Ever experienced a temporal discontinuity?

Okay, I know I’m going to get a lot of trolling with this one, but I figure this is still the best place to ask because Dopers as a whole seem to be paying attention more than others.

Have you ever noticed some small fact or detail of your life, that has suddenly changed, with the implication that it has always been that way; and yet you are certain that you remember it differently?

For example, a friend’s birthday is on a certain day which you know very well, but then one day you find it’s a different day. Or a common item you use frequently is a different color. Or a passage in a book does not say what you remember it saying.

Obviously, much of the time when this happens there is a reasonable explanation. But sometimes not. I’m especially interested in the ones you can’t explain.



Well, I did experience once – lost about a half hour of my life.

I was driving into the supermarket parking lot. The next thing I knew I was sitting at the table eating dinner, feeling a little bit dizzy. I could find things in the cupboard that I had to have bought and even spent time deciding on. But I couldn’t remember anything about the shopping trip.

I had an MRI. I seemed to have suffered a mini-stroke. It hasn’t recurred, but it scared the shit out of me.

Several times. Similar to RealityChuck above but more brief. Mine were diagnosed as an ''idiopathic seizure disorder".

I’ve occasionally woken up from a nap, and been disoriented, thinking that I’d just woken up from a night’s sleep. The fact that the sun was in the western sky in the “morning” caused tremendous cognitive dissonance for a minute or two, until I realized what was going on.

Many years ago I was on scopalomine for dizziness. Every once in a while I’d feel like I had just come back from … somewhere else. They felt like time discontinuities to me, but on a smaller scale, like I was somewhere else for a second or two, but now I’m back. I’m sure this was a drug side effect.


I think that that happens to people a lot. Some call it Driver’s Amnesia.

I’ve experienced what the OP mentioned, but I can’t think of any specifics. I have often misremembered someone’s hair color. I don’t mean the difference between red and auburn, I mean the difference between light blonde and black.

Nope, but my mum recently implicitly accused me of replacing a 2011 calendar with an identical 2010 calendar as a joke, convinced that the calendar was a 2011 calendar.

About two months ago I left work at 4 o’clock. I sat in the car almost exactly on the hour, which I recall because All Things Considered on NPR had just begun. The drive home is 20-30 minutes depending on traffic, was was typical that day. Once at home I went into the bathroom – well, nobody wants detail – and that, too, was unremarkable. But somehow, when I glanced at the clock immediately afterwards, it was 6:30.

I don’t know where the missing hour went. Per policy I blame the people of Wales.

I had a brain fart once that really freaked me out. I was at my sister’s house. She’d just given birth to my nephew - my godson. We were chatting, and I thought it would be funny to pretend to be a misogynist, so I began berating her for not having had a son.

See, even though I was messing about, at that point I was absolutely convinced, for about two minutes, that she’d had a baby daughter. My parents and my sister were looking at me funny, and I then had a really weird feeling of disconnection and dissonance, like I was passing through a barrier back into reality, before coming back to my senses. Nothing like that has ever happened since.

Last Wednesday, I was thoroughly convinced all day that it was surely Thursday.

Ah, yes, this has happened to me many a time, that late afternoon nap where you wake up a 7 p.m., in the summer, and it’s still light outside, but you think it’s 7 a.m., and confusion results for about a minute before you sort things out. Also, waking up thinking you’re in one place, but actually in another (this sort of disorientation only lasts a brief few seconds for me.)

When I was a teen I was home alone at the computer working on a (very bad) novel. After what seemed like about twenty minutes, I looked at the clock and discovered that ten hours had passed.

The only temporal discontinuities I experience are, on very rare occasion upon hearing of the death of a celebrity, to be going “Holy Shit. I SWEAR that guy died five years ago. I remember the news articles about it. I remember that guy dying!

This is interesting. Periods of missing time are quite common in Fortean literature, often following or during a car journey, for some reason. They’re usually associated with:
[li]Encounters with deities, angelic beings, spirits, elves, genii loci etc. Have you experienced any revelations, or any sense of being particularly blessed or enlightened? (Beyond the usual, that is).[/li][li]Alien abduction. Did you feel any sensation of having recently been probed?[/li][li]Time slips, timequakes or other temporal anomalies. Never mind the time: did you check the date?[/li][li]Dimensional slippage. Appearance/disappearance of a goatee would be the classic giveaway – swastikas are also a good thing to keep a look out for.[/li][li]Mind control. Have you felt an urge to assassinate any prominent public figures (again, beyond the usual)?[/li][li]Ball lightning. Do you recall any bright lights, tingling in the extremities, or the smell of burning?[/li][/ul]

I don’t recall the Welsh being implicated in other cases, but this may be an indication of their skill at misdirection. They are subtle people.

I am somewhat unstuck in time.

I will post about it two days ago.

My friend Matthew and I were driving down 15/W Cross Parkway from Hartford to Orange about 10 years ago. On that route is a tunnel. We both swear that we did not go through the tunnel. It is the landmark for the exit where a bank I used to have an account with is at, and we were going to stop at that bank and deposit a check on our way to Orange. We drove from Meriden all the way to Orange without going through the tunnel, and the time it took was around 10 minutes less than the trip normally took us.

We joke with each other than at some point in the future when we are running late for something, the tunnel will appear and make us 10 minutes late getting somewhere.

No idea, but we were actively looking for the tunnel, and honestly we did not remember going through the tunnel, and we were ahead of schedule by 10 minutes. No freaking clue what happened.:confused::frowning:

There will be one in Samoa next December.


Yes, that has happened to me several times, including Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury (who is still alive).

But even more inexplicable is this:

One morning, about 15 years ago, I awoke to find that some of the peripheral vision in one eye was being distorted. I was able to see my ophthalmologist that day. He examined my eye and told me I have diabetic retinopathy. I told him that, as far as I knew, I wasn’t diabetic. He told me that I should see my primary physician right away. The primary physician confirmed that I was indeed diabetic, and said that it was a good thing the problem with my eye caused me to be diagnosed, so that I could get treatment.

I have definitely been diabetic ever since.

Last year I was told about a study for people who have diabetic retinopathy. I volunteered for the study, and they gave me quite a few high-tech tests. Then they told me that I didn’t qualify for the study, since my retinopathy had nothing to do with my diabetes. I pointed out to them that it was the retinopathy itself that had led to my diagnosis, and they insisted my retinopathy was not diabetes-related.

I contacted my former ophthalmologist, who looked back into his records and told me that I’d had an “event,” unrelated to diabetes. In fact he said that my records didn’t even mention that I was diabetic.

No, unless you include a disagreement I had with my mother which lasted for years. She swears I wore a particular dress to my grandmother’s funeral but I remember wearing a different one - blue, because that was Nana’s favourite colour.

One (or possibly even both) of us was mis-remembering, I think.