Saturday, September 1, 2007

.. [ day eighteen ] .. Sippenhaft

So those that know what "Sippenhaft" is we must never forget where we been. I am not by any means a historian. In fact one of the classes I flunked in high school, besides PE - which is ironic in itself, was World History. But, as I grew older I found that I fell in love with foreign movies. In one I heard the term "Sippenhaft" and when I took German in college, I researched its use, and was shocked at the layer of social change that Germany withstood in its history.

I guess, today I have to admit, as I did my 5:00AM walk past the many tall buildings where I use to work, I looked up past my old office, and stopped in homage of a life I used to love. Passing, these familiar buildings, and the company I used to work for, made me realize that my past will never be my future. The tag of sex offender not only impacts every element of my future, but affects every intimate detail of my family as well.

To date I have emailed over 1,000 places telling them my story trying to find a place to live. I have sent well over 3,000 emails to people on Craigslist, telling everyone my story, trying to be up front, straight forward about my situation just to get an interview. To date I have gotten a handful of returns, from passionate people who right me back. Irregardless if it is a denial, the 'Thanks, thank you for your honesty, but, we can not hire sex offenders.' I always return a reply something to the effect of, 'Thank you, for responding, it is rare and very appreciated.'

Knowing that email is not the way to find a job. I guess, I have to admit, I am embarrassed by my situation. I feel I need to create a wall of acceptance before I feel safe to arrive at their door to say, "Hello, my name is "Mr. Sex Offender and as well precariously homeless".

Blessed with a strong family, I recognize I have been given gift that not too many people in my situation have. Seems that they are thousands of miles away, I have found the skills developed while coming out, has helped me cope with general look of disgust and hate when dealing with people who find out my situation. When a stranger say 'Thank You', every so often I feel feel guilty for not telling them everything about me. It crosses my mind that I need to give them "full disclosure", then I stop myself and think, 'Dude that is really f#ck## up', what is making you feel this way?"

Demonized for the alleged safety of our future, walking passed the very same buildings, where I once sat in large conference rooms adding important input to various large corporate meetings, I feel at odds walking now homeless in front of building where I once detailed solutions of complicated matters, sometimes finding it trite, I know see its mundaneness as exhilarating. Always aware of the line between arrogance and confidence, I seemed to have excelled under stress and pressure. It is ironic that those same characteristics are the same factors considered as a risk to reoffend [1] and became a predecessor for the prosecutor to claim, "You see Mr. Homelessness is a quick thinker and a master at ..." ah who cares, it is these very type of statements that has made me lose faith in the system as it pertains to sex offenses, lets get real! But, who would guess that my previous Corporate wrangling would be the ammunition I would need to get through the trenches of prison politics and the hierarchy of the system allowing, and in one instance allowing prisoners to call sex offenders "rape-o's".

In prison, I learned to be safe, I needed to run 34 miles a week, which gave me a bi of prison 'respect'. I did what they called 'my time not anyone else's'. And I toned my ability to dodge questionable stares of are 'you's?'and avoided 'Bubba's'. It appears corporate politics was the training ground for my future of three squares and a cot.

I remembered once being told how I was too aloof and not serious enough for Corporate America, even though it was my project that was under budget and ahead of schedule. I also remember staring now in front of the same building, where several weeks after that criticism I was deep in my elevator campaign with a VP that I needed to sign-off on a process that was a much needed customer solution. She talking to me as I was giving her my 30 second 500 foot view she ells me after my spill is over, 'You know your laugher is contagious.' Caught off-guard, I was more shocked by candidness, 'It is either that or cry' as I exited the elevator and my opportunity shut as she went up to the executives floor, I remembered the blank look on her face as the door shut wondering did I make my point? Or did I accomplish what I already knew, "Mr. Homelessness your a weirdo."

Today, my posting is late. I went to my usual restaurant, had my usual bacon and eggs, and had to suffer a loss of words. But only because the restaurant has two power outlets, and both where taken! I am actually glad that happened now, for the day ended up uncomfortable, and it gave me something to talk about. The new director of the UGM held the evening prayer meeting tonight, and him and I had a small discussion after he noticed me crack my computer open so I could make this entry.

Never a loss for words, I was very nervous. (After all, I am not the best Christian in town and living under his roof made me remember that I must live by their rules. Which being a little too opinionated on the subject matter of Christianity and homosexuality I did not in any way to have this discussion.)

The director a good looking gentlemen in his early or mid-thirties, ex military type, reminded me of a person who was too young for his position, but his polish assured me that he was a professional and m fears where unwarranted. In fact, he proved to be both compassionate and very socially aware of the impact of his work. I could see as well, that his ministry work, was genuine and a natural part of who he was.

Today I preoccupied myself with art ...
[1] The LSI used in Washington state in my opinion is more subjective than accurate, and finds the study by Colorado Department of Corrections, Validation of the Level of Supervision Inventory (LSI) for Community Based Offenders in Colorado: Phase II more than highly relevant. This study claimed in 1999, "The LSI was predictive of outcome with parolees but not community corrections offenders."

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