What do we do when a painful childhood memory comes up? Do we ignore the painful memory? Do we stuff the painful memory down with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, overworking, toxic relationships, starving ourselves, people pleasing, and saving others? What do we do if multiple painful childhood memories flood in at once?
This episode was inspired by my client who didn’t want to remember her painful childhood. Little did I know a flood of childhood memories would happen after our encounter. Memories of my father always using alcohol, drugs, weed, cigarettes, etc. Memories of him giving me alcohol when I was 3 years old. Memories of my father teaching me to cope with stress with any substance you can get your hands on–every single night.
I recorded this episode as I was sifting through these memories. My goal is to help others shift through their painful memories as well. These memories are coming up for a reason. I am grateful for my painful memories coming to the surface because I NOW have the choice of what to do with them.
Connect with Christine for Mental Health Discussions and Tools for Recovery:
Welcome back to episode 37, part TWO! Dr. Perkins and I continue our conversation about the importance of Spirituality in Mental Health recovery.
Jack Perkins is a licensed professional counselor and the founder of Psuche Education Counseling & Coaching Services. He has a heart to help others discover the secret to living a fulfilled life by integrating their spirituality into every area of their lives. He’s seen first hand how the integration of spirituality into healthcare is important in the recovery process.
Why integrating spirituality into healthcare is important
Why people turned to prayer after Sept 11
Spirituality gives people hope and helps them cope with depression
Why Christine went into nursing
World Health Organization states spirituality is a pillar of healthcare
Low Percentage of doctors assessing spirituality with patients
Importance of spirituality assessment in healthcare
Providers need to assess their spiritual health first
Provider bias with patients’ religions and spiritual beliefs
Jack’s touching story of helping grieving parents whose baby just died
Connect with Christine for Mental Health Discussions and Tools for Recovery:
Dr. Jack Perkins, Founder of Psuche Education, Counseling & Coaching Services in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
What is YOUR definition of Spirituality?
In this episode (part one), Dr. Jack Perkins and I talk about the power of Spirituality. The power of finding meaning in our childhood suffering.
Dr. Perkins tells his personal story of suffering first. His story of childhood suffering touched me deeply. I know it will touch you deeply as well.
My guest today is Dr. Jack Perkins. Jack is the founder of Psuche Education, Counseling & Coaching Services in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. Jack is an ordained minister, conference speaker, licensed counselor, certified life coach, and sexual addiction counselor.
Spirituality has been a huge part of my inner & outer healing.
Spirituality has been a huge part of my Long-COVID healing. Spirituality has deepened my connection with my friends and family, and my connection with clients. Spirituality led me to discover my inner worthiness and love for myself I was never taught in childhood.
Evidence-based research shows integrating spirituality decreases anxiety and depression symptoms. Neuroscientific research shows the practice of mindfulness, the brain’s cortex literally grows, with an increase in grey matter and more gyrification (Spencer, 2012).
What is your Story? What Story have you been telling yourself since childhood? What is the constant story running in your head?
Today’s episode is about My Story. The Story I’ve been telling myself since childhood. A story built by broken people AKA my Parents.
The purpose of today’s episode is to help Empower You to create a new story.
I share techniques that work for me. You deserve to feel good in your story.
I first began observing my thoughts and emotions. “What am I feeling?” Then ask yourself where does this feeling come from? Is it real? Is it based on fact? Is it based on a memory or an emotion from childhood? Is this a belief? What is the evidence that supports this belief? Are there any other points of view that might support this belief? What would someone who loves me say about this belief? Would they agree with me or disagree with me? What can I do today to support myself in making changes toward becoming healthier emotionally and spiritually?
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.
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.
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 wasMy 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 Threeof 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.
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!
Summary Hearing the N-Word my entire life was a trauma for me. Witnessing injustice frequently impacted my childhood. Injustice was a trauma for me. Today’s episode is about my experience with being raised by a Racist White Alcoholic Father. How my Father not only said the N-Word but would describe a group of people as subhuman.…
How I Learned to Stop Believing My Story and Started Living Mine We all have a story. An untrue story we’ve been telling ourselves since childhood—an inaccurate story created by the broken people who raised us. Our Parents. A Narcissistic Mother and an Alcoholic, Racist Father built my story. These two broken people created my…
Summary This Episode is about JOURNALING and GRATITUDE – How Journaling has helped me understand myself. When you start your day by Writing 5 Things you are Grateful for, YOU start with Love for Yourself. Starting off with Gratitude releases Oxytocin, the Love Hormone, LOVE FOR YOURSELF. Listen as I am shifting through my past…
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.