Female, 22
Tuesday, 09 June 2020

I work in a rehab facility. If clients are caught having s*x, they get kicked out. I discovered two clients s*xually engaged, and they begged me not to tell. The man will go back to prison for six years; his son will be driving before he gets to actually see his dad. He seemed to have really learned a lot, really realized he threw everything away. So I decided to keep it just between us three. I committed them to every day reflect on why they were here and their promise to me to never, ever do something like that again. They both wept to have been given mercy instead of punishment. I really felt like it was the right choice. That one act didn’t seem worth six years in prison. But now it’s eating me up inside. I can’t bear to talk to my supervisor now; I feel so guilty for lying and breaking policy. I feel scared thinking that they could s*xually act out again and ruin other people’s programs. The man is able to lie very well, and he also has a history of having a temper and acting out. But—I have seen so much goodness in him. It’s been two day’s, but he has kept his promise to me. He is working harder than ever, serving others. And he is so so so grateful. I told him I trust him—because I knew he needed to hear that. Truthfully though, I know how addiction works and know how hard it is for them to control their impulses. I gave them mercy and a fresh start, and that felt really good. They’ve been yelled at and punished and put in a cage every time they messed up. They needed to remember the good inside of them. But again—I feel sick that I went way way out of line to do it. I have to say that if I could do it again—I might just report them regardless because they need to face consequences of their actions and that it’s not fair of him to ask me to make that kind of choice. It was his action, and I have no responsibility except to follow policy which in the end would be better for all clients. But I cared too much about him as a person. Was I manipulated? Or was he totally sincere about changing? I believe the latter. I’m just not sure he can sustain his effort. I really hope he is remembering his challenge. It has just felt so heavy. Normally, when I do something bad, I confess. But this time if I confess, those people that were so so so so so grateful will suddenly be kicked out. I’m not sure what is left of my integrity, but I can’t break my word to them. I truly felt it was the right decision in that moment. Now I feel like I need to suffer the consequences. If they keep their word—that means they get their whole lives back next year. A nine year old boy for the first time will be able to live with his father. A mother can be present to finally spend time with her youngest son that she worries so much about. They’re addicts—manipulative and impulsive and usually not very self-aware of the boundaries they break. But they are people too—people with families they love desperately and are tired of disappointing. I hope that 20 minute period when they thought that they’d lost everything changed them, really made them focus. I hope it is worth the sacrifice of my integrity. I feel that God wanted me to make that choice, I truly do. I could feel his presence with me. But again, I think part of it was to teach me the full breadth and weight of making a decision like that. I just wonder if I’m alone. Would you send a man back to prison who you know has worked so so so hard to get to where he is? It would have destroyed his son :( I just want him to go back to his son. I truly believe he has so so so much potential for good. I hope my decision helps him grow and not go backwards :(