Don’t ever give up hope

Hello . . .

I have been on the registry since I turned 18 years old in 1996 in Texas.  I am now almost 40 years old and have lived a very happy and successful life.  With a bit of luck and lot of perseverance   I have managed to live a very  normal life with a home, a family with 3 kids, and a professional 6 figure job.  Now no it has not been easy by any means; but I will share with you some of the tricks and ideas that made my life as normal as possible  First off, you have to change as a person.  Remember your life is different now. You are a so called “pariah” to society, so you have to have a mind set that the general public could care less if you live or die.  Taking this into consideration; you have to think outside the box.  Friends and family will support you no matter what.  Not in a single instance did any friend of mine who found out I was on the registry  no longer remain my friend.  I explained my situation and even though they were shocked, I was even more shocked they stuck around.  Family is KEY!  My parents never gave up on me. If they had I would be living under a bridge today.  Until I was around 26; I was abusing drugs and selling drugs because I could not deal with the pain that I would have no future.  But my parents; God bless them; never gave up… they pushed and pushed and finally got me to get enrolled in college.  Still as the sex offender registry grew in scope ( online web sites) etc; so did my anxiety.  Still I knew.. IF I was going to have any kind of life; I had to be more successful at what I was doing than the person next to me.

Still…there is more I had to do…  Before I graduated college; I got a job for a major company in Texas through a temp agency.. this was my foot in the door… I had to make sure no one found me online; so I got an apt in the a very bad part of town in Houston.  I never stayed there.. but had it anyways for the registry purpose.. then luckily I got hire full time… but since this was a private company… they did not end up doing a background check on me before they hired me…

Soon there after my probation ended and I moved to a state where while I was registered; my name was not made public because I was a level 1.  Once I moved, my name was taken off the registry in Texas.  Luckily I was given a deferred adjudicated case in Texas; so I had no criminal conviction.    But even if I did; the 7 years had passed where I was not required to disclose my criminal information on job applications.  In the state I live in now; I petitioned and got my self off the registry and no longer a registered sex offender…

Nightmare over?  So I thought… but just 2 years ago Texas reactivated my listing online for no reason.  So I just went down to the courthouse in my current state and changed my name legally…  The only thing I have to worry about it these homefacts type websites; but even those, I have managed to push back using google SEO services.    The other problem is now with the inception of the the US central DOJ website; I am not sure if I will ever really pass a background check again.. so I spent the last 2 years working on a plan for that.. I have an at home business that is actually making more money than my job now.. so if I get fired or laid off.. I will do that full time and be just fine.  From hopeless sex offender to maintaining 2 separate 6 figure incomes; I am very proud of myself.. my children attend very good schools and I am actively involved in their lives

NEVER NEVER let the registry stop you from living your life.   You paid your dues to society!   The registry is only their for political posturing and for administrating tech companies who lobby for it. That is it.  It protects no body from anyone.   It is shameful that is takes someone to be on the registry to realize how anti-american it is.  Our constitution has been shredded by political thugs who use it for their own advantage.  Don’t let them stop you.. MOVE forward.

21 Comments

  1. Nathan

    Hello and thank you for this conversation. I to am an RSO for 13 years now. I served 7 years probation and have 10 years post probation of registration. It was an internet sting for me to meet an underage person for sex, which was a police officer. I was married, have two kids and now divorced.

    For those of you who have not yet come to terms with what by normal standards are difficult circumstances, please know that you can lead a happy life and you will be a better person, once you adjust. The adjustment is tough but if you are on the register, it is likely you would have been required to participate in a sex offender treatment program, which as one post include polygraphs. The treatment is key. If you participate, no matter how invading and humiliating it feels, you will adjust and be healthier for participating. Probation or parole and treatment is designed to not only address any thinking errors and behavior you may have had that lead to your offense, but it also teaches one to let go and not think he/she has so much control over things, and it teaches you how to adapt and live without such control.

    Once you realize the control is gone, you will be more at peace with your circumstances and have a better perspective of how you are perceived by the general public who do not know that RSO’s on low level risk have a less recidivism rate than drug offenders. In fact, treatment and probation forces you to build into your daily life an automatic avoidance of inadvertently putting yourself in a compromising environment (i.e. drugs, child safety zones, etc.) without having a safety plan to assure your actions are not interpreted wrong.

    But, honestly, stick with it and hang in there. It does get better. You do adjust to the difficult challenges. It is NOT easy. Also, do not try to get around the system. It is not good for you to “avoid” the system. Honestly, work hard to stay in compliance and registered. If you are on probation and/or in treatment and try to work around the system, it will come out, and you will experience a violation or deal with a failure to register.

    I have two wonderful children and own my own consulting business. When clients found out I am a RSO, I went to meet them, swallowed my pride and humbly told them the honest truth, like in treatment when we did introductions. Then, I simply allowed them time to process and assured them I would answer any question they asked that was appropriate for this situation honestly, which when asked you have to answer directly without hesitation. Again, like in treatment. Once past that, my clients are my best advocates, as are my friends.

    During probation, I was able to obtain unsupervised weekends and holidays with my kids. I hired a good family attorney who had passion for my cause, kept in focus it was for my kids and not to regain a “right” I had lost during all this mess. Then, I did EVERYTHING the courts and my ex-wife asked, until there was nothing more to ask/test/evaluate… My attorney, who was very connected in the court system finally called the other attorneys out (one for my ex-wife and one for the kids) and they had no choice but to allow regular visitation. Here again, I had to be patient while it was phased in starting with court supervised visitation, then family, then unsupervised day-times, to finally “standard” visitation (weekends and holidays). My kids are aware of my offense and registration requirement. Their mom and I timed it with the advice of the kids therapist. They are teenagers now and it is not an issue.

    So, hang in there, keep perspective and be humble. Regardless of why you are required to register, the only way to live a good life is to embrace it and swallow your pride. It is likely that something in the way you were thinking at the time of your offense lead you to make some form of a choice that put you into this situation. Even if it was what attorneys say is entrapment. The point is, you are here and no one cares if it is an inconvenience to you. So, deal with it and make the best of a difficult situation. If you fight it, the system will win or you will win or you will be looking over your shoulder every day for the rest of your life worrying if you will get caught not following the rules.

    On a side note; every law enforcement officer and representative I’ve met or had to meet has been nothing less than very professional. I am always courteous to them and consider that they are just doing a job. Not one has ever treated me disrespectfully, and in fact have gone out of their way for me to make sure I was in compliance. As one officer explained, “we know all the crap you RSO’s have to go through and that the restrictions/requirements don’t care if you are a level 1 or 5 risk.” In fact, as long as I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, my Probation Officer and treatment Therapist went out of their way also to make sure I was in compliance. Mind you, I wasn’t always doing what they asked. But, once I would get back to listening to them, they would never hold a past screw up against me while on probation or in treatment….

    Hang in there. You can do this… Just take it slowly and surround yourself with people who will support you but not enable you.

    • Gina

      I am the grandmother of a little guy whose father is an RSO. My little boy is 4 now and will be starting Kindergarden in a couple of years. His parents (my daughter and her husband) are happily married and living in a great neighborhood, running a business of their own. They are well off financially, thank God. However, the issue of school is looming and this dark cloud is always hanging overhead.

      I was thinking they could register my grandson at my mother’s (his great-grandmother) address which is in a good school district, but I know this is not the best tactic. Anytime you lie about something, it usually doesn’t turn out well. I am a God-fearing woman who is very concerned about her grandson being ostracized, bullied or otherwise rejected by other children (through their parents’ fears). How did you handle your kids being in school? Please advise. I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Kimberly

    I also am on the SOR and I have not let it ruin my life as I could so easily have done. Believe me it is beyond humiliating each and every time I am confronted by the issue and it does come up. The thing that was the hardest for me was understanding and coping with the honesty aspect. While I do not like to talk about it because it is hurtful and embarrassing, I have come to realize that in order for the obstacles to be less of a barrier I have to be honest with confronted. Finding that honesty has been the best policy with landlords, employers, friends, school ect; I have been able to share my story and been accepted into mainstream. I am still struggling with my past and the mistakes that I made close to ten years ago but I will never let it hold be back from my dreams and goals.

    • Anonymous

      I know you’re just a stranger and… I am too, I’m anonymous, but I pulled this story back up because it gives ME some hope and it makes ME feel better, and your comment was the first comment posted on here in months. I just wanted to let you know that it sounds like you’re on the right path here. Being… honest, being forthright, and most of all, being positive about the future. It sounds strange to say, but honestly, a complete stranger has hope in you, my friend. We all struggle with our inner demons but we figure out ways to cope, and it looks like you’re going in a good direction. Keep on keeping on.

  3. Anonymous Owl - Who?

    Maybe 20 years ago you could get away with all of that, but today you’d be in so many violations of probation it wouldn’t even be funny. Anyone attempting these thing will likely end up in jail or back in prison. You are expected to fully disclose every aspect of your life, every thought, every fantasy, every child you see in public…everything. Then you’re polygraphed periodically to ensure you’re in compliance and disclosing everything. If you fail the polygraph, you either never gain privileges back or you lose them again, and remain on lock down in your home. In order to go anywhere at all you need pre-approved “safety plans” and permission. This is the way it is for every sex offender, no matter what your offense. I have a misdemeanor from a plea bargain, I’m low risk, never touched anyone, never sent lewd photos, never downloaded any, my electronics were clean, yet I’m completely controlled every day of my life because the police contacted ME on an adult personals website, used pictures of an adult woman claiming to be 14, who began sending provocative photos and wanting sex to seduce and lure me in. I never met the person, never sent a single lewd photo, and actually ended the conversation declaring them a fake who had malevolent intentions. Yet I was arrested on two felony counts of Internet Luring of a Child and faced an indeterminate sentence (a potential for life) in prison simply for an ongoing sexual conversation I was manipulated into having. I never conspired to break any laws, nor was I breaking any laws prior to them coming to me. The system we live under now is fanatical and insane.

    • david

      I was arrested in an online sting where agents placed ads on craigslist. The ad I answered was posted by an 18 year old boy who then claimed to be 15. Yeah, I shouldn’t have agreed to meet. I know the law. But….the person i was communicating with seemed mature and very familiar with CL. In the pictures they sent he looked old enough (probably a police cadet). It was a site for adults and very sexual. The agent who pretended to be the “victim” pushed all the right buttons. It’s not fair to use sex against a person like that. The local news reported it as “breaking up a sex trafficking ring”. Crazy!!!

      I can’t believe you still were charged with a crime after you terminated the conversation. That makes NO sense! You did the “right” thing. Yes, the laws are absurd. Check out how much the ICAC budget has increased in your region. In my area, the budget has increased 500% in the last ten years. It’s all about the money. Police departments looking to justify grants. Plus it makes for sexy press releases. In my case the “sex trafficking” press release was obviously written before anyone was even arrested. Now it’s what defines me anytime anyone googles my name….

      Good luck to you. Keep your chin up!

    • Anonymous

      How do you live now I am facing being labeled a sex offender it scares the hell out of me I didn’t know the prostitute was 17 I didn’t have sex with her but I’m told it’s the act of it what can I expect

      • Brad

        It sucks, but you have to persevere. I plead guilty to raping MY WIFE and have to spend life on registry. I even passed a polygraph. But I own my own business and make a good living. Don’t let it discourage you. Who cares what other people think. They are ignorant.

    • Anonymous

      How do you live I may have to register as a sex offender if what your saying about a safe plan for working and living I don’t know if I would be able to function I will loose my work and my life would be very dim

      • John Lester

        No, you can do it. You can’t even work at McDonald’s but who’d want to. Certain kinds of jobs are out but you won’t be fired unless it is a sensitive area. Much to my surprise, I applied for a job with IRS and passed their background check. My only problem is getting permission to go to the sheriff’s office. Try to look harmless though I am not sure how to do that. Most importantly don’t tell ANYbody that you don’t have to. Some years ago when I was on parole I couldn’t find a job and it was because I had to tell the employers and landlords; huge problems there. The day after I got off parole I got two jobs. Always turn to friends and family for work if at all possible.

      • Kimberly

        When I read you comment, I was literally amazed and my jaw dropped to the floor. I have two masters degress and I am working on a third. I am a RSO and am terrified of leaving my job in the private sector to apply anywhere else due to my RSO status. IRS you say? Please tell me more.

  4. Anonymous

    I’m another “Sex Offender” with $100,000+/year income. I have been dealing with the Registry since I was a Juvenile. I’m only 31 now, and have pretty much everything I could want in my life now, and a very bright future ahead of me too. Everything that I have accomplished in my life has been AFTER I was listed on the Sex Offender Registry. I have good friends, I own a successful business, and have a beautiful girlfriend. DON’T buy into the idea that you cant succeed because you are labeled a Sex Offender. Go out an live your life. You are the only person that can hold you back, and the best revenge against listing you on registry is to succeed MASSIVELY in spite of it.

    • RWVNRAL

      Thank you for your comment. It is always inspiring to learn about the success of a registrant. I think many registrants find it difficult to reset their lives and develop the right and proper attitude regarding their obstacles. It would be very helpful if registrants like you were to provide particular examples of the ways you’ve overcome your registration challenges. For example, what have you done differently to arrive at a place of comfort and financial stability? Are you self-employed? How did you manage to overcome the harm of registration in employment? What vocational area did you pursue that helped you avoid the dilemma most registrants face: very few corporations or professional firms will hire them.

    • david m slisko

      Can I apply for a job with your firm I’m I rso since 1995 not on probation no offences at all to this day 2016 nor will I commit any crime. I work hard I never give up Dave in Phoenix, az

  5. Romeo and Juliet

    It is frustrating as we are high school sweet hearts and now my fiancee. He has an offender past as we attempted to follow all the criteria. Then, probation violated him. The case is ongoing but we are going through hell and he was treated guilty not innocent. He was with me the entire time and they still treated him like crap. How our society treats individuals and then expects them to follow all rules like robots. What about the victims, oh, they are let go and continue with the flirting and harming other guys. Why? Talk about harming a family and yes, I could walk away but this is my sweet heart. He waited to call me until after my husband of 23+ years passed away. He never married but has offended many times. After talking with me, things clicked and he knew he should have married me years ago. Now, we just wanted to spend our retirement years together. Not yet because we have this to prove that what we said was truth. I have never seen this side of the law and not liking it at all. Why do we treat offenders all the same, each case is specifically different. They should be treated that way and the Judges are so quick to send them to prison, why? You would think there would be a push for counseling and families for help. I have no one to talk to as I am new to the area, he is alone in jail and we wait to see if the attorney can help. The outcome if the attorney can’t help, prison. why???? I thought we, the society wanted to eliminate this problem not make it worse. Locking offenders up is NOT helping anyone. I will NOT give up!

    • Anonymous

      Good for you I may be labeled a sex offender depending on how good my lawyer is and if God will answer my prayers I did a stupid thing picked up a prostitute not knowing she was 17 I didn’t have sex with her but I’m told it’s The act of it

  6. Anonymous

    You did a couple of things that would land you back in jail in Michigan. You rented an apartment that you never lived in. If you were on probation your probation officer would have put back in jail. Also, you legally changed your name, which has to be disclosed when you register. They want to know all your AKA names. Our son had consensual sex with a minor and is facing a large uphill struggle.

  7. Your story is a good example to share for all those caught up in this sex registry nightmare and it show’s one that they should never give up. While all these internet sex sting operations are deceptive at best with police playing the devils advocate by enticing, inducing and luring the weak people in this game, the real con is when they add more to enhance the operation such as child porno that may or may not be on ones computer. With that said, and with a dark cloud handing over one’s head there is still hope so never give up. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. So stand up for what is right.

    • Anonymous

      My son was also entrapped by the police. He’d never even had a parking ticket but was caught up. Forensics done on his computer showed nothing. He now will have to register and is very depressed. He has a young child and he feels his life as a dad is over.

    • david

      Hell with waiting to get to the end of tunnel. We gotta make our own light!! It’s great to see all the positive messages on here. I found the RSOL site a few years ago after my arrest in a sex sting. Was trying to find some hope. There didn’t seem to be much of it here….just pain and misery. I agree that the only way to make this better is to stand up for ourselves. Best revenge against the system is to live well.

      I went thru a period of depression where I wanted to die but I’m doing better now. Being labeled a sex offender, and everything that goes with it, is scary. There’s lots of negative feelings to deal with-shame, humiliation, anger. Sometimes I feel complete rage against a system that does what it does to us. I’m angry about being set up in the sting. Angry at myself for being foolish enough to take the bait.

      It helps if you can do things that make you feel good about yourself. Be active in the sex offender law movement: Write to your representatives. Donate a few bucks to RSOL. Post your thoughts. Try to get as much as you can from the system. Yes, it sucks to be forced to attend treatment but try to get whatever you can from it. Try to develop a good relationship with your P.O. Be as honest as you can but always be careful: the system is NOT your friend. Educate yourself about sex offender issues. Knowledge IS power. Ignorance is what’s driving this hysteria (and greed too, i suppose). Are you a good person? Yes? Then f*ck what anyone says. If you DON”T feel good about yourself then you must work hard to be the person you want to be. Allow yourself to grow and become a new person. Get a job- any job. Be active. Take up a new hobby. Learn to play guitar. Or cook. Yoga. Welding. Anything that makes you happy to be alive. Our life is a gift. There is purpose and meaning. Take care of yourself! If you feel like you want to die…don’t do it…we NEED you! We are being challenged to prove we are NOT the monsters society says we are. If you are reading this, remember, you are not alone. There’s 850,000 registered sex offenders in America and the numbers just keep growing.

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