False Memories

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Ken Anderson, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Have you ever had anything that you thought you remembered, only to learn later that it was false? Until a few years ago, I remembered crossing the field and the (very small) river that separated my parent's land and that of my paternal grandparents, and visiting with my grandfather. I had no such memories of my grandmother because she died before I was born. I knew what she looked like from pictures, but have always known that I had never met her.

    But I thought I remembered visiting with my grandfather more than once, and doing so by crossing the field and creek once.

    Yet my older brother told me that I wasn't even two years old when my grandfather died, and couldn't possibly remember him, and I certainly didn't cross the field and creek in order to do so. That is, indeed, where my grandparents had lived, and the family did sometimes walk across the field and cross the river in order to do so, rather than driving. It was a river because it emptied into Lake Michigan, but it was no wider than a small creek.

    I didn't have a lot of memories of my grandfather but I was so sure that I had known him. I had seen him while he was alive, and had very likely been in his house, but I wasn't even two years old at the time, and people don't generally develop memories until they are at least two.
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson ".....but I wasn't even two years old at the time, and people don't generally develop memories until they are at least two."

    WW-II ended during July, 1945, basically. I was born in July, 1942. Summer evening in July, 1945, sitting on the front steps with my Dad, a strange parade of grown men came marching down our residential street, chanting, hollering, banging on cookpots, the most highly unusual thing I had seen up to that point in my life. I remember it quite clearly. I was 3 years old. I know my Dad explained their behavior to me, but do not recall that part clearly.

    Frank
     
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  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Maybe @Ken Anderson ...you may be right about the 2 year old memory ....but I have a very clear memory of something that happened when I was a tot... and when I related the story which was true.. my mother was stunned and told me that when this even happened I was only 14 months old!!..and I had remembered it just as it had happened even though it had never been mentioned by anyone else.. and there's no way I could have known unless I'd been there myself

    That said...I think at under 2 years old you wouldn't have been walking across a field and a creek... i think your memory of your grandfather has synced with a later memory of you walking across the field and the creek... but memory is a strange thing.

    My own daughter related something the last time we visited her about a memory she had as a child of 6 or 7... which was the total opposite of what happened...but I was stunned that at over 40 she'd held a memory all this time, that was simply the opposite of what took place..
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    My parents lived in Bonners Ferry when I was born, and moved to Sandpoint the spring after I turned two. I have a memory of standing in the car and watching out the window for my Grandpa Bailey (actually our neighbor) to come walking down the railroad track, carrying his kerosene lantern.
    I am not sure what his job was; but it involved walking along the railroad tracks, and he finished when it was dark. He must not have had his car running, and my folks were picking him up after he finished. I remember seeing the glow of the lantern in the distance and being excited because “Grandpa was coming soon”.
    I also remember walking with my parents down a very muddy street to get to our house after we moved to Sandpoint, which my mom later referred to as the “Spruce Shanty” because it was a dingy little house on Spruce street. All of the streets back then were just dirt roads, and in the spring, they got so muddy that cars could not drive on them, so we were walking home.
    By the next winter, when I turned three, we were already living in the back of the old grocery store, and the Baileys also had a house in Sandpoint; so I know that these memories had to come from before I was three.
     
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  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Sometimes I think I remember something from my early childhood. Then I wonder, do I really remember this or have I heard it told by my siblings so many time that it seems to be a part of my memory? As we have gathered together over the years, the same stories are often repeated. It becomes a part of our family memory, so to speak.
     
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  6. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson ...even if a memory you created of your own and is pleasant...keep it:)
     
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  7. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Memories are the first mysteries I think. Just as dreams can be.

    When I was in my late teens, I kept having a weird dream about being in a room up high. I remember standing on my tippy toes so that I could see out of the window, and I remember the feel of having a wet diaper on. I remember slapping at the glass, and trying to get my mother to look outside. I really wanted to go out there. I could see a very large clearing with beautiful grass surrounded by tall trees way down below.

    Then I would wake up, but the weird thing was that upon waking, I had all the anxiety of a nightmare. My husband couldn’t understand it, so he had me relay my dream first to my mother and then separately to my father. They both had the same reaction. That it wasn’t a dream. It was a description of where we lived before we move from California to Texas. That I couldn’t possibly be remembering because we move to Texas a couple of weeks before my first birthday.

    I never figured out why the dream caused such anxiety, or where the memory came from. The dreams stopped somewhere in my mid twenties. :oops:
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Painful memories persist. I know. My young wife of 11 years, having lost both parents at 20, then her brother, on his 25th. birthday, she being 28, buckled under the strain, telling me she felt she should go it alone from then on. The night of that revelation remains the most painful of my life. It was around Christmas, 1975. I was within a semester of securing my BS Degree, finals looming, then that. I bawled all night long. She did, too, unable to bear my pain along with her own. Her sister, Diane, 9 years her junior, lived with us then. Their brother, Rick, departed at age 25 on his birthday, Nov. 28, had unglued them both.

    And so, the dissolution process began. Our beautiful home, which I had veneered with desert rock myself, was put up for sale, along with our nice boat. Personal toys, all, I realized. The Engineering Degree, sought then for about 14 years part time, appeared about to evaporate as a real possibility; where would I live? Study? My Mother intervened, all the way from Chicago (we were in Nevada), and I began life anew, yet continued ahead on course, never before having felt such remorse deep within my being. The time was the worst of my life. Frank
     
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    It very well could have been that someone carried you across that field and creek to go see your Grandfather @Ken Anderson and you are remembering crossing the field and creek...just not the person who carried you. :)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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