I should probably share a bit about my life prior to the NDE, so you can understand the full impact of what happened to me.
I am 26 years old. I had my NDE when I was 22, in April of 1998. It was due to my suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When I was little, I was severely abused by my father and grandfather; I was also a victim of child pornography and prostitution. I had been involved in alcohol and drugs and had an eating disorder for many years. At the time of my "death" I was trying to get my life in order. I had stopped drugs and my eating disorder at age 19, but with little success in feeling any better. I just switched addictions to compulsively smoking. My past was still too painful to face. Without facing the past, I could not successfully live in the present. I believe it was these forces that emotionally and physically ripped me in two.
One of the problems that came along with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was an inability to fall asleep. I was an insomniac. I was terrified of sleeping, since nighttime and sleep had long been equated with abuse. I started to get less and less sleep. Going from 5 hours, to 4 hours, to 3, to 2, and down to 1 hour if I was lucky. At the very end, I wasn't sleeping at all. I simply let myself deteriorate. I had lost my will to live, and I was starving myself as well as not drinking enough fluids. After 7 nights of not sleeping at all, I wound up in the hospital, and was severely ill. The doctors told my mother that they didn't know if I would make it or not. (She did not tell me this until years later).
All I remember was that I was in the hospital room. All of a sudden, this bright yellowish-white, almost golden light surrounded me. It was brighter off into the distance, and I was seeing this light as though it were superimposed over the landscape out the window. Then, I was somehow pulled towards this light. It was the most indescribable feeling of peace and love I had ever experienced. It was pure ecstasy. My heart was alive! It felt as though I had streams of cool, endlessly flowing water running through it and it was the most exhilarating feeling! I never wanted the feeling to stop and I was so happy for the first time in my life! I was enthralled and in this state of bliss for what felt like a long time and a short time all at once. It were as though all knowledge was being poured through me; that nothing was being held back. I was so loved, and all of my questions were being answered.
Then I heard a nurse screaming at me. She sounded so angry, and I could see her as though I were looking from a point near the corner of the ceiling looking down. She was grabbing me and trying to give me some medicine. I wasn't responding to her. I was not happy that she was trying to get me back. Finally I was somehow back in my body, and I do not remember the entire sequence of events after that.
That was when things got very weird. I hovered around death for the remainder of the day (the first experience was in the early afternoon). I was very very sad to be back. At the same time, I was able to "sense" certain things. I was able to look at my grandmother and see the pain that her past had caused. I could "sense" the guilt she felt over an abortion in her past, and how she buried that pain. I could "feel" and sense negative thoughts around people. I could literally sense what they were thinking.
I could "feel" my father through the wall of the room and "see" him. There was a great negativity that was encircling him. There was one other woman that I remember who also was very, very negative. This really fascinated me, although it was a bit frightening. I wanted to love everyone! The saddest part was that not everyone wanted to accept this love. The only people I was not sensing negativity coming from them were my mother (who had long ago worked through many of her own psychological issues) and a male nurse named Mich'l. From them I only sensed love and concern over my well-being. I remember even trying to convince someone about how smoking was not what God wanted them to do, since it hurts God when we hurt ourselves since we are all so beautiful and sacred. My mom later described me after my NDE as being like a hippie flower child! (She still says this about me too--that I am really sensitive)
I remained in this state for a while, but then my own negative past took over. Since I hadn't really dealt with the painful issues of my past, they overwhelmed me. All the old guilt, pain, and buried anger came soaring back, only this time I felt it was going to consume me. And consume me it did. I started thinking how unworthy I was of what I had experienced, I started thinking all these horrible, bad thoughts about myself and I sank back into my old state of gut wrenching depression.
That's when I had my second NDE. This one was the most horrible thing that anyone could imagine. I was lying in the bed when all of a sudden I experienced this blackness. There was no light, there was nothing. It wasn't as if I could see the blackness, it just existed and I knew it was there.
All of a sudden, there were these beings all around me. I can't remember how many, but I felt that they were beings that had been around me for a while. They had been waiting for this moment. The beings started pulling at me and took me to this place of absolute desperation. There was nothing, and yet I existed in this horrible void. The essence of this void was that it was an ABSENCE OF GOD. I want to stress that emphatically. It was absolute tortureànothing; absolutely nothing can describe this pain. It was my worst nightmare come true. The beings there told me that all of my family was doomed to be in the void and that it would be my fault. Even talking about it is very, very hard. It was pure terror.
I don't remember how I came back, but after what seemed like an eternity. I was back in the hospital, in my body. I tried to tell people about what I had experienced, but they thought I was crazy. I told my fiance at the time about what I had experienced. I could not stop talking about it. He left me 2 weeks later. I recovered physically, but not emotionally. The negative effects of the second experience stayed with me for 3 years! I gave up all faith in everything, but at the same time I outwardly professed a lack of belief, inwardly I feared I was doomed to that awful void, and that many people were also going there.
I no longer believe that. Over the past year the positive effects of the first one have been coming out. The main difference between the 2 NDE's, I believe, was my state of mind at the time. During the first one, I knew in my heart that I was loved; I was ready for a peaceful death and it happened. During the second one, I was letting my deepest fears play out in front of me. I thought I was beyond help and beyond hope. I truly believe that had I asked for help during the second one, it would have come. Instead, I felt not even God could help me, and I remained in that awful place.
Date NDE Occurred: April 1998
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness result of sleep deprivation, lack of food and fluids...my body was in shock. Life threatening event, but not clinical death I was hovering around death...I believe that I died, briefly, (perhaps no more than 30 seconds to a minute the first time----maybe a bit longer the second time---there were no nurses around the second time and I was not hooked up to any machines.I was suffering from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Diagnosed after the fact) I was unable to sleep due to abuse I had sustained over the years (resulting in an intense fear of sleep) I had gone for seven nights without sleep, was not eating for quite some time, and not drinking fluids. My body was in shock.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I did not look at myself, but I felt so good and so light--free and floating.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was very alert, more alert than when I was alive it was as though all knowledge was available to me during the experience (the first one)....the second one, I was all too alert for.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything was infinite and occurring all at once. Nothing was linear. There was no end and no beginning.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It were as though I was being taken on a beam of light to the source of the light. The light was brighter in the distance. I don't know if I would necessarily call it a tunnel or an enclosure; it was more like a path of light.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes On the second experience there were awful beings. The one I remember most visibly was this awful looking, demonic, kind of thing. I knew it because it was something I had created out of my own fear and from the fear of others...black...It hovered over me and grabbed me. There were other horrible beings I don't remember as well.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It was a yellowish, golden, yellow-white color of light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm In the second one I was in "hell." It was awful; just a void, with an emptiness, a lack of god, a lack of love. There was no vision,just pure thought. The thoughts were tortured and awful.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The first time I felt untold joy and beauty. I was so extraordinarily happy--more than ecstatic. I felt free. I felt light. I felt infinite LOVE.
The second time I felt emptiness and horror. I felt abandoned and hateful, and terrorized.
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Everything was understandable. Everything was love and this love was made of light.. The love-light is the basic operating principle of everything. It was everywhere and within everything. The reason for all suffering was not being aware of this love-light. I understood what the Jesus was talking about (and I think I went to this since I was Catholic at the time) The holy spirit the bible talks about is pure love-light. This spirit was inside of me and is inside each and everyone of us. It is that power that can conquer all darkness. The love-light was all so simple and beautiful.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I knew that this spirit of light and God's love was already here on earth always. I knew that people would awaken to its reality. I was not given any specific views of future events, just the knowledge that ultimately God's love would be seen as reality and that was all that mattered!!
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will The light communicated to me (telepathically) that it wanted me to see the light so that I would understand and share with others on earth. In that way, I knew I would go back. This was all part of the plan.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes At the time of my "death" I was a Catholic, but I have since then expanded my views to a more universal one of love. My beliefs are not dictated by dogma or religion. Now, I firmly believe that God is pure energy, pure love, and nothing more, but S/he will manifest in whatever form is most loving and comforting to you. I still have my good days and my bad days, days where I feel out of balance and out of touch. As I am healing my past, bad days are becoming less and less frequent with each passing day. I am nowhere near perfect, but I try to live my life based from my heart and share love with all those I meet. I think of all the things my near-death experiences taught me.
The most important thing was to share with others the love I was given and letting them know that they are not alone. Everyone needs to know that we are all very special and wonderful. I am constantly amazed at how many people deny this reality, and it can become very frustrating at times. I can see how if everyone would awaken to this beauty, what a wonderful world this place would become. There would be no more wars and hatred. There would only be love. I have lost some friends over this. They see me as being naive and childlike and have told me so. Ironically, many of these people are themselves peace and civil rights activists. It hurts me, but I know that without a connection to that divine source I felt when I "died", I am lost.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was so intense and beautiful, words cannot even begin to describe it. At the same time, the second one was so horrible, I couldn't even come close to describing that one either.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I couldn't escape from the aftereffects of these experiences, as much as I tried. Over the past 3 years, I have seen a "ghost" and have had other bizarre encounters with supernatural forces. Things touch me when there is nothing or no one who could possibly have done so. I have had a phone call from my dead aunt when I was in a time of distress. I've had prophetic dreams. I am having an awful time with thunderstorms because lightning is drawn to me like a magnet. Over the past year, lightning has come within inches of striking me numerous times. Usually at about a distance of about 2 feet, but the last strike was literally within inches. My doctor even joked that I might have a metal plate in my head that I don't know about. I can feel energy coursing through me at times. I can sense the emotions of animals and plants. And sometimes I can sense spirits around people, their loved ones that are trying to guide them and get messages through to them. My body has also changed. I can no longer eat any kind of meat or it will sour in my stomach. Processed foods bother me and make me feel ill. I buy organic groceries. I need to exercise or I sink into a depression. I cannot ingest anything into my body that in anyway harms it.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The infinite joy and knowledge was the best. The worst was the second experience in its entirety, especially the feeling that I would be in "hell" for all eternity and beyond hop. It was so awful you would not even believe it!!!
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have had a large variety of reactions...my first experiences really scared me for a while and I have just now started to share my experience with others.
The first people I told about the experience was my ex-fiance and the nurses. My fiance left me within 2 weeks, and the nurses said I had suffered from a psychosis...I was put into the psychiatric wing, and the first doctor initially diagnosed me as schizo-affective, putting me on strong psychotropic medications. He later dismissed this diagnosis, I switched doctors, and my current diagnosis is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder along with depression being the cause of the incident when I was 22.
I have shared this experience with some of my friends. One said I was a naive dreamer. (he is an admitted atheist). Another politely listens to me when I talk, but I don't think she entirely understands.. My mother believes me and it has strengthened her already strong faith in love and life after death. Other people, such as a professor I am very close to has been supportive as he himself has had 2 NDEs. My new therapist believes me and does not think I am crazy--she thinks I am here for a purpose...I am actually "coming out" tonight about my NDE at a poetry reading so perhaps I can share more reactions if you'd like to know.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Once I started working on and resolving my past history of abuse, the feeling in my heart that I had when I died the first time has come back (although it is not present all the time) When the love is there, everything is heightened--I can perceive things that ordinarily would not be perceived. It is as though God's love is coursing through me and I have the ability to give so much love to people. It is wonderful!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think it was rather thorough!