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Kat’s Blog: A Few Words on Suicide

Back in 2017 I wrote a piece on the Women Against Registry website titled “No More Suicides, Please!

So, I was surprised when almost 2 years later, someone commented on that blog piece, someone who after 25 years on the registry still felt that he “wishes he would have ate a bullet long ago.” He had lost his family, his job, his home, his dignity, everything. It’s heartbreaking to imagine someone spending a quarter of their life wishing that he had “just ended it years ago”, all because of the registry.

What can we say to those awaiting sentencing, those in prison, those out on probation or those who are free but still under the constraints of the registry, that will discourage them from feeling as though taking their lives is the only answer to their problems?

Looking back through old news articles from around the country I came across article after article about registrants that have taken their lives. Registrants both young and old, those newly charged and those already years into their parole.

1998, a registrant hung himself a few days after police went door to door notifying neighbors that a “registrant” was now living in the neighborhood. 2011, a registrant on probation killed himself with a shotgun after he was assigned a new P.O. whose iron-fisted supervisory style was much different than his former P.O. In 2013, a 15yr old who faced being placed on the registry if found guilty of indecent exposure after being charged with “streaking during a H. S. football game” hung himself. And in 2017, a 16 yr. old committed suicide after being threatened with time on the registry because he allegedly audiotaped a consensual sexual encounter with a classmate.

For years we’ve read about the emotional toll the registry takes on people, the kind of pain and mental anguish that leads some registrants to take their own lives as a means to an end of their suffering. These are the suicides that we read about. How many registrants are out there suffering in silence that we don’t know about? How many will take their own lives out of the sheer desperation and fear that being on the registry brings?

And how many lives will it take before our government realizes that making the appropriate changes to these unfair and punitive laws can stop the suffering and put an end to these needless suicides?

There’s a quote I’ve heard many times “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

When faced with years to life on the registry, the problems registrants face certainly don’t feel “temporary”. Everyday there seems to be a new struggle to deal with, a higher hurdle to jump. Being on the registry is both physically and mentally exhausting. Everyday registrants and their families are left to wonder “what’s next, how much more can we take”? Trying to be strong and hold it all together for yourself and for your family can take its toll.

What do we do? How do we prevent ourselves or someone we love from becoming a suicide statistic?

By talking and listening.

If you are finding it difficult to deal with whatever you have going on, find someone to talk to. Talk to family, friends, your physician, mental health hotlines, contact 911 or go to the ER. There is help out there, but if you don’t let people know how bad things are getting, they don’t know you need some help.

And if someone you know seems to be struggling with issues, talk with them and listen to them, you don’t necessarily need to wait for them to come to you. Many people can’t or won’t ever ask for help, sometimes we just need to step up and offer it.

The registry is a “temporary problem”, how temporary, I can’t say, but there’s a lot of great people working to make things right, to put an end to a registry that continues to punish those who have already been punished too much.

Don’t let suicide be your permanent answer to a temporary problem.

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Well said, Kat! People groups since the beginning of time have endured horrific persecution by pulling together, caring for one another, and giving each other encouragement.

When we make an effort to reach out to one another, we can vent our fears and frustrations.

We may not be able to immediately change our circumstances, but together, we gain what we thought was impossible: HOPE!

I feel that hope when I attend our yearly conference in June. I know you will also.

Thank you for this: “Everyday registrants and their families are left to wonder “what’s next, how much more can we take”? Trying to be strong and hold it all together for yourself and for your family can take its toll.”

That sums it up for a family man with little kids who made a big mistake over 20 years ago but whose life is more and more impacted by the registry the LONGER it’s been. Literally a crazy world.

I was only sentenced to one year probation. My probation has been completed and I haven’t even been finally classified. In this year I was able to rebuild my life where I have a successful career Path. Because I’m currently unclassified I was able to rebuild my career but the state is now pushing for level 2 with internet posting. I can’t lose this all again and am afraid that ending it all might be my only option if I were to lose everything all over again.

The isolation factor is real, some of us are prevented from church, friends houses, malls and other places that allow for solid connection.

Do not kill yourself, do not let them win. The registry will go down, we just need some judges that will see past the hysteria and rule this is not what the founding fathers had in mind.

It’s been said that suicide only passes the pain off to the survivors, and it’s true.
A family member of mine was accused (falsely) of spousal rape. He had a record already from his younger years and knew no one would believe him over his wife (who later admitted she lied because she wanted a divorce). He lasted only a week from when the accusation was made. I was the unfortunate one who made the discovery and had to notify family members of his passing after law enforcement came to have his body removed. It was a very difficult time for all of us.

I would argue that it’s better to get angry.* As Schwarzenegger said in Terminator 3, “Anger is more useful than despair.” Never heard of a suicide where the person was too pissed off about something or someone. And anger often fuels resistance efforts like this one.

*Please note that anger doesn’t mean violent.

Lostanddevastated-
There is no shame in being knocked down again and again. The shame is in not getting up again and again to fight for what you believe in.
Don’t let them win.
No matter how many times they try to take it all away from you, you are worthy of living your best life, get back up and keep going. It’s what we all have to do. You are not alone in this fight.

It’s a sad situation that extends to even those not on the registry where their livelyhood is taken away. There was a guy in my group that wasnt on the registry but was in group due to the plea bargain and the sexual nature of the offense. He was also with the sex offender probation officers. His PO hated the fact he wasnt registered and took it out on him by getting his conditions modified to deny him the ability to work as a limo driver. That was his only job he had worked. He only had a year left of probation too. He got so depressed he purposefully violated drinking and porn restrictions and when the cops came to arrest him for probation violations he blew his brains out. Really nice guy that was no threat.

My only advise would be to not let the haters win. If you truly think you life is worthless than dig deep and find some way to help others and use your gift of life to affect others or affect change. Suicide is the least likely method to help society.

I just pray some will find the courage to confront those who would steal their liberty in trial by jury. I found it cathartic.

I think most , if not all of us have thought about suicide . Don’t do it . Time helps , and it gets better.
I don’t want to take away from the people who have been hurt by my actions . But a little time in prison can put a whole new meaning to surviver ! 30 plus years on the registery , also deserves some credit as a servivor. The haters have done their best to put me down , and failed ! and they know it . We have a futuer now,

I am finding it harder and harder to see a future. As someone who has managed to reach the ripe age of 40 still a never-married, socially-anxious bachelor who goes years between dates, and an ever-dwindling dating pool, facing however many more years as a registered person with no emotional support at home is slowly killing me. Sure, I have parents to call on, but what about when they’re gone? And it’s not like they could ever fully understand what it’s like, anyway. Or understand how much of an embarrassment I feel I am to them. I live alone and have no social life, and trying to establish one at this age seems so futile, so ridiculous, despite my efforts. Having no one to be with me through it all, to cry with when things are too much to bear, to tell me things will be ok when anxiety and fear keep me up at night, is f—ing soul-crushing…especially while watching my younger siblings start happy families of their own. I have no purpose. I’m just here. I am lonely…really, really f—ing lonely. Not a day passes when I don’t wish to cease to exist at least once, or randomly feel a wave of emotion and feel like crying.

I feel like fighting when I don’t feel like dying, but more and more, the latter is winning over the former. I even have a pretty good idea as to how I would bring about my exit from this world. I am sorry to be so negative here. Sometimes I just need to vent to whoever may be listening, since I am alone here.

Temporary as far as life as a whole is concerned, but be careful as applied to current everyday reality it may not be for some, many or most for it is an ongoing thing AND HAS SWALLOWED UP MANY LIVES and ASTONISHINGLY THE CIVIL RIGHTS SHOULD HAVE NIPPED THIS LAW AND ISSUE …THE REGISTRY, THAT IS AT ITS INCEPTION, BUT “SIGHHH” IT IS GETTING WORSE…..WELL, IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME FOR ANOTHER BADDDDD SOCIALLY EVENT TO HAPPEN…FOR THE FORMULA FOR SOCIAL DISASTER WAS BREWING LONG AGO IN AMERICA! !! THROUGH AVENUES UNCHECKED, SUCH AS LAWS AND RULERS DOING INTERNAL DAMAGE AND SOCIAL ISSUES LIKE SEXUALITY ABLE TO REACH A HIGHER DEBASED STRUCTURE I.E. HOWARD STERN, HUGH HEFNER, INTERNERNET PORN, STRIP CLUBS, ETC. ETC…AND BIAS NEGATIVE SEXUAL SOCIAL RULES HEAPED ON MEN WHILE POSITIVE SEXUALITY FIXATED ON WOMEN ! EGH ! WHO CARES THOUGH….ONE DAY IT WILL BE OVER….AND THOSE THAT ARE ABLE AND WILLING TO LOOK BACK AT THIS WILL CHALK IT UP AS JUST A BAD THING IN HISTORY !!!
MARCH ON SOLDIERS AND HOLD YOUR HEADS HIGH FOR EVERYONE IS VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT….!!!! LIKE WHITNEY HOUSTON SANG……NO MATTER WHAT THEY TAKE FROM ME, THEY CANT TAKE AWAY MY DIGNITY, FOR THE GREATEST LOVE IS HAPPENING INSIDE OF ME….THE GREATEST LKVE OF ALL IS EASY TO ACHIEVE !!!!
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS… “LOVE”

Hi Kat,
very well said. Thanks you for starting this discussion.
The possibility of sharing one’s experience with others who understand and have compassion is a very healing experience and may prevent someone from “eating a bullet” and ending it all.
ACSOL offers an emotional support group that provides the safe space where we can share our experiences, strengths and hopes with each other so we can mutually heal from the toxic shame that is spilled on us by society and by ourselves.
For all who are reading this blog, and are in need for help to get through this tough time, please contact us at
emotionalsupportgroup@all4consolaws.org
We have a monthly face-face emotional support group in Los Angeles, and we are starting a phone group next month.

Please don’t despair, there’s help and support out there.

Please email us, we’re here for you and your loved ones

I am not saying there are not times when taking your life is the right move, but if it is because you feel you have no purpose, well forget that. Purpose comes after action. Join ACSOL or other groups in action. Wake up everyday saying you are going to do something to defeat the registry. Then do something to defuse the registry. Small things count. Effects are aggregate to wear down the machine. They add up, though it is hard to see from our individual standpoints. No one is the whole show. I went to Sacramento recently on Lobbying day and felt very useful, and because I went, I felt purpose. People are now at least working hard for us. Registrants and allies I have found are very friendly people. Go to their meetings, or if you are not around any meetings make an effort to contact other registrants. You are on a team now, whether you feel it or not. There are about a million registrants out there you can fight for and you can help save us together. When you help you are more likely to get help.

Ending your physical life isn’t that awful in my eyes. I have done much in my physical life. Travelled throughout the world, helped too many people to count, and loved the most beautiful woman in the world.
In Buddhism it is said that life is nothing more than a series of moments in, and that shedding the physical world allows the freedom of experiencing true joy. I often meditate and shed that physical burden, if only for those moments. I am not afraid of physical death. It will happen to all of us. It is inevitable. The emotional pain that others might feel is just another moment in their lives, and will pass like mine did when my love died. I look forward to the next moment, where ever that will be in my personal spiritual journey.

Unfortunately I have witnessed 2 suicides in my life. I was 16 when A man shot himself in front of me, and again when I was in the military and a marine took his life after a very rough patrol we went on. I am sure both men were strong individuals that had reached their breaking point.
The look in their eyes was not pain or fear, but acceptance of their choice. Almost a peace. The registry is hell for many, and some will choose to escape it in this way. If it their way to peace, then so be it. I think in this situation, the sorrow others feel from your exit is misplaced. They should feel a shame for not stepping up to support you. I for one believe it’s your life to care for as you want. Life is suffering, and those around you might be better off for experiencing the pain of your departure. They should be glad they experienced you at all!
Just my opinion.

@TS:
“Did you ever receive a reply RE: CA not letting you deregister per Rolfe survey? I don’t see one but am most interested if it is true or if Rolfe “ralphed” that info incorrectly while publishing it. If anyone knows the story of this, it’d be helpful to share.”
—–
Nope.

Anyone in CA willing to chime in? Does CA allow for de-registration when leaving or moving out of the State, or is it a reverse Hotel CA for RCs (“you can leave anytime time you’d like, but you can never check out”)?

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