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I Sent My Dad To Jail

29 March 2017 Written by 

When I was 12 years old, I sent my father to jail. Well, of course my father sent himself to jail by committing a crime, but I’m the one who reported him. I suppose that’s all just part of the chaotic life of a family with members who have addictions. To clarify, at 12 years old I reported an incident to my therapist that warranted the involvement of child services, leading to the arrest of my father later that evening.

The incident involved threats of violence against my mother. I had to tell because I was scared something bad would happen. I was lucky. I had an adult I could trust to tell what what happening in my family.

Luckily It Was Stopped In Time

Nobody was hurt and ultimately it was the result of my father’s rampant alcoholism and drug addictions. My father is not a bad man by any means -- it’s just that addictions can make you do crazy things. In my young mind I knew that my father and his addiction were separate. I had to do something to get my dad back. Maybe I also wanted to protect my mom and myself.

Scared I Had Lost My Dad

So I decided that it was better to lose my dad in jail for a little while than to continue losing him to his addiction. This was a tough time. I was the catalyst for punishment I didn't want to happen. I don't know how my mom felt about it. I cried when my dad went to jail, and I cried many times after he was released and wasn’t able to live in the home. He had to make the decision to be a better and safer person before he could come home.

Life Got Better

But eventually it did better. My dad got better. Insanely enough though, during the times that he relapsed, he’d blame me for his time in jail. But I always reminded myself that my father and his addiction were two separate things, and that he didn’t mean to hurt my mother, he didn’t mean to hurt me either.

I know now that my father’s time in jail was the catalyst for his long, long road to recovery. And I know that I was acting out of genuine love and fear for my father’s and family’s well-being.I also know that I was just a kid, and that I couldn’t be responsible for my family’s stability. That wasn’t my job as a child. Being safe is the most important thing for any child. If you are not safe, you need to find a trustworthy adult who can help. Like I did.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Read 2004 times Last modified on Sunday, 02 April 2017 14:49
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