Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things I'm afraid to write about

So here's the thing: I've been going over my out of body experience in my mind to the point where I think I've worn it away. I was awake. I was looking down at my unconscious self. I could see the woman standing next to me, and that I was now kneeling. I could see the tops of our heads. Then I felt, far away, that there was pain in my knees and I realized suddenly that I was not in my body, that that was me down there, and that I needed to get back in there. Up to that point I was, I guess, confused as to what was happening.

I had been walking, blinded by a lack of oxygen to my brain, toward a pool of water on the ground floor of the Detroit Renaissance Center. I guess I thought there were chairs somewhere, that I was heading for one before I completely lost consciousness. It wasn't until I was out of my body that I saw the planters and the water, and no chairs, and realized I could have ended up in the pool.

Then I hear the lady saying "are you alright?" again, from far away. That's when I will myself back. And come to. She helps me to my feet and I tell her that I'm diabetic (I'm not) and I was in insulin shock (that was true, more or less, but I didn't really know it at the time). At that point my friends saw me and came over and brought me to a table, got me a soda, and some food. I was maybe 19.

I don't usually tell people about this. It sounds weird and I don't want to be in the position of either defending it or wondering if they think I'm nuts or lying. I know what I saw. I also know it's possible that my brain was that creative about what the tops of our heads looked like. Possibly even the pool. Maybe I saw it before I passed out and didn't register it.

But last night I saw a show on Nat Geo channel on the topic, and their last case made me feel a little safer about my own experience. Al Sullivan watched his own surgery, and saw the doctor doing things that no one could have guessed he did. Then they had the doctor speak and confirm the information, and then they had the doctor's colleague confirm it. You can watch Al's story on Nat Geo on January 10th, at 7 pm Eastern. And we can discuss this further.


  1. In January 1996 I was in a terrible car crash, where a guy ran a stop sign and slammed into the side of my car spinning me around and my car flipped over - I was hanging upside down by my seatbelt.

    For a few seconds "I" was actually in the back of the van, looking up toward the front and seeing my body hanging there. It was a long time ago, but I think I had a kind of choice about leaving or staying.

    I'm not sure I made a 'conscious' choice but I remember the sensation of swooping (yes, swooping) toward the front and then seeing out of my body upside down through the broken windshield.

    I've never told anyone about that part.

  2. When you went back, did you hear a sound? I heard a rushing sound, like wind, or something passing by me. I hear things that remind me of it sometimes; the rush of blood through my ears when I'm having a migraine kind of sounds like it too. But that sound was close to "me", whereas the sights, sounds and pain of my body were, I'd estimate, at least 3 stories below me. (Imagine if you were standing on 3rd or 4th floor balcony looking down, everything below me was about that size.)

    I understand why you don't talk about it. I've only told my husband in real life.


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