Premium

IN MY ORBIT: The Scars of Kyle Rittenhouse

Screenshot via Twitter

I was in tears watching Kyle Rittenhouse react to the verdict of his trial being read. I was also in tears because the verdict that I felt should have been rendered did indeed occur.

My colleague Bonchie broke the good news:

As RedState has reported over the last several weeks, the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse for murder after he seemingly defended himself during the Kenosha riots has had many twists and turns. At the beginning of the week, though, closing arguments were finally concluded and the search for a verdict commenced.

Deliberations in the trial went far longer than most predicted, but after more than 24 working hours by the jury, the verdict is finally in.

Kyle Rittenhouse has been found NOT GUILTY on all counts.

Kyle Rittenhouse. Not Guilty on all five counts. The life he fought for on that night of August 25, 2020 has been returned to him by a jury who, despite the pre-judgment, misinformation, intimidation, and chicanery thrown at them by the prosecution, the legacy media, and other outside parties, looked at the law, looked at the facts in evidence, and rendered a just verdict.

With the wicking of the justice system, particularly in our highest offices, and the mob intimidation and social justice that is working to transform how true justice should be executed, I had my doubts.

But the jury did what juries are supposed to do. That is a fortunate and powerful thing.

It is a trite understatement to say that Kyle Rittenhouse’s life will never be the same. He will encounter unique obstacles and probably even out-and-outright hostility, dependent on who and what he encounters in the future. There are unique safety issues that he will continually have to consider. According to his spokesperson David Hancock, Rittenhouse has had a security team around him since the beginning of this trial, and he will maintain this team for some time hereafter.

For sure his innocence is gone. The 17-year-old who was enthusiastic about maintaining his community, helping those who were hurt, and if need be, defend people and property, no longer exists. The 18-year-old, who has spent time in jail and stared into the possible abyss of life in prison when his life had barely begun, now has to figure out what his life will now look like.

Kyle Rittenhouse had to grow up at warp speed, and that is a sad and tragic thing.

What will the words, “Free Man,” mean to Kyle Rittenhouse? My hope is that he will ultimately find freedom in every sense of the word. Not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My hope is that he will be able to embrace and own his life without the heavy shadow of the riots, the deaths, and this trial hanging over him like a shroud. But we all know, that will be a long time coming.

During a post-verdict interview with Fox News, spokesperson David Hancock said Rittenhouse would be attending Arizona State University to pursue a nursing degree. Hancock had high hopes for Rittenhouse’s future:

“I think you’re going to see some great things coming out of Kyle in the next few years,” Hancock said.

But Rittenhouse will forever be haunted by the fact that he has taken two lives. The unresolved pain and horror was clear during Rittenhouse’s testimony, when he broke down on the stand while recounting his actions of self-defense. Rittenhouse’s attorney Mark Richards told reporters that Rittenhouse does indeed suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome and is unable to sleep at night. Having had childhood traumas of my own, I have a bit of insight into what a horrible hurdle this is; and it has only been complicated further by prison time and the trial.

Along with the people who are keeping him physically secure, my hopes are that Rittenhouse will have people, both professionally and personally, who can help him find emotional security, and personal clarity. But no matter how you parse it, Rittenhouse has a long road ahead of him toward emotional health and stability.

Kyle Rittenhouse started out as a child, and has ended up a man. Part of healing emotional scars involves finding that innocence once again in some form. I wish Rittenhouse well in recovering this.