No forgiveness, no chance.

By Visham . . .

In my case, I was convicted way back in 2000. At the time of the sentencing, I was given 4 years probation, 2 years counseling, and a 10 year registration period. ~7 years into my registration time, the state passed Meghan’s law and made it retroactive to include all such cases from 1999 on… which included me (even though it had nothing to do with my case) and my registration was changed from the initial 10 years to life.

Now, 22 years later, I am still trying to create a profitable life for me, my wife, and children in a state in which forgiveness isn’t really given. I am in constant worry about how they are viewed publicly simply by being associated to me. I also have to deal with basically being redacted when it comes to finding a (living wage) job. And that is before I mention the restrictions that are placed on me in terms of how active I can being in my children’s lives.

Simply put, I (and my marriage) am (is) barely surviving because of something that the state or general public continue to hold over my head despite me being completely reformed.

4 thoughts on “No forgiveness, no chance.

  1. Back in 2005 my mental health took a downturn that led me to hanging around a mostly over 18 crowd, despite being 45 at the time. Things quickly escalated to me doing things totally out of character for me. This crowd had friends that were minors, but I neglected to sever ties with them. They were providing me with attention not received from my husband or my pre-teen son. Long story short, I now have to register for life for allowing myself to be talked into doing something that had been previously, repeatedly denied to a 15 yr old boy.
    Feeling so horrible about what I had done, I gave a full confession without a lawyer present. My mind kept telling me to “shut up and get a lawyer”, but my guilt overrode this message. All because I was raised to always tell the truth because the consequences for telling the truth were less than the consequences for telling a lie. Getting a lawyer to find an legal excuse to get me out of punishment was akin to telling a lie as far as I was concerned.
    Bless my mother for standing by me. She cashed in Caterpillar stock and got the best attorney she could afford. He kept me out of prison, which I think was because of my excellent personal references, mental health issues that were under a doctor’s care and this was my first offense as a woman. Sorry men, but I feel you get it worse than women. My sentence was time served in jail, restitution, 4 years probation, mandatory sex offender counseling during that 4 years and maintaining mental health treatment and medicine. And of course lifetime registry without chance of being removed from the registry. I even extended my probation and counseling because I didn’t feel ready to be aware from the confines of both.
    Fast forward to 2023; counseling of various kinds (group, several different individual counselors, and religious counseling) have changed me so completely I have been told I am not the same person I was when I first got out of jail. Even menopause has affected my desires, with a lack thereof for anything related. My relationship with my Lord and Savior has gone from simply acknowledging He exists to worshiping and praising Him every chance I get. I can feel His presence in my soul. In other words, I’m even more of a “Miss Goody Two-Shoes” than I was back in High School.
    Yet being on the registry means that as I approach the possibility of needing assisted living or a nursing home, it’s going to be difficult to find one. In case you don’t know, some federal lawmaker decided to push for a bill/law that prohibits offenders from living in facilities that receive federal funds. Most nursing facilities accept federal funds to help those on Medicare and Medicaid afford specialized care.

  2. Hi Visham

    Your story is similar to my own, I had court in 2001 and 2002, and in my country the laws came into effect in 2004, and were retroactive, even though the crime was in 1995. I have been on the registry since 2004, but I was not lucky enough to start a family because I was 19 when first charged. I feel excluded from society completely, not only from employment, it is extremely difficult for me, I must use charity to get many things, all clothes I buy are used from charity shops also, but it seems society has changed so much since 2004 that even if I wasn’t on the registry, thanks to smartphones and multimedia a lot of people just don’t see the point in being polite or kind anymore so perhaps the registry isn’t the sole reason for my misery. I had a very rough childhood, abused in all ways, and are subsequently estranged from my family because the childhood issues caused complex PTSD which they seem to think is my choice or something. Anyway, hang in there. I *know* we are not the only ones who feel this way, and that to give up is not the answer either.

    1. Your situation sounds an awful lot like mine . I was 13 when this all happened to me. I am a likable person and pleasant to be around but I can’t keep any long meaningful relationships because I have more baggage than the airport and I have my life upended and destroyed about every 5 years. Is there anywhere you can move to get relief from registering?

  3. Interesting that you don’t share what you did in the first place. (???) Or what you’ve done in all this time to become “reformed”. What was that exactly??

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