FAMILY

My father is an addict — one child’s letter about addiction

Mar 16, 2021, 2:14 PM

FARMINGTON, Utah — Casey Scott has shared his public journey of recovery and overcoming addiction in Project Recovery, his weekly KSL podcast.

Scott has been sober for almost three years, and recently he shared a letter he received from his oldest daughter Preslee. She wrote the letter for her English class. It’s about her own journey through his addiction.

The letter was recently shared on the podcast and on social media where it’s been seen more than 2.8 million times. This week, Casey and Preslee spoke to KSLTV about their experiences.

If father is an addict, it’s a family disease

Preslee, Scott’s 16-year-old daughter, said the assignment was given in her English class. Students were to write a personal narrative, a piece of non-fiction about something that changed their lives.

Preslee Scott’s story

She said she knew the story she wanted to tell almost immediately. She titled her essay, “Back then, and now.”

“This narrative is about my life so far. I’m going to talk about how addiction has affected my life, and all the things in between,” the letter began.

“For as long as I can remember, my dad has been an alcoholic. I remember going to parties with my dad driving there, but my mom would always be the one to drive us home.”

She wrote about the fights her parents had when they thought she was asleep.

“I remember thinking, maybe one day it’ll stop. One day the fighting will stop and we can be happy all the time.”

The letter reveals that Preslee felt she needed to grow up a lot faster than other kids her age. She detailed what it was like after her parents divorced, and how she felt she needed to babysit her younger siblings when her dad was drunk. Her parents, she wrote, would argue over “the most stupid things.”

Casey Scott’s story

“I wasn’t a fun dad to be around. I slept a lot. I yelled a lot and I wasn’t present,” Scott said. “We started this interview by saying, ‘what is family?’ Family is everything to me, but in my addiction, it wasn’t,” Casey said. 

In 2018 Casey was arrested after causing a crash in Kaysville, Utah while he was driving under the influence. That experience happened to Casey, but Preslee wrote that it was another aspect of having a father that was an addict that she had to deal with as well.

“It was on the news everywhere and … it was just hard to know that my whole like family and personal stuff was just everywhere and I couldn’t really escape it,” Preslee said. “Going to school was hard and having kids come up to you in the halls asking how your dad was.”

A father’s addiction and its effect on children

“I used to always say to my ex-wife and my kids, ‘what do you care? This is me and my body, I’m doing what I want,’” he said.

But I didn’t realize the carnage that I was causing, the rifts in my family that I was creating with my mom, my dad, my brothers, my children.”

Casey’s co-host on Project Recovery is a clinical psychologist and University of Utah professor Dr. Matt Woolley. He said Casey’s initial response is a common thought for those struggling with addiction.

But it’s not true. A whole family is affected if a father is an addict, and it can be especially damaging for children.

“A child needs a parent to be present,” Woolley said, and that is something that addiction prevents.

That neglect is damaging to their developing sense of self, their identity, who they are, who they believe they are, and it’s also a very lonely place to be,” Woolley said. “You may have shown up to all the ballet recitals, but you don’t remember them, and the kids don’t feel that you’re there.”

That realization is something that Preslee’s letter brought into focus for Casey.

 “Addiction really is a family disease,” he said. “I didn’t realize when I got that letter, what a gift it truly was. The power of one 16-year-old little girl – it’s amazing!”

 

Family

Photo credit: Canva...
Simone Seikaly

How to stay calm and focused in any emergency, large or small

Whether the emergency is a power outage or an earthquake, preparedness and communication will help keep your mind calm and focused.
5 months ago
Connerjack Oswalt was found in Park City, Utah after being missing from California years ago. (CNN)...
Curt Gresseth

Missing three years, autistic teen found in Park City

An autistic teen missing from northern California since 2019 was found by sheriff's deputies in Summit County, Utah. He has since been reunited with his stepfather.
6 months ago
more school resources, temporary school shutdown, midvale schools water main break...
Waverly Golden

Draper officials oppose creation of a new school district

The Mayor and City Council of Draper oppose local residents pursuing new school district.
6 months ago
At 97 years, seven months and six days, President Russell M. Nelson is the oldest church president ...
Mark Jones

President Nelson is now the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Thursday, became the oldest church president at 97 years, seven months and six days.
6 months ago
free national park program not used as much by colored families versus white families...
Waverly Golden

Free national park program not used by families of color

A BYU study found white families of fourth graders use a free pass to any national park more often than their people of color counterparts.
6 months ago
Picture of Diamond the French Bulldog, pet theft...
Chandler Holt

Murray woman’s puppy stolen out of her yard

Yasmin Bazan had her French bulldog puppy taken from her yard right in front of her. Pet theft for re-selling is more prevalent than one might think.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
My father is an addict — one child’s letter about addiction