Life before memory


Who we turn out to be as grownups largely depend on how our childhood transpired. Countless case studies into the lives of abusers, psychotics and other mentally unstable people show that such persons had quite the traumatic childhood. Behavior doesn’t just spring up from nowhere; the seeds are most of the time, sown in the delicate soil of childhood – where memories are faint but feelings triggered are just as strong.

But what about the period of which we have no memory? When we were tiny, whiny babies being carried on the backs and arms of our parents…when we couldn’t yet speak and all we could do to communicate was cry, smile, scowl, and wail some more?

Your parents must have told you stories of some events during your baby days…you only know them because they were told you; not because you actually remember them exactly as they have been narrated. Some of these stories are told so frequently that you tend to internalize them; you try to imagine it and create a memory out of it.

Do happy or terrible experiences during toddlerhood have an effect on us though our memories were yet to be formed then? Does it register somewhere in the subconscious and manifest sometime later? Or do the experiences leave us unscathed before we become capable of saving memories?

Why are we afraid of dogs or being left alone? Why can’t we trust that relative even though he looks harmless and seems to be fond of us? Why do we bite our nails when we are anxious? Why does that tune make us nervous, angry, sad or excited? What happened during the years we can’t remember?

Does it even matter? Should we leave it well alone? The least remembered, the better?

Parents, siblings and caretakers should be conscious of what they do and say to and around kids no matter how young they are. They may not necessarily understand but it leaves a mark somehow. If the goal is to raise responsible, well-balanced adults, care should be taken right at the point when we realize we are pregnant. Whatever you pronounce over the baby is profound and if you’re a person of faith, then you know that declaring God’s protection and blessings over an unborn baby goes a long way.

Any moment of shock, intimidation, love and acceptance gets a unique imprint into the life of a child…even if it’s before it grows its first tooth.

We may not remember but…it matters.

© Josephine Amoako 2019

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Yep! Agree we need to be aware of what we say and how we interact with others. Kids are little sponges aren’t they? Soaking up everything in sight. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      Yes, they are! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Namupolo says:

    Praying for healing, working on our mental health and maladaptive behaviour is the best thing we can do for ourselves, I think. Thank you for the reminder that it matters.

    Like

    1. joseyphina says:

      Thank you for reading.

      Like

  3. And there’s an enormous genetic component to behaviors and attitude. Behavior is often a tug of war between genetics, nurture, education, religion, and culture. Never simple!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      That’s true. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Dennis.

      Like

  4. It is true what you’ve said.

    On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 at 00:04, Joseyphina’s World wrote:

    > joseyphina posted: ” Who we turn out to be as grownups largely depend on > how our childhood transpired. Countless case studies into the lives of > abusers, psychotics and other mentally unstable people show that such > persons had quite the traumatic childhood. Behavior doesn’t j” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      thanks for reading

      Like

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