At nineteen, dapperly dressed in a fashionable outfit, she closed the door behind the disarray of an alcoholic mother. A proper lady at only five feet tall, she appeared to the world as though life was normal in her world. She’d be meeting a young sailor for a date tonight, and was excited at all the possibilities. He took her to a club to dance.
She woke up nude, in a closet, with her underwear wrapped around her head. It was nineteen forty three, and that was not a lady like position to be in. She’s didn’t remember dancing, in fact she didn’t remember much of anything.
Mickey Finns, named after a notorious underworld Chicago bar owner in the late eighteen hundreds, who was famous for drugging his patrons with a sedative then stealing their money, proved to be a popular way of forcing demure young women, into unwitting sexual intercourse. Chloral hydrate, a form of sedative known as a Mickey Finn was slipped covertly into a woman’s drink. With the innocent woman incoherent, the male was then free to take advantage of her in an illicit way. Just like the male victims of the eighteen hundreds, the women had no recollection of what transpired when they awoke.
Humiliated and shocked by her state of confusion it was reasoned that she had been slipped a Mickey Finn. After some time at a medical facility, Susan was diagnosed with gonorrhea. A crotchety old nurse treated Susan harshly, speaking roughly in an accusatory tone. Vulnerable and terrified, Susan felt alone in her shame. Later the doctor revealed to the nurse that the young woman was still a virgin with hymen in tack. With the realization that Susan was not the promiscuous young women she once thought, the nurse’s voice softened as she comforted the frightened young girl.
To this day, it’s a mystery how Susan kept her virginity after being assaulted. It was assumed that the sailor tried to penetrate her, was either frustrated because she was so small. Or he was at risk of being caught in the act. Either way, his appalling actions caused Susie great pain and degradation, resulting in months of care for a Bartholin Cyst. Terrified she’d never be able to have children, she resigned herself to never get married.
Susan did marry Al two years later, divulging early in their relationship the possibility that she couldn’t have children. Although she did suffer with Bartholin Cyst flare ups her entire life. She was able to bear both my brother and I during her forty one year marriage!
I was a very developed eleven year old when my mother shared her story as a precaution for me. My daughter was also very young when I told her. It made us acutely aware of how women can be covertly drugged by acquaintances or even people they think they know.