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Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 5 years, 9 months
My Dad
    #2814018 - 06/21/04 02:43 PM (14 years, 5 days ago)

My father is 70. He is probably going to lose his house to bankruptcy. At one point, his net worth approached 3 million dollars. He has never spoken to me about his financial fall from grace. For a time he has lived a life of denial, and I think it has eaten him up inside.

He was the only child of dirt poor depression era parents. He raised rabbits to sell for meat when they rationed meat in the second world war. He was just a boy, but he saved that money in a college fund. He served our nation in the Navy and then went on to college. He finished at the top of his class in high school and college. After college he went on to get his doctorate in chemical enginering. He was a scientist. By the end of his career he had 16 US patents to his name, and he was near the top of the corporate ladder in the Reasearch and Development department of a huge multinational corporation. He had amassed a great deal of wealth relative to his humble beginings.

After his retirement, his money manager from a prominent stock broker also retired. The man had guided my father's investments quite well. He had a conservative portfolio with blue chip stocks and bonds to balance risk. My father had to pick a new advisor. His new advisor urged my dad to change his investments. He convinced him that he was losing money by not taking advantage of what the dot com revolution was doing in the technology sector. None of the rest of the family was ever involved in these conversations. My dad was a genius, we all assumed because he made a lot of money that he knew a lot about money.

My dad eventually gave in to his new advisor. He divested himself of stable stocks and bonds and went full fledge into technology stocks, at the very height of the dot com bubble. He was already retired, and his earning years were already behind him. My mother had retired as well. They looked forward to a glorious retirment. My dad lost almost all of him money in tech stocks. He didn't even own his house. His advisor had convinced him that it was a waste of money to tie up capital in a house when you could get a better return in the market. Today, he owes more on his house that it is worth.

What followed was a period of denial. He was ashamed of having lost his fortune, and he didn't discuss it with anyone. My mom went on spending money on grandchildren like a millionare would, and taking expensive vacations. She had no clue that the world would come crashing down on her version of reality. It really compounded all the problems, and sucked up what he had left of his money.

I am the youngest of his children, and probably the most out of the loop on this issue. I think that I was the last to find out. He doesn't talk about it with anyone. He has a deep sense of shame, remorse and regret. I can only imagine the inner demons that he faces everyday. After losing his money, he became unhappy and depressed. He developed cancer, and I have helped him through the chemo. He looks like a shadow of the man he once was. People tell me that it would be impossible for personal problems and depression and stress to cause cancer, but part of me believes in my heart that he was eating himself up inside. I think that he genuinely would have rather died than face the conversations that he had been avoiding.

He doesn't want to have a conversation about his failure. That money meant a lot to him, given his humble beginings. It meant a lot to my mom, and it meant a lot to his children. I remember reading about a man in the Keating Savings and Loan scandal who took his own life. He had lost his life savings. He was retired, and he couldn't imagine living the rest of his life as a burden on society. I feel that part of my father feels that way.

That bad thing is that we never talk about it. It is a huge elephant in the room, but everyone acts like it isn't there. I love my father, but I never talk to him about the issue that pains him most. I have let him internalize that pain, and I can't let that go on anymore. He needs to know that I know, and that everything is OK. He needs to know that he is still my hero.

My mom and dad were high school sweethearts from small town middle America. They were always in love with each other. I grew up in a household of love. A household where intelligent compassionate caring people carefully molded me from the first day out of the womb. They taught me about love and gave me a moral grounding. They taught me that bigotry, racisim, and intolerance was wrong. I was naive when I was young. I thought that everybody had parents like that. Once you realize how fucked up the world is, then it really starts to hit home just how nice I had it. My parents have shaped the person that I am today. It wasn't easy either, for I was their problem child. I got kicked out of some schools and I gave them grey hair before their time. But they never gave up on me, they only showered me with more love. They made sure that I went on to college and made the best of myself. In the end, I would be nothing without them.

My problem is in how to start the conversation. I need to let him share his pain with me, and he won't want to talk about it. It is going to be very painful and emotional. He has kept this bottled up inside for so long. I don't know the best way to approach it, but I know it has to be done. I haven't talked about it with any of my friends, because I know my father wouldn't want people gossiping about how he lost all of him money. In that sense I have internalized it as well. I imagine a day when my father is dead and gone, and I think how much I will regret never trying to talk about and conquer his pain. I know I can't give him his money or his big house back, but I hope I can do something to help him out of his depression.

I see him almost everyday. He is recovering from cancer. I make sure he walks and eats so that he can get better. He knows that I love him, that isn't the question. I always thought that bringing up the issue would only hurt him. I thought that by being positive and getting his mind off thing was the best medicine. But it troubles me that I have never even confronted the issue of his pain. I don't know what the best approach is.

I love my dad. I want to make him feel better about himself. I want him to know that their is still life to live. The time here we have is so precious, and we use way to much of it to dwell on things that don't really matter.

Tastes just like chicken

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geo's henchman
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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 3,763
Loc: nowhereland
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2828097 - 06/25/04 02:48 PM (14 years, 1 day ago)

Wish I had comforting words for you. You sound like a cool person, I wish you and your father well. Maybe trying to just talk to him. Even if he doesnt talk back, he is listening, and thinking.

The DJ's took pills to stay awake and play for seven days.

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Plastic Person

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 12,976
Last seen: 13 years, 7 months
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2828214 - 06/25/04 03:32 PM (14 years, 1 day ago)

Give him a hug and tell him love, not money is what makes the world stick together. Money is not the only 'measurement' of success in life. some of the richest people I know are dirt fucking poor.

It might take a while, and a lot of hugs. But with enough support he can come to this realization.

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old hand
Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 1,196
Loc: Pinellas Co, FL
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2829533 - 06/26/04 02:26 AM (14 years, 1 day ago)

I don't think talking with him about this issue is going to help him feel better. We all have our pains and regrets and as we grow older new ones are added to the ones we already have.

I'm sure he's remorseful but what's more important to him than his family's financial status is their future. Show him that you don't need material wealth to succeed or to be happy.
That will help him more than bringing up a very embarassing subject.

Just something to think about. :smile:

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Registered: 05/18/03
Posts: 964
Loc: S.W. Virginia
Last seen: 9 years, 6 months
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2840994 - 06/29/04 08:20 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

just talk to him he may not respond but i bet he will be listening.

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 6,103
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Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2842278 - 06/30/04 03:22 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

That's a sad story dude. Such a large loss for one stupid mistake. Well, you're lucky to have a father like him, and he's lucky to have a son like you. I didn't see this post until now, but have you said something to him yet? I think that you could surely make things better with a good talk between the two of you. If you haven't talked to him yet then maybe start off the conversation by telling him something along the lines that you love him and that you're there for him no matter what happens and has happened in the past with the money situation. I'm not sure what to say, but you both sound like good people so I think it will be alright. :smile: Try to make the most of all the time you have left with him too. :heart:

Another thing, some things certainly can be psychosomatic. Maybe the cancer was one of those things ya know.

Good luck talking to him if you haven't yet. Hope things go well for you and your dad! Try and post back soon about it if you can.


The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. ~ Albert Einstein
"Fear is the great barrier to human growth." ~ Dr. Robert Monroe

~~~*Dosis sola facit venenum*~~~

*Check my profile to listen to my music* :smile:

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Just a guy.

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 124
Loc: Canadian
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2844833 - 06/30/04 09:29 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

He's probably upset about it not because of how it will affect him, but more how it will affect the people around him (wife, you and your siblings) - so those are the people you need to talk to, so that everyone can together tell him they love him no matter what. He's got cancer (dying?), so all he needs to know is that you (and siblings) will take care of your mother, and that you love him no matter what.

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altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
Loc: non-local
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2852996 - 07/03/04 02:45 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

I would suggest putting your thoughts in a handwritten letter to him rather than a verbal discussion. That way it would be less humiliating for your Dad and the ball would then be in his court if he wants to discuss it with you in person. There's just something about handwritten letters to those we love, almost always very effective. :thumbup:

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 User Gallery

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 30,059
Loc: Sandy Eggo. Ca.
Re: My Dad [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2853050 - 07/03/04 03:13 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

i agree with Jellric.

Print out your original post, it was perfect.
read it to him. theres no going wrong in that situation.
good luck man, ur an awesome dude.
/sends poitive vibrations to you & yours.

:pacman: - - - -  :pill: :mushroom2: :pill2: :mushroom2: :regularshroom: :mushroomgrow: :pill: :pill2: :mushroom2: :poison:


tiny_rabid_birds said:
"your avatar is dirty."

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