How I Lost 5 Million Dollars
April 5, 2012
- I bought 5 of my closest friends million dollar homes.
- I bought 2 Bugatti Veyron Super Sports.
- I bought myself a five million dollar mega-mansion. In Hawaii.
- I travelled around the world, in style. 50 times.
- I donated five million dollars to my favorite charities and organizations.
- I paid off my mortgage and set aside money for my daughters’ education and future. I also bought some investment property to provide income and equity. Then hubby and I finally went on our honeymoon. After that I spent it on a family trip to Disneyland. The rest of the money I put in our bank account while I figured out what to invest in.
Out of those six choices, what would you do?
What did I do?
None of them.
I actually let my aunt and uncle decide what would happen with my inheritance so that they would love me and I could continue to be part of their family. Unfortunately they decided to dump the majority of it into a risky agriculture investment so that I wouldn’t have access to the cash.
Eventually the investment failed and the property was sold in foreclosure proceedings. There was a shortfall. And because my aunt and uncle didn’t want to own up to their responsibility – they felt they should only pay half, we finally bumped them up to paying two-thirds — hubby and I had to remortgage our house.
When I think about all of the things that I could have done with the money, #6 hurts me the most. I never had big plans, you see. Growing up , my mom and I didn’t have much. We didn’t own a home, she barely owned a junker of a vehicle and my aspirations for my future had nothing to do with spending big. I wanted to go to Disneyland (cause I’d never been), I wanted to go to Hawaii (because my Mom loved it there) and I wanted my own house (because I’d never had one).
Of course those things can still happen and that is what I will focus on, but people like my aunt and uncle, who start out with good intentions perhaps, but end up exchanging their morals for money — they need to be held accountable.
They need to know, that it was never about money. It has nothing to do with whether I shared it with them or not. It was never about me wanting it all or being greedy — as they often said. What this is really about is their responsibility in our relationship. A relationship of child and parent that should be one of trust, honesty and mutual love.
I was a child when my mother died.
I was a child and they became my guardians. Maybe not out of love, but out of a sense of duty and perhaps also a little bit of greed.
When they sold my grandma’s house, the house my mom and I lived in, what was the rush? My mother had only been dead for a month when the for sale sign went up. It was sold a few months later and that was the reason I couldn’t pack up my room until moving day. I had barely wrapped my head around not having a mother and now I was moving?
When you use the money from the sale of that house to pay off your mortgage, that’s not okay.
Never sitting down with me to say what they felt was owed to them (because of a legal battle to get my inheritance – a story for another time) is not okay.
Telling my husband and I that we shouldn’t buy a house just so they could keep us close and under their control is not okay.
By not telling me I should plan and save for my future, my kids future, is not being good parents. It’s not even being good human beings!
Putting the majority of the money into a farm they knew nothing of owning and operating and not telling me to make sure I have enough set aside to buy a house for my little family, IS. NOT. OKAY.
And when the going got tough and I had no more money for them to take, being conveniently “too busy” to call or spend time with my children, IS. NOT. OKAY.
When the going got really tough, and it was time to step up to their responsibility, telling me you don’t have money and building a brand new house that spared no expense IS. NOT. OKAY.
Finally, for convincing your children who had nothing to do with what happened that I was greedy and absolutely wrong — that…now that, was low. Even for you.
It is because of a couple of my dear friends that I’m writing this. I want them to know that when you experience betrayal by the people you love, and over something so superficial and meaningless as money, it does hurt, but you will get through this. You need to know that you don’t get over something like this overnight. It takes time. At times, it’s a very hard pill to swallow.
Many nights I wallowed in self-pity and regret — especially when we almost lost our home. But we got through it and so will you. Money doesn’t buy you happiness and I’m proof of this because I’ve never been happier. I know for a fact that there is a silver lining to every cloud. You must find yours.
To all the people out there like my friends and I — who believe that money is not more important than people — keep believing that and follow your heart. At the same time, learn from me — being responsible with your money is not the same as being greedy about your money. I was confused about the two for a long time. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, take another closer look at that person. Chances are they have something to gain from you believing that load of shit.
Have you ever experienced a similar betrayal? What did you do? Was there a lesson to be learned? Share your thoughts/comments if you’re so inclined!