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My International Life, con’d…Back Home in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Our life back home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, was pleasant for the most part.  We, my siblings and I, had learned to adapt to different countries, different languages, different schools.  That grey November, I joined other third graders at Lady of Lourdes School.  It was all quite seamless.

Our home life presented a different story.  My parents had a chaotic marriage where abuse abounded on both sides. My father would be physically violent and my mother abused verbally.  Of course, physical violence is not acceptable under any circumstances.  If one cannot control that, then leave the situation. But, in that era this was less possible than now.  I remember how my mother recounted that she was packing to leave one time but she really did not have any means or a way she could do this. 

They set each other off. The kindling seemed ready to burst into flames at a  moment’s notice. It was awful.

My mother’s tongue could enrage.  And I actually sympathized with my father insofar as things were said that were extremely hurtful.  But, again,  nothing condone’s physical violence. That line should never be crossed. 

Also, things were said to us.  My mother use to use the term “loser,” a term I find abhorrent. And she would try to hurt by telling the unsuspecting child that they didn’t have any friends. I can’t even imagine saying anything even close to that ilk to my children!  Additionally, she put extreme stock in appearance, from the personal to the environment; ie the house, as well as social standing. 

All this bespoke a deep unhappiness in her.  Of that there is no doubt. 

In fact, both my parents were inherently good people.  They did the best they could given their baggage. They were each very talented and Intelligent. But, as a child, it’s so difficult to be brought up in such an overwrought circumstance.

My father died young, age 59. I was only 21 at the time.  A few years later, when I was in graduate school, he came to me in an early morning vision.  He came to the door of our Chevy Chase home. I opened the door and noticed I could see every line, every mole, on his face. I thought to myself, “You are really here!”  He nodded. Our communication was all telepathic.  

He came in to the house and proceeded to say with a sense of grief, “Annie, I am so sorry for whatever I did to hurt you.” I knew right away that he saw things in his life after he died, and he saw the harm that had taken place.  I told him it was ok. I knew he could see much more from where he was; that he was much more aware along these lines. But I felt nothing but forgiveness. I told him he had been a good father for that’s what I felt in the vision. 

Then he added, “Also, Annie. Don’t waste any more time. Life is so short.” And this he repeated twice. He really wanted me to get this! 

At that time, actually, I was living quite the productive life; in a graduate program and moving along. But, I knew he wasn’t referring to that sort of thing. I sensed he saw what a waste it had been in his own life, all the upset and drama. And he didn’t want me to repeat the same. This was an incredible kindness on his part.

I actually had the presence of mind to then tell him to stay for a bit longer, that Mom would love to see him. With that, I called her. The closing scene was of him looking up as she walked down the stairs toward him.

My mother also indicated her presence about a year after she died. She lived much longer, until age 91.  I had gone to the Basilica in downtown St. Augustine to light a candle in honor of her birthday, the first after her death. She had been a practicing Catholic all her life. While looking for some money to offer a donation, suddenly all the lights when out in the church. It was a clear day with lovely weather. The other folks looked over at me  like I was the cause, then laughed. They even said they couldn’t figure out why they looked my way.  After around ten seconds, the lights came back on.  Walking back to my car, it hit me with a certainty. It had been my mother thanking me. 

I did have the opportunity before my mother departed to release the trauma. I went up one snowy Valentines Day in her 90th year and spoke to her. I released the energy of all that abuse and took my power back. It was a great gift for both of us.  And I ended up feeling a deep love for her after that release.

Again,  both my parents had great positives.  But, their individual traumas and unexamined parts led to much confusion and sorrow. To the outside world, we were a sophisticated, well-educated and attractive family.  But emotionally I know at least I felt very alone and bereft. 

Not long ago, an intuitive asked if I had been an orphan. I said I was not but I think she was picking up on the emotional and psychological side of things.

In the final analysis, I am very grateful for the level of experience that came my way due to the international theme of my childhood and the intelligence and talents bestowed. But for children, their primary reality is emotional. And I did feel bereft in this way. Nonetheless, I am still aware and grateful for the those positives, those parts. 

And I was given the marvelous grace of resolving and healing, at least to a great degree. these parental relationships in this incarnation.

Life continued in its seasons and happenings.  I always excelled in school. (Until I didn’t. But that’s another chapter!)  I have memories of coming home, doing homework at my canary-yellow desk in my room, and then going out to play in the neighborhood until we were summoned back. Often I would play with the mischievous girl with the adorable blonde ringlets who I met my first day of school.  We roamed the neighborhood and had so much fun!

Also, I started taking ballet lessons.  This was a very natural art form for me and I enjoyed it. There was a school in Bethesda, Maryland headed up by a Russian couple. I recall examiners came over from the Royal London Ballet Academy to test us. I was so sure I would get top marks!  I ended up getting “Complimentary Plus,” a plenty high score. But not the highest.  I had, and have always had, very and sometimes unreasonably high, expectations of myself.

Dancing with the pink toe shoes, even stuffed with lambs wool, was painful.  I was making headway, nonetheless, but that particular career track, that of the ballerina, came to an abrupt halt.  

Another move was heading our way.

“My International Life” to be continued…

Annie Kiyonaga

October 1, 2023

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