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I've spent a lot of time thinking about significant moments in my life (I'm working through Dr. Phil's book Self Matters) and realized that there are very early memories that are very positive and may be a part of why I have been somewhat resilient in my healing process.  I thought I would share one of my earliest memories that is positive with you and ask you to share yours as well.

My earliest memories are of my father's mother.  We called her Granny.  I remember that she never cooked (my grandfather was a fabulous cook who never measured out anything - and I've been told that it was a good thing he loved doing it!).  I remember that she often laid on the couch as she played with me (she was a diabetic and had a bad heart) and I can still see the blocks we played with in my mind today.  My memories of her surround family (which is positive for me), the house being full of people at a reunion or holiday.  I remember that I was the one who sat on her lap as she cut her 50th wedding anniversary cake.  And there are memories of just the two of us.

They are memories of having just what I needed in that moment - the was nothing lacking, nothing that could have been added to make the moment more perfect.  I remeber loving her so much.  I remember her with feelings of peace and joy.  She died when I was four - before any of the abuse happened in my life.  The memory helps me remember the child I was and helps me to celebrate her.

I realize that for soem of you, the memory of family may be painful.  But mayber there was someone else - a friend, a neighbor, a teacher, someone who spoke a kind word to you  - what is a positive, affirming memory for you...take your time, think on it and I look forward to hearing your answers.  

And if you cannot find one of your own, borrow one of your sister's or brother's and claim it as your own - for we are all of great strength and inner beauty, no matter what has happened to us or what we may believe about ourselves at the moment.  Let's take some time to affirm ourselves


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My earliest positive memory....

I think that would have to be in first grade.  Halloween, to be exact.  I would have been six.  We got to dress up for Halloween in school and my mom made me this cute little ballerina's outfit.  It was pink.  A little leotard and a tutu with little tights.  The tutu was just made out of pink netting and tied around back but it made me so happy.  I felt like such a lucky little girl to be a ballerina.  All the other kids had mostly store-bought costumes, but mine seemed so special because my mom had made it just for me.

I don't even remember the party or going trick or treating or anything like that.  I just remember that ballerina costume and how it made me feel so special.  Maybe it was because most of the time I just got hand-me-down costumes that my mom had made for my sister so she didn't have to make yet another one or something, but it really meant a lot to me to have that costume all to myself.

Anyway, that's my earliest positive memory.  It doesn't seem like much, but it always makes me smile to think back on it.  :)

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Guest Jasmine 8104

I think this is a great post, thank you linnea :)

My earliest good memory was when I was three.  Everyone was always telling me how tall I was, so I thought, that when I was three, I was as tall as I was going to get, and I was the tallest person in the world.  Except for all the "big people" of course :)


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What a wonderful idea! My first happy memories.:

1. A dear and very fat lady with a hairnet who was called "aunty Thora" and babysat my sister and I while both our parents worked. I was only just three, but I have lovely "flashbacks" whenever I think of the blue dress and brown hair. Apparently she was very affectionate.

2. A beach, a candystriped awning and a calliope playing the tune "somewhere my love". I don't know what was happning, but the feeling, again, is joy.

3. When I was five, we lived in high-rise apartments in inner-city Melbourne. If you looked out over the skyline, you could see the spires of St. Paul's Cathedral that sent the most beautiful orange and pink light into the night sky. I've attempted to draw it; I will never forget the sense of beauty and magic it filled me with.

4. When I was three, my dad took me for a walk and bought me a red comb. Then he put a piece of wet paper over it and played a tune on it. That was beautiful.

Much as the flashbacks and memories of terrible things fill me with bad feelings, I thank god there are things I recall which fill me with bliss; make me love or laugh just as much as I did at the time.

Lou xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Guest SK Redmond

I was around four I think, maybe closer to five.  My sister and I were staying at my grandparents house and Grandma had gone shopping and left Grandpa in charge.  My sister and I were playing at the top of this HUGE pile of fill dirt.  We were making pies, but they weren't sticking together rights so Grandpa climbed up the pile of dirt with the hose and sat down with us.  Man we made some mud!  Imagine how much mud you can get from a whole truck full of dirt.  All three of us were covered in it.  We played all afternoon making mud pies and rolling around in the cool wet browness.  Man was Grandma suprised when she came home.  She was going to yell I think until Grandpa stood up all brown except his teeth and his pale blue eyes, then she just started to laugh and all four of us laughed, the good kind of belly laugh that starts way deep inside you and fills you with so much joy, you know you'll burst if you don't let it out, while Grandma hosed the three of us off in the back yard.

Thanks, that was fun.  I try and focus on some of the good things.  There is so much of my childhood I don't remember, thank you for reminding me to cherish the good times I can.


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great post sweetie!

My happiest memories that I can remember was when I was about 3.  Eatting watermelon with my family, and learning to spit seeds.  Seeing who could spit them the farthest.  Or when I would sit at my grandma's house, and she would let me make pies with her.  She had a little rolling pin that was just for me, and little pie plates that were mine too.  She was an awesome awesome grandmom.  Playing on the swings with all my friends in our front yard, chasing the chickens around.  With all the bad that happened, I love remembering the good.  My brother and I used to make forts when it snowed- or play king of the mountain when the snow plow would make giant hills.  Watchin the deer cross our yard when it was snowing.  Glorious wonderful memories :)  I love this- thank you linnea- I needed that! :)

Love ya


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This is a wonderful thread!

My earliest good memories are of my grandparents.  All of my best memories from childhood are actually involving my beautiful grandparents.

I must have been about 3 years old...getting to stay at their house for a weekend or something like that.  Sitting at their kitchen table in the morning in their cozy, warm little kitchen.  My grandpa sitting opposite me at the table, being funny and making me squeal with laughter, and my grandma at the stove making breakfast, laughing along.  There was always so much love and laughter in that house.  It was heaven on earth.

Sleeping with my grandma...her big bed was the softest, safest place on earth.  I can still smell the linens and see in my mind her little slippers neatly placed by the side of the bed.  She wore a long nightgown and a cap to bed.  We had this special bond between us, and one of our little "things" was that we were so in tune with each other, neither of us could get out of bed-no matter how quietly-without the other knowing.  My grandma bragged about that to people, and as a little kid, that made me feel so special.  She was my kindred spirit, always.

I can remember at dinner, my grandma setting the table and an aunt and uncle were there, too.  At my grandma's table, you minded your manners, wouldn't dare show up wearing a hat or without a shirt, and my grandpa always blessed the food before we ate.  I can remember at this particular dinner my grandpa winked at me, cleared his throat ceremoniously, folded his hands, closed his eyes, bowed his head, and said,

"down to your navel

up to your chin

pick up your plate

and CRAM IT IN!!!"

....and we kids just squealed with laughter....my grandma scolded him fiercely for teaching us that awful thing, and made him do it over.  LOL I still remember that adorable, devilish expression on his face.  

At my grandparents' house, I was free to be loved and adored...they told me I was smart and beautiful...and at their house, during those magical days, it was true.  I was just a little girl there....I played games outside with their neighbors' children, made mudpies, painted, did all the normal, fun things kids do.  My grandma and grandpa would take me for a walk to get ice cream or a soda in the afternoon.  I can always remember wishing that I never ever had to go home.

I can remember that they had the patience of saints.  I have countless memories of helping my grandma in the kitchen...standing on a little wooden chair at the stove with her arm circled protectively around me, stirring something in a pan.  Grandma teaching me how to peel apples and potatoes....frosting a cake....helping her with the dishes.  I can remember helping my grandpa in the garden, dropping the little seeds where he instructed me to, all the way down the row, then he covered it.  It was a little garden, and we'd water it together and how exciting it was when the first little plants poked their way through the dirt!  And then when we had tomatoes, cabbage, beans, cucumbers, and juicy melons to eat, my grandpa would beam and tell everyone, "these are my Tasha's tomatoes (or whatever it was), she grew these, aren't they the biggest and prettiest ever?"  and I felt 10 feet tall!  

My grandma sat me in the chair next to her and I watched her crosstitch or crochet, and she taught me some of the stitches.  I can remember her long, slender fingers, and how special those times were, sitting with her.  

I have so many wonderful memories of them, but right now this morning, those are the ones that surface in my mind.  My grandparents were so full of love, for each other and for everyone around them.  They were fiercely devoted and loving towards each other...they always kissed and hugged each other every day, and everyone else around them, too.  They were married for 62 years.  They showed me what love is, and that it really exists.  They instilled in me that goodness is real, and they gave me the gift of my faith.   I think I am alive today because of them.

Thanks again for this wonderful thread!

((((gentle hugs))))


(Edited by Natasha at 9:59 am on April 2, 2002)

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Earliest? Probably when I was five and I got up on Christmas morning to discover a pink plastic cradle with a doll that would play Rock-A-Bye-Baby when you wind her up, wrapped in a pink blanket..

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Guest violet light

My earliest happy memory...I remember things from when I was only a couple years old, but my first vivid memory...I was about three, almost four.  My family and I went to the duck pond and fed the ducks some bread (which is bad to do, hehe).  I remember the swans; they were as tall as me and I walked over to one of them and gave it a piece of bread.  Then there was a turtle that I refused to leave alone, lol, I tried to feed the poor thing bread.  After awhile, I went with my dad, mom and twin brother on the trails through the woods and went to the tiny little dam/"waterfall."  I didn't hate my dad back then.  I kept climbing up on the railing and walking on it, not worrying about falling.  I never worried about falling or hurting myself; I tended to be something of a tomboy.  I always did really stupid things, like doing flips off my swingset or jumping from high branches on trees.  I fell more than once, and somehow, never broke a bone.  :D

I was so fearless.

::sigh::  Whatever happened to that innocent, happy little girl...



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Hey everyone!

            My earliest good memories are when I was three or four years old I woke up in my room and it was a beautiful day! The sun was streaming in through my window and was illuminating my white ruffled curtains. It left me with such a wonderful feeling!

                           The other memorie that stays with me the most is my mom rocking me in our rocking chair that made sqeaky noises all of my childhood. I felt so safe when she was rocking me.


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ok my earliest memories are from when I was 2 almost 3 or just turned 3 time period.  

I remember moving into a new apartment.  I remember my new room and the way the light came through the window (It seems I always remember the light)  I remember that it was a west window. and that the closet faced south and I remember the boxes of my stuff being put in to the closet. and I remember thinking the closet doors were neet.  

I rememeber walking with my dad, along a shopping strip.  a type of 'old market' and I remember hearing a song.  that I like, but did not know the name of it.  some times I can still hear it,.. just barly.  but not enough to put a name to it.

I remember walking with my sitter and my sister to the street vender for a rootbeer float.  I remember the vender was on the east side of the street in  the same block as the apartment complex.  I remember the apartments were behind us and over my left shoulder.  I remmber skipping and being happy.

ok next one I am not happy but it is still postive.  I remember having the chicken pox.  I remember looking out the window watching everyone swim and wanting to go swimming too.

I have told my mom about these memories and she said I had chicken pox when I was 3. and that the apartment which I described, we moved into when I was 2.

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Wow, such great stories - Rowan, my best friend's daughter shares your name from the board - and I saw her in my mind with a pink tutu, feeling so dainty and special and I saw you dancing with her.  Jasmine - it's so important to us when we were little to be big, no wonder that was so special to you.

Louise - do you know who Leo Buscalia is?  He used to teach a class in love at UCLA and wrote many books.  I saw him speak one time and he talked about a big boosomy teacher he had who he remembers as just kinda of being a big hug when she was working with you - talking about Aunt Thora reminded me of it - favorite moments at special places or a magical moment with someone like your father brought a smile.  

Nini - I wanted so much to be on the mudpile with you and your Grandpa making mudpies - what a special memory... Amanda - I remember spitting watermelon seeds, too!

Tasha - was a gift your grandparents were for you.  Boots - do you have that favorite babydoll?  Keli - can I join your little in feeding the ducks, Mad - I always love sunshine through the window in the morning and being rocked is such a soothing thing, isn't it.  Mingo - you remembered special moments, too with your rootbear floats the sight of something neat in your new home - walking with your dad.

I think we forget so much - perhaps one of the tragedies of our traumas is that we can forget that there were magical, wonderful moments in our lives.  

Perhaps we need to use more of those memories to aid us in our healing.

Perhaps one of the reasons I love the smell of lavendar so very much is because of my grandmother.  I don't remember what she smelled like, but I fell in love with the scent of lavender before I knew anything about it.  When I started reading about aromatherapy, it was called the grandmother of all plant oils - known for being healing, comforting, and all that grandmotherly kinds of things.  I associate the smell with peace and comfort and wear it as my perfume.  I believe it is a part of reclaiming and remembering magical moments with Granny when I felt completely safe and completely loved.

When I think about your replies, my mind wanders to what I could give each of you to help you remember - to Rowam, I would give you a picture of a little girl in a pink tutu with a look of utter joy on her face to hang on her wall.  To Lou, I woulds end you a bottle of sand, with shells and sea glass and striped awning.  Nini, if I had a picture of your sitting on that glorious mudpile with yuor grandfather, I would blow it up to hang on your wall.  Tasha, I would find a night cap and a way to make your bedclothes smell like your grandmothers...  Botts, I would give you a babydoll in apink blanket, Keli - I would give you a life time supply of bread and a pond full of ducks to feed!  Mad, I would give you warm sunshine through your windo every day and mingo, here's a case of A&W rootbear (or IBC, if you would prefer) and vanilla icecream to make floats for the whole pandy's family to share...

Find a way to remember, find a way to be reminded, and perhaps it will help you find your way to healing...

Love to all of you


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Linnea my love

You are an angel for starting this thread. It has given me a good feeling for days. I so loved reading all the other memories too... thanked god that my sisters have something beautiful and happy.

It led me to think that bad as horrible flashbacks can be, I wouldn't give up having them if it meant having to give up the beautiful and magical "flashbacks" too. I see that as we heal, hopefully rotten memories lose their impact. But the sweet ones never do.

Oh, a couple..giggling at and mimicking the yodelling on the radio of a Sunday morning as my country & western music-loving dad made us eat our boiled eggs before sunday school.

My unimaginatively named marmalade cat Ginger who was sooo affectionate.


Lou xxxxxxx

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  • 1 month later...

This beautiful thread is one of my touchstones for when I feel shitty.

I think it has potential to be helpful to others and I'd like to move it to "Wonderful Threads" in a day or so.

Will those who are uncomfortable with their writing being placed in an open forum please edit?


Lou xxxx

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first off, great thread!

My first positive memory . . .  I remember it well.  I was three, no more than four, but it was definately before "it" started.  It had snowed.  I was in ECI (early childhood intervention), but school for me had been canceled.  My big brothers helped to build a snowman.  When they found out that they had to go to school, they got mad and toppled it over.  But that didn't matter.  The snowman simply became a snowhorse.  I sat on that "horse" for hours, traveling the world, thinking how great it was that I got to stay home and play in the snow, the beautiful snow that washed everything in a blanket of white.  I would have stayed out for hours, but mom was afraid I'd get sick.

I've never forgotton that.

Thanks for reminding me to think of it again.


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Guest Amy


Great thread, honey!

One of my best first memories is playing tag just at dusk in the summertime, with my brother and sisters, while my mom and dad sat in the grass and watched, laughing...  I can still see that little red circle that was my daddy's cigarette glowing in the dark, and hear his guitar as he played occasionally and sang Marty Robbins songs...

What a sweet memory!

Thanks Linnea.



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Guest OrangeSky

I too am loving this thread...

My earliest wonderful memories are of my grandparents, as are many of yours. My Father's father was a pretty sick man, but he never let me know, he and I would sit outside on his hammock and he would sing songs to me, silly songs some he would make up, and he would let me add on it was always a blast.  Everytime I hear "I love you a bushel and a peck" I can't help but smile. And sometimes on really bad days I hum the tune in my head and it cheers me up some.

My other is of my Mother's Mom, she would always let me help her in the kitchen, making sauce or rolling meatballs, she would teach me all her cooking secrets, ones she wouldn't tell anyone else. I know thats why i love to cook now, it is a wonderful way for me to relieve stress, because when I'm in the kitchen I know my Grandma is with me :) mmm now I'm hungry-go figure!!!

Love to all of you :)


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I think my earliest poxitive memory is my dad singing that old song "Brown eyed girl" to me and my sisters. I even bought a 70s music CD just because it has that song on it.

Another good memory is going to my grandmas house when I was little, she had this freezer out side of her trailer and she would put all of these ice cream bars and stuff in there for us and I felt so "grown up" because we could just take whatever we wanted and we didnt have to ask.


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I don't remember most of growing up...but I do remember somethings.  The only good memories are with my horses.

The first was waiting in the start up line for the Day In The Counrty parade with my horse Patches.  Some times I think the only reason i remember it is because it gets talked about still.  He was a really big horses, I think at the time I could still walk under him :) with out ducking much.  He was a really cool paint I'm going to have to find a pic.  This parade was just before Halloween and that year I was an indian...I had an out fit on and was all dressed up and riding my paint pony with a bridle and a blanket over his back.  Now Patches was an awesome horse but he was also old and didn't go fast...usualy getting him to move was a chalenge for one a little as me...I would have been in 2nd or 3rd grade, I'm not really sure maybe younger.  My dad must have told the person that would tell everyone when to start that Patches was really slow because we were let out earlier than we would have been other wise.  I had a bag of candy to throw to kids but I never had a chance because Patches was determined to past the buggy in front of us that was going so slow.  I was pulling him back the whole way.  My dad when he talks about it says that he was along side in the crowd thinking that he was going to have to help me(don't remember him being around)....But I did it all by myself.  I'm really proud of that because dad alway points out when I fail and do things wrong but I did good and even he can't take this away from me.

I also remember sitting out on part of a tree that had fallen down out in the horse pasture for hours with Patches...He would hand his head over my shoulder and listen to every thing I had to say.  When I said something really important he would nod his head...I really think he knew what I was talking about :)  We had a barn for the horses hay, but it wasn't a normal barn it was an old cabin thats door was about waist high and we had barn cats...I remeber one time when we had a litter of young kittens in the barn and the door was open every time one of the kittens came near the door Patches would push them back with his nose to keep them from falling out the door.  I miss that horse like crazy.

My other horse Ranger (who is out at my parents place) is part Arabian and a bit of a nut by nature...I remember when I was about 12 I had to take him up to the vets office.  He knew where we were going to I just lead him because it would be faster.  On the way there I passed a jogger that said 'your suppost to ride those' I was just like whatever back.  After Ranger got his shots I asked the vet if I could use his fence...Got up on Ranger to ride home.  Got a funny look from the vet because I was riding with only a halter and no saddle or pad.  I passed that same jogger on the way home too.  His eyes just about fell out of his head.  I just told him it was more fun to ride on the way home from the vets and rode right past him.  I think about this time I was known as the crazy girl that rides her horse with out a saddle around town...the area was big into shows that all that rubbish so to them I was pretty strange.

That was fun I got going a bit more than I had planned but my boys are so neat:)

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  • 1 month later...

Another one to share...

when I was little, my dad would take us to the window or on the porch to watch thunderstorms.  He explained what was going on and I have never been afraid of storms - in fact I have always loved them!

One time, when I was about four, I remember a very fierce storm and I begged my parents to let me go out in it.  I think they figured I would be back in at the first clap of thunder and finally said yes.

I ran out to the driveway and stood there looking up at the storm and watched the lightening flash and dance across the sky.  I listened to the thunder and felt the strength of the sound roll through my body.  I remember feeling like my heart would stop beating for just that moment and then continue on.  I remember the feeling of the cold raindrops hitting my skin and running down my face and arms.

It was glorious, absolutely glorious.

I love walking in the rain (I don't do it in thunderstorms) and even now, if a thunderstorm rolls through at night, I will sleep soundly through it and wake up more rested than any other time.  It doesn't even wake me.

There are times I need to remind myself of moments like this - it would be too easy to slide back into that deep, emotional pit I have crawled out of so many times.  I wish there would be a storm - I would sit on my porch and watch it and would possibly even step out in it and remember what it felt like to be that wonderful four year old and get aquainted with her once again...

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Actually i don't have many memories, i mean not related to the a*use.. I do know things about me as kid, but they were told..

Well, i yesterday i was watching the World Cup final, and i suddenly remembered when in 1988 (i was 6) holland won the European Cup, and i don't remember the game, only the end , everybody was happy, and  i remember the sad faces of the russians..so weird i remember that so well.. Well and then we went out, my father, mother me and my little brother, at our bikes to centre , well we were at our parents bike as well, and my mum told me to hold the big flag, the orange flag, and so the whole centre was packed and everyone partying.. i dont know much about the party, only the nice ambience..

Hugs Maaike

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Lets see....

I have such a horribly inept memory of my early years, but I do remember my mother would pack us all up and take us camping when we were young. This is probably my very favorite memory. I remember my mom would build a big campfire and she would tell us kids to go get our jammy's on, then, she'd let us sit by the fire and roast marshmallows and eat junk food. It seemed like she would let us stay up late into the night and play in the fire with long sticks. My brother and I would heat up the end of the sticks, and when the end was a burning ember, we would make designs in the air. I loved sleeping in the tent also. Just being in the night air and listening to the night sounds.

Which brings me to another favorite memory. When I was 9 we had moved out to the country from a large city, and I would listen to the crickets and the frogs croaking every night. To this day, I still love to listen to the song of the frogs and the crickets. I find it very comforting.


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My favorite memory from when i was small is my little brother telling me he loved me :). I was about five I think and he was two or three. I have other memories but thats definatly the coolest one!

For my new favorite recent memory see my kick arse thread in my voice :)


Mel xxxx

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