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Old 10-15-2016, 09:13 AM
 
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Question: What is the very earliest distinct memory that you can identify in your life history?

And do you precisely remember how old you were at the point of this earliest memory, where you were, what you were doing, et al (as some people may have an "earliest memory" they can identify but can't quite pinpoint how old they were at that point in time or what context or set-of-circumstances they were in the midst of at that moment in time of this earliest memory)?


I'll start with my own earliest distinct memory: As to myself, I remember laying on the floor (relatively flat on my stomach) of my shared bedroom playing with some toys. And I remember my mother coming to the bedroom door saying I should come over to the kitchen to have breakfast.

And as to how old I was at this moment in time: How do I know when (or relatively when) in time this was and hence how old I was (whether my precise age or a relative guesstimate of my age at that point in time)? Well, my mother arrived back from taking my older brother to his very first day of kindergarten (the school was 3-4 blocks away) and my older brother is approximately 1.5 years older than me. Hence, my brother had to be 5 years old at that time (i.e., he would have turned five years old about 1.5 months earlier before his very first day of kindergarten and school starts in early September of any given year) and therefore I must have been 3 years old or, more precisely, getting near 3.5 years old at the point of my earliest distinct memory.

That is, even if I think I could possibly conjure up any other early memory(ies), I can't distinctly identify how old I was at that point in time or the context, time, place, et al where this possible even-earlier memory occurred or allegedly occurred. So the earliest distinct memory I have where I can ALSO identify time, place, my precise age at the time, et al of this remembered event is what I have shared above.

So, how about all of you? What have you got to share here about what you know or else think is your earliest distinct memory and precisely or near-precisely how old you were at the very point of this remembered point in time?
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:48 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
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Green.

Everything was green. Walls, ceilings & people in green with green masks. Physically struggling against 2 green people & crying.

A female green person leaning over me & saying "Hush! There are sick people here!"

I remember trying to tell her "I know THAT. I AM a sick person; here." ... But all that came out was a wail.

Then a big, rubber "cup" with a hose on it was shoved over my face. I struggled to fight it too because it smelled funny & was making a hissing sound but it was no use ...

The hissing cup covered my mouth & nose & I suddenly felt a searing burning in my throat & then ... nothing.

Adenoidectomy in a AFB hospital in Japan in 1970. Age 18 months.

I didn't "connect the dots" until a few years ago when I overheard my mom talking about how I was so sick with recurring strep & ear infections when I was little, had to be immunized with 3 times the normal dose of the Measels vaccine in order to have a titer high enough for them to bring me to the US ... had to have surgery at 18 months old ...
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
Green.

Everything was green. Walls, ceilings & people in green with green masks. Physically struggling against 2 green people & crying.

A female green person leaning over me & saying "Hush! There are sick people here!"

I remember trying to tell her "I know THAT. I AM a sick person; here." ... But all that came out was a wail.

Then a big, rubber "cup" with a hose on it was shoved over my face. I struggled to fight it too because it smelled funny & was making a hissing sound but it was no use ...

The hissing cup covered my mouth & nose & I suddenly felt a searing burning in my throat & then ... nothing.

Adenoidectomy in a AFB hospital in Japan in 1970. Age 18 months.

I didn't "connect the dots" until a few years ago when I overheard my mom talking about how I was so sick with recurring strep & ear infections when I was little, had to be immunized with 3 times the normal dose of the Measels vaccine in order to have a titer high enough for them to bring me to the US ... had to have surgery at 18 months old ...
What is your explanation for why "everything was green"? Why did everything appear to your visual senses to be "green" to you (with there even being a "female green person" who attended to you and other "people in green with green masks")?
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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My earliest memory was a traumatic one ... I was confined to my high chair in the family kitchen and the washing machine which was running in the same room of my parent's small apartment become unbalanced and started "walking" towards me. Since I was strapped into a high chair I must have been less then two, I suppose. I'm sure the memory is associated with the emotional content, as I was terrified. I can still remember the sound that machine made as it lurched towards me.

I have another memory of being in the doctor's office and being set on a scale, but I don't think I was an infant being weighed, I was probably just parked there for safekeeping. Again it is the emotional content ... everyone was making a big deal about what a big boy I was and how I was growing and I felt the center of benign attention; I actually bought into all of this and thought I actually WAS Da Bomb. My guess is I was probably around two and a half to three and a half.

Other than that however it's pretty much a blank slate until a couple of vague memories of Kindergarten (again mostly the emotional content, one situation I was bored, the other embarrassed). Memories don't start to feel very connected really until I was about 8.

The other thing I notice at age 59 is that memories become somewhat hazy and fragmented beyond a certain distance into the past, perhaps 20 years or so. That gauze curtain seems to follow me at a continuous two decade or so delay. It's an effort to remember names, order of events, and other specifics beyond that point. This may be more pronounced for me than for others because my life has been, by my lights at least, relatively chaotic, and I've reinvented myself at least twice (divorced from 1st wife, widowed from 2nd). I know that the traumatic aspects of my first marriage especially seem to have been almost erased, my brain just can't access much of it, no matter how hard I try. I seem to almost automatically forget pain and disappointment; unfortunately that removes some of the context of positive happenings as well.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:57 AM
 
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I don't know how old I was, but I distinctly remember…..crawling into the lower kitchen cabinets and playing with a wooden spoon and the pots and pans. It would be my private play space. I loved being in there. Makes me launch and smile to this day.

I have other memories but I think that is my earliest…..along with bing in the kitchen and generally just walking around under (at and around) my mom's shirttail.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:17 PM
 
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I remember, growing up with my parents and brother, we had a next-door neighbor wherein the father and husband of the household claims that he remembers being held upside down as a near-newborn and being slapped on the backside. Everyone (including his own family members) would say or think "Yeah, right!" . . . as though everyone found it hard to accept that one could remember back that long ago to shortly after coming out of one's mother's womb.

Is it actually possible that one could remember such an early moment? And could they possibly prove this claim?

Last edited by UsAll; 10-15-2016 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
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Nixon's resignation, the day he departed the White House lawn on the Presidential Helicopter. Sea King or whatever it was...

I remember:

"Mommy, why are you crying (scary)
"The President has resigned!
"President of...? Mommy, why are you crying harder? (more scary).

That's about it, I was very upset because mommy was upset. Hell, it upsets me now.

Today, I'd either throw a party or cry if our current President resigned, probably both: one for obvious reasons, the other for the damage caused to our national prestige. Not that it would matter in these last few months, all that much anyway. The two are separate matters.

I just looked it up on YouTube. Very sad. The clip is abbreviated, but I clearly remember the chopper video as it left the White House and faded off into the distance. Not a dry eye in the audience, from VP Ford (President Ford, later that day) on down the line.

Therefore, I was 6.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:22 PM
 
Location: in my mind
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I was in the house across the street from ours, standing on the couch, and I was mesmerized by a crocheted blanket they had covering the back of it. The crochet pattern caused it to have holes in it about the size of a nickel, and I was sticking my fingers in those. What I remember is that there was no particular pattern to the colors used - it was completely random. For some reason, this stood out to me.

This was when I was about 3yo - I know this due to the age I was when we lived in that house.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Memories prior to age three are not reliably actual memories. They are more likely false memories, built subconsciously on things like photos one has been shown of a particular event, hearing family stories or others' retelling of the event or occurrence, and one's brain filing in the gaps and categorizing it as a personal memory, when it may not be. Or, commonly, you remember something that actually occurred when you were older, but attribute it as happening, incorrectly, when you were much younger. Overall, development and storage of that type of memory is not something the brain is usually developed enough to be capable of until age 3+, presuming normal development.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,701 posts, read 41,980,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
I remember, growing up with my parents and brother, we had a next-door neighbor wherein the father and husband of the household claims that he remembers being held upside down as a near-newborn and being slapped on the backside. Everyone (including his own family members) would say or think "Yeah, right!" . . . as though everyone found it hard to accept that one could remember back that long ago to shortly after coming out of one's mother's womb.

Is it actually possible that one could remember such an early moment? And could they possibly prove this claim?
Nope.

Brain development in a newborn does not support this.
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