I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

I'm a Registered Sex Offender

The following email came recently and I deleted the names and locations of the churches.

I'm a registered sex offender. I've been out of prison since December 7, 2009. I remind myself every day that if I could survive that hell hole, I can survive anywhere.

Because I'm registered, everyone knows about me. I tried to get involved in two different churches. In the first church they seemed warm and nice and I told the preacher and two other people about myself. I figured out that they'd find out anyway. After that, they wouldn't even talk to me. It was only a couple of weeks before everyone in the church acted the same way.

One day I came to church late and sat down in the back next to a woman I didn't know. She got up and moved.

In the second church, I didn't have to tell them. They found out after I had been there only a few times. They wrote me a letter and said they had had a special board meeting about me. They asked me not to come back.

I have a Bible and read it. I watch Sunday services on TV. I've given up on the church. I'm still a believer and I know God has forgiven me. I wish the people of God could do the same.

1 comment:

Hyam said...

I've been in that boat. I had a public disclosure done in two small communities in which I lived. I have had people shuffle their kids to the other side of pews when I sat down beside them. I have had deacons shadow me whenever I was in the building.

When my wife (now ex) got a restraining order against me rather than talk about our issues, I had to return to my home province and thought I could find some measure of peace in a church that had known me for several years, and who often referred to me as a son.
I was mistaken, and a few weeks later, the pastor sat me down (at a mall food court) to tell me that I was no longer welcome because his first obligation was his congregation and I wasn't a part of it.
It wasn't the first church or religious organization to turn their back, but it hurt the most.
It took me a few more years to find another church. Even there, we had many meetings in the beginning... they asked me to stop coming for a while, and ironed out a bunch of rules and regulations that were supposedly for the "good of the community". The board discussed me like I wasn't really a person, but more of an issue that had to be "dealt with".
But things have changed. I have grown more humble in the situation, and they have grown more gracious. (it didn't hurt that the head pastor left, and a much more reasonable man took his place). Last Christmas, I was even a soloist in their choir...
Things can change, and some hearts (and some Christians) can learn, with time, to look past who you used to be and learn to see who you are. Don't give up. The body of Christ needs you just as much as it needs anyone else.