First, some background on my brain.
I don't know when it started happening, but at some point in my life I started lusting after knowledge.
While not incapable, I'm notably less capable than others at retaining and recalling "stuff". My memory, however, my memory very "deep" and I can draw subtle connections between disparate topics. Though I have disadvantages, making me a terrible student, on the upside I can absorb vast amounts of knowledge and re-specialize easily.
Imagine being passionate about a hobby. Having spent much time, one would gain strong expertise. I do a baby version of that, where I go from interest to sub-expertise with no real learning curve between. I thereafter hit a wall which makes me incapable of expertise at most things, but that's for another time.
Keeping the above in mind, consider that, when interested, I have some sort of strong empathy with knowledge.
So the story goes..
I randomly picked up a used textbook on bioethics. I was pretty young and had strong interest and experience in "coffee shop philosophy", so perhaps I already had a foundational interest in this topic, too.
I was a good way through this book, and found myself understanding a significant part of it. I remember reading through a very thorough description of late-stage abortion surgery when I blacked out. This was while seated on a mostly-packed subway train.
I have a problem with that unconsciousness thing that others are so fond of, and I snapped-to with mostly-complete faculties barely a moment after the book hit the floor. My head felt cold, I felt clammy and my vision was a little bleached. A woman asked if I was ok, to which I bent down and picked up the book before nodding my head to indicate alertness. I was lying; nodding was all I could actually do. Oh being a male and unwilling to show vulnerability.
To be clear. I am evil. I don't act to such ends, but I don't lie to myself about things I'm aware of and tacitly accept or at least don't outright rebel against.
I have no problems with the ethical nuances in abortion. I don't, frankly, give a damn about what other people to do themselves. I consider a foetus to be just a foetus, and furthermore for it to actually be a part of the mother and not a distinct being. If she wants to cut out a part of herself, I don't actually care.
I also, philosophically, extend that right out into born people. Even back then, I held the primordial notion that an adult's well-being will always be more important than a youth's. It would take me some years to take a stronger position, using the notion that the potentiality of the young should not become more important than the investments of the old. Adults should be respected for their strong contributions to society. Abandoning them because we think babies are cute isn't right.
Of course, that's all armchair bullshit that I hope to never test.
At any rate, my burgeoning opinions meant nothing. I had no problem with the descriptions I was reading, but it was some sort of empathic mental re-creation with the book's description that shut me off. While reading, I was the tools the operation and the people all at once.
Even now as I write this, I feel a little of that experience; cold and clammy.