I would like to think I am straightforward. I haven’t always been, admittedly, but I am now and have been for a pretty long time. When I came to prison for a sex offense I knew I was a hated man. Then when most of my family split I just decided I wasn’t going to hide anymore, what was left to lose? I was already all but disowned from every friend I ever had, and only one family member left to love me, Mom. Thank God for Mom’s.

This is all par for the course when you commit a sex offense, it is not like I didn’t know the consequences for my actions, I did. I had some real issues, to say the least. But I spent years in really intensive therapy from a broad range of expertise, couple that with a will to change and you have rehabilitation.

Yes, I am rehabilitated.

Which leads me to masks. Not the physical kind, the emotional kind. I run into so many people who are terrified of losing everything. They are afraid of losing their friends, family. Really they are afraid of the unknown. I have some advice for you.

I’ve seen the bottom of the barrel. I’ve faced death, I’ve found dignity from the off scourings of society (where I found myself a member). I understand what it means to lay down at night and think about your future and instead of seeing hopeful images of you doing something you want, you see nothing. No images appear, no hope remains.

I understand what it means to pray to God for help and receive nothing for a response and that wretched churning of your intestines constantly spitting bile into your throat and reminding you of your mistakes. Yup, I understand. I get that your on an island and nobody has had to deal with the exact circumstances your in right now, the desperation that arises, the crazy thoughts that race through your mind. The hole your in seems so deep, impossible to get out of.

Where the worst case scenario seems just around the corner. Minutes away. I’m talking to you. Listen up.

Before you do something else to regret, breath. Just breath. There are people who can, and want to help. But there’s millions of people in this country, sometimes it is hard to find. They are in unexpected places. And the help you probably need isn’t the help your looking for. Maybe your world is about to come crashing down, maybe you are about to lose everything and everyone. Maybe, but, you don’t have to face it alone.

If you want to take that mask off for just one moment, you can show me the real you, in all your perfectly ugly, beautifully broken, and fragmented personalities all mixed up into one person…I promise to love you anyway. Because there are many who do the same for me now. I did the worst thing, man…almost the worst crime possible in prison. I lost everything I had, family, kids, friends, everything. But I found myself, I have made some beautiful friends and they provide exactly what I need to succeed. I get advice, a shoulder to lean on, love.

You’re not alone, I am not unique in wanting to get to know you. I can help you. I’ve done it myself, for myself. Spreading a little hope your way.

With Love