Lerina Garcia: Did She Wake Up In Another Universe?

“I think I jumped into a parallel universe…”

Lerina Garcia posted her comment on July 16, 2008, in response to an article about the possibility of multiple universes.

She said she was 41 years old, and had experienced something so bizarre, so inexplicable, that she worried others would think she was suffering from a psychotic break. And yet her story was so compelling, it became something of an urban legend.

Her claim was this: She had gone to sleep one night, and woke up the next day to find that the world around her had changed in the strangest, and subtlest, ways.

The first change was a very simple one. The sheets on her bed were different. This confused her, of course, but she didn’t give it much thought. Not in the beginning. It was another change, when she arrived at work later that day, that caused her to truly question her reality.

“Everything was different…”

The following quotes come from a roughly translated version of her original comment, which you can find (in Spanish) at Tendencias21. There’s also an archive available here for posterity (because these things sometimes disappear).

“…when I got to my office, it was not my office. It had names on the door, and mine was not. I thought I had the wrong floor, but no, it was mine. I got off at the wireless area of my office and I looked, still working here but it was in another department reporting to a director I didn’t know.”

Garcia told them she was sick and headed out, determined to understand why this was happening. She did what anyone would likely do in her situation: She visited a doctor, and later a psychiatrist. They did tests, but found nothing. She was clean, apparently, and everything was fine.

The psychiatrist suggested that, perhaps, she was suffering from stress and had hallucinated these inconsistencies. But no, she thought. The changes were too bizarre. Too real. It was the world – the world was the problem.

And it was only getting worse.

While the small things, like her ID and her house and even yesterday’s top news headlines, were the same, other personal details were not. For example, she remembered her sister having had surgery on her arm, but the rest of her family, including her sister, remembered no such thing.

Most shocking of all to Garcia was that she found herself still with her ex-boyfriend, who she remembered leaving many months before. Her new boyfriend was gone altogether.

“I left and started a relationship with a guy in my neighborhood. I know it perfectly. I’ve been with him four months and know his name, address, where he works…where he studied. Well that guy does not exist now. It seems that [he] existed before my ‘jump’ but now, no trace.”

She even went so far as to hire a detective, but he turned up nothing. Her new boyfriend never existed, not in this universe. And her ex, well, it was “as if nothing had happened.”

“I’ve done things I’m not aware of…”

Lerina Garcia ended her post with a simple plea for help. Had anyone else experienced anything similar? she wondered. She said it was as though she had simply dreamed the previous five months, “with the proviso that everyone remembers me at that time, and I’ve done things I’m not aware of having done.”

She searched the Internet for similar stories, and noticed other important events from the “missing” months that she didn’t remember. But mostly, she wrote, “the rest of the world seems to be the same.”

I’m not sure whatever happened to her. Perhaps she got on with her life. Perhaps dimension-hopping is just something you have to get used to.

* * *

Over the past year or so, many people have shared their experiences with “changed” memories in my post about the Berenst#in Bears Problem, and later the Mandela Effect. But there are other stories, like Lerina Garcia’s, that take things further in a remarkable way.

Is it possible to suddenly find yourself in a universe that is not your own? With things that are mostly the same, but not quite right? Could this, instead, be a case of alter-vu, in which Lerina Garcia experienced memories from another version of herself in another universe? Or have people like her become strange travelers who have somehow journeyed between parallel universes, with seemingly no way back?

The world – the universe – is a strange place. What do you believe?

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