The Berger Bungalow: The Night I Was Drugged With My Husband

The Night I Was Drugged With My Husband
Posted on:12.28.2017

I awoke to a pounding headache, ratty hair, and clothes that I did not put on myself on New Year’s Day, with no memory of the night before. I rolled over, as I winced in pain to ask my husband, who was laying beside me with puffy, red-rimmed eyes what happened the night before. Everything was blank and I automatically knew that I had been drugged on New Years Eve.

Let me rewind -- 


NEW YEARS EVE:

We decided to ring in the New Year in a casual way - by drinking a bottle of champagne and counting down with my parents, who live on Amelia Island. After eating dinner, Ian and I thought it would be fun to head downtown for their firework celebration that the Island hosts each year. They always have the fireworks earlier in the evening, appealing to families with children and older residents, so we knew that we would be back well before midnight. My parents had neighbors over at their house, so once the fireworks were finished (maybe 8pm?!), we stopped at a bar to get a few drinks because they were pouring Titos for free - how could we resist?! We did not plan to stay long and we didn’t. In total, we were there for maybe two hours, tops and we each had a few drinks. 



In the bar, we found a group of people our age. We chatted with them and found quite a few similarities in our jobs and lives in general. We had a good time getting to know them. There were a few other people around us, but I didn’t pay them much attention at all.

I remember bits and pieces of the night at the bar, but the memories are pretty blurry.  I remember that the bar was dark and cold, but they were playing fun music. I remember one of the young guys getting in a fight with his girlfriend and storming out of the bar, only to return a bit later. I remember them inviting us to hang out more, but we graciously declined their offer, in order to get back to my parents before midnight. I remember getting ready to leave and walking out of the bar. I remember that one man had a dog and told us that he was supposed to go out with his wife, but she got called into her job, at the hospital, so he came out on his own, with his dog (that I of course had to pet!). I remember that I was NOT drunk. Maybe a little tipsy, but definitely not drunk. I remember turning our backs away from our drinks as they sat on the bar. After that, (almost) everything is blank.



Since I do not have any memories, I cannot tell you the rest of the story from my perspective, but I can tell you what I was told by Ian and by my parents and it is terrifying. Here is what I know:

After leaving the bar, Ian and I walked the one minute or less to my car. I clung to his arm, which is normal for me, especially in the cold and I was walking on my own and talking fine. In the four mile car ride, everything changed significantly. I stopped talking completely. I would only reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when asked a specific question. A few minutes into the ride, I looked towards the car window and threw up all over it. Ian said that at that point, I started throwing up again and again. He pulled over and helped me lean out of the car so that I didn’t get anymore vomit on myself, or in the car. It was everywhere and I had no idea what I was doing. I was unable to control myself. I finally stopped throwing up for a bit and he drove the rest of the way home. 

The second he pulled in the driveway, he hopped out of the car as fast as he could. So fast that he forgot to grab the keys out of the ignition. He helped me out of the car and asked if I could stand on my own for 10 seconds, just in order for him to get the keys. I said yes and I looked fine, so he ducked down in my car to grab them. This is when things got really bad.

He saw me fall - he said that my knees didn’t bend, my arms didn’t move, and I did not try to stop my fall. The back of my skull hit my parents paved driveway at full speed. Ian said that it sounded like someone threw a bowling ball on the ground as hard as they could. It has been almost a year since this happened and he still gets emotional when talking about it. He said that I did not react - I did not scream, I did not cry, I did not move. My eyes were open and I was just staring at the sky. He thought I was dead.

Ian finally worked up the nerve to pick me up and apparently, I started talking again all of a sudden and didn’t even realize that I had hit my head or had a fall, at all. My parents thought we were joking - they didn’t know that he was serious when he told them that I was throwing up everywhere, or that I just hit my head so hard on the pavers, but once a few seconds passed, they could tell. 

After throwing up more in the bathroom, Anita and Ian had to bathe me. I was covered with blood, sweat, dirt, and vomit. This is something that I am honestly glad I don’t remember because what 25 year old woman wants to be unable to bathe themselves? I was fighting them the entire time, they say. After bathing me to the best of their ability, they got me dressed. I cannot even imagine what was going through my dad’s head outside of the room. Probably pure panic, not knowing what was going on. 

Once they got me in bed, they researched falls and head injuries. They found out that they could take me to the ER, or they could watch me to make sure that I was breathing and alert. My dad cleaned and bandaged my head and every few minutes, they would ask me questions, they would check my head, and they would just make sure I was alright. Everyone sat by my side for hours, making sure I was okay. Apparently my dog was terrified and wouldn’t stay with me, but I kept asking for her. I also kept asking why my head hurt so bad and I would forget again a few minutes after asking the first, second, third, and more times. I still cannot believe that I do not have any memory of this. 

NEW YEARS DAY

I awoke to a pounding headache, ratty hair, and clothes that I did not put on myself on New Year’s Day, with no memory of the night before. I rolled over, as I winced in pain to ask my husband, who was laying beside me with puffy, red-rimmed eyes what happened the night before. Everything was blank and I automatically knew that I had been drugged on New Years Eve.

Ian seemed shocked that I had no memory. He knew that something was wrong the night before, but he had no idea what happened. After he told me everything, the first thing I said was that I had been drugged and I knew it 100%, without a doubt. The feeling of being drugged/roofied is unlike anything else I have ever experienced - if you have been roofied, there is not a ‘maybe’ about it. You just know. It was not like our previous crazy college nights where you would wake up with blurred memories. Instead, I could have been in a coma for all I know. That is how dark and blank my mind is. I have only two dream-like memories from the night, after the bar. One of the memories is of Ian, sitting next to me in bed, holding my hand and crying. He was crying so hard. My second memory is my mom, Anita telling me that I would be okay over and over. That’s all.

After talking with Ian and my parents, I went back to bed and tried to sleep off some of the pain, but it didn’t work. It was some of the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. My head, my neck, my jaw, and really, my entire body was on fire. I felt like a bus had run over me. Throughout the day, I researched all about roofies. I looked up signs, symptoms, and more about the scary drugs and most of the symptoms I read online matched my symptoms.



AFTER

Instead of sipping champagne and ringing in 2018 with my family, I brought it in while in the bathtub, being bathed by my husband and mom. But, being roofied did not just mess up my night. I still wish I knew who did it and why they did it. When you are drugged, you do not just think about it that night - it goes on with you. I still think about it and I still have 'issues' from it. For example, when I hit my head that night, I guess I either hit part of my jaw too, or I bit down too hard on my teeth because one of my back molars (thankfully it is in the back!) died. The 'effects' of being drugged/roofied were not just limited to that night.

Although it was a terrible experience, when it comes down to it, I am extremely lucky and thankful. I am thankful to be alive because unfortunately, a good chunk of people that are drugged end up dead. I am thankful because it provided me with a learning experience. I am so careful now when I am out and I wouldn’t have been without this experience. Above everything else, I am thankful for Ian and my parents for getting me home safely, watching over me, and taking care of me when I needed it the most. A lot of people are not so lucky when they are drugged.

FACTS

Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are the three most common ‘date rape’ drugs (or roofies). According to womenshealth.gov, “These drugs are very powerful. They can affect you very quickly and without your knowing. The length of time that the effects last varies. It depends on how much of the drug is taken and if the drug is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Alcohol makes the drugs even stronger and can cause serious health problems — even death.” 

Some of the effects that these drugs can have on you are loss of muscle control, difficulty with motor movements, problems talking, nausea, vomiting, loss of memory, loss of consciousness, confusion, dizziness, low blood pressure, problems seeing, tremors, sweating, slow heart rate, dream-like feeling, distorted perceptions of sight and sound, out of body experiences, feeling out of control, problems breathing, convulsions, numbness, aggressive or violent behavior, slurred speech, coma, or death. 

Here are the short details about all three of these drugs, according to womenshealth.gov:

Rohypnol

The effects of Rohypnol can be felt within 30 minutes of being drugged and can last for several hours. If you are drugged, you might look and act like someone who is drunk. You might have trouble standing. Your speech might be slurred. Or you might pass out.

GHB

GHB takes effect in about 15 minutes and can last 3 or 4 hours. It is very potent: A very small amount can have a big effect. So it's easy to overdose on GHB. Most GHB is made by people in home or street "labs." So, you don't know what's in it or how it will affect you. 

Ketamine

Ketamine is very fast-acting. You might be aware of what is happening to you, but unable to move. It also causes memory problems. Later, you might not be able to remember what happened while you were drugged.”

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My goal in writing this is to spread awareness because it has an important message to share and it needs to be heard, especially with New Years Eve coming up at the end of this week.

Most people do not know the facts about roofies, or what the drugs really do to people. In addition to that, most people have no idea how to tell if someone has been drugged, or how to react or what to do when someone tells you they were drugged.

Please, please, please learn from my mistake and be alert, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Do not take your eyes off of your drink, do not trust people that you barely know, even if you think they are okay, and please do not think that it won’t happen to you. I made the mistake of thinking that I was in a small town, where nothing bad happened, so I let my guard down and did not watch my drink. Learn from my mistake and just be careful.

Have you ever been drugged or have you been with a friend after they were roofied? I would love to hear your experience below and I would love for you to share this post, and/or share your experience with your social media friends in order to spread awareness!

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