The Terrifying World of Trying to be Normal

Warning: This post may trigger those with a history of trauma. Please see tags. Nothing happened to me in terms of any violence, sexual or otherwise, however the topics included could be triggering. Thank you.

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So I was in a funk, which isn’t abnormal when you’re digging into a contentious divorce, navigating pseudo-singledom, and battling a chronic illness. After a depressing Friday night, literally spent crying in my closet until “the guy” came over to cuddle with me, I was determined to make Saturday fun. I was supposed to start my new job Monday, after missing my original start date, twice, and the roommate was starting his new position, too.  I went out, bought two sexy dresses (well one outfit was a separate top and skirt combo), and then took a final. We met up with neighbors, and I invited the guy, but knew he was burnt out from having spent the night out with friends the prior evening.

As I walked out in the sexy two part combination, the roommate and a few of the friends we just met reminded me that I was *technically* single, and entitled to have a little fun. I wasn’t going to kiss anyone, I knew that, but I was encouraged to at least dance and maybe get a number or two. I didn’t have to do anything with them, it was more the knowledge that I had options. The first bar was fine, low key, and I found myself comfortable with the group of friends I’d been thrust into. Not drinking always makes bar hopping odd, but it was okay. I don’t remember much of the second bar.The third bar was more of a dance club, something the women in the group were majorly insistent upon doing.

I stood awkwardly with our group. My roommate had given me input on the girls he would usually go after, not having a specific type, but more broadly sort of into athletic girls. He did say he was kind of looking for something edgier, given that he’s not into dating right now, but he kept it vague. Then he started asking me about my type. Eventually I inadvertently locked eyes with a guy in plaid, that was my type, tall, dark hair, you know how it goes. The roommate approved, as did a few of the ladies in our group, but I didn’t think anything of it. When I looked back, the guy locked eyes with me again.

Now is when things get fuzzy. His friend introduced us, and we began dancing. It wasn’t clean dancing by any means, but I kept repositioning his hands off of my ass. I told myself I wasn’t doing anything wrong. This is dancing, dirty or not, and in any event, the guy and I haven’t set boundaries regarding exclusivity etc. I want to, he doesn’t, so things are in limbo. The dark haired trouble maker tried to buy me a drink but I told him I didn’t drink. I kept trying to steer him from dancing to conversation, and eventually he said something to his friend, then said we should get water.

I downed half a glass, before setting it down. I think a song I liked came on, I don’t remember. The guy was sort of perturbed that I hadn’t finished the water. He kept saying he knew the bartenders, all of them. I can remember his hands down the back of my skirt, and me pushing him away. I remember him snapping my thong, and being annoyed. He kept lifting me up and I would fight him on it. My head was spinning, I was nauseas. He wanted me to drink more water but I said no. I asked our group if we were leaving soon, but they said, “No.” Time felt squished, but it also felt like we were supposed to leave. At some point we exchanged numbers. He kept changing his story about where he lived. He tried to get me to leave my group and go with him, as did his wingman. The las solid memory I have is basically begging the group to leave. That’s when I was told we were staying a little longer because it was almost last call. The lights came on, blinding me, but I was already headed for the door.

I don’t remember the walk home, but I do remember being in the guest area of our apartment complex. Everyone was a drunk, eating, playing pool, watching TV, and I was just confused. I smoked a little pot, trying to ease my stomach, but that only made the intense spinning worse. I took the dog out, and at some point took a bath that I don’t remember.

On Sunday I woke up at 1pm, with what felt like the worst hangover I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t throw up, but the urge was strong. Every noise, every light, was like a thousand angry bees stinging my brain. I swallowed my seizure medication, and crawled to the couch, forcing myself to eat an apple sauce. The roommate, who’d gotten less sleep, and actually been drunk, was pretty much okay. A little tired, but functional. I started texting the guy, things I wouldn’t usually say, about exclusivity and why did it bother him. The truth is I want it, but I understand that he’s scared by it, so I’m okay with how things are until it’s something I can’t tolerate. I forced my angry body to go for a walk, but every step was like quicksand.

When I got home I told my roommate something was wrong. By now it was probably around 2 or 3. Time begins to get fuzzy again. I told him I thought someone had drugged me. It didn’t make sense for me to be this sick the day after going out when I’d slept like a rock, and hadn’t eaten or drunk anything that would have made me feel so miserable. He asked if I needed to go to urgent care, but I said I was okay, then the partial seizures started. After a couple I decided to show the roommate what they looked like, but they were getting more severe. I gave into the reality that I at least needed to go to urgent care.

By the time we got to urgent care I’d deteriorated into wheelchair status. At check in I explained I was having partial seizures, but then things get a little fuzzy. I think they must have taken me straight back. My first clear memory is waking up surrounded by doctors, nurses, and crash cart/resuscitation equipment. There were questions, but I don’t know if I answered. The next memory I have is getting some medication and being transferred to a gurney by the EMT’s. I managed to mumble out the name of my preferred hospital.

The EMT told me I’d had 2-3 seizures, at least one that they’d witnessed. He also said it sounded like I’d been drugged the night before. I just wanted to sleep. My roommate met me at the ER, but his dislike for blood had me sending him away pretty fast. I remembered how awful I’d been to the guy, and realized that I hadn’t texted him back which made me look angry when I wasn’t. I told the roommate to tell the guy I was in the ER, but fine, and that I wasn’t ignoring his texts.

After the roommate left I got a text from the guy saying to text ASAP. My right hand still wasn’t fully functional so I scratched something out about it being hard to text, but that I’d be okay. He was already packing a bag and on his way. The next thing I know I was waking up briefly. My head was hanging uncomfortably when I’d fallen asleep, but now it was resting peacefully on a soft arm that smelled familiar. I think I mumbled something before drifting back off to sleep.

The doctors couldn’t prove that I’d been drugged, most of the drugs used are in and out of your system in a matter of hours, even though the effects linger. The nurse told me they see cases of it daily. The guy as ready to track down whoever it was and bash him, but I just wanted to forget it even happened. For me it wasn’t a knew experience, only this time I was saved by a stomach that knew I was getting more than water and revolted.

It’s made me realize something bizarre: sometimes being normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I felt healthy. I looked healthy. I attracted male attention. All hell broke lose. Then my body, being abnormal, reacted excessively to the situation. However, my overly sensitive GI system, and inability to drink alcohol, likely saved me from a more severe drugging. Had I not gotten nauseas and dizzy, I would have finished that water, an while my group had my back, they also wanted me to have fun. If I looked like I was having fun, my roommate later admitted he would have let me leave with the shady guy. It’s a terrifying thought. We’ve since agreed we need a hand signal to get me out of situations I’m not comfortable in, and I’ve made it clear that I like “the guy,” enough to be exclusive, even if we aren’t committed to being exclusive. I am who I am, and I am in what I am in.

There have been people who doubt I was drugged because I seemed to be acting fine after we left the bar, but I honestly don’t remember the walk home at all. The fact I went into status epilepticus the next day, despite taking my meds is also a good sign something was majorly off.

So I’m off work again today, because apparently the doctors at the ER felt I needed two days off not just one. Luckily work understands. I’m in pain from the apparent violent sternal rub. I don’t think CPR was used or I would probably have some sore ribs, too, though I did aspirate some spit, and my one side of my chest is sore. (Then again post seizures I’m always sore, and apparently these were pretty violent ones.)

Life is what it is.

Recovery mode like a beast, with my amazing service dog by my side. Apparently while I was still in the ER being evaluated, my pup was following the roommate around like nuts. Roommate took him out, but the dog wasn’t having it. I had to explain he knew something as wrong. The second I got home, he bolted for me, and hasn’t left my side since ❤

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The Terrifying World of Trying to be Normal

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