22 August 2015. A day I’ll never forget. Here’s the story as to why…
Starting out like any other day I arrived at work ready for the hectic day ahead. My first underling had started that Monday and today was going away drinks for one of my favourite people in the office. I also had a luncheon I had been roped into.
Fast forward to 4pm. I’d had a champagne and a half at the lunch and was in a pretty good mood, got dressed and ready for drinks and I was trying to convince Matt he should come out too. He kept saying he was tired but the nights events would mean he would make the best 40 minute trip into the city anyway, just for different reasons.
We had drinks in the office and because everyone loved the ciders I only had two. We moved onto a bar around the corner from our office and it was happy hour 2 for 1 and I was drinking doubles. Already accustomed to high levels of alcohol, I was doing well. Dancing and having a fun time. We soon got sick of that bar and moved to the next, and by this stage I was drinking vodka and doing shots. It was only 1030. I was feeling tired so I made the phone call that ultimately saved my life. I called Matt and asked if he would come get me. He would tell me later that I sounded off and he was concerned about me.
I said goodbye to the few people left and made my way back to the office to pick up my bag, and that’s where I had arranged to meet Matt. The next thing I remember is yelling at my mother that I could pee on my own. I was in hospital and it was about 4am.
The rest of this story has been recounted by about 8 different people, because I still don’t remember a thing.
As I was walking back to the office, one of the guys I work with had left shortly after I did and ran into me. He thought I was a bit hammered and we decided to walk back to the office together. We were standing in the lobby of my building, which was all marble. He went to push the button for the elevator without realising how badly I was depending on him to stand up. He moved and I fell. Face first, onto marble floor. Now given how much I had, had to drink, you can imagine the level of blood. I also didn’t put my arms out to break my fall. So my nose felt the full force of its 5 foot drop to hard floor. Cue hysterics. My colleague pulled me into the lift and judging by the scene, I flailed around a bit, not that I had much control. He went up to our floor to grab his stuff and go back down.
In the meantime I had dropped my purse and phone in the lift and Matt had been trying to call me. One of the building cleaners must have found it and answered my phone and the first thing Matt hears is “I don’t know who’s phone this is, but there is blood everywhere.” I still get upset thinking about the distress that must have caused him. He asked where this woman was and said he would come retrieve the phone. As he pulls up out front of my office he sees my colleague putting me into a cab. In a fit of rage he bellows out asking me what the hell is going on and then he sees my face.
Ready to throttle my colleague, he asked if Matt knew me and when Matt said he did quickly left me in Matt’s care and left. I couldn’t tell Matt want had happened and could barely move so he got me into his car and we went home. Apparently, I was partially my usual self. Repeatedly asking if he had a towel so I could wipe my face and when he said “you’ve got blood on your face” I returnered serve with “you’ve got blood on your face” in my typical smartarse fashion. Knowing that mum is a nurse he brought me home for her assessment. Here’s the horrifying part.
I had a full blown panic attack on the bathroom floor as they tried to undress me and get me cleaned up. I fought off Matt and mum and even at my drunkest would never do that. It was at that point mum decided that I wasn’t just drunk and off to the hospital we went. Smartarse Stacey returned when Matt stalled my car, and from my lying position on the back seat, feet in mums face, I offered to drive for him if he found it that difficult.
The hospital staff were great, although they threatened not to treat me, as I was using cunt like a comma and fuck like a full stop. Classy I know, but it wasn’t me.
My nurse’s name was Jordan and I asked her if she had ever considered changing it because it was a horrible name and I moved as they put the cannula in so may had to sit there with his finger on it all night or the IV wouldn’t flow. The doctor asked me what I had had to drink and apparently I rattled off everything in chronological order and she accused me of drinking too much and tried to convince mum that this was just alcohol. Or that I had taken an illicit substance. At this point I started to cry because there was no way I would take that shit and I loudly proclaimed this. They conducted blood tests but couldn’t find anything. Even Matt said to her that he had seen me properly drunk and knew I could hold my alcohol and this behaviour wasn’t simple drunkenness.
It was after I had fallen asleep that they realised I had, had rohypnol put in one of my drinks. For a harrowing two or three hours I would wake up and be calling for Matt despite him holding my hand or I would be in full panic mode ripping at the cannula to get the hell out of there because I was convinced my ex was trying to kill me. It was these reactions to a lack of control that convinced the doctor I had indeed been drugged. Still I managed to do their tests and eventually around 5am was discharged. This wasn’t the end of my ordeal.
Once home, I stood at the gate crying for Matt because he had gone home to try and let me get some sleep. I couldn’t. So we tried to piece together what had happened. Of course I was no help. I did however find a cab receipt in my purse. This only added to the confusion because the cab company told me I had come from an outer suburb back into the city and well according to the photos and phone calls timeline that was impossible. It turns out because it was a long can ride home they had made me prepay. That doesn’t mean all amounts of scenarios weren’t playing out in my head whilst we pieced it all together. I didn’t know this until I was at the police station, where the lovely police officer told me that I shouldn’t drink so much and sent me on my way.
We went back into my office to pick up my stuff and the corner of the lobby was still covered in my blood. There was still blood in the lifts on the Monday and the security camera footage was allegedly horrible to watch (I didn’t see it, but our HR manager did). I cleaned up as much as I could but there was just so much, it’s a wonder I was able to do anything.
I ended up with two black eyes for a week, and even my brother said, “this may teach her to watch her drink”. I endured weeks of questioning, a lot of victim shaming and I’ve not been back to that bar since. When mum contacted them, they offered no help and so I refuse to go back there. Even a few months later just prior to the work Christmas party my boss asked me to wear a crash helmet just incase. Mum still doesn’t like me going out without Matt to protect me.
I want to say this. I have never been so out of control of my life and I never want to be. I never want to see the hurt in Matt’s eyes because he thinks it could have been prevented if he had just come out. I don’t ever want to hear, “well you might watch your drink from now on” again.
I could have died that night. I would have nightmares for weeks that I had fallen backwards and split my head on the floor. I didn’t drink at all for over a month. I still have nightmares about what could have happened and it was over 18 months ago.
So the lesson here is not just to watch your drinks and never finish a drink you’ve take your eye off for a second. It’s to not be the asshole who spikes someone’s drink. That’s the story of how I broke my nose….