My father is a lawyer, so he had a much better understanding of the situation.
My sister just avoids the topic altogether.” He adds, “It’s been about 15 years now, and I think I’ve finally re-earned their trust, meaning they’re no longer nervous I’ll do something that will get me arrested again. I don’t know.”JL says she has a great relationship with her mother.
“In terms of connections and friendships, rejection has been the norm; without question, this is the most difficult part of living as a sex offender. Have you been rejected by anyone because you are a registered offender?
Prior to my arrest, I had a thriving (albeit stressful) career, with hundreds of friends on both personal and business levels. Dating and romantic relationships can be hard for registered offenders. But I think my issues with this are more tied to my low self-esteem than anything else.
Another major issue for JL is not being able to go on field trips with her girls or to participate in other activities that other parents can enjoy without restriction.
“That makes my heart hurt, for my kids and for me.”ST says a comprehensive psychosexual evaluation conducted at the state’s request several months after his arrest concluded that he did not have a sexual interest in minors, nor did he show any sexually deviant tendencies.
Now, five-plus years removed from my offense, only two of those people have chosen to stay in touch with me.” He says that since his arrest, “I haven’t had a single day where I’ve met up with someone to watch a ballgame, hang out at the beach, or grab a bite to eat or a drink. DG and ST both admit they have struggled with this, but for different reasons. I seem to think that nobody would want to date me because I am a sex offender.
The fact that I’ve not done anything illegal in 15 years does little to alleviate that shame.
I have made some really strong friendships, and I am so grateful for that.”ST has had a different experience. It truly is a loner’s existence.” He adds, “Most of the people I meet are either young parents or they’re looking to have a family; either scenario is an automatic disqualifier for me.”Do you find it difficult to date?“She’s never judged me through this whole situation, and she definitely doesn’t agree with me being on the registry.” JL says that her relationship with her father, however, has been strained.“I feel like he thinks a lot about my kids and how they will be affected by this as they get older.My close friends in both programs know my entire history, and they accept that what I did is part of my past but it doesn’t define who I am today.I also have a couple of non-recovery friends who know my full story and accept me as I am today, not as the offender that I once was. For instance, there are a few people that I really do like, but I have not shared my full background with them because I sense it would cause problems.”JL says that at times she has been rejected by friends and people she went to school with.“This summation was convincing enough for the court to grant me unsupervised overnight parental responsibilities with my daughter; a kind, smart, joy-filled little girl now enrolled in a local elementary school.For that, I am immensely grateful.”Are you able to maintain supportive friendships?I have also had my car and my home vandalized because of it.However, I am active in 12-step recovery for both sexual addiction and substance abuse, and the people in those programs are usually pretty accepting.Please note: I have chosen to refer to the respondents only by their initials: DG, JL, and ST.This was done to protect them and to encourage completely honest responses. Have you been rejected by anyone because you are a registered offender?