I went out with friends last weekend and I was drugged. I went to a club that I’ve been to a million times. I know the staff. I was there with a large group. I wasn’t drinking very much. In fact, I had two drinks and that was it. But I was drugged.
I woke up in the ER early on Sunday morning. I did a Breathalyzer for the first time in my whole life. I gave them a urine sample. I somehow managed to tell them all the medications I take and the dosages.
The doctor told me that I had been found on a curb. I remember bits of an ambulance ride, also my first ever. I remember throwing up. I had been left on the sidewalk like garbage. I was drugged and it’s weird to say, but then thankfully, abandoned. The ER was convinced that I had been drugged considering how low my Breathalyzer score was and “how you were found”.
There was no evidence that I had been assaulted. Most likely I just wandered off or I was seen as too far gone to take home. I told the doctor that everything was where I left it, even my underwear.
I was careful. I was not drunk. I was around people I knew.
But overwhelmingly when someone says that they were roofied, it falls back on them somehow.
“You didn’t watch your drink closely enough”
“You shouldn’t go out to clubs”
“You should be more careful”
To those people I say,
I was careful. I AM careful. I know a lot about the person that I’m sure spiked my drink. I spoke to him for a while before the drugs kicked in. I know his name what he looks like, what kind of job he has, his friend’s name. I could spot him again. But I shouldn’t have to defend myself because of someone else’s actions. He drugged me. I didn’t drug me. I ended up in the ER with a $300 bill because of him not me.
There is so much shame and anxiety for people to even come forward and say that it happened. It’s terrifying. You don’t recall what went down so how do you process? How do you deal with the not knowing? Then in the middle of it you are essentially told that it’s your fault.
It was not your fault.
It is not your fault.
You are not to blame.
I was careful. I watched him go to the bar. I took my eyes off of him for a second. I wasn’t drunk.
But I want you to know:
If you were drunk – It’s still not your fault.
If you accepted a drink – It’s still not your fault.
If you went somewhere you weren’t familiar with – It’s not your fault.
If you didn’t have on that nail polish to test your drink because we’re all supposed to live in fear and paranoia apparently- It is not your fault.
Do you hear me? It is not your fault that someone else violated your trust.
If you were raped – It is not your fault.
If you made it home and smashed your face on the coffee table – It is not your fault.
If you were left on the curb like trash – It is not your fault.
This isn’t just about “being more careful”. You can be careful and it can still happen and guess what?
It’s still not your fault that someone else is a predator.
When I was twenty and raped it was no more my fault then when I was four and raped.
Someone else made a decision about my body on that Saturday night. It doesn’t make it better because I wasn’t assaulted. They left me vulnerable and it was only by the grace of God that I was peeled off the sidewalk with my purse and my phone and taken to the hospital.
I still experienced a trauma that I am reeling from. I am trying to make sense of it and I can’t.
I am that girl who refills her cocktail glass with water so no one offers to get her another drink. I still got drugged. I am not on Tinder. I am not out there in the ways that people are. I still got drugged.
But even if I was drunk and on an Tinder date, it would still not be my fault.
It can happen to anyone, regardless. It is not that person’s fault. It happens too much.
If someone comes to you and tells you that they believe they were roofied, don’t jump to what they did “wrong” don’t tell them the things that you would “never do” that they may have done. Do not make them feel responsible. However well intentioned you are don’t say, “Be more careful next time.”
This isn’t about next time, this is about now, a hurting person coming to you and needing support.
You are allowed to say the following:
“I am so sorry that that happened to you. I am sorry that someone exploited you. I am sorry that someone made a decision about your body. I am sorry that you encountered a predator. I care about you. I love you. I want you to know that you are safe with me. I want you to know that this was not your fault.”
I know that the world is cruel and dangerous. Believe me. But I am not a victim. I am not going to let someone else decide that I will live in fear.
If you know anything about your attacker, share that information. Reclaim some of that night. Make a statement to the bar. Make a statement to the police. What you do with what happened is in your control, not theirs. Do not be silent. Do not be afraid. Stand up and say, this body is mine!
No really, if this has happened to you stand on a chair right now and say,
“This body is mine! No one else gets a say! I am not a victim, I am a victor! I survived! I will share my story I will help others be safe. THIS BODY IS MINE.”
If there is anything that I want others to know from my experience it is that it is not your fault. You can heal. Get help, process, shed light on the wound. Don’t hide. Please don’t hide. Don’t let shame overtake you. You are worth more than many sparrows, you are the apple of someone’s eye, you are magnificent, your very breath is full of life. You are not the sum of the things that happen to you.