Life as an Italian Girl in America?

Discussion in 'Past Life Memories' started by Li. La., Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    It is so interesting I think to read everything on this forum, especially people's experienced past life memories. I never get tired of it. Now, I'd like to tell you about my own experience:

    I was very young when I remember that my mother was not my mother. That is - not the mother that I remember having from before. I am from Sweden so here we say "Mamma" (Mother). Very similar to "Mama" in Italy. My mother would say that I refused to call her "Mamma" for a long time, and that I rejected her in a lot of ways and she could not figure out why. It was because the mother I remembered as my mother was another woman; a woman from Italy. When I was a bit older I would ask my family if they had stolen me, and I would run away from home. The silly thing is my family was very kind to me, I was spoiled and everything. There was no reason that we knew off why I would behave in such a way. When I began school I was angry that a girl in my class was named Anna - because that was "my" name (only it wasn't, not in this current life that is ; ) My parents tried to blame imagination and my young age. They were not familiar with reincarnation. Also it was as if my head remembered a male voice in my head. That was Vito. Anna's husband. So all of a sudden I would remember fragments of conversation, or him simply calling for her "Anna! Anna!" as if he was in the other room watching television, the news, and wanted her to join him. When I told my parents about the voice in my head - they tried to look calm, but they were freaked out on the inside. My father, strict, tried to ask me "What does it want?", my reply was something in the line with "Ah, he always wants something". By now my mother tried to tell my father that they should contact a psychiatrist, he refused - thinking I would outgrow it. He was afraid that his otherwise normal functioning daughter would get branded.

    And I almost did. I was ready to disregard any of this as fantasies of some sort. Only then, one summer - I was in Italy on vacation. The minute I heard the language spoken, saw the Italians, visited Rome - I recognized myself. Only I had not been there before. It was both a slap in the face and a welcome-back-sign all at once. Then suddenly I became very serious, and telling my mother I wanted to leave. I wasn't happy there, I said. I would feel Anna's emotions and it was too heavy and frightening for a child to feel. Feelings of depression. I also remembered bits from World War II, not much - but enough to wanting to close that door for good. When I told my mother of the things I had seen from World War II on the streets of Rome - she tried to tell me it wasn't true. Non of that had happened she said, at least she thought she would have heard, read about it. Then after some research she did on her own she one day told me I had been right, but how did I know? I certainly had no interest in World War II, the opposite.

    So then some years passed and then I was visiting America. Same thing happened, only in a different way. I recognized myself. Being older I was now really strict with myself - telling myself that it was all in my head. I had seen this from somewhere, probably from some movie etc, etc.

    Then as an adult I visited Grand Canaria with my husband and same thing happened. I remember Anna having been there on vacation, playing on the beach with one of her children who did not want to leave. I did not tell my husband. I feared he would just think I was crazy.

    When I watched "The Godfather" I would recognize things from Anna's life. Her husband Vito would wear a small ring. The cross that both men and female would wear around their neck. The women in the black dresses and haircuts. The movements her husband would make with his hands. The direct attitude. Her husband never being afraid of showing physical tenderness; kissing her on the back of her head, or the cheek, taking his hand under her chin or on her waist. The feeling that you grew up in a group, you were part of a group; and this group (family) would always be there for you. If one person could not help you with something, another one could. That dinner time was important and there were all types of food that you could choose from. The little wine glasses that one could pour red wine into. That when you laughed - you truly laughed. Also that Anna was like me. She would keep secrets no matter what. People trusted her. She had close relationships.

    When I saw another movie, of actor Richard Grieco - I was hit by his eyes. He had the same eyes as I remember Anna's husband Vito having (but as for the rest they did not look alike at all).

    So I remember that Anna lived in Rome. When still a teenager she met Vito - her future husband. He was what they call an Italian-American. In the military. He would come and go. The connection between them was crazy - everything was so alive. They had the same kind of humor, and once he found that out - he would only have to give her a certain look to make her smile. She was shy around him too. His eyes just kind of owned her. Where ever she was - and he was with her, she could feel his eyes on her.

    They lived in the US, had to move around quite a bit and travel a lot. Coming to America was kind of a shock; things were so different and she had to train hard to learn the language. Vito had family in Brooklyn so I have lots of memories from there; his family, driving on the Brooklyn bridge at night, when it was winter there - wrapped up in a fur, and in the summer on the beach. Remember a favorite cafe in Brooklyn, the Italian neighborhood. Once Vito and she had had a fight, and that was where they met again to sit down and talk - as if this was neutral ground.

    When she became a mother her husband had to stay away sometimes long periods. It felt as if she lived two lives; one as a single mom and the other as a wife. She missed Italy.

    I think her marriage were at times very troubled. As if there was this rule that her husband had to have the last word, was the one to decide; and if she kept pushing that he was in his right to punish her. So because she did not want him to do that, and he did not want to do that either - she accepted, and then withdrew. For me to try to explain these kind of emotions is hard - because I was not raised this way and did not watch this between my parents or anyone else. It was as if Anna felt shame; shame that she had pushed her husband to this limit and he was giving her one last warning. As if then she wasn't a good wife (never mind that he was walking all over her, being dominant with his strong will). One time they were caught in this emotional fight and she could not stop herself. Then - he slapped her, one time. Everything stopped. I don't think they looked at violence the same as they do today. It was also as if you were a female you were suppose to do this or be like this. Just this norm. This demand. It was not so much about free will. It was just different times, I suppose. I remember another time when her husband took her hand and tried to make her slap him, but she refused, and he was very sad - as if he thought that if she did this - then they were even. I remember that her mother saw Anna's face, after Vito had slapped her, and as the three of them tried to talk about it - Vito explaining why he had done it; her mother was cold and told him she regretted ever allowing him to marry her daughter. I could feel Anna's love, but also her fear of her husband and his bad temper. It just stole energy from her. She grieved that she could never be as close to him as to the other people in her life. It was a big disappointment. And it was as if he could not understand it. He had "brothers" in shape of friends that were Italian-Americans, that were Jewish, that were colored etc, and they were all so nice to her, as well as their girlfriends and wives. They were just wonderful people - and I miss them too. I know one time one of his friends warned her that Vito was in an terrible mood, as if he was looking out for her and he did not want Anna to be alone with him once Vito arrived home. When Vito wasn't angry he was this handsome, charming man.

    The memories that I have of her family I treasure so much. Remembering what they looked like and were. A few people from Anna's life has re-emerged in my own current life or they are at least very much alike them. My husband reminds me very much of someone in her past life, but I can't talk to him about reincarnation either.

    My memories from a life as Anna ends in the 1970's. I remember that her heart just started to beat irregularly to then stop completely, and that she died at home whilst her husband was on the phone. Her life ended most unexpectedly. I remember being in a state of shock, thinking I can't die now. Anna's mother was still alive and needed her, Anna's children were still young. In the 1960's Anna had been on some strange diet pills that just got her hooked - and she lost her mind there for a period trying to get off them. So she was very thin there for some years. I don't know if it was that - that stressed the heart and the rest of the body. She had gained weight after, was normal; got her curves back around the time she died.

    Anyhow, that's it. Maybe not so much an exciting life story, but these are some of the things I remember. Does any of this make sense to you guys?


    [​IMG]
    Vito would wear a pinky ring like the one above.

    [​IMG]
    I remember Anna going off her mind if she could not get her pills.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  2. Kenz1010

    Kenz1010 Senior Registered

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    Makes sense to me, I’m sure it makes sense to many other people on this forum as well. Interesting to read about your emotions while in Italy and your ‘triggers’, as in the things that seemed to trigger your memories.

    Even though you do remember some difficult things, I’m glad you’ve been able to remember the good times, and that you can cherish those memories.
     
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  3. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

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    Hello Li. La., welcome to the forum.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your story. It is amazing how detailed your memories are.

    I would say more, but I don't know how much longer posting will work before the forum is overhauled...
     
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  4. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Li. La.,

    Welcome to the forum. Your memories are very interesting, thanks for sharing. When you're ready, I would be interested in hearing your memories about what happened in the streets of Rome during WWII as well.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--There were quite a few "war brides" in the U.S. when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. I'm not talking about huge numbers, but it was not that rare to know someone who knew one. The adjustment was very difficult for many of them, especially those from the orient. You were fortunate to be married into a situation where there was a shared heritage and the family and neighborhood customs were similar to those you grew up with in Italy. But moves like this are always difficult.

    PPS--You may be able to find out more online about war brides in NYC after WWII, and maybe even something specific about Italian war brides in NYC. I mention this because there is always a possibility that you may find an old picture in a newspaper of someone you knew or some other information.
     
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  5. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Thank you so for your reply. I will search for war brides. When I told my mother about what I remembered from World War II I was still just a child and very much caught in the moment. I can't ask my mother about it now though because she has died some years ago. Fragments that I have is that they began to isolate the Jewish population but that Anna, along with other children, would first go in and out without thinking twice about it - and no one really caring, to then as things got more restricted be more careful - but still go in and out. Then she was forbidden. I have memories of Anna running with her sister (in identical coats) and there were a military plane above, and they were frighten by the plane. There was no water. Al fountains had no water, like it had all been turned off deliberately. Little food. I remember that one time she was just about to leave a building (of apartments) when a man at the last minute reached out and grabbed her. Out on the street - that she was just about to run out to - people were running, they were being shot in the back. It was in the middle of the day. She saw a woman running carrying a small child - this woman, and the child fell to the street after having been gunned down. In the meanwhile the man was quick to remove her coat and he threw it way behind them, and he searched her with his eyes and hands - very fast. He tried to put his hand over her mouth for a short while so no one would hear her scream. I think he may have thought she was a Jewish girl. Then two soldiers saw them. One stepped into the entrance of the building. The man held his hands on her shoulders, she could feel them almost pushing her down but at the same time his hands were trembling. The other soldier stayed at the entrance. They were German soldiers. I don't think the man was Jewish, but he had thought she was. Then the memory has faded away. When I went to school (as my current self) and was forced to go to learn German - I would skip classes, which was not like me. Just because I got sick of listening to the language, I got all emotional. My parents weren't exactly happy when they learned about this. Otherwise in school I would get good grades, but I remember not caring at all what I got in Germany.
    I remember Vito appearing in his light brownish soldier-clothing on and having free time over to spend with her and her family. He would drive this big, open military-car which was built for rocky roads. Maybe this is not much, and I think I told my mother a lot more, because I was a bit frantic- but I can't remember. Til this day I still have trouble watching any movie on the World War II topic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  6. LisaR

    LisaR Senior Registered

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    I’m like you, I could read about others’ reincarnational stories all day, especially the “boring” ones. I don’t find them boring at all. The little details, like the fact of the water being turned off and running with a sister wearing similar clothes, are validation enough for me that it’s real. Your story has many of those beautiful small details - like the favorite Brooklyn cafe where “you” and Vito met after a fight. That’s what makes it so interesting.
     
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  7. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Li. La.,

    Thanks for what you have added. A quick Google search of "Italian war brides in America" brought up a lot of articles and images. Likewise for a search of "Jews shot in Rome during WWII". So, you may be able to find out quite a bit more about that lifetime and your memories by researching with phrases like this.

    Some do research like this up-front. Others counsel seeking to recover as many memories as possible first, as up-front research can bring confirmation, but may also make it more difficult for some to separate personal memories from things they have read or seen doing research.

    I'll leave that decision up to you; however, I have never been able to resist the temptation to dive into the internet myself. :cool:

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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  8. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hi @Li. La. ,
    Welcome to the forum. I’ve read your story with much interest.
     
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  9. Angie Brown

    Angie Brown Senior Registered

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    welcome to the forum. I am sorry some of your memories must be upsetting, although you must also have happy memories, of your own blood family, maybe of children. I hope you have.

    It is often the memories of being an average person that most resonate with a lot of people. Maybe because most people are average. It is the situations and the times that disempower or empower us.

    Thank you for your story, and best wishes.

    Angie
     
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  10. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Hello, I've read now on Wikipedia about the bad treatment and killing of the Jews in Rome during World War II. I can't put into words what I feel about this.

    It was a much more pleasant experience - and very surprising - to find that there are even a site and articles about the Italian war brides in America; I had not expected that, why I don't know.

    I remember that there was some kind of trouble going on when Vito at first wanted to marry her. As if she did not want to, that she was too shy. There was also as if she knew that she would be taken from her family and all. Just think she panicked, basically. It was as if he would visit her, them - the family. If they were on the move - he would find them. It was as if he waited several years for Anna to "grow up" more so that they would be married.

    I have one memory of Anna being young and on a boat with no family with her, and the boat must have been to America; she would hear men in groups making the same sound now and then, and clapping, and whistling as people were getting off the boat, so I don't know if they were greeting the other people, women, on the boat as they got off. They sounded happy, anyway. There were also sound of women's high heels when the women were running at the pavements, but there were lots of sounds around her. Anna's biggest concern at that time was having a luggage on one hand and having (stable) but yet high heels on her (to make her look more grown up) and she was suppose to walk from the boat to the ground on this platform that they had put in here. I don't feel as she was too happy to be there, like she was just serious and feeling a bit taken by it all. Little like she had just been woken up. For some reason she had a stuffed animal with her which she kept out of the luggage as she was stepping over from the boat to the pavement, I don't know why. Maybe someone had dropped it. I don't think she was even married at the time to Vito, I think that happened later on, I remember that there were lots of papers, and passport and they would make you put up your right hand and you had to answer in English. Don't know why.

    I have the strong feeling they were married in the 1950's, so not the 1940's - so maybe Anna did not count for being a war bride then? Don't know when they got engaged, though. Just the clothing and the aging, and all. I think it was the 1950's.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  11. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Thank you everyone that has commented and/or liked what I wrote. I thought one would find it a bore, so I am grateful and surprised it was not : ).

    I'd like to share some photographs below of similar things that I remember maybe because it makes it more valid to somehow put it to print and have some photos there as well - instead of having it all in one's mind year in and year out.

    When I did my own little search to find out where in time Anna was moving about in some of my memories I had to go by the look of the clothes, shoes, haircuts, make up etc to the people she saw and also from her view. Also furniture's. Cars. Vacuum cleaner (OK, not so exciting...). With her weight loss I saw things from her eyes and could just see that her arms, stomach, legs were a lot more slimmed. Her arm watch was dangling about, she was in my opinion way too skinny. Then I remember her wearing one of her favorite pair of pants and by the look of it it was in the 1970's, so from where she was standing I could see her bottom and legs and realize she had gained weight. There were things about the way certain people dressed that I would in my teenage years try to laugh off, as if it was just in my head; but then some years later found these types of fashion-clothes. One example is that her sons used to wear really short shorts and that both girls and boys would have long socks. Way back when she was a little girl I could see that her and her siblings coats were the same length as their dresses - and they were way too short (in my mind) to have been accepted back then; to later see photographs of girls looking like that. Sorry, I go on and on. Here are some pics anyhow of the things that reminds me of Anna's past.

    Do any of you recognize something from your own past life - or perhaps current one?

    /Best Wishes Li

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Vito kind of looked like the man above with his clothes.

    [​IMG]
    I remember that Anna's mother used to have red nail polish and red lipstick, but Anna would have either just natural looking nails or have whitish shell-kind-of like nail polish.
     
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  12. SeekerOfKnowledge

    SeekerOfKnowledge Learner

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    Anna's story definitely is NOT boring. Why did you think it would be? The amount of details you remember is amazing. It is the story of a life unfolding bit by bit, it's like reading a book in a way where the main character is not a superstar, but a person like you could meet them in your neighborhood.
    You do not need to have a famous past life or a past life as a soldier to have an interesting story to tell.
     
  13. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    It is nice of you to write it is not boring. It is the first time on this forum that I feel blessed of having told my story without it being ripped into threads. I suppose Anna has always been part of me, ever since I can remember, and as a child you don't question things, you just know certain things as they come over you- and you just tell without judgement.

    My memories are a crazy mix of cuts; it starts from nowhere and ends in nowhere. I think I remembered more when I was child, but other things would just flash by and I can't grasp it, or keep it. Other things are very clear.

    Also perhaps why I thought it would be boring has to do with shame. As Anna I felt shame. It was due to the problems the mix of the pill-addiction and her mental state caused her loved ones, and also herself. And then to die like that, leaving everything up in the air - the children.

    There is a part of me that has rejected Anna - or rather Anna's feelings. She would have difficult feelings; strong fear, sadness. She would move either up-up one minute and the next she would be really down later in life as an adult when she was either on the pills or trying to get off them. I remember once she was at this party with her husband at someone's house and just talking to her girlfriend in the kitchen. Anna just thought she was happy and talking - that she was passing as a normal human being. Then Vito came from behind. He did not have to say anything. He just put his hands on Anna's shoulders. And it was as if then she knew - she was up-up, too high. So she immediately tried to shape up, went silent, swallowed, smiled a bit to the girlfriend before continuing. On the inside though she sank down, real fast. Felt embarrassed. Vito would have, despite his hot temper at times, this secure, serious way about him.

    I remember part of a fight when Vito found pills, and threw them away in the bathroom. A part of her wanted to grab the pills from him - but she was too afraid too. That he would get worse. Again and again I would remember that Vito would say "Anna, look at me. Look at me", and he would take his hand under her chin. She would try to move her eyes slowly up, and keep them steady (he was taller than she was), and almost did not breath. Vito was staring at her with his dark eyes, just focusing on her eyes. It was not until I was an adult that I realized that he was probably looking at her that way to see if her eyes had changed - if she was on the pills.

    I remember that he would joke about this hair style of hers, call it a "bird's nest", and ask her if she was not gonna give the bird some food as well in midst of dinner.

    Anna found her husband really attractive and she wanted to "keep up", so to speak. She wanted to be representative. It was as if she could not get skinny enough. Her husband and others did not like it and they would try to make her eat more.

    One time I remember they were in a store and she saw a pretty dress and casually pointed up to it (because it was in some plaster bag hanged behind the desk where a woman worked). He said it was not as pretty as another one; so by that comment alone and him choosing another dress for her - both Anna and the woman working in the store knew that if she was ever gonna get a dress it would be the dress he had chosen for her. And in that moment it was as if she had to obey and just be grateful, and thank him for wanting to buy her a dress. At the time she did not think anything was wrong, but on the inside she was a bit sad, and something did not feel right. She could not put her finger on it. It was as if she did not want any dress at all, at that time. I have a feeling they were in Vegas at the time, because outside this store one could see a huge restaurant and outside the restaurant there were gambling; old casino looking things. It was as if the women store was on the other side of this and had glass windows on one side, and the other was just wall (no windows). I think they spent some holiday in Vegas without children or anyone else, just the two of them. Vito in return was suspicious because he knew Anna wanted to give her first family money and thought that was the real cause of her trying to work now and then, he hated that.

    Especially one little sister was close to her heart. First memories I think I had of this little sister was when I one evening - as a child - watched the Euro-vision contest, now many years back. And they were doing a sum-up of all the years. Only a brief moment they were showing a video clip from Italy, bad quality. The moment I heard the orchestra, and that young girl on stage singing her Italian song - I was immediately taken. So I went from feeling zero to being an emotional mess within a few seconds. As I looked at the girl - she had the same shape of the face, kind of looking eyes and mouth; as Anna's little sister. So I would see the girl face - and then from within Anna's sister's face; they were similar looking but I could see the contrasts within these two girls at the same time. I just knew how this little sister moved about; her being funny without knowing she was, being practical. Being introverted and talking carefully about things, having sad eyes, when it was something serious going on. She just had a calm way about her. I could feel Anna's sadness as she had felt as if she had to either chose her marriage or her old family. She could not have both. I would remember Anna holding her breath as this girl had emerged on stage and that it was shown on Television. How proud the Italian were. Their respect for this girl and the crowd's response afterwards; clapping their hands like crazy. I've found the song on you tube, it is the one below.

     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  14. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Li. La.,

    Much of what you have said resonates with my memories of the era, but only from a fairly shallow little boy perspective. I was born in 53, so I was a very small child during the 50s and still a little boy during the early 60s. However, I remember a lot about the way people were and talked and acted. The styles you show are familiar, and I remember some talk about diet pills, though I don't recall much about the subject--my world at the time revolved around school, play and my favorite TV shows. The world of grown-ups was one I took very little interest in (except insofar as it directly impacted my life as a child). Besides, to a child it was borrrrrring!!! :p I do, however, have more accurate memories of the adult world gathered from the mid 60s and forward from there, when the great changes in male/female roles, etc. really began to accelerate.

    I can reinforce something you already know: It was a much different age, and the beliefs about what a man/woman should be and do that people were raised with were very, very different than they are today. Vito was, as far as I can tell from what you have written, just trying to be a good husband, father and man according to the way he had been raised and believed-and you were likewise doing your best to be a good mother, wife and woman according to the standards of the day. You both seemed to try and do your best. This doesn't mean there weren't mistakes along the line, but overall you come across as good people struggling with the kinds of problems that many other good people were struggling with in that time period. Actually, in reading your posts, I am mostly sorry that your life had to end so soon and you could not have come through your various struggles to a, hopefully, happy old age surrounded by your children, grand-children (and probably even some great-grands).

    In terms of the rightness or wrongness of the way people were back then--I have lived through the great change in terms of male/female relationships/roles (which shows no sign of abating at this point) and can tell you one thing: I see no sign whatsoever that people in the present era are happier, more at peace, more fulfilled or otherwise more joyous than they were back then. It seems that where there is less pressure and more freedom in one sphere, there is only a shifting which creates more pressure and less freedom in another. Actually, if I had to make a choice, I would say that things were better back then, though they were probably at their best somewhere in the middle.

    Anyhow, the real villain in your story is probably the "diet pills"--which were actually strong addictive drugs being foisted on a very innocent age when anything "new" seemed guaranteed to be better and pharmaceutical companies and technology could still be trusted. Whether they were responsible for what appears to have been some bipolar tendencies or even your death is something we can't know at this point (though they apparently could lead to psychological break-downs as well as death), but they were a curse and apparently keep coming back in different forms. In terms of the problems they caused, etc. the following article is interesting:

    https://neurofantastic.com/brain/2017/1/13/the-rainbow-diet-pills-there-and-back-again

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
  15. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Thank you very much for your words and the article. How great that you were a young boy in the 1950's :)

    It was chilly though when I read the article; it really reminds me of my experience being Anna.

    It strikes me that I've mostly described Vito in a bad way and I don't mean to. I do have some absolute wonderful memories of Vito that give me the impression he was, as you say, a good man. I suppose my point was that Anna was insecure, did not make her own money and it was dysfunctional to have a husband who was also a general the next. Adding having to lean on him because he was an American and she was a foreigner. I admire him for having to put up with her addiction. I know she always loved him, but she was afraid of his temper in ways that I've never feared my own husband. Maybe some of her fear came from her being addictive. One memory I had when I was a little girl was that Anna was dressed in a nightgown but it was broad day light and as she was in the kitchen to try to prepare breakfast - Vito was up and had changed, and a toddler was fully dressed and on the floor. It was as if she had overslept. Big time. Then it was as if Vito gave her an order, and fear just took over her at once. I think he had booked an appointment to see a doctor, and basically told her to go and change. It was as if she could not think rationally. Instead of getting dressed - I could see her running barefoot with that loose nightgown on her out of the home and out on the streets - and keep on running. On the look of it they then lived in some suburban village town - so I see all those houses and cars, lots of space - but nowhere to hide whilst running. I see a bigger road at the end of this area that she was running towards - there were more cars driving there. And then Vito behind. And the look he had in his eyes as if he could not believe this was happening -having to run after her. Some people were out, it was a sunny day, they must have thought they were nuts. I could feel her fear that she knew he was gonna catch up with her; it was as if he was trained. Psychically she did not stand much of a chance.

    I remember Anna being in a hospital, I'm guessing the late 1960's or the 1970's due to the clothing of father and a son when they came to visit her, but it was as if she was missing other children there with them. As if the picture of the two of them was not complete. I think the son probably insisted on coming along and I think he was the oldest. When they visited her I felt a mix of strong shame and anger; just not ready to face the world.

    I am not sure of the amount of children that Anna had. In a lot of my flashbacks, memories there are a lot of people - relatives, friends - and kids everywhere; so I could tell that she really liked or even loved children that was probably not even her own. Consistent I see two brothers with the same sort of hair color that would go darker with age and same kind of eyes (this was I think in the 1960's), but in the 1970's I see a little girl attached to the oldest brother, just some years old - she too has the same kind of blond hair going on that would probably go darker with age. I think Anna loved to dress her children with long socks; I just see them in a lot of my memories having that. When I had one flashbacks of Anna wearing too long socks as well I thought to myself (Oh, come on! This is ridiculous!), but then when searching I did find photographs of women wearing that as well ;)

    The oldest son was like her best buddy, she must have gotten him early. I think this son took a lot of responsibility, like he just thought of everyone else. Vito had demands and high hopes for him. Only when Vito and this boy would talk - things would get tough, and the older this boy would become the tougher it would get, but one could still feel the strong love between father and son. There would be lots of frustration in the room. Anna could understand both perspectives, but they just couldn't. They had the same attitude when fighting, they were really just a copy, a mirror of themselves - but again they did not see it.

    One time I remember hearing Vito and this son going about - some type of argument, when she dropped what she was doing, went into the living room where they were, leaned herself against a wall, crossed her arms and looked at them both, getting herself ready to start to talk as well - but in a firm way. By the clothing and interior design it was by sure the 1970's. I felt more stable then - not the depression, not being up or down - just Anna, like she had been years before the pills, but definitely now a more secured woman, mother and wife (it was such a RELIEF). Then she was about to be angry with them but in a reasonable way. It looked like they listened, and Vito and she was a team - as parents. I could tell there was mutual respect. It did not seem to me as if she was afraid of Vito at that point.

    I remember that she would drive a car that had complete red interior, fabric and that the steering wheel was really thin and white. That she would simply have a toddler sit beside her and she had her hand on his stomach - whilst she was driving or in her lap. Today she would have been arrested.

    Another when the eldest son was driving her around in a brown car, typical age of the 1970's. This son smoke. I have flashes of memories of her father-in-law smoking a kind of brownish cigarettes by the table in their apartment. That one of Anna's sister's husband, also soldier, would smoke a pipe, and that the kids were fascinated with this and would try to grab the pipe. Both he and Vito would in different flashbacks wear trench-coats. Just fragments here and there - but no useful information that could lead me to their true identities. Kind of frustrating.

    I remember that the eldest son was dressed in military clothing at one point.
    Vito would always have a military feel to him, and it was as if this son wanted to make his dad proud of him; despite them going at each other at times. Vito was also trained in another due to him boxing at times. I have a short memory of Anna going down stairs to a sort of basement and I think it is in Brooklyn, close to where his parents lived. And she saw Vito from a distance doing his thing with white bandage rolled around his hands before and after pulling the boxing gloves on. The whole place had a particular smell. It was as if this was the rule with him regardless if he was working or not - to stay fit.

    When ever I have thought of trying to find out if my memories are true I get so frustrated with myself that I don't have the full names of Anna and the people I so clearly remember both in their looks and personalities.

    I wish one could just take a photo of what one see's in the head :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
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  16. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Li. La.,

    You mention so many things that I could comment on, but I will just hit a few that immediately come to mind. First, smoking was everywhere during the periods in questions. Movies in the 30s and 40s glamorized it not only for men but for women, where the various femme fatales invariably smoked. (BTW--The brown cigarette you mentioned was probably a cigarillo). Second, I believe boxing was one of the biggest three sports in the U.S. during the first half of the 20th century. The other two seem to have been Horse Racing and Baseball. Baseball is still big, but the other two have been largely displaced by American football and Basketball. Also, boxing training for men and boys was very popular in urban areas, this would have been especially true (I think) among Italians, as two of the areas where people of Italian descent really made a mark in America during this period were in singing and boxing (the names of Frank Sinatra and Rocky Marciano immediately come to mind). Third, as you probably know, father/son arguments are not unusual at all among strong willed people. It usually seems to be the eldest son or the son who is closest to his father in temperament that butts heads with his father. This son almost always tends to be the one who afterwards idolizes his father and tries to be like him (at least to my observation), so nothing unusual there or about seeing this son in a military uniform--like his father--later on. Fourth, I remember the cars you are talking about and the days of skinny steering wheels and no seat belts (I was almost thrown out of such a car and killed in an auto accident when I was a toddler). Fifth, you finally had what was called in that day a “nervous breakdown” and were apparently hospitalized for a time. I used to hear about ladies having nervous breakdowns quite a bit when I was growing up (maybe it was all of those @#$%^ diet pills!). So, this was not as unusual as you might think, nor were you defective in some way. These things happened, and a period of hospitalization could be for the best in such cases as it could end up with a person getting the kind of help that they needed. Sixth, you FOUND YOUR VOICE! The little Italian girl who was once intimidated by almost everything and everyone in her new surroundings, and struggled with a debilitating addiction finally overcame all of those and achieved a position of respect not only in her own eyes but in the eyes of her family! As you put it: "Vito and she was a team - as parents. I could tell there was mutual respect. It did not seem to me as if she was afraid of Vito at that point."

    So, that is a bit of a happy ending to that part of your PL story. Unfortunately, death intervened. Is that why this is the lifetime that has come back to haunt you--the incompleteness of it, the unfinished lifetime, the children and husband you could no longer love and care for? Everything seemed to have finally gotten on the right track and then it was snatched away from you.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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  17. glia21

    glia21 Senior Registered

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    Hi li.la
    This is a very interesting pl in great detail, thank you so much for sharing! We are about the same age - i also recall a lifetime in the US, but I was male. I died in the late 60ies.
    Reading about Anna and Vito I wondered what job vito had. I have to admit I'm influenced by the typical stereotypes having watched the godfather 1-3 as a kid and just thinking about italian restaurants and italians working in construction business. Do you remember anything of that sort? Otherwise it would really be great to verify things. I know it's tough not to remember last names. I have a similar situation with my pl ex wife Helen and our son...
     
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  18. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Hi S&S, it was so wonderful to read your reply, as you speak of those times as they were indeed facts and not some fabrication in my mind. There is always this part of me that is very sure of what I see, but then the other is causing insecurity because I just don't know a lot of times if it could be true or not. It was just a breath of fresh air to receive your reply about those times, to have actually been there when it all happened, thank you :) .

    How horrible it must have been for you and your family with the car accident when you were just a child. Today one can't imagine not having a safety belt on one's child - it is strange that they did not think about it back then.

    Yes, I suppose it has haunted me. Then I would try to comfort myself thinking of all the people that they knew; family, friends. The stability of schools. Anything I could grasp that could tell me that the family was OK.

    Since you have lived in the 1950's and seem to know a bit of the Italian-American life style I would like to describe following and hear your opinions of it. Of course I don't take offense if you don't answer, you have helped me enough, but I'm thinking it is worth a shot - Like- does it make sense? Could this have happened? I am just gonna describe what I see through Anna's eyes and I don't know if I am right or wrong. OkK- so it was as if Vito had been brought up in Brooklyn. It was as if Vito was very aware of skin tone / color of the skin and Anna was just one big question mark about this. From what I could tell Anna had lighter skin tone and Vito had darker skin tone. Her hair was dark but when she was a child it was blond and then light brown to then continue to get darker. She would later see the same thing with the children. Vito had very dark hair, if not black, and dark brown eyes. One time I remember him telling her that she was "spoiled" in terms that she had advantages due to her light skin; and she did not like it when he said that. It was as if he had been exposed to a form of discrimination just because his skin tone was darker, hair and eyes.

    So I remember that Anna and Vito were in a restaurant and a man who was colored stepped into the restaurant but the one to greet him refuse to let him either book an appointment, I suppose, or to eat. Vito got up - with Anna in toe - and confronted the person who did this, and in the meanwhile Vito shook the colored man's hand and kind of smiled appreciatively to then nod in a stern way to the man, but I don't think they actually knew each other from before . It was as if Vito wanted to give the man his respect and then both this man, Vito and Anna left the place, got into different cars and drove away.

    I have very short memory of Anna seeing American soldiers in Rome and that they are colored, and the Romans thinks they are the good guys. Because Anna would live with Vito and the children at different places in America it felt as if it was different regarding this - not the same throughout the country. To her it was as if they were separating blond people from red haired people, and have a whole society built on this. It did not make any sense to her. It reminded her a bit what had happened to the Jews - being forced to stay in one area of the city, when before they were living with them. I think they were all mixed in and Anna thought nothing off it.
    The only distance Anna felt was when a neighbor would not accept the food (Italian kind) Anna brought to her; she just looked down on it and closed the door on her.

    Then I have a scene which is very short. Vito is at home with her family, this is before the marriage. Anna spots him in a corner with her little sister, who was I'm guessing about 4-5 years of age. He has bend down his knees so is shorter as they talk. She seem to like him and smiled a bit. Then Anna sees something else and I don't know if it is her imagination or her fear or the actual truth. It is as if Vito is watching this child's face as if he is searching for something, wondering something. Somehow this has Anna startled. Then the memory fades.

    And this bring me to another scene. Now before I go on I should perhaps say that these are only loose threads and they might not at all belong together. The scene I'm coming to is that Anna is out, broad daylight. There is a German soldier, first in the distance. She pays no attention to him. He kind of looks at a few other women that were in a group. It is some sort of market and open space, and just really hot, so Anna is wearing a dress with little flowers on and have a type of sandals on her. Then the next thing that happens is that he for some reason focus on Anna - and she starts to run - and he runs after her; and he does not stop running, which she thought he would do. She thought he was just someone who was bored and wanted to startle her, just for fun. She did not think he would keep chasing her. It was as if the German soldiers were not there to kill them- the non-Jews, they were just sort of hanging around. I don't think she understood what was happening. On the look of her body is that she is a young teenager, perhaps 13-14 - somewhere around that age. She did not have a woman's figure. So then the scene ended. I have always usually gotten my memories when I am relaxed, at peace and then as I get caught in it - and it gets stronger I get frighten and it shuts off. It just goes away. This one definitely did and I did not feel comfortable before describing it. And I hardly think one can find it in a history book ;).

    On a happy note - regarding the war; it was as if Vito was collecting recipes and of all the great food he would do once he got home. I can see him in Brooklyn actually having a big tomato close to his nose and mouth before buying it; as if he is taking it all in - and it makes her giggle a bit. In the kitchen he was as serious as a surgeon doing operations; and I think he tried to show Anna how to make certain dinners.

    Sorry, got off track here. Then another scene I have is that Anna is in bed, still this teenager and it is like she is hardly aware that she is there. Then her mother is there, and she tells Anna in Italian - but the meaning of the words were that Anna was killing her father. I think she meant that she was causing her father heartbreak. Her mother was sad when she said it.

    This memory came to me when I was a child: My big brother was closing the door to my bedroom slowly - and I remembered that Anna's father used to do the same. That she would sometimes feel his presence in the room, that he would carefully take his hand on her upper arm as she lay on the side. That when he coughed it had a different sound in between his breathing; I've never heard it, and he would try to move to the window and calm down his breathing; and also as if he did not want to disturb her. People were talking to her but she would not always register what they were saying.

    Then I also hear her mother talk to Anna again and the meaning of the words were that "Every child is from God, and it is up to us to keep it good". That stayed with her. I see her mother sitting in the living room with the baby in her arms as Anna comes in and her mother calls her to them. Anna seemed to be functioning better now. Her mother tells her that the baby is beautiful, that she will grow up to have Anna's nose, Anna's eyes, Anna's mouth. I can see the mother take her finger carefully on Anna's lips and then to the child's lips, to the nose. She kind of lift the baby up a bit and repeat herself "Do you see? The baby is beautiful just like you".

    I do remember some big emotional fight between mother and daughter. That her mother has taken Vito aside and I think told him about the German soldier. That she told him this so that he could understand why Anna one minute was all woman, and the next like a small child who would in various ways sort of push Vito away. Being very shy. I also think it was because she said no to marrying him, and he was upset. Her mother was all for them marrying; and it was as if she was telling her daughter that she had to tell Vito of the German soldier sooner or later, but that Anna did not want him to know and was basically freaking out that she had told him. Then I see Vito having a different expression on his face; as if he was more tender and it actually annoyed Anna. I think he had made some sort of pact with her mother that he was not letting go. That they would be married in the future, just not now.

    Then in a lot of my memories a recurrent thing happen - it is that Anna feels guilty and worried about her little sister, and her mother. As if she is torn apart between her old family and new. That she sends money to her mother. I remember bits of letters between them, and phone calls. That she tries to keep Vito out of it. It is as if her mother is the mother of the little sister, that her mother claims this girl, but that Anna feels responsible in ways that her other family members did not seem to. I do remember though that she one time asked him if the little sister could stay with them - in America - and he said yes, of course she could. However it felt as if when this girl got older that she took distance from Vito, I could just see it from her expression at their home even though from what I could see he was not unfriendly to her, but he was sort of a disciplinarian and it was all his house, his food - you know, and the little sister was not used to that. The little sister wanted to stay with Anna's mother.

    Last but not least (sorry - I did not mean for this to be such a long post) I remember Vito and her being out somewhere and he starts a punch fight with someone. And the men at the place creates a circle. As if there were rules in all that madness - as if these two were in the ring, but they were not. Was this like the norm in those days?

    Thank you in advance :)
    Best Wishes LiLa
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
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  19. Li. La.

    Li. La. Senior Member

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    Hi! :) How wonderful. Thank you for writing! I hope you do find them! It is frustrating, yes. I have now tried regressions meditation from you tube and I don't know what - to find out what kind of job Vito had, but it is still a blur. I thought now I am gonna get back to you with an answer, but sorry I don't have it. It was as if he would be home, be free from work, a period of time (not just saturday-sunday) and then go away and be gone for long periods and then return. He either wanted the family with him, or without - so I see a mix of that happening. They moved around a lot I think because I see all these different homes and even hotel rooms and apartments I think 2 apartments in NY. It also felt as if he was working outside the US at times. Not much to go by. There would be a lady calling home and because Vito was not home Anna would write down what the woman was saying and I think it is Vito being in different places due to his job, but I can't say for sure. Anna was typically it seemed in a terrible hurry when writing and I can't make it out or hear it, catch what this woman is saying. It is ridiculous. It just flashes by. Maybe it can be what you suggest about construction business but I don't see him dressed in that type of working clothing either. Maybe he had different jobs at different places and that was why I see different homes? I also remember that he would sleep in, that she was up and the children and trying to hush the child - but it could mean that he worked night shifts but also that he had been out gambling or playing cards but that is only a wild guess. I will keep on trying with the youtubemeditations but I always fall asleep, also I don't want to loose control, afraid something will happen and then I am trapped in it. I am used to being sort of shot out of the memory when it starts to come too close, gets too emotional. He just had a military feel to him; that is all I can say so far. If I will ever find out - I will hurry to tell you :)

    I have understood that to Vito it was important to underline that they would be faithful to one another. I remember one time as they were out and she sees one of her girlfriends husband - but with another woman. The way he behaved proved to Anna that he was unfaithful. She was just shocked but to Vito it was a little surprise. Vito would nickname him the pig, or something like that. Then I see Anna and Vito in this emotional conversation where he tries to tell her that she should not tell her girlfriend this, that it will stress both mother and child. Then I see Anna with this girlfriend, she is far gone in her pregnancy, wearing a light pink dress with a bow in front. Anna feels like a part of her wants to say something, but another part doesn't. To Vito it was as if the pig-man was dead to him from there on. Like there would be no playing cards night or double dating what so ever. He just did not exist anymore in Vito's world. I also remember a conversation over the phone when Vito was unhappy and suspicious when Anna had not answered the phone in the evening; as if he was jealous. Also that he kind of restricted her, that she would not go to certain party if he was not back home from work and could go with her. I don't think he would have been this way if he had had a regular job and not be parted from her and the family like he was.

    About the mobsters I have one memory of a man wanting to be introduced to Anna, as if he knew Vito from before, and as Vito does this - when she sees this man it is as if she knows he is someone connected to the mob. She just turned stiff within a second. I don't know how she knew this; what were the signs she was looking after or if it could be that Vito said the name of this man, and she somehow recognized the name. It was all very brief and the last I heard was Vito saying something in the line that yeah, Anna is a good girl, and that this mobster-looking-kind-of guy was saying that was nice because Vito was a good man himself and that Anna should take good care of him - something like that. I am thinking they knew each other from growing up in Brooklyn but then again this man seemed older, almost as if the mob-man could pass as his father-figure or big brother or something - not that they are related but in age difference. This man came over to them and wanted an introduction, it was not Vito that brought her over to see him. I think perhaps the warning sign was that Vito told Anna something in the line with "just play nice" about this man. Like then you know - something is up. This mobster-looking-man finally gave me something to look for - so I did. And I found him, but no connection to Vito or Anna or any one else that they knew. I don't feel like giving out his name though, perhaps I am a little frighten still ;)

    Best Wishes LiLa
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
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  20. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Li. La.,

    The accident I mentioned is nothing I can recall--I was too young. Our car was struck with some force by someone who had run a red light. Apparently a rear door was thrown open and I was on the way out, but was saved by my older brother, who was about 12. He suffered an injury to his hand protecting my little head, and bears a fairly large scar to this day on the back of his hand. Other than being shook up, I think that was the only injury in the accident. In terms of kids before seat belts--as kids, we were typically in the back seat, so not as much of a danger as being in the front. But, a mama driving on her own with a baby and no older kids available might have to do what you did in those days with a small child or baby. But as the first kids got older, they could keep the little ones in the back with them and look out for them (as was done with me). You don't miss what you've never heard of, and no one had thought of seat belts in those days--except for race cars.

    In terms of you being lucky because of your the light coloring, no surprise to me. Immigration to the U.S. mostly happened in waves, sometimes due to famine or persecution at home. Each new wave would typically be subject to some level of prejudice until they got established. The Irish came over in waves in the 1800s, and were subject to a lot of prejudice in their day. However, as a particular group of immigrants moved up the social ladder, this dissipated and most people in the U.S. are proud to claim whatever ethnic background they have. The same was true for the Italians. Here is a little quote I just snagged off of the internet:

    "Between around 1880 and 1924, more than four million Italians immigrated to the United States, half of them between 1900 and 1910 alone—the majority fleeing grinding rural poverty in Southern Italy and Sicily. Today, Americans of Italian ancestry are the nation's fifth-largest ethnic group."

    Apparently there was still some prejudice against Italians in the period you describe. Your lighter coloring made it possible for you to pass as more Northern European, like the earlier settlers to the U.S. Vito's darker coloring made it easier for him to be typecast as an Italian. Plus, there may have also been some concerns directed against all Italians due to the reputation of the Mafia in the big cities. The restaurant's behavior towards the "colored" man was also typical for the day--but Vito's behavior was not, he was way ahead of his time. This may have been due to his having served with all kinds of people in the military, or maybe it was just a personal conviction. Likewise, I am not surprised that you found this type of attitude at numerous locations in the U.S. during these time periods (and in different degrees in different locations).

    I have no insight into what was going on with Vito and your little sister, or with you and the German soldier. On the former, if almost sounds like one of those things I hear about on this board, where someone has a feeling that they've known a person before and is looking for some confirmation. On the latter, I don't think the Germans were particularly hostile to the native Italians at that stage of things. Why the young soldier chased you may have been because of your light coloring and hair. He may even have thought you looked like someone he knew from Germany, or perhaps a German girl. So, I would be inclined to think that it was just curiosity. However, since the incident came up later with your mother and Vito, it seems like something deeper was involved, or perhaps happened afterwards.

    Hmm. I'm having some ideas. They may be dead wrong, but I might as well put them out for you to think about. Do you think that Anna might have developed a friendship with this young man? It need not have been romantic. A lonely young soldier that sees someone who, perhaps, reminds him of a sister he left at home may just have been looking for a friend to talk to. OTOH, your emotions in regard to the matter makes me wonder whether something more than friendship was involved. It could have been romance, but it could have been seduction or rape. Was this perhaps connected to the heartbreak of Anna's father? What about the baby that your mother held? Was this a memory from when you were still in Italy? Is it at all possible that the child raised as Anna's little sister was actually Anna's child? I know I am just guessing in the dark, but it could explain a lot of things, including the reason Anna did not want Vito to know about the German soldier, the reason why he looked so strangely at Anna's little sister, Anna's special affection for her "little sister" and so forth. If I am anywhere near correct, it could explain a lot of Anna's emotional vulnerabilities as well as a lot of behaviors by Vito, Anna, and her family that you have reported.

    On the "punch" fight you describe--yes, I believe something like that could definitely have happened. I might talk about that more in a later post, I'm out of time at the moment. Plus, it also seems like there may be more important things for you to think about at the moment. There is definitely a mystery associated with the whole situation involving you, the German soldier, your little sister, your parents, and Vito. I think if you can stand to follow-through and regain your memories in that area, many things will be explained.

    Cordially,
    S&S

    PS--I'm not surprised about Vito in the kitchen! Many men are great chefs, and some are quite proud of their cooking.
     
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