episode 23: the stigma (Solutions to Mental Health Stigma in the Black Community: A Panel Discussion)

Summary

Mental Health experts and advocates discuss solutions to mental health stigma in the black community

Meet the Panel: 

Adris  Moffett,LCSW-S “Your Classy Therapist”

Danny  Ross, LPC-S, Author, Public Speaker, Specialized Research Therapy in African-American Families, podcast host 

Jarred Denzel, Mental Health Advocate who’s goal is to normalize mental health and end the stigma

Christine Zethraus, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Podcast Host

Topics Discussed: 

  • Why each panel member was drawn to mental health
  • Why normalizing mental health in the black community is important 
  • Why black men have avoidant attachment style in relationships 
  • How the black community reacts to suicide 
  • Ways to decrease judgement and shame when discussing suicide 
  • Listening without responding 
  • Creating safe space when discussing emotions 
  • Normalizing depression discussion
  • Church being a solution to reducing mental health stigma 
  • How living with your family doesn’t mean you’re a family 

This episode is sponsored by Anchor. It’s the easiest way to make a podcast

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast here 

Check out The Family Burrito Podcast Christine makes with her sister Jessie here

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of the How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast.  — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Transcription

episode 22: the mania (Conversation with Melissa Llarena About What It’s Like Being Raised By A Mother With Severe Bipolar Disorder)

Summary

In this episode….

Melissa Llarena and I have a powerful conversation about her childhood. Quite frankly, I am still wrapping my mind around what it was like for Melissa as a little girl being raised by a Mother who has Bipolar Disorder. Melissa eloquently paints the picture of herself as a little girl who’s mother was frequently hospitalized, off her meds, manic, grandiose, and unstable. A little girl who was shuffled around, raising herself, constant chaos, and a foundation created with uncertainty and danger. I am honored Melissa Llarena trusted my listeners and myself for giving her a safe space to speak her childhood truth. 

Personal Note: 

Dear Melissa, 

I am so proud of you for the bravery of sharing your story. This IS YOUR Geraldo Rivera moment. Little Melissa is worthy of feeling safe in her/your truth. You inspire me in unimaginable ways! Thank you. I am humbled. Keeping speaking YOUR truth. You deserve it…. and so does the world. Go Cycle

Melissa Llarena’s Bio:

Melissa is a business mentor, career coach, Forbes contributor, and greatest cheerleader to fellow mompreneurs. She is the creator and host of ``An Interview with Melissa Llarena”which is a podcast for super curious humans who desire to learn from humans who courageously and creatively went after their curiosities, and made an impact, so they can too.

Melissa Llarena Resources: 

Check out Career Outcomes Matter here.

Listen and Download Melissa Llarena’s podcast -An Interview With Melissa Llarena–here.

Melissa’s Instagram here

Sign up NOW for Melissa’s Courage Makerspace Playbook here (An amazing resource!)

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Christine’s Resources:

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

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast onTwitter

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast onInstagram

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My LifeBlog

This episode sponsored by Anchor:

http://anchor.fm

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guests of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Transcription

episode 21: the design

(Conversation with Human Design Expert and Coach Marielle Honse)

Listen to my latest episode on how Human Design changed my life!

Summary

Show notes:

episode 21: the design (Conversation with Human Design Expert and Coach Marielle Honse)

Intro:

After I emerged from quarantine in April 2020 I was a different person. My brain was different, my soul was different, & the things that spoke to my heart were different. I could no longer go back to the person I was before. The person I was before was constantly frustrated, unhappy without knowing why, and living in a world of pressure and dissatisfaction.

As I journeyed through my spiritual transformation, I came across Human Design. The more I read and learned about my own Human Design, the more I was fascinated. Human Design (HD) has helped me understand my gifts & talents, how to use frustration as my superpower, why I had a traumatic childhood.

Today I brought my friend and Human Design Coach and Reader Marielle to discuss what exactly is Human Design and how this can transform your life as well.

episode 21 topics:

  • Human Design Coach Marielle gives background about herself, how she found HD, and why it resonated with her
  • Marielle explains Human Design two ways
  • Bodygraphs
  • Gates
  • Marielle explains who developed and discovered HD
  • Neutrino flow
  • Energy Types (Generators, Manifestors, MGs, Projectors, and Reflectors)
  • Profile Types

Marielle HD Coach Resources: 

Sign up for Coaching Newsletter here

Follow Marielle on Instagram for more HD topics

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast on Twitter

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/howcoronavirussavedmylife/

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Blog

https://howcoronavirussavedmylife.com

***Check out my other podcast I co-host with my sister Jessie— The Family Burrito****

Follow The Family Burrito Podcast on Twitter:

Follow The Family Burrito Podcast on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/thefamilyburritopodcast/

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations in this Podcast are only opinions of the host and guest of How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast

This episode is sponsored by Anchor:

http://anchor.fm  — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/message

Transcription

episode 18: the survival (Conversation with my friend Anthony about his Experience as a Gay Man with HIV)

Summary

Show Notes: 

In this episode, Christine has a conversation with her best friend Anthony about his Experience as a Gay Man with HIV

Christine and Anthony discuss the following:

  • Debate the term promiscuous
  • Tell the story how they met
  • Compare and contrast their childhood
  • Anthony’s Italian Conservative family
  • Money trauma in childhood
  • Using money to avoid difficult emotions
  • Anthony’s powerful moment with his bio father
  • Anthony not knowing any gay people till 18 years old
  • Anthony knowing he was gay since 12
  • His first gay experience
  • How is family reacted when came out
  • Creating his own version of a gay man
  • Speaking our truth
  • Sep 11
  • Anthony’s HIV diagnosis & powerful moment with his dr
  • Madonna advocating for safe sex
  • His family’s reaction to his diagnosis

Resources for HIV education and facts:

https://www.hiv.gov/

Christine’s Podcast:

How Coronavirus Saved My Life on 9 podcast platforms

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast on Twitter

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/howcoronavirussavedmylife/

Follow How Coronavirus Saved My Life Blog

https://howcoronavirussavedmylife.com

This episode sponsored by Anchor:

https://anchor.fm/

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

How Embracing the Ugly Side of Your Family’s History is Healing

Why It’s Important to Yourself and the World

Part Two:

What does the word Embrace mean to you? I looked up the definition of “Embrace” after a dear friend encouraged me to Embrace my family’s ugly history of owning enslaved men, women, children, and families. How in the world do you embrace something like this? And why?

Spotlighting injustice is my life’s theme. I have always been one to fight for the underdog, vulnerable populations, sidelined groups, and the mistreated.
Perhaps this stems from being raised by parents who were cruel at times, emotional abusive, and created a foundation of uncertainty. I was the underdog. I was the mistreated. I was the vulnerable.

My ancestors were part of something horrific, something that is the complete opposite of my soul which has been a devastating discovery for me. But why? And is it really devastating? Or am I creating an unfounded belief from my childhood programming that it was my fault?

A picture of a page in my family's genealogy book showing enslaved people they owned
A page from my family’s genealogy book with enslaved people my family owned

According to Meriam-Webster Dictionary.com, Embrace as a verb means “to put one’s arms around and press tightly”, “to surround”, or “to take for one’s own use”. As I am reading the definitions of Embrace—I see the word assimilate. Just as my friend told me he’s had to do his whole life as a black man—Assimilate.

At any moment we can choose a different emotion, a different perspective, a different realization. There are many truths to many things we don’t understand. Sometimes we will never get the clarity or understanding to situations which cause us great pain.

I will never obtain the clarity and understanding from this ugly side of my family’s history. I only cause myself more pain by trying to fill in the answers over and over again. The answers will not be good enough anyway. So what do you do?

Only You create the clarity & understanding for Yourself

Now I create my own clarity and understanding by defining Embrace as surrender and acceptance.


I Embrace–surrender and accept– this ugly side of my family’s history because I am healing this “ancestorial curse” as my insightful friend calls it. I choose to embrace my family’s history because I cannot change the past. I choose to embrace my family’s history because fighting against it only hurts myself and my own healing.

I am on the Beautiful Healing side of my Family’s History.

I Embrace this.

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast
Listen to episode 4: the childhood
to find out more about my abusive racist upbringing

How Embracing the Ugly Side of Your Family’s History is Healing

Why It’s Important to Yourself and the World

By Christine Zethraus, PMHNP/Podcaster

Part One:

A year ago today, March 01, 2021, my Father died. The Father who exposed me to violence, hatred, racism, chaos, distorted boundaries, and my main example of a Man, died year ago today.

Prior to his death, I had made amends with him, began to unwind his conditioning, and began to see him from a different perspective. I was able to ask him questions from a purely inquisitive state, not from a emotionally wounded child one.

After his death, I found our family’s genealogy book in a box of his. The genealogy book starts in the 1800s. I did not recognize any of the names nor had heard of any of my ancestors listed. I was surprised to discover we came from Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, and South Carolina.

As I skimmed through this genealogy book, I became horrified. I found an itemized inventory and appraisement of my family’s property such as farm equipment, combs, farm animals, dishes, wagons, etc. Then last on the property lists were the enslaved people my family owned. I placed it back in the box for a year. Until now.

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast picture of Christine's Genealogy book
Embracing the Ugly Side of your Family‘s Genealogy Book

I decided to read my family’s genealogy book again, this time with an open inquisitive mind. This was extremely difficult as one of the enslaved children my ancestors owned had the same name as my daughter for the price of $200. I was horrified again.

Until someone gave me a different perspective.

I am so fortunate to have people in my life who create a safe space for me to ask uncomfortable questions and allow me to discuss topics which may be uncomfortable for them. During a phone call with my close friend, who is an African-American male from the East Coast, I expressed my horror, shock, and disgust about my family’s genealogy book listing the enslaved people they owned. I expressed the need to write about my feelings as a therapeutic release. I was highly emotional and ready to write a blog full of upsetting expression.

My sweet friend’s response to my highly charged emotions and my desire to write an emotional piece on my family owning enslaved people was almost just as shocking as my family’s genealogy book.

His response was….

“Embrace it”

Excuse me? Embrace the fact my family owned wives, fathers, children, mothers, daughter, sons all while calling the women wenches? Excuse me! Embrace it? No! Never was my immediate response.

A picture of page from genealogy book listing price of enslaved people my family owned
One of the lists of enslaved people my family owned

However, I calmed down and listened to my trusted friend. A friend who grew up in tough places for a black man on the East Coast where he had to assimilate and codeswitch depending on the environment. A man who is now a leader in educating young adults in the Diversity and Inclusion World. I knew if HE was telling me to embrace the ugly side of my family’s history then this a powerful moment where I can use my voice to help others do the same.

But I didn’t just change my mind instantly. I needed to really figure out what the word “Embrace” meant to me and how choosing this way of looking at my family enslaving people did not include agreeing with it.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

Check Out How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast–episode 17: the assumption

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast: episode 20

The conditioning (Society’s Conditioned View of the Black Man Experience)

Sneak Peak into my conversation with Podcaster Willie Porter from The Thing About Us Podcast

My Conversation with Willie Porter about his personal experience

The Day I Saw an Angel in the Sky

How the Universe gives Us Messages…

By: Christine Zethraus, PMHNP

Warrior Angel

Before getting Coronavirus back in April 2020, I had already disabled most of my social medica accounts. Working in Mental Health caused me to be super sensitive to drama. Facebook was the worst with all the political noise. After getting Coronavirus, I completely stopped watching T.V. More unnecessary noise I did not want seeping into my subconscious.

Nature became my T.V. I started paying attention to animals crossing my path, birds flying over me, and find a feather when I needed one the most. The clouds in the sky became my news source. One Friday evening I was pulling out of my neighborhood when I saw the Angel in the sky. Took my breathe away.

Around this time is when I began learning about Quantum Physics. The Universe is infinitely made up of energy. Your thoughts create your reality. The human egoic brain has difficulty “seeing” this energy magically waiting for us.

All the answer we are seeking are within. The Universe and Nature have messages for us. If only we would look up….

“Those who don’t believe in Magic will never find it”

Roald Dahl

https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife

Listen to my podcast How Coronavirus Saved My Life to hear my journey

My Racist Father, How his Racism Affected me….

How Hearing my Father Say the N-Word Frequently Affected Me

Growing up with a racist father was exhausting. I have many memories of us riding around in his car. He would scream the N-word to other drivers he felt were driving stupidly. He wouldn’t just say the N-word. The word “stupid” or “dumb” always came before. Hearing “Stupid N***er” growing up was confusing, terrifying, and strange. He never explained how these people were “stupid” or what the N-word meant. My young body told me all I needed to know. My body would become tense and nauseated. My body still tenses when I recall these memories.

My first memory of my father was of him threatening to shoot my Mother. He was pacing the living room, on drugs, and full of hate. I remember being in freeze mode as my Mother and Step-Father were knocking on the windows calling my name outside. This was on Thanksgiving.

My first memory of Thanksgiving was violence.

How ironic.

Because of his racism, I have always been drawn to other cultures and races. Especially the African American culture and community. I have always been a seeker asking many questions– particularly when it comes to injustice. I think on some level I was trying to find the evidence of my racist Father’s misguided hatred. There was none. What I did find were loving communities, big families, good food, and the BEST churches.

Christine as a teenager and her racist father at a work party
Me (age 15 or 16) and my father

I was 15 the first time I went to a Black Church. The JOY was infectious. I remember wondering why everyone was so HAPPY. I had never seen happiness on that level in my life. My body had a different response this time. A response of pure LOVE which I had never felt. A response I am forever grateful for.

The African American Community showed me what LOVE is. More importantly, what LOVE feels like. It felt like a SAFE warm blanket surrounding me.

Towards the end of my father’s life he began to change his mind. My last video of him is being dumbfounded our family once owed slaves. I couldn’t believe what he was saying so I had to record it. I am so glad I did because he was not hopeless. He was not born racist. He was conditioned to be racist by my racist Grandmother. She was conditioned as well.

My father left me one MORE surprise after his death. Most of the people he hired to handle his affairs before he died were African American. He hired those “stupid” people to handle his most important documents.

How ironic.

My Racist Grandmother…

How her Hatred and Racism Affected me

Yesterday, I felt my dead racist Grandmother was summoning me to visit her grave.

One of those gut following kind of things. I had never visited her grave all these years she’s been dead. She is buried not far from my house in a grave next to my Uncle.

When I was a kid she would tell me things like I was not allowed to swim with black people because it was “like bathing with them”. She viewed black Americans as animals.

She was horrible to everyone in general.

Her racism, along with other family members, is most likely the reason I have always been drawn to non-white cultures and ethnicities.

My Grandmother was physically beautiful. Classic 1950s movie star look with perfectly curled hair from rollers. Skin always shiny. Obsessed with her weight. She had a great sense of fashion. In fact, she owned a popular dress shop back in the day.

There was little beauty on the inside. Masculine and tough to the core.

During my 20 min drive I kept wondering why she wanted to be buried in this particular cemetery. And here it was. My answer.

Confederate grave marker
Confederate Grave Maker

She wanted to be buried with her hatred

She had so much hatred in her racist heart.

When she died years ago, she almost died alone with no family until I decided, with help of my friend, to be there with her. She died within minutes of me arriving.

Visiting her cemetery and seeing this marker caused many emotions to come flooding back. Emotions buried so deeply of her abuse to myself and others.

I am grateful I followed my gut. Why? Because I released all that buried anger, hurt, and confusion. I have been storing and repressing those emotions deep in my body and soul.

Now I can move on. Now I can help myself and others heal.

I am so happy to have so many beautiful people in my life with huge hearts.

It’s a reflection of you and a reflection of me.