Janice’s Story: Here, You Can Have a Little of This Beer If You Like

Janice’s Story: Here, You Can Have a Little of This Beer If You Like

I was 57 when I reflected back on a short-duration relationship I had in 1981. I knew we had sexual relations two times, but then there was the 2 or 3? Did we have relations 2 or 3 times? This bothered me, and the memory started to come back to me of a night that I didn’t remember. Then nor now. I asked my husband, “Is it possible that you can drink something, and not remember anything that happened for the remainder of the night? He responded, “That’s the date rape drug!” My 21-year-old son had the same response when I asked him. That’s when the memory started coming back, over about a week’s time, of the experience.
What I remember is we were drinking beer, and everything was okay. I didn’t feel drunk. We at some point were in my date’s car, he parked in front of a house and said he would be right back. I asked him where he was going, and he said around the corner to a party. And he added, “Here, you can have a little of this beer if you like.” In the console of his car an opened beer in its brown bottle was sitting. He left me in the car, and I remember waiting, and waiting, and waiting for him to return. I sipped on the “beer” occasionally while I waited. Then, when I went to reach for it again, something in my mind said don’t, there’s something wrong with the beer. Physical changes started taking place. I didn’t know what was happening but I guess I wondered if I was going to die and that I needed to memorize his words, “Here, you can have a little of this beer if you like.” I don’t remember him getting back into the car. I don’t remember passing out. All I remember is that physically something was wrong, something I had never experienced before. I had never used drugs and this did not occur to me that there were drugs in the beer. The next morning I awakened at 7:30 a.m. to feel a sense of relief that I was alive. I saw him in my bed and he also awakened, we talked a few minutes, and then he said he was going back to sleep. Well, I never sleep in, and to awake at 10:30 a.m. was unusual for me. He was already up and in my grandmother’s (who wasn’t living in her home at that time) bedroom. I asked him if we had had sex the night before, and he said yes. That is when I began to feel terrible. My first thought to myself was “why couldn’t you resist him? How could you do this? You have school and a job, and now you may be pregnant.” I didn’t understand then what I now know to be true. I told him I could have gotten pregnant. I remember him saying that he hated seeing me go through this. I told him I needed to call a doctor to get a “morning after pill.” He had by that time already made plans, and said he had to go. Most of the details of the night, even before drinking the drugged beer, I don’t remember. I felt something was gravely wrong but didn’t understand what it was. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I didn’t know why. We only went out a couple times after that, before he called me and asked me to come over to tell me something. When I went to see him, he informed me that his exgirlfriend would be moving back to town, and that him and I were through, and that I should “take it like a woman.” The depression that followed I cannot even explain. How could I feel this miserable from the ending of a relationship that didn’t really last but a few months? What was wrong? How could I go on to my job and trade school? I felt so depressed I told my parents I wanted to quit school. They were asking what was wrong. How could I tell them I had been raped when I didn’t even know it? So they were understanding, and I was incapacitated enough I did quit my part-time job. So, I never knew. For 37 years I never knew. But with the advent of the internet, I had looked him up and wondered whatever had happened to him? I found out that he now had a wife and 3 children, and was a lead pastor of a church. It’s funny how the mind can remember, when I looked at the photo of him with his family, I noticed not so much him and his family but the half-full water glasses on a table…..that’s what I really noticed. It took a long time afterwards to make the connection. A rape counselor confirmed that it’s a rape if you are unconscious. I argued but no, I knew him, I was even attracted to him. But it was a betrayal and a rape. My identity after that has changed. I grew up innocent and trusting. No one in 1981 talked about date rape.



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