Christine's High School Graduation picture
mental health, mental health, self help

What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part Two

Why Discovering my Inner Worthiness was Crucial to my Healing


What is a Narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Oftentimes they can be controlling, manipulative and demanding. They also lack conscience and guilt which makes it very easy for them to hurt others without feeling remorseful or guilty about what they have done or said to harm another person.

Now imagine this person is your Mother.

A picture of Christine with her father
(7TH GRADE) My Father picking me up from my Mom’s after she kicked me out of the house.

The Effects of a Narcissistic Mother

The effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother are profound.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother made it very difficult for me to trust anyone, especially men, I never knew if they would hurt me or not. I was constantly looking at every aspect of their behavior trying to determine if they were good or bad people so that way I could protect myself from further harm but this became exhausting after a while because there was no way I could.

Not to mention the constant need for external validation. 

A young Christine
A young me at the beginning of a life full of manipulation and gaslighting.

Abnormal Parenting

It wasn’t until years later that I realized this kind of parenting wasn’t normal; it wasn’t how other moms treated their kids.  It didn’t seem strange at the time because I had no point of reference; my mother was just “the way she was.”

But when you grow up with a narcissistic parent, it can be extremely confusing and painful — especially when you don’t even know that your parent has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  

It took me years to realize that there was something wrong with this situation; it wasn’t just me making things up in my head or overreacting to things that weren’t really happening at all…it was My Narcissistic Mother. 

She is the person who will remind you of your mistakes and shortcomings every chance she gets. She will create stories that portray you as a terrible person, a burden on society, and a waste of space. She will make sure everyone knows you are a disappointment, especially if they have something she wants or needs from them.

Meet Your Narcissistic Mother

She has no empathy for others; in fact, she feels superior to most people in her life. She cannot feel remorse over anything she has done wrong or hurtful things she has said. She expects everyone to meet her high expectations without question, but never does anything herself because it is beneath her.

Your Narcissistic Mother does not like anything about you; everything that makes up who you are is wrong in her eyes.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is a form of emotional abuse that can have a devastating effect on the child’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Narcissistic mothers are often very good at creating an illusion of being wonderful parents. They are often charming, charismatic and superficially seem to be loving and attentive. The reality is that they lack empathy for their children and only care about their own needs, feelings and desires. HELLO GUILT TRIPS!

Stay Tuned for Part Three of What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother. *HINT: EXHAUSTING

I’ll provide examples galore of her subtle manipulation.

My hope is for others to heal by sharing my story. You deserve peace. You are worthy.



podcast

How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, (part TWO), episode 34

Watch Episode 34 on my Youtube Channel

Summary

Do you have Chronic Pain? Ready for Pain Recovery? This episode is for YOU!

We have a special guest today—Dr. Les Aria, a Pain Psychologist & Co-founder of Menda.Health, who specializes in helping people recover from chronic pain. Today, he’ll explain what polyvagal theory is and how it can help you feel safe when you’re dealing with chronic pain.

This week’s episode, Part TWO, on polyvagal theory and its application to chronic pain therapy. Polyvagal theory is the science of feeling safe, and it’s based on decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges, who pioneered research into the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with emotions.

Watch our episode on Youtube: https://youtu.be/jucIIsQkvig

Check out Dr. Les Aria’s Pain Recovery Apphttps://www.menda.health/

Topics Covered:

  • The only question you brain is trying to answer
  • 3 worlds our body & brain responds to
  • Easy ways to recognize nervous system dysregulation
  • 90 seconds to correct your emotional experience  
  • Why intense attraction can’t be trusted
  • Why we are attracted to people who dysregulate our nervous system 
  • Our brain is reacting to past while in the present
  • What we need to experience to believe we can heal ourself 
  • Practice is the drive changer of your nervous system 
  • Co-regulation 

Connect with Dr. Les Aria: 

Website: https://lesariaphd.com/| Youtube: Myndfulness here| Dynamic Healing Podcast |Instagram @drlesaria

Connect with Christine: 

 Twitter | Instagram | website | Youtube | FB 

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

mental health

What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part One

Why Discovering my Inner Worthiness was Crucial to my Healing


Society’s Mother Conditioning

Society tells us that Mothers are kind, supportive, and your biggest cheerleader. Society tells us Mothers are warm, make chocolate chip cookies, listen without judgment, and push you to be your best. 

My mother was the exact opposite. 

Society tells us Narcissists are men who drive Corvettes, born with a silver spoon, arrogant and void of emotions. Society never mentions women as Narcissists. Society certainly never mentions Mothers—”your biggest cheerleader”—-as Narcissists.

I am a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I diagnose and treat people with Psychiatric Disorders. I diagnose personality disorders as well. I have been in the profession of Mental Health for over 15 years. 

I am considered a Mental Health “expert”.

Even I did not know my Mother had Severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Childhood Confusion

Being a child raised by a Mother who was abusive, jealous, in competition with me, who punished me emotionally for questioning her behaviors and constantly vilifying me for my childhood “mistakes” was confusing. 

Confusing to my inner worthiness

My Mother’s Narcissistic traits were subtle. Subtle when you compare her to my father, who was a racist, vulgar, alcoholic. 

So, it was difficult for me—a child—to describe exactly why she was awful. Difficult to understand why my Mother, who society deems as a martyr, your best friend, your biggest support–disliked me. And the odd and confusing feeling of having nothing in common with your mother.

So what does a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother do? She expresses her hurt, confusion, and lack of worthiness through her behaviors.


My 16th Birthday
My 16th Birthday pretending everything was Ok when it was not
Turning 16 feeling lost and confused


Teenage Years

My teenage years were one of rebellion, promiscuity, and illicit drug experimentation. My teenage rebellion was anything but subtle.

My behaviors screamed and spotlighted the abuse I was suffering. My lack of not giving a shit, invisibility, and no direction was a mirror to my homelife.

A mirror to my lack of worthiness

You see, when you are raised by a Narcissistic Mother you constantly question yourself, question your reality, question your judgement, question your truth, and most importantly—your worthiness.  

Below are examples of my Narcissistic Mother’s traits and abusive behaviors: 

  1. Selfish 
  2. Sibling Triangulation
  3. Gaslighting 
  4. No Boundaries
  5. Pitting me against my father
  6. Disrespectful
  7. Lies
  8. Love Bombing
  9. Disregard
  10. Secret Keeper (not)
  11. Manipulation
  12. Conditional Love
  13. Destroying my Reputation 
  14. Fantasy Land 
  15. Pretending to be Vulnerable 
  16. Gossiping 
  17. Purposely Provoking 
  18. Thriving off Chaos 
  19. Abandoning during crisis 
  20. Minimal Affection 

Check out my podcast episode discovering my mother is a narcissist.

My hope is for others to heal by hearing my story. You are not alone.

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast

Stay tuned for Part Two of my journey.

2022 black history month blackmentalhealth boundaries bullies burnout Childhood chronic pain chronicpain conversation coronavirus covid daughter embrace family Father healing healthcare human design journey longcovid manipulation Mental Health mindbodyconnection mother motherhood mother] narcissist nurse nursepractitioner nursing parenting Podcast polyvagaltheory psychology purpose racism relationships selfcare selfhelp selflove Spirituality trauma Universe worthiness

Dr. Les Aria
mental health, podcast

episode 34: the polyvagal (How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, part TWO)

Dr. Les Aria

Summary

Do you have Chronic Pain? Ready for Pain Recovery? This episode is for YOU!

We have a special guest today—Dr. Les Aria, a Pain Psychologist & Co-founder of Menda.Health, who specializes in helping people recover from chronic pain. Today, he’ll explain what polyvagal theory is and how it can help you feel safe when you’re dealing with chronic pain.

This week’s episode, Part TWO, on polyvagal theory and its application to chronic pain therapy. Polyvagal theory is the science of feeling safe, and it’s based on decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges, who pioneered research into the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with emotions.

Check out Dr. Les Aria’s Pain Recovery Apphttps://www.menda.health/

Topics Covered:

  • The only question you brain is trying to answer
  • 3 worlds our body & brain responds to
  • Easy ways to recognize nervous system dysregulation
  • 90 seconds to correct your emotional experience  
  • Why intense attraction can’t be trusted
  • Why we are attracted to people who dysregulate our nervous system 
  • Our brain is reacting to past while in the present
  • What we need to experience to believe we can heal ourself 
  • Practice is the drive changer of your nervous system 
  • Co-regulation 

Connect with Dr. Les Aria: 

Website: https://lesariaphd.com/| Youtube: Myndfulness here| Dynamic Healing Podcast |Instagram @drlesaria

Connect with Christine: 

 Twitter | Instagram | website | Youtube | FB 

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Picture of Christine and Dr. Les Aria
mental health, podcast

episode 34: the polyvagal (How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, part ONE)

Picture of Christine and Dr. Les Aria
Christine and Les discussing the groundbreaking The Polyvagal Theory

It Always Seems Impossible…Until It’s Done

Nelson Mandela

Summary

Do you have Chronic Pain? Ready for Pain Recovery? This episode is for YOU!

We have a special guest today—Dr. Les Aria, a Pain Psychologist who specializes in helping people recover from chronic pain. Today, he’ll explain what polyvagal theory is and how it can help you feel safe when you’re dealing with chronic pain.

This week’s episode, Part One, on polyvagal theory and its application to chronic pain therapy. Polyvagal theory is the science of feeling safe, and it’s based on decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges, who pioneered research into the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with emotions.

Check out Dr. Les Aria’s Pain Relief Apphttps://www.menda.health/

Topics Covered:

  • Healing Chronic Pain through the Vagus Nerve
  • Ways to stimulate your Vagus Nerve
  • Polyvagal Framework Ladder of Feeling Safe
  • Mind Body Connection
  • Trauma and Chronic Pain brain pathways
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Long Covid Symptoms
  • Shut Down Phase of Relapse connected to Trauma
  • Why slow breathing is key 
  • Wisdom of your Frontal Lobe
  • Safe and Sound Protocol

Connect with Dr. Les Aria:

Website: https://lesariaphd.com/

Youtube: Myndfulness here

Podcast–Dynamic Healing– here 

Safe and Sound Protocol here 

Listen, Download, and Share Christine’s Podcast:How Coronavirus Saved My Life

Connect with Christine on Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Youtube | FB 

Check out Christine’s podcast with her sisterThe Family Burrito


Big hugs to all the listeners! My little podcast to help the world heal is starting to reach the ears and hearts of people around the world!

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

episode 34: the polyvagal (How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, part TWO) How Coronavirus Saved My Life

Do you have Chronic Pain? Ready for Pain Recovery? This episode is for YOU! We have a special guest today—Dr. Les Aria, a Pain Psychologist & Co-founder of Menda.Health, who specializes in helping people recover from chronic pain. Today, he'll explain what polyvagal theory is and how it can help you feel safe when you're dealing with chronic pain. This week's episode, Part TWO, on polyvagal theory and its application to chronic pain therapy. Polyvagal theory is the science of feeling safe, and it's based on decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges, who pioneered research into the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with emotions. Watch our episode on Youtube: https://youtu.be/jucIIsQkvig Check out Dr. Les Aria’s Pain Recovery App: https://www.menda.health/ Topics Covered: The only question you brain is trying to answer 3 worlds our body & brain responds to Easy ways to recognize nervous system dysregulation 90 seconds to correct your emotional experience   Why intense attraction can't be trusted Why we are attracted to people who dysregulate our nervous system  Our brain is reacting to past while in the present What we need to experience to believe we can heal ourself  Practice is the drive changer of your nervous system  Co-regulation  Connect with Dr. Les Aria:  Website: https://lesariaphd.com/| Youtube: Myndfulness here| Dynamic Healing Podcast | Instagram @drlesaria Connect with Christine:   Twitter | Instagram | website | Youtube | FB  Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message
  1. episode 34: the polyvagal (How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, part TWO)
  2. episode 34: the polyvagal (How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, part ONE)
  3. episode 33: the boundary
  4. episode 32: the warrior (VIDEO) (Teaching Yourself How to Parent with Belinda Tyner)
  5. episode 32: the warrior (Teaching Yourself How to Parent with Belinda Tyner)
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mental health, mental health, nursing, podcast, podcast, self help

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast- episode 33: the boundary

Picture of the word "boundary" spelled out
Listen to episode 33 about boundaries. Boundaries = Self-Love

Summary

Were you taught it’s ok to say “No” in childhood? Were you taught it’s ok to speak up for your needs? Neither was I. 

Teaching myself how to set boundaries is a work in progress. My narcissistic mother crossing my boundary for the last time was my key to emotional freedom and authentic worthiness. 

In this solo episode, I cover all things boundaries. 

Rule of Thumb: Those who react the loudest when a boundary is set is evidence the boundary was needed in the first place (read this again).

Topics Covered: 

  • What is a boundary?
  • Why boundaries are important to your well-being
  • 4 types of boundaries 
  • Signs a boundary is crossed
  • How to set a boundary
  • My personal examples and emotional impact when I didn’t set boundaries

Listen, Download, and Share Christine’s Podcast:How Coronavirus Saved My Life

Connect with Christine on Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Youtube | FB 

Check out Christine’s podcast with her sisterThe Family Burrito

Big hugs to all the listeners! My little podcast to help the world heal is starting to reach the ears and hearts of people around the world!

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Check out my blog about boundaries:

https://howcoronavirussavedmylife.com/2022/07/20/6-reasons-why-its-important-to-set-boundaries/

2022 black history month blackmentalhealth boundaries bullies burnout Childhood chronic pain chronicpain conversation coronavirus covid daughter embrace family Father healing healthcare human design journey longcovid manipulation Mental Health mindbodyconnection mother motherhood mother] narcissist nurse nursepractitioner nursing parenting Podcast polyvagaltheory psychology purpose racism relationships selfcare selfhelp selflove Spirituality trauma Universe worthiness

Picture of Christine and Belinda discussing motherhood
conversation, mental health, Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus, self help

“You Can’t Keep Blaming Me”

A REAL Mom to Mom Conversation about Being Raised by Broken Women

August 7, 2022 by Christine ZethrausPMHNP-BC

episode 32: the warrior

Watch the response of Belinda’s Mother after expressing how her Mother’s abandonment impacted her childhood. Belinda’s response back to her Mother’s disappointing reaction is not to be missed! Bravo Belinda!



Check Out My Other Blog Articles of Interest…

Christine's High School Graduation picture

What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part Two

Why Discovering my Inner Worthiness was Crucial to my Healing What is a Narcissist? A narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Oftentimes they can be controlling, manipulative and demanding. They also lack conscience and guilt which makes it very easy for them to… Continue reading What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part Two

How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, (part TWO), episode 34

Summary Do you have Chronic Pain? Ready for Pain Recovery? This episode is for YOU! We have a special guest today—Dr. Les Aria, a Pain Psychologist & Co-founder of Menda.Health, who specializes in helping people recover from chronic pain. Today, he’ll explain what polyvagal theory is and how it can help you feel safe when… Continue reading How to Heal Chronic Pain with Dr. Les Aria, (part TWO), episode 34

black mental health, community, conversation, culture, mental health, mental health, nursing, podcast, self help, Society

The Revealing Reasons Why I Am Grateful My Dad Was A Racist 

Why Witnessing Injustice on a Daily Basis was Necessary for My Purpose and Calling

By: Christine Zethraus, PMHNP-BC

A picture of Christine with her father
Christine (7th grade) and Charlie (Dad).
He picked me up in Fort Worth, TX after my mother kicked me out.
I was on my way to Georgia to live with him for a year.

Boy oh Boy…what a year that was!

Growing Up….

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? 

Because………

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. 

And now……

I find solutions by seeking other’s truth, ask questions, and do my best to see it all from many perspectives.  

Check out my youtube Channel Below:

Healing Cycles of Abuse | Episode 31 | the adversity

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
mental health, podcast

6 Reasons Why It’s Important To Set Boundaries

Why it’s Important to Your Mental Well-Being

What is a Boundary?

A boundary is direct communication about what YOU need, what YOUR limits are, what your willing to do or not do, tells the other what you’re thinking or feeling, provides space between yourself and the other, and gives clear expectations.

We think people can read our minds. We think people should know how we are feeling or what we are thinking. We think people should know when we need help. We think people should know that thing they did was wrong. We think people should know when they hurt our feelings.

They don’t. Most of the time they are unaware. Or they feel so guilty they don’t want to face it.

Boundaries create safety for everyone involved. Boundaries are love for yourself. Boundaries are love for the other.

graphic showing importance of self love
Boundaries are Important for Self Love

Below are 6 Reasons Why it’s Important to Set Boundaries:

  1. Protects your emotional and physical energy: You can’t give to others if you haven’t given to yourself first, otherwise, it’s called judgement. Boundaries protects your precious emotional and physical energy. You then help from a place of love when you put yourself first before helping others.
  2. Avoids Future Conflicts and Resentment: Being direct with a simple statement about what you need or what your boundary is, helps the other person on the receiving end. Supports healthy communication.
  3. Allows you to define your emotional and physical space: This is a BIG one for me. I need lots of alone time. I need lots of space after working a full day in a mental health setting. I need quiet with little interruption. Everyone deserves peace. Telling others you need time alone is SUPER important to your well-being.
  4. Makes your Relationships Last Longer: Setting boundaries creates space for deeper connection. Boundaries tell your partner what you need instead of a guessing miscommunication game.
  5. Allows you to Practice Self-Respect: Most of us were not taught to set boundaries in childhood. Most of us were not taught it’s ok to say NO. Most of us were raised by broken or emotionally immature people. Boundaries tells our brain we are safe. Our brain needs this because it thinks we still need protection from childhood.
  6. Enables you to set reasonable consequences for violating your space: YOU define your own consequence. NO ONE gets a say so on the importance of your space. Not your mother. Not your father. Not your partner. Not your child. And certainly not society or your religious upbringing.
Infographic on why it's important to set boundaries
6 Reasons Why Boundaries Are Important

Reminder: Those who react the loudest to the boundary, is reinforcement the boundary was needed in the first place.


Check out my latest podcast episode where Belinda and I discuss importance of boundaries in toxic families:

mental health, mental health, podcast, self help

episode 1: the fear

A picture of me several days before I got Coronavirus in April 2020
Me at work days before my Coronavirus journey started

Summary

The beginning of my coronavirus journey which leads to unexpected discoveries within. A pivotal moment in my backyard when I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t breath. My brain told me I needed to call 911 or was I was going to die. My gut told me if I called 911 I would die because I believed it. This was the moment I decided to listen to my gut which forever changed the course of my life. 

Listen to my bizarre coronavirus and long-covid symptoms which happened in parts–cramped hands, excruciating headaches, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, covid toe, brain fog, dry mouth, weird tongues, etc.  

Resources: 

Vagus nerve info

The Vagus Nerve: your secret weapon to in fighting stress 

Listen, Download, and Share Christine’s Podcast:How Coronavirus Saved My Life

Connect with Christine on Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Youtube | FB 

Check out Christine’s podcast with her sisterThe Family Burrito

Big hugs to all the listeners! My little podcast to help the world heal is starting to reach the ears and hearts of people around the world!

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Transcription