True Love Is About Forgiveness

Addiction is hard. It can make life seem bleak when you’re not under the influence. For the abuser, almost nothing else matters more than the feeling they have when the substance has taken effect. Users don’t realize what they’re doing until the lies they’ve told start collapsing around them. This is why, despite his struggles, I have forgiven my father.

Amphetamine, commonly known as Adderall, is a strong stimulant used to treat ADHD. It is a medication that, when not needed, can cause a very extreme, very desirable high. I was in 6th grade when my sister started to take Adderall to help her performance in school. When the fall of 7th grade rolled around the pills were no longer lasting until the end of the month, like they should have. At first my mom thought that the pharmacist was skimming pills, an easy fix she believed. She began to count the pills when she came home from the pharmacy. That’s when she learned that it wasn’t the pharmacist who was stealing the drugs. My mother continued counting pills for a couple more months. I was young and naive; I didn’t realize the severity of the situation. It wasn’t until I was called into my parents’ room for a reason unknown to me that I became more aware of the detrimental effects this ordeal would have on my family. I remember walking into the room and feeling the tension even though my parents maintained a calm facade. I felt a tingle run down my spine, the suspense was killing me.

“We’re not going to be mad, we just need you to be honest.” My mom started. Those dreaded words every kid hates to hear. I curled my toes into the plush carpet and tapped my finger against my leg in anticipation. That’s when she asked something I wasn’t expecting, “Are you the one taking your sister's medicine?” I was speechless. I just shook my head and finally was able to spit out a very confused no. “Your dad thinks, and so do I, that it may be you. We just need you to be honest. The only reason you’ll be in trouble is if you lie. ” I continued to deny the accusations being thrown at me. Finally my parents were tired of fighting about it and sent me to bed. Not long after, my mother uncovered the truth. Dad had been the one taking the amphetamine. His lies started to catch up to him, and he couldn’t keep up. The stories he told no longer made sense. In his guilt and desperation he attempted to push the blame onto anyone else, including me, but that game was over. He had woven a knot, one even he couldn’t undo. My sister and I were still kept in the dark. Our mother was protecting us from these facts that would tarnish our view of our father. All I knew was my dad was gone and I had no idea why. The only thing my mom said was he left to get better. When he returned I found a packet nailed to one of the shelves in his closet. Rehab, he had gone to rehab. My mom thought we shouldn’t know about his struggles with addiction. I’m glad my dad went to get help. Though we all still suffer at times from the aftermath, he is home and in recovery. The fact of the matter stands, I was hurt, and still am, that I never received an apology. He let my mom think that I was the one who was stealing the Adderall.

I have come to make several discoveries because of and since that day. Sometimes people will do you wrong, hurt you, and even though they are fully aware of what they are doing, they won’t apologize. Isn’t that what love is though, forgiving someone even when they don’t ask for or deserve it?

18 March 2020
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