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Have you ever heard the saying: "The past will come back to haunt you"? Well, if you had any doubts, it's true. My husband is finding that out the hard way.

He was a troubled teen. Part of his problem was that he was an addict. At the time, he didn't know that. He was always getting in trouble, and he did some jail time.

Most of his run-ins with the law were over minor things, but minor things add up. Now, 22 years later, he is still paying for his mistakes as a youth.

In those 22 years, he has turned his life completely around. The same police officers who arrested him as a youth now remark about how he has managed to change the direction of his life. They even approach him to say hello and shake his hand.

My husband has been clean and sober for 13 years. He is currently trying to become licensed as a security guard. He went to the certification class and worked all summer as a security guard. But we got a letter a few weeks ago saying that he might not get his license due to charges against him for something he did as a youth.

In order to take care of this problem, we've had to get records relating to these old charges. We have made countless trips to the courthouse, the jail and the police departments involved. It was like being on a wild goose chase as we were sent from one place to another.

Finally, we found out that records relating to events that far back are not kept. So now we have to pay a lawyer to get all of his past charges cleared from his record. Even when we get all of the paperwork in, there's still no guarantee he will get his license.

Here's my question: When does the time come when a person's mistakes are forgotten? I was amazed at the reaction I received from some of the people we spoke to while trying to get the records we needed. I felt like screaming at them and reminding them that everything my husband had done had happened more than 20 years ago.

I can understand now, in ways I never could before, why some people give up in the face of adversity. I guess there are still people out there who like to judge a person by his past. What ever happened to "judge not, lest ye be judged"?

The whole experience feels like a slap in the face because my husband has accomplished so much in the past 22 years. To have this happen is like a reminder of all the mistakes he made as a youth.

Why does the man have to pay for the mistakes made by the boy? How many years of being a productive member of society does it take for someone to be forgiven for past errors of judgment? Now that his summer job has ended, we are worried that his past record will get in the way of getting another security guard position. He will have to go through another background check, which will show his past record.

Doesn't a man who has tried so hard to change his life deserve a second chance? How is a person supposed to go forward with his life if people are constantly forcing him to look backward?