Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA
This is the first post to my story in about two years. Time seems to get away from you, and even with the best of intentions to post regularly, it just didn’t happen. I was inspired to continue my story now after the unfortunate passing of my attorney, who truly became my friend. Protecting the public from DA’s who knowingly proceed with the prosecution of innocent people was a passion of his. I am so proud to have known him, and of the strength he gave to me throughout my ordeal.
And to the followers of my story – as always there are no words to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support you have shown to my blog over the years. I want to ensure that you get to hear the full story as well. So…here is the next ‘chapter’ in my life’s story!
After an arrest for a “crime” such as this, you have no idea how fast your life falls apart. In my first meeting with my attorney, he cautioned me to be prepared for the fallout. But, there is really no way to fathom what is actually ahead. I thought I would use this brief post to share a bit of how drastically my life changed, and began to unravel after word of my arrest got out.
Career – As soon as I notified my boss of the arrest, I was immediately suspend from my position. For over a decade I had dedicated my life to my career. It was really all I knew – and now that was stripped from me. My routine consisted of going to work, giving my all, and making a difference in my community every day. What was I going to do now without a job to go to every day? Who was going to pick up my work and make sure it was done to my standard? How quickly could I appeal and get the suspension overturned?
Professional Reputation – Prior to my arrest I was well known in my profession. I regularly presented professional development classes in my area. I was asked to speak from time-to-time on particular topics that I was especially known for. I had won “prestigious” awards for excellence in my field. The suspension from my position was expected, but the real, crippling blow came just a week later when I received a certified letter in the mail advising that my professional certifications were being suspended as well. Any chances of winning my job back were now gone. Any opportunities to teach on the side had just vanished as well, and along with it the reputation I had worked so hard to built.
Finances – This is by far the biggest unexpected impact. In the blink of an eye, 100% of your income is gone. The bills – mortgages, car payments, insurance, utilities -, however, don’t stop! In fact, your financial obligations now grow wildly beyond all expectations. Legal retainers, professional fees and more eat through your savings in no time at all. How are you supposed to live with no income, and new out of control debt? Is it ever possible to overcome this?
Community Involvement – Another area that was very important to me was involvement in my community. It was something I was committed to since, literally, my high school days. I was physically made sick when just days after my arrest I received a letter from the civic organization that received the majority of volunteer hours stating that I did not “meet their high moral standards of membership”. This is an organization I had sacrificed significantly to support over the years – an organization who’s leaders I was friends with, whom had been to my home countless times. An organization who’s members I had personally supported when they had fallen on hard times. And now, for the first time in my life, I was the one who needed support and the leaders I had unconditionally supported for YEARS didn’t even pick up a phone to ask me what was going on, to send their support, to ask questions. MY organization sent me a letter…
News Coverage – About a week following the arrest my family found a short story buried in our local paper about me, and of course the article clearly insuanted guilt without providing any actual evidence. The real scare came the following day when my office called and told me there was a news crew there looking for information on me. They set up a remote feed truck in the parking lot of my office. Shortly after that a neighbor called to tell me there were news vans in front of my house! My co-workers already knew what was going on, but my neighbors were about to find out in the worst possible way. What was I going to do now?
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