~~ This is my story; a story that needs a disclaimer tag "Trigger Warning" ~~
Friday - September 14th - 2012:
Rather than attend the annual "Hansen Fest" (basically a huge field party) with my immediate family, many of my high school friends and their families, and even new friends, I pushed my departure to the field fest off by one day as I was out with close friends saying good-bye to a dear roommate and amazing person who was moving from Minnesota to Brooklyn, NY to start a new job. The farewell party ended rather early (due to everyone being very liquored up) at around 10pm with the tears turning into throw-up and me being the lucky designated driver. All the friends parted ways quite early, but I wasn’t ready to call it a night, and headed to my Bear bar for some reprieve from the sad good-byes.
I’m not really a drinker, but in the spirit of the night, and feeling a bit down, I did opt for a cocktail. Some local Bears and friends were enjoying their Friday night, and I found some old acquaintences to chat with, and also blended in with the crowd and conversations as usual.
Having spent most of the summer either working very long days or staying around my home avoiding most of what life had to offer, being out and about and social was a great feeling.
The bar was quite dead for a Friday night, but the lack of hundreds of people everywheremade it better to socialize with friends without the crowds and stupid “fall-all-over” drunks that increasingly invade this local hangout that typically provides a nice atmosphere for the gay Bear community of Minneapolis.
Being an introverted 5’10” 220lb 29 year old man who doesn’t “hook-up” and recently got out of a 2-year abusive relationship, my trust in the general public, and overall self-confidence and self-esteem, is quite low.
Being hit on by the bartender, and 'woof'd' at by some guys was flattering, yet strange to me, but I went with the flow, and a couple of hours later (around 1am) I ordered another cocktail. This is the last memory I have of that evening...
The next time I opened my eyes was around 4pm the following day. I woke up with a very bad headache similar to a migraine headache, rather cloudy vision, and found myself completely naked with my hands tied together and bound to a bed frame -- in a very unfamiliar room. Fortunately the bindings around my wrists were loose enough to get one hand out and untie the ropes, freeing myself from the bedframe.
I stumbled a bit when standing up, and as I looked around, I found my clothing strewn across the floor. Strangely, I had not taken my work badge off of the pants I was wearing out that evening, so they were obvious to point out amongst the other articles of clothing thrown around the room. I put on my pants, and without hesitation, bolted outside to find some sort of reference to understand where it was I ended up or any people who could tell me what happened.
Strangely, as I walked outside, I found my truck parked in the alley. Instantly I started to feel very uneasy and things were just not adding up. I tried to remember what happened, or even understand where I was, but fight-or-flight kicked in and I jumpted into my truck, did a quick look around, and while disregarding the disaster in my vehicle, I squealed away as fast as I could. Driving as fast as possible through city streets I came upon a well-known thoroughfare, and followed it to a familiar coffee shop and parked.
Searching through my car which was completely trashed, I found my cell phone, a sweatshirt that I kept in the car all the time, and my wallet. The cash was gone, so I picked out some change and entered the coffee shop thinking some caffeine would aid in clearing this black cloud that was overshadowing everything, including that pounding headache.
Walking in, I was noticed immediately. even with the hood of my sweatshirt covering most of my head and face. Being rather short with the staff who had been making me coffee every morning for years, it was obvious to them something was wrong. Usually the generic chatter would have sufficed, but this time, I didn't feel chatty, which alarmed a friend of mine who happened to be the barrista that morning. I turned around to look at the community board hoping noboy would talk to me, but I felt a hand grab my arm and I was pulled to the back office. My friend had left the customers, pulled me to the back, and she started asking me very odd questions like "Are you ok?" "What happened to you?" Still cloudy, I tried to remember but I realized I had no answers -- I had no clue what 'happened' to me... All of the sudden, there was a mirror in my face, and as I stared at my own reflection, I started to cry... I did not recognize myself at all. I looked like I had been in a fight with a dog; there were bite marks and bruises from my neckline to my ears. But as I panned up further, I was shocked to see my face covered in dried blood, and as I pulled down my hood the source was revealed: there was a big gash on the top of my head...
Instantly alarmed, my friend called 911. I was taken to an out-of-network facility despite my demands to be taken to the next closest hospital, which was in network, and also where my Primary Care Provider was located. The events of the ambulance ride are a bit hazy as I was put on some very strong pain killers, and woke up in the hospital.
Being in an unfamiliar place with nobody around and extremely confused about why I was there, my instinct was to get out as fast as I could. I started pulling the IV's out of my arms, and I even knocked machines and monitors to the floor. The rucous I made caused a rush of people to enter my room and the chaos felt like 100 against 1. But, after a team of hospital staff got me back in the bed and calmed down, I was approached by a doctor. He made everyone leave the room, sat down on a chair and looked into my eyes for a few seconds before telling me a horror story only heard around a camp fire or under a blanket.
"Bob, I have some very frightening information that will answer some of your questions, and help you understand why you are here. You were brought by ambulance to us here at HCMC in very rough condition. We believe that you were the victim of a very brutal attack. We believe someone, possibly 2 people, slipped you a street drug commonly known as a roofie, physically assaulted you, and raped you."
Naturally, I was in utter shock and disbelief, and was again given a mirror to look at myself. As I looked in the mirror, the front and back of my body, my head, shoulders and down to my hands, the doctor continued: "Your test results came back positive for rohypnol. Also, we found numerous severe bite marks in various places of your body and have identified 2 different teeth mark patters on your back."
I turned around and needed to see what the doctor was talking about, and as he pointed out specific places on my upper and lower back, I started to weap from what I saw. From my neck all the way down past my butt were numerous human bite marks covering almost every square inch, some were very deep...
The doctor continued: "...and the reason you are in a Trauma 1 hospital is because you were brought in with a large gash at the top of your head, and you lost a lot of blood which has resulted in a concussion."
I took a breath, laid back, and started to cry uncontrollably...
It was at this point that the doctor and nursing staff left my room, only to be replaced by large men with guns and badges. The interrigation that followed was enough to make you wish you had died... I certainly wished I had not survived this nightmare.
Around noon the following day (Sunday) I was released from the hospital. I took a cab to my home, layed in my bed, and cried myself back to sleep.
The days, weeks, and months since that tragic night have been the most difficult in my 30 years of life on this planet. Empathy, loyalty, trust, friendship, family, support -- all of these words have become foreign to me. It's been one year since 2 soul-less men committed a horrific act that has affected my entire being, and has changed me forever. The destruction and devastation that has taken place as a result of what they did is widespread, and everyday I continue to struggle...