What are memories, what is the earliest one that you can remember??

I tried thinking last night about how far my memory lets me go. People have varying degrees of memory and say they can go back to almost when born. 

Having spent last night thinking, I know when I was about 3 my “best friend” then was the girl next door – I can even remember her name, Nicola Asher – we had a toy telephone set, red with a white cable, that was hung over the fence so we could talk, like adults, on our phones. When you picked it up it rang the other until that was answered. We rang each other ALL the time. I also remember we would go to the end of our Close and there was a gate there and I remember looking out, and seeing everything below as if we were in a floating Close. Amazing how you remember things!!

It is then a bit of a blur, until, I can definitely remember a swimming birthday party, when I was about 4. It was a friend from preschool. She was the first coloured person I knew. I remember after the swimming bit as we got dressed her boasting about how her black skin and curly hair was not affected by the water and did not get wet, I was so impressed!! 

They are definite memories, as I got older I remember more and more from growing up, but, they are the first proper memories I have. I say proper as I have perceived memories, things from earlier I could not remember, however, I have been told so much about things it is as if it is a memory. I would say I remember having a toy penguin, sort of plastic and about 8 inches tall, from Avon I think. We lived in Peacehaven, near Brighton, I was still in a pram so could not have been much more than a year old. I tossed Penguin out of my pram, into the sea below, after he fell a hundred feet or so off the cliff. I was distraught. I cannot actually remember this event, it is not possible!!! And yet here are the details, why?

It is a perceived memory, my Mother has told me this story, a number of times, and I see it as a memory. It is perceived. I am sure it is a real memory, but, I know it has come from being told, frequently, my Mother likes to remind me how lovely I was as a baby(!!), and so I see it as a real memory. As an adult I am sure I am not “lovely”, so she reminds me, often!!

Now I am a, very proud, father of three boys, now in their teens, who have created memories every day of their lives, real memories, some photographed, but whatever and however, memory after memory.

My youngest, now 13, allows me to take him fishing, he is a wizard, and without him to help me it could not happen. In a very short time he has learnt more tricks and methods than I could ever have dreamed off. He knows that the huge carp aspired to are not regular occurrences. Sometimes simple, old fashioned, float fishing provides more contentment. It provides memories that can never be forgotten. Memories of his mastery and the continual catching of fish, regardless of size, that forms one after another of special moments.


It never ceases to amaze me as to how the boys create so many special times, even just sitting watching television they can come up with a comment that is both hilarious and creates unbreakable memories.

What if a memory is bad, it is of an event that was one to forget?

What if a memory merely serves as a sad time, a sad, tragic or horrifying happening?

Anyone who says they have none of these are either lying, very privileged, or see things in a very unique way.

Surely everyone, at some period in time, whether it was from their early years or just last year, must have a memory of, and with deep regret, something they want to forget?

Did a beloved family member, or friend, leave them, either actually moving away or, passing. Either way is that one event, just that short snapshot, not still a bad memory. If someone has passed, being told must create a bad memory, a sad one. Being less dramatic, what if they fell over and cut their knee, or worse broke a bone. What if something has happened that caused a disappointment. That episode must be one that forms a bad memory.

Can a bad memory be suppressed, put in a little box and left?

I would say “No”, we can believe we have pushed it away, but, it is still there. At some point the event will resurface. A separate event entirely, months, years, in the future will open that box and bring the thought back to mind. The box is shut, however, at some point, something will happen to open it. That is why it is a memory. As bad as it was, it happened, it is there in your head. Initially it bangs and bangs on the box it is locked in, after a while it will be quiet, and then something will happen, and it could be anything, a certain taste, smell or seeing something, often totally non-related, will let that locked box swing open. 

Can we heal again from this? 

Only each individual can answer that. Face it, run and hide or just try to ignore it, the box is open and that is the only true fact.

Personally, I always tried to sweep things under the carpet. I now know this, for me, is wrong, and the carpet is now very bulky!! I must try to face the memory and take things from there. I have tremendous support from my Wife and Children, and also from some special friends who go out of their way to try to help. Someone to listen, someone to offer a different point of view. Sometimes the memory that is dire, is turned into a memory that is less awful and can be viewed as hurting less. That is all I can do………………

How do you deal with things??

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