Apr 9, 2009 – Group

Thursday, April 9, 2009 – Group

I started my weekly group today. There are 8 former inmates (who are all sex offenders) and 1 therapist. On the first day of group for a new member everyone must give a “mini” disclosure. This is the most basic of information concerning your crime. Your name and age, your victims age and their relationship with you, how long and how often you offended them, and if you have any unadjudicated victims (victims that the law has not convicted you of offending). Sometimes you also mention what your risks and interventions are. My risks are few (thankfully): distortion thinking (teens are old enough for sex, they know/understand what they want, they’re sexual just like adults), fantasy lifestyle (sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll), and intimate relationships with a teen involved (dating a woman with a teen aged child).

My interventions are more about life changes. Usually they’re about changing your thinking in the moment of temptation. But my risks are more long term. So my interventions are also long term. In prison I underwent a year of treatment. In there I learned a lot about the way teens think. I was a teenager less than 20 years ago. I felt like I understood my sexuality then. After all, I was sexual with a married 28-year-old woman when I was 14. But I really didn’t know anything. And I’m ashamed now that I didn’t feel that way before I offended. One huge thing I learned about teens was “power differential”. I, being an adult, have a certain authority over teens because of our age difference. And that difference can skew a subordinates thinking. Even though they’re saying “yes” to sexual advances by the other person, there’s a sense of helplessness or even fear in their consent. Like if a boss makes a pass at their employee. What does that employee do? Resist and risk termination, or give in and pretend to like it to make peace in the workplace? Or maybe the employee does enjoy it, but it’s still a skewed decision because of the power differential. That’s the point about teens. They’re at a disadvantage because of so many factors. This information and other things I learned while in prison have helped me a lot. So now, when I see teen aged girls on TV being sexually explicit (or sexually exploited by Hollywood), I understand better that they’re just acting out what they’ve been taught or shown. It doesn’t mean they have any idea of the ramifications of being sexual at that age. I’m so thankful that I think differently now. As for my desires for that fantasy lifestyle…I’ve grown up. I can’t live in a fantasy. I have responsibilities in the real world that need my undivided attention. Success in this life means more to me than false satisfaction in the make believe world. And as for intimate relationships, I have made an agreement with the complex I’m living in that I would not seek any relationship for 1 year. That gives me 12 months to focus on getting myself established again. This is a great thing.

All my adult life I’ve jumped from one failed relationship to another. 2 failed marriages, dozens of girlfriends gone, and countless others that I just wanted sex with. In prison I had to create a “sexual history timeline”. This is a chronological record of EVERY sexual moment in your life: from the first time you saw a pair of breasts, up to your masturbation habits of today. This is to include those moments of childhood discovery with cousins or schoolmates or neighbors. Mine was extensive. I won’t quote the number of females on my timeline because it’s embarrassing. Suffice it to say that at one point during a barrage of questions from my group members, all the numbers and letters on the board began to swirl. I got sick, went to the bathroom, and vomited. I was such a womanizer. What a horrible thing to be! I thought I was making up for lost time being a geek during my school years and having grown up fairly nice looking. Acceptance. That’s what I was looking for. And years and years of sex with all these women solidified my belief that sex equaled acceptance. I was cool if they had sex with me. I was in the in-crowd if they had sex with me. Unfortunately, in the end, I turned to a teen aged girl for acceptance. That’s my demon now and forever. And I imagine it’s hers too. I hope not. But I’m almost certain it is. And for that, I am deeply sorry. Nobody’s fault but mine.

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