Thursday, January 19, 2017

Something is Missing: What it's like to be Drugged and Raped

(This piece has been rated "R."  No one under the age of 18 should read this. For those over 18, bear in mind that this piece will describe in detail disturbing events related to sexuality and violence.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent, any similarity to real life individuals or circumstances is merely coincidental.)

I debated for several years whether I ought to tell this story.  In our modern society the tendency is to hide events such as these, and pretend they never happened.  When something ugly comes to the surface and shows itself to our day dream nation, we push it aside, as it might upset our vision of a modernity that excels beyond the petty evils of the past.  Yet these things happen, a great deal, under our noses.  

We here, in this movement, we face the truth head on.  And we aren't afraid to talk about the truth, even when it's ugly and hard.  I've been through some crazy things in my life.  I've grown stronger and at times weaker through these events. I write about my past drug addiction, and I write about it frankly.  Why?  I don't hide anything.  If it makes me look bad, so be it.  I don't care.  All I care about is helping those in need find real healing.  That takes honest, full disclosure. 

So why am I afraid? Why should I fear writing this tale?  The truth is it is fear.  It's fear not just of the memories, but fear of the person who did this to me.  And some sort of inner struggle that demands of me that I must hide what happened.  Well, I reject that. Let's begin.

I was twenty-two years old, in the midst of years of surfing the city streets, driving fast, writing for hours on end, staying up to late in the morning sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes, and hitting pipes with the good ol' boys behind suburban houses in the summer months of the deep woods.  Life was at times a struggle, at times a joy.  I was enamored with the various emotions of life, especially the odd ones, of walking down forest roads in the midst of night, listening to the sounds of the wild-life, the humming of the woods, the wind blowing through the trees, and watching the darkness, the shadows upon shadows, and casting my gaze upward to behold the mysterious sky filled with stars.  

I was living on the edge, but life still seemed an enjoyable venture.  I spent many nights with friends, puffing smoke and telling stories and sharing ideas and thoughts I had.  I had several close friends, Greg, Bradley, Jake, Jamie, Patrick, and others.  I had girlfriends here and there, but I had never really been in love.  I was an average suburban kid in post-modern america, inhaling smoke, drinking salty beverages, and tripping on cough syrup.  

One night Greg and I had parked my old 92' silver Toyota SX muscle car by the water in the park around 11 PM.  We lit up a bowl and stared across the water and into the star-filled sky.  It was a truly beautiful night.  The water was amazingly still, and the stars reflected off the water so as we gazed out it was as if the water and the black sky meshed to become one giant sea of stars.  We both felt as if we were floating across a milky heavens.  Suddenly a flashlight popped on in driver side window as the lifted the brass pipe to take another hit.  A police officer stood there, and asked me to set the pipe on the ground.  

I was arrested, and later sat 30 days in jail.  A few weeks later I was arrested again for drunk driving and disorderly conduct.  Things were beginning to careen out of control.  It was as if the gentle night walk amongst the stars, and the gentle laughter around bon fires toking up was beginning to tumble into a light speed, the spins were coming on, and a cold,vicious, meat hook terror was creeping into the back of my mind.  

The indian summer of the good life of drinking, parties, nature walks, and bon fires was shifting into a cold, sharp winter of fear.  New horrors were on the horizon.  

I was once again on probation.  Many of my friends were beginning to drift away from me.  They must've smelled the scent of death and decay growing in my life.  I certainly did sense it.  Every high had increasingly gone from a happy go lucky venture through candy land to paranoid, dark, dank, windy, rainy jogs down dark autumn streets.  It was as if I could sense the serial killer meandering between the houses, looting and killing, silently, he could not be stopped, I did not know where he was, but he was certainly approaching behind me.  I just didn't know when.  He wasn't just a man, he was a force and he couldn't be stopped.  

The fear was taking over in my life.  Though I still sought refuge in the safety and security of altered states of consciousness.  It was all I knew.  I was sinking deeper and deeper into a labyrinth, one that gives hope of escape through many doors, twists and turns, but itself is the bed of disaster, one working so hard and going so far, only to find the labyrinth has no end and no beginning.  

Then I met a young man named Mike.  He was a large guy, obese, with scraggly orange hair and a scraggy orange beard.  He wore big glasses.  Instantly I had a bad feeling about this character.  In the past he had brought marijuana to my girlfriend and I, and smoked bowl after bowl with us.  Yet something odd had happened when we smoked with him.  My girlfriend began hallucinating, and foaming at the mouth.  I didn't know what to think of it then. But we had lost touch after that.

Now I had called Mikey again, and welcomed him into my home several times.  Each time he brought a great deal of marijuana and smoked me up every time.  This is an odd affair in the world of pot smoking.  Most people will expect that you either match their bowl with your own stuff, or that you sort of "switch off" so that one person isn't supporting everyone all the time.  Stoners are stingy, is essentially what I'm trying to say.  But not Mikey.  He smoked bowl after bowl with me.  

The truth is I was using him.  I didn't really like him, in fact he scared me.  But I wanted to get high. 

We got together several times at my house and smoked marijuana.  But I began to notice, just a little bit, that something odd seemed to happen.  He would smoke and smoke with me until I literally passed out.  I assumed he just left after I passed out.  I didn't pay much attention to it.  I used to have a good friend named Anna who would drink me under the table every time we hung out, and she'd leave once I was passed out.  No big deal, I suppose.

One morning I was having a terrible dream, though I don't recall what it was.  And I was screaming.  My sister was shaking me and shaking me, trying to wake me up.  But I couldn't be woken.  She got so scared that she called my grandmother to come over and try to wake me. This is called a night terror.  It can occur when repressed memories are attempting to make their way to the surface.

This happened several times.  The dreams I don't recall, but the feelings I do.  Terror, anger, fear, confusion.  One increasingly loses touch with reality, when repressed memories mix with drug use, and an already philosophical mind begins to search for the truth of the situation.  It is as if one has become Dorothy, or become Alice in the wonderland, a dark, sneaking feeling emerges that says "something is wrong here."  

One night after Mike left I woke up naked, passed out on the kitchen floor with a pile of feces next to me, smeared across the floor.  It was a full pile.  I assumed it must've been the dog, but it didn't look my dog feces.  It looked like human feces.  And my mother said the same the next morning when she saw it.  

I must've gotten together with Mikey ten more times.  One day, we had gotten together and I had passed out in the living room.  Suddenly I remembered something, something emerged out of the time fog.  I woke up in the midst of something, something painful was happening.  I was being moved back and forth on the couch.  And I cried out, "What is happening?"  And Mikey laughed and replied, "Oh nothing" as he pounded away.  Then I lost consciousness again. 

I suppressed the memory, told myself it wasn't anything, it was just a dream.  Again I hung out with Mikey, and I again recalled a memory that floated up through the fog, I was wavering on my knees, naked on the kitchen floor in front of him.  His.. thing was hard, and he was standing over me with a smile on his face, as if he were a conqueror, a dominatrix.  I remember crying out "no!" within as he raped me, but I couldn't speak.  And I lost consciousness again.

A few weeks later, again I woke up during the experience, and I ran to the bathroom.  It was quite odd.  I was only able to remember what was happening once I was drugged, and awoke during the drugged experience.  But once I awoke after being roofied, I instantly remembered that he had raped me dozens of times.  This time I ran to the bathroom. And locked it. Then I passed out.  I don't remember what happened next, but I think that time I did escape him.

Another time I woke up to being raped, and I called to my dog for help, she had growled at Mikey, but he looked at the dog and said "good boy" and then went back to grunting and raping me.  

That summer Mike had a long two week get together at his parent's house while they were traveling in Europe.  I remember as we smoked a bowl with a group of friends one of the girls, Carrie, passed out on the ground and started foaming at the mouth.  I was surprised and assumed maybe she had some sort of seizure disorder.  I recall we sat around at his computer and talked for many hours.  

At that time I wrote a blog about my daily life and my thoughts about things like philosophy, politics, and daily living.  Mike told me that he read everything I wrote, and it really inspired him.  He said I was a very good friend.  And that I had inspired him to be better in his life.  

I believed him, I really did.  Oddly enough through this whole venture, he was beginning to change.  He was starting to become a different person.  He was starting to fight those urges to assault others.  At least that's what I believe, deep down.  

I became friends with one of Mike's old friends, a guy named Steve.  Steve and I went out for chinese one day after smoking up.  And in his pickup truck Steve drove to a park.  And he told me something.  He said,"Dude watch out for that Mike guy.  I don't know what happened. But one day him and I smoked up.  And I passed out or something. But when I woke up my pants were around my ancles and my ass hurt."  

I looked at Steve in amazement.  "What are you talking about?" I asked.  "Mike would never do something like that."  

Steve looked down sadly.  He must've felt ashamed that I hadn't believed him.

A few weeks later Mike and I again hung out, smoked up, and I passed out in the living room.  I woke up fairly quickly.  And Mike said, "Dude you passed out.  Let's go smoke another."  So we went outside and sat down in the garage door entrance.  But as I sat down I realized that my butt hurt.  And I said to him,"Man, my ass really hurts."  

Mike laughed very hard.  In fact he didn't stop laughing for about three minutes.  It was a bizarre, long, sadistic laugh.  I didn't understand why he was laughing so hard. Maybe he thought it was just generally funny?  But then that memory came to my mind, of Steve telling me about how his butt hurt.  

I looked at Mike and something clicked inside, somewhere the memories pushed past the lies, and I said to Mike, "Mike, did you rape me?"  

He looked down.  I couldn't believe it.  But I was starting to realize something had happened.  Something terrible.  I asked him again, "Mike, did you rape me?"  

Again he said nothing, and looked down ashamed.  I asked him a third time after a long silence: "Did you rape me?"

He finally said,"No man."  And at that moment I pushed aside the feeling, and trusted my friend, that he would never do something like that.  There were no memories yet, just a feeling.  So I believed him.  And he raped me again that night.

I lost touch with Mikey for a while.  I got another DUI, and ended up going into treatment and getting clean and sober.  This was in 2007 and 2008.  During that time, I tried to convince Mikey to get clean too.  And he eventually did.  But I'm convinced that he didn't just get clean from pot, what he really got clean from, I certainly hope, was from being a serial rapist.  

I don't know how many people he did it to, or even how many times he raped me. But it must've been a lot.  

All of those memories were hidden once again, they would pop up from time to time, and my mind would suppress them.  They must've been too shocking and terrible to integrate into my conscious memory.  The damage these repressed memories did to my life cannot truly be counted.  Depression, suicide attempts, increasing drug use, broken relationships, those kinds of repressed memories eat away and destroy a person from within.  And the person doesn't even know why.  

From 2007 to 2010 I still considered Mikey an old friend.  So when I invited him to work on the newspaper with Patrick and I, it seemed like a brilliant idea.  But when Patrick and I started using drugs, drinking, and tripping on dxm Mr. Mikey used the situation to get both of us fired.  In fact, he took over the entire newspaper while we watched helpless from the outside, addicted and falling apart.  

It was in 2011 that for some reason all the memories came flowing back from the many rape experiences.  Finally my mind integrated the experiences.  And I found myself in need of serious therapy.  I had to work on it for years, seeing counselors and journaling about what happened to me.  To this day I am deeply afraid to go to someone's house that I don't know.  Even people that I do know, I am terrified to go to their house, that they might hurt me or attack me.  

The consequences of being raped are life long, but for being drugged and raped numerous times, well, it either comes to define you and you live to see yourself become the villain, or you make it part of your testimony to God's grace, and you overcome that and use it as an example of how Christ has overcome every evil in your life.  

To this day I pray for Mikey.  I hope he finds the peace he needs.  The truth is, his father probably did it to him, and his grandfather to his father, back in time, the sins of the father being transferred to the son.  But though this happened to me, it will never define me.  I will share about it so others know they can heal to.  So if your reading this, and it happened to you too, you can heal. You aren't alone.  You can overcome what was done to you.  And you can forgive the one who did it to you.  One of the most powerful ways to heal from these sort of memories is to write them down on paper, and then read it to someone you trust.  If we lock it inside and leave it there, it can come to define us, and we sexually act out in response, or turn ourselves into the prostitute of all, assuming all we're good for is to be used for sex.  Don't let that be you.  Get it outside of you.  Process it, talk about it. Write it down and heal from it.  You can, because I have.  And so have many others.  

So in conclusion, these things do happen.  We live in a sinful fallen world, despite how we rebel against such a concept.  But it's real. The world is fallen.  Thanks be to God that he revealed to me what had happened, so I could heal from it.  To this day I'm a walking message of the grace of Christ.  My life is now a mission to help those who have suffered.  So I share this now in hopes that people who have been through rape and worse will read it and find identification and healing through my story.  God be praised.  Amen. 

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