Living with 290: Brothers and Sisters in Pain

What did I do to deserve a life sentence of pain?
My motive rejected, judged my behavior a crime.
Stunned at the devastating repercussions of my action.
The act complete, my destiny sealed, my life shattered.

The impact crushed my identity, an annihilation of my worth.
The alarming, unreal raid, a SWAT team brandishing assault rifles.
Or a subtle summon to appear before a biased, hardened judge.
My life ending, my family, friends, church condemning.

My reality, years of painful imprisonment, penetrating shame.
Alone, I mulled over and over again the “what ifs,” “if onlys”
I despise their labeling me as leper, sinner … condemned.
I even visualize the tattooed “Scarlet Letter” across my foreheads.

After punishment ends, endless traumatic troubles begin.
With no job, homeless, no future, my despair overwhelms me.
Insults from probationary officers, loved ones, neighbors down the street.
The threats, the taunting, the finger pointing breaks me down further.

I begin to hole away, to lead a life of “quiet desperation.”
I dare not question my truth, attacks, damning, denouncing retorts.
Then my heart breaks even more … my sentence, shunned for life.
My fate is sealed with reminders of chiding TV news broadcasts.

My agony, anguish causes me to give up, to raise a white flag.
I accept my lot, too afraid to speak up, to write a letter to question, “why!”
Inside, I say “I just want to be heard, I am not a boogyman… please hear me!”
Nevermind the laws, I want to plea from my soul that I am a human being.

These inner yearnings for justice demands to set the record straight.
Though I have no outlet, to explain, to show that I paid dearly for my mistake.
Is there anyone out there with compassion for a “St. Jude” to understand?
I realize that this voice inside me is my only solace … heard only by God.

Quiet longings for human connections dominate, receiving eyes full of contempt.
My prayers reach out for a “do unto others,” but instead reap a slap in the face.
My Spirit tells me to have strength to cope with the dreaded registry, but I can’t!
I seek answers that frustrate me … though I still strive … for what?

I read an article that says the registry is unconstitutional, punishment, illegal.
Another explains men are appealing to get off the registry … is this true?
Then other litigations create further punishing laws to twist the blade deeper.
Am confused, but sense an inner need to be part of this movement …

Sisters and brother in pain, my desperation and hope are for you.
My heart-felt thoughts are to tell you that you are not alone.
Courageous heroes are speaking out against the tyranny, injustice.
My plea is not to give up, but to give voice to your inner trauma, your truth.

– Matt

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Excellent excellent piece. So relatable… thanks for sharing.

Living with 290 is literally a death sentence and the sad part is alot of people won’t survive the stigma of being labeled a sex offender in today’s society.
in the last 20 years iv seen Megan’s Law brake the strongest of them.
Most people become homeless or end up doing hard time for FTR and a other Petty crimes they committed throughout the years.
it’s getting to the point were people rather commit suicide then be labeled a sex offender and after reading this guys story i understand why

Good luck

Really good heartfelt story matt! Please stay connected! It’s harder without family for support. This will only strangle you if you let it. I like most of us deserved the punishment of going to jail or prison but none of us deserves the life time punishment that the registry gives!! For some it’s no longer a lifetime punishment the acsol and Janice but for some it still is and I know Janice is fighting that as we speak! Matt despair comes from hopelessness. You need to find a conduit that gives you hope. Family friends a church!! They can only take your hope and happiness if you let them! We are here for you dude!! We are here for eachother

Once made to register, the trajectory of your life takes on an unfavorable predetermined outcome.

Yup, it’s a controlled demolition.

The desperation is real but always remember that help is out there. Help will ALWAYS be out there. You see that’s the consequence of building a punitive system that’s hard on people and their families. It changes people and forces them to adapt and work to create solutions. Those people then join the fight. There’s going to be really awful days, as everyone here knows. So you have to toughen up and get smart.