My earliest memory

I must have been only about two because I was still sleeping in my crib. I had had the most dreadful nightmare, I am still able to see it my minds eye even, now 58 years later. I think my mother, illadvisedly, had been warning me about the ‘bogie man’ coming for me, if I was not a good girl. I have a vague memory of the conversation standing in front of my mother as she sat on the couch.

That night he did, in my dreams, walking into my room through the bedroom door and making his way across the room. I am not absolutely sure about how he looked, but think he was what was, a common child’s toy in the UK in those days, a golliwog, promoted by a jam company – Robertson’s golly.

I remember standing in my crib screaming and my mother and father rushing in. That dream was so vivid and the fear it invoked was very real. I don’t remember any particular comfort being given because of the nightmare, more likely remonstration for disturbing the family.

I was raised by the very strictist of Victorian principles. ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’ was the maxim of that particular child raising technique. It was even carried out from birth, being left to scream in a darkened room between religiously applied feedings. Picking up a child was to spoil him or her and spoil me my father would not.

Many years later, after my mother had died, I remember my grandmother telling me of the fights between her and my father about how he was raising me. My poor mother was so distraught at listening to my sobs that she had told my grandmother “I wish I had never had her”.

What is your earliest memory?

One Response

  1. I have had to think long and hard about what is my earliest memory. The main problem was it really a memory or something i had been told about later on in my life?
    So i have decided to go with something a bit daft! I must of been about two and i definitely remember being on the back of my mums bike (push bike)in a child seat and she was taking me somewhere, i dsistinctly remember hating it and feeling very disorientated! So i have also decided thats the reason why i hate roller coaster rides and i cant ride a bike!
    Cheers
    Claire
    Ps. have been reading your past posts and i love them, have you ever thought about writing a book?

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