There seems to be a misunderstanding or perhaps it’s a vain hope, that a small child will bury a painful memory or be “too young to understand” and perhaps that has held some truth for some children.
Personally I never bothered to do that.
My childhood memories were actual experiences, life lessons and as such have always stuck with me.
It seems crazy to think I would have wanted to suppress them anyway, when they are the very things that made me.
I’ve always felt that remembering is what kept me relatively safe, as the years rolled on.
Though my watchfulness and wariness was mistaken for “being quiet” reluctance to speak put down as “being shy” it was simply because I didn’t want to engage, I didn’t want to be noticed.
My parents had always displayed odd and quite nasty behaviour, directed at my older brother whom I of course loved unconditionally.
My Father frightened us, my Mother never put him in his place.
Even if I didn’t understand fully, what had happened to cause the row or why, I didn’t like to see my big brother reduced to tears. Yet If I cried out of fearfulness, they blamed him for that too.
Then off they would go, to wherever it was they went. Leaving us kids alone together for a few hours.
The house would be a tinder pot full of unresolved issues.
My brother had got into the habit of treating me like a safe old reliable dog. He would sit with me, both of us crouched together on the floor, him a picture of abject misery sobbing his heart out, telling me, his tiny silent sister, all his problems and troubles, pouring out his resentment against both parents.
He never expected a reply. I’m pretty sure I never gave one.
Then when he was all cried out it was never mentioned again, ever!