I am not really sure how to tell this; how to make someone else understand what happened to me. I can say that for six months after I was told that I was experiencing some kind of survival guilt and was prescribed medication for anxiety. I was made to feel crazy for a very long time. So, I will just start at the beginning and go from there.
It was the evening of February 13, 1995 - a date I call Black Friday. I had spent the morning at the doctor's getting new medication to help me cope with the pain of my fibromyalgia. After tests and careful consideration we agreed to try an over the counter product that was just out on the market. I stopped at the pharmacy on my way out and headed home to my four small children.
When I got home, the sitter told me my five month old was still coughing and that nothing she had tried was working. I called the hospital and explained what she was experiencing and they said to bundle her up and head on in. I began gathering her things into the diaper bag, stopping long enough to take the two new pills, as I was geared up for a long night at the hospital with her. I started the van, windows already beginning to cover with frost, and buckled her in the passenger's front seat.
As I drove through town and headed up onto the ramp for the highway my throat felt tight and my chest heavy. Everything around me began to blur and I began to panic. All I could think about was getting to safety, getting my baby to safety. My last thought was of her and the feeling of being on fire.
The next thing I remember was the emergency room. Only I was not a participant in the goings on. It began with hearing, loud; everything was loud and the noise, sounds I normally could not hear, like the hum of lights, clothing moving and even the breath of those in the room. Then the smells bombarded me. I wanted to pull away from it, all of it but couldn't.
The first thing I saw was me, on a table and shadows of people all around me. I tried to yell, I tried to cry out but nothing happened. I continued to try to focus, to bring the people and things in clearer but I could only get a look, as if I was looking through a camera lens, focusing on one area at a time. I saw my little girl in her car seat. What I would later learned was that the woman who pulled me from the road also rescued my daughter from the freezing cold. She was pacing and pushing my purse onto a nurse. I tried to hear what she was saying but the words came as echoes, her mouth was moving but the words didn't fit; they seemed out of sync.
I remember feeling panicked, afraid and then nothing. I watched in a strange silent stillness as they worked on me. I could not make sense of it all until 'it' arrived. I don't know the words to use to describe 'it' just that I got the message in the form of scenes, like video clips of what I needed to know. Some was of the future, only I did not realize that then; and the rest was more like instructions or explanations of what was to come.
Then without words but still I heard; 'it' sent me back and I knew why with such utter clarity. When I took my first breath I knew why, it all seemed so clear and then I slept. When I woke the next time for more than a few moments all that 'it' showed me seemed like a dream.
Date NDE Occurred: 02/13/1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I had gone into anaphylactic shock while driving down the highway, headed to the hospital with my five month old daughter who had Croup. It was about twelve degrees and at some point I had put the van in park and gotten out of the vehicle (presumably to get help). I was found face down on Route 15 by a passing motorist.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As they were working on my body; the sounds, smells and things I saw were more but I was still; just still. I was in the moment but not; 'it' had me and I knew; I just knew.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I don't know any other way to explain it other than 'still'. Imagine the moment, the space between breaths and that is as close to this as you can get.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. At first everything seemed unclear but not fuzzy; more slightly out of focus. Like a camera lens being turned to focus in on a specific thing; the auras around the people began to get brighter and clearer; each person seemed to be separate from the others. Imagine a crowded room where each person is definable while still being in close contact. (I really hope that made sense.)
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything sounded almost like an echo; distant but clear. It seemed almost like the sound was moving slower than I was able to hear it, as if the noise in between the sounds was as clear as actual sounds. (I hope this makes sense).
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Okay how do I explain this? I did not see any dead relatives or anybody at all; I felt someone, something, 'it'. As soon as I felt still - not peace, not pleasure just still I knew 'it' was there. It did not speak, not with voice but rather showed me what it wanted me to see. I just knew what to do afterwards. When I woke in the hospital. I am sorry I do not know how to explain this. It was not like a religious experience, or ancestors or even some mystical being; I have no idea what it was I only know what it gave me.
The experience included: Void
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
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? Panic, desperation, fear and then nothing; not calm, not anything really, just still. Like I was there but not, like a dream; you know the feeling you get from a really vivid dream, the one you wake up from and find physical evidence of what happened in the dream. (Again I hope this makes sense.)
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future The events, people and places that altered my path in life were accurate. Some are still left to be seen through.
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal none/ although exposed to many forms of organized religion I believed in little to none of the doctrines.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Yes and No. I am a more open person, accepting of the spirituality that I have found but maintain the lack of acceptance for organized religion and the various doctrines that follow.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'Wiccan/I am not religious so much as spiritual. I believe in the cycle of life, the existence of something after our time on earth but I do not supposed to know what is next for any one including myself.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Yes and No. I am a more open person, accepting of the spirituality that I have found but maintain the lack of acceptance for organized religion and the various doctrines that follow.
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Ah, how do I explain this? 'It' showed me what to expect, 'it' showed me not to fear what was coming. 'It' showed me the hearts of man. I know this sounds insane, and trust me I have been told it is, but I knew that what I would bring back with me was meant for me to share and only I would know how, when, and why.
At first, it began with subtle impressions of people's hearts, their pain, joy and sadness. I learned to tune in and out of people as much as possible. I knew somehow that I was meant to do something; I just could not grasp at that which I lost in the early days of recovery. That lucid understanding of what was given me. Over the past thirteen years, it has become increasingly harder to block out the random emotions of the world. At several points over the past years, I have secluded myself in my home and my dear sweet husband has had to restrict visitors just so I could cope.
It was this gift that brought me around to my spirituality, not religion but pure spirituality. I accept that the gift I am given and help those that I can but I also accept when I cannot separate myself from others.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I used to be a very outward person. Living aloud as it were. Now I am content with being still, I accept that I must control the amount of input I can handle and the impact that input has on my family and me. I have only two close friends and they live far away in different areas - one in Canada and the other in southern Oklahoma. My husband is a patient man and knows when I am being overloaded. We don't attend parties and I cannot attend funerals.
I am extremely close with my children, they think it is cool but they know that it is not normal and that it is best kept in the family.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes What I saw and felt has stayed with me to this day. It has profoundly affected my view of the world and those who occupy it. I tried to explain it afterward to the hospital psychologist who spent much of their time reminding me that I had been through a traumatic event and I was creating the experience just to deal with survival issues.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have tried so many times to explain this gift; this open area that was brought back with me. I am, for lack of a better explanation -; empathic. I can feel the hearts of man. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I get glimpses of what might be. (My best friend actually gives me an accuracy rating of eighty-plus percent.)
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Stillness; I don't know any other way to explain this. It was the stillness. I found comfort in it. Even now I remind myself and those who come to me to just be still.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Twelve days after the incident I told a nurse how sorry I was and that she would find someone, the right one for her someday soon. She promptly referred me to the shrink and insisted that I must have overheard her talking. A few months later my mother and I were at lunch, I felt her heart breaking, her loss and fear. I asked her what was wrong. She insisted nothing. I reached out to touch her hand and I knew, I told her she was sick and that there was little time left. She did not speak to me for two whole weeks. When she finally called she asked how I knew, who had I talked to. I tried to explain but it made less sense than if I had said nothing.
About a year and a half after the incident, a friend of mine had returned to town after being away and out of touch for many years. I saw her at the grocery store and we went out for coffee. I remember walking into the diner and being so happy to see her and then being filled with this unbearable dread - this pain and panic. It wasn't until I gave her a hug that I knew. I took a deep breath and settled in to tell her. I told her about Black Friday and the things that had been happening to me since then. She laughed and asked, 'So what do feel from me? Can you see my future?' I told her of her fear and the running, of her panic and desperation. I told her whoever she was running from would find her and she had to stand up or she would not see her little girl grow up. She got up and headed out the door. I followed her to the parking lot and begged her to forgive me. She gave me a hug and drove off. A week later, she called and asked to have coffee again and I gladly agreed. I waited in the coffee shop for almost an hour, sure that she had decided against seeing me again and she like others was sure I was insane. As I was paying the bill and getting ready to leave, she came in the door, face red from crying. We sat down and she told me that her ex had found her and she took a stand. Finally, he was behind bars and she was sorry. I asked her why she stood up, what had changed and she said, 'You, all I could hear was you.' We drifted apart after that and only saw each other occasionally. I don't think she was ever comfortable around me after that but I can live with it because she is alive and her daughter is not an orphan.
Many that I have tried to help have reacted in much the same way. I have only had two close friends besides my husband since this all began and although it is lonely at times I console myself with the idea that I may have made a positive difference.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No To be honest I had heard of the white light and seeing God, and what have you but thought it was nothing more than a chemical reaction to re-animation or a desperate person's attempt at getting attention. I guess my experience is what some would call karmic justice.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real It felt so real to me and I had thought that I had been given a gift but I confided in others who were set on convincing me that I was nuts, that it was not real and I must have gleaned the information some other way. It took a long time for me to accept what happened that night and the results.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real After years of battling the line, of trying to get others to hear me, of trying to understand; I have come to accept the gift of that day and the pains it brings. I have learned that to share the gift of the experience, the aftermath and the things I know now is something best done with discretion.
I believe that we are all capable of anything and that what happened to me is not the same as what happened to another person but that is because each experiences the beyond in different ways, each influenced by our life experiences, our hopes and our fears. We are all granted what is needed when the time comes.
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 have waited thirteen years to tell this story to someone other than my family (sometimes even those I believe I am meant to help) and it has not been easy. I fear I am not able to be clear, to make it so that others will understand what happened to me. I fear that those who read this may chalk me up as yet another crazy (much the way I once did). Although I accept that this is a natural reaction to something such as this I can only say that whatever or whoever 'it' was I am who I am today because of this experience.