Can you recall a childhood memory that affected you more than the grown-ups understood?

@TheHorse (48461)
Pleasant Hill, California
December 16, 2015 9:11pm CST
I called my 92-year-old Aunt today, just to be in touch. I speak with her two times a week or so. She is my late father's older sister. I reminded her of a time when I was about 4-years-old. She took me into the Atlantic waves off of Long Beach NY, and together we held our breath, ducked under the waves, and then rose into the sparkling sunshine, shouting "Wheeee!" It's one of the happiest memories of my entire childhood, and I remember it in complete detail--the safety of riding on her hip, the anticipation, the pretend danger, holding my breath, and the joy of rising into the sunshine and shouting "Wheeee!" Her memory is like a steel trap. We discuss books she's reading, plays we saw together, movies, my career as a psychologist (she was a psychologist), music gigs, and even my speaker refinishing pretend business. But she has no recollection of taking me out into the water on Long Island and rising into the sparkling sunshine. "You must have done that with dozens of nieces, nephews, and grand-kids," I said today. She confirmed my suspicions. We reminisced about those days, and how my mom didn't like the water. But she still couldn't remember that particular day with me, though she remembered me playing piano for the grown-ups at 6, particular paintings we'd looked at together at the Met, and that we'd both given Wicked 1.5 stars when it first came out on Broadway a few years ago. Do you have memories from early childhood that affected you greatly, perhaps more than the grown-ups involved even realized?
17 people like this
18 responses
@LadyDuck (108711)
• Switzerland
17 Dec 15
There are many, some happy some not so much, but the one I cannot remember is when my mother lied to me. We moved from an apartment to another and I had to go to another school. I was 7, I did not want to change, I loved my teacher and my Mom had the (very bad) idea to tell me that the teacher would have been the same. I remember my first day in the new school, with a new teacher that I immediately disliked. From that day on I hated to go to school.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
Cannot remember? Or cannot forget? I try not to lie to kids! They remember a lot! Especially things that concern them directly.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (108711)
• Switzerland
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse So true, we cannot remember everything, but we remember the things that made us feel bad.
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
@LadyDuck Perhaps really happy moments too. Funny that as I think back, I remember several where I was "misunderstood." It's as if that lack of resolution never went away.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 15
When my family visited my grandfather in Arkansas I was in elementary school. The house was full of relatives, but I was completely ignored. So I hid in a closet to see how long it would take them to realize I was missing. It took hours. I learned I am pretty much on my own.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
That's a sad one. Weren't there other kids there?
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 15
@TheHorse Yes, but they were more interested in p,saying with my siblings and other cousins.
@vandana7 (55225)
• India
17 Dec 15
Yeah...many actually. I remember the red yellow and white dahlias near the water tap. I used to think they are so beautiful. We had a small lawn - very small. But it was enough for dad to place a table, a couple of chairs, and have a tall lamp there..which he got made actually. Each evening he would take a book and sit on the chair reading something and I got to eat something and a book too. There was a larger lawn across the street and that was slightly at a lower level. There too the lady used to sit outside with her husband, neatly dressed in starched saree. She looked very peaceful. I told me someday I will live like that. I am working towards that dream. I am not for mansions. I am for small quiet place where the person is absolutely at peace.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
That's a good one. Isn't it funny that you can remember not just the scene, but what you were thinking at the time?
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (55225)
• India
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse ...yeah...don't know why but peace always had a premium in my heart.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16886)
• Ireland
17 Dec 15
I certainly do, I remember being left in a "boarding nursery" at the age of 4. It was very traumatic. I think that's root cause of my "abandonment" issues these days.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
How long were you left there for?
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16886)
• Ireland
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse I stayed in the "boarding nursery" for weekdays, picked up by my parents for weekends. This continued for like 3 months before I went back to normal daycare.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
@Drosophila Why did they have to do that?
1 person likes this
@hereandthere (20779)
• Philippines
17 Dec 15
i am always surprised when people have memories that young, 2 - 4 y.o. one officemate even told me he remembers being an infant gnawing at the wooden bars of his crib.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
I have one memory from when I couldn't talk yet. We think it may have been from when I was briefly hospitalized as an infant.
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• Philippines
18 Dec 15
@TheHorse really? so what do you remember?
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
18 Dec 15
@hereandthere Being in a room that seemed like a doctor's office. Seeing nurses walk by. Wanting my mom, but not having the language to express what I wanted.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (48827)
• United Kingdom
17 Dec 15
I was the youngest of 3 girls though there were less than 3 years between us. Inevitably I got all my clothes third hand, until we got to about 9,10,11 years respectively. Then joy of joys, my feet got to be actually bigger than theirs and I was the first to have the new shoes! (This was just after WW2, when clothing and shoes were rationed.)
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
Do you remember your first pair of new shoes?
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@jaboUK (48827)
• United Kingdom
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse I do - they were what you Americans call 'Mary Janes' I believe, though of course I didn't know that then. They were black with a strap and buckle.
@PainsOnSlate (18554)
• Canada
17 Dec 15
I have a lifetime of memories, when my parents were still alive if I brought up something my parents would remember and we would laugh together. Now when I write about memories and share my on line writing on FB my cousins are popping up with the same memories and talking about them. As children we spent a lot of time with our cousins.
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
I like sharing happy memories of family gatherings with my cousins. Do you remember things the same way?
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• Canada
18 Dec 15
@TheHorse We are all different ages so I don't think we remember it exactly but we do remember the events and being together. I know what you are talking about, the differences in memories but i can't come up with any memories that would fit ...
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@GardenGerty (87574)
• Marion, Kansas
17 Dec 15
I have a bit of a variety of memories, but one that would fit in with yours was the night my dad gave me the moon. It was a full moon, we were driving to my grandparents' rural home down wooded roads. It was my birthday or nearly so. I am sure I asked the inevitable "are we there yet" and he had me look out the rear window of the Studebaker at the moon, and he told me it was mine. I was impressed then. More so now. This is one of the good memories.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
He could even have told you it will follow you!
@poehere (15496)
• French Polynesia
17 Dec 15
I have 2 of them. The time when I was 4 or jsut about 4 and my mom brought home my baby sister. She had a problem with her hips at birth and was soon put in casts. I remember this one so well and how all of a sudden my brother and I were no longer important. We were always shooed away and told to go out and play in teh backyard. As she grew she was babied and catered to all the time. This has a very bad effect on me and my brother and both of us never forgot this one. In later years it came back to haunt my parents how they treated she so different from us. My sister turned out to be a very spiteful and hateful person and could say the meanest things to my parents. My dad could no longer forgive her but my mom always did and still does.
@fishtiger58 (28435)
• Momence, Illinois
17 Dec 15
Yes I have a wonderful memory of my late uncle. He passed away when I was 13. He was awesome. Once when I was around 7 or 8 he took me and my younger brother out fishing. He said that today only me and my brother would catch fish, his wife my aunt would not. She didn't catch a thing and me and my brother caught a bunch of bluegill. When I think back on it, and now being an avid fisherwoman, I'm thinking he didn't put bait on her hook. Great memories.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
He wanted you kids to be the "superstars" that day?
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@fishtiger58 (28435)
• Momence, Illinois
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse Yes he did I miss and love him. I will never forget that day.
@PatZAnthony (11748)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
18 Dec 15
It does seem the ones from childhood have a larger impact on most of us.
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
19 Dec 15
Oh, I think so. Though I have some pretty fond and pretty terrible ones from adulthood too.
@nanette64 (11892)
• Fairfield, Texas
17 Dec 15
Only 1 @TheHorse . I was molested by a supposed uncle at the age of 5. I carry that memory with me today and I think my parents would figure I'd forget about it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
Sorry to hear. I don't understand why parents don't give their kids more support when something like that happens.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
17 Dec 15
my dad took me to watch our first house being demolished -when I was about 9 we left the house when I was 4 so my only memory of it was seeing it being smashed up with a crane ball - it was the only time I saw my dad crying
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
That would be hard to forget.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (57738)
• Roseburg, Oregon
17 Dec 15
Your Aunt sounds like a great person.
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
She really is. I'm so thankful that her mind is still sharp, even as she needs a walker now to get around. I was teasing her yesterday. We were reminiscing about how when she was a little Spring chicken, in her early 80s, we would walk ALL over Manhattan together.
• United States
17 Dec 15
@TheHorse it's funny how that happens. It can happen in other types of relationships to spouses, friends, or the adult remembers and the child forgets. Sometimes people have different memories about the same event. This one you discuss here sounds like a nice one. I hope you can always remember it.
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@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
Good point. My brother (who is one year younger than I am) and I remember things we experienced together very differently.
@Platespinner (16596)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
17 Dec 15
Funny the only memories that come to mind are the times I felt I was punished unjustly. There were lots of times I deserved the discipline--those instances I don't actually recall. It's interesting how the brain works.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
It really is. I also remember times adults misunderstood what I was saying, and I was alarmed or sad.
@Hatley (152064)
• Garden Grove, California
17 Dec 15
yes being talked about while sitting ther amnd hearing my parents apologize for me like I was a bad puppy dog 'Shes so bashful my dad said, scowling and my mom said softly honey she is just shy she will grow out of it. I hated that word bashful Im 89 now and still hate that word bashful like being that was a horrible heinous crime.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (48461)
• Pleasant Hill, California
17 Dec 15
Interesting one! I'm trying to think if there are any particular words that I don't like for similar reasons.
@allknowing (54664)
• India
18 Dec 15
I could write a book on happy and sad childhood memories. One memory stands out but I am not sure if my parents would have forgotten that. Each time father left for work he would expect me to ask for pocket money and in those days it was just one sixteenth of a rupee. One day I did not ask and father was concerned why I did not and that he told mother would spoil his day.
@Shellyann36 (7451)
• United States
17 Dec 15
I have a few memories that stand out for me when I was much younger. I was not in school yet so the years range from 2 to 4 years old. Once when I was really young I went to my Granny's house with my Mama. My aunt Mary was still a teenager and still lived at home with my Granny. It was early in the morning and I was hungry. Granny told my aunt to make me some oatmeal. She made it for me and gave it to me. One bite and I was screaming my head off. It was way too hot and I can remember my tongue burning as I was trying to get the oatmeal off of it. I remember my Granny asking my aunt what was wrong and I remember her answering gruffly "I don't know what is wrong with her its not hot!". That is one of my youngest memories and I can still see it clearly today as if it had just happened yesterday. Another memory is when I was very young and my Mama would take me walking. I always carried a little bucket with me on our walks because I would collect rocks and small pieces of glass because at the time, they were gems to me. We had lots of quartz rocks lying around our house on the driveway. Our drive way was fairly long (to me) so a nice long walk collecting rocks always resulted in a nap once we went inside. I will always remember that time spent with my Mama.