All three respondents report issues to one degree or another with their families.DG is single with no children, so only his parents and sister have been directly affected.That has been the case for many years now.” He adds, “Due to his religious beliefs, my biological father has forsaken me.
This was done to protect them and to encourage completely honest responses. Have you been rejected by anyone because you are a registered offender?My brother has been the most nonjudgmental and available, and although we both have very different worldviews, I’ve appreciated his willingness to talk whenever I’ve reached out to him.” He notes that his ex-wife has been his strongest supporter.“Of everyone affected by the horrible choice I made that resulted in me having to register, she, without a doubt, has the right to hate me the most. Words cannot begin to describe how much that has meant to me.”Both JL and ST are parents, and that is complicated by their status as a registered offender.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.He says, “They’ve all been supportive, but it’s been difficult for them to deal with the shame and stigma.My mom even needed to go to therapy to work through her anxiety and depression, and to understand that what I did was not her fault.JL says, “I have full custody of both my children and do everything in my power to protect them from the repercussions of this situation.When the sheriff’s office makes the monthly visit confirming my residency, I tell my girls, ‘The police just check on everyone,’ and they’ve never questioned it.” She does not state how she plans to handle this issue when her girls are 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.