Collateral damage — learning to live without regret: Part II

See also Part I

Part II: Before the storm

By Daisy . . . The massive earthquake in my soul took place in the summer of 2003. I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree, and I was ready to take on the whole world! My husband, whom I will refer to as Alan, had returned to college in 2002 after a chronic illness derailed his undergraduate career in engineering for two years, and he was now well on his way to finishing his studies. Alan and I had known each other in high school as good friends, so it wasn’t a surprise when we began dating in college. It was even less of a surprise when we got engaged just six months into dating. We dreamed of a fairy tale wedding to match our fairy tale love.

Alan was my knight in shining armor—the perfect gentleman—and he was incredibly smart. In fact, when we first met in high school, I was immediately attracted to his remarkable brain. He was an astute student and often brought up challenging questions during class. He was a science and computer whiz—sometimes a bit arrogant with his young knowledge—who seemed to truly know his direction in life. I believed that he knew what he wanted and knew how to achieve it, especially since his equally smart older brother was working toward a PhD in computer science at a very prestigious university. I just knew that Alan would follow in his brother’s footsteps and accomplish amazing things.

I felt like I was an appropriate mental match for him, being an equivalent nerd at the top of my graduating class as we competed with each other for the best grade on our exams. We were just friends at that time, but deep down I knew that it would be foolish for me not to pursue something beyond friendship. I soon grew to see him in a new light as he revealed more of himself to me. He was more than just a good brain—he was warm, sweet, caring, and generous. He had a terrific sense of humor, he didn’t take himself too seriously, and he was a good listener. He was polite to others and considerate about his actions. He was everything my parents and society told me to look for in a potential husband.

When I fell in love with him, I fell hard—and likewise for him. We were kindred spirits. As a sophomore in college, I literally could not bear to be without him as I shirked the responsibility of attending my own classes while I boarded plane after plane bound for his city almost a thousand miles away. We were in love. Absolute, unconditional love. An I’d-walk-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-for-you kind of love. A you-only-see-that-in-movies kind of love. I was happily and ignorantly living the fairy tale love life with all of our plans for success just on the horizon. I could see them: the amazing jobs, the completed degrees, the big house in the ‘burbs, the two-car garage, the growing family, the soccer games and swim meets, and the financial success. We were full of so much hope for the future.

So, there I was with my degree in hand and ready to move into the professional world working somewhere in the field of natural or social science. I was going to be a geologist or environmental scientist or an archaeologist or an anthropologist or a linguist—some sort of “ist.” I just knew that I was going to be something! I was going to earn a doctorate, become a professor, write books, and do incredible research around the world. Why wouldn’t I expect that of myself as someone who graduated at the top of my high school class? Why wouldn’t I expect that as the wife of a super-intelligent man who clearly had a good head on his shoulders as he made his way to success? If anyone from our peer group in high school would have achieved success, it would have been we. I realize that this sounds like a self-centered and self-aggrandizing way to look at it, but it was how I felt as a young, arrogant, entitled person at the time. I erroneously thought that opportunities in life would simply be handed to me because I was one smart cookie.

Oh, how wrong I was. How very, very wrong.

Part III: And it all came tumbling down will post on Friday, May 31.

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Wearethepeople 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #56122 Reply
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    admin

    See also Part I Part II: Before the storm By Daisy . . . The massive earthquake in my soul took place in the summer of 2003. I had just graduated from
    [See the full post at: Collateral damage — learning to live without regret: a story in seven parts]

  • #56141 Reply
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    Lorraine Hodge

    Daisy,
    Your story inspires me to write and write about our story. I do beleive that sharing our experiences of all the perils we face due to, not only the harsh sentences imposed for these crimes, but the continued punishment once the sentence has been served.
    Lorraine

    • #56151 Reply
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      OAL

      Dear Daisy,

      For the past four years I have walked through a journey that has seemed unreal. I learned what this country has become. I learned what California has become. I became friends with a man who had been charged with a sex offense, having had an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year old over 10 years prior. He was trashed in the press although he was not a celebrity. The young woman had consented but now saw an opportunity for a payday with a fancy lawyer so they threw everything at him. She had a relationship with him. Would drive herself to his house. She even stayed in contact with him for years after the relationship ended and remained on a friendly basis. He got shafted with a lawyer who convinced him to take a plea deal although the statue of limitations had run out. He told them the prosecutors would get around it. He was terrified so he agreed to lift the statue. Unheard of.. WHY? Because he didn’t stand a chance to defend himself as he was powerless in front of high powered civil lawyers who used the press to for a trial platform and ruin his life and that of his wife and children.
      THAT is our justice system. She got millions of dollars. He cannot find a job. He lost his family.
      Was he wrong for cheating on his wife? YES. Was this woman responsible and capable of intellectually giving consent? Yes. Even the psychiatrists for the DA told him that she was old enough to know and understand what she had done but unfortunately he wasn’t in Nevada where the legal age is 16.
      She got Millions. He is a man destroyed.
      I, as a new friend at the time, stood by him because I believe in justice and this certainly wasn’t it. Justice would be to lose your wife not your life. And where is the justice for this now woman in her 30’s who lied throughout the whole process? None. Sex has become a weapon in this country for money and revenge. Take the money out of it and we would see a huge drop in these cases.
      I am still with him. It is very hard sometimes as I am afraid now to see how people will react if they know who he is. I hope that in getting to know him they will see that there is a smart, wonderful man who is a great father inside. My European friends are shocked at how backward our system is.
      He made a mistake. So did that woman who knowingly slept with a married man. Equal responsibility. She wasn’t punished but rather rewarded with a huge payday. Now you can make millions off of a man’s mistake. No justice here. none.

  • #56177 Reply
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    Wearethepeople

    Daisy you are doing a beautiful job! Your story is written with such skill. The pain is real, the rules are just so unfair.

  • #56297 Reply
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    John Rackman

    I am seeing more and more instances of people forgetting the impact of what their crimes did to their victims and simply lamenting the fact that they (the perpetrators) suffer consequences as a result of their actions. Are the actions commiserate with the offenses? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As a person who has sexually offended, I cannot really complain because I knew how stigmatized sexual offenders are and yet I chose to commit an offense. If I didn’t want these consequences, I shouldn’t have offended. Are some of these consequences fair? I don’t think that matters in the face of our victims having a lifetime of memories about what we did to them.

  • #60670 Reply
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    john

    Wow! I must say these stories really hit home. I notice alot of the stories I have been reading about are almost identical situations that I’m in. I was convicted of statuatory rape in New York in 1993. I was a teenager barely of age myself, we were both teenagers we had an arguement and broke up and the same day I was arrested for statuatory rape. I was facing 3-6 years in prison but pled out to 2-4 years because I was young and didn’t know better to not give a statement to the police. They promised that if I just give a statement they would give me a charge of misdemeaner sexual misconduct and so I did then I was still charged with the felony and sent to a maximum security prison for 2-4 years. Now this sex offender law wasn’t even thought about in 1993 it didn’t exist when I took the 2-4 years. while doing my time I was sent back to court in 1997. I had no clue what they were bringing me back to court for but when I got there is when they told me it was for a hearing to determine my risk level for the registry. I could not believe what was happening to me. My point is if I would of known about this I would never of took the plea. It is unfair that I have to be registered being convicted way before the law was established. I am still registered now and have been homeless for decades because of this it is very hard to find a job and a place to live. my life is completely destroyed. I have had alot of negative thoughts go through my mind. But I just learned to deal with the situation I’m in and I just adopted to it. I believe that some offenders should be monitored but not all even though I believe the registry laws do not protect children, if a person who is on the registry wants to reoffend there is no law that can stop it from happening. I am way overdue to petition the court to be removed from the registry and I have already once but when I went to court I was litarally laughed at and my petition was denied. I do not want to go through this again and I decided to just give up and live with it as best I can, I excepted my fate.

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