This might take a while, and I may indeed have to break this into multiple posts to prevent essentially writing a small book, but I have to try to unpack this, so here goes. This will NOT be linear, as I lost most concept of time for at least a week or so, and for a few days there I truly was “out of time” in a place where time had no meaning, and could either stop on a dime, or move at light speed in the space of what seemed to be a few minutes, whatever a “minute” meant where I was.
I did not so much experience what appeared outwardly from a psychiatric perspective as a mania-induced psychotic break, although that is “technically” what it was, as I experienced an almost literal rebirth of just about everything, my body included.
Indeed, the other day as I was thinking about my experience, I was suddenly flooded with several memories of actually manifesting as various stages of embyronic and then fetal development, followed by birth and then a few stages of infanthood. I know that sounds absolutely nuts, but it’s what happened.
Again, this is not linear, so don’t try to make any kind of chronological sense out of this. But at one point in the counterclockwise spiraling of my mind that led me to the various “doors” of experience I was being shown, it was clear that I was going to re-experience conception, development, birth, and babyhood whether I wanted to or not, and one of the various manifestations of the Voices that guided me through these processes really did NOT want to go there. “OH nonono, fuck no, we’re not doing this again,” it said, but it had no choice. BOOM! I was a pile of cells sitting in a womb, steadily undergoing mitosis and growth. Of course I was not “conscious”, because I was merely a pile of cells, but the Voice guiding “me” through this experience was able to kind of narrate what was happening, so there was definitely a sense of “ah, I’m a bunch of cells now, this is…interesting”.
I didn’t stay there long, to my memory, before my mind began spinning again to take me to another stage of development, this time a much more developed organism containing a rudimentary consciousness that wasn’t capable of much more than realizing that it existed. This was a quiet, warm, soft, safe place reminiscent of the half-awake/half-asleep state of consciousness we sometimes achieve when falling asleep or waking up. You’re not awake but you’re not asleep, you’re just kind of comfortable in your bed, existing.
I was here long enough to register where I was before my mind whisked me away again, this time to actual birth, where that one internal Voice again was like “nononono, we’re not doing this”. There was a lot of pushing and squeezing, and a tunnel, and light, and BOOM, there I was, a newborn baby with a bit more of that rudimentary consciousness, enough to recognize that things were WAY different now. However I was reborn or whoever I was reborn as (personally I think the mental TARDIS I constructed in my brain took me back to my own birth), it wasn’t an unpleasant experience, and there are vague memories of sensations of being soothed and swaddled back into the warm, tight little bundle I had been used to existing as.
Then the world spun again for a while, and suddenly I was still a baby, but an older one capable of some movement, and whose eyes and ears were beginning to work more fully and with more recognition of the environment. There was some fear here, as this was the mental state of a baby finally making the connection that they were now separate from the place they had been for nine months and really realizing they were an individual. That’s a bit of a shock, but whatever fear I expressed in that place in time and space was immediately attended to by a comforting presence I recognized but still had no name for. Of course you know who it is: it’s Mom, and she says comforting things like “shhh, it’s okay, I’m here now, you’re safe, everything’s fine”.
In this way I was able to be re-presented with the mother figure I knew existed but had been long forgotten and buried beneath acres of baggage and abuse. I have pictures of her from before her, and therefore my, life went to absolute shit in 1974, and it was this long-forgotten, smiling, loving, hopeful mother that I was reintroduced to. Because of this I have been able to largely lay to rest the Not-Mother Mother I had to deal with for the rest of my life following my father’s death in 1974, because I know that wasn’t my Real Mother. Whether because of inherent personality flaws or a traumatic upbringing or what I suspect was a toxic combination of the two amplified by terrible external circumstances, the person I grew up with was a person struggling to exert their individuality in a time and under circumstances that made that literally impossible for many reasons that I may or may not bother to unpack one day, because it would take a long time and I’m not sure I want to go digging through those shitpiles again. I would catch glimpses of my Real Mom from time to time as I grew up, but those times were always fleeting and for the most part served as cruel reminders of what I should have had, but didn’t.
My brain swirled a few more times to take me to other phases of baby-and-toddlerhood that represented the couple of happy years before my father’s drinking escalated and my mother became pregnant with my brother, each stop along the timestream meant to represent and reinforce the knowledge that yes, for at least a brief period of time, I was properly loved and taken care of by my parents.
It was in this mental space of reinforced loving and positive memories that my brain spat me back out into reality at some point later to continue coming back down to Earth, which took a few days and at least one frightening night, if not two, of panic attacks as I tried to sleep only to have my mind wander away and then SNAP back into my body, jerking me awake in terrible fear that could only be soothed by subconsciously reaching out and touching or grabbing my husband. I say subconsciously because the rest of me was so frightened it really had no idea where I was, or when I was, or at least once, IF I was, but the Goddess never left me and was able to whisper “just reach out, someone’s there” and cut through the fear enough for me to do that.
So yeah, born-again Christians, I see your “rebirth” and raise you the actual experience of Doctor Who’s “big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey”. If you can get what I got just out of being dunked in water or having some poured over your head, more power to you, but yeah, I look at something like baptism and laugh now even more than Ulysses Everett McGill in “O Brother Where Art Thou”.
“Baptism! You two are just dumber ‘n a bag of hammers.”
So yes, I was “reborn” in many ways during my experience, and what I’ve just detailed is just one of at least two or more “rebirths”, or in Doctor Who terms, “regenerations”, that I went through over those few days. I’ve already written down what I recall as the nitty gritty details of my breakdown in The Journey of “metoo” to Healing and Empowerment , which is actually pretty long and I feel needs rewriting and reframing as well as retitling, but if you want to, you can go read it and about how I manifested as The Doctor who got stuck in a burning ball of eternal “regeneration” for a few minutes until I “fell” and screamed out the name of My Favorite Doctor, who in my mind actually did reach through time and space to “catch” me (it was just my husband, of course, but remember, I was OUT THERE at the time).
I think I will indeed leave this as it stands and come back to address the other ways in which I was “reborn” during those fuzzy days that my brain left orbit to go exploring the Universe and all of time and space with my own personal mental TARDIS (it’s on Wikipedia, look it up if you need to).