Name: Sophie K...
From: Manchester, NH
School: Southern New Hampshire University College
A Child of an Addict
The Child of an Addict
By: Sophie Kasmir
When I was a small
child, I never knew what drugs were, nor did I know what alcohol was.
My aunt helped raised me; she was another mother and a best friend.
She used to french braid my long hair before bed so it wouldn’t be a
mess in the morning. We’d laugh, she would paint my nails and even
taught me how to put on makeup for the first time. She was my best
friend. I would watch her take dozens of pills at a time, washing
them down with vodka and ice. She told me she had a “headache”.
My most vivid memory of her addiction was when I was 11 and my
grandmother had just passed away; so we were all grieving. I was
sleeping on the couch and I woke up to loud music playing, despite it
being 3AM. My aunt, my best friend, was dancing around the house
naked. Her eyes were black and she wasn’t making any sense at all. I
was terrified. I asked her to go back to bed and went to get her a
glass of water. When she took a sip, she spit it out, threw the glass
and screamed “I only drink vodka”. I tried to clean up the
broken glass, but my hands kept getting all cut up and now all my
blood was over the floor. “What am I going to tell my
teachers?”, I thought to myself. She had never been this bad
before, this mean and evil. A huge crash came from her bathroom while
she took another handful of her “anti inflammatories”. But
they weren’t anti inflammatories, they were Oxycontin 80mg and
Percocet 10mg. She took 4 of each that night before going unconscious
and bashing her head against her sink. I ran in and just started to
cry; trying to get her to stand up, talk to me, hold my hand,
anything. I grabbed her landline and dialed 911 and the dispatcher
told me to stay on the line, but I told him, “I have to go, she
needs me”. I laid next to her, covered in her blood for about 8
minutes until EMS arrived. They called it an overdose, which was the
first, but not the last time, I heard that word. I blamed myself. I
blamed myself for everything. Still to this day, I think to
myself-“If I just flushed those pills, she’d still be here”.
My aunt was an addict, but she was also funny, successful, a great
cook, mothering and there for me when no one else was. I spent a lot
of years in therapy for PTSD and learned that addiction doesn’t care
where you come from, what color your skin is, how much money you have
or even if you french braid your daughter’s hair every night before
bed. As an adult, I started to do some digging into my aunts
childhood before I came into the picture. It was bad; abuse, rape,
you name it. So even though I’m angry that she passed away and I miss
her dearly, I get it. She got high to numb her terrible, terrible
pain she endured throughout her life. So, my sweet angel in
heaven…I learned how to french braid my daughters hair, just like
you taught me. I love you and I forgive you.
Those who are
currently struggling with addiction, you are not alone. You are loved
and you are prayed for. It’s never too late to get the help you need.