So, where to begin? Well, predictably at the beginning. The beginning of my experiences that is. Flash back to 1994, Virginia Beach. I was in the agonizing throws of puberty. Awkward, confusing, gut wrenching puberty. I was a late bloomer and at 14 I had just discovered kissing boys, “punk rock”, and how best to flunk out of school. I was soon to perfect the art of pot smoking and teenage apathy. But right there, in between those adolescent milestones something crazy happened.
I was falling asleep one night, drifting off to the angsty sounds of Henry Rollins’ “The Boxed Life” and thinking about ugly thrift store clothes, when suddenly with a loud BOOM and a WOOSH I was sucked down and out of my body. It was so quick I had no time to realize what was happening. I was terrified! At first I thought, I must be sinking into my bed, but how is that possible? Or wait, worse! I was being sucked down into the depths of hell! I didn’t know if I even believed in hell at the time (I don’t now) but when you’re 14, scared and alone in the dark all your beliefs are up in the air. The fear was so intense I almost immediately went back into my body. I woke up with a silent scream that must have come out as a whimper because my mom came rushing in to see if I was OK. I don’t know how but her bionic mother ears had heard my tiny voice from 2 rooms away. I was so thankful to be back in reality. I told her what had happened and she casually explained I was having an OBE, an out of body experience. I went out of my body?! Astral projected?! She assured me it was very natural and had happened to her many times. She told me not to be afraid, but I was.
The next morning she directed me to our living room book shelf and handed me “Journeys out of the body,” by Robert Monroe. My life would never be the same. That was the first time Robert Monroe would change my life. From that night forward I started having OBEs all the time. I’d wake up at the ceiling, scream and slam back into my body. Sometimes I’d just float casually through the wall and up into the night sky. Other times I’d be flying through the air like superman and still others I’d weightlessly drift above earth in the stillness of space. It was all very exciting!
I noticed more often than not I’d have an OBE in the mornings if I had fallen back asleep or went to nap in the nurse’s office during first period at school. I later read that this time after initially waking was a perfect time to have an OBE because the body can easily slip back into sleep but the mind is very alert. I had one of my most profound experiences in that very same nurse’s office a year later. It was first period and I was exhausted as usual. I could never seem to sleep enough in those days. I greeted the nurses with my usual excuse, “headache”. “Yes, again”. I flopped onto a cot in the back room and passed out. What seemed like only seconds later, I heard my name being called. Was first bell over all ready? Dam! I had just fallen asleep. I opened my eyes and there standing before me was…me! Yes, me! She looked at me and said “Tiffany, don’t be afraid. Take my hand” I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. There I was talking to MYSELF! I reluctantly gave her my hand and WOOSH I was pulled straight out. Once I was freed of my physical body my “other self” disappeared and I floated aimlessly through my high school. I saw some of my friends in the hall, but they seemed oblivious to my attempts to communicate with them. I saw the cheerleaders practicing in the foyer. I saw my teachers in their class rooms teaching. All in all just a typical school day. When I awoke from my incredible nap I rushed to meet my friends to see if they had been in that very same hall.
They were! Did the cheerleaders practice that morning? They had! I had validated my journey and it felt great! I know what you might be thinking. It all sounds crazy! Well crazy was still to come.
It’s at this time I’d like to take a little side trip and explain why this all seemed so casual in my home. Well the answer is, I come from a family of very open minded women. My mom and grandmother have studied the occult and metaphysics for most of their lives, especially the readings of Edgar Cayce. We had moved to Virginia Beach in 1992 to be closer to the A.R.E. The Association of Research and Enlightenment, or the Edgar Cayce foundation. I learned quickly to keep this information to myself.
In 1992 you lived in Virginia Beach for 1 of 3 reasons, the military, Pat Robertson or the A.R.E. The majority of the kids I went to school with came from military families, or were born again Christians of the Christian Coalition. A very small amount of us were A.R.E. kids and unless you were very involved with the organization you didn’t really know each other. You don’t just walk up to the kids at school and say “Hi, I’m so and so, we live here because of the A.R.E. I learned THAT the hard way. On the first day of 6th grade I was introduced as the new kid and a class mate asked if my dad was in the navy. “No, we moved here because of Edgar Cayce.” I said excited with the prospect of making a new friend. “Oh, you’re a devil worshiper!” she said and walked away. And that was the end of that conversation.
I took mental note, don’t tell people why you moved to Virginia Beach, yikes! Kids are cruel and throwing things like metaphysics and vegetarianism in the mix make things down right brutal…But adversity builds character and I’m sure I had my cruel moments. We became vegetarians when I was 6. I remember asking my mom what that meant. She replied, “No more BLTs”, and I cried. In 1986 being a vegetarian was not considered cool. Things had lightened up a bit in 1992 but the kids still had jokes. Field trips were always a disaster. When the chaperone announced we were all going to McDonald’s all the kids cheered, I cringed. There was always the, “What are you going to eat, just a bun with lettuce on it?” Or the always fun, “You’re stupid, why you don’t just eat a burger? It’s not going to kill you”. But my favorite was, “What are your parent’s dirty hippies or something?” I remember in 4th grade I was sent to camp for 2 weeks. The 4th grade cabin was full so I had to bunk with the 3rd graders. Social suicide! Talk about devastating! But the real nail in the coffin came at lunch time when all the kids corralled into the dining cabin and noticed my food had all been shipped in special. No bueno. In High school things had turned around a bit. All the hard core kids were becoming vegetarians or militant vegans so I wasn’t so different anymore. But I still only discussed my experiences with a hand full of my close friends, and I certainly didn’t discuss my OBEs with just anyone. I was just getting used to the OBEs when the “night visitations” started