Thelmar, E – 15 I am being strangled
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Maniac – A Realistic Study of Madness from the Maniac’s Point of View – E Thelmar
No sooner had I thought this, than I found myself being wound round and round by what felt exactly like a snake. I knew these people thought it was The Snake (of the Garden of Eden) and expected me to be terrified; but I was not in the least terrified (I was not afraid of anything when Ray Hall was with me), and I was sure I should be perfectly safe and unharmed.
But almost simultaneously with this sensation of being wound round by a snake, I passed into blank and utter unconsciousness.
This was the sole time, throughout my attack of madness, that I ever believed Ray Hall to have been bodily present with me. And during this time, as already stated, his “voice” never once spoke to me.
While I was blankly unconscious, the following took place: The maid appeared with some tea, and I started up in bed (so Mrs. w. has since informed me) exclaiming that she was my child, causing the woman to drop the cup and bolt in terror from the room. Then I refused to allow Mrs. W. to dress, telling her she would be a dead woman if she did. Not one thing of all this ever penetrated to my consciousness.
About two hours or more, later, I returned quite suddenly and most fully to consciousness, to find myself sitting up in bed, gasping, with a most frightful sensation of suffocation. At the left side of my bed stood my brother Oliver, and at the right Mrs. W. I recognised both instantly. I thought,
"I am being strangled!"
Immediately a voice said to me, "No, you are not being strangled, but some fiends are strangling Ray Hall in his rooms, and that strangles you- because you are not two, but one. For the same reason, if you can manage, by strength of Will, to keep alive, you will keep him alive and defeat the fiends that are trying to kill him. Exert your Will, and fight for your life and his."
I gasped frantically for breath, combating the overwhelming sensation of suffocation I was experiencing. I beat the air wildly with my arms, and began exclaiming, as loudly as my strangling breath would permit- "I am alive! I am alive and well! We are alive and well!"
My brother and Mrs. W. seized my arms on either side and tried to hold me, but I beat the air more frantically than ever, "Say it!-Say it with me!" I cried to them both. "I am alive and well! -We are alive and well! Say it!-Say it!"
"Yes, yes!" they said, and repeated it, endeavouring in vain to hold me still.
"I am alive and well! (Water! Water!" I cried in an agonised aside to my brother.) I felt at the last stage of suffocation.
“Yes! yes! my dear girl!" he exclaimed. I can see his face of frightened horror now. He retained hold of my arm with one hand, while with the other he stretched out to the washstand near, and dipped the tumbler in the jug and handed me some water. "I am alive and well!-I can swallow!-I cannot be suffocating!-I am drinking water!" I gasped between my sips, as, with superhuman effort, I drank the water. "I am alive and well! -I can drink!-Hold on, Ray Hall, I am alive! I will keep alive! I will save you! I will save us both, they shall not kill us! Hold on! Hold on till I save you! "
For perhaps a quarter of an hour or so I battled for our two lives thus, in full, agonised consciousness; then, in the same sudden way in which I had come to consciousness, I again quitted it, utterly and completely. They tell me I continued this shouting and screaming for hours. None of it, except precisely what I have described, ever penetrated to my consciousness, The doctor arrived, and talked and reasoned with me for a long time
(NOTE.-From cross-examination of the nurse who was first called in to attend to me, and who arrived just about at this time, who admits I was talking aloud without intermission, and who refuses to tell me one word that I was saying, I have come to the conclusion that that voice to which I completely detached, was listening- which was making statements which were the last thing in the world that I myself was thinking at the time or ever had thought, that were quite contrary to all my own thoughts and beliefs, that astounded me beyond expression - that voice must, without doubt, have been the voice of my own physical body. I have recorded above, with exact accuracy, my own part and lot, words and consciousness in the matter.)
It was late afternoon when I regained consciousness. Whether it was the afternoon of that same day, or of the following day, or of two or three days later, I cannot be sure. To me it seemed late afternoon of that same day. I felt as if awaking from sleep. I opened my eyes, realised where I was, remembered all that had occurred, and noticed, seated some distance away from me but in full view and with her eyes fixed upon my face, a hospital nurse. I understood at once that it was a hospital Nurse, and that she was there because I was ill.