Please share on this blog

I am asking for people in similar situations to share their stories.

Send me something between 300 and 2000 words. It could be your whole story or just a piece of it or your opinion or thoughts on some piece of this nasty puzzle we are all trapped in.

I may not print everything that is sent to me or I may just print a part of it. I withhold my right to pick and choose. I promise I won't censor based on whether or not I agree with you. Variety is good, it will be welcome! Emotions will be welcome. Anything that will hurt other readers here will not be welcome.

You may use your real name or a pen name or just go by Anonymous. I will make it very clear that it is a guest blog and give credit to the name you want to go by.

Send your stories to evie.pruett@gmail.com

I'll be waiting!
(And, as always, I encourage you all to start your own blogs. The more of us talking, the less scary this all will be)

19 comments:

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    1. Please, I don't know where to start. I had no idea this site existed. As the wife of a sex offender, I have felt so alone for so long. I lost my family, many of my friends, and potentially my church over this. People treat me like I am somehow to blame for a crime that was committed 19 years ago, before I even met my husband. He has served his jail time and gone through counseling; he is still going to counseling to this day. I am not suggesting for a minute that what my husband did was right. I just want to know why everybody seems to think I approve of what he did or even encouraged it. Like I said, it happened many years before I met and fell in love with him. I have been so depressed, so lonely, and feel there is nowhere to turn for support for women like me. Please, am I in the right place? I am not computer savvy and I will take any advice you can give me.
      Thank you.
      Vickie

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    2. Vickie, Welcome Home. Believe me. You are not alone. I too know how it feels to be rejected just for continuing to love someone on the Registry. I am so sorry you are being visited by "trolls with pitchforks!" No matter what decisions you make we support you your right to choose to stay or go. Someone reading this here on Not the Life has been there, has lived through what you are going through right now. "We care" is not just empty words with us.

      Ironically, it's often the pain and bewilderment of being attacked and rejected by trolls (strangers and even church members, friends and family) that sent most of us searching for a safe place like Not the Life just as you did. Here we can find common ground, reach out and support each other. You are not alone. (There are some 850,000 names on the Registry. Just multiply that by all the wives and family who still care about a family member caught up in this and you have some idea just how many of 'us' there are out here.)
      And yet, isolated and maligned, we believe we are alone with nowhere to turn until we search the internet and discover each other.)
      Just know we here on Not the Life are here for you. Like you, knowing that I'm supported and understood helps me get through difficult times.

      I hope by now you have read through some of the comments posted on Not the Life. Here on Not the Life We care about each other whatever choices we make, whatever you're going through it's okay to honestly say what you feel. Keep on keeping on. Don't give up. Post if you want to or just "read along."
      As you sift through the comments left here by others just like us, you will come to understand more about what's happening to you (and maybe even add your own experience, strength and hope to to the conversation here and help the next person who finds Not the Life)
      Vickie, Welcome. Join us. Begin to heal. Please keep reading, posting and sharing.Travel this journey with us. Join in keeping Not the Life going. Help keep the light burning in the window. It's been waiting here for you to find your way a home to all of us.

      We too know what it's like to long for a Safe Haven. We needed and still need Safe Haven, need to know the light still burns in the window for all of us too. Because sometimes we feel as depressed and lonely as you are feeling today. And reaching out to you helps us too.
      Welcome home, Vickie. Take Care, Janet Mackie

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    3. Thank you so much Janet. I feel a greater sense of hope and comfort now.

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    4. Vickie, Kindness heals. Patience is necessary. Do not let them shame you into isolation. Keep coming back to Not the Life, share and comment.We need to hear from you too.
      There are other resources maybe you hadn't found yet. I don't know where you live but there's a program NARSOL (National Organization for Rational Sex Offense Laws) P.O. Box 36123Albuquerque, NM 87176 Phone: 888-997–7765)
      NARSOL's program FEARLESS helps people like us to get together to help end the isolation. In Cali there's a program ACSOL (all4consolaws.org/about-us/) There are others. Some have forums where you can post. Others have monthly conference calls.

      CURE-SORT is another valuable organization you can locate on the internet. Also WAR Women Against the Registry.

      Not the Life is always here for you. Shame and Isolation kills.That's why we post and answer comments left here on Not the Life. Isolation kills. Fear keeps us up at night. Condemnation drives a wedge through our hearts and lives. Don't give up hope. Kindness heals.

      This month is Halloween. States have severe regulations against people on the Registry giving our candy to children. Break these rules and your loved goes one back to prison, not for committing an actual sex offense but for not following Halloween the restrictions to the letter. In effect, we too are on the registry.

      Just because we love someone on the registry doesn't mean we support or condone Sexual Abuse. "Once a Sex Offender, always a sex offender" isn't true. Recidivism rates of sex offenders are 3-5%. Some victims and the adults who love them visit Not the Life at times.I answer their comments as best I can. Sometimes I tell myself, (based on their angry comments) "Don't feed the trolls." no matter how sarcastic they get, most of then are hurting, some think they are protecting children by attacking the wives, mothers, and family members of people on the registry.

      For example, on Halloween in most states, the Police/ Parole and Probation/ County Sheriffs/ drive up and knock on our door making a neighborhood display of themselves wearing what I can only describe as "swat gear" I let them in. They march around my house asking questions, poking into cupboards, issuing dire warnings. All intent upon showing they are earning their salaries "Protecting Children." Then Dept Heads give interviews on the local TV stations. It's hard not to feel) In spite of Halloween! I guess Halloween is as good a time as any to talk about trolls.

      Not the life is sometimes visited by trolls who leave (verbal) pitchforks.(Better that, than a knock on my door.) Sadly, some people still really believe "Once a Sex Offender always a sex offender." Then there are those still-hurting adults molested as children, victims of sexual abuse betrayed and abused in childho just a little cynical and of course I'm more isolated, more afraid of what might happen if the neighbors turn on us. Where can we get permission to live if we have to move?

      Monthly visits by parole officers are just as thoroughly intrusive. I tell myself, They are just doing their job. AND I follow his parole restrictions to the letter just as he does. We wait for Nov. 1st and hope the neighbors were too busy to notice the Adults dressed in Swat gear who drove up and knocked on our door on Halloween.

      Choosing to stay, to fall in love with someone on the registry, (even 19 years after his conviction) has consequences. No matter what choices you made or make, Not the Life is meant to be a Safe Haven for us all.

      Anyway Vickie, Welcome. Just know there are a lot of Us out here and no matter what decisions we make (stay or go) we too are effected by those unreasonable beliefs that (sadly) do NOT serve to protect children nor do they help anyone (victim, offender, our children or family members heal.)
      We have to take responsability to educate and do that for ourselves and hopefully, reach out to others along the way.

      Take care, Janet Mackie.

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    5. Vickie, Thank you for taking time to get back to me and tell me you are feeling better, comforted and safe.
      Kindness heals. Patience is necessary.
      Never let them shame you into isolation. Keep coming back to Not the Life, share and comment.We need to hear from you too.
      There are other resources maybe you hadn't found yet. I don't know where you live but there's a program NARSOL (National Organization for Rational Sex Offense Laws) P.O. Box 36123Albuquerque, NM 87176 Phone: 888-997–7765)
      NARSOL's program FEARLESS helps people like us to get together to help end the isolation. In Cali there's a program ACSOL (all4consolaws.org/about-us/) There are others. Some have forums where you can post. Others have monthly conference calls. CURE-SORT is another valuable organization you can locate on the internet. Also WAR Women (Against the Registry).

      Take care, Janet Mackie.

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  2. Hi,
    I just received a phone call from Janet in response to a post I made earlier. I'm embarrased to say I cannot find my original post, where she replied...
    I wanted to again try to share the link to our current survey: https://delaware.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2ggsaRlIlOnNjNz
    We have not published from it yet as we are still in the process of collecting stories. If the link above does not work, or if you would like to set up a time to talk by phone, you can reach me at santhi@udel.ed
    best wishes,
    Chrysanthi Leon, University of Delaware

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  3. Hello, My husband is being accused of lewd and lascivious act. Exhibition to a minor. I am having a hard time coping with this. The police report disgusted me so badly that I haven't been able to eat in two days. There are way too many inconsistancies in the supposed victims story... And her story changed i want to say twice before they finally filed a report with the police. I just don't understand why of i know all of this... Why am i physically disgusted after reading the police report??? Has anyone else felt this way??? Why would I have this reaction????

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    1. Remember the police report is slanted toward obtaining a conviction so to some extent it is meant to make anyone (you, the jury, etc) reading the report feel disgust and want to convict your husband. In addition I am not sure why they would show you their report. Are they hoping you know more and will give them more evidence? Are they hoping you will be so angry with your husband that you will be on their sidein this adversarial court process? so discussed that (perhaps) you'l turn on your husband and reveal thing you might suspect so they can charge him with more crimes (one woman I whose child was molested was interviewed by the police and was cooperative, then finally the interviewer told her they had decided not to charge her also which was nice because they hadn't read her her rights she had had no attorney present and she certainly didn't know she was in danger of losing custody of her children)

      Remember, Not every victim is accurate about what they report and often when they are interviewed by a skillful interrogator the story changes/ gets worse in some respects. Get a good attorney if you can possibly afford one and leave the judging/ charging and counter charging up to police and social services. You have yourself and your own family to keep safe and take care of. We have all felt the way you fell. families caught up in these situations do have these kinds of reactions It feels like being caught between a rock and a hard place, being caught between the police, the shame an blame we feel sometimes. May I also suggest that you might want to pose this same the blog Daily Strength Families of sex Offenders because there are more people with wider experience posting there and you can possibly find help and support there also. I'm not saying this to get you to go elsewhere. Not the Life is here for you but all involved with the issues of sex offending of can join hands and find help (and offer help) in more than one place. It really helps us (and me) not to feel alone when we look around and realize there are lots of us out here dealing with this. We can respect each other and find comfort here on Not the Life too.

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  4. I am in a situation that I pray about every night.I am seeking professional help.I am so ashamed of myself and marriage. I don't know why im still here.

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    Replies
    1. When you say "I don't know why I am still here." do you mean still in your marriage or are you thinking of doing away with yourself? If it's the latter please call the suicide hotline or the crisis center or your professional therapist and get some help. Please. There are people who care about you and will help you get through this. This is truly the worst time but things do get better...it just takes time to absorb the shock of what has happened (been discovered)
      I am not certain about the details of your exact situation so some of what I'm saying here might not apply to your particular situation but you have no need to be ashamed of yourself and your marriage even though some (stupid) people will indeed ask you "How could you not have known? You were married to him." Wives are not mind readers. We trust those we love and give them the benefit of the doubt. People ask questions and no matter what we tell them some just proceed believe what they wanted to believe all along and decide we are lying when we tell them we too are wondering how all this could have happened and we didn't know until the knock on th door. At some point you really just have to set them aside and stop worrying about what people think...they will think whatever they decide to think about you and about the whole situation.Who cares? This is your life and so 1) do whatever is needed to take care of yourself. If there are children involved they need you to be healthy and strong for yourself so you will be able to take care of them. 2) You know far more about who your husband is as a whole person and a ot depends upon whether he truly regrets his part in any of this mess. If you know that on the whole he has been a good responsible person then you can decide when or if there is anything you still value about having a relationship with him. Just as in any divorce/ separation if there are children involved, as parents, you will still have decisions to make about helping your children to heal and come to terms with this also. If your children (or one of your children) still love him then that will be a reason to work out what sort of 'shared' parenting relation you need to v=best help them.
      Social services and victims advocates and even some therapists think you just cut off all ties and if you do not then they blame you. (or threaten to take your kids away) Hang in there. Hold tight you deserve self respect and anyone who does things to disrespect your right to make decisions about what is best for you (and your children) and even your husband and your relationship obviously does understand just how complicated this entire situation is.
      Please reply to my comment if you want to and ask more/ other questions. I'm only one person and (of course) I don't know "everything" but I certainly now enough t say Do not feel ashamed of yourself or of your marriage...we all know what that feels like but you are just another human being doing the very best you can and there is no shame in that.
      Take Care Janet Mackie

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  5. My story can be found on my blog. I tried to email it, but it wouldn't send.

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  6. I am married to a sex offender. He was registered a long time ago. He had sex when he was 17 with a 15 year old family friend. Of course they convicted him. They were both in high school. After we started dating I found his phone full of photos of women who may or may not have been under age. I could not tell. I am 34 and look like a teenager myself. The police raided our home because I took his phone to my rape counselor. They have not convicted him and they never charged him with any sex crime, just being around my pistols. My fault there. Yet, his po is implementing strict rules about being around children. I have three. That is why I freaked out initially. I don't feel he is a threat. I feel his is a sex addict, but not a child molester. He was raped as a child and as an adult, like myself, and shows all of the signs. He denied it for years until he finally broke down and told me all of the things that happened. I feel very torn. I love my kids and my husband. We all need help but the po is only making life worse. I can't choose between them. I love them all and it is killing me inside. Rape is so horrible. It is destroying both of our lives. My husband isn't capable of rape. I know because we both like rough sex, etc., But once we were having sex and I had a flashback and I tried to hide it but he realized and just stopped and held me while I cried. He knew because he has them, too. He can't even hurt me. He yells sometimes but even that has stopped. He just finally feels understood I think. He sees the harm our childhoods have had as well I as do. We both just want help but now these people are just trying to demonize us both and neither if us would ever hurt a child. I have taught my kids all about sexual boundaries, etc., And even self defense. Yet the po is a frigging psychotic bitch to us. I feel that if something isn't done to protect our rights and get us help as ACTUAL victims, I am probably not going to do very well with this.

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  7. No One is their label and many women who choose to stay, stay because they know their husbands are more than the label ('monster') society/ law enforcement sticks on them when they are arrested. Many of us believed in 'labels' until we heard the knock on our door, found ourselves 'labeled' and found ourselves facing the same situation you are facing now. Human being can't be sorted into manageable 'categories'and shamed and blamed and silenced accordingly.

    We are all more than the label "victim' just as the partners we know are often more human than their label "sex offender" but still we sort by label as though that solved the problem of child safety and automatically prevented future harm.

    We are all of us human beings dealing with complicated feelings in a complicated situation that the 'registry' and supervision-for-life sometimes seems to make worse. PO's are human too and sometimes they are afraid of the "dangerous sex offenders' on their caseloads and behave as though every one of them (and any one who sticks with a 'registrant') is forever dangerous (once labeled a sex offender, no matter what, always a sex offender. End of story?) Some of us think not and choose accordingly.

    Most know that over time people grow up, change, understand themselves and what motivated them back then just as we have.(alcoholics quit drinking, addicts mature, brain science tells us over time most humans become less impulsive, understand our triggers in spite of past trauma, learn empathy and make better choices, learn we are given power in order to protect the veunerable)

    No matter how anyone (victim or perpetrator) 'regrets' the past, there are no do-overs but we can understand ourselves and make sure the future is different. We can make sure we 'never again' hurt someone sexually. (you say "he can't even hurt me"... not even during 'play')

    None of us has to endlessly re-play/ re-enact our past, It sounds like both of you have come a long way. But no matter how changed, we still end up dealing with consequences long after (a drunk driver may have stopped drinking but he might still be in a wheel chair as a result of his last crash, our children might get taken away because the court believes the label and thinks any mother who defies labels and stays must be 'complicit' or deluded.)

    The Registry and the restrictions labeling everyone 'Hannibal Lector' won't go away, fair or unfair, but PO's do come and go, some understand more than others, so my advise is learn the rules, comply, and resolve to ride this out... Anger, Resentment, and telling yourself how unfair this all is may be true but it doesn't get us anywhere but back in the doo-doo we just climbed out of.

    Ever think that maybe your current PO was molested as a child/ believes the stuff about once a monster always a monster, is afraid and trying to protect children too? Try to see beyond her label (even if the label says PO!)

    You can make a life together now in spite of the registry. It won't be easy given the punitive restrictions but you have to know that with 883,000 names on the AWA sex offender registry right now, there are a lot of families going through this. With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men reporting they were molested/ raped a lot of people are beginning to realize that no one IS their label and 'punishment forever' shames and blames but helps no one understand themselves or anyone else, and sadly, labels make no child safer.

    There are no clear-cut 'solutions.' Just know that, here on Not the Life, you have found others who understand. Your choices are respected, your voice is needed so we can understand what we are all going through ... Know that we care about you (both.)
    Take care, JanetM

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  8. My family exploded in March when our 2 teenage daughters ran away and alleged abuse against us. Ann said that I had physically abused her. I've never touched our daughters so I was blindsided by her lies. Kay alleged that my husband had sexually abused her. When I confronted my husband he admitted that he'd taken a shower with her. I told him to move out the next day. CPS took custody of the girls for a month while they investigated and then they were returned home to me. Kay's risky behavior escalated - she refused to go to school (which she had been doing for months), she wouldn't come home at night, was hanging out with homeless kids, doing drugs, having multiple sex partners. We were finally able to get her into a therapeutic residential program where she is now talking about not doing drugs.

    Ann ran away and alleged abuse against me again in June. She is now living with a relative and our relationship is better. We've been to some counseling together.


    Eventually, CPS reported no findings and the police department chose not to file charges and my husband returned home. "Great!" I thought. Now it's finally over. Except that Kay started to report to her new therapist that my husband had raped her and I finally was willing to acknowledge that the initial police report of her interview had a lot of details of sexual contact. I confronted my husband again and he finally told me the truth. He'd had a sexual relationship with her that had escalated to intercourse. He "couldn't remember" exactly when it had started but it's been a couple years at least. She is reporting that he raped her starting when she was adopted at 8 yrs old.

    I was utterly devastated and I moved out. At least our kids are taken care of right now. When Kay returns from her treatment program I will move back home and my husband will have to leave. But right now it just makes my skin crawl to be in the house where he abused her.

    I feel such guilt for not believing her last spring. I told Kay and her previous counselor that I believed she was lying. (She does have a history.) I just couldn't believe that my husband could be so sick. I've since talked with Ann about it and she said she knew. I guess I was the only one who was clueless and I feel like such a fool.

    And then I have this warped sense of loyalty to my husband. Is that because we've been together 20 yrs or just because I always feel sorry for people who are hurting so much? He wants to talk and go for walks and it's just too painful to have contact. I have to put up an emotional wall. I've been back in contact with my attorney and she is arranging for me to talk to the detective again so I don't have any legal repercussions since I am a mandatory reporter. I feel guilty that I am reporting him and then I feel ashamed that I feel guilty. Shouldn't I want to stand up for my child? It's all so incredibly confusing and overwhelming.

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    1. I understand! And only if soneone has walked in our shoes can they begin to understand. I am trying to get into some biblical counciling. I just want God's peace and this us what I pray for you.

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    2. I understand as well. I think that traumatic situations that tear up the family, especially in your situation, do not have a black and white answer as to how you should feel. It seems like you are protecting your children by visiting with your attorney again and taking the steps to help your children heal with therapy and finding solutions to really help them through this. Remember, you are doing what you need to now.
      The truth is, emotions are more complicated than what we should feel or what a 'correct' emotional response should be to something of this nature. You have a husband you loved for 20 years. Someone who, I am sure, was there for you through differing journey's in your life and your children's lives. You love him and no matter how awful the things he did to your children are, it is hard to excuse love. Perhaps explore those feelings. It is OK to love him and simultaneously not accept what he has done. I think you should start with being a bit more forgiving of yourself and your emotions and then begin exploring why you really are feeling that way. Perhaps you are on to something - do you always feel sorry for people who are hurting so much? If so, how do you begin to heal this within yourself? His pain is not your responsibility - do you really want to spend your time and energy feeling responsible for his lack of dealing with his own issues? It is not easy we are all here to help bounce those ideas and feelings off of. I know I go through some very confusing emotions with my husband that I often need to sort through.

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  10. Thank you for the encouragement to begin my own blog. Your blog has been very helpful and I am 100% about starting the conversation. The hardest part is, it is not very pretty, but then again what is that is worth fighting for.
    Come check it out and lets continue this conversation everywhere! thehardlifeconversationstarter.blogspot.com

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