Tuesday, December 6, 2011

True Story

I need to get this story off my chest.

Trust me, the story is fragmented and won't be the full story, and I am positive that I have the timeline completely screwed up, and even some of the facts wrong, but it's what I have for now.

This post will be full of grammatical errors, so be prepared. I am trying to get it out quickly...

And I am sure that my mother would kill me if she knew I were writing out this story from my own perspective. She would have seen things a lot differently than what I lived. But I have to do it!

This year has been so full of turmoil.

In a month from now, it will be ONE YEAR since my mother died.

I can't believe it.

No one has asked, but here's the story...

My mother was a great woman. She was full of laughter, wit, and love. She made us dinner every night and always made sure we were safe in one way or another.

However, she lost her mother when she was young, and I think it totally screwed her up.

She loved to have a good time. When she was younger, I'd say she was probably a partier. She had my sister when she was 18 with a man who she never married--I think he robbed a bank once? She then somehow ended up with a different man for a few years that she did marry. But it did not last long. He was in a wheelchair--wait, maybe he was the one who was shot from robbing a bank? See? The stories are foggy for me.

At some point, she met my father: Brian K. Matchett
A vietnam veteran.
Long story short, he was screwed up from the war. At one point, he was involved in a murder trial. He was later acquitted to  a lesser crime of manslaughter. You can read his story here.
That was in 1981. My mother had to sit through a murder trial, pregnant with my brother in 1979.
My father served some time, and was released. My mother has told me the true story of what she was told happen that night, but I won't be sharing that here.
I was born in 1985.

Life apparently was good for a few years. My father was working for the VA. My mother worked various jobs at the hospital: secretary, phlebotomist, etc. It was me, my sister, and brother living in a nice, beautiful house in the suburbs of Massachusetts.
Life seemed great to me! We were doing well financially.

And then my father began stealing money from the VA. Don't ask me in what ways or how because I don't know. My father was a smart man--educated! However, he had no common sense. And he believed his own lies. Like, for real.
He went to prison for this. I do not remember for how long. I was too young to recall, but I do remember one time when my brother packed up all of our stuff, threw them out the window, and we escaped. So, that cannot be good?

My Father was in and out of my life at various times. We moved to Florida in 1993. I just turned 9. My sister was in college. My brother was a freshman in high school.

It was around this age when I found out once that my mom smoked pot! I was so upset when my brother told me.
I knew she loved to drink, but not smoke! I didn't even know it was marijuana--I thought it was cigarettes. Anyway, this doesn't even matter now, but I remember looking through the window and seeing my mother, aunt, and friends smoking...and being very sad.

My mother met my future step father, Jerry, in 1994. You see, my mom's sister had been in a relationship with his brother for years and years, so they brought them together.

Jerry...oh, Jerry. He was a bit younger than my mother--7 years? He was a roofer. He smoked a lot of pot. But he worked and made a living.

Their relationship was intense. They argued all of the time. Deep down, Jerry was a nice guy--he loved us like his own. He took care of my mom--paid the bills, cooked meals, etc. But he was also a grouch!! He always came home from work pissed off, and my mother would antagonize him constantly. He always threw things (like the phone and remote), broke shit in the house. It was annoying, but commonplace.
There was always drama! Numerous DUIs, stints in jail, etc.

My mother had a hard time keeping a job. She always worked different secretarial jobs, but she would quit. She HATED TO WORK.
Her alcoholism got much worse over the years.

In 1999, mom and Jerry got married. I was 14.

During this time, I saw my father a few times. He was now living in New Hampshire and remarried. He called himself "Doctor," and told people he had a PhD. I honestly think this is a lie, but that's okay.

I got along well with my mother. She trusted me. We rarely fought or had those strange teenage angts years. She was reasonable, but still strict. I respected it, and she respected me.

You have to understand, at this point...I was the only one left in the house. My brother had a failed stint with the army, and was now working, while my sister lived her life in Massachusetts as a successful teacher.

But behind closed doors, life was not that good. My mother's drinking was out of control. I felt so alone. She thought that she was so slick by putting her beer in a tea cup every morning. I told her I knew what she was doing, and she was not smart. Eventually, she gave up pretending and began drinking immediately upon waking. She didnt even try to hide it. She would drink from sun up to sun down.
At one point, my mom and Jerry began a friendship with this younger couple who got them into pills.
I remember one day when she came into my room and asked if I had a tylenol for a headache. I completely lost it. I was probably 15 or 16. I screamed and cried and told her that she cannot take all these pills and drink at the same time. "Don't you want to be around when I get married and have kids?!!?" I was furious. She cried.
That was it.

They took pills on and off for years, and stopped for a short period of time.

During my first semester of nursing school (2006), everything got so out of control. It was October, and my mom said she had enough of Jerry. She sold her car, and managed to get my uncle to buy her a plane ticket to move to Massachusetts to live! She was incredibly selfish. She left the house in shambles. I scrambled to find homes for our cats. I hated her.

During her time up north, we tried to get her help. We were so close to getting all of her (6) brother's and sister's to agree she needed serious help. Rehab. I distinctively remember telling my Aunt, "If we don't do something, she is GOING TO DIE." My Aunt said, "NICOLE. You don't know that. Your mom is NOT going to die!!"
Really? She's not????

My mom was back to Florida by Christmas and living with Jerry in a trailer!
A trailer. Listen, I have nothing against trailer homes, but if you knew anything about my mother, she was full of pride, and would never imagine herself living in a trailer. But now? it was ok to her. This was a huge clue that she had gone off her rocker.

Life was complete SHIT. Everything was a facade. She was drinking so much. She never had a job or looked for one. Jerry gave up on that cause.

I graduated 2008.

January 5, 2009 my real father died. Apparently, he had pneumonia, a fib, etc. He died at home. I did not attend his funeral.

And then, Jerry fell about 4 stories off a roof and broke his back and shattered his foot! We weren't even sure if he'd ever walk again. After a long time in the trauma unit and then rehab, he eventually came home.

This is where the pills got out of control. They were taking very large amounts of pain pills: oxycodone. And my mother had her own prescription for xanax. MY BROTHER, TOO. Yep, my brother was doing all of this, as well.

Life was so sad. Eventually, Jerry won a $350,000 settlement from his injury and they bought a small home outright. My sister and I took bets on how quickly the money would go. She said 2 years, I believe. I said...1 year.

And I was right.

During this time, my brother moved in with them. They were taking pills, selling pills, and doing who knows what else!! I was sick. I hated visiting.
At one point, my mother was baker acted for taking too much xanax and threatening to kill herself.
Another time, after working 12 hours, I sat in the ER with her for a CT of the head after Jerry threw the granite coffee table at her head.
Another time, I received a phone call at 7 in the morning. It was my mother on two phones: one to me, and one to 911. She was talking gibberish. When I got there, they were driving her away in an ambulance. Jerry, too. they mentioned something about carbon monoxide poisoning, which immediately made me laugh. No, they are on drugs. they ran out of their pills and were completely insane. Jerry was talking gibberish for days in the hospital. Purple people eats and Harry Potter shit. He made no sense. He thought Mirza's name was Kurt...

These are just snippets of the drama that I dealt with on a day to day basis. Jail, hospital, unknown calls and feelings. Numerous times I swore I would cut off contact, but it was too hard. She was my mother. He was my step father. I LOVED MY MOM.

I knew it.

And on January 5th (yes, two years to the date that my father died) around 9pm, after Mirza and I had just finished eating tacos, I saw the missed text messages from my brother:
 "911, call me.." I immediately said to Mirza, "someone is dead..It's either my mom or Jerry. And I really hope it's Jerry."

It wasn't.
It was my mom.
Dead. At 54. OD on xanax and oxy.
In my brother's room. He tried CPR when he found her, but it was too late.

To be continued...

congrats if you made it this far.


StephTheBookworm said...

Nicole, I read the whole story and I have to say, YOU are BRAVE and strong and courageous. After dealing with all of that, you became successful, kind, and hardworking. I am so sorry for all that you went through, but what I took away most from this story is what a strong person you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

Britt said...

I made it to the end and my heart aches for you. It's part of your story but it doesn't have to define your story. You're an awesome girl, a success, and clearly a testament to your mother's love during her healthy years. I'll be thinking of you on January 5th.

Journey_On said...

It must have taken SO much courage to write this post. :( I read all of it. I hope it helps to get all your thoughts/feelings out. I am so sorry, Nicole.

Joanna Ashleigh said...

Not sure what to say, except I'll be thinking about you on Jan 5th and sending some good juju your way. x.x

Unknown said...

Wow. I came here because I heard you were running the St pete RnR and I live in St pete. Then I saw "mom died", and I've been helping my daughter's teen friend through her mom's death. So I read and read. wow. I can't imagine how this has impacted you. It made me feel lucky. Not only for having dedicated parents (who are still married 40+ yrs) but for my daughters who have a great relationship with my parents too. That I can drop my kids off at my moms for 2 weeks over summer vacation and not worry during Camp Grandma that someone will find drugs, or die from drugs, or sell my kids for drugs.
How heartwrenching for you. What strides you have made! Be proud of YOU!

Jena said...

Wow Nicole. I have no words. I honestly can't imagine what any part of that must have been like for you. You've obviously turned into an amazing woman!

Brittany said...

Oh Nicole. My heart aches for you. I'm so proud of the woman you've become-- beautiful, honest, determined, hard working! I can only related in some very small way... my mom is an alcoholic while i was in middle/high school. VERY scary taking care of her "being sick" while i was in middle school. You are amazing for having gone through all of this and have come out brave and strong on the other side! xoxo

Susan said...

I remember hearing little tidbits of your story throughout the years, but hearing it all in one spot just magnifies it all. I'm SO sorry you've had just a rough go in life, and I think you're amazing for being so strong (even if it's not all the time) and working through and being successful (nursing, running, triathlons) and happy (Mirza!). You never fail to impress me with the new things you did and the little parts of work that you can share.

Christine said...

Goodness. I barely made it through nursing school bc of the stress- I couldn't imagine having this much personal stress on top of it. I always wondered what exactly happened to your mom but though it would be rude to outright ask. I'm glad you decided to share and I hope it's helped you cope even if in a small measure.
I'm not sure how you're doing it but I hope you take care of yourself while planning for your wedding- I'm sure it's an incredibly tough thing to go through w/o parental involvement.
Gosh. I felt so sad reading this. Stay strong.

Christine said...

Goodness. I barely made it through nursing school bc of the stress- I couldn't imagine having this much personal stress on top of it. I always wondered what exactly happened to your mom but though it would be rude to outright ask. I'm glad you decided to share and I hope it's helped you cope even if in a small measure.
I'm not sure how you're doing it but I hope you take care of yourself while planning for your wedding- I'm sure it's an incredibly tough thing to go through w/o parental involvement.
Gosh. I felt so sad reading this. Stay strong.

LIza said...

Hi Nicole,

Your story resonated deeply with me. First, I give you a lot of credit for sharing your story on the blog. That takes a lot of bravery. However I also imagine it must feel somewhat therapeutic to write it out and share it.

I have been feeling sorry for myself lately. I also grew up with an alcoholic mother. Now my father has been "diagnosed" with alcoholism and bi-polar disorder. He has been unemployed for three years. My parents are about to lose their home. I am 26 and in nursing school. Though things seemed a bit more difficult for you than they were for me growing up, I do see some parallels. I have a seafoam green stethoscope though. :)

Being the child of an alcoholic is pretty crappy. I think it has caused strained relationships among my sisters and I, and we are not close, which saddens me. I always only ever wanted a "normal" family. But, it is important to remember what we do have I guess, and I think it looks like you have a great family with Mirza and your kitties. One day, you guys will be great parents and create great memories for your kids! Sorry this was such a long comment.

Candi said...

My Lord that's sad & tragic.