“How much shame and suffering are enough?”

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Editor’s note: This was a reply to a recent blog post on our site. After communicating with the author, the decision was made to post this as a separate blog entry. The writer wants to be known as a daughter who promotes kindness.

By Jill . . . I want to thank all of the volunteers who are affiliated with NARSOL. You are all fighting so hard and this fight is exhausting; please don’t give up on this important battle. People like us are either too afraid or lack the support to do what NARSOL is doing. In the blog comments, I occasionally read of people who say they are on the registry, but they are criticizing NARSOL. What if, because of the criticism and negativity, they give up on this cause all together? Then where would we be?

This is a time for all of us to unite and work together as one. COVID 19 is the stepping stone for change. Our prisons are truly third world. I would love to see a prison system that dares to be different and gives a damn. I read there are just under one million on the registry! That’s freaking scary! With registrants and their family members, there are several million people that these laws impact, and that number is growing at a rapid pace.

I am 46 and have been impacted by these laws even today in 2020 from something that happened in 1983. I lost my job last year because my dad is on the registry. I am a good person; I don’t even have a speeding ticket, but because I am related to a “Monster” and I am the offspring of a “Monster,” NO ONE CARES ABOUT ME OR MY FAMILY.

I was told over and over that my dad was a horrible person; I was a kid so I believed the adults that were feeding me all these lies ( These adults were relatives and the public). What didn’t add up for me was that the man I saw growing up didn’t match what people were telling me. I knew a dad who took all the coin change he had been saving up and gave it to me to buy a dog because mine had died. He used to make potato figures with our mashed potatoes so we kids would eat. He would save frogs, mice and snakes from being chopped up in our farm equipment when we were haying the fields. He was never a “Monster.” He was my dad.

I love my dad unconditionally; he’s been through a lot. I could tell you things I have learned recently about my dad that would drop you to your knees, from his military background to prison life to abuse after prison in the work place. I would go visit my dad in prison years ago, and the prison guards would flirt with me as I started to mature. It made me uncomfortable, so I stopped visiting my dad and did not see him again until he was released in the 90’s. No one protected me from the prison guards, but they made sure my dad was on the registry because he might hurt someone. It’s been almost 37 years now since my dad was arrested, and he is still on the registry with no reoffending. How much shame and suffering are enough? It is never enough.

I struggled with mental health issues after my dad was arrested in 1983. I had no idea I had PTSD until I lost my baby boy five years ago. I found out that PTSD accumulates with each traumatic event. I have severe PTSD now as my dad is yet again fighting for his life with serious health issues.

This brings me to the Adam Walsh Law. This law, like so many others, was made and created out of fear and emotion. Mr. Walsh lost a child, and we let his anger and sadness create a law that is crippling people like me who are related to people on the registry. I understand his hate, anger, and sadness; but by creating this law he is just hurting people like me who are already suffering. I lost a son too and would give anything to have him back. Bad laws won’t bring people back; all they do is hurt the living.

This is one heck of a fight we have on our hands, and NARSOL has been my salvation. Before I found NARSOL, life was pretty dark for me. Sandy, Fred, and the other volunteers give us hope. I need hope, especially now! Eventually someone you know will be on this registry as it continues to grow with the speed of light. I am begging for more attorneys to join NARSOL. We need NARSOL NOW MORE THAN EVER. I love you all! God bless us!

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