The following is a description of my first memory, and of what happened around the bit of the incident that I recall.
Being viewed as different began even before I entered kindergarden. In fact the start happened sometime between my 1.st and 2.nd birthday and lead to my being transferred from a traditional state orphanage to a psychiatric orphanage - also of the state - so I could be "observed", because I displayed unusual behavior for my age. The Psychiatric "Orphanage Journal" from that period describes me as being very outgoing and also aggressive toward the other kids, it calls me 'prone to throwing tantrums' and describes me as unresponsive to the adults' attempts at getting into closer emotional contact with me. It states that I didn't react to invitations and encouragements to make emotional contact, and that I never became attached to neither the staff nor the other children.
There are also several notes about incidents where I had to be disciplined because I was being physically intrusive and "unusually rough" with the other children. Indeed, one of the descriptions is about an incident where "He took a toy from another child and bashed his head with it several times until nurse [name] rushed over and had to abruptly pull him away from the other kid".
This is the first memory I have in my life.
The journal states my age at the time: I was 1 yrs and 2 mths old.
But I do not remember the incident where I stole a toy from another kid and then hit him. What I remember is the punishment I was given afterwards.
In my memory I am on a stairway on my way up to the dormatory located upstairs, where I am going to be punished and then put to bed without dinner. To be forced upstairs before bedtime is the most dreaded punishment. I know I will get spanked, but it is the humiliation of being put to bed in the middle of the day that angers and upsets me because it means I am smaller than all the other children, and that I alone am being denied playing with the toys and climbing about, while I will be able to hear the rest of the kids downstairs, still playing.
On the stairway I have reached about 5 or 6 steps up and stopped climbing. Now I sit down close to the bannister, so that I can look across the room below. It is the room where we infants are when we have play time. At the wall opposite from where I am sitting is a wide double-door, and I am looking in it's direction.
As a "funny" side note, I know where the kid I have harrassed had been located when I did it, even though I remember nothing of the event itself.
The reason I'm looking in the direction of the big door is that I know the head nurse will be walking through this door if or when she comes, and I am hoping - no, I am insisting - that she comes. She must come! I hope she will come back and tell the other nurses that I shall not be punished after all.
On this day I don't recall anything prior to the moment when I sit down on the stairs, but it is obvious that the head nurse has been the one to condone the decision of how I should be punished. This incident is beyond doubt the first time I have been punished by order from her directly. I think she was the one to tell me personally that I was to be punished, and how.
And this is the reason why this became my first memory. I was shocked, I was angry, I felt wronged. I was becoming a small baby again and would be abandoned and not be allowed to play or eat because I would be a very small baby again.
I did know there was something I had done to another kid, and that it had made the nurses very angry. I had no sensation of what I had done actually being bad or wrong, only that for some reason it had made the nurses become angry and give me a scare because of it. I had done nothing wrong, but I was being punished because they thought I was a small baby - and small babies were not liked. Never be small! And of course, never be weak! If you want something, you go and get it. You can influence the adults to like you, by smiling, by standing up, etc., but sometimes for no apparent reason they would suddenly hate you and be mean to you, and there was nothing you could do about it, except be strong and learn more about the world.
Doing something wrong or bad is not why you get punished. Being small is!