Today is my new birthday. That's right, I celebrate today as the day of my new beginning. Today is the anniversary of the day I was officially "found". I had already been in the hospital a couple of days when I was identified, but today is the official day to celebrate!! Of course, for me it didn't happen until 5/5. That was when I "met" my parents, and my road to recovery really began.
I remember tomorrow, 1 year ago, pacing the hospital room. I was feeling terrified and trapped. I remembered my first name, but that was all. Even thinking hard enough to get that information gave me a huge headache. I had drawn a picture of a room the night before. It was a room that was familiar and strange at the same time. I had been watching a movie on t.v. when it had flashed into my mind. Not wanting to lose something that might be important, I had grabbed the paper a nurse had given me and started drawing. It was a crude rendering of what I now know to be my best friend's parent's living room. We had spent so much of our lives in that room watching movies, one of which was the movie I had watched the night before (Practical Magic).
I was overwhelmed by the thought of life without me. Life without who I really was. I had been warned that if no one came to claim/identify me, I would be sent to a halfway house to live, but I wasn't sure I knew enough about taking care of myself for that to be okay. Because of that, I spent the entire day jotting down notes of things that popped into my head. Names without faces. Faces without name. Places, like pictures in my head rather than the "movie" of actual memory, that were vaguely remembered. Not knowing if any of these things were real memories or just things my mind was making up to satisfy my deep and desperate urge to know something about myself.
I kept going back and forth between the drawing from the night before and the mirror. I knew the person in the mirror was real, if only I could remember who she was. I was fairly sure the place in the drawing was real, too. It felt real in a way nothing else had up to this point. Even the "green house on a lake" wasn't the same. Probably because I couldn't see the picture clearly. It was there, but so out of focus that it made my head ache to try to look at it. Just like the names and faces floating through my mind with no connection, no anchor. It was all like trying to focus your eyes on picture that was fuzzy and dim. It hurts that space behind your eyes.
After hours of this, I had a name. I was exhausted, but felt extremely triumphant. When Dr. Lucy came into my room that night, I would have something concrete for her to go on. A name to help the police look for where I belonged. Little did I know that, when she came into my room that night, she would have news for me. News that the name I remembered was both right and wrong at the same time. News that the people who had raised me were there. She wanted to protect me. She refused to push me, but I agreed to see them, begging for my RN to be in the room with me. She and Dr. Lucy were my rocks at that time. I knew I would need them there to help me through this.
As I've said in the past. I didn't know my parents. They weren't one of the faces floating around in my head. Or rather, they were, but not as I was seeing them in my mind's eye.
This was the beginning. Now things have gotten so much better that I feel comfortable going on a vacation with a group of friends. That's where I'll be for the next week. For my part, I will be celebrating my return, and my becoming a better person. For me, this has all been worth it, to become the woman God wants me to become.