Apr 22 – Real Life Practice

April 22, 2009 –Real Life Practice

I started a job this week. My first real job in almost 3 years. The man who owns his own painting company hired me. Since I’m not a painter by trade, he figured I could just help prep the areas for painting and be a gopher. I’m an excellent gopher. And since this opportunity is a real blessing, I’ll be the best gopher I can be. There’s honor in a job well done…no matter how small it is.

I’m carpooling with one of the crew. I drive my car, pick him up and he pays me $5 for the day. Seems like no big deal. But to do this after being in prison qualifies it as a “new experience”. I had no idea what to say to this guy as I drove to the job site. He’s near my age and, luckily, likes to talk. I didn’t have to come up with anything to say really. So this is what an everyday workweek looks like. I’ve made it. I’m in real life, functioning as a law-abiding citizen that’s contributing to the economy. What a great feeling.

At this job, we’re painting the entire inside of a nice, upscale home. The family is in and out of the house. And…they have kids. Ok, now I’m freaked out. Two boys, about 12 and 10. I told the owner of the company that I need to leave before the kids get home from school, at least today until I can talk to my CCO about it. What if one of them talks to me? What if one bumps into me trying to get around me in the hallway as I’m taping off the floors? I tried calling my CCO from the job, but he didn’t answer. He never answers. I left him a message. So I called my therapist. He answered. I told him about the situation. His reply was, “Are you attracted to young boys?” (he already knew the answer) I said no. “Well then, don’t worry about it. Just don’t be hanging out with them in their bedrooms listening to music, or stuff like that.” Really? It’s that simple? I never did hear from my CCO, which I have learned means, “Don’t bother me with this piddle-y stuff.”

I have been led to believe so many things concerning supervision for sex offenders. Some are true, about not going to malls or schools or parks. But some are completely dependent on what level of offender you are, who and how you offended, and what your offending cycle and risks are. While in prison I learned about how to deal with real life situations concerning how I would handle myself in society and around children. It’s scary. I don’t want to go back to prison because some kid said “hi” to me at a job I’m working at. I guess that’s not going to happen though. But I’m just now figuring that out. I’m a bit gun shy still. I just don’t want to mess up.

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