Let's talk about roofies and rapes
Men don't surprise me anymore, and neither does the thought of drugging someone you barely know. The power dynamic certain people crave is easy to spot - they want you to stand behind them, they want to buy all your drinks, they want all your attention, their compliments are back handed. But it's harder to spot how far they're willing to take it. Would you buy that girl one too many tequila shots? Would you demand she let you drive her home? Would you slip something in her drink?
"Have you ever been with an older man?"
I didn't remember how I had arrived at his motel room, and I never took my clothes off, but I found myself laying naked on cheap sheets. I could feel the rough thread on my bare back. Somewhere in the room Purple Rain by Prince was playing.
"I'm going to ruin you."
Prince would have hated this.
A roofie is the slang term for Flunitrazepam, a hypnotic sedative drug and a muscle relaxant. But it's often used to refer to any date-rape drug a person slips into another persons drink with the goal to make it easier to take advantage of them.
"You need more to drink."
"You aren't drunk enough."
"Here, have this."
After drink number two, my memory gets shaky.
I remember the conversation in very choppy pieces, like most roofie victims, but the situation is the same. I didn't want him near me, but I had baby strength and couldn't do much.
The one drink made me black out. My roommate would later tell me she saw him slip something in the drink but thought it was no big deal.
I lurched forward. I told him to stop. I squirmed.
"You’re fine. Relax."
The memories are really choppy. I know I needed to throw up the entire time, but that could have been the booze, the drugs or the man on top of me.
Blacking out is common for people who have been roofied. So is uncontrolled sleepiness, which I did not have, nausea, vomiting, headaches and slurred speech which I had all of. Roofie victims may also have trouble seeing or breathing and, in some cases, the victim may even begin hallucinating, which contributes to the self-doubt that often follows situations like these.
I went to his dirty motel bathroom to throw up and when I came back out, he was in his bed, all tucked in.
"You should go."
"What’s your name?" I wanted to know. I couldn't remember it.
"It doesn’t matter."
I don't remember getting home.
He was a 40-year old man who was in my town for the weekend to celebrate spring training.
I woke up the next morning throwing up blood. I lost my underwear somewhere that night. My memory is pretty blurry. I thought I should be proud to have gotten laid. Everything was sore and I didn't have much coordination - I ran into my wall almost every time I tried to get to the bathroom. I couldn't feel my hands.
I told my roommate I thought I was drugged and she said she saw him put it in my drink.
"That’s because he knows you’re too hot for him. Good for you!"
Good for me.
About a week later I was roofied again, this time by one of his friends. He put something in his own drink and then convinced me to have some. My roommate saw him do it and told me, this time right after I drank the wells vodka tonic. I immediately told a friend who helped me get home.
I got home, put on pajamas and crawled into bed. Two hours later, my roommate brought the guy home for me. He woke me up. I threw up on him. He left.
The next morning, I threw up blood again. After one drink.
I was hungover for three days.
I truly believe there isn’t anything you can do to avoid these situations. The first time I was assaulted, I was asleep in a room with five girls. The second time, I was grabbing a beer with my roommate and her boyfriend after work. The second time I was roofied, I was just trying to eat some nachos.
But I’ve learned a lot of other things, that what's helped me recover from these situations. Here are some of the things that got me through my assaults, and some self care tips that have helped me partially regain my power. They might not work for everyone, but they certainly helped me.
- See a therapist. Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from PTSD, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide. I've done them all. Therapy helps. There are tons of ways to get cheaper therapy through city run programs, religious groups or your work or school. It just takes a bit of googling.
- Take a week off - at least. Give yourself a break. Self care is so important and not only did your body go through a lot with unwanted drugs or assault, but your mind needs the rest too. If you need to, tell your boss you're sick and visit your parents or a good friend. Because honestly - you are sick.
- Allow yourself time to forgive yourself. Like anything horrible, you need to allow yourself time. In a few months or years, it will still hurt. It will still be hard. Forgive yourself. Remove that blame, and it will help a lot. But it will still take time.
- Paint your feelings, write some poetry or start a journal. I usually get a lot of flack when I tell people to paint their feelings, but it's really helped me. Sometimes I feel like my blood is boiling, and when I paint it out it allows me to release those emotions onto paper. Sometimes I feel so dirty I can't scrub the men off of me. Painting my skin helps to release that too. Writing poetry and starting a journal helps with that as well.
- Write a letter to your rapist/ assaulter/ roofie-er. Tell the person everything you wish you had said that day. Tell them how they affected you and how no matter how much they did, they didn't take your power away from you. Seal it and light it on fire. Watch it burn.
Again, these might not work for you. But they worked for me. If you are assaulted and need to speak to someone, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673.