July 20, 2020

Kassie Perkins, current reigning Miss for America, penned an op-ed for Today’s parenting community on the lasting effects that addiction can have on an entire family.

Perkins’ father struggled with a substance use disorder for more than 20 years before finding recovery, and in her piece, she provides her perspective and experience on growing up in such close proximity to addiction during her most formative years.

In Kassie’s story, she provides three key realizations that allowed her to overcome her bitterness and anger to heal the relationship with her father:

  1. Recognize that addiction is an illness
  2. Live in the moment and don’t dwell on yesterday
  3. Forgiveness is about you, too

For those with parents suffering from addiction, she wants them to know that they are not at fault and that change is possible.

“While a parent’s addiction is in no way the child’s fault, the reality is that the scars it leaves behind can become barriers to forgiveness…,” said Perkins. “In fact, if I could give my 12-year-old self some advice, it would be to hang in there, because one day you’ll have the father you’d hoped and prayed for all along. If I had chosen to remain angry and resentful, I’d never have that opportunity.”

Kassie’s entire piece can be read at Today’s parenting community.