Why do mothers and daughters have different memories? "The Hairbrush Spanking."
This Hub is about The Nature of Memory
Many people have very different memories of similar events. In this hub I look at an example of different versions of childhood memories. The first is one of my stories about growing up in Vancouver's West End. The second is a vivid well known story told by world famous psychologist Alfred Adler to discuss his ideas on the nature of memory.
Soon after I was born mommy's brother, Uncle Irving, was killed fighting the Nazis. He was a bomber and his plane crashed. My mother gave all her love and hopes to me. She fed me special treats, read stories with me, dressed me up like a little Jewish princess and took me to the art gallery. And she left me free to play in the lane.
When I was wild and jumped and climbed trees, she let me be. But once I was really really bad, and she had to spank me. She got her pink hairbrush. I struggled, I screamed, I begged. She pulled down my pants. It hurt.
Now I am 62 and mother is 88. We love each other, and fight with each other. Mom feeds me and my partner Marie-Belle delicious treats: kosher brisket, hummus, spinach pie, and almond komishbroit. She gives us books, we go to movies. Mom often tells me and everyone who will listen, that I was a golden child. I was always happy and good. I always listened to her. She never ever had any reason to discipline me. And that pink hairbrush. There was no pink hairbrush, but if there was one… it was only used to brush my shiny black hair.
When I asked my sister if it would be OK to publish this story of mother/daughter relationships lifelong parenting and early childhood memories she said "I guess its OK ...just make sure mom never sees it.
The Nature of Memory
Memory is Individual
We wonder why our parents and siblings do not have the same memories as we do when we experience the same events.
It seems people's memories are not identical tape recorders but individual patterns of clusters of neurons shaped by emotion intelligence and experience. What might be vivid and terrifying for a child is just another blip in a frantically busy day for a parent.
Court cases are a good case of this-individual memories of an event can differ widely. People who witness anaccident at the same time can give vastly different reports. Psychological laboratory experiments have shown that individual memories can be greatly influenced by social pressure. It is likely that we remember what we want to,or need to, or in cases of trauma are psychologically strong enough to remember.
One of the most famous accounts of the fallibility of memory is told by Dr. Alfred Adler.
Dr. Alfred Adler is the father of Adlerian Psychology and the following is one of his famous stories.
Memory of the Cemetery
As a young boy Alfred Adler had to walk past a cemetery on his way to school. The cemetery terrified him, but did not seem to frighten his school chums. Alfred got frightened even when he thought about the graves in the cemetery.After suffering great fear Alfred finally decided to face his fear and to overcome it.
One day he summoned his courage. He walked through the entrance gate and entered the cemetery. He ran through the cemetery and even had the nerve to jump over the graves. It was terrifying at first and then exciting. In this way young Alfred conquered his fear. The memory of the cemetery and his actions was very vivid to Alfred Adler as he grew up. He told other people about his actions as a child. He wrote about this event. Then at age 35 he heard from a friend that there was no cemetery on the way to school. Adler concluded that he had created this vivid memory in his subconscious. He concluded that his subconscious created this memory for him as a way for him to face the deaths of his father.
I have thought about this story often. Since both Adler and his friend were relying on their memories of the walk to school, how could they know which of them had the true memory. I have thought one might be true...no the other might be true. I have never learned if Adler returned to the the original streets to look and see if any cemetery or graves were there.
Stories of Vancouver's West End
This hub is about the nature of memory.Why is it two people remember events so differently? The hub presents a stories and gives a brief analysis from a psychological point of view.
The Hairbrush story starts in Vancouver's West End in the 1940s. I have also set other of my hub stories in this same location and time era. Check them out. They are:
Books on Memories Adlerian views and others
the accuracy of memory
- The Accuracy of Memory - Did It Really Happen How Yo...
Our memories are not as accurate as we think they are. Find out how our minds distort and forget details of events that seem unforgettable.
- Photographic Memory; Good Memory; Myth vs Reality
Some people believe they have photographic memory, not merely good memory, but has anyone proved its actual existence? Read about the fascinating evidence and case studies you will never see in books. You will never forget the story of the man who in