I was slipped a date rape drug

Sunny Dawn Johnston Sunny's Thoughts 97 Comments

“I can’t see?? Where am I?” I asked.

My eyes felt like they weighed 10 pounds each and I could not get them open. My head… OMG my head hurt like hell. “What happened? Where am I?” I repeated. I tried to open my eyes, but couldn’t. Everything hurt. The light was so bright and my head hurt so bad… I could faintly see shadows standing all around me, seven people in dark shirts. I could hear voices, but couldn’t really tell what they were saying. Then I heard a familiar voice… my husband “Sunny, open your eyes, you are home, you are ok.” I tried to open my eyes again, but they just wouldn’t open. I panicked and started crying… I felt my husband take my left hand, which brought me comfort, and he said again, “Sunny open your eyes”. It took everything I had to open my eyes, but I did. Everything looked fuzzy, and the room was spinning and blue shirted men were all around me. I was scared. I heard another man’s voice say “Sunny, can you hear me?” You’ve been hurt, but you are going to be ok. Ya, I hurt alright, I thought to myself. I wondered what happened, but I literally just couldn’t stay present. I went in and out of consciousness. The questions … and answers… would have to wait. I was out.

oldpics2016 122The next morning…

When I woke up the next morning, I was in tremendous pain. My head was killing me. I got up to go to the bathroom and to my shock, my face was banged up, bruised and bloody. I could not imagine what had happened. I’m not a fighter, so I knew it couldn’t be that. Do you know how scary it is to wake up and have no memory of the last 12 hours? I was horrified and needed some answers. My husband then told me the story, the part he knew anyway … as the only memory I had is that I had gone out dancing with my girlfriend for her birthday the night before. That was all I could recall.

My husband and 5-year-old son were in bed sleeping when there was a frantic pounding on the door about 11pm. My husband opened the door to find a man carrying me in his arms. I was completely unconscious. My girlfriend was hysterical, trying to explain to my husband that they just found me in the bathroom like that. The restaurant didn’t want to call 911 so these two guys (who we later discovered were off duty fire fighters) drove me the 3 miles home. Brett, the ever so calm Capricorn, just calmly had them take me into the bedroom while he called the local fire department to come and check on me.

So, what happened between 9pm, the time I left and 11 pm the time I returned home in a stranger’s arms? I was slipped a roofie. Now, remember, this was 20 years ago and date rape drugs were not even talked about. I don’t even think I knew what one was, but I knew something had happened to me. As he told me the story, I started to have some flashbacks of the night, some memories coming forth through my foggy brain.

I remembered, that after arriving, we went and got a drink and found a spot to stand. I drank a couple sips and then put it on the oldpics2016 132table next to the dance floor as we went out to dance. The place was packed and there were people everywhere. It was a Saturday night and everyone was having a good time. My girlfriend and I danced for about a half hour with a few different people on the dance floor. No one in particular, just kinda group dancing. We had a great time. It had been a long time since I had gone out dancing and it was so good for my spirit. We picked up our drinks, went back to our spot and just hung out, watching everyone else dance and chatting with a few people here and there. A couple of guys asked if they could buy us a drink, we declined, and that was that. Over that next half hour or so, my girlfriend and I drank the rest of our drinks. She went out to go dancing again, but I was feeling nauseous. I told her I was going to go to the restroom. The last thing I remember was feeling dizzy and getting ready to throw up in the bathroom. We’re not sure how long before my friend noticed that I hadn’t come back, but likely within about 15 minutes or so she went looking for me throughout the busy restaurant/bar. When she finally checked the bathroom, she saw my legs under the stall in the corner and knew something was seriously wrong. She asked for help but no one would help her. I was completely unconscious and unresponsive. It was about this time that a couple of the men that had been dancing with us earlier came out of the restroom as well, saw the commotion, and came over to help. My 6’2″ friend climbed under the stall to get the door opened to get me out of there. I was completely unconscious and bloody.

oldpics2016 064Three days later, it was Meet-the-Teacher night for my son’s kindergarten class. This is what I looked like that day. I was determined to go, regardless of how I looked. I called the teacher that day and explained I had had an accident, but we would be there. It was a really important day for me … My baby was starting kindergarten. I wore big glasses to cover up my eyes … or at least I thought they did. Everyone stared. How could they not right? The thing is, they didn’t stare at me … they stared at my husband. All of the sudden, people assumed that he had done this … to me!!!!! WOW!!! That was a reality check. I left feeling angry, ashamed, embarrassed and insecure. My husband just left angry.

Over the years I have thought about this experience and things I could have done differently … and what it taught me … I’m sure, you might be wondering:
• Why did I not call the police?
• Why didn’t the restaurant do anything?
• Who did this?
• How do I know it was a drug?
• Why did I not go to the hospital?
• Why am I telling this story now?

All great questions….

At the time, twenty years ago, I was 24. I really just didn’t think about contacting the police. I was grateful that I was ok. I wasn’t even sure if that was what happened. It was too hard for me to believe it myself. I never did ask the restaurant. I think in some ways, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I had to be carried out, as if it was my fault in some way (typical response of someone whose power has been taken away in some form). I spent hours trying to replay the night, but my memory was really affected, so I couldn’t ever see a “face” or an action that I knew was “the person”. A lot of the evening was a blur. At the time, I didn’t know it was a drug. I didn’t even know you could do something like that. There was no internet to look things up. Basically, the way you learned about things that were happening like that was through the news. I knew something happened, somehow … that it wasn’t just an ‘oops, I passed out’. It was too quick, too out-of-character for me. A couple of years later, I heard about a drug being used for date rapes and I just “knew” that that is what had happened to me. I could “feel” it in my bones. I didn’t go to the hospital because I “hated” hospitals. I had nearly died in one 5 years earlier, so I would do anything to avoid a hospital. Looking back, I definitely should have gone. I could have been tested, been checked out. I had risk of a stroke, had a serious head injury, etc. … AND hindsight is 20/20:) AND all is well.

So, why share this now?oldpics2016 079

I was going through pictures this weekend … and these pics kept showing up. They have a story to tell … one I haven’t told publicly, for no other reason than, I hadn’t. My story is not one of rape. Gratefully, my body shut down and whatever intention went with the slipping of the drug into my drink, that action was halted. I had the experience of being slipped a drug, without my consent … and I carry the scar today. The physical scar on my forehead. A daily reminder to always stay present, aware and alert. But, for every story like mine where no sexual abuse happened … there are thousands of people that are not so lucky.

So, I was guided to share this story with you to create awareness. This can happen. It does happen. It is important to be able to talk about all experiences with freedom, and love and support and without shame or fear or guilt. My love to each and every one of you that have ever been touched my abuse of any form…  Please know you are loved and you are worthy.. ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS!!!

Blessings of Love, Light and Hope to you- SDJ

Take the time to watch this video and see how easy it is …. I do not intend, in any way, to spread fear. Please know, this is for awareness my friends:)

Take the time to watch this video and see how easy it is …. I do not intend, in any way, to spread fear. Please know, this is for awareness my friends:)

PS:A date rape drug, also referred to as a predator drug, is any drug that is an incapacitating agent which, when administered to another person, incapacitates the person and renders them vulnerable to a drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), including rape. Rohypnol is a tranquilizer about ten times more potent than Valium. The drug is available as a white or olive-green pill and is usually sold in the manufacturer’s bubble packaging. Users crush the pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, dissolve it in a drink or inject it.

Comments 97

  1. Sunny, I am so saddened that you went through this. People can be so cruel. Along with the scar you carry on your forehead you carry the one no one can see; the one inside you. It happened to me in my early 30’s. I was out with my husband and his family. My kids were home with a sitter. I had part of a drink, went to say hi to a friend, came back, finished the drink and had to go to the bathroom to get sick. I remember my husband being totally outraged with me that I had drank that much that fast (less than 2 hours) because I was staggering and then nothing. No memories until I woke up, in my bed with a very angry husband. I spent the next day trying to piece together what happened and it was a full day later when the light bulb went off and I realized that someone intentionally drugged me. (and too late for any of the drug to still be in my system) Whether it was a dare or a joke, I will never know and thankfully I was with family who loves me and took care of me. I never notified authorities and I have a feeling about who did it. I want to be angry but really I am just hurt that someone would do that to another person and I am a little grateful it was me and not someone who was alone because no physical harm came of it (other than the mental anguish that took years to get past but no one sees that). I told a few people close to me and most understood; although some thought I was lying to cover up being drunk and that’s ok too. I KNOW myself and I KNOW what happened. It took a lot of talking and sorting through the facts around that day before my husband realized I wasn’t making it up and that I truly believed that I had been drugged. Whether he believes it or not, I don’t know but he has supported me completely. Since then I have never put myself in any situation that would put me in the vicinity of that certain person and I am a little over the top about my kids setting down a water bottle or any other drink. NEVER go back to it. Get another. It’s not worth it.

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  2. Hi Sunny, I’m going to be extra careful from now on when it’s my turn to be able to drink again. I see how easy it is for date rape and for both men and women to be drugged. Personally, I have experienced the date rape drug. It was horrifying and the most humiliating experience!!! Luckily, I, too, was not raped. Thank you, Sunny, for bringing awareness to such an uncomfortable subject.

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  3. I had this misfortune to experience this and though not physically hurt the emotional trauma from gang rape haunted me years. I have healed from this and tell young soldiers male and female to be vigilant and to stay in control.

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  4. Thank you Sunny for sharing and speaking out so others can be aware, the numbers you will have helped save will be numerous!!! I emailed it to my daughter right away!! With tons of love and gratitude ❤️❤️❤️

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  5. I had the same thing happen to me, almost verbatim, 25 years ago. This experience forever changed what I do and don’t do when out at a party or a bar etc. and I have used this experience to educate my kids and their friends about how to protect themselves.

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  6. Dear, sweet Sunny, I just want to say that I, too, am extremely saddened for what you went through. No one deserves to go through anything like this, and it wasn’t your fault, either. I can understand the shame and not wanting to report this to the proper authorities. However, people do need to be aware that something like this most definitely needs to be reported by all parties involved. Furthermore, something like this requires immediate medical attention. Once again, thank you, Sunny, for bringing awareness to such a difficult subject.

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  7. Sunny Dawn Johnston, this was powerful, and really got to me. Not that it has ever happened to me or anyone else I know, but my insides are spinning…knowing this happened to you, my friend…my heart hurts. At the same time, I am grateful for the way you have risen above, and shared this so vulnerably and considerately. My love to you and your 24 year old, and to those whom have been impacted by this drug.

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  8. So sorry to hear this happened to you. Someone did this to me too when I was in my 20’s and I believed it was a friend of mine at the time. The next days that followed I dumped all my friends that were there and started over. To this day I still have a huge problem with trusting people.

    I am so glad you were able to over come it all and to now help out so many people.

    God Is Good! 🙂

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  9. Thank you for spreading awareness Sunny. I had a male friend anonymously Roofied at a ski town bar. Luckily friends got him home but he was also traumatized by the potential for somebody to hurt him. It is good awareness for both genders!

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  10. What a horrible thing for one human being to do to another, it’s shameful! Thank you for sharing, obviously someone needed to hear this at this time. How brave and kind!

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  11. Oh, Sunny. I am absolutely stunned, and feel so bad this happened to you. How brave to share your story so other girls and women will be aware of this scenario that could happen if they don’t pay attention. Very brave of you to go to your son’s school, and how awful for others to view Brett as the one. With all the recent publicity about this drug, hope it doesn’t happen anymore.

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  12. Carrying around a secret can destroy your present. And future life. Your willingness to tell your story will help me to empower myself to trust the man I’m in a relationship with now and tell him my story! I have had many relationships, but none have lasted because my partner should know about me! The Secret! Thank you for sharing!

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  13. Sunny I am so sorry that happened to you. I am incredibly happy that it hasn’t stopped you from being the wonderful, open & beautiful person you truly are. Ever since I caught someone trying to drug my girlfriend’s & my drink in a bar in NYC back in the late 80’s, I have been incredibly cautious. Now the problem is even worse -even potentially life threatening. Thank you for opening up about this. It is something no victim should be ashamed of – you didn’t do it or deserve it. We need to help perpetrators understand that this is a violent act like hitting someone with a bat. It is not a joke nor a victimless crime. It is just wrong.

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      Absolutely, we can’t give our power away. It id important to be true to who we are and stand up and speak up:)

  14. Thank you for sharing this! I had this happen to me but a cat helped me out. I thought I was at friend’s party but a guy there put something in my drink, The cat kept trying to knock the drink out of my hand. I knew something was up. I just had a few sips and then later started not feeling well. Something told me to leave and I drove to another friend’s place, that i trusted, and a couple minutes while i was there i passed out and woke up the next day not remembering a thing. Thank you for sharing your story, it has helped me.

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  15. Mine happened nearly 30 years ago. By people who I thought were friends. It makes for a long journey. I am thankful that I found you (SDJ) along the way. Much love – E

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  16. Sunny…so sorry for you experiencing this!! But, you just answered a question for me. When Katie had her wedding reception, I could not imagine why all the young people were taking their drinks in their hands onto the dance floor…now I realize why! It is good information for me also. Even at my age I am learning…thank you, So glad you were able to come through that and you are sharing.

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  17. Sad that it could happen to anyone. And I’m sure it’s stil highly unreported. I hope your candor helps another girl. The video showing how easy it is to slip a drug in a drink is scary!

  18. Thank you for sharing such a scary experience. There are so many people in this world that have experienced the same thing and this may help give them a voice. Much love to you Sunny ❤️

  19. I too was drugged at a neighborhood party. I don’t know what they gave me but I became unaware of my actions. Thankfully my husband interrupted and took me home. I was up and moving but completely out of my own moral awareness. I was only at the party about 15 minutes before I disappeared and he came looking for me… Last memory I have is of walking with someone hand in hand and waking up confused about 12 hours later at 1 p.m. and panicking that I didn’t remember anything. Thankfully my husband had noticed I was missing and interrupted.
    Please cover your drink or don’t let it out of your sight!

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  20. I Love You Girl!! Thank you for sharing this. I am beyond grateful that through all my party days in NYC I have never encountered an experience like this. All I can say is WOW! So glad it was only the drug that affected you & it wasn’t worse than it already was.

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  21. Sunny, I was surprised by the impact that the pictures of you had on me. I recall all of the times at Spirit Talk and your workshops when you tell us, “Trust me. I’ve been through some shit in my life.” I have never thought of myself as someone who needs to “see it to believe it,” but the pics made you very human to me. Bad crap does happen to good people, including you. Thank you for including the photos, even if they were painful to look at, being the “feeler” that I am. They were an important piece for my own reflection.

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  22. Thank you for sharing this (very sad) story! How horrible to have this happen to you and how horrible of that person! I was very moved and grateful you also shared the video. I immediately sent it to my daughter and girlfriends. I now have a beautiful granddaughter in my life and I hope she never has to worry about this when she’s older. This could happen to anyone vulnerable, male or female.

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  23. I will be sharing with my niece who is going to college soon. My mother had always told me to be very careful and watch my drink because It is so easy to be slipped something. There is a company that is developing a nail polish to help detect the date rape drug in drinks. http://www.newsweek.com/controversy-over-nail-varnish-date-rape-drug-detector-267126 Genius!

    Thank God that your friends were watching out for you and noticed what had happened before you were really hurt or violated. I am amazed at how some people think this is OK to do.

    Is it power that drives some people to behave this way? You know the intent was to hurt you… maybe it was the guys you turned down a drink from and they were offended or someone wanted to overpower you. It is called the date rape drug for a reason… those who use it have the intent to violate/rape women. I’ve been thinking and seeing a lot about how sex is being used as a weapon – in war, in homes, some extremist groups keep slaves for this purpose, at colleges and some women are killed for being raped.

    I can just see the shock, confusion and shame in your sweet face. For someone who truly only wants to bring goodness to this world it did hurt my heart. The pure fact is, you did nothing wrong and you really suffered. I worked with psychiatric hospitalized teens so I was always bruised up. My doctor asked if my husband did it and I was appalled… however, I am thankful that we are being more open about domestic violence and people were looking out for me (and for you). Not too long ago it was OK to beat your spouse and that attitude is changing. My hope is that the attitude about rape will change as well.

    Thx for sharing Sunny. you always touch my soul with your posts and our times together.

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      Thank you Kristen. Yes, it is important to share.. for knowledge and awareness.. Certainly not from fear… Thank you for sharing you insights as well.

  24. Thank you very much for sharing your story. By sharing you have the ability to reach out and touch someone who may be in need of hearing this message for their own awareness and avoidance. THANK YOU

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  25. this video I hope is out on you tube for all women to watch….all women need to see this….young and old
    thank you for sharing Sunny!

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  26. Wow thanks for sharing your story with us. You definitely keep it real and I feel that is why you connect with so many. Your story really touched me and thanks for raising awareness of this issue.

  27. Bless you truly Sunny <3 <3 <3. It is amazing, ALL that you have overcome! <3 <3 <3

    I was raped in 1974. It is a very long story, but I am thankful to be alive. Could write a book about that too, but it is one of the reasons I left Ohio. Apparently, the sheriff knew the rapist — was a good friend of his — so they let him go. This is why my case was never prosecuted. Their office "lost" the fingerprints that they claimed to have taken from my glasses, which had been found at the scene. I tried to fight it, but I was alone, and mostly I was fighting the system that was supposed to be helping me! Even the sheriff's deputy who took my report the night of the rape, and said he would continue to help me prosecute my case, later said that he didn't want to lose his job over this (when he found out that the rapist was the sheriff's friend). So he simply stopped — wouldn't respond to my calls.

    Still, I tried and tried, but no one would take on my case.

    Well, a few months later, I moved from that town, because I was lucky enough to get a promotion with Social Security to a higher paying job in another Ohio town. I was ready to go, because I'd been having nightmares that the rapist would come and get me at my little studio apartment. Amazingly, my promotion had come through the day AFTER I was raped. (I was too physically ill from the violence and my injuries to go to work that day and to receive my promotion papers. However, thankfully, my boss held the job open for me — after I told him what had happened.) So I made the decision to move and to go to the 8-week training for my new my new job.

    Still, it was difficult. It took years of counselling after the rape, even after I moved to Arizona. I finally recognized that much of the anger I had held for years was as a result of this awful incident (in addition to a few other incidents that involved people I worked with at 2 different health care offices who were committing high-level fraud. They were changing the company data, and I was in charge of the reports derived from their data — false data! Another long and involved story.).

    Then in 2012, I finally forgave myself by saying that in each of these cases, I had done my very very best to pursue justice. And also by that time, I finally found it in my heart to let go and forgive everyone who had harmed me and others in one way or another, including the rapist and those who had committed the fraud over a period of years. I was hoping and indeed said a prayer that they had been, or would soon be brought to justice — each in his/her own way and situation. The rapist himself was mentally ill — this, I knew from the start.

    So I finally just let it all go, and felt the release of that heavy weight. Then a wonderful sense of peace overtook my body, mind and spirit, allowing me to move on.

    Sunny, I am so grateful for all your teachings, and showing me how to forgive. God bless you <3 <3 <3

    Namaste' with Love,
    Mandy

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      Wow.. Sending you love as well many… Every struggle we go through makes us more aware and stronger… to then help others;)

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  29. thanks as always from sharing from your heart!! it happens so much and is an unspoken shame that women carry with them and never get justice. Like the visible case recently of the boy who got the light sentence from the judge molesting an unconscious woman. many victims take on the shame from the assault and we need to create a culture that says NO it is not ok…love you

  30. I feel your pain I also got drugged,attacked,raped and robbed on my 65 birthday on a trip to visit my son.I even have video that shows him drugging me and pictures of my injuries the police did not care..lt hurts i get no justice believe me i tried long and hard. He was 30 years younger then me. It really hurts to know he is free to do it over and over. I pray i find freedom from this too.My love and prayers to all.

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      We are so sorry to hear of your experience and you feeling unsupported! We are sending you lots of love and support as your heart heals my dear!!

  31. Donna,
    I feel both you and Sunny. I was drugged and raped at age 54. It was supposed to be a dinner date but he put Phenobarbital in my drink, one drink, that changed my life. He was a serial rapist. I woke up the next morning in a room I had never seen. Still foggy, I was nude, confused, bewildered. I had lost 11 hours of my life. I reported it, went to the hospital, pressed charges but I was further punished by the system. I am currently working on a blog to try to turn this into something positive but I am so sorry for what you all have been through. The pictures of my torn vagina, the bruised kidney, the multiple bruises all over my body and the fun for 3 weeks of having to sit in warm water to urinate and throw in that for that 3 weeks I felt like I had been hit by an 18 wheeler.
    I am sorry to read each of these stories and I hope that one day justice will be served. Do I think there is karma? I Wish I did ! It’s very hard to believe when the leader of our country brags about p***y grabbing! While we are making remarkable strides, there is still much unfairness in our judicial system. Love to all .

    1. Maggie,
      I’m so sorry that you were raped. It is a horrible experience. Please do not confuse President Trump’s words (which were taken out of context) with rape. They are not even remotely similar to what you have been through. I can understand how they may trigger the same feelings in you, and it does take extra effort to understand the difference. Believe me, I was molested for years, and can still become triggered by certain things-equating them in emotional and mental states to my experience – despite years of therapy. It does take work, but it is important for me to separate what happened to me from current events.

      Much Love,
      Mags

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