ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings | Recordings (04/16 Recording Uploaded)
Emotional Support Group Meetings



Living with 290

Living with 290: How to make friends and meet people

I will be thirty five in about a month and a half. From time to time I reflect on my life so far. The good, bad, indifferent, mundane, thrilling, and horrifying moments alongside what I chose to do, what was chosen for me, and what I’ve not done. While I was looking forward to making some significant life changes in 2020 the pandemic has put many of those on hold.

Last night at work during a zoom meeting one of my co-workers said he planned to go on an in person date this weekend. Admittedly I was a little surprised two people who don’t know each other very well were going on in person dates while still in the midst of a pandemic. I understand people wanting to spend time together and in this case got the sense neither of them were up for doing anything completely idiotic that would be a big risk for getting sick with covid-19, but going to an aquarium might not be the safest option.

Since no one I work with knows I spent about 18 months in federal prison for a cp possession conviction back in 2012 and give years on supervised release thereafter they also don’t know much about my life outside work. I have never kissed anyone, gone on a date, had a woman standing naked in front of me, or done anything remotely sexual with someone else in person. While I can talk to people fairly easily I’m not someone who seeks out settings to be social in even prior to the pandemic. I don’t drink so I have had little or no reason to go hang out at bars or pubs. I’m not interested in dancing or party type environments and thus have no desire to go to clubs and lounges. Setting aside the fact that I’ve been working nights for close to six years, during day jobs typical nightlife activities were of little to no interest for me. As a result of these facts and others I haven’t really had any friends for years. I’m still weary of leaning too much into attempting to connect with people online primarily because many of the bigger platforms forbid those with sex offense convictions or sex offender registration requirements from maintaining accounts. Granted I grasp that many of these platforms especially those where people pay to have accounts probably wouldn’t say no to money. On the flipside I am not willing to play around with such things because who knows what collateral consequences could arise.

There I am in the zoom meeting at work last night offering encouragement for my co-worker and simultaneously wondering how I might meet someone.

- - - - - - - - -

View all user submitted stories about Living with 290. Feel free to add yours - as a registrant, family member or friend. Please submit any updates on your story via the comments section on this page. Please use the comments below ONLY for input on the story on this page. To add a new story, click here.
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
  4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  10. Please do not post in all Caps.
  11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
  15. Please do not solicit funds
  16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

First thing I would do is join a gym you will feel better and it will open you up to other healthy people. You see people who workout or swim as I do, are up for challenges so you will overcome isolating. Healthy people would see our situation as a challenge not a burden, once your mentally and phisically strong you will be fine dealing with anything. Don’t become weak and critical, make your own attitude make your own life, and keep saying we ALL make mistakes in life.

You sound like an intelligent person who could probably meet and strike up a conversation with people very easily. I understand your hesitancy about meeting people online, so I would advise you to go back to the old fashion way. If you want a friend- be a friend.
I live in an area with a lot of dog walkers. I notice people striking up first time conversations all the time with fellow dog walkers.
If you don’t have a dog, perhaps you can adopt one. People will gravitate to you, and their first impression of you will likely be a good one- an animal lover. I hope you can meet some nice people soon.

Work, church and bars are the ways most people find new friends or lovers. I myself have social anxiety so I would go to bars because drinking would lower my anxiety and make me open up enough to talk to some people. Church is a good place for non drinkers, but I found it to be a difficult place to be if you have social anxiety. Work is a very common place to meet people, but dating at work really sucks if you break up with that person and still have to see them everyday. Unfortunately when you live in a small town and are listed on the internet, finding new friends or lovers is so much harder. It’s not hard to make online friends, but it’s best to not use your real last name anywhere on the internet for lots of reasons. I still think a bar is a good way to meet someone (even for just a 1 night stand) if you live in a large town where everyone won’t know you’re on Megan’s List. There are many tasty drinks you can buy at a bar that don’t taste like alcohol. Just be sure to get a safe ride home. There are many different types of bars with different age groups. I personally don’t go to a bars for dancing or be in a party atmosphere. I prefer quieter bars where you get to know people over time with conversation and a couple of drinks. There is someone out there for everyone, but you’ll never find them by staying at home. I would look into seeing a therapist for your social anxiety, it could help you. Your regular doctor could prescribe medication to help with anxiety. Also remember that you have to like who you are before expecting to find the right person to like you back. I don’t recommend dating apps because now days, everyone will Google search you before the first date.

Since I live in a small town and everyone now knows I’m on “the list”, I no longer go out to meet people and have replaced people with my two wonderful dogs.

Interestingly enough, I discovered the best connections, are with people who knew you before and during the ordeal. Yeah, my universe of friends shrank, but I learned who my true friends were. And the fact that I came through “relatively unscathed,” proved to women I knew/dated in the past, that I am worth being with.

That’s a great idea. Remarkably, most of my small circle of friends are from high school. In the last few years two of them, after conversations about a lack of spark in our marriages, wanted to hook up and have affairs. One of them, get this, is a 30-year LAPD vet is in an “open marriage” with another cop. What nightmare potential that had: Fatal
Attraction with a gun and badge. Needless to say, I opted out of both opportunities.

I agree with the suggestions above. Although I met my wife online 22 years ago, that whole scene has changed and not in our favor.
If I suddenly found myself single, I’d go the traditional route and meet women through the activities I enjoy. We’d already have one thing in common. I’d feel no obligation to lead with my biggest liability and neither should you. Just be yourself and if it gets serious then consider full disclosure, but not until your dead set on spending your life with her.
Thinking about it a little more, if I was single I’d do everything I could do to get out of this country. Get a digital nomad visa to Estonia, get married, point yourself toward the US of A and flip the bird! 🙂 Best of luck, amigo!

I hear “ do meds”, “ go to a bar” , “ hang out at church”, “ talk to your therapist”. Know what I really hear? “I am desperate to be accepted again and will try anything because I can’t accept not being liked and need the approval of others”.
.Get on with life. It ends soon enough anyway. Who gives a rat’s ass if your friends won’t talk to you. What the hell did you ever talk about anyway. Therapy is a scam to make society think it is helping someone get past an issue when the issue is actually society. Going to a bar is like standing in line to get your head blown off. Everyone is there for the same reason, and the reason is they can’t handle being alone because of insecurity.
I won’t even begin to tell you what is wrong with churches. Talk about a total hypocrisy.
I work out of my house, take the dog to the beach early mornings so as not to see to many people, and avoid all social occurrences. I never liked the american way of life, dislike american values , and seldom even eat American style cooking. I am likely stuck in the middle of this crap for the rest of mine, however short or long that might be. I hope it is shorter, because I am getting tired.

Well, aren’t you just a golden ray of sunshine?

@Way too long

Have you tried a dog park? Your dogs could introduce you to people. No need to wallow in the mire of the past when you’re just getting your dogs some exercise, like everyone else. Rarely are children present, so no paranoid judgement. If you don’t like big crowds there are hours for that. Not meds or a bar or a church, but it is something everyone there believes in. Since you like dogs, you could volunteer at a rescue kennel. There is no background check for some duties where I researched in Los Angeles., like foster care, except for animal abuse. Too much isolation for too long can have its own risks. Without pointing a finger at you specifically, it can even be dangerous to the point of making headline news, even the kind of news that could cancel all the accomplishments we’ve made. No one wants that.

When covid ends, try twelve step meetings. Go to a few. They are all different.

Sure, listening to a bunch of guys whining about life and patting ech other on the back for “ sharing” . More bullshit commiseration.

At “my” 12 step group I’ve met 2 lifelong friends. I’ve traveled to Europe with each of them two times each, and both together once. We’ve entered a major real estate and business venture together (10 years and going). We see each other with and without significant others on weekend travels in Wisconsin. They’ve both met, and dated women since I’ve known them. We’ve met several of each others friends. I would not underestimate the ability to meet good people in a “12 step group”.
I know any of us would question and help each other rather than pat on the back and commiserate.

I had a text already to place on this topic but after reading @ Way too long and many more, I had to debate about it. Now way to long pull yourself together and many of you others also. Its not the end of the road for many of you all are sulking in yourself. Sure a lot if not much of this registry is bad enough. Sure I don’t have any parents and even my sister and I don’t always agree at times.

Why do you think I took criminal Justice back in my college days. Sure I knew most all the police and state police in my classes even the instructor was on the police force I knew. Got busted back than for a bit of pot and I hear they may /will leglize it now for medicial purposes for some. I just wonder if prostitution is still legal in Nevada. There’s your two wrongs don’t make a right.

Many of you all need to get a hold of yourself. Standing up is the best thing you can do. Sure if you want to go to church thats up to the induvidual but having some Christian scruples is always good. Its called one’s measure of faith. Yes a lot of this law say you can’t go to church without a chaperone. Isn’t God and Jesus our chaperon .

Now some of you guys pull yourself together and forge on. I’m sure its hard out in CA but life is not always easy. Look at what Chance went thru as an example or many others. Even marriage life is not sometimes rocky and not easy. Sure I read up about your 290 law and I said … Oh my…. bowstrings, but remember you have five more left. So pick yoruself up on here and press on and one can either fight with the tongue or the sword of Justice and that has two edges.

Don’t use me in your hr long rambling aimless rants

@Way too long… After I got kicked out of high school I didn’t know what to do. Sure when my grandmother found out she hit the ceiling, she sit me down and talked to me. See most grandmothers and their spouses didn’t get a chance to graduate as their was very little schooling back in those days living in the country. She told me to graduate. And yes an education is important today.

At the time we were moving as my mom wanted to live closer to her mom so I went to enroll at another school as my grandmother wanted me to graduate. A degree is very important. Here I am 66 yrs old living in VA and many times I feel I have no friends but that is just a negative sty in the eye with this registry on some. In fact I don’t even know why they gave me probation as I wanted to go to court and that investigator I’m sure knew it.

See while we are all mixed up in this many still care such as Janice and other advocates. Sure their are other advocates even for say gun laws and other things. Either its wrong or right and yes we all face barriers at times. Even Jesus is an advocate. Remember James Taylor .. you got a friend.

Do you ever read your posts out loud to yourself? My God….

@C. I don’t want to be right as I would rather be wrong right. Whe whole point is we all make mistakes such as this registry or should we just call our probation officers and say I love you. We are all in this together but sharing and caring go together. Add a little love and friendship and than you have a better relationship.

@C and others on here. I received a letter from My Commonwealth State and sent a copy to Janice, if she would like to share this or post it I will give my premission as helping others and that sort of thing is what friends are all about.

No one forced to register shouldn’t have to constantly prove themselves to anyone. Stop living for other people’s approval, and acceptance. Stop seeking validation from people that will cut you off and ghost you once the learn your past.

If anything, YOU should be judging and comparing THEM. No one has a straight halo. Everyone has skeletons. Everyone is vulnerable to opinions and comparisons. The point is, there is no moral high ground for anyone to stand on and make you feel lesser than them. Especially those that cling to religion and don’t have a police record.

After 21 years of this BS iv come to realized that once your labeled a sex offender your life is pretty much over you can’t publicly do anything i wouldn’t be surprised if 24hour fitness doesn’t do background checks on their members looking for sex offenders.
No matter what every job every women and every man you meet now days is gonna do a background check on you and once they find out your on Megan’s law they’ll never look at you the same some people might even feel betrayed.
In my experience it’s not even worth it trying form healthy relationships with people
90% of people convicted of FTR was told on by some one they knew or associated with that’s why you gotta be mindful of who your hanging out with especially when detectives show up at the door knocking

Good luck

Know the feeling. The police were driving around my neighborhood ( picture the neighborhood I have to live in for that to happen) and I immediately got nervous about them driving up to my rental, even though I only have misdemeanor and have never had any registry or other issues at all. They have made us all paranoid about any person getting too close, friend or stranger. I think the only reason I even have this rental is because I paid cash 3 months up front. The greedy landlord couldn’t pass that up.

People who knew you before you became a pariah are usually the people who know that you are other than just a pariah.

I would suggest you nurture those relationships. Better to have one best friend than 100 sort of friends.

I bought a Harley. Thought it might be nice to go riding with a Veteran’s rider group. Both Combat Vets MA and Legion Riders told me to go fuck myself. I ended up going riding with a female friend of my ex wife who knows about my past (in general). She’s spent time in prison too, so we have that bond, but we never talk about it. We just ride, have coffee six feet apart and ride back. It’s not going anywhere intimate, but it’s interaction.

It can happen. You can make friends. It’s just not as easy as it was before you became a pariah. There are some people who have never even had a speeding ticket who have far more difficulty finding friends. Imagine being fat, with acne, rotted teeth and psoriasis? I would rather be a sex offender!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x