My Near Death Experience

in #jerrybanfield2 years ago (edited)

It's 7am Sunday. I almost died just a few days ago...

I left after seven am Thursday morning. Packed my jeep with essentials for a road trip. In decent weather I can make the trip in one day. This time I was prepared to stay overnight halfway due to the winter storm Polly wrecking havoc across the US.

A few hours into an uneventful start and I hit the first storm. I slowed down and was out of it in twenty minutes. Filled up in the town of Elko and continued on my journey.

Now it's sunny. It's 70 mph but I know I'm nearing a narrow tunnel so I'm down to half that. The tunnel is very small and it is cold as it just snowed twenty miles back. Everyone else is flying by me but I do not care. I round a bend and enter the dark tunnel. I am in the left lane with a semi truck and trailer at my back fender in the right lane.

Suddenly the SUV in front of us bounces off the wall and in the blink of an eye is sideways in the tunnel. Stopped. It's blocking both lanes and there is nowhere for me to go. I can't stop. I'm sliding on black ice but maneuver far left. There's a small chance I can slide between the narrow gap between her back bumper and the wall. My heart is stopped. My breath is stopped. I pray. I'm almost clear.



I'm in the middle of the tunnel squashed between the wall and a silver jeep just like mine.

The semi just barely slides between the front of the jeep and the right concrete tunnel wall.

I hit reverse and floor the gas. Nothing. I put her in drive and floor it. No use. I'm wedged tight in a dark tunnel with traffic coming fast at 70 mpg.

I hit my 911 call button on my rearview. An operator asks what the problem is.

I explain me and another other jeep are wedged deep in the tunnel just west of Elko Nevada. I look into my rearview mirror, scared of what I know is behind me.

I suddenly see three semi trucks barreling around the corner. Heading full speed into the tunnel.

I scream this to the emergency operator and tell her to make them stop.

The first semi slams on his breaks when he sees us. He jackknifes. Taking up the entire width of the tunnel his truck and trailer is flying sideways at us.

I watch in slow motion. It probably only took three seconds but it felt like minutes.

I duck my head and brace for impact. His truck is going to slice the tops off our jeeps.

But I still have full view of the carnage coming.

The first semi slams into us. Hard. Ripping and moaning metal.

The other jeep is scooped onto its side and airborne. I watch the underneath of it in my back window going upward. I know the passengers will not make it.

It lands on top of my jeep. Then we're both hit hard by the next two semis, grinding me further into the tunnel wall.

Grinding and crunching and groaning metal is echoing. Echoing. It never ends.

I picture the cars and trucks never ending. Coming and coming. They'll never see it coming.

We didn't.

I can't get out. I'm smashed in hard. I picture the scene in Independence day when he mom is running through the tunnel with her little boy, chased by a fireball with nowhere else to go but forward.

A wide eyed blond lady appears at my passenger window. "Are you ok?" I keep hearing crash after crash.

"I need to get out of this car" I shout to her.

She helps pull me out the window. She points to the other jeep. "That's me." She says.

No way. I think. I must be staring at a ghost. I gape. There's no way a passenger in the jeep that hit the wall then was thrown onto me and then hit by a semi is alright and walking around.

To be continued... Part 2, the accident aftermath

It is truly a miracle that I am alive...

This, and so much more, happened to me a few days ago. I am having to break up the account into several posts, writing it in stages is the only way- I always say Write to Heal, because it is your Right to Heal. It's been a nightmare and I am experiencing PTSD... with a morbid highway patrol officer, a tunnel that's been a death trap for years and had two more seperate wrecks before 24 hours had passed and dozens more in the last couple of days, the status on everyone in the wreck, the serendipidous few rays of luck that happened after, how on earth can one even drive after a horrible accident, how I spent the night in the best place possible post accident, the trying-to-get-home cross country hijinks worthy of a Planes Trains and Automobiles remake, saying goodbye to the jeep that saved my life as I watch them sweep her up in bags, and managing severe and debilitating post traumatic rationally irrational mind fucks, please stay tuned...

Also, there is a lady who was pulled from the wreckage who is in serious condition with a number of injuries. I want to help her in any way I can.

I will continue with my series and photo contests, please be patient with me because I am going through a lot.

Thank you so much for your support and patience. I truly appreciate you guys, more than you know.

And I am so very thankful I am here with you today.

Hold your loved ones tight tonight <3

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Whoa babe! A lucky escape.
You really do never know when your number is up, I guess you have to make the best of life while you can as it can be over in an instant.
Take it easy Kitten ❤️

Thanks hun ❤️

Wow....I am speechless. Literally held my breath all through this piece.

Everyday we leave our houses not knowing what's gonna befall us. I always tell people , each day you leave you house and come back home safe. Say thank you lord because many leave their houses and never return. I have seen numerous videos online of people who got crushed by truck and died. They never knew that day would be their end but it was.

We are no different from them but we are still alive till date.

I am happy to have you here @arbitrarykitten please do well to take care of yourself and be safe.

I love you!

You truly never know...

The aftermath sucks something fierce. But I know I will heal :) Thank you so much hun <3

I really feel compassionate about what you experienced.
Even though it is everything else but easy, "letting go" is key, because if not it will eat up on us and eventually it becomes so deeply buried within ourselves that we might even forget where certain patterns and feelings stem from. Acceptance is so important to go further without letting the past pain having a say in our present moment of limitless possibilities, because when we apply the unconscious principal "Time heals all wounds" we tend to suppress feelings.

Having said that, I also have had near death experiences. Not in the way you experienced it but nonetheless in a way that actively letting go any mind attachment was pivotal! Writing is one good method of doing so. But as I always highlight, practising mental Silence is a very powerful healing tool as well...

Good luck and all the best!

I was doing a pretty good job "distracting" myself from the images. Until I finally feel asleep that very night. I dreamed the image of the semi coming and when it hit my whole body jumped so hard I hit my head on the headboard.

When I was driving my rental car, and during sleep is when they are worst...

Mental silence? As in meditation?

Well, it is a very positive sign that you reprocess this experience in the dream state!

Clearing my mind by actively silencing it helped me tremendously in the process of letting go. This was necessary for me in the beginning because my mind was too chattery to simply stop it, and more importantly these thoughts are linked to the memory of unhealed energy. We usually recprocess such traumatic events in the dream state but most feel rather "haunted" by these dreams, which often entails that people have these dreams their whole life because feeling "haunted" is a state of suppression where energy gets stuck in us.
For me, actively clearing my thoughts was the way out of outdated thought patterns and after some time I released them in the dream state. Whenever I released the thoughts' energetic essence in the dream state, I woke up shortly afterwards and felt the physical release, I literally felt how my body releases density and became lighter..step for step more :)

So yes, of course you can talk a walk in nature or do anything that helps you to clear your thoughts. But personally, being aware of the effect such events have on us, actively shutting close our thoughts with the WILLINGNESS to let them go was by far most powerful.

I love all of this.

Thank you

God's miracle to be grateful for

Believe it or not but I had to read this twice to be sure that it was for real.
It was as like a scene out of Final Destination ....

Writing will help indeed to deal with the "mindtraffic" :) and keep me glued to my screens with the urge to popcorn the shit out of my keyboard.

On a more serious note, glad to read that your injuries are minimal.
With support of this great community (all the comments I saw with thoughtful suggestions and heartfelt words) you will gain the strength to continue as always and with writing skills like yours, I'm even more interested in this chapter of your life.
Looking forward to part two. Getting out the popcorn...

Glad to read that you are alive and kickin.
Stay strong @arbitrarykitten!

The Steemit Support Group:) It truly is healing. I'm consistently amazed by the wonderful people of the community <3

Thank you

Oh my word goosebumps all over. I am so glad that you made it out and I'm still speechless. I truly hope that you recover quickly and that you are able to make it home.

It took four days and several different forms of transportation, but I made it safe and sound just a few hours ago!

Thank you hun. <3 I appreciate your well wishes. Most of my injuries are mental, and not to discount them at all, but there were worse physical injuries in that wreck and the others before and since.

Glad you made it home safely. Sometimes mental injuries are the hardest to heal so all the best in your recovery.

Wow...that is a really scary and daunting experience. Thank God you are alive and not just another road crash statistic. From what you describe it's truly a miracle- u could have been dead or seriously injured. Can't wait to read more about it.We can never be too safe out there on the roads but sorry for what you went through and do hope you get over the PTSD. Time will heal you.

It really is a miracle, I can feel that clearly.

I traveled for a bit with a lady who'd experienced a bad car wreck. She gave me some tips, and said it'll take time, but it gets easier :)

Oh my God, oh my God! I can’t believe what you went through! Thank goodness you’re alive. It seems impossible. I read every word, and I feel like I saw an intense movie scene. But it actually happened to you. Hugs and healing! Glad you survived!

To be completely honest I'm still in shock that I walked away. Especially while watching the DOT and fire men sweeping my Jeep into plastic bags... That's what really did it for me.

Thank you so much for your hugs and healing <3 They are deeply appreciated

Please consider getting in touch with a therapist, even if just for a few sessions.

In the direct aftermath of a traumatic experience, it's hard to know what kind of effect it will have on you in the medium-to-long term. Sometimes people just shake it off and think they're fine only to realize months or years later that they never really processed the event fully, and it comes back to haunt them.

PTSD can be extremely debilitating. Even if you're feeling like you have this under control, it never hurts to open up an avenue of communication so if things start to go south in the future, you can address them immediately and hopefully lessen any long-term consequences of the accident.

I am grateful to hear that you and the driver of the other vehicle were not seriously injured. Please take good care of yourself and take all the time you need to recover both physically and mentally.

I am finding a EMDR specialist. It's not quite like the movies portray, but I'm having the images replay. And I had to return the rental car and find different ways home because of the panic attacks while driving the next day.

EMDR and CBT works well.

Thank you so much <3 I know so many people believe they can handle a trauma on their own. But these things have a way of taking control and changing your mind and reaction.

Thoughtful suggestion hun <3 I absolutely agree with you and encourage anyone who has had something traumatic happen to see a specialist. It does not mean you're weak! It actually means you are strong and have a powerful, protective survival instinct :)

That's great to hear! You're absolutely right, getting help is not a sign of weakness.

And yes, sometimes our survival instincts can be perfectly understandable (if a military vet had been in an ambush, I totally understand why hearing fireworks outside their home would cause visceral, gut-level anxiety even in non-combat situations) but it can be out of proportion to the actual threat (they're just fireworks). Even if it's completely understandable, it's hard to live with a constant background of stress and anxiety.

I also applaud you for taking the time to write all of this out when it must be extremely difficult to relive the events by blogging about them. A lot of people try to avoid or suppress negative experiences and emotions (again, totally understandable), but addressing them proactively can be helpful in understanding that you did experience a traumatic event that isn't processed in the same way as normal day-to-day events. It can also help to make sense of the gut-level feelings/flashbacks/nightmares instead of feeling confused as to why they are happening and and powerless to make them stop.

Best of luck with the EMDR, and I look forward to reading any updates you might post. <3

Thank you for collaborating with me to promote this post as explained at

I hope I can open a few avenues of communication, and spread some awareness. It is easy to feel alone after traumatic events, and all kinds of messed up things happen in your mind. I hope I can help someone, or even give the tools for someone to help a loved one after an event <3

Thank you

OMG I am at such a loss for words. I can't believe I didn't even see this. But I am glad you are in one piece. I can't imagine what it was like to watch in the mirror or back window as it all played out. THANK GOD you were in that Jeep. The size of it probably saved your life. I truly hope it doesn't take years to overcome, but if it does we are all here for you to help you any way we can. Surely God was with all of you that day.
You just take all the time you need with posting the events. One day at a time my friend.

I choose Jeep because my gut tells me it's safe. I've always felt so secure. It's still shocking to me how both of us in Jeeps had the worst of the collisions but hardly any physical injuries. And neither of our airbags deployed... Now I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing at this point, I'm awaiting word.

Thank you so much my friend, I appreciate you <3

Wow that is even scarier. I have a honda accord with airbags everywhere. I hope I never have to find out how well they work. Might get my son a jeep.

Sending you all the love in my heart to help you put the trauma behind you. I had a MUCH less serious incident many years ago, but that watching them come up behind and knowing you WILL be hit and there is nothing to be done... that is about as helpless as I have ever felt.

That's it right there. I keep having flashbacks of the semi coming at me.. And sometimes the woman who had to be cut out of her car...

You made it honey - it will get better from here, because you know how to make it better from here. Biggest hugs ever!

❤️ And because I have a wonderful home support network and my phenomenal Steemit tribe xxoo

Been crazy busy, but thinking of you and sending you those healing vibes!

Awe, thank you so much for thinking of me <3 It really means a lot :)

I am feeling better today. Nowhere near 100% but noticeable.

oh my god babes. hugs and hugs and more hugs.

Are you ok? is there anything I can do?

I thought it was a story.....if it is ...... please tell me (us), seriosly.

Our thoughts are with you babes.

can be on discord if it helps..anything.

(i have been in something horrific in a car to)

me and patriot. xx

It's true, unfortunately. I'd give almost anything to have never had it happen.

Thank you so much hun. I'm still a mental wreck, but when I'm clearer I'll find you on Discord <3 I appreciate you XO

My wife told me about this, reading it still had quite an impact. I want to tell you I am VERY glad you are OK. I have been looking forward to meeting you - (fishyculture is my wife btw.) If we can be of assistance getting you home, just say the word.

Oh hello! It's wonderful meeting you!

It took four days, but I arrived safe

Ohhhh my !!! This is breath taking story, I was holding my breath while reading, I can feel while you're inside the tunnel... thank you to that lady... she's an angel... and Thank God You're ok @arbitrarykitten... I admire you, you're so brave of sharing this to us.... take care always and if you need someone to talk to... We're all just here for you... 😘😘😘😘

Thank you so much, I appreciate your support very, very much <3

Having experienced a wreck (not quite of this magnitude) in which I thought I was done for, this account evokes strong memories of that incident. I am so glad you made it through but holy crap, this is frightening.

It truly was one of the most frightening things I've had to experience.

I have no words! I'm so glad you are okay. Your poor jeep. The one you paid for with crypto I am assuming? Sending you the biggest virtual hugs. If you need a friend to talk to you can always find me in discord.

Yes, CryptoJeep. She did such a good job. She saved my life.

Thank you hun <3

Wow, just gripping and compelling. And the fact that it is a real event for you almost makes me guilty to say that.

But you are alive. And alive to tell this Story.

I look forward to hearing it all . And I am so glad it is something that can be of healing to you over time.

upvote follow bunny.gif

I have written more, this is becoming a series ;) lol

The road to recovery is slow and long, and must be approached with kindness and compassion to yourself <3

Thank you so much, I hope you check out the other posts I have made regarding this. I hope they can help someone, and bring awareness :)

Wish you a speedy recovery @arbitrarykitten . I can't even imagine what you must have been going through right now. I was in an motorcycle accident during my teenage days and whatever happened that night kept on repeating in my mind for next few months. It was only after my Mom forced me to drive the car around the same neighborhood that I was able to recover mentally.

Your mom did good :). It's like what they say after a horse throws you- you gotta get right back on it...

This just show how fragile a human's life is. :(
Many are not given the chance to properly leave this life, many left with regrets, unfinished arguments with loved ones, words given that was never really meant. All of the regrets that cannot be undone because the person is no longer there. This is absolutely the reason why we have to live our lives everyday without regrets and say our grace to the Lord and express our love to our family because you will never know when you will disappear in this world.

Reading this reminds me that you can never chose how you die and i'm left speechless and grateful that you are alive. :)

Take care of yourself Ms. @arbitrarykitten and thank you for sharing your story because i'm sure you have inspired someone out there and that includes me. ^^)

Exactly. Live each day, and love without restraint :)

Amen! :)
Anyways, how are you feeling now? Still recuperating?

There are good hours. And there are not so good hours. I have more internal damage than I thought... They are having to place both of my hips and 14 of my vertebrae back into place, which is painful but necessary. But I am feeling better overall day by day. The worst is the fog and holes in my brain. I have written several more posts since detailing everything.

Thank you for asking <3

i'm happy and sad at the same time. sad because you have to go through such pain :(
and happy because you are recovering. 😊
i'll hope you'll recover sooner than expected not just physically but also mentally. 😇

That means a lot ❤️ Thank you

An experience of an accident is not equivalent of an experience of death.

There is more. Much more. But I found I could only write this part tonight... I'm trying to write a little each night. Writing the trauma is healing <3

Such a wonderful and interesting topic for blog...
By @arbitrarkitten mam...
"My Near Death Experience"

I got by a nest of wasps right next door to my home. They stung me all over my head, neck, behind my ears -- 39 stings the doctor counted. I got home and was like...I'm okay. I'm cool. Told my mom I got stung by some bees but I thought I was okay. She didn't seem too worried. I decided to go take a shower.

In the shower, I began feeling dizzy and my back started hurting.

I quickly turned the shower off and got my clothes on and began feeling dizzier and dizzier. Then when I came out of the bathroom, my mom looked at me and had a look of horror. Told me to get in the car immediately. My face and head had swollen hugely.

Between my house and the hospital, I started losing consciousness. Everything I saw had a yellow tinge and I suddenly felt very heavy and tired. My breathing got very labored, but I sort of of didn't care. I felt like I was slipping away into sleep.

I remember arriving at the hospital and they didn't even bother with registration. They threw my ass on a gurney and started pushing me back. As I was going back, I remember closing my eyes and thinking, "I guess whatever happens..." And then nothing. Some minutes later, I opened my eyes and a very large man was staring at me. He said, "Bad news. You're gonna feel completely fine within a couple of hours. You probably won't even get out of going to school tomorrow."

He was right.

Thanks dear...

Oh wow. Are you allergic, or was it just the sheer amount of stings?

Oh! a creepy story @arbitrarykitten, God is really good all the time =)
If it is time for your life to end, in anyways it will end, but if it is not yet the end of your life. God will find ways to make you safe in anyways

Thank you for sharing with us!

You are welcome..

@arbitrarykitten I have checked on your blog in the past three days and was wondering why you have been away. Thank God you are alive and well to even tell the tale of your near death experience. It is well with you. Stay safe. I awaiting the sequels. Regards.

Unreal. Glad you're safe and it sounds like you are physically OK?

Physically only minor injuries. I am very fortunate

sending oceans of love and light to you.

Thank you hun <3

Scary stuff..

Very. One of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had...

There are no words to comfort you, but I hope you are getting better and healing. Hold your loved ones tight tonight <3... precious. You know what is worth, that's a blessing. Take care, sweetie.

It'll take time, but I have faith. And a wonderful support network.

Thank you <3

Wow, your story was definitely scary. I am happy to know you are writing this. Though you paused I'm assuming you are okay since you are here and sharing your experience. Anxiously awaiting the next post about this to find out more of what happened.

Yeah, I was planning on writing the whole thing at once. But I just can't, lol. I will write more tomorrow. Baby steps ;)

That is CRAZY!!! I am so glad that you're okay, what a nightmare - I'm sure you had quite a shock.. The winter weather is a nightmare, even as a Chicagoan.

Wow, just wow! You are so lucky to have survived that. I'm glad you are Ok.

thank GOD you're safe. you'll never know what will happen in that kind of weather.good thing you've got presence of mind and stayed calm during the ordeal.

Exactly. You never know. Things never happen when you expect them ;)

Sounds horrific. So sorry to hear. I wish you well!

Wow it was hard reading it at certain points, really strong feelings! I'm glad you made it out ok!

Thank you hun <3

Wow. So glad you are ok. You never know what might happen so we need to live life in the best way we can. Keep strong and hope the lady is ok.

I found word about her today. She is still unconscious, but surviving. I'm sending her prayers and healing energy.

I'm so fortunate. That fact is definitely not lost on me.

Thank you hun <3

Like a lot of the other commenters, I was holding my breath and my heart rate picked up. When you told of the last who pulled you out, I teared up. That's great writing right there!

"Write to heal..."

Thanks Coach <3

Thank you hun <3

Oh my heart was thumping while reading that you must have been scared stiff, I know I would have been.
We have this problem over here where drivers don't drive to the conditions of the road, it is a huge problem with deaths every week. I am glad you are safe.

Thank you hun <3

Wow! What a story dear @arbitrarykitten. Thank God for his mercies over you.

Thank you kindly <3

Oh, my goodness! I am thankful that you survived such a horrendous crash and have the courage to write about it. I wish you a speedy recovery and safe journey home.

Thank you so much hun <3

I am glad that you are fine and I hope you are also getting better.
It is not your time to die yet, you still have some things to fulfill on earth

Feels so unreal. I am glad you are fine.

It still feels unreal to me

Thank you very much @arbitrarykitten for writing this story and submitting it to SWC. Reading it was if I was there, well written. I sent a bid to a bot for your upvote.

My! That was trilling will take me awhile to really get myself
In any case you really had an experience., I'm sorry you had to go through those but what do I know, you're a survivor

Thank you hun <3

That is absolutely incredible. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for your support <3

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I knew that something was not right when I did not see a daily post. @arbitrarykitten I know that Cats have 9 Lives............

It takes a lot to keep me away ;)

Hi @arbitrarykitten, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Steemit Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

Join us on Thursdays for Pimp Your Post Thursday at 11am EST or 7PM EST in the Steemit Ramble Discord or:

If you’d like to nominate someone’s post just visit the Steemit Ramble Discord

Oh thank you hun <3

Wow this is intense - goosebumps all over -

Thanks for reading hun <3

Congratulations! This post has been chosen as one of the daily Whistle Stops for The STEEM Engine!

You can see your post's place along the track here: The Daily Whistle Stops, Issue # 61 (3/2/18)

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OMG kitty! My heart! Did this just happen? So scary! Are you okay?

This was just last Thursday. I have written a few more posts here on it... My internal injuries are worse than I thought... but I am healing and feeling better today...

I am so glad you're okay! I can't imagine coming through this experience and being able to write about it. Thank you for your courage.

I always tell people Write to heal. Because it's you right to heal :) I am taking my own advice. Recovery- both mentally and physically, is painful, but I am healing <3 Thank you hun

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Thank God for your life and I wish those with injuries quick recovery. These things do happen but then we need to remain positive and be thankful that you are here today still steeming.

Oh so true. Remain positive. And I am thankful everyday that I am here with you <3 This is definitely not lost on me.

I am so glad that you are alive!! and so sorry that you had to go through this.

Thank you so much hun <3

Wow! I just came across your blog and I'm amazed! First, that you're alive and secondly that you're sharing with us in such a frank manner. I appreciate it. PTSD can come from so many things too. There is no "less traumatic" because it's trauma that causes this brain injury. I'd upvote you but my vote is worthless at the moment, but I hope you keep writing because it's awesome to hear from someone like yourself.


What a scary thing to happen! I am glad you are alive and largely well.

It is truly a miracle that you are alive...i am more than speechless right speechless...I am so glad you are fine enough to be here....most times when you hear about things like this, they sound so abstract until you hear it from someone close....again i am super glad that you are fine