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Victoria’s Story: It’s Not All White Light When You’re Dead, Kids

I’m not being pretentious or weird, I just like the song. C’mon, midwestern kid in the 90s? ‘Course I listened to White Zombie. Anyhoo. I couldn’t think of another title to talk about how this shit all happened. How I’ve never understood the white light hallways others talked about. That’s distinctly not what I experienced, and, what I experienced at a very young age- well, I think it either physically fried my brain or…maybe it is something else. Who knows? I’d be the very first to tell you I have no idea. Across cultures, there are theories- but they are only that. Theories and faith. Whatever your pleasure, right? I see people talk about weird and kind of smirk. What do you know? I don’t know anything.

I’m the daughter of a Euro-mutt hedge wizard and a Norwegian dwarf. No, I am not making that shit up. As a result, my upbringing has been quite eclectic and at times really weird. The foundation was there. I grew up with books, books, and more books…and lots of experiences. The pivotal childhood experience as they say, happens in Eureka Springs, Arkansas- a place which still holds an intensely special place in my heart. Basin Springs park.

Goofy little girl, chopped hair because she’d never brushed it and as a result- it tangled, and nobody wanted to try to pin down the little wiggling, screaming fireball to detangle it. I don’t blame them, really. I’m standing there in a weird pale pink dress. My father’s wedding to Jennifer. I can only vaguely remember Time in A Bottle. Everything is weird. There are bikers literally everywhere. Feverish and surreal, I’m standing there with my knees knocking. My gut is twisting. I keep seeing things out of the corner of my eye. I don’t know what the hell is going on- either actually in front of me, or spinning through my head. I can’t even remember the events leading up to it- I just know that suddenly, I felt this shock zap through me- neurological related, don’t get me twisted. My stomach felt like someone had punched me- I doubled over, and puked all over that pretty park.

I went in and out of these crazy dreams. I wish I could remember what happened. I know I was on a couch. My memory of this is admittedly not really clear and if I relay what I experienced vs what was actually going on- I’m pretty sure it sounds nuts, but here goes my 12th house Pluto freak flag, okay?

Whether this was all because my brain was quite literally frying or whatever- this is what I experienced. As I was laying there I kept seeing these shadows, everywhere. Moving like people. The smells were the worst- like shit, barf, copper, farts, just overwhelming. To this day, I cannot smell sulfur without getting queasy. I kept finding myself walking around somewhere that didn’t make any sense. It was scary. There were those things, everywhere. Slimy is the best way to describe them- they slipped in and out, kind of moving all over, I’d be hiding behind buildings in a place that looked an awful lot like here- but didn’t. It looked like here that had been gutted. Torn to shreds by war and god knows what else. Garbage everywhere. Dollars on the streets, like trash. I’d hear vague noises, I’d hide. I’d wake up, sweaty and weird, still seeing those things in the room with me.

I vaguely remember my dad. He was trying to take care of me. He asked me something about my neck. I said yeah, it felt stiff. Next thing I knew, I’m getting all these things stuck to my chest, blood draws and all manner of medical shit. I heard beeps, I’d slip out. That hospital was a weird blend of a fever dream and reality. Half the time I wanted to scream, half the time I just didn’t know what the hell was going on. I was dying. Meningitis. They had to see if it was one type or another- see if I was a Typhoid Mary, I think.

I vaguely remember my best friend’s dad, who was an orderly, coming to visit. I remember my uncle giving me his Gameboy, thank god, because later when I was recovering, between the boredom and the disturbing shit I was trying to pretend wasn’t there so I didn’t end up in the loonie bin…well, it helped. Legend of Zelda. Still love it.

At one point, I was dreaming hard. That’s the best way I can describe it. I felt like I was being tossed in and out. Whenever I’d go over, I’d see all this shit, smell all this stuff, that’s what I remember the strongest- the smells. God awful, strong, gross smells that made me want to puke. At one point in the dream I was running because something was chasing me- and I fell in a hole where there was just…nothing. This deep, heavy sense of nothing. That’s the only way I can explain it. Nothing. I felt like I was on my back just in nothing- and I saw this shadow thing, looping down the hole, swirling until it went right through me- and then?

Like a slingshot. Flipped up and flung. I came to, and there was a nurse poking me, drawing blood or something, I don’t remember. What I do remember was the huge shadow behind her. I screamed, I twisted to try to get away, I pulled out my IV. When I looked down, I realized- that shadow thing? It was me. Sort of overlapping, in me, flowing out of me. I don’t know what the hell it is- but it never left. Over the years, people have claimed to see it. There responses vary. Not that it’s particularly been a good or a bad thing, not that it means shit- it certainly hasn’t given me any super natural niftiness that I know of. It’s just there. I felt like if I could just take it all in, maybe I’d go home. I didn’t know what the hell that meant. I still don’t. Animals, I understood. Animals make sense. People never do.

I was 9. While I’d already been known for being something of a…well, what they call a “creative” little girl- pretty much everything in my life changed then. I thought about things in weird ways, I expressed a lot of weird things. I would think things about people, see situations, and well, when you talk about things that never happened- people start getting bad opinions of you. The biggest thing I can say happened: I fully understood people, but I could not relate. I didn’t understand a lot about why I understood, what I understood. Yeah, try figuring that shit out. I still can’t.

Everything was overwhelming and weird. But the everything that was overwhelming and weird was just life, here. In addition to this, I was still seeing shit, slipping in and out. Hearing things, smelling things. Didn’t take me very long to realize you just better not talk about that. Stress combined with a mess of psychotropics many, many years later and I’d find out big time why: rubber rooms and electric zaps are your reward for that. I always find it funny that people attempt to debunk shit this way: they bring it up like I’m not open about it. Yes. But, if it is all perception, is my perception somehow less valid because I see what you’re looking for? Or is there more to it? Who knows? You know what I do know? That mental illness stigma that makes “paranormal investigators” shy away from me is super stupid. Chicken shit conformist bull, brought on by feeling marginalized and so, you marginalize others. That’s it and that’s all, kids.

It took me a long time to figure out that the more I learned, the less out of it I felt. So, that’s why I kind of gobble up info whenever I can. For a long time, I’ve just tried to make sense of things I never have been able to.

Sorry, no white light hallway, there: but it does tend to change your perspectives quite a bit.

The Coyote thing gets asked about quite a lot, and I am sure you’ve all seen vampires on the History Channel, right? Yeah, they’re not the only ones. We just tend to not go all that public. And no, it’s not a furry thing.

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