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  • 08 May 2017 5:57 PM | J (Administrator)

    THE UNFORGIVABLE CRIME


    31 years ago my husband was 26 years old.  With only a statement from one individual, the STATE of FLORIDA  charged him with "Lewd and Lascivious Behavior".   He was tried and convicted without any concrete evidence then sentenced to 3 years in prison and 10 years of probation.


    Once released from prison he put it behind him to start his new life.  Knowing our God is a just and righteous God, my husband was at peace. 


    Likewise, we assumed the Judicial system that confined him would now treat him as a free man since he had fulfilled the penalty set forth by the STATE of FLORIDA.    We now know his release from prison was just the beginning of the LIFE SENTENCE.  


    Fast forward to 2006:   The  Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act has been enacted.  

    It's been over 19 years since his conviction, he's broken no laws, hasn't "reoffended".  SORNA becomes retroactive; therefore, he must begin registering every 6 months with the Nationwide database of Sexual offenders. Nonetheless, it's the law and he followed it.  So since 2006 he has been registering EVERY APRIL AND OCTOBER.


    Fast-forward to 2017:    31 years later, my husband is facing prison time for "Failure to Re register" because on his scheduled day to reregister in October of 2015 he forgot causing him to be late registering.   He was arrested December 9, 2015 charged with a Third degree felony for forgetting that one time.  Surely, there's got to be more to the story--you say?  Nope!   You see all it takes is to be late one time to be charged with a Third degree felony.  No exceptions of circumstances (only death or life support) nor consideration of your clean record and diligence registering in previous years.


    If you could for the sake of understanding this UNTHINKABLE SITUATION  put yourself in his shoes for a moment.  No, not the "sex offender" but the human being that unintentionally forgot to re-register that one day.   It shouldn't be that hard to do if you are human and can admit we all at one time or another have forgotten something very important. Letting your driver's license expire, renewing your vehicle registration late, knowing you have a bill coming due but got busy and paid it late, missing a scheduled doctor's appointment, a meeting with your child's teacher, I could go on but for now you get the point----it is a human trait ; we're not perfect we forget things.   

     

    He's now set for trial in June 2017 and facing 2 years in prison for re-registering late.  If at any moment you think I'm not laying out all the facts:  It's public record and I more than invite you to come witness the trial.  I would like to close with a few facts.


     1. My husband made a mistake, he let something important slip his mind. However, when he remembered he immediately called the sheriff's office.  He was told it's too late you are being charged with a Felony. 

     

     2.  He wasn't hiding he had been at the same address 21/2 years.  The sheriff had his address, phone number, vehicle registrations, photo and fingerprints.  NO SHERIFF DEPUTY KNOCKED ON THE DOOR, CALLED ON THE PHONE OR ATTEMPTED IN ANYWAY TO CONTACT HIM.

    If he is such a threat to the community why didn't the Manatee County sheriff's office try to locate him????  Why didn't they notify the neighbors of this threat????  You know like they notify the neighbors you are moving into the neighborhood with NEON ORANGE FLYERS placed on the mailboxes.    It would have been as simple as knocking on the door one evening in October 2015 to see he was home!!  Not out lurking the streets, not out offending or breaking any laws but home after a honest day of working 2 jobs!   

     

    The real CRIME HERE is the Manatee County sheriff's office didn't exercise due diligence when it came to PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY from a " sex offender" !!!!

    If the Sheriff's deputy in charge of his case would have followed up on an unreported "known sex offender" it would have triggered my husband's memory; I wouldn't be writing this letter and he wouldn't be facing a 2 year prison sentence.  


     Really what good is the National database of Sex offenders to the  Manatee County sheriff's office?  They can't even find a missing offender in their own backyard!  We gave them the address, phone number,vehicle registrations---------they didn't locate him because they didn't try!

    Praise God!  my husband is NOT a threat to the community but rather a God centered, hardworking decent human being that just forgot to report one October day. 


  • 05 Nov 2016 8:56 AM | J (Administrator)

    I am a 77 year old male in pretty good shape physically even though I have recently had heart surgery. I am very lonely and depressed all of the time. I have been depressed most of my life. Ever since I got out of the service I have been treated for depression and anxiety by the VA. But this doesn't tell you what happened to me. When I think about what is left for me in this life, I realize that I have lost all faith in my fellowman and mankind as a whole.


    In 2012 I was living in a small town in South Florida where I was doing volunteer work. I did not know anyone and had no one to talk to so I ran an add on Craig's list. I really was not interested in meeting anyone; I just wanted someone to talk to. I enjoyed getting the emails that I did receive.


    One day, I received a email from a young lady that said she ran away from her home and needed help. I told her I wasn't interested in meeting her but that I had run away from home myself at fourteen. The friends that said they would help did nothing for me and their parents refused to let them help.


    I told her I would leave money at whatever place she indicated. That way she could get something to eat. I told her it couldn't be much as I live on Social Security, $905.00 a month. She wrote back several times requesting to meet but I refused and again offered to leave money any where to help her, if she wanted me to still try to help her?


    She stopped writing me and I was worried about her but I thought perhaps she went back home. Then one day I received an email from her saying she had been living with some friends but had been kicked out again. I told her I was sorry and could I help?


    She said she was writing from the local library and I said o.k I would leave a few dollars there for her, just tell me who to leave it with. I reiterated that I did not want to meet, just leave a few dollars for her somewhere. I ran away from home when I was 14 so I could relate to her problems.


    She then hit me with a big scare, saying she had met a guy who was pimping other ladies and he offered to put her to work. So she had started to meet all these men and the bad things they were doing to her. She ask me what to do? I said, have your pimp call me, and gave her my phone number. Her pimp, of course, never called. I was hoping to try to talk to him into letting her go home or stop putting her through this.


    I was watching TV one night, a few days after she told me about this when I saw a CNN report on girls being trafficking and sent to work in larger cities or sold and sent overseas to work as prostitutes, this caused me to worry more. She wrote again and I thought I have to help her.


    I told her where I lived and to come to the gate and I would give her a few dollars that I had so she could get away from him, she replied that she could not get a ride as he takes her everywhere. But she did want to get away from him. She said she could meet me at the bath houses at the park by the lakes as it was a public place I felt I would be safe.


    I then made the decision to meet her, I had thirteen dollars to give her so I drove to the park to give it to her. I was met with about five or six Police Officers. They took me to jail. I ask: "Do I need a lawyer?" They said. "No , let's just clear this up". I said you have my emails, they said, "Yes, we know. But you know you didn't just want to help, all you really wanted was a BJ."


    They kept pounding that as the main issue until I finally said: "Whatever". Then they tossed me in jail. I slept on the floor there for 3 days. I did not know what to do. If it were not for an alleged drug dealer, I would not have been released from jail. He helped me get a bond and released from jail. He was the only one to help me. He also referred me to his attorney.


    The lawyer said I was entrapped and not to worry. Every time we went to court they kept continuing the case. After about 15 months they finally came to an agreement and a monthly fee. The lawyer said I got you a plea deal; you will get 36 months probation and a fine. you should sign, it is a good deal.


    So now I am listed as a Sex Offender and I cannot go anywhere. The probation office sent me to a court appointed psychologist. He told me I am sorry you were set up, I think anyone would have done what you did if they had a heart and your experience as a counselor. So he wrote the Court but it was to late as I had already signed the plea deal. It was not explained to me that this was a lifetime agreement and that I would be labeled and penalized the rest of my life.


    I had never been in trouble before this. I had two speeding tickets in my entire life. I worked as a clinical hypnotherapist and helped people with all kinds of problems, mostly Drug Addicts or troubled kids. I don't know where to turn and I do not have much money as I'm on SSN. My monthly income is $905.00. I have helped others all my life. I belong to the Elks, Moose, Eagles, and American Legion Organizations. I have always been available for anyone or organization that needed help. Now I need help. I don't know what to do.


    Yes, I was not thinking clearly as I should have not tried to help. instead I should have contacted authorities to assist her. Never the less, I tried to assist someone myself and look at the trouble it caused me. My question is should I suffer for an error in judgment the rest of my life?


    All I can say is, "Guys, stay off the computer!!" Don't fall for the scam like I did. It is not worth it.



  • 09 Jun 2016 1:07 PM | J (Administrator)

    While sitting back in our Florida room the other day reading, a sudden loud knocking at the door startled our dog as she began to bark while running toward the door. Just by the rhythm and volume of the knock.. I knew. Even though all I could see from the distance, out of the upper half moon door window, was that large hand knocking.. I knew who it was. The county deputy was here to verify my residence and the vehicles in our driveway. It was the officer that shows up the majority of the time for address verification.  A very tall stocky officer, yet soft spoken, makes it a quick verification and off he go’s. He is always polite, quiet and fast..unlike others that have appeared. Though my time has been completed, service rendered, the punishment continues.


    I find it punishment when a law enforcement officer appears at our house for a compliance check, to verify that I still reside at this residence and that the vehicles in our driveway compare with the ones listed with the departments records. I find it punishment when, if we’re not home at the time, the officer leaves a large yellow note (which stands out) on our door listed as “SEX OFFENDER UNIT” with my name and notice to contact them within 48 hours of the time posted. I feel its punishment when I get odd looks and/or questions from neighbors regarding the officers presence at our house, or from guest that are here at the time of his visit.  I feel its punishment that, on the day after an officer visits, I find a window of my car smashed in. And that’s just the tip of the Iceberg.


    We know the sex offender registry is punishment, an abuse of our rights.  Yet the courts and politicians say it’s not. To the courts, politicians and all others that feel the registry is not punishment I would like to say this:  Years ago, long before the registry, I was sexually abused as a child by someone close to the family. And the sexual abuse that I was subjected to, for two years, was nothing compared to the punishment, the pain, the heartache that the sex offender registry has brought onto me, my spouse and our families.  And if I was given the option of either remaining on the sex offender registry, or undergoing two more years of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child..I would choose the latter.
    That is how punishing and abusive the sex offender registry is.

  • 16 Feb 2016 5:45 PM | J (Administrator)

    I'm a registrant with a non contact charge. My wife and I live in a Florida city and have been at the current location for seven years. Some neighbors say hello daily, one brings a gift to our door each Christmas..I have had no problem with neighbors regarding my registration.


    Daily routine is normal: Repairs outside the house, taking care of the yard work, working on the car, daily walking of the dog etc. The county school bus has picked up and dropped off the students in front of our house Mon-Fri for the past seven years so I assume the city knows I pose no danger to them. Seems normal but I live in a bubble, a dome. I can only travel so far. 


    My time has been completed, yet limitations prevent me from being in another state without having to register there within the period of time required.


    Even traveling in state can be a problem when needing to stay at a hotel/motel since all Florida registrants Drivers licenses/I.D's are marked with a code.

    If noticed by the clerk I may be refused a room. Disney world and its other theme parks are out of the question to take the wife and out of state friends..now the signing of H.R 515 into law and the inability to travel with my wife on vacation out of country.


    The dome just seems to be getting even smaller. These laws harm my wife, they harm   the spouses and family members of all registrants in America......the "Land of the free". 

  • 13 Dec 2015 5:52 PM | J (Administrator)

    Christine Smith will never forget the moment she watched her 21-year-old son being led out of a Florida courtroom in handcuffs.


    "This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening," she recalls thinking at the time. "Take me instead."


    She sobbed because there was nothing she could do. Matthew, the second of her three children, was going to prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography. A judge in Duval County sentenced him in April 2010 to 18 months in state prison and one year of probation, with the requirement that he register as a sex offender.


    She told herself that they were lucky, that he could have received a longer prison sentence. But her worries extended far beyond prison. Under Florida law, he would likely remain on the registry for life, with the opportunity to appeal for good conduct. Where would he live after being released? How would he find a job? What about harassment? Would he ever date again? Who would want to marry a sex offender?

    Smith is one of many mothers preoccupied with these questions on a daily basis. These women embody the notion that a mother's love is unconditional as they're often forced to look beyond horrific crimes that have left their children branded for life as sex offenders.


    What's a mom to do?

    "Mothers want to deal with everything, no matter what happens," Smith said. "It doesn't matter how old they are or if they do something stupid. You're there to pick them up and help them get through."


    That devotion comes at a high price, as parents often assume some of the responsibility and burden of the sex offender designation. They mortgage their homes so they can buy a new place for their child beyond residency restrictions. It has ended marriages and friendships and divided families.


    Like Smith, many fear that their sons will forever be lumped in the same category as child molesters and rapists, and channel their grief through activism.


    Matthew Smith and his mother, Christine.

    Dozens of parents of sex offenders declined to discuss their experience for this article, fearing that doing so would bring harm to their families.


    "My son and I have just started to experience some level of peace and stability. ... It's not worth digging up the harassment again," one woman said in an e-mail calling off an interview with CNN. "No one understands the threats, harassment, loss of income and dignity. I hope you find someone that can better take the risk. [We] have suffered enough humiliation."


  • 24 Aug 2015 9:18 AM | J (Administrator)

    My husband was arrested fifteen years ago for a Non-contact offense. His time has been completed, service rendered. He moved up north, from Florida, after time completed. We met not long after he relocated, fell in love, and married that year.


    The property we were to share our lives on was set in a small town in Ohio that has been in my family for years. He followed rules and registered at the local sheriffs office only to find the property to be 86 feet shy of the 1000 foot rule from a school. The property is five acres and the house over 1000 feet from the school, but they determined the distance from the property line not the home. He had to find another place to live, pack and leave. This unjust law just separated two newlyweds.


    He located a trailer park two miles away, relocated there, and then registered it with local police. I had informed my husband of my medical condition when we met, that I have heart disease and three stints along with other medical conditions. Due to my condition I could not tend to all chores/repairs on the five acre property. My husband said he would be more then happy to run the tractor and do household repairs. He did visit me on the property (Ohio law, at the time, could not prevent him from visiting) and I would visit at his trailer.


    One day when he was here, right after mowing the lawn, the local deputies came to the door asking for him. That is when he was arrested for failing to register his address, a felony. The law claimed he was not living at the trailer park he registered under. After getting a loan he was let out on bail, we then hired an attorney. He then presented proof to the police. He presented them with the dated rent receipt that was given to him the day prior to his arrest. They would not believe him and would not drop charges.


    On the date of his court presentation we were speaking with the attorney, which would exit a couple times to speak with the prosecuting attorney, prior to the trial that my husband insisted on. The attorney returned saying he got the charges down to "Attempted to fail registration" which was a misdemeanor. My husband said "NO I am innocent". That is when I looked at him with tears running and said: "Honey, I know your right but..my heart, I cant take much more of this". That is when, for the sake of my health, he bit the bullet and took the offer. He then paid the fines and completed the community service he was required to do in that county of Ohio. There are many eyes and ears in this small town and we found it was the people down the road that called the law, out of fear, just because they saw him there.


    My husband and I spoke..he would leave first and I would follow. He notified the law, then relocated to Florida. From time to time I must travel up north to handle matters. The previous trip to Ohio is when I had some health problems. I had a heart attack and It was found that three arteries were blocked, my cardiologist ordered a angioplasty. It was rough but after some time, and extra attempts, they were cleared. Since we met I had other heart stints placed but this surgery made heart stint #14 and #15..and my husband could not be there with me. He could not stay on our property nor did we have the money for a hotel/motel. Even if we did I fear him being up there. I'm scared to death that he may be arrested by the same county sheriff (Whom was out for blood the first time). I was released from the hospital but was back in the next day for severe pain. We were both in tears daily over this.


    I would not doubt that some of my heart stints that needed to be inserted, along with my heart attack, were based on the pressure we both have gone through because of the sex offender registry and draconian laws that cause harm to millions of registrant family members. When we married the words of Matthew 19:6 were spoken. But that does not mean anything to the ones that make these unjust laws that not only harm registrants, but innocent family members of registrants as well!


    This sex offender registry must be abolished!

  • 16 Jul 2015 3:53 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    It was May 16, my husband and I, along with the granddaughter, went to a car show in Ocean City, Maryland. During the drive I had one of those strange feeling that Moms get that something is wrong. I called my son, Matt, a few times and got no answer. The feeling proceeded to get worse but there was nothing I could do so I convinced myself that he is sleeping.  


    About 10 minutes after we arrived at the car show I received a call from my son’s phone. It was his girlfriend. She asked what I was doing and then went on to tell me Matt was in the emergency room and in bad shape. I didn’t know what she was talking about so I asked her to have the doctor call me. A couple of minutes later the doctor called saying said my son was on life support due to a drug overdose and she didn’t think he would make it.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I fell to the ground screaming and crying.  He was in Florida and we were in Maryland.


    We knew this day was coming but nothing prepares you for it. Your son spiraling out of control and there’s nothing you can do.  I was scared to death. 


    Our story begins in 2009. Matt had recently turned 20 years of age, had been in his own apartment for two years and during that time had various roommates living there. Matt was working and going to school. He kept busy.  One evening he called and asked me to come to his apartment because he may be going to jail.  During the 10 minute drive to his apartment I called my husband to tell him what little I knew.  Matt had never been in trouble with the law except speeding tickets.  I felt I was in a twilight movie and nothing was real. Matt told his dad what was going on and his dad told me because Matt was embarrassed.  


    There were twenty-five cops with guns drawn, a battering ram, and warrants.  They started questioning Matt about pornography.  He said he downloaded some porn on occasion through file share programs, LimeWire and Frostwire.  They started questioning him about the ages and he said teenagers like 17 and 18 year olds and older.  The detective started accusing Matt of various things and then asked about pornography of children and he said he is not into that kind of porn.  Matt said he asked if he could call me and the detective said no.  They continued questioning him and had him write a letter to the prosecutor and said this would make it easier on him.  He wrote a generic letter stating he was sorry about pornography on his computer and asked please to give him another chance. There was no mention of any child pornography.  The detectives took all the computers at the house; none of them had any virus protection or passwords on them.  Matt told the detective he did see younger porn but that was not what he was looking for. He would click on a title and if this was there he would put it in his deleted files.  Finally, the cops took all the electronics in the apartment and left.  Matt was not arrested.


    Our nightmare began. We decided we needed a lawyer even though I did not understand what the big deal was, but my husband understood.  He had heard about these cases.  The lawyer was supposed to protect my son.  He spoke to the detective in charge of the case. She said it will take at least 6 months to complete the investigation and they will take appropriate action when and if necessary against Matt.  The days and nights waiting to see what was going to happen got very long.


    In the meantime, we had Matt move back in the house with us.  The lawyer suggested we get Matt a psycho-sexual evaluation which we agreed to even though none of us ever heard of this.  


    He suggested Matt see the psychiatrist who works for the State of Florida and the city we live in.  


    We agreed.  We figured, if this psychiatrist works for the state to put away deviant people he would surely help clear a person from any type of charges.  The examination took close to 7 hours. The psychiatrist told Matt the report would be finished within thirty days.  Again, it was a grueling 30 days for the results of this exam.  I started to think positive because I know my son and he would never hurt a child.  How could these police officers accuse him of these crimes?


    Our lawyer started doing his own investigation.  Well at least I believed he was doing everything he could to help Matt.  The biggest problem was Matt’s so called “confession” he wrote to the prosecutor which was done under duress with detectives basically conning Matt into writing it.  


    This was damaging for him. We received the results of the psycho-sexual evaluation and the conclusion indicated Matt had “no deviant sexual interests and no high risk indicators for child molestation or sexual assault”.  “There was nothing in the data which would suggest he would be inclined or predisposed to intentionally seek out child pornography”.  We all were ecstatic because this man puts away child molesters for those who fail the exam.  Since Matt passed this grueling exam we felt it had to help him in whatever the detectives found.  


    Almost six months later, I received a call from the lawyer saying there was a warrant being issued for Matt and he would be allowed to turn himself in at the jail.  I couldn’t believe the lawyer was actually telling me to turn my son into the police.  I was scared, confused, and stressed.  It took a while to tell Matt what we have to do.  His brother and sister went with me for support.  He would be arraigned the next day.  I still did not understanding what he did was so wrong.  We went to the arraignment and the judged ordered a bond in the amount of $250,000.  


    What?  He didn’t murder someone or even hurt anyone.  It was in a nightmare.  How was I going to get this much money to get him out of jail?  The lawyers worked to get his bond down and succeeded in getting it down to $25,000. I had to pay $2500 to get him bonded out.


    The next year was nothing but heartache, stress, and frustration. Every month Matt had to go to court just so his case could be continued to the next month.  The prosecutor wanted Matt to serve 3 years in prison and 5 years on probation.  I asked for what?  He was actually looking at fifty years for clicking on wrong images. Matt wanted to fight this to the end. We begged him to take the plea deal because if he would have taken it to court we didn’t know what kind of jury he would have gotten and if it was elderly people he would have been sentenced to 50 years because they don’t understand how computers work. We were all scared.  Matt finally accepted the plea deal even though we believed he should serve no prison time or probation.


    There was a new judge reviewing Matt’s case and I didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing.  


    Then sentencing day came. We all went to court including a friend of the family and we prayed.  


    We stood there while the judge sentenced Matt for something I believed was so stupid.  The judge stated “he made a finding with the psychiatrist report NOT to designate him as a sex offender” and stated “he would go along with the psychiatrist report but he is not allowed to do so.”  The judge also didn’t want to give him probation until the prosecutor questioned this so the judge gave him one year.  Matt was sentenced to 18 months in prison and one year of probation.  


    This was the hardest day in my life watching my son being sentenced and going to prison for something he did unintentionally.  He was irresponsible and just plain stupid for not paying attention to what he was doing on the computer and what was being downloaded.  He didn’t deserve this at all.  Not just because I am his mom but because he didn’t hurt anyone.


    Prison was not good for Matt.  He was not a rapist, murderer, drug dealer, etc. who actually hurt someone.  He was a kid who downloaded some stupid stuff and clicked on wrong things.  He didn’t belong there.  He served 15 months due to good behavior and was let out.  He then had to start his probation.  He had a nice probation officer who even understood what Matt did because he stated as a probation officer we have to download and click on things and he has even gotten questionable images.  Matt was put on an ankle monitor throughout the duration of probation which we were not informed of in the beginning.  He had so many restrictions which we didn’t know he would be subjected to either.  His ankle monitor would go off in the middle of the night and we would get a call from the monitoring center wanting to talk to Matt to make sure he was in the house. This happened many times over the year.  It was heartbreaking.  No one could sleep.  


    The worse part of probation was the sex offender group therapy that Matt had to attend on a weekly basis.  In the group were people who raped or molested their friend, neighbor, a child, etc.  This was extremely hard on Matt because he did none of these.  He had to sit and listen to the therapist wanting everyone to describe what they did to a person in detail.  Matt would get ill.  


    He would get very anxious, scared, and frustrated.  This was not who Matt was or what Matt did.  


    The therapist was a horrible person.  He had the men start out with “I am a sex offender and I will reoffend.”  Matt refused to say this and got thrown out of the class.  He did go back the next week and the therapist tried to make him say it again and Matt refused.  


    Matt started going to his own therapist for depression and anxiety.  He asked her if she can help him with this probation therapy. His probation officer sent a request to the judge requesting that Matt be allowed to see his own therapist and the judge approved the request.  I believed this would help him.  His probation officer retired and Matt was given another one. This individual has made his life a living hell for the last few months. Matt was actually going to be getting off probation and the day before this new probation officer violated Matt citing he did not pass his polygraph; he did not finish therapy, and stated he was a deviant. All of this was not true. I had to hire another lawyer to help me prove this. Together we proved the probation officer lied but Matt still was stuck in jail for a couple days.  


    After Matt got out of prison he seemed alright, but then changes started happening.  He began drinking all the time; he never drank before except twice during his prom and got sick.  He was very anxious, depressed, scared and frustrated.  He couldn’t find a job, felt hopeless and his life had no meaning.  


    Due to his drinking and inability to cope he developed blood clots in his leg in May 2013 (he has a hereditary blood disorder).  For three months he stopped drinking and it was great.  I thought he would be alright, but I was wrong.  He started drinking and didn’t stop.  He drank morning, lunch and afternoon to get rid of the depression, anxiety, frustration, shame, and any other feelings he was dealing with from this ordeal.  He was a sinking ship and no one could save him even though we tried.  He was angry.  He was hurting so bad and he couldn’t see this.  He was numbing his pain.  He started hanging out with people bad for him, doing drugs and drinking.  


    He was passing out, doing stupid things, had no self-respect for himself.  He stopped taking showers. He looked horrible. He was being used by many people. He was having a rough time.


    As a mother, I knew it was bad and I tried many times to talk to him.  I begged him to stop, even took him to AA and he wanted no part of it.  We would argue and he would call me horrible names.  He would steal money from me; sell my things for his habits, etc. Since I don’t live with him I didn’t see how bad it really was. Two weeks before he was admitted into the emergency room he brought a female back into his life who hurt him just a couple months prior. She lied, stole things and cheated on him.  I didn’t like this at all but this is how low he had gotten.  


    One night Matt was texting me telling me he wanted to hurt himself and this is why she was at the house to help him.  I called the police to Baker Act Matt but the officer said he was OK.  I was told he was not drinking or drugging by this female. Then Matt was beaten up by a roommate and put in jail overnight. Matt informed me that he had gotten a marriage license and was to be married on Sunday.  I was not happy about this at all and tried to talk him out of it.  


    Both of them were broken and had lots of problems.  The day before he was to get married is when I go the call….the call no parent ever wants to hear.


    The next five weeks were a nightmare.  I watched my son fighting for his life.  He had tubes all over, he was on a ventilator, had medications going in him.  He could not breathe on his own.  


    His kidneys, liver, and lungs shut down. He aspirated all night and had infections in his body and lungs.  He had arrived at the hospital with only 30% of oxygen to his brain.  What was going to become of my son who was once looking at a bright future, a family, kids, and a great life?  This all came to a halt when he had to live with a label of the most deviant person in the world, but really was not.  He had to live with this label of being a monster like those who raped and molested children.  He had a whole life ahead of him and now he is dying in the hospital of an overdose because it is too hard for him to go on like this.  


    We watched as he received kidney dialysis, medications to get rid of infections, lungs being drained and no one could give us hope.  This was, without a doubt, the worst time of my life.  


    After 3 weeks of praying, things began to look up for Matt.  His kidneys and liver were getting better.  He had a tracheotomy and stomach tube to help him breath and eat.  He started waking up. Now the question was, does he have any brain damage; too many questions and no answers.  


    I am relieved to say Matt has made it and doing OK.  I say “OK” because he has many things to deal with concerning the past 7 years.  He goes to a treatment center every day and attends AA meeting where he has a sponsor.  His life has changed as well as our entire families lives.


    We kept our home in Florida because Matt would never be able to get housing on his own. Now our family will be making more frequent trips back to Florida to make sure Matt is OK.  We have had to put our life on hold due to the state if our sons life over the last 7 years.  As much as it has affected Matt mentally and physically it has also affected us in those same ways as well as financially.  


    There has been so much heartache, depression, anxiety, loneliness, worries, stress, and hurt throughout these last 7 years or so for my family.  I don’t really know how any of us have survived this.  It has caused stress in our marriage, with our other children and family members. 


    All because Matt downloaded pornography and some bad pornography was also downloaded which he did not ask for at all.


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