People would tell you I am a strong, confident woman who doesn’t scare easily. I have been financially independent since the age of sixteen, paid my way through college, navigated an illustrious career in magazine publishing, have a 401K, a sizeable pension, have been happily married to the same man for 35 years, and have two capable adult children. In short, I’m smart, responsible and no wilting flower.
I have a slightly older brother (one of two) who has always treated me disrespectfully. I barely ever see or communicate with him except for family gatherings. However, our mother died almost a year ago and we need to settle her small estate. In essence, we have been forced into an on-going relationship until the matter is settled. And it has been terrifying to deal with him.
His dominating personality can be quite overwhelming and he has always tried to control me with his quick anger since we were young.
Our worlds couldn’t be further apart, nor the values we hold dear. He is the ultimate Wall Street one percenter and his lifestyle is a true cliche. In his late fifties he left his first wife and two teenage children (who he neither sees or talks to) for a much younger woman and proceeded to have two more children. He is one of those guys you see at the playground and wonder, “is he the father or the grandfather?”
He lives in Manhattan on Park Avenue in a huge apartment, summers at his house in East Hampton and in Capri, Italy, has a condo in Aspen, and spends New Years in St. Barths. It’s the playbook a lot of one percenters ascribe to.
I call him a millionaire, but he could very well be a billionaire. Either way, all of his financial success makes him an impossible human being to talk to. He is self-righteous, brags about his gobs of money, and constantly says it’s too bad that my husband and I didn’t make it according to his standards.
It’s such a funny dynamic to me because I have more than I ever dreamed of. I view my success based on being in a happy marriage and having a tight nuclear family. Financially, we are secure and still have more than most; just not compared to a one percenter.
I give credit where it’s due because he is a completely self made man. Not a very good student, he was able to hit his stride on Wall Street because he always had an innate knack for making a buck.
However, none of these accomplishments entitle him to treat people so poorly. We have been trying to settle the estate for almost 12 months and he consistently lies, misleads, and subverts the process. And when I catch him and repeat the last conversation we had, he goes into a rage and says outrageous and antagonistic things I can’t repeat here.
For someone supposedly “successful” why is he filled with so much anger? I don’t think he is used to having his word challenged — especially not by a woman. He calls me “hysterical” each time I catch him in another lie. Hysteria has historically been a word used by misogynists to keep women down. Like most power-hungry Wall Streeters, there’s no doubt he is a sexist.
Instead of giving in and giving up, I hired an attorney and will continue to fight for what is rightfully mine. I don’t even care about the money -it’s not going to change my lifestyle, but I just can’t let his bullying tactics succeed.
He is now the President and CEO of a publicly-traded company (Ayr Wellness, Inc.). As a public figure beholden to his stockholders, you would think he could keep his behavior in check. But it just goes to show how out of control he really is and maybe, just maybe, his millions aren’t buying him the happiness he had hoped.
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