Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
I met Jacob when I started attending a day clinic for people in my community with mental health issues. It was primarily designed for people, like myself, who had been out of work for long enough that they needed help with retraining. It was also a place for those who would never be able to work, to be able to socialize.
They had a cafeteria of sorts, where the clients would run the kitchen, make lunch for the others, and a counter where they would make coffee, lemonade, and sell candies.
I started running the cash register at the counter, and because I had previous work experience, I was able to teach some of the others. It was fun. It wasn't stressful like "real life," but it was challenging and a good place for me to be.
Jacob was a flirt, and I hadn't been flirted with in a long time. He would always stand around the cash register, tell me how cute I was, and ask what I was doing later. He wasn't the only guy doing it, because I was fresh meat and one of the youngest people there at 25. Looking back on it now, his flirting was so awful, but I was lonely and I drank it up.
At some point, he got to me enough that I came over to his apartment one weekend. We spent maybe two hours together, having ultimately uninteresting sex, and then I left. What I remember the most is that his place reeked of incense.
It was nearly two months later that I found out I was pregnant. I was so in denial that even as I was looking at the pee stick, I was mentally thinking how it had to be a mistake, I must have done it wrong.
I had been seeing someone shortly before I was with Jacob, so naturally I assumed the baby was that guy's. After all, when we were together, we were together nearly every night. With Jacob it was literally just one time. Birth control for both parties was used each and every time, with both guys.
Because I'm a big girl, I didn't have to tell anybody at the day clinic for a while. When I did tell them, and when Jacob asked about it, I said I had a boyfriend and the baby was his. In my mind, this was true. I really didn't think the baby was Jacob's.
Jacob was kicked out of the day clinic not much longer after that, and then I stopped going toward the end of my pregnancy because driving that distance wasn't enjoyable. I also figured a work program wasn't doing me much good when I couldn't apply for any jobs at the time.
Toward the very end of my pregnancy, I was searching one of those "see how many predators live near you" sites, and Jacob's picture popped up. I thought I was going to throw up. The idea that I had slept with a sex offender just made me feel ill. Still, I thought to myself, at least I didn't breed with him.
After my daughter was born, the guy I was seeing demanded a paternity test. Okay, whatever I thought. I took it. Needless to say, I was shocked to find out he wasn't the dad. I really was.
Test 2.0, with Jacob, was a positive. He was also easy to find because of his sex offense.
A little bit after my daughter turned one, the courts convened for child support and custody and all that. I saw him in the hallway and can say I held it together better than I expected. He "confessed" that he had a sex offense and said it was all a childhood mistake and asked me to not hold it against him.
The court ordered visitation and, because she was so young and he didn't know her, they said I should be there too. Even though they KNEW about his offense level (I'm not sure if they knew the specifics), they saw no issue with his visitation at that time.
For the next year, I asked Jacob for court copies of his sex offenses. He would put it off, or tell me he didn't know. The more I got to actually know him outside of Mr. Flirtatious, the more I could see that he had some mental delays. I mostly accepted that as his reasons for not bringing the paperwork with him, ever.
We met once a week at the park and he and my daughter played, but I always stayed close by. I wasn't comfortable.
He had a birthday party with his family at a local restaurant for my daughter's second birthday, and while there, his mother suggested that I let him have an overnight visit with her. I said no, that she wasn't ready for that.
On the way to my car after the party, Jacob handed me a manila envelope with "court" scribbled on the front. He had a very discouraged look on his face, so I knew it would be bad.
I had no idea.
That night I read his offenses. Between the ages of 12 and 15, he raped two different 3-year-old girls, his older mentally handicapped cousin, and another unnamed minor. It took everything in me to not rip the papers to shreds, or scream.
That next week I made an appointment with the courts and had his visitation cut down to the point that he would have to see her INSIDE the courthouse, with people there who would protect my daughter. My 2-year-old non-verbal daughter.
I no longer felt like I was enough to protect her on my own around him. What would stop him from picking her up and running? I couldn't catch him.
It was one thing thinking his offenses were childish indiscretions. A friend of mine in high school was on the sex offender list for peeing in public.
But this was a completely different thing. A baby raper. I just…I still can't comprehend it.
Jacob hasn't seen my daughter since last November. He hasn't wanted to spend the money to do it at the courthouse like required. For awhile, I had to install a blocking app on my phone because he had his mother call me 10 to 15 times a day, demanding a visit.
I wanted to scream at her and ask how she could possibly think that was okay considering what he had done in the past. And no, I don't believe for a second that he offended that many times and then just stopped for 20 years. No, my guess is that he is just a lot more careful about it, and his family is probably helping him.
So that's my story. I slept with the worst person I could imagine. I got a beautiful, wonderful, speech-delayed and possibly autistic child out of it, but I also managed to lose what trust I had in picking partners.
I don't date now.
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