He’s been cheating my mom for more than a decade.
My mom may be bitter and defensive at times, but at the core of all the hurt, she’s still naive.
She started doing “business” with him because our family was pretty wealthy by then, and he was unemployed. Mom wanted to help him get back on his feet. She set up a business solely in order to hire him and teach him how to do business. He was to do all the managerial things in place of her. It was a way of providing him with a living without just handing him the money. He was a high-earning salaryman, working at the top of a high-earning enterprise that he otherwise wasn’t nearly qualified enough to work at. I don’t even know if he went to college, though he probably did.
Time goes by, and bit by bit, he realizes how much power he has over everything. He convinces mom to sign the company over to him, since he’s doing all the work and it’s cumbersome to get her approval every time he needs to do something. Mom doesn’t suspect a thing.
Mom completely trusts him, so he doesn’t even need to report anything to her. He doesn’t want her to check, and she doesn’t. He pays for his every meal with the company money, and his cell phone bill, his rent, his car, his wife’s designer bags…
More time goes by, and he doesn’t even feel ashamed of it anymore. He has every right to all of it. Mom begins to suspect him, and eventually sees enough of the truth to speak up about it. She does, and he finds a way around it. A few more times. Years keep passing, and many more times. He claims that he hasn’t done anything out of line. He doesn’t back off, he doesn’t stop misusing the company fund, he doesn’t stop taking from mom’s profits, and he doesn’t stop lying about where the money is going.
Now, he wants more. Now, he’s outright taken from mom’s bank account. It’s in the company’s name, which isn’t much different from being in his name. He’s blocked mom’s access to the account because according to him, it’s not hers anyways. Mom almost fainted when she found out. We went together to check with the bank, and she didn’t know how to react. It was overwhelming, as it should be – not that she had lost so much money, but that her brother was capable of something so plainly evil.
We went to confront him today. Mom’s confrontations with him hadn’t changed anything in the past, and if so, it’s only made him more jaded. He didn’t even bother to make an excuse or find a leeway this time. Mom asked me to come with her for moral support for the first time. I played over scenarios in my head where I’d have to protect my mom from a physical outburst. If he even dared to lay one finger on her, I’d jump him.
In the end, as it turns out, he’s not as direct and passionate as I. When someone messes with me or especially those around me, I think about a heated verbal confrontation and how I might act if it should turn into a physical one. He thinks about how he can get out of it, deny it, victimize himself, and manipulate it. He and his wife pretended to have a fight when we arrived so that as we’re waiting, we’d feel uncomfortable and leave. When mom finally got him to come out and face her, he kept on yelling, “What? What did I do? What did I do wrong that’s making you do this to me?” and, “What was so urgent and so terribly bad that you had to find me at my home? This is my home. Get out of my home.” It was outrageous. At one point, he claimed that the only reason he wasn’t beating her up was because she was a sister, not a brother. I wanted to strangle him. At another, he acted like he was so upset that he was going to cry.
I don’t know. Mom doesn’t care about the money so much, but she wants to end this once and for all. She wants to clean up the mess and be done with it.
I wish there was something I could do. I just wish he’d stop for one moment and look at his sly, dirtied self. I wish he’d stop being so greedy. Why can’t he get himself a job independently and work his ass off like an honest citizen if he wants the money so much? He has enough skills and experience now to provide for himself entirely. Why does he have to take from someone? Why his doe-eyed, soft-hearted sister who only ever tried to help him?
My extended family is so hopelessly corrupt and so inexplicably selfish.
I don’t understand how such level of betrayal can be achieved without so much as losing sleep.
Are you human? Do you feel?