Addiction and recovery are difficult. The best way to support those in recovery is to validate and encourage your loved one.
But this isn’t always what happens.
Redditor behxveufbbheysbdt turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some objective thoughts on the situation he found himself in with his family.
”AITA for driving my sister to the drug house I used to live at/get high at when she accused me of exaggerating my addiction?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I am two years clean and sober. For about three years I was in and out of shelters and super unsafe drug houses.”
“My parents came together and tried to help their only son by holding an intervention. My sister Ava was at the intervention also but didn’t really say much.”
“She was always the golden child and I was always the one struggling to get my life on track.”
“Since getting sober, I have been rebuilding the relationships in my life. My sister had been planning to come over to help me settle into my new place so I went and picked her up.”
“On the way back over, she started talking about how it was good of me to finally be getting a new place and to start making something of myself. I asked her what she meant and she started talking about how I could’ve gotten sober earlier.”
”She then said that I’m exaggerating how bad my addiction was.”
“As soon as she said that I took the next side street and started driving away from my new place. She kept asking me where I was going but I told her I wanted to show her something.”
“We eventually got to the spot and I pointed at a super run down house with trash everywhere and people going in and out. I told her that this was where I was living for over a year at the worst of my addiction.”
”She was silent and I told her if she didn’t believe me we could go inside. She told me that she got the picture and wanted to leave.”
“I told her that she had no idea the stuff I went through and there was no exaggeration.”
“She told me to drive her back home.”
“I drove back and dropped her off. Before she got out I told her I was sorry if I scared her but that I wasn’t exaggerating.”
”She didn’t say a word and got out. I am now wondering if I went too far.”
“I know I can’t always control what other people think but her saying that I was exaggerating didn’t sit right with me.”
“AITA for taking her to that house?”
Redditors were asked what they thought by deciding:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors reached a consensus declaring the OP was NTA.
“NTA. I lost my brother to addiction, and while yes, his addiction was hard on me when he was alive, I cannot FATHOM saying it wasn’t bad for him, or that it was exaggerated.”
”A simple google search on the symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, or a bit of compassion for you could have saved your sister this wake up call.”
“I hope your sister pulls her head out, because she doesn’t want to miss her brother. Congratulations on getting clean, and I wish you the very best in your future.”~gonnastayanontbh
”NTA. I’d almost say NAH as she probably can’t even comprehend the nature of addiction, but suggesting you exaggerated it and dismissing your feelings/experiences on it is what tips it to NTA.”
“And sometimes, people need to see for themselves before they can begin to comprehend things. Good for you and good luck on your journey.”~seregil42
“NTA. Trying to tell people struggling with addiction that the severity of their addiction is not that serious or making comments about the timeline of your addiction/sobriety is incredibly insensitive in any situation.”
”That was probably the only way for her to understand in some capacity the things you went through.”
“I just wish people who don’t understand addiction would just…. shut their mouths when talking about addiction.”~itsme_uglyasshoe
“NTA. She was being rude and belittling. It was needed, and congrats on your sobriety. It’s….it’s a lot.”
“I’ve been sober a few weeks and it’s a f*cking ordeal, to say the least. Keep on living your best life.”~macaroni_rascal42
“I’m a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 3 years. My sister didn’t want to think I was that bad or actually an alcoholic but maybe just drank too much.”
“I had to make several pointed statements to her to get her to understand.”
”Sometimes it takes that much to get it through. Most don’t understand it’s an actual illness and need to fully get it. NTA.”~Chance-Ad-9952
“NTA – I think it’s horrribly unfair of her to say that you were exaggerating. She has no idea what you went through.”
“You showed her a glimpse and she went silent. Maybe now she understands.”
”I myself have a sibling who has been on drugs for years and I know how bad it gets. Unfortunately, she’s still on drugs and making bad decisions even though I’ve helped her numerous times.”
“Congrats for getting off of drugs and getting yourself together. You’ve done so well that you now have your own place.”
“Let you showing that drug den to your sister be the last time you ever drive past that place.”~Thart85
“NTA. She’s clearly very naive and needed a reality check!”
“OP you did her a favour, she can’t be shielded from reality her whole life, it’ll only make her more vulnerable and/or turn her into an AH.”
“Also, congratulations on 2 years sober!! That’s incredible!”~dontbethatguymyguy
Recovery is something to be proud of, good for you OP.
But for people who have never experienced addiction, it can be difficult to understand what it’s like. Whether his sister wanted to think the best of her brother or the worst is unclear.
Hopefully now they can forge a better understanding going forward.