Indeed, the future is now. If you have ever done antyig wrong in your life, be prepared to have it plastered across the Internet, or maybe eeven the city's public access cable channel for all to know and judge. Despite the positive life you have led since your act, you will be judged henceforth by your lowest moment.
That is what is happening to over 60,000 Californians and tens of thousands more Americans throughout the country as demagogues pretend to keep the public safe by posting registered sex offender's names, addresses and photographs and broadcast same on cable TV. I am one of these Americans and out of feeelings of helplessness, anger and disenfranchisement, I have launched this weblog to vent and encourage others to join in, whether pro or con.
Before ranting, however, let me share a little background so that you can know I am actually a decent human being who deserves better than this crappy hand recently dealt to me and those I love.
In January of 1987 I was 20 years old and a severe alcoholic. If you believe in genetic predisposition toward alcoholism, then I am the poster boy thanks to all four of my dysfunctional parents (two biological, two step). And if you don't accept that one can inherit a predisposition toward the disease, then surely the abusive environment in which I was raised would drive anyone to drink. By now some of you readers might be rolling your eyes and saying "Oh, here he goes with the worn out 'I was abused as a child thing'." Please keep in mind that I am not offering up any excuses. I am just giving you some background. I accept full responsibility for my actions. My life was in the toilet and and my self-esteem could not have been lower due to various social stressors. In an effort to escape my troubles and "start fresh" I moved back in with the person who pysychologosts would say is responsible for the bullk of the emotional trauma I sustained as a child, dear old mom. She was still an alcoholic and together we enabled each other to drink beyond moderation. I enrolled in a local community college and worled hard, but there was something missing in my life: a healthy relationship with a woman.
One night, at the beginning of one semester I drank much too much before class, bourbin rather than my drink of preference, Coors. Probably out of inebriation I could not find my class and as I returned to my car I could not help but notice the attractive co-eds surounding me. I was so insecure and shy, I stared staright ahead rather than smile and risk that they might not smile back. At least I had that element of control. For whatever reason, my drunken state, hormonal imbalance, a momentary lapse of reason occured and the notion of simply taking a girl popped into my head and controlled me for the next couple of hours.
Less than a year later I was sent to state prison for kidnapping and rape. Despite the fact that I was too drunk to perform and I never physically harmed my victim, a young woman a couple years older than I was, I plead guilty and served 8 years of a 15 year sentence.
There are two ways you can do your time in prison. The most common way is to continue your destructive ways within the confines of the institution, or you can accept you screwed up, forgive yourself and exploit every program available to improve yourself and maximize your potential for success upon release. I chose the latter.
Earning two college degress and keeping fit kept me very busy and the time passed quickly. I want to give credit to my family for their support through those very rough times, but at the same time, as far as my parents are concerned, had they stopped their drinking, not divorced and raised their childrren in a healthy environment, I probably would not have been in that position in the first place, but that's another discussion we'll cover later on. It was my own awakening and sense that helped me survive and thrive through prison and in society upon my release.
I have been free for over 10 years . During this time I have grown a successful career and small business. I am happilly married to the mosr wonderful woman in the world going on 5 years. I own multiple houses, properties and together earn more than most people our age. I am very proud of what I have achieved.
All of that success, however, is now threatened. States across the nation have invoked Meagan's Law as an excuse to display the names, addresses and photographs of all registered sex offenders. Until now I have enjoyed a level of anonymity that allowed me to build the life described above. Aside from my annual visit to the police department to register, I never had any encounters with the police and none of my new neighbors, friends or colleagues knew of my sordid past. They had no need to know of my darkest secret any more than I need to know theirs. Obviously, The State feels differently and mine and my wife's lives have been turned upside down.
Fortunately I caught wind of The States efforts to launch the site well enough in advance to relocate to another state that had not yet gone too such an extreme. They have a web site, but it does not show those who have been out of prison for more than 10 years, so I moved there where I stay within legal compliance and under the public's radar.
Throughout all of this I have not forgotten my victim who has to live with the residual affects of the trauma I inflicted upon her nealry 20 years ago. As a person with deep faith in God, each night that I say my prayers she has always been quite literally at the top of my list of those I pray for. I think of her daily sending positive thoughts and prayers that she is happy, healthy and been able to move on and enjoy the wonderful fruits that life has to offer.