Today marks the five year anniversary of my accident. Five years ago today I was a pedestrian, hit by a full sized pick-up truck. That accident left me fractured, battered, bruised and scarred for life in more ways than one. And normally today would bring a lot of reflection for a lot of different reasons, but today is different. Today not only do I recognize what it took for me to survive and overcome that accident but this time, this year, I know that the defense attorney for my rapist is going to try to attempt to use that accident and the relationship I was in four years prior to somehow defend against his clients actions four years after that relationship ended and that accident occurred.
As if there is an ounce of relevance there. Oh I know he’ll bring up the restraining order that was taken out against me as irrefutable evidence that I am some “crazy stalker-ex girlfriend” and not what was proven which was a vindictive action used to buy time in a civil suit that was on-going against the man who was driving that uninsured vehicle on a suspended license. But that’s okay. The only narrative I care about is a truthful one. Yes there was a restraining order filed and granted against me in 2013 by the man who hired a prominent defense attorney to defend his actions that night. It was a preemptive strike, one very similar to the one my rapist made when he attempted to do the same thing and it was thrown out for a complete lack of evidence.
The only pattern that will emerge here is that I had shitty taste in men and didn’t recognize my own value and worth back then. But I have rectified that thinking and that case was a turning point for me. I know my value and I know my worth and feel not an ounce of shame for surviving what should have killed me.
At first I was incredulous because this was one of those things that I talked to Keith (Keith Alan Snyder, my rapist)about. He was there in the beginning, full of support and kind words of encouragement. He knew how hard it was for me to hold the person responsible accountable, but I did. It’s no surprise he would attempt to capitalize from that period of suffering in my life. I’m not going to lie, every time I think there is a threshold he won’t cross, he leaps over it with glee. I only hope he realizes at sentencing that each time he actively participates in causing me even more harm than the rape itself that I’m keeping score. His pleas for leniency will fall on deaf ears and mercy will be a phrase whose ship has sailed.
Facts…the man who hit me with his truck was driving uninsured
Fact…the man who hit me with his truck was driving on a suspended license.
Fact…the man who hit me with his truck left the scene without calling for medical aide
Fact…the man who hit me with his truck immediately contacted an attorney and refused to disclose his insurance information because HE KNEW that he did not have any insurance on his vehicle and that his driver’s license had been suspended.
Fact…the man who hit me with his truck ruptured my left breast implant that was put in to reconstruct my breasts from cancer, fractured my spine in two places, fractured my skull, left me with road rash, bruising and permanent scars.
Fact… I have forgiven him and our legal battle was finalized.
My recovery was long and had lasting affects on me. But like everything else in my life, it was both a profound lesson and another notch on my belt, defying the odds and the ways life should have broken me, but didn’t.
I forgave the man who hit me with his truck. I forgave him for not seeking medical treatment for me. I forgave him for lying about being insured. I forgave him for misleading me. I forgave him for his desire to protect himself over helping me. I forgave him for everything because anger doesn’t serve me. I never spoke to the man who hit me with his truck after our court settlement but I forgave him. I would go into greater detail but we both agreed to a non-disclosure agreement which allowed both of us to move on from the situation with few aggravating factors. Until now.
The fact that this is now even a point of interest by a defense attorney is nothing short of desperation. As if something that happened in 2013 that left me scarred for life has anything at all to do with being raped by the rapist Tsgt Keith Alan Snyder in 2017…but by all means lets get into it. I hope for the sake of my non-disclosure agreement that we DO get into it.
I am not scared. I am not ashamed. I have absolutely nothing to hide. I KNOW I will have to answer for my actions, for my words, for my behavior in ALL things at ALL times and THAT is the fundamental difference between me and my rapist. I live my life expecting consequences for my actions…no matter how inconsequential.
My rapist does not.
So let’s get into what today means.
I survived. I beat the odds. I look at pictures from that night and I remember how broken I felt having to look down at my body. I remember thinking that my breast reconstruction was ruined and how ironic it was that I survived cancer and that cancer wasn’t the thing that disfigured me. I remember how many surgeries (double digits) it took before the accident to feel whole again, to feel like a woman again after having both breasts removed. I remember accepting the new shell I occupied and making peace with my scars and then having it obliterated in a single moment. That accident tore at the fabric of who I was and the fact that it happened on the night of my mother’s surgery for her second bout of breast cancer makes it stand out even more for so many other reasons.
I come from a family of survivors. I can not be broken. I’ve been close, man have I been close, but there’s always been that thing…that thing that I can’t name that has kept me going.
So on this day I express gratitude. Those events helped shape me into the woman that defeats my rapist. My rapist once told me to “stare into the belly of the beast and give it nothing.” That was good advice.
My rapist doesn’t hold the power. My rapist’s attorney doesn’t hold the power. I don’t hold the power. The power is in the truth. And that is EXACTLY how I am free and how confident I am that my rapist never will be.
Oh I am sure the facade is picture perfect. But I know the truth. He is weak, pathetic, feeble, wasting, lacking, pitiful. All the posturing in the world wont save him.
So today, I remember the smell of asphalt, the feeling of thick, warm blood pouring from my head into my eyes, I remember the road rash, my fractured back, my ruptured implant, today I remember waking up covered in blood and not knowing what the hell happened. Today I remember all the ways I should have died. Today I remember going to toe to toe with a truck and surviving. Today I remember the thing that should have killed me. Today I remember how I fought for justice for myself, for that accident and won. Today I remember the man I forgave for hitting me because I believe there was good in him and our relationship at times. Today I remember using yet another of my “nine lives” and using it to live my best life.
So let’s get into it…. You think there is any part of me I’m not willing to delve into or expose? You think you’re going to paint me in a different light with carefully worded questions? You think someone like me can be lead? Then you haven’t been paying attention.
I will not be a slave to anyone else’s narrative.
I do not follow.
I survived what should have easily killed me five years ago today.
I survived what murdered my soul on September 16, 2017.
I will not be criminalized by a rapist or his low-life, low-brow attorney.
Nice try though.