Saying Goodbye to my Father – IC Reflections

girl-with-dollI think I’ve been holding myself back from writing this but having just read Neeti Ray’s beautiful post  I find words tumbling in my mind, urging me to set them down.

Saturn has already touched once on my IC by transit and is still only 4 degrees away. When he turns direct he will make a series of oppositions to my 9th house planets and points namely Venus-MC, Saturn, the North Node, Mercury and then the Sun. I know without question that this is an important time and that the conjunctions that Saturn will make to my IC and South Node will bring endings. Saturn will make me deal with the past so that I may have a future.

I’ve been estranged from my Father for nearly 6 years. My Mother died in 2000 and within a couple of years my Father seemed to decide he didn’t want any connection to his past. I let him go to his new wife and new life. So many things had been wrong with our relationship for such a long time I knew for my own sanity it was time. I’d tried to make it right but every rejection, every put-down eroded me. Back in my 20’s I’d done the therapy, the confrontation, the ‘this is what you did and why I’m pissed‘ letter but it hadn’t done any good. Both my parents put their heads firmly into the sand and insisted what I remembered didn’t happen or that I was a bad person for remembering. I was the one who was crazy. Being around them made me feel wrong inside; like I was losing myself into madness. And I did go mad. I tried to end my life on several occasions.

A few weeks ago it was my birthday. I had a lovely day being with a special person in my life and his children. He made a meal for me. I played with the kids. The youngest could barely contain her excitement about the birthday cake. We ate a chocolate cake covered in white stars in the garden in the sunshine, giggling and taking photographs. I made a wish.

The following day I had set aside as a reading day. I curled up in my armchair and opened to the first page. Then the postman arrived.

And there was a card from my Father wishing me a happy birthday and telling me he has Parkinson’s disease. He left his new address and phone number. Three sentences.

I broke.

My IC is in the 3rd house in Libra. I needed peace in my childhood but what I got was war. Venus in Aries in the 9th house is in mutual reception with Mars in Taurus in the 10th. My Father by the way, was a builder.

I was meant to think the same as my parents; to maintain the status quo. Any difference of opinion was smashed. I remember being dragged to the bathroom and my head forced under cold water because I cried when a horse died on television. I was told I was stupid if I believed in something he didn’t. He deplored weakness of any kind yet needed those around him to be weak.

Venus hung onto the MC in the 9th somehow drawing upon an inner strength knowing I wasn’t stupid and it was okay to believe in something else. But it set up a life-long battle with inner voices that scream at me that I am worthless. I hate that his voice became my voice, how I internalised his opinion of me even whilst I rejected it. These days the voice is quieter but it hasn’t quite gone.

My 4th house cusp sits in Scorpio so once again Mars is connected and of course Pluto (in my 2nd). What happened in childhood severely damaged my self esteem and how I value myself. For my Father, love was about power and control. He controlled with his fists and relished being a bully. He was proud of the fact he was a bully when he was a child instead of the victim. When he drank he became violent. Neptune is situated in my 4th house. I hid in my bedroom trying to block out the sounds of punching as he beat my Mother and did things to her that a child shouldn’t know about. And I hated her for not standing up to him. That Scorpionic rage twisted me. I’m still straightening out the kinks.

I became both victim and perpetrator as I grew older. Still punching myself long after I left home to escape the blows. Running to find an inner peace that I never experienced as a child. I’m not quite there yet but it’s coming. It walks hand in hand with believing in myself (Venus in Aries conjunct the MC in the 9th). It’s funny but it’s only just occurred to me that both parts of my chart connected to my roots (the IC and the 4th house) talk of finding peace. Libra and Neptune.

I cried for a day when I received that birthday card. I felt guilt (Neptune) and a sick sense of falling away from myself. I felt that I should go and see him. I felt afraid that if I didn’t go I would be be punished. I felt I should have that magical reunion.  I should have the father I wanted and needed. As a human being I have compassion. Parkinson’s is a horrible disease and I can only imagine how such an active person as my father who prided himself on his strength must feel. But then I felt anger. Anger that he could have chosen a better way to tell me rather than on a birthday card. Anger that he still was playing the guilt card. Anger that I was letting him hurt me…

So I read about guilt. I read about Toxic Parents. I read about anger. I reflected upon years of terror without going back into it. I stepped away from the screaming child within and looked at her as my adult self and asked her – what do you want?

And she whispered “I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward”.

And that’s when I knew that there was no going back. I said goodbye to my Father a long time ago. The anger has gone. Finally I am beginning to listen to my own voice and not his. I’ve put the card away. I’ve chosen not to respond. I am giving my inner child what my Father couldn’t give me – peace of mind. It isn’t to hurt him or avoid him. It is simply the end of the road.

Saturn along with the Sun represents the Father in astrology and I know he is about to take me on a very intense journey. I intend to work with him by confronting my fears. I am working hard at my writing, building up my confidence. I’m working even harder on those inner voices.

As I send up a prayer for my Father, asking the angels to give him the courage he needs to deal with this illness, I remember one good memory I have of us. I was five years old and we were on a seaside holiday in Torquay. He carried me on his shoulders and I felt invincible.

Painting – ‘Girl with Doll ‘ by George Luks

20 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to my Father – IC Reflections”

  1. Beautiful post Leah and such a clear illustration of the power of walking a path of healing. Saturn sits on my Sun natally and I haven’t spoken to my father in 30 years for reasons similar to yours. You are to be commended for your courage in facing your demons and sharing your experiences in such a raw but beautiful way.

  2. Leah Whitehorse

    Thank you Lynn. I did feel a little nervous posting this but I felt it was important to do so. I’m sorry you have had a similar experience in your life. Sometimes all we can do is let go so that we can heal.

  3. That was a beautiful post, and very brave. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and your family.

  4. I think you should go see him,if not call him. maybe he wants to say he’s sorry. You don’t have to accept anything he says to you but I think you are strong enough to handle anything that comes your way. My father physically abused my mother in front of us and mom carried that burden until the day she died, but she never made us hate him, My father suffered when he died and ask my mom for forgiveness.Did mom forgive him? yes. Don’t let this go face it and then it will disappear or you will become stronger.There is nothing to fear but rear itself. What you run away from you run into it. Forgiveness is more powerful that the hurt he bestowed upon you. Beleive me you will get through it

  5. I too have the book toxic parents sitting on my bookshelves, though with me it was my mother not my father.

    I can feel the power in this post, a power that comes from looking things squarely in the eye and doing what is right for you. Here’s to going forward!

    Much love to you. (((hug)))

  6. Leah Whitehorse

    Thanks Susannah. Toxic Parents was a real eye-opener for me. I’d been meaning to read it for such a long time. I found her writing very honest and incredibly supportive. Yes, here’s to moving forwards 🙂

  7. Leah Whitehorse

    Hi Joyce – thank you for your comment and sharing your experience.
    For me, the path of fear was to go back and reconnect. My decision to move forward instead is about finally allowing myself to have the choice and not to be ruled by the past. Sometimes forgiveness is more about forgiving oneself than another.

  8. Oh, Leah, I saved this as the last thing to read this evening. And I cried reading it. Cried because I know you and I know how intensely lovely, loving and magical you are. So much love, Leah, you radiate so much love and gentlenss. You are love and gentleness. Thank you very much for sharing this with all of us. Sending you much love. Neeti xxx

  9. Leah Whitehorse

    Lovely lady it was your post that moved me to write this. We are both on a journey you and I. (((hugs))) across the ocean xx

  10. Leah! What a beautiful post. I have Sun (12th) opposition Capricorn cusp (7th), which is ruled by Saturn. My father and mother were divorced when I was around 2 years old. But, my mother was a “bitter, and ignorant” piece of work. So was my grandmother. So with Chiron in Aquarius (8th), I relate!

    I realize that I cannot change the past, but can move forward with compassion, and acceptance. But, I don’t have to continue to tolerate the behavior of others that is clearly an “assassination on the character of my soul.” My mother conspired in verbal, and secret attacks on my emotional psyche when I was a child. However, to date, my mother remains “clueless” as to the affect her behavior took its toll on everyone in the family.

    I have lived in Los Angeles, far away from relatives for the past 25 years, although my mother, and I speak about twice a month (which started about 3 years ago).

    I agree with you that sometimes it’s simply about forgiving self, and moving on!


  11. Leah Honey,
    You are a brave girl!
    I know exactly what every single word you write here means.
    And I know we have to be brave. And never go back to the past. You are right! What you say helps me so much. Never go back to the past. Bury the dead. It may sound strong, but that’s how it is. With disfunctional parents, family, we have to kill and bury them, otherwise we are the ones who are going to be killed.
    I have no feeling for anyone in my original family. They are long dead, and buried. And when they actually die, it won’t matter one little bit, because they have gone so long ago, an eternity ago.
    Yes, Leah, I know exactly what you mean in your lines. I know the hurt, the lacking, the abandonment, the despair, and the survival. We are survivors and very brave!
    Muitos beijos e muitos abraços! Te amo!

  12. Leah Whitehorse

    Hi Ashe
    Thank you for your comment and also for sharing your experience. I also have Chiron in the 8th house (in Pisces). Whilst he represents the wounding, he also represents the healing. For me the most important thing is to learn from what I have experienced so that I don’t keep reacting to the past and potentially wounding others (as well as myself) in the process.
    I think I was very lucky to have my Grandmother who was a shining light in my life 🙂
    Blessings on your path x

  13. Leah Whitehorse

    Olá Mia
    Muito obrigada. I am so glad something of what I have said has helped you. I said in response to someone else I was a little nervous of posting this but I also think that sometimes it is important to just simply tell the truth so that others may find their own truth.
    Astrology has really helped me to understand more fully the impact of the past and the potential of the future. By looking at the charts of my family it has also helped me to become more understanding, even if I no longer wish to have any contact.
    Many years ago I had a dream where a spirit said to me “You cannot change your past but you can change your perspective of it”. It helped me to begin the road to recovery and take responsibility for my adult life.
    Thank you for your love and support.
    Bjs xx

  14. Violet Hour Muse

    Interesting how your father reached out to you from Parkinson’s Disease. What a narcissist! The healing journey is very challenging; circling, chipping away: Chiron-in-Pisces = boundaries. What better person that your father to teach you where to draw the line in the sand? From my own experience, I found it helpful and healing to look at the astrology of my parents: see what they were challenged to heal ~ and what I inherited!

  15. Leah Whitehorse

    Hi Violet. Thanks for your comment. I see the symbolism in Parkinson’s – the gradual literal loss of control. It’s an awful illness I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
    I don’t know my father’s time of birth but I have done a little work on rectifying the chart. I have my Mothers birth time so that chart is easier to work with. I agree that it is very enlightening studying family charts.

  16. Querida Leah,

    Os tiranos domésticos fazem um estrago horrível
    em nossas vidas,até que um dia,passados anos de
    sofrimento,percebemos que se tornaram gatos velhos,
    com olhos ainda malévolos,portanto falta cuidar suas unhas
    afiadas para não nos arranharem.Total empatia com sua decisão,fique sã,não o deixe magoa-la novamente,acredite,
    ele ainda conseguiria!Um abraço carinhoso,seu artigo me
    ajudou muito.Beijos daqui do Brasil.

  17. Leah Whitehorse

    Olá Vera
    Muito obrigada pela sua mensagem. É verdade.
    Foi uma decisão difícil, mas agora eu sinto-me em paz no meu coração.
    Bjs x

  18. Leah, I found what i was looking for – the writing about your father. Thankyou so very much for sharing this. It touched me in so many ways with my own life journey with my dad. It is so sad what is done through people being totally unconscious of what there actions do within family life…. I know this post was from a long time ago now (2017) and you will have changed and grown a lot since that time, but it is still an ongoing journey to completely being healed in everyway. x

  19. Dear Leah, Thank you for this post, written especially for me I felt, and, I am sure a lot of others felt the same. My very charming and extremely feckless father(aged 84) is a sexist bully, thinks men are better than women and delights in inflicting vile emotional damage to this day.(women are just second class cleaners to him) That’s what your father is/was, a BULLY!!!! It makes me wonder what I did to deserve it particulary when I look at my husbands father who was hard working, kind and lovely. At 60, I know that money is not the best thing in life, having loving ordinary parents is the true prize of life., so for anyone who had or has them, lucky you. Keep away for your own sake Leah. ps. I feel my father is my PlutoLeo/MC and hoping, yes hoping he dies this year,(eclipses) then I can go and live in my home town again.

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