Somehow by way of reading one of my usual sources on the web, I arrived here. I seem to keep coming back to this topic – NDEs – with the proverbial and ambiguous fascination that might be expressed in the saying “You can’t look and you can’t look away either”, when eye-witnesses of e.g. horrific car crashes talk about their feelings. On one hand, I feel a need to neglect and dismiss NDEs, the afterlife and this entire complex of topics and reports surrounding these altered states of consciousness/being in order to hopefully ever arrive at some inner peace. On the other hand, there is a soothing quality from learning about them. Because I am becoming more and more convinced of a memory, I seem to have been repressing for all my life. To cut to the chase: I am fairly sure, I remember having had a distressing near death experience at age four when undergoing throat surgery and being narcotized with nitrous oxide, a chemical gas commonly used for anesthesia in those days. I also have a very clear, distinct memory of thinking “They are going to kill you” when fighting the nurses, who meant to prepare me for surgery. I must have given them quite a fight as I also remember that another nurse was called upon and rushed in to help the other two, who had trouble keeping me in this chair-like appliance. I do remember them using physical force to get me restrained and the last conscious thought I was able to form prior to losing my “ordinary” consciousness was the above expressed notion of getting killed. Understandably, I guess, I fought for my life.
The next thing I know was this very, very distressing, deeply disturbing experience of entering a realm of complete nothingness. There was only this small “pinpoint” of consciousness that was me and there was nothing or noone else except a clear understanding that everything leading up to this procedure, my life, my parents, my sister, all the people I had known or ever interacted with, they all were nothing but an illusion that had never existed along with everything I had previously thought of as being my life. This understanding somehow included another layer of understanding that seemed to say “you were only temporarily allowed to believe in all this being reality. And now it’s gone – for good and there never was nor will be anything but this here”.
There are at least two reasons, why I can’t seem to drop these equally disturbing as well as somehow soothing reports of NDEs. On one hand, I’m looking for comfort in the reports of positive NDEs to balance the distressing one I had and thus gain some inner peace. This seems all the more pressing as I suffered a major panic attack I in 2009, which almost overtakes the original NDE in term of terror. It had me hyperventilate so hard that I passed out, suffered a gaping lasceration on the chin as well as a concussion. During the time it took between regaining consciousness, checking my injuries and then finally calling an ambulance to the moment I was put in the operating chair in order to have the lasceration stitched up, I had this eery premonition of my consciousness getting “swallowed” by an infinite black void any moment, which would then ultimately rid me of my capability of making sense and have me – and irreversibly so – go crazy by all existing standards. I somehow “knew” that I had to keep my consciousness focussed on something, anything, even the mundane, trivial equipment in the ambulance, just anything to keep my mind from “slipping” and never coming back. Which brings me to reason #2 and that is a sort of spiritual quest in order to arrive at some peace. During my 2009 panic attack – which lasted for about 2 hours b.t.w. – I also remember having genuinely prayed to God, although at the time this all occurred I was a profound and convinced atheist and thus strongly objected any such idea of “God” or a “supernatural”, supreme being of any kind. In fact, I had just completed reading a very long and very articulate article on NDEs exactly prior to that panic attack. The article meticulously took apart all existing reasoning arguing for the factual existence of an afterlife and taking NDEs as “proof” for it. But apparently, the conclusion – although I had no way of disagreeing with it – must have had a distressing effect on me, as it had me wake up from my own screams of terror about an hour after having gone to sleep. The panic was of the exact same quality – only much more pronounced – as those I had been experiencing since childhood and particularly so after having gotten “moved” to a different room in our house. This room was one floor above from where our family lived and it must have spawned feelings of isolation and loneliness, much like the original medical trauma coming from the use of nitrous oxide.
The reason I post this here on this blog where I talk about post-traumatic stress from a number of distressing events and experiences in my life is that I seem to zero in on the realization that this long repressed memory from so early on might actually be at the root of all other – emotional, psychological – issues I have been dealing with for my entire life, where chronic depression seems to be the most agonizing one. Also, I think that medical trauma might happen a lot more often than we’ve cared to look at and that further research in this area might yield interesting results as far as traumatizing life events are concerned.
Fortunately, I found a group of people on the IANDS.org website that are located in my country. The question will be, whether or not I can get some help from them seeing as my condition has rendered me incapable in 2008, which resulted in early retirement, but without benefits that go beyond food, heated home, basic health care, electricity. Travel as well as any kind of spending money on “leisurely” things has become a no-no at this point in my life. If asked, I wouldn’t be able to answer why it is that I haven’t completely given up yet. However, as of late, I’m drawing closer on giving up. I seem to have exhausted all willpower, all resilience, all strength of managing an impossible condition/situation. Clearly, this is no life. It’s mere survival. This can’t go on. Wish me luck and an open-minded, welcoming community, who are willing to go out of their ways for me in order to provide some help – help I’ve been in need of and looking for for as long as I can think.