I almost died before I was even born. Somehow I managed to wrap the umbilical cord around my neck and the midwifes had to pull me out with a vacuum extractor as it was too late for a cesarean section. My head was blue and heavily deformed, they put me into a heated thermal bed with additional oxygen supply and my mom was not allowed to touch me for several hours.
Of course I don't remember any of this consciously.
But it surely had and still has an enormous impact on my life. My mother told me how after the period of isolation I demanded her affection with an unusual assertiveness. I was screaming and not giving in to being left alone. There is no doubt that the beginning of my life on earth shaped my destiny and changed it forever.
If you have ever heard of implicit and prenatal memory, you probably know that everything that happens to us is stored in our brains. Whether we can recall it is just a matter of access to certain capacities.
These days I've been thinking a lot about who we are apart from entities of consciousness. We have all gone through a period of non-being to this effect, yet existing and being influenced by the events. And it still happens every night when we're asleep.
One question arises: Who am I?
Or is personal identity rather an illusion?