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Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

Who are we to judge??

I received the following  from a friend, it is the life story of one of the  3/4  million people on the Sex Offender Registry. There is a unique story for each individual on this list. If you know someone who has a story to tell, please feel free to leave a comment letting me know how to get in touch with them.

I think it’s important to note that while I’m realizing I’m not alone as a woman who happens to be in love with a sex offender, our story is different because he is guilty.  Most people I’ve encountered are either claiming innocence or are a Romeo/Juliet type case.  I don’t really care what people think about me or that they judge me but it does sadden me to see that society in general has no compassion for its fellow human beings.  People can judge me all they want but they don’t walk in my shoes and I pray they never have to.

Here’s our story:

I lived a very sheltered life and last August I separated from my husband.  We were together 15 years and most of that was abusive and bad.  At 18 I married my high school sweetheart, at 19 had my first son, at 20 divorced and remarried and at 25 had my 2nd son.  My 2nd husband raised both of my boys although my oldest son did have weekend visits with his father.  My ex (Steve) was not abusive to the boys but was very abusive to me.  He suffered from depression and the last 5 years of our marriage was in and out of the hospital several times.  Last August he asked for a divorce and moved out.

While I was relieved it put me into a tailspin of not knowing what to do with myself.  I spent the next several months finally “living it up”.  I was able to come and go because my kids were old enough to take care of themselves and didn’t need a constant babysitter.  But i was an awful mother.  Don’t get me wrong, i love those boys more than life but at the time I was too busy being selfish to realize the harm i was causing.  I was dating all kinds of men.  I was lonely and scared.  I was on a very slippery slope.

By March I had decided I was going to “settle” for the man I call Mr. backup.  He too was abusive but at the time I didn’t see any other alternative.  I had literally said to myself I was going to close my Plenty of Fish account and just settle.

Then at the end of March I get an email from DJ.  I wasn’t going to even respond to it but something inside me told me to, so I responded and gave him not only my regular email but my phone number for texting.  We texted all day and then we started talking on the phone.

It was only the 2nd day and he said “I have to tell you something”.  I could tell by the tone of his voice this was serious so I told him to go ahead and I would just listen.  This is when he proceeded to tell me he was a convicted sex offender.

I sat there listening to him and in the back of my mind i’m thinking “why do i always attract losers?”  but as he kept telling me his story i realized there was something about him that i wasn’t ready to write him off just because of his past.  I listened as he told me some details and what all being a convicted sex offender would mean if i decided to continue a relationship with him.  He told me to let it all sink in and if i still was interested in him to let him know.  I couldn’t hang up the phone with him.  I was already in love with him but just not ready to admit it.  I kept thinking, “this can’t be real.  I can’t be in love with him because I’ve never even met him face to face.  I know nothing about him,  but my head, my gut and my heart all told me to not let him go.

Over the course of the next week we continued talking and the first day he told me he loved me it just came out so naturally,  and it was natural for me to say it back.  That was strange to me because I never said those words unless i meant them.  We had only been talking/texting for about a week when I had a day off work and went to meet him.

He was on parole so of course I had to meet at his house as he didn’t have approved movement.  I had no doubts at all.  I know how crazy this all sounds but it was so natural.  I drove to his house that morning and when he opened the door and said “hi baby, I love you”, I literally melted into his arms.  He led me upstairs where we made love for hours and I can’t begin to describe the peaceful natural feeling of that day. I t was like we had known each other for years, not just a week.  That was the beginning of what was the best few months of my life.

We spent the next 2 months talking and spending every available moment together making plans for our future.  I knew the restrictions we would have placed upon us but he was worth it.  Over the course of these few months he gave me more and more details about his past but I didn’t care.  His past is not who he is now.  In fact, his honesty and willingness to accept responsibility for his actions is one of the things i love most about him.

I remember one day I was waiting for him in the car while he went to take his art class final exam.  He left me in the car with his entire criminal file and told me to read it and ask any questions I had.  I did so but I also read all of his file.  It had all of his therapy notes and his entire past in it.  I quickly read that there was far more to his situation than just his crime.

DJ was convicted and pled guilty to predatory criminal sexual assualt.  His story goes like this.  He was moletsted twice himself as a child by 2 different people.  While he loved his mother dearly she was verbally and physically abusive to him sometimes.  At other times she was a very loving mother.  She was bipolar.

Alot happened that led up to his crime but when he was 19 he met and married a woman with 2 kids from a previous marriage.  That relationship was never a healthy one but he raised her 2 kids as if they were his own and they had 2 more children together.  His marriage was awful.  His ex-wife was very neglectful and very mentally abusive.  He lashed out with some physical abuse towards her but quickly learned that didn’t have the effect he was looking for.  He wanted her to leave.  He loved his kids but he was in a very unhealthy frame of mind and didn’t have the strength to leave her.

He had a very close relationship with his step daughter,  they did everything together.  Then one day he asked her to have sex and while she was hesitant, she didn’t resist either.  He always felt awful after it happened but she didn’t appear too scarred although he knows now that’s not true.  I’m not sure how long this went on before his ex found out but she did know and stood by and did nothing.  They’d fight about it, she’d yell at him and he’d say he’d stop and that would be the end of it till it happened again.  This whole thing went on for about a year and during the entire time, the mother never once got help for her daughter or even DJ.  She never did anything about it.  She knew the whole time what was going on and she just turned a blind eye.  In my opinion she needs to have charges pressed against her for child neglect and endangerment but I’ll get to that in a minute.

At some point, the girl told a friend whose parents reported it to the police.  DJ was arrested and sent to county jail pending a trial.  Supposedly the ex was threatened by child services that if she didn’t file for an OP and make a statement against him that they would charge her with child endangerment.  He was in county jail for months before he was ever able to get through to her by phone or mail.  He was in county for 2 years trying to fight his case because although he was guilty, he was trying to do all this legal work on his own.  He had no lawyer, no money and only his best friend stood by him.  He was eventually told he either had to take a plea bargain or go to trial.  He took the plea because he didn’t want to put the girl through a trial.  During one of the court appearances where she and the ex were present, the girl went over to him and hugged him and told him not to forget she loves him.

He took the plea and was sentenced to 12 years.  During his first bid he did some research and found the truth in sentencing laws applied to him and he was able to go all the way to the supreme court and got his sentence reduced to 9 years.  He was originally arrested in 2003.  In 2008 he received a letter from his ex asking for a divorce but that she had no money so he filed for divorce from inside.  She never even showed up to the court the day of the divorce hearing.

Over the years he received several letters from the step daughter and a few from his 2 children.  While on parole he was able to talk to his son and they have worked through everything and have a good relationship.  His daughter was only 5 when he went away the first time and she doesn’t remember anything about him except what the ex tells her, which I know for a fact she doesn’t admit to any responsibility in this whole mess.  she wants everyone to feel sorry for her and won’t admit to the role she played in it.  That woman makes me sick!

Anyway, even though DJ is guilty, i see the circumstances that led up to his unhealthy choices and behaviors.  He has taken a good hard look at who he WAS and is NOW a completely different person.

I believe all people are capable of change but I’ve never known anyone before who actually has put that into action.  So when I see others who say they are with a sex offender but they claim innocence or the romeo/juliet laws, it’s still hard for me to relate.
People judge me for being with him but he’s the best thing to ever happen to me and he’s the greatest man I know.  He loves me and communicates with me more openly and honestly than i ever knew possible.  I feel so lucky to call him mine.

I have to be careful as to what I say as I don’t want to cause more damage to the step daughter.  While I’ve not met her personally I know she is still very hurt and fragile and has very mixed feelings.  She doesn’t get along great with her mother but I wouldn’t expect her to.  I wouldn’t get along with my mother if I knew she allowed her husband to have sex with me as a child.

I pray for her every day and I hope that someday she and DJ can communicate as I know he desperately wants to express his sincere apologies to her and hope that she can be a “survivor” not a “victim”.   His other 2 children carry the stigma of their dad being a sex offender which I know is hard for them.  They are bonding nicely with me and I’m lucky and honored to be a part of their lives.

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