I came home from a date with a friend. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home (even though it was 2:30 in the morning). Our parking area is well lit. I lived in a resort town near the ocean, and it was March with not many people around. As I drove in, I thought I saw someone who was friends with the neighbor upstairs sitting on the stairs at the edge of the parking area, not quite in the shadows. I parked my car, partly opened the door, and turned to get the groceries. There was another car next to me, and this person walked in the space between the cars and kind of boxed me in. I thought it was our friend from upstairs goofing around. I started to laugh and asked him, 'What the hell are you doing you big jerk, ha ha, etc.' Then he pulled out a sizable steak knife and put it firmly on my throat. One thing I realized was that this guy knew what he was doing and had done this before. I immediately went into 'control' mode. Through my life, I had done things that required me to keep a cool head and embrace the moment to get through it. Like surfing and skiing, etc. I was an Eagle Scout at 17, and I had to go through first aid and emergency training. I did not panic and remained calm.
I don't think I imagined this, but it seemed like he was surprised that I wasn't crying, sobbing, or whatever. I just let him do the talking. I gave him my wallet, and he was mad because I only had 2 dollars in my wallet. For some reason I started to sass him back, about how people in the off-season in a resort area just don't have money. But I knew better than to get him riled up. Up until now, the process was typically the way you would 'expect it to go.' Meaning, on TV, the bad guy asks for the wallet, he takes it and he goes. So here, we were now in a deadlock of sorts. We were just there, him with the knife to my throat, and me just sitting there. NOW is where I had time to stop and think. I sat there looking at the small piece of litter in the bush right in front of my car. Then I felt the knife on my throat. I began to feel a warm feeling of resignation and instead of being afraid, I just felt so very sad for my parents, because the thought occurred to me that they were going to have to tell people their entire lives that their son had been murdered.
At the same time, I felt what I guess I would call my soul start to shrink. It became kind of the size of a 12-inch GI Joe doll, and the eyes of my soul were matched up with the eyes of my body. I was still looking out. In the questionnaire here, you asked if I sensed a boundary or a point of no return. Well, the point was where the knife was touching my throat. If the guy decided to cut, my GI Joe sized soul was just going to jump out the hole. Does that make sense? Sounds crazy now, doesn't it. It was like I wanted to just get away from there so bad that getting away from the horror of the murder was the last, um, choice. The last free choice I would make. He started talking again, and I reconstituted myself. He was asking me if I had anything else. I said I had a checkbook in the back. Then he saw I had an ATM card and he started suggesting we go to the ATM.
At the same time we were talking, I started thinking of what I would do once we got out of the parking lot. Needless to say, my mind was racing and I had a truly heightened awareness at this time. I remembered seeing some talk show years ago, Phil Donahue or someone, where they had police on one day. The topic was abductions and they said that you don't ever want to have the bad guy take you to the second crime scene. Try to end it at crime Scene 'A', and not end up at Crime Scene 'B'. So I thought, well, I have my seatbelt on, and he is probably not going to put his on. I was still in really good shape and an excellent swimmer. I was used to dealing with hairy situations in the ocean from surfing.
I made a plan knowing if I didn't do something, he would stab me outright, or take me somewhere to try to kill me. My plan was to drive to the end of town, hit the gas and drive the car straight into the inlet. Now let me tell you all a realization that comes to a person who is in a situation like that. You want one thing. You want it to end. You want him to go away. You want it to be like it was before you met him; you and you alone. If in an instant a gun popped into my hand, I would have gladly used it and sang 'Alleluia!' the entire time I was emptying the entire gun into this guy. Your world is black and white. Plain and simple. But it's not like anger, where you get so mad you want to, you know, 'get your boss', or when you're yelling at people on the freeway or something. You want to get back to your happy life (which never happened for me, but more on that later.)
The moment had come for us to go to an ATM. He said he was going to drive, and I would like to say I came up with another plan, but I felt like someone who 'knew better' was right behind me. It was as if there was talk in my head from this person behind me that was not about driving the car into the bay, but to 'just relax and wait for it' or something like that. As I unbuckled, I didn't just slide over into the passenger seat. It was like I was lifted somewhat. I sat really close to the passenger door. The voice or whatever made me look at the door handle, and it was almost like a dad telling a kid, 'hey, wake up! Get the door latch!' Almost like a cartoon character sneaking out, I quickly reached up, pulled the handle and dove out. He grabbed my nice leather coat and said, 'Come back here bitch!' which made me pull even more and rip the zipper. I got out and ran. He tried to get out and was lying half out of the car with a grey pantyhose on his head. At this moment, I could have gone over and kicked his brains in, but I didn't (which I am glad for), but I just ran to the 7-11 and told them someone tried to kill me. They called the police who were there really quick. When I walked back, I took a look at the scene and I promptly threw up.
They tracked the guy down, but for some stupid reason, they let him out after a few months. He went on to rape a girl who was working late at a fast food place, and he did an armed robbery of a bank, and that is what finally got him. I learned about this 2 years after my encounter. In reliving it, and having (for lack of a better term) flashbacks, where I just get wound up and see it all over again, I get so angry at him for making me have to think about wanting to kill him to save myself. No one should have to live through that. That is kind of like the knowledge the devil promised Adam and Eve in the garden I guess (if you only take that story in a proverbial way). But I can sometimes feel so guilty and bad thinking that if I had killed him in my overwrought state, I would have prevented a girl from being raped. But then I think there are probably a lot more problems having someone's blood on your hands. I go through life thinking how I am so different and not like everyone else. It's rarely on the surface, but always there.
But I guess you want to know about the near death thing; that moment preparing to dive through the hole in my neck. I was accepting of it. I knew that there is very little you can do without advanced life support on the scene immediately if your throat is slashed.
Date NDE Occurred: 3/6/1998
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack Life threatening event, but not clinical death
Carjacker had a knife to my throat.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I was bargaining for my life; let that guy be in charge. And I had no soul in my arms or legs. Like I said, I was like the size of a GI Joe inside my body.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? From the time my soul shrunk down until I ran to the mini market.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything was crisp and clear. I saw everything in the car, and if I was a good artist, I could draw you his hand and the knife exactly how it was.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was not a factor.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain Well, there was a really nice priest form the local parish. He had left a few months previously because he was ill. Even though I don't go to confession often, he was the one I ended up going to. He gave really good advice and really cared. When I learned that weekend, he had died that very night, well, I just have to wonder, right?
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Utter fear. Not startling fear. Just total sadness and somber fear.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The knife point on my throat.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No Well, the way you define it is no. But see narrative above to see how I explain point of no return.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic Despite what people may believe about Catholics, I guess my family and especially my mom are pretty open minded if not accepting of "paranormal" things, despite what you might read about what is the official understanding. And my mom is an adult religious education teacher. We consider our family traditional, if not conservative Catholics. I have had many paranormal experiences in my life, and was not made to feel ashamed of them. This is the only "near death" encounter, though.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic Comment box above best describes.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin See narrative above.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes This somehow was a lesson to me. I had to change, literally. Not me changing myself, but to be put through this to star a change. I think to make me grow up? Maybe?
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes That someone helped me get out, and that is enough for me.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I just basically knew when I died, I would just step out of my body and move on. I guess if the guy was going beserk, I might have seen more "afterlife" things.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes The whole thing was a challenge and speaks for itself.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Moderate changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I got married 5 years after the fact. I have a hard time getting close to my wife, and she is one of the people who doesn't understand because she also is a person who has a hard time dealing with ANY tough topics.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Just kind of wrenching as I have to tell those other details as well.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being sad for my parents and not me. The whole thing was a challenge and speaks for itself.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Shared it immediately. Some people understand. Some find it awkward and can't be bothered. I TOTALLY know how war vets feel in that regard.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes The usual light in the tunnel things you read.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Kind of an ambiguous question to a hard and fast experience.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I just basically knew when I died I would just step out of my body and move on. I guess if the guy was going berserk, I might have seen more 'afterlife' things. This somehow was a lesson to me. I had to change literally. Not me changing myself, but to be put through this to start a change. I think to make me grow up maybe.