The Ghost Beneath Me: A Memoir Of Two Lives

At what point of life does one start writing their memoir?

Eve & Family 2017

Meaning, I think, which space and time is the best point to start it off at? The most logical point for most probably is one the day they arrived on this big blue planet. For me, it’s not that simple. Not that easy. But then of course, with me, it never is. I have two beginnings, not just one. I didn’t ask for two, but I most definitely experienced them.

Obviously there is the usual stuff like the day I was born , then my childhood, my early adult years with getting married and having a family. Also, there was my career in online development, content creation and news media sites.

That era, I must admit, was one I loved. Launching news websites back in 1996, back before the general public realized WWW wasn’t just for World Wide Wrestling , hell yeah, that was a blast. That was until the reality that the “Golden Years” for newspapers was over, felt deeply with revenue drops, and then the layoffs started.

Eve in the late 80s

During the first round of “de-hire” sweeps in early 2009, I was a patient in the hospital antepartum wing and fighting for my life while trying to maintain pregnancy for as long as possible, and give my daughter a better chance to survive and thrive. I’d been so ill with what my OB/GYN doc labeled as pre-eclampsia, but he’d never seen it start at 15 weeks . There was no question my daughter was going to be born early. It was a fight to keep me alive and give her another day in utero and a better chance of survival once she was born.

No doubt about it … that experience was hellacious with nightly episodes of blood pressure so high it nurses couldn’t read it on the monitors and out would come the team of professionals. The nurses, the aides and others that worked there with some important job or other, would line each edge exposed edge of my bed.

Eve 2007

Blankets of blue would be wrapped and taped around the side bars in case I had a seizure. I remember giggling and not able to answer the aide what was making me laugh … I wasn’t able to speak. I laughed at the thought the thin wrappers would help protect my head if I had a notion to seizure. All humor vanished with a bolster of magnesium burned up my arm and then down my skin.

And this went on every night. Every night. Every night with sand paper scrapes on my chest and sticky tabs attached, then wires and the beeps. Nurse on the cellphone getting doctors orders. Fear took energy, and of that I had none. So instead of seeing the worry in the suppressed expressions of the staff, I watched Detective Goren and Detective Eames seek to solve another crime on the small tv anchored high on the wall opposite the bed.

Big brother holding his little sister. 2009

Typically the scare had been remedied, or at least stabilized, by the time the series “Charmed” finished it’s late-night marathon, and I could look out the window in anticipation of seeing the sun. When the night dark began to yellow again is when I counted my win: I’d lived to see another day. My daughter was one day stronger than before. It went on like that until my pregnancy was 34 weeks, and then I could do it no more. My baby was born by cesarean section weighed in at three pounds four ounces. Today, she’s nearing her 11th birthday healthy and strong. I am not.

I’m told I never really recovered after the pregnancy. I never did get back to how I’d been. Not really. To this I have to accept another’s understanding because I don’t remember. Nowadays, there’s lots of things I don’t remember … until I remember them, and then poof, they’re gone. Amnesia is weird that way.

Eve and daughter 2009

Weirder is life with other people knowing more about me than I do, because I forgot and then forgot again.

There was an 18-month grace period between the birth of my daughter and my downfall into oblivion. I know I worked at a Children’s Hospital in the marketing department at the end of my career. Sometimes I remember being there. Right as I type this, I don’t remember much other than I feel like I was happy to work there.

On December 16, 2010 I know I left work early because I did not feel well, and hadn’t felt right since that morning. My notes to self from that time say I felt a pop in my head, and a sensation like blood had rushed down my neck before I left for work that morning. Only when I felt for the blood, there was only dry skin and hair. It scared me but I had no explanation for it. So I grabbed my homemade holiday cupcakes for the office holiday lunch and left. I didn’t make it through the party and had to leave because I felt such pressure and weirdness in my head and body. Something just wasn’t right.

Eve 2009

After leaving work, I never made it all the way home. I had been so unwell I stopped at my mom Pam’s house and I’m told that is when the seizures, tics, tremors, amnesia, and my loss of ability to walk, talk and otherwise triggered, and life as I knew it was over. The final diagnosis was Functional Neurological Disorder (once known as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, or pseudo seizures) and PTSD.

I’m told I was mostly bedridden for two years after that. I’m told that I lost my hair in a massive drop, and when I did speak, I was not understood. My words had no logic. Whatever it was I was trying to communicate, couldn’t be understood for a long time after the trigger. It is still problmatic today when my brain is overtired.

Eve and daughter | 2012 maybe?

That summary you just read is my life, but version Life 1.0, the Years of Jyna (sounds like Genna). Today, I am Eve and this is Life 2.0. Both of those names are short for my birth name, Genevieve.

Many in my family and some other loved ones say I have a different personality now. That I’m so different now and they struggle with it. That it’s so hard to them this change. It’s like the daughter, sister, loved one they knew died.

To them I say: That is true. The person you knew died. I know, I watched her go, and mourned my loss. For so long, my body was a coffin and why the hell I was left, and Death refused to visit again and take me too. So what is left? Me. Just me. I’m the one that survived. I’m the one that lived. Jyna is gone and will never return.

Jared and Eve at the zoo. 1993 – and at Jared’s wedding 2017

I am Eve, stop seeking the ghost beneath me. I’m the only one that lives. Accept me or leave me be.

Now that’s said, this blog is a memoir written by both of us. The first me. This now me. How is that possible? Well, I’ve discovered that my former self was an prolific writer, mostly communicated via email correspondence, blogged and has social media archives going back as 2005 and before. So that’s how.

I’m not sure how that’s exactly going to work out yet — but will figure it out as I go.

Autistically,

Eve Reiland


Bill and Eve Get Married | October 14, 2017

Published by Eve Reiland

Contact | internationalbadassactivists@gmail.com Note: My cognitive abilities fluctuate and so does my ability to read and process written or verbal information. Currently, reading new information past a paragraph or two, short ones, is impossible without support. Please keep emails short as possible. Currently, I’m overwhelmed with a few health challenges and have been incapable of processing emails for a couple of months now. Please bear with me. I do the best I can with the abilities I have at the moment.

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