First memory

This post isn’t really meant to cause argument or pose as a platform for people to make bold statements using big words (as so many tend to do on here). It’s just a simple request, and a self-disclosure.
As a therapist I’m naturally intrigued by dreams and first memories (among many other things). I try not to go overboard with the metaphysical aspects of these things, but I am willing to hear absolutely anything as I believe there is meaning in EVERYTHING!
I literally thought of this idea a few minutes ago. So as a spur-of-the-moment post I hope I don’t make my request ambiguous.

The request:

What was your first memory that you can recall? You can be unsure of if it really happened or not (many of us are). But if you will, tell me about it- how old were you in it; how’d you come about recalling it (and when)?- all that good stuff.

Here’s mine (I’ll do my best to include everything I can recall):

I was probably around 2 years old. I had long silky black curly hair. I was in a diaper and I was crawling on my parents awful brown/orangish shag carpet towards a shiny new toy. It was a small, white, blow-up rocking horse, and I remember riding it and I couldn’t have been happier. This is the part I’m not sure is true or not: I recall much later in my life (probably sometime around the age of 10 years old) seeing a polaroid of me with this rocking horse. That’s what sparked the memory. Strangely enough, this latter part (i.e., me seeing the picture) is what I’m unsure of.
Sensical or not, that’s simply what it was.

My first memory is actually pretty clear. I was around 2yrs old and woke up with “tick-tocks” in my ears. I was in a crib, in a dark room, in diapers and ‘footie pajamas.’ The room door was open and the light from the hallway shown into the otherwise dark room. I stood at the side of the crib, crying and calling for my Mother. Instead of my Mom, though, her cousin came into the room to quiet me and get me back to sleep. I remember it because it was very frightening.

“Tick-tocks” in my ears was hearing my heart beat. I know that now. Everything else about the memory has since been pretty much confirmed by my older siblings–where, why, and how we were living at the time, and so on. I think I’ve always had this memory, probably because it was an impressed memory on so many different levels of my baby mind.

Welcome to ilp. :slight_smile:

I remember playing with a certain toy at nursery school. I would have been almost four. I haven’t dwelled on the first memory thing though, so maybe I could come up with something earlier if I tried harder.

I can remember laying in my pram as a baby [6-ish months I assume] and my mother was hanging over the pram talking to me. I distinctly remember understanding her but that I couldn’t speak myself which frustrated me. Perhaps I added some stuff onto that memory but I remember it as a single memory [even though naturally its plural]. Next to that I remember my mum catching me eating coal in the coal shed at the age of about 1 ½ I think.

my earliest memories are traumatic lol

im not sure i can determine which one was first, but here they go

  1. when i was probably 3 or 4, i remember waking up ‘really sweaty’ in the bed, and soon learned i wet the bed… i felt really ashamed, although my parents were nothing but comforting

  2. when i was really young (i can’t remember the age, probably somewhere between 3 and 5), i was at my uncles house, and he had a pool. so i wanted to go swimming, and went in without my floaties on. a few seconds later i was being pulled out of the pool… i was okay, but i was scared while it was happening

i’ve seen videos and pictures of me at younger ages, but… they aren’t memories

Interesting, quetz. Our daughter ate dog biscuits with charcoal. I figured she needed a mineral she found in charcoal. Her doctor agreed. So she teethed on dog biscuits rather than melba toast.

Lol :slight_smile: yea I guess there was some reason but I never got to finding out. …I may have been otherwise teething perhaps. …I liked hiding too.

I remember being carried into my house and the geography of it, my mother was then running a bath. Apparently the description of the house, means I was about 2 or 3.

Interesting, why?

I can remember being in a pram and hence the pram in a room, I couldn’t speak so I assume I was younger than 1 or so. Maybe a single memory remained while the others were superseded?

My first memory, I also was in diapers. I could not speak English, but I could understand it.

It was raining, bedrooms were on the second floor. Rain was coming into the room and my mother lay in bed, she told my older brother and sister to go downstairs to get pans to put under the leaks. They came with the pans and put one pan under one leak. I could see how inefficient this was.

I tried to ask if I could help, and my mother finally understood me, but she said I was too young to go down the stairs. I had never gone down the stairs by myself.

I decided to help anyway. The first task was to learn how to get down down the stairs and back up. I decided to slide down one step at a time on my butt. I came up the same way.

I came back up, and placed my pan so as to catch 3 or so leaks at the same time and tried to show my mother. She just rolled over and went back to sleep. I was thinking to myself, there is a right way to do everything.

Good question, I described what I saw to my mother and she told me that had to be when we lived in a house in Helston, which is when I was 2 or 3. Which is what I mean by describing the geography. The bath was to the right of the front door, there were stairs straight ahead, and what I thought might be a living room to the left. Now I probably didn’t know the words for them all at the time, but I still retain the images so that someone with perspective could explain it to me.

Right so firstly we have to remove linguistic memories from what would have been remembered at the time, or at least those we wouldn’t have known then. My memory is visual and conceptual, so I assume visual memories are superseded ~ because we cant possibly remember all the visuals we see over time, hence this may be one of the reasons why we loose so much from our early lives?

I expect concepts gain depth [and the relationships of them to other memories may change] and take on linguistic form in due course too.

Yeah I think it is an iterative process over time. Why exactly I would remember that I am not sure, but I do remember being in some distress at the time, I was upset, and a vague memory of bathing is involved in that I think. As you say the emotional context may of made me re-remember it and add language to the images over time, culminating in my mother explaining what was happening and where and the age therefore.

I’ll never forgive my mother for making me have baths. :wink: :slight_smile:

Haha yea I always hated baths too. Come to think of it I remember being distressed at not being able to communicate, even though I could understand what she was saying. So yes, distress reinforces memory, though its strange that many potential other possibly stronger memories have been overwritten. I guess it’s a case of where there’s a gap in synapses or base [long term] memories, then the odd memory remains.

Anyone wonder what happened to the OP?

I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember I was in a crib in my room at night. I recall nothing but the fact of me looking at what I saw as three figures. I say “figures” because they felt alive, but as far as what “they” looked like I can’t recall. The whole thing might have been a hallucination; I don’t know. It’s all very vague.

I spent most of my really early years with fevers. I recall my first day in kindergarten because all the other kids were allowed to go play on slides and swings and such, I had never seen such things before. I was never allowed out except to go to a Doctors office. I presume illness causes my memories to be only after 5 years old and then fairly sporadic until about 8 years old.

Nope. OPs who needs 'em. :stuck_out_tongue:

One of the significant factors in causing the first memory to be the “first” that a person can recall is the emotional gestalt engrams set at the time which tend to overshadow prior less significant memories.

In my case, I have trouble remembering anything before this image of a stream of pee shooting up into the air and then something being thrown over me. In the sudden darkness I could first hear a rather disapproving voice quickly followed by a more, “it’s okay” type of voice.

I am sure that I remember the event so well and not much before it due to the later embarrassment and seriously long bouts of concentrated flirting I had to do afterward before I was ever invited to another sorority kegger. But I made up for it in the long run. :mrgreen:

lol, I think. What are you talking about?

Every parent knows, when changing a baby boy’s diaper, his little penis, on suddenly being taken out of the warm, moist environment of his diaper, will become erect and pee. The adult’s choice is to either let him pee openly or waste a diaper taking up the flow by whapping a clean diaper over it. (Take your choice–the penis or the pee.) Let the little guy pee, clean him, and provide him with a clean diaper.

After all, he has no more control over his penis as an infant that he has as an adult. :smiley: