40 Yr Old Victim of Drink Spiking
This Guest Post is by Snezna.
This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. As a journalist for many years and now a blogger, I wax lyrical about my views on various issues, hoping that someone may be interested in what I have to say. It is easy to write about things from a third party perspective. Writing about a personal experience is excruciating, which is why it’s taken me two weeks to write this.
I was a victim of drink spiking recently.
One minute I was coherent and completely normal. The next I was slurring my words, before falling into a dead sleep. Not that I have any recollection of acting like someone who was completely off her head. That is the most frightening part – a complete blackout of the evening from a certain point. Nothing. I found out from my friend, whom I was out dinner with, that I went from being totally fine to passed out drunk.
She confirmed that we had NOT consumed a lot of alcohol. I, of course, can’t recall the evening so have no concept of how much alcohol I did consume.
Without going into the details of the night, suffice to say there was a man who made himself known to me, who was insistent on talking to me and who I politely informed that I was not interested in. He persisted. I got a bit freaked out and decided to go to the rest room in the hope that he would be gone on my return. I left my drink on the bar, next to my friend. Within the space of about 20-30 minutes from me sipping on that drink after returning from the bathroom, I was gone.
I don’t recall getting home. I don’t recall how I got home.
I don’t recall if I was alone in the cab or with my friend. A total blackout. Turns out my friend got me home safe. Thank goodness.
Rohypnol, or the date rape drug as it’s known, takes affect within 30 minutes. Once it hits you simply appear as if you are very, very drunk. You feel drunk. You have problems talking. You black out. You can’t remember what happened while drugged. You feel very sleepy. You can experience stomach problems and pain. And, it can lead to death. The drug leaves the body quickly so, even if you wanted to, it’s very hard to prove that drugs were involved. Other drugs with similar affect include GHB and Ketamine (or Special K)
I didn’t even come to the conclusion that I may have been drugged initially. At first I was just disgusted in myself that I had allowed myself to get so drunk. Because I couldn’t recall certain parts of the evening, I couldn’t remember how much I had had to drink. So, given the state I was in, I assumed I had drunk so much that I passed out and couldn’t remember a thing.
It was a throw away line from my partner, who witnessed me being unable to keep my eyes open, slurring and incoherent, about whether I had taken any drugs that jolted back some elements of the evening.
As someone who does not do drugs, it started me thinking: could someone have spiked my drink? Then the over-bearing guy at the bar came back to me in flashes. The memory of me leaving my drink at the bar whilst I visited the restroom to get away from him. And then, after taking a few more sips of my wine — the nothingness. No memory at all of the rest of the evening.
My mind was awhirl with thoughts and emotions. Did I get my drink spiked or was I using that as excuse for my abhorrent drunken behaviour? How did I get home? Did I go straight home? Thankfully, my friend confirmed being with me the entire time and making sure I got home safe.
Then the fear of what could have been. What if the level of drug put in my drink was high enough to cause me to be ill….or to die? What if he had managed to get me away from my friend once the drug had taken affect? I could have been raped. I could have been killed. In the state I was in, did I give out my business card or number? Was there any chance that this creep could contact me/find me?
Then anger. What kind of mother$&@$# gets his kicks from drugging girls in order to get them to go home with him? How dare someone violate my choice and my right not to take drugs and give them to me unknowingly. How crap is that two women out alone might be seen as an easy target for this kind of thing.
Then embarrassment. I am a 45-year-old woman, how could I have been so stupid? I know this kind of things happens all the time. I felt that this guy was threatening. What possessed me to leave my drink exposed?
Relief. I know it could have been so much worse. I reminded myself I was lucky.
Shame. As much as I try to tell myself that this was not my fault, you do feel an element of shame. It’s shame that you let yourself be in that situation, when you should know better. Shame at what you may have been like in the moment. Because you can’t remember, you beat yourself up about how you may have acted. Shame as to why you had been singled out for this attack.
I am still grappling with my emotions. I am trying to put it behind me. If I think about it too much all those emotions I have recounted come back in all their glaring ferocity. I can’t even begin to imagine what I would be feeling had I woken up in a strange hotel room.
It took me till now to be able to share. As soon as I did, I can’t begin to tell you how many girls have told me it has happened to them. And, like me, most of them just didn’t talk about it because there is that emotional guilt/shame/confusion…
It sucks that this happens and is so common. It sucks that the possibility of rape can rear its ugly head in a public bar. It sucks that by the very nature of the drug and its effects that guys just get away with it. It sucks that even though you are the victim you still experience emotions of guilt and shame. It sucks that next time I go out, I won’t be the same carefree girl I normally am. I hope that sharing helps others be more aware and wary.
And, no matter what, don’t leave your drink unattended EVER!