originally posted 5/2012
You never really understand the nightmare until you have lived it. Our nightmare began in 1995, when my husband was 19 years old. He was at a friend’s house, along with many teenagers. He met a girl there and she said she was 18. I know many of you already know where this is head… It turns out she was only 16. She was actually 16 years, 11 months when it happened. My husband being 19 years, 2 months. The difference in their age was barely over a year. Anyway, he was caught with her and although she told everyone it was consensual, he received 90 days in jail and 10 years probation. I met him in 2000 as a single mom of a 2 year old son and we married in 2002. I never truly knew what a nightmare it would be having this hanging over us all the time. It began with his probation officer telling me what a terrible mother I was and that he would DEFINITELY abuse my son, as he was a predator.
When we moved into our quiet neighborhood the year my son started kindergarten and we were expecting our first child together, I realized it was just beginning. I heard a commotion outside one day and looked out. There were approximately 12-15 people in the yard across the street holding flyers and pointing at our house. When I opened the door, all 8 months pregnant belly of me and all, a man approached me and have me the flyer. It was a “”wanted”” poster with my husband’s face on it. It said “”Wanted: Monster Out of Our Neighborhood””. I tried explaining to him what had led to my husband’s status but he was not interested in details. Looking down the block, the horror grew as I saw he plastered every telephone pole in a 3 block radius with his posters. We moved about a year later.
My son was now in 2nd grade and got off the school bus in tears. He was told by a friend that his dad was a disgusting child molester. I was also asked to resign from the PTA.
My husband is always up front when applying for a new job, yet he has been hired and then fired from 3 different employers because of his history. He was unable to attend any school functions with our children. When my daughter began playing softball, I had to decide whether to be honest about why my husband appears to be a deadbeat dad or let them believe he is one because he is never at a single game or practice. Of course, now that he is not on probation, he is allowed to attend but then you have to hope no one recognizes him. My daughter happens to be in the same league as many probation officers, attorneys, and police officers, all of whom he has seen during his years of probation.
Another thing that is hard to explain to a child is why Dad has a “”special”” Halloween party he must attend each year and why he can’t join us. We are also made to feel like mean parents because we can’t have so much as a Jack O Lantern on our front porch.
It became too much and in 2010, he moved into a run down shabby apartment across town. We are still very much in love and our family is very solid, however we have chosen to live apart to shelter our children from the realities of living in the same house as a sex offender. As they grown older and are able to understand the injustice, we will live together as a true family again. “