Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What Happened To My Family?

All the days just seemed to blend together. We were still getting mortared daily…sometimes 6 or 7 or 8 times. Our camp was known as “Mortaritaville” from being attacked so much. We would call home a lot but for me it just made me sad. I didn’t really want to deal with situations back home. Before I left my dad had relapsed…he blamed himself for me being sent to Iraq. I tried to tell him over and over again it wasn’t his fault. In April I called a friend, he told me my father was in the hospital. He didn’t really know for what but my mom didn’t want him to tell me anything. I got off the phone with him and called my house…I asked my mom if I could talk to my dad and she just started crying. She finally told me that for about three months he locked himself in his room and just drank and drank. About a week or so before he drank himself to death, I realized he had been taking money out of my account. I’m not talking a hundred bucks here and there, I’m talking a couple thousand dollars. I remember I told my editor because I was so pissed and he let me use a satellite phone to call home. I lost my shit. I had absolutely no problem with letting my parents borrow money, but to steal it from me? He crossed the line. Now I think back and wonder…maybe if I never had called or talked to him the way I had would he still have done that to himself. For months he didn’t work, he didn’t eat, he wasn’t paying any bills like my mom thought he was, he didn’t feed my hamster and she died (poor thing). He just rotted away up there. On day after my mom got out of work, my dad walked down stairs and sat on the floor…he mumbled something about my moms parents and talked nonsense. My mom called the ambulance and he was taken to the hospital. My dad who weighed about 170 his whole life got down to about 113 and had gotten Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother had it as well and the doctor said my dad probably would’ve gotten it down the road but the alcohol abuse triggered it early….my dads 72 and my moms 56. The only thing I can think of is how my dad is completely fucked up and how my mom must be feeling. My mom has always had a history with alcohol. Obviously to cope with my dad being in the hospital and eventually being placed in a nursing home she drank as well. I was suppose to go home in mid April for R&R…we got two weeks to go home or on vacation. I was able to get on a plane within a week and a half and I headed home. Worse plane ride ever! Fuck Kuwait. Fuck long flights. Fuck having to travel in your uniform. Fuck peoples rude remarks. I remember I got off the plane in Chicago and I found a payphone. Some middle-aged guy was on it…he had on his suit and a tie that looked like it was choking him to death. He got off the phone but continued to stand there, so I asked him if he was done. And this motherfucker said, “Let me count to 10 while I think about it.” I was like, he has to be kidding me. No he stood there and counted out loud…and finally he said, “I guess you can use it.” I was so happy to be in the States that I wasn’t even going to let this guy get under my skin. I probably should’ve spit in his face. I literally step off the plane and my mom was in tears…she lost about 20 pounds. I was a complete mess and she forced me to go to the nursing home. At this point I’m emotionally detached…I couldn’t cry…I couldn’t let anyone see me be vulnerable…I mean, who was suppose to hold the “family” together? It was me. It all felt like …I don’t even know how to explain it. My mind was going in a thousand different directions. I was thrown back into my life and it was nothing like I remember it being. How is someone suppose to act and feel? It was like everything that ever made sense and everything that every held my family together was no longer there…we had to start over.

1 Comments:

Blogger TheUsualSuspect said...

Good god. I usually hate the things people say when they're trying to be sympathetic, it all seems horribly cliche, but I'm honestly sorry you had to go through that, especially while deployed. That isn't fair to you or anyone. I hope things are much better for you now though.

9/25/2006 05:24:00 PM  

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