This I Believe

Alma - Willcox, Arizona
Entered on June 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction, family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The Harshness That Is Reality

The one thing that has the power to destroy relationships, confidence, and trust is something that one does not believe can affect someone so much unless it actually turns into an experience. It stops being something you hear about all the time, and it becomes a monster which you cannot escape. It is because of this that I started to believe in the harshness that is reality.

When you are twelve, everything seems so surreal. You see everything in black and white. Everything is so simple. I sincerely wish it had stayed that way. As you can already surmise, I was twelve at the time my world was turned upside down. It all began when my sister, who was seventeen years old at the time, started to rebel against my parents. She partied more and she was never home in time for curfew.

Looking back on it, I do not know if it was a blessing or a curse sharing a room with her. It was a little part of both I presume. In part it was a blessing because she opened up to me. It was a curse because she told me many things that I knew were wrong but I could not tell my parents since I was under vow.

Remember how earlier on I was talking about how something could destroy relationships, confidences, and trust? Well, that something is drugs. My sister threw her whole life away and I remember literally sitting there and watching her do it. She told me so many things that I kept bottled away until the moment everything came out to light.

She was a drug dealer at first. She sold cocaine and I, who was twelve at the time, would hide it for her, thinking only that it was such a great adventure. It steadily increased until she was no longer selling drugs, but rather passing them over the border. She never knew how much she passed since she was just the driver, but it made her think she was invincible. Especially since she was actually taking the drugs. The condition in which she would arrive every night terrified me. She would look at me with those yellow bloodshot eyes of hers and she would look so sad. I knew then she had fallen down a dark abyss and she felt she had no way of getting out. She was caught passing drugs a few days later.

Even though I was a bystander, by seeing my sister’s world be uprooted, mine in turn became that way also. Today, she has put her life back together and I am proud of her for finding the courage to do so. Her whole ordeal is the reason why I no longer believe in fairy tales. I am now a firm believer in the harshness that is reality.