Brooke was scared and in a place where she was held down between what was best for him or what was best for her. She was completely trapped and there was no way out. At age seven you are at a point in your life where you just begin to learn what is really right and what is wrong. Brooke was completely petrified on telling or if just keeping it to herself and not be fearful of him. Matthew was Brooke and I’s first cousin, our aunt’s son, we were eight years apart. When we were little we were always around all our cousins and it was often we were at my aunt’s house. Matthew was a sophomore in high school which meant he was a raging teenager full of needs of his own with a personality that didn’t give two cents about how anyone else felt. There were multiple times when Brooke and I would be in his room alone or just Brooke in his room with him way to frequently. I would have never guessed he would take full advantage of me and especially my sister.
One night we was doing our typical thing at my aunts just hanging out, having dinner, and even talking about the latest gossip in our family. Brooke and I went to Matthew’s room I guess to see what new box car he was designing and I faintly remember him showing us his private part. I knew immediately what he was doing wrong but I didn’t know exactly know what he meant by doing it. Days later I told my aunt, his mom, what happened and I’m not sure if she believed me or if she did and didn’t want to face the fact that he done it but nothing was done about it. Five years later Brooke opens up to me and tells me what Matthew had forced her to do when we was six and seven. I never once second guessed her about what she had told me being the time he tried it with both of us. Brooke admitted that it involved her doing things to him and him doing things to her. I was sworn to secrecy to not tell our mom or anyone else in our family. As her sister I had to not say a word and respect her wishes.
Brooke is now twenty-one and it was three months ago when Brooke finally told my mother about what happened when she was little. Through those years, Brooke felt like she was always being held down by humongous weight. She felt trapped and nowhere to escape. She always blamed herself because she felt maybe there was something she could’ve done when she was younger. Having been sexually assaulted as a child has held her back from many things. Brooke has a problem trusting men and there’s certain things she can’t do with her partner physically. After revealing what happened all that weight has been lifted off of her and she can finally breathe again.
After talking with my sister about what happened we figured out why Brooke was so much of his target. Matthew knew I would tell if he tried again with me being that I did tell on him the very first time he tried. He centered more on Brooke because she was more shy and more naïve at that age than I was. What he did was ungodly awful and I would’ve never imagined having my sister go through the difficulties she has faced. Although there was almost a dead cousin once my mother confronted him about it, Brooke had a lot of courage that day when she did confront her attacker.
Miranda Garland 005