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First Memory


41 replies to this topic

#1
Marc DuQuesne

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What is the first thing you remember?
 
My first memory is seared in, never to be lost. I was sitting on the concrete floor of my family's garage, right next to my dad's motorcycle, playing with blocks. I remember it because it was was like I had just become aware. I had no idea how I had got there and no idea where anyone was or who to look for. Then I looked out the open overhead door and saw the world outside and wondered why I was still sitting there.  My mother never had a moments peace from that moment till death.
 
Is the first thing you remember a traumatic or exciting event, or was it mundane (yet not) like mine? 


#2
Destiny Skywalker

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I remember a nightmare I had when I was under age 2. I fell off our apartment balcony.

The others are hard to determine which was first, I just know they were all around the same time. I met my best friend, who lived 4 doors away and rolled past me on his big wheel, and I was super envious. I was 3 and I think we were having a garage sale. I remember being sting by a bee after swatting at a swarm, also age 3. I remember potty training, going to guess I was 2 or 3.

#3
Tex

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I remember my parents laughing at me. I had bit of a pot belly and had pulled my shirt up. They thought it was adorable and started laughing. Being only 2 I had no idea what was so funny, which only made them laugh harder.

I vividly remember being pissed off about it. I think it's the first time I had a fight or flight experience where neither was a valid option, and that's why I remember it.

#4
Odine

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Cant remember my first memory. Nothing that is amazingly vivid anyway. I have lots of memories from when I was a toddler, but I think a few of those are memories I have learnt after being told that I did those things or those things happened, and so the memory that I hold might not be how it happened. For instance the time the dog bit me when I was about 18 months old after I poked him in the eye. Or the time my brother told me he watched me as I shoved a fistful of dirt from a pot plant into my mouth, screwed up my face in disgust and spat the dirt out, only to repeat the process a second later. But then I do remember asking Mum where dad was, after we left him..or she left him, and I remember the car journey on my very first day of school when I was five. 



#5
Guest_El Chalupacabra_*

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I have a very vague memory of being in a crib.  I must have been around 2, but more like an images, not anything specific.  The first clear memory I have is when I was 3, and my parents and I went on a camping trip in California, in a park  on cliff overlooking a beach.   I want to say Huntington Beach, but I am pretty sure that's wrong.   Maybe Crystal Cove or Laguna Beach?  Not sure.  It was maybe a month or 2 before my brother was born.   



#6
monkeygirl

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I have one of being on a table, reaching for something that looked like a rainbow and hearing a lovely crash.

 

My grandfather told me I was a baby on a table with a crystal bowl. I reached for the bowl and it slid off the table, crashing into pieces. I was under a year old.



#7
pavonis

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I have a memory of a road trip to Mount Rushmore that apparently happened when I was three years old. I don't remember seeing "the faces" but I have vague memories of the actual ride. It must have been the most time I'd spent in a car ever. 

 

I have an even vaguer memory of standing up in a crib and crying because I wanted my mother's attention. Maybe I was two years old at most. 



#8
Darth Krawlie

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Being outside in our untamed, in fenced backyard while my dad moved dirt with a rented loader. I remember my grandparents were out visiting, and my grandpa and I got in the loader bucket and my dad lifted it as high as it's go. There's a picture of it somewhere. Must've been three, because I also remember later pouring concrete for the back patio and writing our names and 1987 in it, and I was four in 87.

#9
CoLA

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I remember my mother giving me a bath, I think I was 2 or 3. I think that's it until I was around 4.



#10
The Kurgan

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Visiting an aunt, uncle and cousin on the other side of town.  It was a spartan little place.  Maybe it was a trailer court.  I don't recall exactly, but there was nothing but windswept prairie outside.  Inside the place a birthday party was going on for a girl a bit older than me.  This wasn't my cousin, since she was a bit younger.  I was quite small then.  Eye level to a door knob, since I had to bypass one to get into the kitchen to get some cake.  News reports around that time were mentioning Elvis Presley's death.



#11
Poe Dameron

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Going back to my old psychology days, the funny thing is that I'm willing to bet that most of these are false memories.  Krawlie and pavonis, for example, are classic because they have physical proof of that day.  So Krawlie's parents could have told him about it later, showed him the picture and the cement, and he developed the memory from that.  Not saying that's what did happen, but memories, particularly early memories are easily constructed.  Like if I asked you if you got lost as a child, even if it didn't happen or you'd completely forgotten about it, you'd construct a memory of it happening in order to answer my question affirmatively.

 

I'm not sure what my oldest memories are.  I had a memory of living in another house when I wasn't even 2 yet, but upon reexamination I'm pretty sure it was actually a dream I had later based on some stuff that doesn't make sense, a drawer that was never opened by my parents and I wasn't allowed to touch glowed when they opened it.

 

I do recall watching Sesame Street and seeing a cartoon with a school bus and believing that school wasn't real because I wasn't going there.  I must have been 2 or barely 3 at the time because I went to pre-school for a couple years before kindergarten.



#12
pavonis

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What "physical proof" do I have? I don't know what you mean. Of course, it's absolutely possible, perhaps even likely, the memories are (re)constructed. I'm not even clear on how memories are stored and recalled in the first place, and false memories are easy to plant, clearly. How does memory work, and why do children, who can recall things as children, not recall them later as adults? Does the brain record everything, or does it just record patterns? For instance, did I lock the door this morning, or have I merely recalled a memory of locking the door from another instance of doing so?



#13
Poe Dameron

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What "physical proof" do I have? I don't know what you mean.

 

Well, I assumed that your parents took pictures.  Krawlie said as much himself.  If you were only told about the trip, it amounts to the same thing, just not quite as easy.

 

 

 

I'm not even clear on how memories are stored and recalled in the first place, and false memories are easy to plant, clearly. How does memory work, and why do children, who can recall things as children, not recall them later as adults? Does the brain record everything, or does it just record patterns? For instance, did I lock the door this morning, or have I merely recalled a memory of locking the door from another instance of doing so?

 

There are a ton of different perspectives on memory.  It is a fascinating and messy subject.  Last I checked, we're still only guessing why childhood amnesia is a universal affliction.



#14
Darth Krawlie

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The tractor memory, you're pretty likely right. The cement it's 100% memory though. I remember a conversation with our pastor, who was helping us lay the cement, that no one else including him remembers.



#15
pavonis

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Well, I assumed that your parents took pictures.  Krawlie said as much himself.  If you were only told about the trip, it amounts to the same thing, just not quite as easy.

 
 
Bad to assume - makes an ass out of u. I'm not Krawlie, after all. I've seen no pictures of this trip. Being "told" about it wouldn't constitute physical evidence, now, would it? I'd chalk it up to a false or reconstructed memory, but my twin has the same memories. Unless there's some kind of cross-contamination going on? 
 

There are a ton of different perspectives on memory.  It is a fascinating and messy subject.  Last I checked, we're still only guessing why childhood amnesia is a universal affliction.


Indeed it is fascinating. What would be more interesting to me is the physical mechanism of information storage and retrieval. I'm not very familiar with neuroscience. What did you pick up in your Psych 101 course?

#16
Poe Dameron

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Being "told" about it wouldn't constitute physical evidence, now, would it?

 

What's with the hostility?



#17
pavonis

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What hostility? Are you feeling hostile? Perhaps you're projecting.

#18
Poe Dameron

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Okay, so you just want to fight.  I'll leave you to it.



#19
pavonis

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I don't know what set you off - I simply don't have any physical evidence of my road trip. I'm not certain whether I was told about it though; if I were that may have caused me to construct a memory of it after the fact. 

 

You could've just asked if I had pictures or any other evidence, rather than assuming it. 



#20
Brando

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My earliest memory involves my much older cousin visiting with his family, and crying because I was convinced his kids were going to steal my Fisher Price telephone.

I am sure that it happened, because I confirmed with him when I saw him at a family reunion this weekend, just by asking if he remembered visiting us at that old house. Nobody else in my family remembered it, and he's not a cousin that we see often, so he and his family never told me about it.

Based on the house, I was only 2-3 when it happened.

#21
Darth Krawlie

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I very vividly remember Christmas when I was in 1st grade in 1989, when we got our NES. I remember it was addressed to both my brother and I and my parents purposely saving it to be the last one opened. My mom kept trying to call my attention over to open it with my brother, and I said he could do it himself because I was too into whatever it was I was playing with. She insisted of course, we opened, and were blown away.

A couple years ago, my parents found the tape they had taken of that Christmas (which I'd be shocked if it had ever been watched since being taken). I told them the story, so we watched to see it unfold... only for it to be the complete opposite of how I remembered. I was sitting patiently waiting to open it while my mom tried to pry my brother away from whatever he had so we could open together (I also had a cold, which I have no memory of). Somehow my brain had put me in my brothers place and he in mine. No matter how hard I think about it, I still remember it my way, not the way the tape clearly showed.

Memory is some fascinating stuff. My wife and I will remember a conversation we had the day before completely differently. Likely neither of us are wrong, we just remember different aspects of it intertwined with our own perceptions and expectations. Listening to my mother and sister in law recollect their fights when SIL was growing up is especially entertaining for me, because of how skewed their memories are.
  • Driver and Carrie Mathison +1 this

#22
Odine

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What "physical proof" do I have? I don't know what you mean.

 
Well, I assumed that your parents took pictures.  Krawlie said as much himself.  If you were only told about the trip, it amounts to the same thing, just not quite as easy.
 
 
 

I'm not even clear on how memories are stored and recalled in the first place, and false memories are easy to plant, clearly. How does memory work, and why do children, who can recall things as children, not recall them later as adults? Does the brain record everything, or does it just record patterns? For instance, did I lock the door this morning, or have I merely recalled a memory of locking the door from another instance of doing so?

 
There are a ton of different perspectives on memory.  It is a fascinating and messy subject.  Last I checked, we're still only guessing why childhood amnesia is a universal affliction.

Could it be something to do with high infant mortality in Ye-Olde times? The memory amnesia being a symptom of not fully developed consciousness in very young children? Or is the amnesia a way of mitigating trauma that could occur at an early age due to Ye-Olde times being so harsh, and it is a genetic survival trait we inherit to this day?

#23
Poe Dameron

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Could it be something to do with high infant mortality in Ye-Olde times? The memory amnesia being a symptom of not fully developed consciousness in very young children? Or is the amnesia a way of mitigating trauma that could occur at an early age due to Ye-Olde times being so harsh, and it is a genetic survival trait we inherit to this day?

 

Wouldn't having childhood amnesia by definition mean that you survived infancy?  I don't understand what trauma would be mitigated.



#24
Driver

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I very vividly remember Christmas when I was in 1st grade in 1989, when we got our NES. I remember it was addressed to both my brother and I and my parents purposely saving it to be the last one opened. My mom kept trying to call my attention over to open it with my brother, and I said he could do it himself because I was too into whatever it was I was playing with. She insisted of course, we opened, and were blown away.

A couple years ago, my parents found the tape they had taken of that Christmas (which I'd be shocked if it had ever been watched since being taken). I told them the story, so we watched to see it unfold... only for it to be the complete opposite of how I remembered. I was sitting patiently waiting to open it while my mom tried to pry my brother away from whatever he had so we could open together (I also had a cold, which I have no memory of). Somehow my brain had put me in my brothers place and he in mine. No matter how hard I think about it, I still remember it my way, not the way the tape clearly showed.

Memory is some fascinating stuff. My wife and I will remember a conversation we had the day before completely differently. Likely neither of us are wrong, we just remember different aspects of it intertwined with our own perceptions and expectations. Listening to my mother and sister in law recollect their fights when SIL was growing up is especially entertaining for me, because of how skewed their memories are.


This is blowing my mind

#25
Odine

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Could it be something to do with high infant mortality in Ye-Olde times? The memory amnesia being a symptom of not fully developed consciousness in very young children? Or is the amnesia a way of mitigating trauma that could occur at an early age due to Ye-Olde times being so harsh, and it is a genetic survival trait we inherit to this day?

 

Wouldn't having childhood amnesia by definition mean that you survived infancy?  I don't understand what trauma would be mitigated.

 

Those were seperate questions. Yeah, the infant mortality one doesn't really work. Maybe it is a symptom of children not having a fully developed consciousness.

 

However, there could be plenty of trauma incurred in early childhood, both physical and mental, that could be mitigated by if we simply forgot what it was like. For example, when I was 12-16 months old I contracted cold sores (yes herpes) from another kid. My first outbreak was when I was not much older, and according to my mother my face was covered in blisters. Over my mouth, up my nose and in my eyes. Apparently I was in excruciating pain... but I wouldn't know now cause I don't remember a thing about it. I later had an operation on my tear duct as a result of the scarring from that first outbreak, which I do remember bits of.. but I was much older. Perhaps the amnesia is for instances of illness, physical and mental trauma, that supposing the infant survives.. there is no use in keeping that memory as it serves no purpose (other than a reminder of how **** said experience was). Perhaps those lessons are best remembered when the individual can deal with them? I dont know.  Or  like I suggested earlier...perhaps once an infant or small child starts to develop more fully formed consciousness, becomes aware of itself as an individual or person, maybe that's when we start keeping memories. 

 

I don't know. I was just speculating. 

 

Maybe the brain just throws out useless memories like our mouths throw out our baby teeth. 


Edited by Odine, 16 June 2017 - 12:05 PM.




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