how coronavirus saved my life podcast cover
Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus

“That Makes Me Want To Cry”

Teaching Yourself How To Parent | episode 32 | the warrior

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast Cover
By: Christine Zethraus, PMHNP-BC

My friend Belinda choosing Mental Health as an additional career to help her community and culture is beautiful.

Check out podcast episode 32. We speak OUR truth about broken mothers impacting our parenting and worthiness.

Watch FULL Video Here

Listen to Full Episode Here

Youtube Short Below:

Christine and Belinda

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; its sings because it has a song.

Maya Angelou
Continue reading ““That Makes Me Want To Cry””
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
Chris Allen and Christine
black mental health, community, conversation, mental health, podcast

episode 31: the adversity (Healing Cycles of Abuse with Chris Allen)

Christine and Chris

Summary

What does the word adversity mean to you? Chris Allen is the definition of overcoming adversity. 

A powerful follow up conversation with my new friend Chris Allen. His honesty, vulnerability, transparency, and directness about his difficult childhood filled with abuse and chaos inspires me to be more vulnerable and transparent about my own story.

Chris and I tell discuss losing our virginity at a young age, Chris’s former approach to sex and intimacy before meeting his beautiful wife, and his father’s suspicious suicide. And the weird thing Chris and I have in common! Find out the ONE question Chris COULD NOT answer at the end.

Listen to our first conversation episode 28: the reframe

Topics discussed: 

  • Codependency
  • Perfectionism
  • PTSD
  • anxiety, imposter syndrome 
  • toxic friends

Chris Allen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Advanced Computing and Technology, Father, Husband, and more!

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

how coronavirus saved my life episode 28 the reframe
black mental health, community, conversation, culture, mental health, Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus, Society

episode 28: the reframe (Conversation with CEO Chris Allen about his Journey of Reframing Society’s Conditioned View of Male Strength)

Summary

This episode left me speechless. It is not often I meet someone who’s childhood has similarities to mine. Much less someone who is as direct and transparent about the value of having a traumatic childhood , how reframing our conditioned perspective of our painful past is where your power lies and shows our true purpose.

My honest no-holds-barred conversation with Chris Allen, CEO & Co-Founder of Advanced Computing and Technology, Athlete, Father, Husband, former prisoner turned Advocate, about his Journey of Reframing Conditioned Views of Male Strength is a game changer. How beautiful for two people who barely know one another to instantly trust & feel safe in sharing their dysfunctional childhood resulting in seeking love in toxic relationships, multiple sex partners, and choices altering our destiny forever. 

Society tells us that men should be “strong”, the head of the family, the one that we can lean on, the one who has all the answers, the one who won’t hurt you, the one who will rescue you. Then women, such as myself, become disappointed when men do not live up to this misguided societal conditioning.

The purpose of today’s episode is to start reframing our misguided conditioned beliefs about male strength.

Thank You Chris Allen for trusting the listeners with your story. Thank you for being honest about your own mistakes you made in past relationships. Thank you Chris for being vulnerable. You are a role model in male vulnerability. 

Chris Allen is a role model in Male Vulnerability. Male Vulnerability is the VERY definition of Male Strength.

Thank You to all the listeners for giving this podcast healing wings! I am forever grateful. 

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

Check out The Family Burrito podcast Christine makes with her sister Jessie  — 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


Check out episode 27: the bully with Blogger Cherie White

https://anchor.fm/howcoronavirussavedmylife/episodes/episode-27-the-bully-Conversation-with-Advocate-for-Bullied-Children–Author-and-Blogger-Cherie-White-e1hie5v

A picture of me and my beloved friend Anthony
conversation, Gay, HIV, podcast, self help, Society

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

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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 Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast picture of Christine's Genealogy book
Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus

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
My father and I at a company picnic.
black history, Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus, racism, Society

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.