Most little girls get to be daddy’s little princess; this wasn’t the case for Sarah. Sarah’s father was either going to be a superhero that swoops her off of her feet or not be there at all, there was no in between.
Sarah never really understood what was going on with her father in her earlier years. He was a mechanic, always working long hours. Because he worked such long hours and abused drugs, he wasn’t there on a day-today basis. Sarah knew deep down something was going on but couldn’t put the puzzle together.
Her father was constantly acting weird and would only hang out in his shed after work, never with the family. She never had the father she needed and thought her mom was the “bad guy” because she was doing all the parenting. Sarah craved her father’s attention and never got the acceptance from him she needed and it made growing up difficult.
On a dark night, Sarah’s thoughts about her father changed. Her mother and father got into an argument. They were trying to be quiet but Sarah heard something that changed her life forever.
“She [her mother] said something about my dad being on drugs,” said Sarah.
Sarah did not want to believe what she had overheard. The thought of her father using drugs bothered her so much she finally asked her mother if it was true.
Her mother told Sarah her father was not on drugs and if he was she wouldn’t tell her. That was Sarah’s first realization that there was more to the story then meets the eye.
“I could see on her face there was like more there.”
As time went by, Sarah found out her father was in his shed and acting weird because he was abusing cocaine.
He was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If you were to disagree with him, you were calling him a liar. If you told him the sky was blue, he would make you believe it was green; that’s just the type of guy he was on drugs.
Even though Sarah’s dad was not the nicest person on drugs, he still promised he would be joining the rest of the family up in Big Bear for Sarah’s birthday weekend. She was turning 12 or 13 and so excited to be spending her special day with her father. Her dad was running so late it started to scare Sarah and her sister. They thought something had happen to him. He ending up showing after the kids went to bed and Sarah’s mother and father started to argue.
“It was my birthday weekend. It was supposed to be a good fun time.”
In the morning, Sarah’s mother and her sister went tubing. Due to the argument the night before, her father didn’t feel like going out with the rest of the family. By the time they got back from tubing, he was gone.
“I wasn’t really mad until we got home and he wasn’t their either.”
Sarah’s dad had broken her heart once again. Things between her mother and father gradually got worse and her parents ended up getting a divorce.
He Was a Good Dad
The divorce didn’t stop Sarah from pursing her dreams. She got through high school and went to college. When Sarah was in school, she found out her father was arrested for domestic abuse. He swore he was not guilty but did some time in jail. Jail was a blessing for him, it sobered him up and when he was sober Sarah wanted nothing more than to work on their relationship.
“When he was sober he wasn’t a bad guy, he was a good guy. He was a good dad.”
Working on their relationship, Sarah started to notice his character defects. Before she knew it, he was back to using and abusing drugs again. He went back to the man she wanted nothing to do with. He was the victim again and everything was everyone else’s fault.
Sarah’s father is 60 years old and is desperate for help. Sarah hopes he will get into a rehab and will become the father she deserves to have once again.
Although Sarah struggled with her father, her brother was possessed by the disease of addiction too. Addiction effects the whole family, not just the one struggling. For Sarah, finding out her brother was on the path her father was on, broke her heart.
“He was pretty distant too, just like my dad.”
Sarah always tried to hang out with her brother and never understood why he wanted nothing to do with her. She thought she wasn’t cool enough to hang out with him. She did everything she could to impress him but a sad day came and her brother was no longer allowed in her mother’s home. He was steeling computers and laptops and Sarah’s mother had enough.
“A drug dealer came to the door and my mom answered the door.”
The dealers have threatened Sarah’s mother and to protect her other children, she had to have her son move out. Shortly after Sarah’s parents got a divorce, her brother oved back in.
“They were talking about how they used to do cocaine with my dad.”
Sarah’s brother had a party and for the first time, Sarah was invited. All of her brother’s friends were reminiscing on old times doing drugs with Sarah’s father. Sarah wanted to be cool so she didn’t tell her mother about her brother’s times with her father.
After the party, things escalated. Sarah’s brother stepped up to abusing OxyContin which eventually lead to heroin. His addiction took over his mind, body, and soul. He was lost, scared, and wanted to be better. So he asked his family for help.
He craved change so bad he waited to get into a detox for two months. When Sarah heard the wait was two months, she was terrified he would change his mind. There was no need for worry on Sarah’s part because he is now 6 months clean and sober.
“When he got out of rehab, he just came over to me and gave me a hug and started crying and apologized… for everything.”
He is a changed man! He works the 12-steps, in a 12-step program, and holds himself accountable for all he has done.
“It is great that he is going to be able to be there and participate in that and be sober and be present.”
Sarah’s brother was not there for her first graduation. Because he is active in his recovery, he is going to be able to show up for her when she gets her bachelor’s degree.
It is a dream come true, Sarah has her brother back and couldn’t be any happier.
There is Hope
Sarah has hope for her father and all people struggling to stay clean. She wants the family of addicts to never give up on them. She believes everyone should keep an open heart to those struggling and help when you can. Seeing her brother recover gave her hope for everyone.
“Hang in there and don’t give up.”