Monday, May 7, 2012

Childhood Memories

I’ve been reading Unlocking The Secrets of Your Childhood Memories by Dr. Kevin Leman & Randy Carlson, copyright 1989. I picked it up at the Yukon Friends of the Library Sale. I bought it for a couple of reasons: First, my main character in Peace of Heart has no recollection of her childhood (for good reason, I might add) and I thought I might learn something from this book. I've learned a lot. In fact, it's helping me understand her character, as well as the questions she might ask.

Secondly, my own childhood memories are spotty.

The flap of Unlocking The Secrets states, “Childhood memories are even more reliable than birth order as an indicator of why you are the way you are. The authors say these early memories are the “tapes” you play in your head which determine your response to everyday living.”  I find that very interesting. My mother is famous for saying, we can’t get away from those genes but when it comes to our memories and the experiences of childhood, she squirms a little. She says she’s a product of her childhood. I’ve had to laugh a little at that admission because several times she’s let me know that I’m not a product of my childhood. Now figure that one out!
Family stories that we've heard over and over again don't count. The memories have to be ours alone. You can separate the two by closing your eyes and asking yourself: what did I feel? What did I see? Be specific. The authors say that on a subconscious level, we all decide what memories to remember and what memories to block out.

What’s your earliest memory? Do you think your childhood experiences and memories have anything to do with your personality and who you are today? Do you ever use your childhood experiences/memories in your writing?


Charles Gramlich said...

I don't know. I have great memories from childhood. Doesn't keep me from having some really melancholia moments as an adult. But I'm glad I've got 'em anyway.

Rebecca Bradley said...

I love this kind of psychology stuff. A bit like the nature/nurture argument.

My earliest memory is at three years of age as my family prepared for the birth of my younger sister.

I tend to have a foot in both camps when it comes to nature/nurture, I think we need a little of both to be who we are today.

A very interesting post.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Charles - Anyone who can pull off a memoir called Days of Beer has to have great memories. :)

Rebecca - I wonder what these docs would have to say about your earliest memory. I'm 7 years older than my brother and I can't remember his birth at all. I don't like not remembering!

Li said...

I have a very vivid recollection of my childhood - maybe because I was lucky enough to have a very small, close family. And yes, I've worked MANY of my own childhood memories and experiences into stories, as well as those from my friends.