I am the eldest of three daughters. My mother, a strong-willed Aries, only chose girls’ names for each pregnancy because it was out of the question that my father would have a son. She saw how his father had so deeply wounded and rejected him and reasoned that he would do the same to his own sons. So no sons, no way, and thus three daughters came to be.
Being the first, however, I was subject to some of the wounding a son would have experienced because my father considered me to be in the position of responsibility. In other words, I was supposed to be a model of perfection for my younger sisters! Boy, was I ever NOT that. Even as a young child I wanted to feel free and the restrictive atmosphere in my home caused me to rebel, not only with overt misbehavior but also with more secretive acts of self-destruction.
Dad began “ambushing” me when I was about seven. It was always when we were alone, in a car, or in another room as my mother prepared dinner in the kitchen. He kept his voice low enough that she never heard his berating words or his shaming of my body which he couched in cruel humor. He ridiculed my morose effect, which I would later recognize as childhood depression. As I approached puberty I didn’t understand why my father was adamantly against things other girls my age were doing, like wearing stockings instead of white anklets, shaving my legs, or attending parties where boys were present. Later he would tell me I looked like a slut when I pierced my ears and at sixteen he encouraged me to break up with my boyfriend, who was a quintessential parents’ dream for a daughter. In shock, I asked why, and his response alluded to the possibility of our having sex, though he was too uncomfortable to say the word. I didn’t see it clearly at the time but my father had been shaming my sexuality since before I even understood what it was. Because of his fear he was by far the strictest father of any of my friends.
I dreaded being alone with him. The pregnant silence always held the possibility of an attack. My heart would race, my mind would become anxious. I never knew when he would sigh, clear his throat and pronounce judgment on me. This pattern continued until after I divorced at age 35. He attacked me for waiting to find a job I would enjoy, underlying that he had sacrificed at a job he disliked so that we could have the lifestyle we had. With his stern pronouncements, I felt myself plummet down a dark hole of depression and needed incredible mental strength to pull myself out of it. A few weeks later I wrote and told him unequivocally that he was never to offer an unsolicited opinion again. He didn’t. He had once told me that his emancipation came at age twenty when he told his own father to go to hell. I wish I had had the guts to do it earlier but I wasn’t ready.
It was at this time that I began my studies with a gifted psychic/spiritual healing teacher. One of our requirements was to do separate healing sessions for each of our parents. The one with my mother had gone as expected and then came to the session where I worked on my father. I mentioned how I had feared being alone with him and she asked me to close my eyes and bring that experience into my awareness.
Boom!! Instantly I was in a small gypsy caravan wagon, in another time and place. I was there, I wasn’t watching; it was occurring in what seemed like the present moment. I was a female gypsy and my father in this current lifetime was my gypsy lover, and he was enraged with me. We were passionately in love with one another. He wanted to marry me but I felt what he really wanted was to possess and control me. So I refused. I truly loved him and didn’t want to be with other men but he was unable to trust me and didn’t believe me. I held my ground but then to my amazement I realized that if he couldn’t have me all to himself, then no one would, and he proceeded to strangle me to death. I actually laughed as I was dying because I knew he would never forgive himself. In a strange way, I felt that I had won!
When I opened my eyes I finally understood the undercurrents of my discomfort with my father. I had since my earliest memories been crazy in love with him, but it was unrequited. As a little girl, I had tried to make him smile, please him, eat the same foods he liked, but it was to no avail. He clearly favored my sister and had put up a wall in response to my overtures. I had written him a letter in my mid-twenties telling him how sad I was that we weren’t close. I had nearly given up on getting a response when he wrote back saying that he had uncovered so much childhood pain while in psychoanalysis and as he had found no way to alleviate it, he felt he had no choice but to close his heart again. I was grateful he had responded because he told me he had thrown away countless attempts, but it was still a source of deep grief for me. These two letters were the closest we ever came to any authentic intimacy. I never once had an open, honest verbal conversation with my father. I tried twice. Once he actually got up and walked away, and the other time he said he didn’t remember the incident that I brought up, a time when his words had cut me to the core. I didn’t have the strength to break through his defenses. Nobody did, not even my mother.
After his death, I continued to work on healing issues that seemed to have originated in response to his judgments and rejection. One day my mother called and told me that she had been prompted to read a certain book about American GIs in WW2 and what happened in the months following the victory of the Allied Forces. I had no interest in WW2 and wondered why she was telling me this. Apparently, this book revealed that many GIs who were stationed in places all over Europe and Asia behaved very viciously toward those who had been enemy sympathizers. The anger and vengeance that had built up during the war exploded into the torture of many men and the public rape of females once victory was secured. This reprehensible behavior had been kept secret for seventy years.
My mother had finished reading the first half of this book, which described what occurred in cities across Europe, and was ready to stop reading the book altogether. But she then felt a prompting to turn to the next chapter and was amazed to see that it was about Tokyo. My father had been stationed on the USS Teton, a ship that had sailed into Tokyo Harbor in order to formally secure the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. Each American soldier was assigned a sector of a few square blocks where they were to establish their presence as victors and literally accept the surrender from whoever had been assigned to them. At first, the streets were deserted but in the ensuing weeks, the GIs would enact their revenge on those that they could. The same violence that had occurred in European cities also happened in Tokyo.
My mother met my father in 1947. She had repeatedly asked him what those months were like in Japan after the September surrender and before they were sent home in time for Christmas. She was incredulous that my father insisted he couldn’t remember despite the fact that it had only been a little more than a year before she met him. She continued to repeatedly ask him over the following years, thinking that surely he would remember, but he never did. She was mystified that a man with a near-photographic memory couldn’t recall these significant months of his life.
As soon as my mother shared this with me we both knew that from the other side my father had compelled her to buy this book and then share what she had discovered with me. We both knew that my father, though a verified genius as well as a musical prodigy, was also a prude. As a young soldier, he must have been both horrified and traumatized by witnessing the viciousness of some of his fellow comrades, especially the rapes. Now it was clear why he couldn’t remember; he had blocked it from his consciousness. I instantly understood why he had shamed my sexuality, warning me that boys only wanted one thing. He was trying to protect me. And I realized that he had kept me out of his heart because our sexual attraction in the gypsy lifetime had led to his own vengeful act of murder.
No one in my family believes in God, Spirit, or past lives. But my mother and sisters all acknowledged that there was something inexplicably odd about how hard my father had been on me. When I told my mother about how he ambushed me from childhood onwards she was outraged, and I knew that she had been completely unaware. That was healing in itself. After she read and shared the passages about the soldiers in Tokyo with me, we both knew with certainty that my father had urged her to not only purchase that book but to keep reading when she was ready to quit before reaching the Tokyo chapter. I felt so much Light flooding into me. The energy of Grace was pervasive.
That night in meditation I asked my father’s spirit to come to me. He was grateful that my mother had heeded his promptings and that we now better-understood part of the hidden trauma that he had carried. He apologized to me for his part in creating the painful wounds I had spent my adulthood attempting to resolve. This came at the time when I was on the verge of surrendering all the blame I had assigned to him, as I finally understood that these were issues I had brought in with me to heal during this lifetime, and I was 100% responsible for their creation as well as their resolution. With his heartfelt apology, I fully forgave my father, and as we said goodbye I asked him to give me a sign the following day that this indeed had been him with whom I was connecting.
The following day I didn’t leave my house, as was typical for me. I hadn’t been fully able to care for myself for nearly a decade, being bed-bound and needing roommates to take care of household chores. My most recent roommate had left suddenly and I was on my own. A dear friend suggested I hire a college girl she knew to cook for me and on this day she arrived for her first visit. She was shy and introverted and as she somewhat anxiously began to familiarize herself with my kitchen I wanted to help her feel more comfortable and attempted some small talk. Something she said caused me to wonder what astrological sign she was born under, and for some reason, I asked her what her birthday was rather than her sign. “August 28th,” she replied. In my entire life, I had never met another person born on my father’s birthday, and now I just had. It was the response to my request; I knew it had indeed been him the previous night.
My sisters and I know that our father died with even more shame and secrets. He told my sister right before he passed that something so horrible had happened to him that he had told no one, not even our mother. It saddens me that he hadn’t known how to share his burdens in a way that was helpful and healing, and that I inherited the still active ancestral wounds, like most of us have. Sometimes I sense all the ancestors from both lineages gathering around me, sending love and gratitude that I am willing to be on the earth plane to do as much transmutation as I possibly can. Violet Flame, please immerse us all!
My father doesn’t feel close to me on this plane like my mother does,
perhaps because intimacy was so difficult for him. I sense he spends his time both in scientific spheres as well as with those who are creating and performing celestial symphonies. Finally, his musical genius is flowing unimpededly. If he had had healthy self-esteem he would have been a professional musician. He played as well as any recording that he and my mother listened to practically non-stop on the radio or phonograph. When his friends entered the house it was impossible to know if it was he or the stereo that was playing until they stepped into the living room. A few of them used to have fun guessing! He was constantly humming quietly to himself, hearing and playing music in his head; his fingers running up and down an imaginary keyboard, a violin fret, or an oboe run. Friends of mine would ask why he rarely replied when they greeted him. He didn’t hear them; he was lost in his internal world of music.
To my dear Pa-PAH’(with the accent on the second syllable), I wish you and all of our fathers, in bodies and out, a blessed Father’s Day. I am grateful for all the ways you have shown me what still remains to be healed in this world of illusion. At times I see a glimpse of the Light at the end of that tunnel. We can choose to forgive ourselves and be free. I love you.
Masterful Living Participant