This I Believe

Sarahmarie - Ackley, Iowa
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love, setbacks
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I believe that love is hard.

As I tell you this today, it has been almost seven years since I’ve spoken to my father.

My father is a meth addict.

Seven years ago, I spent my days hoping he would call me, just so I would know he was okay and watching the news waiting to hear if he had been arrested or killed. I had nightmares and an ulcer. I cried uncontrollably, felt helpless and couldn’t understand why he would choose to live this way and why he didn’t want me.

Seven years ago, I watched my father go from an outgoing and engaging man, to a mumbling, spastic shell of a human. He dropped weight from his already thin frame. Began to lose all of his teeth. He spoke incoherently and couldn’t remember that he had grandchildren. All the while I waited and worried about him. Racked my brain to try to figure out how I could help him and why I was so worthless at doing so. All because I loved him.

Seven years ago, I realized that I had to decide who I loved more- him or me. It was THE hardest decision I ever had to make.

So, I wrote him a letter. I cried rivers as I wrote. Felt all the pain, from all those years with each line. I told him that someday I wished he could love himself as much as I love him. I told him that if he truly loved me . . . he would never contact me again.

Seven years ago. Seven years ago, I found out that love is hard.