Wednesday Journal Entry – Week 3
Karina Lafayette – April 27th 2022
The timeline for today’s story is going to be a bit hazy, because in all honesty it felt more like a really drawn-out nightmare than real life. All I know is the first time I sat with my legs crossed and eyes closed, with my headphones on, and a meditation mantra turned up just loud enough to drown out the yelling, I experienced heaven on earth. And before continuing, it’s important to add there is some mention of emotional abuse in this article.
It was early 2013, I was at a crossroads, not quite finished college and not ready to start university. I had barely experienced my first kiss from a weirdo on the bus and only knew friends, not lovers. Still, I wasn’t happy anymore. I needed something else. Even though school was rarely a welcoming place, it was my saving grace from the hell I called home. Night after night, she would be up, talking loudly to the voices in her head that told her that somehow I was up to no good, when I was simply trying to enjoy my life.
She didn’t seem to acknowledge or even care that I had to get up early for class. It was more important for her to confront me about not having a job, despite the fact that school took up my schedule, because according to Mommie Dearest, I was just a meal ticket. I was just there to fuel her vices and ensure she didn’t have to put in the effort expected of a parent. Since she couldn’t work, I was supposed to carry the weight. She would call me names, accuse me of all kinds of things, and seemed to have no awareness of boundaries anytime she would enter my room, peek at my emails, go through my clothes, make inappropriate comments about my body- etc, etc.
It was my last semester of college. If I didn’t pass this one, I knew deep down, it was because of her. I was desperate for solace from these panic attacks and overwhelmed with project deadlines. So I decided to look up meditation and its benefits. Apparently, meditation was a great stress relief. And for me, it also seemed like a great escape from the every day world, no matter how brief. So I sat there. It was only for a five minute meditation but seemed much longer. I kept on opening my eyes in between, afraid that if I kept them closed long enough, something might jump at me. Or maybe, I was just afraid of myself?
Nevertheless, it still happened. After a week or so, I started to notice a tingle between my eyes. Is this the third eye they speak of? A warmth on my chest. The heart chakra? Wave after wave of emotions never felt before. It was ecstasy and misery. I wanted to cry. I didn’t want this to stop. So I began meditating for one hour, sometimes two at a time, maybe more, who knows. One day she barged into my room. I was sitting there with a lit candle, because a lot of people meditate with candles. “What are you doing?!” Mommie Dearest yelled. “Are you doing witchcraft? Put that candle out.”
Either she didn’t understand what meditation required, or she was worried this period of enlightenment would take me away from her. Like it or not, it did.
My bedroom door didn’t lock properly. I tried putting something in front of it, but each time she would somehow have a sixth sense and yell at me to keep it open. I resorted to meditating only a nighttime before going to bed. I would place the covers over my head and in secret, keep my headphones on with a mantra running in the background. She never suspected a thing. Meditation was my dirty little secret, and it was also how I finally realized just how effed up my life was.
Somehow I stumbled further into the rabbit hole than expected. Suddenly, the entire world made me angry. Injustice was more rampant than ever, or so it seemed for a girl who was never allowed to see with her own eyes. Everything felt like a conspiracy, aimed to keep me innocent and sweet. I even discovered my root chakra, and learned it didn’t take hand or even a finger to bring myself to pleasure. My mind was enough. Actually, everything was about the mind.
Moon in Capricorn, yes that made sense to me. Venus in this sign, Mars in that sign, my rising… Yes, reading that all made sense. This little chart running in the background without me even knowing it. It’s been there this whole time. According to my chart, there is also a risk for experiencing power struggles, maternal abuse, and a lack of awareness around one’s own pain and happiness. I kept tabs on my meditation experiences in a journal that was hidden in my locker at school. Sometimes symbols came up. Songs on the radio didn’t sound the same either. There was no way a journal like that was safe at home. No, it had to stay at school.
No one was going to keep me ignorant of myself. Because this was the point when Uranus began transiting my Mars, and life would never be the same again. It was my mission to make something better than this miserable drama that had been dreamed up by other people. I felt like Neo in the Matrix, like Alice in Wonderland. I felt like a cliché.
Every single day since birth, it was all about Mommie Dearest. It was whether she liked the way I was dressed, not whether I liked it. It was whether she approved my goals, not whether I enjoyed them. Behind closed doors I was a failure, but in front of others I was her favorite person. Now I started going out more and wearing less, or whatever that dumb Drake song has to say. I finally had a circle of friends and a real life of my own.
According to the voices in Mommie Dearest’s head, someone was making me do these things. It’s not that her precious daughter would spend hours at the library or hours doing meditation to get away from everything, someone was controlling me. She said cars were following me and that the neighbors couldn’t be trusted. Nevermind, even her own family couldn’t be trusted, and that was why they didn’t talk to us anymore. But I wasn’t to be fooled again. Mommie Dearest was a pathological liar, she designed lie after lie because she wanted to keep me from the world. She even lied about and to my own family. Meanwhile, my therapist at school spent hours with me trying to figure out whether it was a good idea to have an exit plan, but where would I go?
Things really reached turning point one evening when I was in the shower, and I could hear her talking to herself. While coming out of the bathroom, I asked her who she was talking to. Mommie Dearest turned around and asked, “Who are you talking to?” She came after me, grabbed me by the hair and before I knew it, I was pinned on the bed. Mommie Dearest threatened that if I screamed again, she would send me to a hospital. She never put her hands on me before. Finally she stopped back and said, “I feel better now, almost like she got some twisted joy seeing her daughter in submission.
Understanding Uranus Transit Mars
You see, when Uranus is transiting a personal planet, there’s an urge for ultimate freedom. These transits can be rather uneventful depending on your natal chart or if you’re already in a good place. There could be a lot of restlessness and a need to channel that into sports and dance. In my case, my chart is Saturn dominant and always took some work, so Uranus transits have always had a soft spot in my heart. Uranus transits last around two years and are typically on and off due to retrogrades, so there are periodic breaks. This is the planet of revolution and unpredictability, and till the transit to my Mars, my life was very predictable.
Let’s just say, the time that Uranus was near and on my Mars, I just couldn’t be the same person as before. I had always kept my emotions- but especially my anger- to myself, and like a puppet on a string Mommie Dearest knew what to do with me. I credit this as being the time I really came alive. This is when I got into astrology and meditation, and began paying more attention to my body, including buying outfits that made me feel attractive and wearing makeup that she despised.
Of course, it might be wise to add that my Mars also happens to be in the eighth house, so it may be more obvious to myself than to others just how much power this transit held. Except today I’m not writing about the eighth house, so if you want to learn more on that, click here.
Saturn square Saturn and Family Drama
When it comes to the Saturn square, the first Saturn square happens around age 8, the period that kids become more aware of the concept of time and mortality. The second Saturn square, which is closer to age 21, is met with resistance from adults around, as we begin to slowly find our place in the world. At this age, it’s normal to want to make your own rules and separate from whatever traditions and start thinking about your own legacy. It’s also the time we realize our parents really are just human. In my case, it took a few more years to understand some of my mom’s behavior was due to her having mental health issues, but it doesn’t excuse what I had to go through.
The scary part is that in mythology Saturn eats his own children so they aren’t able to take his place one day, and that’s how I felt, like she wanted to devour me so I couldn’t have power. As someone with Saturn in Aquarius, I’ve always craved freedom because ironically enough, that’s what gives me stability, so being devoured wasn’t the answer.
Choosing Freedom and Growing Up
Going back to what was happening between Mommie Dearest and me, that time period ended with a police ride to my grandmother. One night, I came home after playing pool with friends. She asked for my bank card to see if my loans and bursaries came in, and like clockwork gave me the whole “you should get a job” speech, despite knowing I couldn’t fit work into a five-day school schedule. In the background, the song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman played, as if to foreshadow my life. Without thinking, I put my dog on his leash and after a yelling match, walked right out to find my neighbor recording everything on his phone. The police had already visited our place during these kinds of arguments, and I invited him to call them again.
The next morning, my grandmother got a phone-call that Mommie Dearest had been arrested for threatening the neighbors. She had to stay with her for a month till she would find a new place, which gave me ample time to find roommates in secret. Around the same week, I was also expected to attend a festival screening of a short film directed over the summer. Even the production part felt like a blur. One of the actors approached me on how much he liked it, but I was too on edge to bother chatting more. On Halloween 2014, a friend of mine helped pack my belongings and my dog in a cab to the other side of the city. I would never live under the same roof as Mommie Dearest again. Now that I owned the world, she wouldn’t have a lick of power over me. No more screaming, name-calling, mind control, triangulation, manipulation, or gaslighting. My freedom was worth more than her idea of home. It was worth everything.
There’s a running joke in movies from the infamous “no wire hangers” scene, with Faye Dunaway portraying the polarizing, Old Hollywood star Joan Crawford in the 80s flick Mommie Dearest. And if you’re of the people who think of that movie as campy and over-the-top, count yourself lucky, because it means you didn’t have a narcissistic mother to grow up with. Anyone raised by a narcissist knows just how unpredictable and devious these people are. The littlest thing could set them off. Till one fateful night when I reached my limit, and I was set off forever, as far away from her as possible. Sometimes I still look for her in crowds even though we don’t live in the same city, my guess is because the little girl version of me is still afraid of her. Good thing I’m no longer afraid. Nor do I have to be.
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