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Thread: How far back can you remember?

  1. #1 How far back can you remember? 
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    Hi guys,

    I know I posted this same topic on another forum, but I thought I would get more responses here, :-D .
    The other day I was enjoying a nice chat with my parents and we were reminiscing on stories and stuff from our pasts (me, my brothers and my parents) and the very interesting question of "how far back can you remember?" came into the conversation. I shared this memory with them in which I remember being outside by this "huge" pile of gravel by a construction site, playing with the stones and pebbles and with a particular song playing in the background. Immediately my dad said "No way, you can't remember that! You were only a year and a half old!!". Due to the particulars that I mentioned (the song, the gravel and the site), my dad remembers exactly when this happened, specially because this happened outside of the country as we were visiting one of my uncles.
    Anyway, don't mind my boring story too much. I actually wanted to ask, what are the oldest memories you guys have of yourselves and stuff?

    After that particular one, I don't really have a stream of memories between 1 and 2 years old. But then, I start to have a more congruent stream of memories by 3 or so... How about you guys? :-)

    Cheers!


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  3. #2  
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    Hmmm ...

    I think my oldest memory is when my younger brother was in his crib and I took his bottle away and was drinking it under the crib

    So .. given he is two years younger then me and he was drinking the bottle on his own. How old would that make me at the time of the memory ?

    MB


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  4. #3  
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    My earliest memory is one of me walking around in the living room... the weird thing about it is that i saw my self through someone else's eyes! it was very strange, i believe i was very young at the time...
    If we don't try to find out, how will we ever know if it can't be figured out?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by amorbis
    My earliest memory is one of me walking around in the living room... the weird thing about it is that i saw my self through someone else's eyes! it was very strange, i believe i was very young at the time...
    Welcome.

    The reason for this is because of the way our memory works. The most efficient way we have evolved to remember some things in the distant past is to only remember a few associative titbits of information and then when you try and think about something that this memory would describe, you use these small parts and basically reconstruct the memory from scratch using your knowledge and imagination.

    I would imagine that you see yourself from someone else's eyes, because that is how we usually remember things; as if we are watching them happen. Do you have any memories where you see like a movie play out from the perspective of a camera mounted on your forehead?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  6. #5  
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    My earliest memory, because it was emotionally charged and possibly got theory of mind started:

    I was reclined in some kind of bucket seat contemplating the sensations of an unchanged diaper. The lighting was incandescent, I think, but there were some rectangles of amber colour, must have been curtained windows, the shape and position suggests a basement suite corroborated by parents. I had a maybe triangular piece of 50% grey plastic in my hand - I remember the colour exactly - which felt cutty on my tongue. It might have been part of a toy? Then a strange woman came into view, topless, and I wasn't sure if she was my mother because her hair was covered with what would have been a towel. I was afraid of this person. She came closer into focus, talking at me. But my heart was hardened so, when she bent forward to pick me up, presumably to nurse me, I slashed at her nipple with the plastic thing.

    Woo, very Freudian huh?

    It was my mother. She recoiled, and her splayed fingers covered her face. I remember how uncountably blurry fingers were - I comprehended hands as fanning octopus things. My mother must have been having a bad day, and her own baby lashing at her ruined it completely. I felt horrible.

    Oh yeah...! Now I just remembered trying to get the plastic thing out of my hand, and it wouldn't.



    Other early memories are of particular fabric patterns. These I've encountered in adulthood and BANG! instant recognition. Upon investigation I found the same fabric in an old article I must have been well exposed to as a baby. Oh yeah and the peculiar turquoise of the diaper service pail, a colour I love to this day, whatever that means..?
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  7. #6  
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    easy, I remember screaming in terror when my dad came home with a new haircut, I was I think about 6 months old
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    When I get a whiff of certain smells, colors flash in my mind and often bring me back to memories before the age of 2. Other than this, I have many memories that I experience as if they are part of an OBE. My earliest is of myself running around in my driveway, perhaps around the age of 3, but from a view as though it was being recorded from the roof of my house. Interesting that my mind would choose such a location to visualize from.
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    Playing in a park with my dad when I was 2 or 3 years old. The interesting thing to me is that I didn't remember this until I was in my late childhood and then I saw a photograph which triggered the memory. I often wonder if the memory was a true memory or something my mind had extrapolated based on the photograph. I will never really know.
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  10. #9  
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    I don't know if this was a dream or what, but I remember be hold by a nurse when I was born for about 2 seconds.
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  11. #10  
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    I think my first memory is at my parents divorce at the court house. I was about two then. I remember being held by my grandma and what dress I was wearing. I'm pretty sure it's a real memory, because there are no pics of this day and no one talked to me about the divorce when I was growing up.

    Another early one is in the courtyard at my grandparents' house. I saw that one of our kittens was dead, but I thought he was sleeping because I didn't know about death. My uncle's wife was there with me, and she told me something about the kitten being dead...I don't remember her words now, but I remember that it was something about death which was revolutionary to me at the time.

    Both are pretty big moments for a kid, so I'm not surprised I would remember them out of everything else. I find it interesting that a lot of people remember seemingly random moments.
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    I was two and a half. My grandma took me to visit some relatives. I remember her and other people in a room, sitting on chairs placed in a circle, and my grandma was holding me. I remember looking at the peeling whitewash on the walls and the floor. And I think there were seven people (can two-year-olds count?), but I am not sure if I counted myself or my grandma.
    At the second night of my second year of kindergarten(49 and a half month), I remember remembered I pooped in my bed on the first night a year ago(37 and a half month), and peeing in my bed later that night.
    There were many other memories between 3 and 4.
    It is interesting that there are some really early momories here. The earliest I ever heard from other people were three years old.
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  13. #12  
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    A memory of my first helped steps with my mum before I was 9 months old, I felt tall because she was holding and hanging me by my arms in the garden.
    Yet I can't remember having been drowning over 1 minutes in a lake about 2 years old although my body remember, I supposed that's because when steeping in water, the reflex is to keep one's cool and putting emotions off so that the episodical mem doesn't work at least the first time because all the next times I remember them very well. Damned fishes !
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  14. #13  
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    My earliest memories seem to be mostly a sort of blur or fog. Laying in a bed with a bunch of clowns on it... in my sisters crib. Definitely nothing really young, mostly 3-4 years of age...
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  15. #14  
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    My earliest memory is at the age of two. I know this because this was the only time I've ever met my cousin Eric (who is like ten years older than me). I was in our living room sword fighting him with toy swords (he more or less stood there while I tried hitting him with my sword), then I remember falling back into a chair. Then I tried to tell my mom how cool this was that I had someone to sword fight, but I grew frustrated because my mouth wouldn't say the words right. So there's my boring story.
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  16. #15  
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    Nah, that was interesting and rings true besides. I guess you remembered this because the memory got jogged from time to time?



    Won't guess my age then, but I remember a jumbo plush dog I had, the kind one wins at amusement parks, I considered just as much alive as any dog. The concept of a phoney dog I'd learn soon enough, for the seams came apart; the dog's wire bones poked though; and the foam pellet stuffing emptied onto the rug. I was tangled with this wreckage of wires and fabric, trying to put my dog back together.

    I remember wanting then to see the dog reassembled. To view it again, coldly, with my new understanding.
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    i can remember when i was in my baby bed, like few months old but i cant remember stuff that i did 5 minutes ago sometimes, i think i hit my head to many times in my life..
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    "Smurkey Smurk"]I don't know if this was a dream or what, but I remember be hold by a nurse when I was born for about 2 seconds."
    thats amazing.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurkey Smurk
    I don't know if this was a dream or what, but I remember be hold by a nurse when I was born for about 2 seconds.
    thats amazing.
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  20. #19  
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    I was 3 years 1/2 old, I was going down the steps to buy croissant with my dad. Then, we entered in a sort of park, down of the building of our flat. We climbed stairs. Then on the right, I see an alsacian dog, brown playing with the master, he suddenly ran to me. I am paralyzed. I know it will happen. I am not afraid, very quiet, just paralyzed. The dog jumps on me. It's painful, there is blood, I push the dog away.
    I wake up in the hospital, all is confused. They want to examine the wound. I fight and break the glasses of the doctor. An injection. I sleep.

    I still have a big scarve on the left chick and till now, I have nightmare of a wall with a small hole, an eye of a wolf looking in this hole. The hole gets larger, the head of the wolf passes through. The whole body of the wolf and it jumps on me, bites me on the throat. This is a recurrent nightmare, once or twice a year. I am 47.
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  21. #20  
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    My earliest memory was around 2 years old. I was being breast fed by my mother. I remember being a little confused by what was going on, but I was perfectly okay with it, oddly enough. During the session, I looked around the room and took note of where all of the furniture was placed. Much later, I came to realize that I was in my parents' bedroom.
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    I remember my fist steps and I remember the fall.

    I remember my first poop on the toilet. Because of the shape of my little butt and the way it felt I thought it would be the shape of a pancake. I remember being surprised at the actual shape.
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  23. #22  
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    Here are what I believe to be my earliest memories.

    As an infant, I used to live in Stamford, Connecticut.

    I really like the house in Stamford, Connecticut. It was on 263 Strawberry Hill Avenue. I lived in that house for the 1st 2.5 years of my life. I was born on 10-22-83. It was my favorite house. But I wasn't in that house for the entire first 2.5 years. I had gone to India in '86 from January to July. I could differentiate Stamford and India from each other. I can remember returning from India to Connecticut. I recall feeling a sigh of relief after I came back to Stamford. After I came back we only stayed in the Stamford house for 3 days [well, my parents think it was 3 days! For me it felt much longer, even though I loved the Stamford house!] before moving to a borough called "Queens" in New York. I recall begging to go back to Stamford right after we move to Queens.

    I recall a relative visiting my house on the party we had on my 2nd birthday. I recall that my cake had pink, green, and white frosting.
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  24. #23  
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    my earliest memory is were i was 3 years in nagano in japan i can remember cleary my house the rooms and every stuf in my house, but when i was 4, 5 and 6 i cant really remember this is litlbit strange and after from seven to now(16) i can remember everything but is really intersting question
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  25. #24  
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    About age 3yrs is the earliest that I have and know the date of. I have earlier memories but can't exactly time them. I take that back, I now recall being put into a large carved Jack -O-lantern as a posed halloween picture . I would have to have been just over 1 year old for that one. The memory is mostly of being confused by what was going on and is linked to a latter memory of seeing the resultant photo. I remember that my parents tried to put the cat in the pumpkin shell for a picture, before they photographed me, but she was having none of that! (black cat, named "Number 9", who did not tolerate fools lightly)
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  26. #25  
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    I remember two events as a toddler, one is looking at the stars from my crib which was against a window, the other my father being very upset as a fire burned down his garage.
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  27. #26  
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    Falling out of a car when I was one year old. I remember bouncing on the highway and being in a hospital crib eating or being fed ice cream. Although my parents were traumatized by the whole ordeal I don't remember them for a second while this stuff was going on. I've always wondered if under hypnosis then I might recall more, but I've never tried. There's a name for that process but damn, I can't remember what it is.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  28. #27  
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    i remember I was inside a car in a babie seat, inside the second row of seats in a van, looking up at the window (pana veiw roof) and remember seeing all the stars very blurry and very colorful, I was about 3.
    If you ask me a few months ago I would still remmmber some stuff even younger, but I have been so ocupied I cant remember any of it! I hope I don't forget fully!
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  29. #28  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    I think my earliest 'memory' is contrived. I recall being feeling very warm, and confused. There was lighting all around me that didn't feel quite 'normal' I recall this light having a sort of heavy orange-yellow colour. I only "remembered" this when I was around five - when my parents told me after leaving the hospital as an infant I had to go back like a week later because I was jaundice. So I don't know if that was a real memory.

    If it wasn't a real memory, my first real memory is when my parents introduced me to 'the leash'. I was probably somewhere between 18 months and 24 months, maybe a couple months past two. I was not so enthused.
    Last edited by stander-j; January 13th, 2012 at 03:59 AM.
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  30. #29  
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    To my knowledge many people claim to remember being born.

    Samuel Beckett, claimed to have a clear memory of being a foetus
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