Join Date: Mar 2013
concerned for a friend
I'm not sure how descriptive I should be here but my mind is racing. So here goes...
I had my 30th birthday party the other night at a local bar. I have two really good friends who took me out to dinner before going to the bar. We'll call them Mark and Kelly...We had dinner at 6, and a beer at another bar before heading to the party. Now, a little background on Kelly for context purposes. She's married but basically separated. I've known her for several years and I guess you could say we're seeing each other/sneaking around. Anyway, that's for another matter; it doesn't really pertain to this story. Let's just say we're close.
Anyway, my birthday was a big deal to her. She arranged everything.
Kelly also suffers from depression, and I think she has for a long time. Her mother is bi-polar, and Kelly has a history of panic attacks, insomnia and eating disorders. She's also incredibly motivated and dedicated to her academics--nothing less than an A will do. She's a graduate student at a university and has a teaching fellowship. She works two jobs. But she has said several times in the past week that she hasn't been eating or sleeping much at all. She had mentioned a couple weeks ago that she was going to stop Zoloft cold turkey during spring break (which was two weeks ago). I never followed up on whether she did or not, but I think I now know the answer.
She also has been drinking a lot lately...earlier last week week, her mom visited her and told her daughter she was considering moving back to town. Kelly has a very complicated relationship with her mother; I think she felt abandoned by her mother when she was younger, and has some unresolved issues there. Well, Kelly really got her hopes up last week when her mom said she wanted to move back to near her.
On Thursday, her mom told her that, no, she changed her mind and wasn't going to move back after all. Kelly was crushed when I saw her that night. I was at the bar--where she's a bartender--when she broke down in the back office a few minutes after a mutual friend of ours innocently asked about her husband.
Ok, the next day is my birthday. My guess is that Kelly wanted so badly to make it a special night for me that she blocked out whatever negative thoughts or feelings she was holding from the previous days/weeks. She wanted to celebrate with me, and had told me the day before she didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer" on my birthday.
It was a great night until 1:00 am. This is a small bar, and I had about 20 friends there. My brother, who lives out of state, came and surprised me. I didn't interact with Kelly very much after my brother showed up. I knew she understood; and she wasn't being neglected at all, either. She's a very engaging person and I made sure she wasn't sitting alone or anything like that. At 12:30 am, we slow danced to a tender ballad the band was playing. I was no model of sobriety at this point, but I specifically remember talking to her while we were dancing. Just thanking her for organizing a beautiful night with good friends and music, and said I hoped this was the first of many more slow dances to come.
At around 1 am, my buddy Mark was talking to her and noticed something was different about Kelly. She got quiet and dazed; the 3 of us hang out all the time and he knew something was off. Could've very well been the booze, right? She then announced she was going outside to get some fresh air. Which should've raised a red flag right then. She has a history of leaving without telling anyone when she's drunk. She knew Mark would know something was up if she just went outside without saying anything, so we think she made a point to emphasize that she was merely going outside for a minute.
At 1:39, I get a text from her saying, "Sorry, I had to leave for a minute." I took that to mean she was coming back, so I wasn't alarmed. We had planned all along that we'd be going home together. But at 1:49, Mark gets a text from Kelly's phone saying, "This is Jason, Kelly's husband. She came home, had a seizure and passed out. I think it was the date rape drug."
Obviously, Mark and I went into panic mode. In an instant, the perfect evening turned into a nightmare. Mark and I couldn't wrap our heads around this. She was just here, with us, damnit! How could this happen, you know? We tried calling her phone; I mean, if her husband took the time to text Mark, surely he would talk to him and give him an update. But no one picked up.
Meanwhile, I walked home alone, devastated.
So we'll fast forward to the next morning...I get a text at around 8 am from Kelly saying, "I'm in the hospital, waiting to get blood tests." I call her, we talk, I ask what the hell happened? She doesn't remember. She was told that she was found by her husband and his friends about five blocks from the bar we were at. They then drove her to her car and a friend drove her home...I'm still like half drunk and trying to process this all...why would these friends want to drive her car home at 2 am on a Friday night? Why not just get in the morning?
A couple hours later, she texts me and says the blood tests came back positive for GHB and scopolamine. She's told the doctors are 90% sure she ingested the drug between 5 and 8 pm. Which would mean it either happened during dinner (she had one beer) or at the bar we went to before going to the party. But there was no one who would've had access to her drink, save for the two minutes she was in the bathroom and Mark and I were outside smoking. But a quick google search tells me that those date rate drugs don't take 5 hours to kick in; more like 30 minutes or so. And she was very lucid until about 1 am, when Mark noticed her slurring and dazed expression and when she said she was going outside for fresh air.
At about 2 pm Saturday, she was released from the hospital and drove to my house to give me my keys and wallet (they were in her purse from the previous night). First off, I thought it was odd she was driving--she said she'd been sedated at the hospital, and I couldn't believe her husband would let her drive. If he was so concerned about the seizures that he drove her to the hospital, he's not going to let her drive 12 hours later. So I see her, and she's got a fresh coat of makeup on, and my backpack, which I left in her car, is at the foot of the front passenger seat. Wouldn't her nameless friend have moved it when he drove her home the night before? It looked like no one had touched it or sat in it.
We talk and she's highly emotional. She feels guilty that she ruined my party, how messed up her life is, all that. I just hold her and told her it's OK; it was all I could do. And she leaves after about 20 minutes, and I haven't talked to her since.
That night, Mark and I are talking and trying to piece together a timeline. We like amateur investigators intruding on our friend's personal life. But this involved us, too--we felt responsible if someone slipped her a drug when we weren't looking. And of course, we were just worried for her.
He's convinced there's no way she took the drug between 5 and 8 pm without showing signs of being drugged WAY earlier than 1 am. I begin to think he's right, and the wheels in my head start turning. Maybe it happened at the bar we were at from 8 pm till bar close? Who was shady there? Who could've done it? We knew almost every one there; it was basically a private party. There was one creepy guy Kelly mentioned to Mark but he was a friend of a friend. Why would he slip her a drug?
Finally, we talk to another friend of ours who was there that night. He lives upstairs from the bar. He talked to Kelly the bathroom right before he went upstairs. He got into his apartment at 1:24 am. My mind is blown...let's say he saw her five, even ten minutes earlier. If she left the bar at 1:15 and was found wandering five blocks away, it is almost impossible that she could've been driven to her car, then been drive home, and texted me at 1:39 saying "sorry I had to leave for a minute," and gotten home by 1:49, when Mark received the text from her husband saying she'd had a seizure and passed out.
Then, it hits me like a ton of bricks: Maybe she didn't have a seizure, there was no date rape drug, no hospital visit. She panicked; perhaps she looked around and saw me chatting with my friends, saw Mark talking to his old girlfriend, and thought, after all this, I'm still all alone. It's late, she's been drinking all night, she hasn't eaten or slept properly in god knows how long, she's taken too much Klonopin and she says screw this, and just drives home. And then she gets home and thinks, oh my god, Darren (that's me) is going to be so mad that I left his party because I was drunk. Combine all this with my guess that she stopped taking her Zoloft. She wasn't thinking straight. But this story is just so...elaborate, almost premeditated. I would've been a little ticked she drove home drunk, but the thought of someone drugging her into a seizure wasn't a better feeling.
Now, Mark hadn't even consider the possibility that this was fabricated and I finally have to say this about our dear friend, a woman I love and I know he cares for dearly: My god, she's lied.
And so we sat together trace back her behavior from the previous few days. Her mom letting her down once more, staying up all night for days on end studying, the Zoloft comment from a few weeks earlier, not eating, the breakdown at the bar on Thursday at the mention of her husband.
When I first brought all this up to Mark, he said, "Don't go to bed tonight thinking she was lying." By the end of the conversation, I said to him, "Man, there's no way I can go to bed tonight NOT thinking she was lying." "Me too," he said.
All I wanted was someone to talk me out of these thoughts, that there's no way she would've lied about it. Mark had to agree with me. Nothing added up according to the way she told it.
Geez, I've written too much already...Let me wrap this up as quickly as I can. I heard from her yesterday: she said she "checked into a place for the day." I thought it was a hotel room, but she said no, it wasn't. Last I heard from her was today, and she said she was back in town and could hardly take notes for her class because her hands were shaking too much.
I've probably skipped over some details but in short: I'm just incredibly concerned/confused. I can't bring myself to be angry because I know she's going through a lot and doesn't have a mean bone in your body. But still, it makes me wonder what else that she's told me was a lie?
I still can't process this. It was a surreal moment talking to Mark about this, and deconstructing the events of the night, the odd timeline and having to mutually acknowledge that she likely was lying to us.
So where do I go from here? When I see her next, how do I approach this? Obviously I'm not going to come right out and accuse her, but do I go along with her version? I don't know if I can.