they say every time you remember something, you change it, chemically.  in forcing your mind to think back on that time, you are invariably re-creating it in your mind, and therefore contaminating the past with where you currently are in life.  i used to hate that idea, but the more i think about it, the more i really love it.  because there is no such thing as being stagnant... memory is fleeting, in order to grow you must change, and even the ground upon which we stand on (the one thing we always seem so certain of) is constantly revolving around a moving axis. what happens to us in our most formative years really does affect who we become as adults, but how we look back on those moments says a lot about who we are this day.  memory has a way of sinking in and really defining who you are.  we often look back on the past - even the most traumatic moments - pick out the good bits, and carry those with us.  because in the end, that's what defines us - what we take with us.