I was a freshman in college and very depressed. I had had a very difficult childhood, been abused by both parents in different ways, severely neglected, not given enough to eat.
My parents had extremely high expectations of me. They considered me to be a genius and expected me to bring my abilities to some kind of fruition without any emotional or other kind of support. At the same time, I was constantly humiliated, criticized, not taken seriously or ignored as I was growing up. At the time of my NDE I felt that I wasn’t adjusting to college life and just couldn’t go on anymore.
Someone had given me some Valium, and I was aware that if it’s taken with alcohol, it could be deadly. I didn’t know how much Valium or how much alcohol it would take, and I didn’t intend to kill myself, but I took them both and simply didn’t care whether I lived or died.
I put on a record of depressing music on replay and laid down on my bed to go to sleep, not knowing if I would ever wake up. Some voices came into my head, voices that were familiar and that I had an ongoing relationship with throughout my life. They were always there when I called on them, giving me advice, guidance, answering questions, etc. Now they came to me and did something I wasn’t expecting. Usually I would ask them for what I needed, I would initiate the interaction, but this time they took the initiative.
I started to see scenes from my childhood, scenes of the suffering I had been through. I was aware of their presence as I witnessed the events, and I was aware of their sympathy and compassion for my suffering. Afterwards, I told them, "This is too hard. I just can’t do this any more." I could feel their compassion and concern. But they told me, "You have things to do." "What do I have to do?" I asked them. They said, "You’ll see." I asked them again to tell me what I had to do but they wouldn’t say. They also showed me other scenes. I remember seeing my brother as crippled. I don’t remember what the other scenes were.
Eventually I woke up and turned off the music. The next day I saw my therapist and told her what had happened. She was actually very open and accepting of what I told her. It seemed as though she had some frame of reference for it. She even asked me if I had seen the pearly gates! (I hadn’t.) Although she realized I was close to death, I didn’t realize myself until many years later that this was an NDE.