Imagine waking up and forgetting 20 years of your life:
In July 2020, then 36-year-old Texan Daniel Porter woke up and freaked out when he woke up next to a woman, then looked in the mirror and saw an "old and fat" man staring at him in the mirror.
Turns out, he had literally forgotten the past two decades of his life, including his marriage and his daughter, and thought he was still in high school.
"He woke up one morning and just had no idea who I was or where he was. He was very confused. I could tell he didn't recognize the room," said his wife, Ruth. "He thought he was either drunk and gone home with a woman or that he'd been kidnapped. I could see him looking for an escape route. I worked out he thought it was the 90s because he remembered a WWE program, so I researched when that was aired.
"I helped him get dressed and he thought I was putting him in my husband's clothes and my husband was going to come home any minute.
Fortunately, Daniel's family was living with his parents, who helped calm him the heck down.
"Luckily, we were on his parent's farm so they could confirm that I was his wife and he believed them but he had no idea that he had a daughter and he was scared of our dogs.
Living with his parents, however, was part of the problem that doctors believe caused the memory loss.
In 2019, Daniel had lost his job and the family had been forced to sell their home and move to Missouri for a job opportunity that went bust. Daniel also suffered a slipped disc in his back, and the family ended up moving back in with his parents to recover.
Starting in January 2020, Daniel began having seizures related to stress. Doctors believe his amnesia was part of his body's trauma response, repressing the memories to deal with the pressure.
Daniel had to leave his job as a hearing specialist since he doesn't remember any of his work experience or education. Ruth has been working on helping him remember old friends and places, but he still hasn't recovered many memories.
Daniel seems to be doing well, however, posting this update of a media interview recently:
And the guy hasn't lost his sense of humor:
Finding out Mr. Feeney from '90s hit Boy Meets World is 94 was pretty traumatic tho:
This might be one of the one cases where I'm glad Facebook exists. It might not replace the memories, but it'd be helpful to have a catalog of all my old thoughts, friends, and photos to piece things back together.
Of course, you can do the same thing with the even better Not The Bee. 😀