Different Spin 28th January 2011

The song playing in the background was first introduced by Dead or Alive back in the 1980’s. Following its success, there have been numerous remakes and remixes of this addictive song in which some of the words have either been added or removed. Either way, the chorus remains constant:

All I know is that to me

You look like you’re having fun

Open up your lovin’ arms

Watch out…here I come

You spin me right round baby, right round

Like a record baby, right round round round.

Random guy sits alone at the corner of the crowded, noisy club observing the young lady mouthing to the song while dancing furiously. He waits for lady to stop paying attention to her drink and makes his move. He laces her glass with a sedative – usually a sleeping pill – then makes his way to her when she becomes weak and disoriented. That would be the typical drink-spiking scenario we see in movies.

Scary? This is scarier.

That movie-like scene is no longer your typical scenario, nor is the young lady your typical drink-spiking victim. According to a research done by the Roofie Foundation, a British organisation that deals with drink-spiking and drug rape, women aged between 30 to 50 were most at risk and a significant proportion of victims had their drinks spiked at work-related events, private homes and even on business premises, going against the notion that drink-spiking only occurs in rowdy nightclubs or pubs.

Cik Senah was at a business function when a colleague of hers bought her a bottle of beer. More than just a social drinker, she knew she was good at holding her drinks, but as soon as she consumed that beer, she could barely walk.

I knew what was going on. I just couldn’t physically regain myself. I suspected something amiss because that very same guy was so persistent on sending me home. Luckily my cousins were with me and they insisted they’d send me back. Few of my friends had the same experience. It’s sick that most of the cases are by people that you know

Rebecca was not so fortunate to have her friends send her home. All she recalls was lying naked at someone else’s home the next day with a painful throb in between her eyes and legs. Mortified, she used his bathroom to ‘freshen up’, still confused as to what had happened the night before.

I felt something was not right. I’ve been drunk many times, and my after effects of drinking are predictable – I won’t be walking straight, but I’m aware of my surroundings. Then I’d vomit it all out, be hungry – gorge at the nearest mamak store with friends and then wake up with a massive hangover the next day. The important thing is this: I’d usually remember what happens. But this time around, I couldn’t recall a thing!”

Rebecca had squat down to peer into her genitals using the mirror of her compact powder and had inserted a finger into her vagina for traces of semen or the film of a condom. The smell confirmed her fears.

Both Cik Senah and Rebecca did not report the incident.

At that time, I was young. Didn’t know you could report such a ‘trivia matter’,” says Cik Senah.

For Rebecca, she had just got married and her husband was away.

I was out partying and I thought I had contributed to the whole fiasco…like the rape was partly my fault. By the time I had the courage to tell someone, it was too late to investigate as the evidence leaves the body after 72 hours. Neither did I see a doctor for the bruises around my private parts. My in-laws had always frowned upon my late night out with the girls, and I didn’t want them to say ‘serve you right’…who was going to believe a party animal like me anyway?”

Alex on the other hand, reported the incident but despite the information, the school he was working in pressed forward his dismissal for being under the influence of drugs. His career was ruined and his reputation tarnished.

I was out the night before and woke up late the next day to school. Apparently, I was acting strange and the school security pulled me aside, suspecting me to be high on drugs. My friend took me to the hospital and the blood test showed evidence of a pill commonly used as a horse tranquillizer. I didn’t even know I was raped but that’s what the doctor told me.”

In most drink-spiking incidents, the perpetrator intends to physically or sexually assault them although in Harwin’s case, his ‘friend’ admitted to spiking his drink.

I was with a new group of friends who apparently offered free drugs till you get hooked, and then they make you pay. I didn’t report them, but I stopped hanging out with them immediately.”

The Chinese New Year celebrations may be your chance to let loose, but do beware of the risks. You never know when that unwelcome inebriation of drinks comes your way.

As the catchy bit of the song goes: ‘ watch I come…You spin me right round baby right round…like a record baby right round round round’.

* Names have been changed for protection.

Daphne Iking is a TV anchor and emcee. This is her first article for the Different Spin and was slightly late in the target deadline, not because her Milo was spiked, but because she is still learning to adjust to her 3 year old’s new schedule now that the little tike has started school.

Baiboo aritcle 3 – MAY ISSUE 05/08

I am on a 2 hours flight from Adelaide to Sydney and missing her immensely. It has been 11 days away from home and exactly 18 days since I sent Isobel to live with her popo and ayeh.

I reflect back on the night my husband and I sat at our ‘adults-only balcony’ for The Talk. Due to the nature of our jobs (odd hours and constant travelling), my in laws suggested that we leave their (only) grandchild and her nanny under the supervision of my mother in law – at least till Bel is able to walk and eat by herself. With her starting on solids soon, mum in law was worried about her ‘not being weaned properly’.

You see, I was assigned to a 3 week hosting stint in Australia – about the same time Isobel would have started her solids, so naturally I should be grateful that they have offered help at this critical stage, right?  I mean, EVERYONE was telling me how lucky I was to have such accommodating in laws!! Then why was I feeling like a miserable, ungrateful twat?

Hubby suggested we send Bel to her grandparents place a week before my departure to Australia. “So you can get used to not having her around you,” he prods gently.

When you are in a relationship, you learn to trust your other half’s advice – so with a heavy heart, I packed half of her things and said goodbye to her. “ You can come and see her anytime you are free and can take her home when you are not working love,” he adds on as he gently releases her from my clasp.

But it was not an easy feat. The first night without her, was heart wrenching to say the least. The last time I cried this much was when my bestfriend was murdered. Suffice to say, I slept staining Bel’s pillow with my tears, with a very worried husband stroking my hair to sleep.

I thought it would be easier as days go by, but today marks the 18th day away from her – and the depression has only elevated. As I type this article, thousands of feet above sea level, I am embarrassingly crying.

Her picture is placed inside any book I lug around with me on my travels, and earlier, when I took it out for a quick glimpse, I realize that my sadness and ungratefulness is mirrored by my inner feeling of regret and confusion.

They call it the dilemma of a working mother. I felt I have failed her as a mother. And this pisses me off. They tell me to prioritize – but striking that right balance is difficult. And I hate not being able to master this.

I am living in fear and anxiety that she won’t remember me – or love me the way I want her to. I am worried she will get more attached to her nanny and wouldn’t want my affection, and this fear of rejection from my own daughter is causing this anger and disappointment with myself.

So what should I do?

Friends tell me to take her back- “ at least you get to see her and sleep with her every night.” Says mother-friends of mine. My in laws and husband feel she’s better off with them. My judgement is clouded. I am a first time mother. So every piece of advice hurled at me is forcefully digested, but due to the pressure of wanting to please and fit in, you listen to the ones who have a lineage right to my daughter. Even if the heart twitches with slight doubt.

Upon my travels here, I met a newly made grandfather who has done very well for himself and his sunny disposition is reflected on the upbringing of his good natured daughters. I unload to him my ‘ungrateful guilt’ as I longed for another perspective to parenting skills  and his advice was simple. “ Daphne, when God made you a mother, he naturally bestowed you with maternal and parenting skills. Do what you heart tells you to do, and all will fall into place.”

So once I am done with my travel show, I will be having another talk with the hubby. If her porridge gets burnt, and if I am doing it ‘wrong’, I know at least I tried.

That’s what being a mother is all about anyway, right? 13 more days and counting.