About a week ago I decided to share my story with all of you. Most of you who know me know that I am very open with talking about my assault. I am open to questions, helping and just talking with you about my experience. A lot of people wonder what exactly happen; what was going through my mind at the time in detail. I am about to tell you for your benefit. For those who have never been sexually assaulted, raped, and abused don't know what it's like or how you view yourself after wards and during the time of the assault.
I have changed the names of the people involved to keep their identity a secret.
March 6th, 2011 I woke up at Karen's house who was best friend at the time. This was the second night I was spending the night at her house. I begged my dad to stay over another night. He was angry that I kept asking, so he allowed me to stay again. After my soccer game he dropped me off. I was wearing my all blue jersey after the game when I went over to her house. Being a busy kid who was focused on getting over to her friends house for a movie night I forgot to pack new clothes. By the time I realized I didn't pack "sleepover clothes" my parents were in bed, so I didn't call them to bring me new clothes. Martha, Karen's mom took us to A local Red-box to get movies for the night, and to McDonalds for food and a Oreo Flurry. On the way back we listened to all the hit songs and laughed. Little did I know in just a few hours my laugh would disappear for a year; along with my happiness. We pulled into the driveway, ran in, and went straight to the living room to watch all the movies we have bought.
Earlier that evening when I got there Karen's brother, Jake had his friends over and they were going somewhere. We had nothing in common and just continued to do what 12 year olds do and not associate with them. The day before when I spent the night was the very first time I met Ben my perpetrator. He came into the spare bedroom to say Hi and to check in on me and Karen. I recall him being overly nice and then wrestling her to the ground. (Play fighting.) He introduced himself to me shortly after that even though I've heard his name before. Little did I know that this "nice" guy would try to rape me.
Karen and I fell asleep watching movies and gossiping about the recent drama that was happening at school. I woke up to seeing the cable box by the Tv saying 6am; a man sitting at the end of the couch next to my feet, and a strange feeling in my stomach. I acted like I was asleep and pushed my feet back to allow the man to have more room. I secretly glanced at him again to realize that it was Ben. I turned around facing the couch and switched to laying on my stomach. I held the pillow underneath my head to try and sleep. I thought it was rude for him to sit on the couch I was sleeping on when there was a kitchen with chairs and another recliner across the room. I shut my eyes to go back to sleep when all of a sudden I felt something touch my butt. I didn't think anything of it at first, I assumed it was one of the cats that jumped on me. At this point my eyes were wide open looking down at the pillow I held. Slowly I realized it wasn't the cat it was Ben's hand slowly caressing my lower body. I could hear and feel his nervousness as he worked up the strength to take the blanket off of me. At this point in time a small tear began to fall down my cheek because I knew what was happening. I froze in fear not knowing if he grabbed a knife from the kitchen to keep me quiet or if he had a gun to hold to my head to make me even more scared if I "woke up." I decided my best option was to keep quiet and hope for the best. I started to pray to God in my head; then all of a sudden I blacked out. I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. A bright light appeared and then a lighter figure was there telling me that it wasn't my time to go. "It's time to go back now and fight Brooklyn." This out of body experience was unreal and hard to explain, but I think I was home with God. Everyone reacts different; that is the "Fight or Flight" mechanism.
When I came back to my senses I was ready to not give up and make it out of my assault. By this time Ben was on top of me. He was breathing close to my ear, kissing all over my body and humping me forcefully. Karen at this point was still asleep next to the couch on the recliner. She had no idea what was going on until Martha went to go use the bathroom. When he heard her walking to the restroom Ben jumped off of me. He hit the table that was in front of the couch. This made a noise that sounded like a firecracker. Karen lightly woke up, but was half asleep. Martha shut the door, it felt like an eternity during the time she was in there. He jumped back on me and pulled down my pants. Ben started to aggressively hump me more and kiss down my neck. At this point he has touched every body part and was about to successfully rape me when Martha flushed the toilet. He jumped off of me for the second time, this is when Karen and I ran back to her mom's room. I saw him run back downstairs to where his friends were. Tears began to fall down my cheeks. I was about five-seconds from being raped that morning.
My mother was called and so was the sheriff. Ben was placed in the cop car while the rest of us had to be separated to explain what we heard or saw. This day I lost a piece of myself, a friend, and my trust in God. I didn't understand why I had been violated. This was the scariest morning of my life, but this was also the reason why I am here today. God placed me in this horrible situation to help others get through theirs. I am beyond happy I didn't successfully kill myself when I tried because I wouldn't have met such amazing people or have helped be an advocate for the world.
I am still in counseling, I still have panic attacks and every year when March 6th comes I get stronger. Every year when my assault date comes around my mind reenacts what happened to me. My body feels and remembers every motion and every thought that went through my head. It feels like a nightmare, but when it's over I realize that I am okay and it's another year I am not going to let him affect me. After all the court days were over I was able to heal even more because I was able to have a voice for myself since I didn't during the time of my assault. I felt so powerful and relieved when he got sentenced.
Brooklyn's Bridge of Love LLC is my personal business that I have had since my assault. My business raises money for others who are struggling and need help getting by. I sell Chocolate Covered Pretzels and donate that money. That is what makes my organization special. Schools, crisis centers, colleges and others have, and continue to hire me to share my story. I am nothing magnificent, I am just a girl who is following God's path for herself. I believe God wants me to share my assault with others and reach out to change the world one pretzel at a time. I want to inspire everyone around me to "Go Big," and to make a difference in the world in their own way.