Do you remember who you went to school with

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Hello all! I had a question in my mind after reading an article today. Does any of you remember the names and the face of people you went to elementary school with? I can maybe, with a pretty heavy difficulty, remember about maybe 6 or 7 of them from elementary school and maybe 5 from high school. There were about 25 to 30 of us in each class. I simply do not remember them any more, cant really recall the names or looks. It all seems blank. Since Im 38 now, is that common or not?

I’m only a year younger than you but I even remember the people I went to kindergarten with. They’re blurrier than school friend memories but I can recall their faces and many names well. As for school friends, given that we went to school together for 8 years and parted when I was 14 I could probably write down a list of all names of people in my class. I’d have no problem recalling their faces, even the ones who aren’t on social media. Same thing goes with high school.

I don't mean to be insensitive and investigate your personal matters, but your post made me think of childhood dissociation as a coping mechanism. People who have experienced trauma often remember less from their early years as their minds dissociated more to cope with what was happening. Maybe that’s something for you to explore? The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout talks about this condition, although most people are much milder cases than what she described. The book has a thread on the forum here.

Of course you may conclude that this isn’t the reason why your memory of school times is so limited. I don’t know how sociable you were when you were little, maybe you didn’t build too many emotional bonds at school that would enable you to remember your school mates better? I was quite a shy child, extraversion only came later in life, but I was nevertheless quite a sociable kid.
 

Leelee

Padawan Learner
So interesting that you posted this now @Grey Cat. Two nights ago a friend sent me a pic she had found of our 6th grade class. It felt sweet and nostalgic looking at it, but I was impressed that I remembered all 23 kids names (first and last). Even a couple that stumped me for a moment or two, were retrieved quickly from a file in my head. (I’m 61, so yeah, looooong time ago) I had nobody with whom to share that astounding feat (my husband wasn’t really moved), so thanks for allowing me to share it here. I hope someone is impressed, lol. (ask me what I did yesterday.......have to think on that. :huh:)
 

Tuulikki

Jedi
If anyone want to remember the forgotten past memories, then perhaps the writing exercise help to restore party or completely?
I think this is a great idea and I am definitely going to try this. I have been getting increasingly concerned about my memory for the past couple of years. When you are working with the elderly in care you constantly visualise dementia coming to get you.:cry: I have been actively using my memory recently and it seems to be helping but writing things down seems to put things into the memory in a more lasting way. I guess we are all wanting to put information into our long term memory and have the ability to access it when we want.

It is always interesting when I chat to my siblings about childhood things. The discrepancies in our memories of our childhoods is remarkable. Even when certain events were "set in stone" in my memory, my eldest brother would say, "no, it didn't happen like that". His memory seems to be the more reliable because at 5 years older than me he would have a more developed memory than I would at, say, 5 years old.

My middle brother has a phenomenal memory. He has learning difficulties and was considered, in the 1960's, to be "backward". However he can remember far more things from our childhood than we can. We lived in a small English village in the 60's and he can remember practically everyone who lived there, their names, occupations, children, who the children married etc. He used to spend lots of time outside chatting to whoever was around and observing things. To this day he can remember the number plates and makes of lorries and vans that regularly came through the village and what county they were registered in. If I ask him about a song from childhood he can remember the name of the song, and the group or individual artist who sang it. As for the kids he went to school with he can remember them all and can even remember the names of some of the kids I went to school with and we were at different schools.

I enjoy writing by hand and I am going to make a start on my rememberances asap.
 

Nathancat7

Jedi Master
I'm 46, and can recall a few names from my infant years, especially the ones I played with, but can remember other names as well. Life just seemed to be a swirl of bikes, football, games of tag and thinking about the girls, lol. As for high school, I find it easier to recall people, even though I was a far more withdrawn individual by that point. I can recall the names of people I avoided just as easily as the friends from that time. The egos on people at that age, unbelievable! I can well recall the nascent narcissists strutting their stuff at age 14-15, thinking they were true originals, even though they were just running programs at full force.

I don't know if I'm alone in this level of recall, but some of my old school mates I know from hooking up on facebook in past years (I quit facebook 6 years ago) could remember far more than me. They could even recall what teachers they had in each subsequent year, they even held online contests to see who could remember the most. I was amazed how much some of them still knew, I felt like I was betraying my younger self in some way. But then I was often unhappy in those years, and that might make a crucial difference. The guys who remembered the most were in my mind the most comfortable in themselves, they had this innate self-assurance that I lacked.

I wouldn't stress too much over it, to be honest. I have periods in my life where I wake up in the morning and an entire memory of an old school experience just pops into my mind. It's happened fairly recently too, and it's always fresh stuff that I'd forgotten about. In my journalling I've got my life divided into epochs, and these memories are in division 2 (division 1 being pre-school), and division 3 was college and Uni. I always stack my memories into divisions, and plot my journey from these way points. When something crops up in my mind I am always grateful, the more I can know the better, and it helps me to make sense of my life. If something important is in these times, I'm sure it will reach your mind eventually.
I saw some people come by my gas station that are very dear, but I didn't quite get a clue and remember till next day, and they went.on.
It meant a lot to me, what to say, just gushing in tears in their their lap I imagined.
And it blew me away.
Of course I was mad at myself and depressed too. What a small brain, not to recognize something right in front of me.
Kicking myself, but a small gas station in the middle sad place.
Still it means everything to me, to see love
 

Recto

Jedi
This is a GREAT self-remembering exercise. I have a good memory. Remembering those other kids is also a gateway to remembering experiences and feelings and our inner psychological landscape and awareness. It probably keeps the brain young too. And definitely a roadmap of "How did I get to be who I am". Also a good way to acknowledge from whence we came. This hits on all cylinders.

Introspection is most valuable tool indeed ! Putting things into a wider context really helps untangle the web of our lives. It's been the number one tool I've used to understand and correct myself over the years. But for that the first hurdle is to retrive the pieces and fit them together. Unless one has some trauma or illness, using various trigger modalities appears to me to be a really good way to retrieve them.

I think this is a great idea and I am definitely going to try this. I have been getting increasingly concerned about my memory for the past couple of years. When you are working with the elderly in care you constantly visualise dementia coming to get you.:cry: I have been actively using my memory recently and it seems to be helping but writing things down seems to put things into the memory in a more lasting way. I guess we are all wanting to put information into our long term memory and have the ability to access it when we want.
If anyone want to remember the forgotten past memories, then perhaps the writing exercise help to restore party or completely?
Regarding your question about memory, it seems to me that each person is different, some of us are more visual, others remember sounds, music, or events that marked them, such as a birthday, a show, etc. Then I think that it is not easy to relate a face with a name, since the face is "stored" in the visual memory, while the name is in the auditory memory, or maybe it can also be in the visual memory if you remember better having seen it written. Well, and that happens to all of us, we have access to certain memories, and many others escape us.

In that light, perhaps writing is indeed the "binding agent" that really bring singled out memories into a coherent hole. While it may help recall some events or facts, you may need to explore in parallel other ways to remember. For instance, my EE practice (more specifically the meditation part) brought many forgotten past events to the surface, often connected to a strong emotion. Unfortunately I don't share the passion of handwriting of others, so I rely since my childhood on what I call "journaling/thinking out loud". It really helps me putting my thoughts into a logical order and remembering them in the long run. Yet, using the body (here the hand) and its own memory/honesty, may be the only way to truly bring every thing together and claim it for oneself.

I don't mean to be insensitive and investigate your personal matters, but your post made me think of childhood dissociation as a coping mechanism. People who have experienced trauma often remember less from their early years as their minds dissociated more to cope with what was happening. Maybe that’s something for you to explore? The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout talks about this condition, although most people are much milder cases than what she described. The book has a thread on the forum here.

Of course you may conclude that this isn’t the reason why your memory of school times is so limited. I don’t know how sociable you were when you were little, maybe you didn’t build too many emotional bonds at school that would enable you to remember your school mates better? I was quite a shy child, extraversion only came later in life, but I was nevertheless quite a sociable kid.
I don't think that's very unusual. Some people seem to remember people from the past much more than other people do. I remember a few, but I was always kind of a quiet kid, and often felt very different from the other kids, so I didn't have a ton of friends. I was never part of the popular crowd, and usually only had a handful of friends. I read in a very interesting book that as the years go by, the more events that happen and the more memories we accumulate, the harder it is for our brains to retain it all. It's like our brains have to throw out information in order to keep taking in the new information, we just don't have enough capacity to remember everything. I think people who are more outgoing and have lots and lots of friends will remember more about people. Those of us who are more in our own heads, and don't feel the need to be around people all the time, will not remember them as much.

I was dissociating most of the time during my childhood, my grip on reality really wasn't that strong back then. It's got better over time through work on myself fortunately. I understand very well the struggle to remember past events and more specifically people. But by using different triggers to "jumpstart my memory" I've collected many standalone pictures and event sequences. Like a detective following a trail of breadcrumbs. At first I did it each time with a specific goal in mind (finding the origin of a program and its evolution over time), but now writing it all down and reclaiming that "forgotten past" as a whole appeals to me more and more. A kind of nostalgia perhaps ? I wonder what is the experience of forum members who are in the middle of, or have already recapitulated their lives.

I'll also add that I've faced my past. I was an unhappy child and I stuffed a lot of things down and internalized them. In one of those experiences though, I swear I time traveled. I was back at my childhood home, outside, laying belly down on the warm sidewalk in spring. I could smell the dirt and the air, and it was more like reliving the experience than remembering it. So that may also play into it. Intentionally facing long held fears and disappointments and seeing if I can learn anything from them with the experience of life I have now I didn't then.

Without taking anything I've had this sensation lately when remembering past events (even the most distant ones). Even though the memories aren't that vivid, it feels like all I have to do is "shift" my consciousness' attention to that past event and kind of "time travel" that way. It is quite an odd sensation, very similar to having something on the tip of your tong. You could but in reality you can't.
 

seve

Padawan Learner
Hello everyone, I think people are remembered especially for those who had a strong emotional interaction in childhood. I have scenes going by with people who did me good or bad and I haven't forgotten anything, neither the best friends, nor the teachers, nor the enemies of the primary school junior high school. Memory sensitivity still plays a big part and is not the same for everyone. I am very "Madelaine de Proust" for others, writing is necessary to revive memories, after there are voluntary emotional blockages on the part of our upset personality in its past.
 

Artex

Padawan Learner
Introspection is most valuable tool indeed ! Putting things into a wider context really helps untangle the web of our lives. It's been the number one tool I've used to understand and correct myself over the years. But for that the first hurdle is to retrive the pieces and fit them together. Unless one has some trauma or illness, using various trigger modalities appears to me to be a really good way to retrieve them.





In that light, perhaps writing is indeed the "binding agent" that really bring singled out memories into a coherent hole. While it may help recall some events or facts, you may need to explore in parallel other ways to remember. For instance, my EE practice (more specifically the meditation part) brought many forgotten past events to the surface, often connected to a strong emotion. Unfortunately I don't share the passion of handwriting of others, so I rely since my childhood on what I call "journaling/thinking out loud". It really helps me putting my thoughts into a logical order and remembering them in the long run. Yet, using the body (here the hand) and its own memory/honesty, may be the only way to truly bring every thing together and claim it for oneself.




I was dissociating most of the time during my childhood, my grip on reality really wasn't that strong back then. It's got better over time through work on myself fortunately. I understand very well the struggle to remember past events and more specifically people. But by using different triggers to "jumpstart my memory" I've collected many standalone pictures and event sequences. Like a detective following a trail of breadcrumbs. At first I did it each time with a specific goal in mind (finding the origin of a program and its evolution over time), but now writing it all down and reclaiming that "forgotten past" as a whole appeals to me more and more. A kind of nostalgia perhaps ? I wonder what is the experience of forum members who are in the middle of, or have already recapitulated their lives.



Without taking anything I've had this sensation lately when remembering past events (even the most distant ones). Even though the memories aren't that vivid, it feels like all I have to do is "shift" my consciousness' attention to that past event and kind of "time travel" that way. It is quite an odd sensation, very similar to having something on the tip of your tong. You could but in reality you can't.
I do recommend meditation over what I did. I was just being open about how I had that experience. I have seen through portal windows while meditation which was interesting, but then you get excited and kind of come out of the meditation. When I say it was like time travel, it was like I was riding as a passenger in my body as a child, sharing the experience.
 

naorma

Jedi Master
Interesting question! At first I did not think it important, but when thinking about whom I remembered it started to get interesting for me. I have a complete blackout about the girls I went to elementary school with
If anyone want to remember the forgotten past memories, then perhaps the writing exercise help to restore party or completely?
Interesting coincidence : My daughter called me to ask whether I could write down some of my elementary school memories. Her daughter would like to know how school was in my days! So this will force me to write down my memories and grab a little in that black hole . . . .;-D . . . :knitting:
 

Debra

Jedi Council Member
This article may be of interest in this thread.
It is written from a woman's experiences with her female class mates.

I have read a lot of studies regarding the loss and/or blocking of memories, in part, to regain some of my own damaged childhood experiences, as well as learning how to enable others to also regain "lost parts" of thenselves.

From what I learned while studying Thought Field Therapy, bullying in school years has been documented as extreme trauma in the Adverse Childhood Experiences, (ACE's) and of course, is part and parcel of "personality fragmentation" and creation of the "little i's".
Trauma programming.
It will be interesting to see if any memories surface or if anyone has better name after writing down school year recollections.

Anyway, this journalist seems to have accomplished some personal healing and processing, as she wrote in her article.

I Tracked Down The Girls Who Bullied Me As A Kid. Here’s What They Had To Say.​

“Being able to zoom out and get some perspective ... underscored that we can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives.”

If you were bullied or excluded as a child or adolescent, it might not surprise you to learn that studies have shown how peer victimization can have long-term effects. That’s certainly been the case for me.

For decades, I’ve struggled with low-grade depression, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy and underachievement that have persisted despite years of therapy. I won’t argue that my mental health issues stem only from the bullying I encountered in school, but those experiences ― and my lifelong shyness, hypersensitivity and self-consciousness, which made me a perfect target for bullying and exclusion ― have had a lasting effect on me.

One day in 2019 while I was procrastinating at work, I started thinking about a girl who had rejected me in 7th grade. The rejection still stung whenever I thought about it. I wondered if she remembered how she ended our friendship and if she had any regrets.

Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not interview my former classmates from middle and high school — not only the people who bullied me, but all of my female peers, including the bullies, the bullied and those who seemed to be neither — about their experiences with the social scene when we were growing up in our Westchester, New York town? It seemed like such a good idea that I brushed aside the discomfort I felt about contacting people who, in some cases, I hadn’t spoken to in 40 years!

Thanks to social media, it was easy to find many of my former classmates. I began sending messages to them describing my project and I asked them if they would be willing to participate. Many of the women I contacted responded immediately. While some claimed they didn’t remember much about those years, others were enthusiastic and told me they had a lot to share.

So far, I have interviewed nearly 30 people, and I’m hoping to interview many more.

Sometimes individuals bully others because someone is bullying them. That was certainly the case with one former classmate I contacted who had relentlessly tormented me during middle school. At first, she was reluctant to talk to me. She ignored my initial Facebook message but when I followed up, she wrote back, “Simone, hope all is well with you. It’s a little hard for me to participate in this. I was not always nice to you. I am so sorry for that.”

I responded and reassured her that I was interviewing all of the women in our class and not singling her out. A few minutes later, I was stunned to find my telephone ringing. It was my former bully.

“I’m so sorry,” she said repeatedly during our call. “I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.” She revealed some of the trauma she’d been through and, though I might have guessed that my classmate came from a troubled background, hearing it from her own lips made all the difference. I was finally able to forgive her, and (I hope) to help her to forgive herself.
‘I’m so sorry,’ she said repeatedly during our call. ‘I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.’
I was surprised to learn that many of the “popular” girls paid a steep price for maintaining their social standing. As one former cheerleader told me, the girls in her clique were so mean to each other that she grew up distrusting other women. “I didn’t have a real female friend until I was 43,” she told me.

Another woman — whom I had also considered popular, smart and beautiful — learned early on that “loneliness was bad and I’d have to sacrifice to have friends.” She shared a story about being part of a group that excluded a classmate in 7th grade. “I was culpable and I think I immediately and forever thought that was my personal weakness. It was cruel ... I still feel guilty all these years later.” Subsequently, that woman called the excluded group member to apologize for hurting her.
She later told me that the interaction brought great relief to both of them.

I spoke with about five women who were extremely athletic during their middle and high school years. All of them said that their athleticism served as a protective factor when it came to managing the social pressures of childhood and adolescence. Being good at sports made them feel confident and broke down barriers between the cliques that existed at school since they played on teams with members of various friend groups.

As one woman who transferred to our school in 9th grade told me, “I think because I was a swimmer, I had a certain amount of confidence. I had a recognition of my abilities and it gave me credibility and people didn’t pick on me.”
Another athlete shared a touching story about being a team captain in gym class. She recalled how, when picking teams, one girl in our grade was always chosen last. “One day, I don’t know why — I decided to pick [that girl] first. When I look back I can still see the smile on her face. It changed me that day. It made me realize that winning wasn’t the most important.”

My conversations with some of my classmates confirmed that many of the girls who appeared to have their lives together ― and even be thriving ― struggled just like the rest of us.


“I always felt like an outcast, like a little brown mouse,” said one woman who I thought was one of the prettiest, most athletic and well-liked in our class. “I’ll never forget the 7th grade dance. I was really excited about my outfit,” she told me. “I remember walking in and seeing this group of girls looking me up and down and giggling. It seemed like the whole dance stopped and I realized how mismatched I was. I thought, I am really out of touch; I am really uncool. I went to the bathroom and cried. Then I called my mother and she came and picked me up. To this day, I still feel like I can’t put clothes together.”

It was challenging to locate some of the women who were the victims of the most severe bullying. I assumed many didn’t want to be found and had chosen to leave their childhoods and adolescences far behind and never look back. However, I did manage to track down a few.

One woman told me, “I hated my school experience and experienced intense bullying ... It wasn’t until I reached high school that I located a community of people, and it was my perception that we were considered the ‘hippies’ and we carried a sort of stigma related to that.”

Another woman recalled being bullied at various times throughout elementary and middle school. “My mother told me to ‘turn the other cheek,’ but that didn’t work,” she said. “I had no way to stand up for myself, and at that age, kids don’t stand up for each other.” In 9th grade, she dropped out of school and ran away, eventually ending up in a private school where the bullying was even worse. In a third school, she said, the “kids had issues. I became a bully and I would kick them with my clogs. I got suspended and I remember thinking, Now I’m the strong one.
I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status.
As I continued my project and began to process what I was learning, I unexpectedly found myself reflecting on my own behavior during those years.

I realized there were times when I chose to feel like a victim. I know there were classmates who admired my musical talent, who thought I was pretty and kind, but in some instances, I was too preoccupied with my own victimhood to recognize their affection.

I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status.

This was crystallized for me when a couple of women I interviewed mentioned that they felt “invisible” in school. “I wasn’t bullied, I just felt pushed aside like I didn’t belong here or there,” one woman told me. “It was just a feeling of being unwanted.” Hearing this made me regret not reaching out to her and others when I had the chance.

I was gratified by almost every conversation I had with my former peers. While some of my impressions were validated (everyone I talked to seemed to recognize the same peer hierarchy), I found that others were completely off base. Being able to zoom out and get some perspective after all of these years underscored that we can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives. And, though I may have been hurt by some of these people, learning about what they were experiencing has pushed me to be less judgmental about others.

This project has finally given me the opportunity to forgive the women who rejected and tormented me. After decades of hurt and resentment, I now see them as they were — young girls experiencing their own trials and tribulations, some common to many of us, others more painful than I can imagine.

Perhaps most importantly, the experience of reconnecting with these women has helped to diminish years of insecurity and shame.

I no longer see myself as inferior to the “popular” girls. In fact, my project has been greeted with admiration and excitement from many of the women I sought to impress so long ago. These changes have increased my self-confidence, and I have a new belief in my power, courage and worthiness. What’s more, my improved self-image has had positive implications for my work, relationships, and general sense of well-being.

I won’t say that this type of project is right for everyone and I can’t claim that others will get the same results if they decide to reach out to individuals from their past. For some people, leaving the past behind might be the right way forward. Not everyone changes. Not everyone will be open to discussing what happened, much less to expressing contrition.

But, for me at least, confronting my childhood demons has been tremendously healing, and that’s something I wish for everyone, no matter who they are or were ― no matter how they hurt or were hurt.
Simone Ellin is a freelance writer and associate editor of Jmore magazine.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
This article may be of interest in this thread.
It is written from a woman's experiences with her female class mates.
Thank you for that article Debra. A stunning insight and even if we all don't try the same experiment maybe we can stop and think of our own bullies or even if we were the bullies and allow for the fact that there might have been two sides to many incidents . We were all young and vulnerable. This, of course, cannot apply to every incident.

In reading your article I felt something letting go. Don't know what it is but I feel better. Thanks again.
 

Nathancat7

Jedi Master
It's so hard for me to sit down and write about remembrances , but until I learn to do that in private journal I certainly won't do it publicaly. Well but quickly I'll break that rule but just a little.
But I know why. My Dad was very tyrannical and he was a school teacher, and I didn't like him. I had a secret life he didn't understand. I remember so much and many faces.
After class my dad had access to the audio visual equipment.
So we watched "The Hobbit" over 30 times.
Fifteen years later he could recite the movie nearly line for line (no way I could do that).
And yet whenever he recounts a event memory, it's off, details are missing and it not what actually happened.
I have a thought too that in memories of people and specifically with my brother, that my bonding and looking up to him is a projection of myself, waiting to be realized.
 

Mrs. Peel

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just saw this thread. I remember everyone I ever went to school with! I'm friends with a lot of my elementary school classmates on Facebook, and we have a high school FB group also. I was going to plan a 50th reunion lunch of who was around and who we could find in my grade school class last year but Covid ruined that. Had my 45th high school reunion a couple years ago and I remember everyone in the yearbook. Two of my best friends are people I've known since first grade.

I retired from a company where I worked at for 38 years. I can remember every single person that I worked with there over all those years. The first 27 I spent at a satellite office that had maybe 160 people when I started, less over the years as we downsized. Then I went to the Corporate office with hundreds of people, so I only knew those who were in the departments I interacted with. Sometimes at night when I have trouble sleeping, instead of "counting sheep" I try and remember the names and faces of all the people I've known over the years. Sometimes I remember a face and I have to really think about a name, but it usually comes to me eventually.

Talk about a lot of useless information stored up in there! :-D Now I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday.
 

Brewer

Jedi Master
I do! It's our 40th reunion this year but C19 or C21 will kill it no doubt! One of my good friends from that time became a Christian and we drifted apart. We're friends on facebook now, he's still a Christian but now but he also worships Bill Gates, Fauci and untested vaxes! He was virtue signaling about having his pfirst pfizer shot the other day!

A little off topic but friend of mine works in child care, some of the parents are going to have their kids C19 vaxed, they're only 3 years old! The world is insane!

Stay sane and take care!
 

Odyssey

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I remember a fair amount of the people I went to school with as a child. My memories of kids before 3rd grade are a bit fuzzy but by 3rd grade things clear up and I can remember more details. About 20 or so years ago I ran into a girl I went to elementary school with. I remember her for being totally obsessed with Prince while we were at school. Funnily enough she was sitting about two rows behind me at a Prince concert and I recognized her almost immediately while scanning the crowd.
 
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