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Aberrant Behavior

Ab·er·rant /ˈabərənt,əˈberənt /: To be aberrant is to depart from the right, normal, or usual course. This is a podcast dedicated to unlearning behaviors and thought patterns that may have long been upheld as “normal” and “right” but aren’t ours. This is not an advice column, rather, it’s a place where i get to talk to you about the ways I’m shedding the layers that aren’t mine and coming home to myself. My hope is that you’re inspired to do the same.

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Is meme repost culture gaslighting you into thinking you’re doing the work? Doing the work irl and finding your people.

Is meme repost culture gaslighting you into thinking you’re doing the work? Doing the work irl and finding your people.   In this episode, I talk about: Examining our beliefs Doing the work to figure out what’s yours and what’s not.  Showing up fully in all our messiness to find our people instead of faking it till we make it Reposting mental health memes alone does not the work make. Listen, share, and let’s discuss. 

23mins

25 May 2021

Rank #1

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Capitalism vs. pay me for my work

Capitalism and pay me for my work: My struggle with the nuances therein. > How I broke my ankle > Feeling less alone by listening to the stories of others > How much I make as a nurse > I started a Patreon https://www.patreon.com/Christabelmintahgalloway. Become a patron if you’ll like to support me monetarily.  > Why I priced/tiered my Patreon the way I did and why I need to keep my 9-5 job > Can I make a living doing what I love > Are these questions as a result of my indoctrination into capitalism > I don’t want to be a starving artist; I did enough starving in my childhood to last a lifetime > Why I would charge more for my time than a hospital pays me on the hour. > I had my first ever speaking gig yesterday speaking at a local college. > Ultimately, I’m choosing to face the work. The work is what I love and what I’ll focus on.

28mins

17 Feb 2021

Rank #2

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Relationships as my biggest teacher.

I’ve had many relationships over the years all with trials but none has been as impactful as my current one with my partner and that with my mom over our lifetime. I believe that our relationships can be outstanding teachers if we are in the right space to be a student. Otherwise, it becomes about blame game. Focusing on the other person’s shortcomings or how they’re toxic or and anything else that is not how we can learn about ourselves from that relationship.  Disclaimer *this is not talking about truly abusive relationships* It feels like taboo to talk about thing like your relationship is hard but you both remain intentional about remaining in it but that’s why I think we should. There were so many things that have happened throughout our relationship that many people (and us) would say we probably should have broken up in our first year.  I had a lot of anger from a life filled with painful moments. I had grown up a specific way where we yelled, screamed, hit people, thrown things etc. I was always ready to rumble if I felt hurt. Ginele also came into the relationship with her unique set of conditioning. So yeah, it was tumultuous. When I met Ginele, I had just had a pretty nasty divorce a few months prior after 4 years of a pretty abusive relationship. Of course I loved Ginele, but I had conditioning that I hadn’t worked on. My favorite thing to say was I am who I am and if you don’t like it, oh well. While secretly, I felt ashamed of the ways I acted out. But after a year of utter chaos, the love I had for her and the love she had for me motivated me for the first time to see if I can change the way I expressed my emotions. Five years later, here I am, grown and healed in so many ways. And six years into our relationship, the lessons keep coming.  While there are things I desperately wish I could change in our history, I can honestly say that she has been the truest reflection of myself that I’ve ever had. It’s so hard to see yourself. It’s much easier to see someone else and tell them what they need to work on. Shifting from that to just seeing yourself, sitting with that revelation, accepting it, and looking for ways to gain new skills to help you navigate life and your relationships with more ease is life-changing work. Our culture has taught us to throw in the towel early. If it’s hard in a certain manner, or for a prolonged period, or in a recurrent way, it’s not meant to be. And while I’m sure the sentiment that love should be easy resonates with and is true for some people, it’s never resonated with me. I don’t know of any uncomplicated relationships. I’ve never seen that, and so I don’t relate. What I know though and have witnessed in my life is the magic that comes from using love as a catalyst to learn, evolve, grow and repair relationships that matter to us.  By Instagram standards, I should have disavowed my mom so long ago. We have a very difficult history filled with abuse and it was the worst relationship in my life for a really long time. But when I started therapy and just talking about and processing everything that I went through in her hands, I learned compassion for her and by extension for self. She did the best with the knowledge she had. She saw certain treatments that were incredibly harmful to me as normal. So, when I learned the skills of telling her how what she did affected me, the skills of setting boundaries with her, and her (unspoken) determination to do the work, our relationship changed for the better. And it’s still evolving to this day. I’m so glad I stuck it out with her. And that’s kinda how I feel about Ginele and I. It’s been so hard. We have traumatic memories that I’d rather not have. We’ve married, there’s been infidelities, we’ve divorced, there are trust issues, there’s still a fairly regular conversation about if we’ll make it. If perhaps the hurt is too much to overcome.  So, we work, we go to therapy, we fight, we cry, we threaten to leave weekly because it feels just so hard sometimes. But above all, we love. At least we try to. Our love is divine. We both truly feel that way. Our therapists marvel at what we have. Our mothers marvel at what we have. That love is worth fighting for. Even if we have spent most of it unhooking from and unlearning our respective conditioning. Literally just last week, she called me out on my tendency to use tears and my pain as an emotionally manipulate weapon. At first, I wanted to defend myself and talk about how that’s so not true. But I examined myself and came to the open acceptance that I do that. It was such a relief when I finally admitted it and let go of the shame that came from it. And so now I can begin the work of learning new skills and techniques to counteract that conditioning. Anyhow, this is a much bigger conversation that I can’t wait to have going forward with Ginele as my guest.

38mins

29 Dec 2020

Rank #3

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WE MOVED TO OAKLAND! and other life updates.

It’s been a while and I want to say thank you for all your FIVE STAR REVIEWS! It makes a difference in getting the podcast to reach the people to whom it’s intended for.  Things I talk about in this episode:  Life updates:  Leaving texas, going to Mexico, Indiana  Moving all our stuff from Indiana and finally moving to Oakland after our first travel assignment here 5 years ago The loft; how spacious it is, how I got my water view finally! The fun I’ve been having decorating  The trauma post COVID nursing in Texas based on the healthcare disparities I witnessed and how I’m healing from it  Ginele leaving for texas again and how hard that was Another growth spurt opportunity there to confront my relational habits  How I’m learning to self care while in a relationship. Taking care of my inner child without plopping her down in front of my partners to have them take care of her.  Realizations I’m having in therapy around self care when in a relationship.  Thought I’d start adding a section to the end of the podcast each week. The things that are bringing me joy this week: I finally mostly read a book even if I was scrolling Instagram every 5 minutes  Discovering that I have the capacity to mother my inner child in the most glorious way I seek from romantic partners  Decorating. Crafting a home. So much joy.  Community. FaceTime dates. Friends who you can talk about your emotions with to no end.  Let’s connect on IG and talk about the episode if you feel keen to.

29mins

5 Dec 2020

Rank #4

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Back Like I never Left

Back Like I never Left Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up do in the last three months. To include:  COVID- 19 emergency relief work in southern Texas I turned 35 during first hurricane ever! In Mexico!! Not being sure of who you want to be when you grow up Dealing with self-doubt, a different brain and a world that demands productivity Healing from religious indoctrination in order to find my voice (ps. still searching).  And so many more...30 minutes of just chatting it up.  I'll be back to recording more regularly now that I’m finally choosing to slow life down a little bit.  

32mins

8 Oct 2020

Rank #5

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Q&A : Coming out, skin care, organized religion, and more.

Q&A : Coming out, skin care, organized religion, and more. In my first Q&A, I tackle questions asked on IG about how I came out, what my skin care routine is, what I think of organized religion after being an active participant in one for two decades. I loved all the questions that came through! I do think I missed a couple that we’re sent in my DMs because I couldn’t find it but there’ll be other opportunities to do this again in the future. Resource: @ihartericka on IG for antiracist education for younger adults

48mins

2 Jul 2020

Rank #6

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Black joy, white fragility, and everything in between

Aberrant Behavior - Black joy, white fragility, and everything in between An episode where I just ramble about a few things weighing on my mind to include: New white activists, I need an explanation on why you never saw racism until now. In fact, don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical. I believe you’ve always known, you just didn’t want to sacrifice that promotion by speaking up. While it’s great for the collective human race that you’re choosing to be co-conspirators, just know that there’s a mental and emotional toll that your sudden awakening is taking on Black people - well, I’ll just say me because Black is not a monolith. White fragility and white tears and white guilt are boring and so tired and like get over it so you can get to work. Acknowledge your feelings because they’re worthwhile but don’t over identify with it and certainly don’t let it leave you paralyzed into inaction. Black joy is revolutionary so fellow Black people, do all you can to cultivate it. Live your life fully, joyously, unapologetically. I talk about getting back to my self care practices that ensures that I keep that joy popping. Until next time, xoc.

24mins

16 Jun 2020

Rank #7

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Not Racist? Not Enough! - How to become anti-racist.

Not Racist? Not Enough! - How to become anti-racist. This is from my perspective as an African who wasn’t always anti-racist. Being Black wasn’t enough for me, I had to become actively anti-racist. Many Black activist resist the idea of teaching anti-racism to white people and NBPOC because they are tired. I still have some energy so let’s go! Not being racist is the bare minimum, you don’t get cookies for it. And this goes for all Africans or non American Black people, people of color and other immigrants.  Some ways you can become actively anti-racist: First of all fight the egotistical need to be seen as not-racist. Not being racist is not enough, the goal is to be actively anti racist Pick up a book, many books and educate yourself on the racist past and present of America. Education really is key, take the time to actually educate yourself.  Begin to notice anti Blackness in movies and the media. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Then help your family and friends see it too. When Black people tell you something is racist, believe us. It’s not in our heads. It’s not made up. We don’t make everything about race.  Teach your kids to see color. Them being color blind is part of the problem. Say the word Black when referring to Black people. It’s not a dirty word. We’re not inherently violent.

34mins

3 Jun 2020

Rank #8

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Liberation from Subconscious Conditioning

Aberrant Behavior Episode 5 - Liberation from Subconscious Conditioning  In this episode, I talk about how most of our behaviors and what we consider our personalities are as a result of subconscious conditioning. As always, I draw from my experience.  When I wanted to change behavior patterns that were no longer serving me, I thought it was a matter of willpower but after that failed me time and time again, I decided to dig deeper. Some of the things I talk about are: How I got to a place where I could forgive my ex-wife (and regain closes friendship with her) for cheating on me twice before our first anniversary.Hint: it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with me focusing on transmuting my pain into powerful behavior change the difference between the colloquial use of the term EGO and it's use in human psychology. And why it is important to get familiar with our Ego in order to stop- operating from a place of subconscious conditioning I mention the book The  Four agreements and how learning about them is changing my life unlearning parental and societal conditioning. Why do we believe what we belive? Is it a matter of genetics or mere social conditioning?How can you be sure that YOU hate body hair? Our parents/earliest caregivers are not perfect, they're just people with their own traumas who happened to procreate. Should owe then take their word as gospel? Goal of all this workgetting free from bondage from our thoughts and feelingsleaving the prison of our minds moving through life with intention being able to witness our thoughts and make the associations and own our shit without ascribing blame to other people unlearning conditioned beliefsgetting to know our truest selves improving our inner peace and wellbeing improving our relationships all aroundin relationships, I notice when patterns are repeating themselves and I can better detach and recalibrate Resources: The Four Agreements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Agreements The difference between the colloquial use of ego and the psychological use: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/wisdom/whats-the-best-way-to-define-ego/ Dr. Nicole LePera. She has some amazing FREE resources on doing Ego work: https://www.instagram.com/the.holistic.psychologist/ I wish you all a happy healing!Love, xoc. 

41mins

23 May 2020

Rank #9

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Spankings and Slavery

Aberrant Behavior Episode 4 - Spankings and Slavery In this episode, I talk specifically to black parents, guardians and caregivers. I wanted to facilitate a conversation about the devastating effects of spankings within the black family. I talk from my perspective as a kid who received many spankings growing up and how that affected me detrimentally. I was only able to identify said detrimental effects when I started doing the work of healing from my many traumas. This is my attempt to start a conversation and perhaps a change of heart in people who have adopted this slave era practice of beating black bodies as their own. It was never ours to begin with. In fact, according to an article, “West African traditional belief held that children were reincarnated ancestors. West African societies held children in a much higher regard than slave societies in the Atlantic world, which placed emphasis on black bodies as property, not as human beings. West Africans believed that children came from the afterlife, that they were gods or reincarnated ancestors who led profoundly spiritual lives and held extraordinary mystical powers that could be harnessed through ritual practice for the good of the community. In fact, it was believed that coercion and hitting a child could scare off their soul. With Colonialism and slave trade, African-Americans adopted the practice of beating children from white slave masters” (Patton, 2017).  It is a practice that is extremely detrimental to the psychological wellbeing of our children, Obedience from our children shouldn’t be the biggest accomplishments of us raising them. There is much to be said about raising children who are independent in thought and actions who are not mere subservient clones of ours. I leave you with my favorite poem from Kahlil Gibran on raising children: “Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.They come through you but not from you,And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts,For they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.” Resources: The case against spanking: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking Corporal punishment in black communities: Not an intrinsic cultural tradition but racial trauma: https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2017/04/racial-trauma Youtube: Chrisatbelmintahgalloway IG: @Chrisatbelmintahgalloway Website: www.chrisatbelmintahgalloway.com

31mins

16 May 2020

Rank #10