Reply To: “How much shame and suffering are enough?”

Ed C

I agree with one thing Adam said. Through our decision, we did put ourselves in the criminal justice system. I fully accept that.

I have paid any debt owed to society, been deterred and rehabilitated. Now get over it, society (That comment is not directed at the victims). In court mandated therapy, I asserted that I am not a sex offender. I’m a former sex offender, and I don’t believe it is healthy to internalize that present tense label. If someone robbed a bank 10 or 20 years ago, no one would insist that he carry the “bank robber” mill stone around his neck for the rest of his life. Mistake made, price paid, life resumed. Not so for those with a sex offense.

If anyone is interested in my opinion, I believe that vilifying former SOs is an attempt to push away the mirror, to pretend that the potential only exists in the “monsters” among us. No matter how much we try to deny it, humans are sexual beings. That is a great thing. It propagates the species. Nearly everyone has had a sexual thought that made him/her uncomfortable, or elicited feelings of guilt. That could be as innocuous as fleeting feeling of lust for a neighbor’s husband or wife.

Rather than examining those feelings as a form of honest self-therapy, it is much more comforting to believe that the potential only exists in those aberrant “others.” The mirror is now at a reassuring distance.