I think I might be the last person on earth to watch this docu-series on Netflix, and to be fair I just finished episode 9 so I still have one left, but I'm pretty positive that there won't be any happy endings and I won't be feeling any better after I finish it. I mean, a 17 year old kid just got sentenced to life in prison...
If you follow me on snapchat you've seen my daily struggles while I try to watch this show. It's eating me up. At times I swear I can feel my heart physically hurt, and I know I'm just a super emotional person to begin with (like cannot even watch the news) but there's more to it. I was okay with the first few episodes. Yeah I felt bad for Steven Avery, particularly the part when he had to leave his day old twin boys for 18 years in prison, and obviously the fact that he had to spend 18 years there for a crime he didn't commit in the first place. But I could handle that part. I wasn't crying over it. But when they introduced 16 year old Brendan Dassey, I had to keep pausing and was asking myself the same question I do when I try to watch the news, "is it better that I don't know about this?" I knew this would be something that made me want to cry long after I watched it, because all I could think about when I saw him was my little brother, Matt.
That picture is about a year and a half old, so he's a little bit older looking now. He's 15, a little bit rounder in the face, and without the Bieber swoosh. And maybe no one else would agree, especially without knowing him, but something about Brendan just reminded me so much of Matt. The dark hair. The teenage acne. (He will never read this blog, so not worried about him knowing I called him out on that. Besides, I still have acne, haha.) But more than that it was his behavior. The behavior and mannerisms of Brendan Dassey reminded me more than anything of my brother. He's super shy. Even when I try to talk to him, he gets all nervous and shy and can't look me in the eye and replies with a lot of one word answers and "I don't knows." And all I could do was imagine if someone took my brother out of school, questioned him the way they did to Brendan, how scared would he be? Would he react the same way? Guess at answers in hopes that he could just get out of there? To be honest, probably.
A few years ago, him and a friend were caught ("caught" might be a harsh word here) by the police with cigarettes in a parking lot behind a department store. The police made him call my Mom and he said sorry and more or less admitted it, but later he told my Mom that they weren't his and that he didn't touch them. And maybe he was telling the truth to her, and maybe he wasn't (I know I would have been lying) but I was just thinking of that and how he fessed up to the police and I'm guessing it's because he was scared. I'm sure in his eyes it's because he thought that's what he was supposed to do. Hell, even if most kids were guilty of doing something like that they would fight to the grave that they didn't do it. But he's just not like that. And on the other hand, if someone wanted him do something that he knew he wasn't supposed to do, for example like smoke cigarettes, I wonder, would he do it? Would he know how to say no? I'm not sure.
I think especially as a child, you don't exactly know how to stand up for yourself. You don't have so many of the tools that you would need in order to survive something like this. I don't even know if most adults do. It's too much. And what breaks my heart about this was that Brendan seemed to be alone. He didn't know how to fight for himself, and he didn't really have anyone fighting for him. (At times I wanted to strangle his Mom.) I'm still confused and shocked that they were able to treat him the way that they did in the first place. All the "you can trust us" crap and then completely turning against him. He was literally a child that got ganged up on. And all I can think about when I see Brendan Dassey is my little brothers innocent face and I feel this heartache thinking about his life being taken away from him at 16. It's not fair.
So, that's why I'm totally distraught over this show. I feel bad for Steven Avery too. I really do. But I think he has a much stronger personality so I'm not so worried about him. I think he will be okay. (Although I DO think he should have testified for himself. That was a mistake.) Who I'm worried about that kid who while detectives were questioning him about being involved in a murder case, was more concerned about turning in his project for 6th hour. The kid who when questioned what he did to her head, the worst he could come up with was "cutting off her hair?"
But I think like everyone else now, I'm hopeful that this documentary will bring new light to the case and that maybe these two (or at least Brendan, please for the love of god he's still young!) will get a second chance. And in the mean time I'll just keep texting my little brother that I love him while he probably thinks I'm c-r-a-z-y. (Which I am. At least emotionally crazy.)
Anyone else, thoughts?