Sigmund Freud wrote in 1914 about screen memories, a phenomenon by which an early childhood memory could be acting as a mask for another kind of memory1. The concept is that you might have a memory that is traumatic or humiliating, and the mind represses it, and another, more innocuous memory comes to stand in its place. Often, these are the memories we call our “first memories”, and they are mundane but incredibly specific. They are visual, and we see ourselves in the memory, though we wouldn’t have at the time. They are a function of forgetting rather than of remembering - they allow us to forget what is too painful to think about, and transpose its intensity onto something else, something which we can bear to remember, but which we can’t quite find a reason for remembering so intensely as we do. Freud draws a link between this and the fact that we are always forgetting names, which we would think should be important to retain, but perhaps are too important to remember. Screen memories operate in a similar way to dreams, full of trivial details, combined in nonsensical ways, as a way for our minds to work through feelings and events. The only difference is that we truly believe them to be real.
1. Freud, Sigmund, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, trans. By A. A. Bibitt (New York: Dover, 2003)

I understand that modern psychology largely rejects the teachings of Freud, and I am sceptical of the truth of his ideas in a literal sense. Ironically, as he is such an influential thinker for 20th century culture, his ideas have enduring importance regardless of the soundness of their scientific basis.