Jump to content

Can you remember your childhood?


SillyMe

Recommended Posts

For the most part, I cannot.

I only have one or two memories from childhood & they're both depressing.

I think it's strange that I don't have any childhood memories because my husband has TONS of childhood memories. Sometimes I even have dreams where I go back in time & desparately try to remember things that happened when I was a kid.

I must have been pretty freakin' unhappy to block out my entire childhood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well what does memory even mean? It's hard for me to determine whether I remember certain events or whether I just remember hearing about them. I'm the kind of person who will go, "Hey remember that time that someone sent us a lamp that looked like a woman's leg?" only to remember that oh yeah, that wasn't my life, it's A Christmas Story. I have fact recollection- I can tell you where I lived and vaguely what my life was like for my entire life- but if you asked me to remember something specific that happened when I was in 2nd grade... a specific memory of an afternoon or a feeling I had or something I did- it would be hard for me. In fact, in doing that, I can remember 2 things and one of them I'm pretty sure happened a different year than that.

I have a bad memory. I do not think it's pathological.

However... if you really only have a few memories of your childhood en total, or you have giant gaps of time in which you really have no idea where you were or what you were doing or what was happening in your life... that is not normal in any way, shape, or form. That's something that needs to be addressed thoroughly. I would imagine that would take something pretty unhappy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi!

I have some very specific memories under age 5. and then my elementary school years are kind of dark. i remember my teachers and such....its wierd. and as a potential parent im really trying to focus on those times and what happened.

btw - the memories before 5 are all very happy ones (well, for me). my first memory is walking in the living room and touching my mom's pregnant belly while she explained to me why elvis was dead.

i remember going to the hospital with my grandparents to see my new baby sister. and i remember screaming in the parking lot that i wanted to take her home NOW. (back in the day when baby & mom stayed several days).

i was a flower girl at my uncle's wedding. and i remember the ceremony very well....the reception...no.

and there are some little memories like walking with my dad...but after 5 its kind of dark.

december

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this would definitely be worth mentioning in therapy. I can't say as I remember much of my own childhood before a certain point; probably less than I have noticed most people say they remember but a lot more than just one or two memories total.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My memories are specific, but short...little flashes of stuff with vague feelings in between, but they are all there.

The two people who I chat with who had big gaps at one time were abifae and panz.... both are multiples. Abi got her memories back a while a go and Panz in just going through that now. Or maybe you are seriousy repressing nasty crap. Not saying you are a multi or anything, but big missing chunks isn't good and you could be repressing nasty stuff. Even if you don't remember specifics, you should have memories of general feelings, etc... Did you ever have any car accidents or bad illnesses that might explain missing memories? I would hate to get you all worked up thinking horrible things when you just had a really bad concussion or something.

Like, I couldn't tell you specifically what the summer of 1970 was like, but if I think about when I was around 7, I get a general good hapy feeling and can recall my friends and the typical stuff we used to do (play kick the can, pom pom tackle, going to the pool, sledding until we were almost frostbit, buying penny candy at the Stop-N-Go, etc..)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seem to have a very good long term memory (and a shit short term memory to balance it out! ;) ).

My earliest memory is of holding my new born brother when he and my mum had come back from hospital. I was 1 and 3/4 at the time. I remember my dad taking me in and my mum looking extremely tired with rather messy hair. My brother was wearing a mustard coloured babygrow and he seemed very heavy when I held him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never had any memory of my life between the age of about 4-5 and 7-8. I remember one thing from 2nd grade. I remember one thing from 3rd grade. No recollection whatsoever about kindergarden or 1st grade. I have vivid memories of 4th grade. That is when my oldest brother-favorite person in the world- was killed in a head on collision with a semi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the most part, I cannot.

I only have one or two memories from childhood & they're both depressing.

I think it's strange that I don't have any childhood memories because my husband has TONS of childhood memories. Sometimes I even have dreams where I go back in time & desparately try to remember things that happened when I was a kid.

I must have been pretty freakin' unhappy to block out my entire childhood.

I am the same way. Like you I can remember just a few memories - but for the most part, I have no clue. My older sister like remembers everything - "don't you remember when......." I am like "no"

Like when my mom shot herself when I was 8 & the only thing I remember is being kept in my brother's bedroom when the cops & paramedics came & going to see her in the hospital once. Other than that I have no clue where we stayed or who kept us (there were 6 of us kids)

I have told my tdoc this - and he just says that the way my childhood was - I just blocked out all the stuff.

Anyway, I didn't realize it was that big of a deal not to remember. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, how does one "remember" repressed memories? I assume hypnosis is the only way, right? If that's the case, I might be better off without any memories.

I also have huge chunks of time in recent years where I have very few memories. It was a horrible period of my life. My first husband left me for another woman, and I lost custody of my oldest daughter. (I have two daughters, by the way. I only have custody of my youngest.) For the life of me, I cannot remember my oldest daughter's first four years or so. In addition, I have very few photographs during that time to remind me of specific events. Those years were just so traumatic for me, I believe I have just blocked them from my memory. It's kinda sad, actually....

My therapist thinks that's how I deal with periods of extreme anxiety - by blocking them out of my memory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't always have a choice in the matter, if you're better off remembering or not. If you have crap that needs to be dealt with your mind will force it on your sooner or later. It's best to do it in a safe and controlled way. I don't think hypnosis has much to do with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have really poor recall of my childhood, anything before the age of twelve is really sketchy. I am in therapy but so far we haven't made any attempts to remember. I think maybe some things are better left alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have virtually no memories before I was maybe 10. I remember colour and light and noise, but that's about it.

I have a few memories of nightmares and dreams and things like that, but nothing really based in the physical world. Other than the Fisher Price Peoples. And how I didn't like their faces and them staring at me. So I would take their heads off or turn them around.

But I'm autistic. I always thought maybe that was why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hypnosis is by no means the only way.

i think it's important to learn how to handle day-to-day traumas (so you don't block out more years as it is a defense mechanism that can become ... i don't want to say a habit, but a mechanism that you turn to often).

all of my memory recall has been spontaneous. memories just popped into my head when it was time to deal with them, and then i've tried to work on processing these memories in therapy.

i think usually it's more of an organic process than a forced one involving hypnosis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hypnosis could be helpful in the sense that really it's a state of deep relaxation. if you can get there. being relaxed may yield more because the mechanisms with which you are repressing may be loosened. by no means is it the only way.

i have vague sporadic memories, vivid shit good and bad, and a lot of semantic memory (the stuff other people told me about, stuff i have a story for but no actual recollections); i get flashbacks, sometimes non-specific, like a particular sound or smell will take me back to feeling child-like and i have no real idea what that is. could be the way a toy smelled or felt. sometimes a real foreboding feeling comes over me and however hard i try i can't remember anything that would explain that feeling. sometimes things don't connect up.

i've had disturbing dreams of my father molesting me. i don't know if these are real, and based on everything i know and feel, i don't believe they are. memory is a really tricky tricky thing.

that said. basically not having childhood memories at all, coupled with the fact that you are disturbed by this, is important work to engage with your therapist on. VE makes a good point about having some help through medications while you're doing this -- but this is a tricky thing because ideally you want to take a PRN (as needed) if particular moments are panic inducing or if the work is keeping you awake (being lost in bad memories and you can't sleep), but it's possible to end up using meds to completely shut out the process your therapy is trying to help you work through. it's going to be painful and difficult and in some way there's no way around that. it's a tricky balance and your therapist should be able to help you with things like.. ok like decision making - when is it ok to take a pill and when should you call your therapist at 9pm on a sunday (if possible) because you're freaking about a particular memory that's come up..

there's also the possibility that however much work you do around this, there will be certain times when you won't remember no matter how hard you try. there is also the possibility of becoming fragmented as you begin to learn more about your past. these are things hopefully your therapist can help with. therapists should have been trained on things like memory work, false memory, and iatrogenic developments in therapy, to try to keep the really bad shit from happening that sometimes therapy can bring out.

so.

part of the whole project and one of the first things you probably need to do is really consider how much you trust your therapist, ask more questions about their training, try to understand their perspective on memory and whether you should recall things that you've been repressing, and how they see the work playing out. what their suggestions are. tell them what kind of support you feel you might need. like can you call them in off hours, when you aren't in a session. and make sure that you feel at least somewhat confident that they can really help you. help contain you. support you. guide you. reflect for you. the last thing you want is for stuff to start coming up and then find that your little doubting intuitions about your therapist are coming true in spades.

my head hurts and i have to stop.

i'm not a therapist or anything so please keep that in mind. i just think for such important work, there are a lot of things to be aware of - because therapy is a relationship, it is a dialogue, as much as it is about you, who your therapist is and what kinds of dynamics play out in the room while you are talking is so important to the process. some of the biggest strides i made in therapy so far have not been when i was talking, rehashing, and remembering my past, but actually reflecting on how i felt about my therapist, and what kinds of fantasies, projections, and fears i had around him.

peace out

pj

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i don't really remember much of my childhood. i have probably one classroom memory per year of elementary school, and a few random other ones like the kid that kicked the soccer ball into my face. it could be because i have a terrible memory, or it could be because i spent those years continuously reading to escape my environment. maybe both. *shrug*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember pretty much all of my childhood vividly (starting from about age 2 yrs 6 mos., when we moved back to the US from Canada).

Now, if there's anything that can help me forget anything that ever happened to me before age 16 (I'm now 23), I'll gladly take it!

I'd imagine it'd greatly increase the rapport between myself and my mother. She believes she has never said anything bad to me, since she can't remember anything bad from back then. Wish I couldn't remember anything bad, either. =P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last time I remember everyone being happy was when I was 5 years old. We were renting a house 5 blocks from the beach in Corona del Mar, CA. It seems like ever since then I've been trying to get back to that beach in one form or another. Several weeks ago I was in Newport Beach, CA on business and decided to go for a walk. I just kept walking and walking towards the ocean. All of a sudden I realized I was in Corona del Mar, 3 blocks from where we used to live. I went down to the ocean where there's a beautiful park and beach and starting climbing around on the rocks. I started getting serious flashbacks, remembering being on certain rocks and looking into tidepools. I couldn't help myself and sat on a rock and cried. I took little videos with my cell phone to show my kids and vowed to bring them there someday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, Roger... that's really cool. That touched me. I think I have a similar connection to the ocean. I don't really know why... it's been a big fixture in my life, I guess. It has resonance.

I guess I don't have anything meaningful to say in response... just that you struck a chord in me, there, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have very *very* few memories of my childhood, esp before the age of ten. I remember bits and pieces before ten, but not much. I remember nothing before the age of six. Nothing at all. For some reason I thought this was normal because my twin doesn't remember much before the age of ten either. Strange thing is, we remember different things when we do remember stuff. Odd huh?

I don't *think* that we were terribly abused as children. I believe that we just didn't have a very happy childhood - absent father, apathetic mother - and it simply isn't worth remembering. I remember the abuse we suffered after my mother married my stepfather when we were eleven... I remember the abusive babysitters we had when we were about eight (I think we were eight - maybe nine or ten). Between six and ten, everything is blurs and flashes. Before six, it's all blank. That's unusual?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is very easy to create memories with hypnosis that are not of things that actually happened. I have also heard that hypnosis does not make people recall things better. Be very careful with it if you decide to use it.

I was going to reply to your point here, but I forgot.

The same reason (also known as "synthesized memories") is why I'm not going into the psychoanalytical-flavor psychotherapy suggested by my neuropsychologist.

The assumption here is that there's a skeleton in my closet that's coming out every 4-6 months in the form of MS-like conversion* symptoms. I'd rather not be synthesizing skeletons to put into my closet, thank you. My skeletons are (figuratively) pretty much stacked neck-high in my living room, so I assume they're all out in the open now.

*These symptoms have been judged to be conversion, as I'm bipolar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I could get over being bullied, which happened for the majority of my school life but it lives with me now - that feeling of being in everybody's way, or that somebody is going to say something horrible. I also wish I could forget some of the things my mother has said over the years, particularly as she never meant to be hurtful. I always take things to heart and take them the wrong way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I've always had huge gaps in my memory. For instance I can remember my last job but not the job I had before that.

As childhood goes, I remember very little and what I remember is not usually good. THe "good" memories are always associated with bad feelings. I can't even look at old pictures. I saw the one where I won the state science fair. medal and all and I just wanted to cry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I see that your post was from a while back, but I just read it and wanted to say that me and my doctor were just talking about this today. He feels that it is very odd that I have so few memories of my childhood, and this is something he wants us to talk more about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Memory is such an interesting topic.

Almost no memories before 5. I have lots of memories from age 5-8, but very few of them are good. Hard to tell even what age I was.

From 8-12 I remember most things from looking at pictures and stories, and events that I've replayed over and over in my head. Other things are fuzzy but I can remember more if I try - by chaining similar things, but these are all good, insignificant, day-to-day memories at this stage, so it's easier. I know what age I was by what town I lived in or what house I lived in or who my friends were or who my teacher was or what grade I was in.

I still haven't decided whether I have a good memory or a bad memory. Both, I think. It depends on what the question is I guess!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...