i woke up this morning having no clue about…anything. really. i didn’t know what day it was (not terribly atypical), what month or year it was, where i was (i have been living in this house since july…get it together, jenn), or even what in the hell i was doing/what i was waking up for. i looked around for a good thirty seconds to find the door and shuffled my way there, hoping i would know which way to turn when i got outside of it.
the only thing i kept muttering to myself was “my name is jenn. my mom’s dead.”
flashback twelve years: i started having “gap” seizures my junior year of high school. i would phase out, be completely disoriented while i was seizing (i use that term lightly – there were never any tremors involved, just cognitive blackout), and then when it was over and i phased back in, i would have to re-figure where i was, what had happened, who i was with, etc.
my friends and family learned that, since i was still physically completely functional and “normal”-looking when i seized, a big warning sign that i was under was me turning to them, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, and saying, ‘what day is it?’
as i phased back in, to ground myself i would always work from the background forward. i would start with the year: ‘it’s 2001..’ then the month, the day, where i was…eventually my fog would clear and i would be just as i had been before the seizure, only just having lost a few minutes of my day.
that was exactly how i felt this morning. only as i tried to ground myself, figure out where i was and how i got there, i grabbed on to the two things most salient in my life: my name, and the fact that my mom is gone. it took an unusually long time to fully understand where i was, what day it was, what i had planned to do this morning, etc…i think it’s just the stress of the semester causing brain fritzs. but it’s interesting – when in a pinch, the things we grab on to to “define” ourselves.
“my name is jenn. my mom’s dead.” where do i go from there?