Dad had made lots of money by being very smart in real estate investments and in several retail businesses he owned. He left plenty of money for mom and so she would never have to work or worry about surviving. My two older brothers, my mom, and myself were all left percentages of his estate, my mom and I splitting a third and the brothers each getting a third. My assets went into a trust fund frozen until I was 21. My age to get the trust assets should have been 62 and I would not be broke now.
The successful family businesses daddy left became even more successful after he died only because of the presence of one of my brilliant, charismatic brother. He was a genius businessman and turned dads businesses into an empire.
I was the benefactor of mom making me into a world class spoiled brat from birth.. She never said no to any of my continual requests for money or material objects through my teens.. As time went on the businesses made more and more money for the family empire which had been blessed with several children by the five year anniversary of my dads death. My trust fund was being managed by my brother. He had also acted as a second father since my dads passing.
I had been gambling compulsively since I was 10 years old. I drained my unaware mom of a fortune to cover my losses and keep myself in action .She had no idea her money was going for gambling. I just came up with one story after another for years. She believed whatever story I told her never even dreaming about gambling as the cause of my incessant need for money. It was never big gambling through my teens.
Things changed when I was twenty one and got real money to play with.
My trust fund had been handled brilliantly by my brainy brother Ed.. I had heard that my assets were going up and up. My life became all about waiting to be twenty one. I had almost not graduated high school and got thrown out of three colleges. I gambled and played golf instead of studying. I was controlled only by gambling.
My twenty first birthday finally came. I could not believe it when brother Ed sat me down and told me I was a millionaire. Ed said I had over 2 million in assets in my trust account. It was all mine.. I was delirious.
I received stock, cd,s, money market funds, real estate and other assets. Ed was so proud to sit with me and plan out what I was going to do with all the money I had inherited. He reminded me to do the right thing and handle my fortune wisely so I could make my fortune increasingly larger. I listened to him explain what he thought I should do to protect the assets. He, like others, thought I was a normal person.
He said I was welcome to step into any part of any of the businesses I was interested in and take my place. I said I was going on vacation for a week or so. He hugged me and told me to have a good time. With my heart beating and airline tickets purchased I was in the airport the next day waiting to go to Las Vegas.
No one except my couple closest friends knew I was a compulsive gambler who had been losing every dime my mom gave me since I was ten years old. I had thrown all the money she gave me in the gambling sewer.. I lost larger and larger amounts.
I put $100,000 on deposit at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas. I thought was loaded for life. I believed I had a blackjack system that could not lose if only it could be funded adequately. Now it was.
I did not even know what a compulsive gambler was. I never heard the term until years later. I never would have believed back then that I had no chance to keep all that money for very long. I had no control.
I went wild gambling. I lost the $100.00.000 dollars in two days of insane, non-stop gambling. I blew the whole two million dollars in less then two years. It was easy to do. Plus, I owed another two hundred thousand dollars to juice men, bookmakers, friends, relatives and Las Vegas hotels. I was out of control. I could not bet enough. I lost more and more desperate to win back my losses.
I also got drafted at twenty two. I only had about a million dollars left. I had not stopped losing since I got the inheritance. I was the worlds worst gambler and had blown away a million dollars in a year..
I found myself sitting outside the psychiatrists office at the draft induction center.
I was a natural con man and with keen insight that I had been gifted with somehow. I could always read people.
I was as good an actor as Jack Nicholson when I mumbled to the induction shrink how people had always picked on me and I knew they would do it again in the military. Dr whoever it was decided I was unfit for military service. I came off to him like one of those unfit problem people but not a psycho. Out the door I went free as a bird..
I do not know how I found the right voice to persuade him to reject me. It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life I was a perfect one take undesirable. I had only asked a few family friends who were shrinks for suggestions on how to beat the military shrink and they told me to try and come off a certain way but said it would be almost impossible.
I danced down the street from the induction with my rejection certificate .I celebrated my permanent rejection from the military and took all my buddies out for dinner continually re-enacting the way I had spoken like a mentally troubled person. to the induction shrink.
So, I ran around for another year with my group of pool room degenerate friends who were all full time gamblers on horses, poker , gin rummy. Some were thieves, burglars, and other assorted deviants. I gambled every day almost around the clock.
I still lived at home but rarely talked to my mom. We were on very different schedules. i was out all night and she was out doing good charity work all day.
She could only watch me always falling asleep in the chair when I occasionally sat down with her. She would say "bum, when are you going to work"? That meant go work at one of the family businesses. She never even asked how much money from my inheritance I had left. She never dreamed I had gambled a million dollars away. She did not ever think anyone in our family needed money. She did not speak of money because it was never an issue.
Meanwhile,I kept betting more and more. Eventually I lost the million and got badly in hock to bookmakers and loan sharks. I humbly walked in to the office and asked my smart brother for a job. I confessed everything to him. He never looked up. I cried that bad guys were looking for me for money I owed. He told me to call them and have them see him., He settled my debts. then, he punched me in the face over and over beating me bloody. He was horrified i had gambled away all my money.
When he stopped we talked. He said he loved me and knew my gambling was over. He said he had heard of a place called Gamblers Anonymous and he said he would go there with me. He did. that was in 1975. He took me out for dinner after this meting with all these pathetic, broken down people. Then, he said he was sure I had leaned my lesson for life. He gave me a good job and and generous salary and reminded me I was on 23 so i would be fine.
I lasted about 3 days and I was gambling again. I loved gambling more then life. I concealed my disease from him and he still does not know that I never changed. I got another big chunk of family money about twenty years later and gambled that sizable amount away also.. One day, when I was about 61 all the cash was gone. I had wasted most of my life gambling. So, I quit. I went back to Gamblers Anonymous and have not made a bet of any kind in 9 years.
It was one of the only smart moves I ever made.