In my teens I was very depressed. During my childhood, I lived a very sheltered life with my grandmother. I was sent to live with my mother who was a drug addict and lived with her abusive boyfriend. After unexpected freedom, exposure to drugs and abuse, I became very confused and sought love in the form of a boyfriend. I sought escape in the form of drugs. I became pregnant at the age of 14 and my mother immediately made plans for me to have an abortion. The abortion affected me deeply and I lost any confidence in myself or anyone around me. I became very depressed and lost my will to live; after expressing this to a school mate, she told an adult in the school that had me see a counselor. This counselor felt I needed to be sent to a psychiatric unit to be safe from taking my life. This first hospitalization was very eye-opening but did little to change the way I felt because I knew I was going back to the same life with my mother and her abusive boyfriend. I was sent home with antidepressants.
I returned to the same lifestyle, drinking and using drugs with friends to escape reality; having a new boyfriend to replace the love I could not get at home, thus falling back into the same deep depression. I felt hopeless and desperate, worse than ever: like a murderer, for allowing the abortion to take place. I decided to take the whole bottle of pills in hopes to stop my life and stop the suffering I felt. At that time, my grandmother had come to help because she found out about my first hospitalization and felt she had to help me.
The day I took the pills, I had gone to a festival in Boston, where there was a lot of available marijuana, and I used the drug. When I arrived from the festival, I was very confused and more depressed than ever. I really didn't feel there was a purpose to life besides suffering and didn't think anyone would miss me anyway. My mother and father never really cared for me so I couldn't see any reason why anyone else could really care about me. I sat around for a while still deciding how to make my death happen so no one even knew and couldn't stop me. I changed into my pajamas, filled a glass with water, and headed to the bathroom where my depression medication was. I took every pill in the bottle one by one, until they were gone. Then I gave my grandmother a hug, and told her I loved her, (sort of my good bye), then I lay down. I don't remember some of what happened, such as when it was noticed that I took the medication, and when the paramedics were called.
The next thing I remember are the paramedics arriving. In a different perspective, I could see the ambulance driving down the street toward where I was, and then they got out of the ambulance. My grandmother let them in, and they went to where I guess my body was. I didn't perceive it as odd that I could know all this was going on, I just knew it was. I watched them feel for signs of life and put me on the stretcher, which they wheeled into the ambulance.
All the while I could just feel the worry and shock of my grandmother; she was feeling so many things, confusion, shock, worry. My uncle was also there, he is an addict like my mother, but not as intensely, he was also shocked and worried but could do nothing but watch with a surprised and puzzled look. I did not realize what was happening until I was in the ambulance and I saw my own face, and the paramedic watching over me on a bench next to me in the ambulance. When I saw myself, I then looked at the open door of the ambulance where my grandmother was standing, there wasn't much she could do or say because she speaks Spanish and the paramedics did not.
That is when I felt that I had made someone suffer, but I didn't feel guilt for long because I had a feeling that it was time to make a decision. I had to decide if I wanted to live. I don't know if I had really died, but I knew I had a choice, and I had the feeling that it just wasn't my time. I was young, only 15. All was black after that. I awoke in a psychiatric hospital. I felt relieved actually. I was taken care of, fed, clothed, and really didn't have much to say.
I was sent to a more long-term psychiatric hospital and I still felt extremely depressed, but had an understanding that I had a purpose, that I was not supposed to die now. In this hospital, I met a boy my age: a boy that has been my husband now for 17 years.
We were drawn to each other. He was drawn to me by my looks. When I looked in his eyes when he walked past, I got this feeling in my gut that he was a very important person, that I knew him already. He began talking to me and trying to make me feel better. He says that he could feel my pain and sadness. I began to feel better and I guess I said all the things I needed to say to the staff to make them determine that I was well enough to go home, with a plan of course: therapy, and medication.
Meanwhile the boy I met, and had come to love, was still in the hospital and we spoke on the phone every day. He said he loved me and missed me so much. I became depressed again, (even with therapy, medication, people telling me they loved me and I was so important to them), and I tried suicide. This time remembering nothing but waking in the hospital and being informed that my stomach was full of charcoal to absorb the overdose. The boy was informed by my grandmother of what had taken place and where I was. He took the opportunity of his father visiting him at the hospital to come and see me at a hospital a few towns away. (My old boyfriend was also informed, the one whose child I had given up to God.)
I was sent to the hospital where the boy was, again, and we spent time together. At that time I had an understanding very clearly that I was just not meant to die and I had a purpose. My old boyfriend showed up at the hospital where I was staying and I realized something very important: I was to let go of the guilt of the past and I needed to be very aware of what was unfolding in front of me. I sent him away, and never spoke to him again. I realized that meeting this boy was no coincidence, no chance, this was my future. I felt so connected to him and no matter how much distance we experienced after we left the hospital; we made a true effort to see each other as much as we could with our limited resources. We married in 1995, and are still together today, with four wonderful children, who I hope I will raise with higher awareness than I knew growing up, and they come to know the love that we all are and deserve.
Date NDE Occurred: 1993
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Suicide attempt Not sure of the category Other Not sure of the category
The life threatening event was self-inflicted. Overdosed on antidepressant medication.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I would say that it was when I watched my grandmother at the doors of the ambulance. I could feel what she felt and realized that my whole life was ahead of me and I had a purpose, and when I saw my own face and body and realized that there was something more than a body and the life that goes with a body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
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. I could see things from above or from a more broad perspective, instead of just what is in front of me or next to me.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was no hearing, just understanding.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, nothingness, just being, a little guilt
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others Not everything. Just that I had a purpose and a life I had to fulfill and the feelings of others.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Do not know I was raised Lutheran but was a teen at the time. I had an understanding God exists.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know Have not taken part in any religion for a very long time. I believe in God, in a Creator.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not 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? Uncertain I came to believe in the spirit or the soul and that I had a reason for living in the physical form but I still don't know the reason. I was very young and when returning to the physical self, I didn't give much thought to the event until now, in my adult life.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists╩
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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? Uncertain I only felt that I was loved. I just knew that I had to stay and live my life.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not 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? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Yes I came to an understanding that there is another part of ourselves besides our body and that this part of ourselves lives without the body. I felt that if my body had died, my spirit, or that other part of myself that watched my body from above, would hav
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I only felt that I was loved.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life That I had a purpose to fulfill. Was not informed of what it was. Still don't know my life purpose. I just know that I need to be here and live.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It's hard to explain how I saw things, and time. It felt as if I was sort of following everyone, and they were making decisions, and doing all they needed to do, I was just observing everything. It was very hard to explain seeing my own face and body and feeling my grandmother's worry and fear and coming to understand what I was doing to her, it was hard to realize how my actions were making others feel.
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 as accurately as 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? Uncertain I have had several occasions where I have had such a strong smell of cigarettes but no one in my home smokes. As if someone was blowing smoke right up my nose and I felt I was choking on it. One occasion I saw a transparent human being, a little boy, and I felt as though it was the baby I lost, I felt scared but a sense of relief came over me as if saying, my little boy was around me all this time. Then another occasion, I felt so depressed, I couldn't stop crying, I cried every day for a week, but I just couldn't figure out why, then I got a call from my grandmother telling me my grandfather had died, someone who I had not spoken to or seen in years.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Realizing I was loved. Realizing there was a soul. Understanding I have a purpose and a place in the world and that I am important. After the experience, I realized that everything happens for a reason, like how so many terrible events led me to my husband.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I was very young and really didn't know how to process it and being in a psychiatric hospital I felt it would only be viewed as a sign of illness so I did not share it until well into adulthood with others except for my husband who I felt would believe and understand.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real I didn't start to really make sense of what happened until much later because I was still trying to deal with the depression and the many incidents in my life that had led me to that. After my mind was clear, I felt it was probably real but because I really hadn't spoken to others about it and was in an environment where I could possibly be penalized for expressing this, it took a long time to realize this was most likely real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real After researching the accounts of what others have experienced and feeling and believing that we are spirit beings inside physical bodies I feel that the experience was definitely real.
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 remember the experience as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience