Why Witnessing Injustice on a Daily Basis was Necessary for My Purpose and Calling
By: Christine Zethraus, PMHNP-BC
Growing up and being raised partly by a loud, obnoxious, alcoholic, drug fueled, racist father was draining. I am a lover by nature so having a parent who was the extreme opposite of myself was challenging to say the least. My father and I were polar opposites in our approach to life. He was harsh, crass, vulgar, and forceful. I am pensive, reflective, laid back, and try to see things from many perspectives.
I ask a lot of questions. I crave truth and seek the other side of the story. My father made a lot of assumptions about others. And built his stubborn house there.
Beginning of My Gratitude for my Racist Father…
Now, don’t get me wrong. I can be loud, relentless, in your face, challenging, and forceful when it comes to unfair treatment of others. This is where my gratitude for my racist father begins. He taught me sometimes IT IS necessary to get loud when you are fighting for what you believe in. It is necessary to be vocally forceful. Sometimes your approach is needs to be challenging and drain others I suppose.
Unfortunately, I can also have these same qualities when I feel personally betrayed in romantic relationships…ugh.
That story for another time. (hint: daddy issues)
Hearing the N-Word was Essential in my Childhood…
Hearing my Father say the N-Word constantly was absolutely necessary to my upbringing. Watching my father scream racist remarks to folks minding their own business driving by was imperative. Observing violence and constantly feeling fear in my Father’s presence was essential to my childhood. Being afraid of the person, parent, father figure, family member who looked like me was fundamental.
My Purpose in this Life…
Why in the world would I ever say such a thing? Why would I say my Father’s violent behaviors and racist mindset were an essential part of my childhood?
I would never have cared about any other issues outside of my own race, culture, economic status, education, and upbringing had I not experienced my racist Father’s wrath of misguided hate towards others. Along with his misguided hate towards me at times. Being front lines to daily injustice shaped who I am. Shaped my mission in this world.
I had to physically feel injustice. I had to emotionally feel injustice. I had to intellectually feel injustice. I had to encompass the enormity of all sides of to care, ask questions, reflect about the Injustices of different races, cultures, economic statuses, education and healthcare disparities. I HAD to experience, witness, feel the hate and fear of it all in order for ME to see the multiple sides of the injustice coin.
I find solutions by seeking other’s truth, ask questions, and do my best to see it all from many perspectives.
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Thank you to all my listeners, readers who are making the bold decision to heal! Healing truly is a choice. A choice you deserve.
The other side of that mountain of fear is waiting for your authentic self & your authentic happiness you are so worthy of.-Christine Zethraus, Mental Health NP