People who experience ASMR can often pinpoint a moment from their childhood when they distinctly remember experiencing those tingles for the first time. Here are a few of my earliest memories of ASMR (not that I knew what it was until I was in my 20s!) Let’s travel back in time . . .
I think I was 4 the first time I experienced ASMR. My mum, stepdad and I were travelling back from watching a show in London (if it was my first trip to the theatre then it was the Beauty and the Beast – I LOVED it. I actually still remember the opening scene of the all the dancers whirling on stage in their beautiful, vibrant dresses). It was very late and we were on the train leaving London Euston. My head was in my mum’s lap and she was stroking my hair. I felt so peaceful and the tingles were amazing. I felt safe and fell asleep.
Still to this day I love having my hair stroked. It still gives me tingles and it still makes my eyes close.
My mum has always been the person I feel most safe with. She used to sing me a song at night about the bear going over the mountain, using my legs as the mountains and I used to love it. I remember she used to kiss my head before she went to bed every night (until I reached mid-teens and I was staying up later). She still says “good night darling” when I’m staying at home (you know, home-home) which feels nostalgic. The tingles from my mum make me feel safe and loved. #Ilovemymum (clearly!)
Another early memory of ASMR that I remember is with my nana. Her voice was so gentle and absolutely amazing for tingles. The pitch of her voice and the steady speed with the soft yet oh-so clear intonation is one of my most powerful memories of her. Her husband had Parkinson’s disease and the first time I met him nana was in the kitchen making a cup of tea, halfway through feeding him dinner. I must have been about 5 or 6 and I picked up the spoon and bowl and carried on feeding him. I think that’s her favourite memory of me, despite the painful memory of her deteriorating husband. I always thought of her home as a serene place of utter calmness and quiet. It’s difficult to find those sorts of places nowadays with so many distractions all the time. Grandparents have those sorts of homes don’t they? I miss those who have passed every day. They live on in memories though.
In addition to experiencing ASMR from family members, I have a couple of memories from primary school. In Year 2 us girls would all sit in a line in front of each other on the carpet and trace on each other’s backs and hair. I know we did this in other years as well, but I remember it most vividly when I was in Year 2. Having my back lightly traced induced such intense tingles from the back of my head which spread down my arms. The game Chinese Whispers, with a soft breath grazing the ear also produced those tingles. I was never very good at the game; I could never focus on what was being said because of the powerful buzz around my head it would cause.
And there you have it! Some of my earliest memories of experiencing ASMR during my childhood. What are your first memories of ASMR?