Our family member has been on the registry for a year. I know that in the grand scheme of things, that time is merely a drop in the bucket. We had no idea what we were in for. We educated and prepared ourselves as much anyone can before we started this seemingly endless road thru hell. Read what we could, talked to those willingly to share, asked questions when we finally figured out what questions to ask. Soon we realized that if we didn’t help ourselves no government or law enforcement agency was going to offer up any assistance in navigating this mess they call the registry.
We assumed this journey on Hell’s Highway would be difficult. It is.
We assumed life on the registry is pretty much the same experience for everyone. It is not.
We assumed registry rules would be clear cut, understandable and the same across the board.
We were wrong.
You know that old adage, “never assume, it makes an ass out of u and me,” now, that was correct.
But when you’re a new traveler on this highway thru hell, you do the best you can to make sense out of the senseless. You want to assume that if you learn and follow the rules then you can pick up the pieces of your life and move forward. Instead, what you quickly learn is that between your P.O., the local sheriff and police, the registry folk and any other government entity involved, everyone seems to have a different interpretation of what those rules read. Now, if they can’t understand and agree on the jargon, what’s the likelihood that you can?
Granted, we’re new at this, a year on the registry isn’t long, but here’s a few lessons we’ve learned over the past year that may be helpful, may give you hope, may just get you through one more day if you’re just starting out on this journey.
Life on the registry is hard. It is hard for registrants, their families and even their friends.
But, it’s not impossible. Many registrants find they can live a good life in spite of the registry.
There may be rejection. You may be rejected by family, friends, housing authorities, employers, etc.
But there will be acceptance too. Sometimes you just have to wait it out.
Nothing ever happens fast enough.
Every day you will want to know “is anything new, have any registry laws changed”. We are all working to change things, but it takes time and it takes involvement by all. Don’t assume that others will get the laws changed for you, do your part in helping to make that change.
So, buckle up for the journey on this highway thru hell known as the Registry for it is long and fraught with many land mines, but if we navigate it together maybe we’ll all get through this in one piece.