I was always prepared for the possibility that I could lose. I never prepared for it to end like this.
I suppose the solace I take from this is that he was NOT found NOT GUILTY. He simply got to walk because of the prosecution’s failure to uphold his 5th amendment, constitutional rights. The burden of their failure will fall to his victims who all tried with everything in their souls to get this man convicted and off the streets so he couldn’t hurt another woman.
So I’m going to speak for myself here…
I will bear the burden of the government’s failure as they move onto the next thing and treat it just as carelessly.
I am going to approach this with a grace that has only come from a lot of time, a lot of reflection and a lot of vulnerability. I hope you’re ready, because I’ve been waiting for months to express myself the best way I know how.
This rape, this horrible, tragic, life altering, soul-splitting crime of violence that was committed against me by Keith Snyder has, quite possibly, saved me. I know. It’s a really difficult, wholly vulnerable thing to say and you did read that correctly.
Let me explain.
The violence I faced as a child always seemed like a bad dream that got fuzzy from time to time. I knew it happened but no one ever talked about it so other things started to take the place of those memories and I was left with a childhood as broken as those pieces. And I suppose I coped as well as I could for a child who had no idea what normal was. Normal to me was kicks and punches and hair pulling and slapping. Normal to me was my step-father coming into my room to violate me and leave me quarters if I was good and good meant quiet while he tore into my body.
I ran away when I heard my mother mention his name on the phone. I thought she was talking to him again and I ran. I ran away in 1987 and I was raped when I ran away. It was horrible, worse then anything my step-father had done and I reported it to the police. They weren’t helpful at all. In fact, they were terrifying. They asked me “what exactly did I think would happen to a runaway?”
The next day I was threatened by one of the people who raped me. I was walking to get subs from subway in a shopping plaza in Royal Palm Beach and he drove up as a passenger in this white car and jumped out and slammed me against the glass of one of the stores along the plaza and told me he would be looking for me if I said anything to the police. He squeezed my face, hard. I believed him. I was thirteen years old.
Those memories, I wrote about them sometimes, not in great detail and ALWAYS on my terms. I stored them tightly bound and in the furthest reaches of my mind. Once I decided to eat the key. Metaphorically of course. And they rattled and shook and they bucked against the binding but never did I allow them out. Until now…until I was forced to as a result of the disgusting pig of a defense attorney Aaron Meyer.
By the time those demons surfaced I was well into therapy. I was getting the support I needed to cope with what had happened to me in September of 2017
(this is in NO way to be construed as any consent for any records past, present or future. This is a statement of fact and not a statement of consent)
Sidebar: Things I have to do now ^^^ soooo ridiculous.
Ok back to meat of things.
So what I am saying is, I had support. I was putting in the work to be a more mindful human. I could look introspectively and see things through an entirely different perspective. I got validation for the first time in my entire life. I had no idea that they even took a report and even though I recanted my story out of fear, it was there. It WAS REAL. It happened. It was there in black and white and although my first reaction was to throw up and cry I’ve had some time to think about what that meant to me.
It was everything. Listen to me…
IT WAS EVERYTHING.
I wasn’t this “way” for no reason. I went through hell as a little girl. I tried to save myself by running away and I ran into a different kind of hell. And I got scared and I lied and recanted my story because I didn’t want him to come after me. My family scared for me but for very different reasons sent me away so I could start over but never gave me the tools to do it.
No one talked about my step-father, despite the fact that he tried to kill my mother in front of us. No one talked about my rape when I ran away. No one mentioned it. It was this thing that ate away at my insides and I couldn’t say the words. I didn’t know how to speak up, I was always told to be quiet. So I let it eat me away in the form of anorexia and bulimia. I was ruthless in my conviction to punish my body for the things that had happened to it. I knew I wasn’t like anyone of my peers. I knew that I knew things I wasn’t supposed to know.
I was trapped inside that little girl’s mind my whole life. Desperate for protection because to me that sounded a lot like love. If you could promise to keep the bad away I was game. I fell in love carelessly because I had no idea how to protect my heart from men who knew how to prey on it. And they did, like vultures. Married at sixteen to a twenty-eight year old man…
I couldn’t see that before this. I could never look back on my past and confront the ugliest of memories. I have so much respect now for the human mind. It is the most powerful organ we have. It shelters, without ever whispering about the demons it holds.
Before this, before this rape I didn’t know there was anyone else like me. I felt like I was a target, wearing bulls eye after bulls eye and that somehow this was my fault and I didn’t deserve anything better than the abuse I just couldn’t seem to escape. And in what was perhaps the most difficult series of emotions I have ever faced, I discovered I was not alone. I was not the only one who had been re-victimized. I was not the only person whose innocence was stolen. I was not the only person who felt utter despair in their souls. I was not alone and that was everything. Listen to me closely,
That was EVERYTHING.
And I started building a way to escape by putting every single moment, every single time I felt “everything” underneath me , stepping up one moment at a time until that rabbit hole no longer owned me. I did not feel that overwhelming urge to tuck back into it’s dark corners. Instead I saw progress and I grew so much, I was too high to look down.
And that was EVERYTHING.
And that has to be everything. It has to be be because there is no other outcome coming.
I can not live in the moments behind me and I can not control what happens in the future. I can only breathe the present.
Presently I hurt. My soul is vibrating at a frequency I don’t recognize and I imagine that is grief waiting to take it’s place front and center. I’m not ready for that stage just yet. I’m just not quite ready to face grief yet.
But I can handle it now. I have built the foundation from all the moments I held on to, to make it this far. I have had so much help from all of your kind words, your interest, your participation, your kindness. And I am so grateful. I am so grateful for my sisters in this case and for the sisters I have met since. I am sorry this warrior never got to ride into that final battle. I wanted so much to see this through…
I fought so hard and it hurts so much to not be given our day in court over the failure of the very people charged to bring this case against Keith Snyder. To accept that it was over laziness, negligence and fear when the victims stood so tall, is sickening. It’s a hard pill to swallow. So I won’t.
I hope they remember me looking them in the eyes and asking them if they took pride in the work they did on this case. Not one of them could or would answer that question.
Because they’re cowards.
Victims want to be represented by champions for justice, not officers waiting for their next TDY. It just hurts. It isn’t heartache. It’s soul shattering.It’s the acceptance that my soul will never receive the justice it deserves.
This hole is just a bit deeper than the last, but I will find my way again, one precious moment at a time.
I wish everyone healing.No one should leave this earth without healing the wounds of their pasts.
I am here, imperfect, evolving, trying to live in grace and I hope everyone finds their way.