Living with 290: 290 since ’93

I’ve been lucky.  I was arrested in 1993 for four counts of 288a. I pled guilty and two were dismissed.

I’d made a huge mess of my family and I just wanted to make it right.  I was fortunate.  There was no prison time…. Six months county time, and because I was my families primary means of support, I was allowed to serve that via home detention. That meant my supervisor was aware of what was going on.  There was court ordered treatment, but I began that even before I even went to court. When the supervisor who agreed to supervise me while on detention moved on, my new supervisor fired me.

My family entered a reunification program. That turned out to be a sham.  No one had ever completed it.  I’ve since found that one of the directors of the program has lost their license fours , times and had it returned in the years since I left there.  After three years in that program, my wife decided that a divorce was what she wanted and she got it.  I lost my parental rights through that and didn’t see my kids again until each reached the age of 18…. And I was certain I’d never see them again.

Out of work and unable to find another job, I moved back to the San Francisco bay area where work was plentiful (it was the beginning of the dot com boom) and there was so much demand for my work skills, no one asked for background checks.  I was always in terror that someone would find out though and from time to time they did and I’d be fired. 

I fell into a deep depression.  I’d been using drugs since I was 18, mostly marijuana, and now spiraled deeper and deeper into harder and harder drugs… Becoming a full on hope-to-die addict.  Hoping to die or disappear into “skid row”.  I found that didn’t work either and now I was unemployed, and unemployable and wracked with guilt over what I had done.

After being arrested hanging out in a drug house, I found my way into recovery.  In the course of that, I found some people who, because of my offense, would not help… And luckily others who had seen it before in the rooms and were willing to help.  When I eventually managed to put a full year clean together, I left the sober living environment I had been living in for the past year and a half… And got married.  When we had been married only a few months, our apartment was searched for a compliance check.  She was outraged.  I was more or less numb to it, but I understood her feeling. That marriage lasted six years and the stresses of living with me and my fear caused her leave and I was divorced again.

There were and have been other relationships after that.  My distress after one breakup was enough to cause me to seek addition help and saw a psychiatrist and diagnosed as bi-polar and medicated… There was some help, but no real progress.  I eventually move to another therapist and this time, I was told I wasn’t bi-polar, but was suffering from complex post traumatic stress disorder.  The terror I live in, waiting to be found out and fired, and being homeless again contributes to that, but isn’t a primary cause.  The stress of cruddy jobs, abusive I have to stay in because I can’t pass a background check contribute too. I get interviews… I get offers for good high paying jobs… And then the background check and the offers are withdrawn.  Most recently after the employer collected W4 and I-9 forms.

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I’m truly sorry to hear about your past. I’ve dealt with a few things, but nothing that compares. Your a lot stronger person than me. !!!!