nurse Keith Show, Keith interviews Leslie Peters, RN, a compassionate and brilliant nurse with expertise in the effects of adverse childhood events, addiction, chronic toxic stress, codependence, ADHD, and much more.

Leslie is a woman with a story, a story of living and loving unhealthy people that left her feeling disconnected, so she went out in the world to find connection. She spent her life asking, listening, and learning from others and she began to realize that no matter what the story holds, people need to feel seen, heard, and validated that their existence matters. She wondered if maybe her story held a precious gift that needed to be unwrapped. It would take Leslie almost four decades to unwrap the gift she was given. Inside the box of the gift was a pot of gold — it was the secret of how to have what she started searching for as a teenager – connection!  Her gift showed her the secret of how to never feel disconnected again.

As a speaker, Leslie shares with audiences the life lessons she learned while unveiling the gift of her story. A natural conversationalist and storyteller, Leslie’s style is honest and refreshing, and she has a way of teaching without the listener realizing they’re being taught. Her passion for people, life, and H.E.A.R.T. is contagious!


In this episode, we discuss: 

  • ACES: The Adverse Childhood Events Study
  • Chronic toxic stress
  • Addiction
  • Codependency
  • Life skills for success
  • ADHD
  • And much more!

Leslie writes the following about herself: 

  • I’m the daughter of a man who was an addict & a woman who enabled his addiction. I know how this impacts a child’s sense of self-worth.
  •  I’m little girl who adored her dad & believed his words about”who I was & who I wasn’t”. I know the lifelong effects of emotional & verbal abuse.
  •  I’m the teenager trying to staying true to herself while earning the love of her parents. I know the confusion of not knowing who to trust.
  •  I’m the adolescent who felt alone & knew she needed help. I know the betrayal of being told “no” when you ask for your parents’ help
  •  I’m the young adult who has turned her hurt into love & acceptance for others. I know a way to feel connected when you can’t connect with yourself.
  •  I’m the wife of a man and an addict, and I am the woman who enabled his addiction. I know the shame of staying in your comfort zone despite it feeling damn uncomfortable.
  •  I’m the new mom who wondered how my mom watched in silence. I know the hurt when a mother doesn’t protect her daughter
  •  I’m a mom to a son who’s an addict, and a daughter who enabled his addiction. I know the guilt that comes with passing your story to your children.
  •  I’m the woman who sees the little boy fighting for his dream all the while staying clean. I know the feeling of dying a little more each day as you see your dream get further away.
  •  I’m the woman who sees the little girl, now a woman, pretending her life is fine. I know the hurt she’s hiding for her story was once mine.
  •  I’m the woman who now can see the Cycle of the Story as it hangs on my family tree.
  • I know you can prevent it if you will choose to see.

Connect with Leslie: 


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Nurse KeithIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at

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