Sunday, November 10, 2013

low self-esteem/fear


I had come back to Amarillo after I finished High School. Most all of my old high school friends had gone off to college and both of my parents had remarried. My mother's new husband had moved into the house where I'd spent my childhood, along with his daughter and son. My little brother Tom was still living there when I dropped by. My room was now very much Van's room. All of my things were gone. The clothing and other crap I did not care about, but it was a small trunk I was looking for, a trunk in which I had placed all the things near and dear to me. I had put them in the trunk so I could lock them up, for safety. I would never see the trunk again.

A few days later I rode the Greyhound bus from Amarillo to Oklahoma City to visit my sister Pam, her husband Ken and their new baby. I'd not seen them since their wedding a few years prior. I would visit Pam and Ken regularly for the next several years, always traveling to Oklahoma, usually by bus. Each time they had a new baby I would go see them.

Pam's husband Ken sold ad space in the Yellow Pages. Ken had been working at this job since their marriage. Ken was a natural salesman; he loved talking to people about their lives and their businesses. He was very good at what he did. He was the top salesman for several years running. The last time I visited Pam's family, they had moved from their small apartment into a new big home in Nichols Hills. Pam and Ken now had 3 beautiful girls.

It was none of my business when my father told me that Ken was trying to raise $150,000 for a new business. Ken's plan was to raise enough money to print a publication that would rival Yellow Pages, hoping to put them out of business with his superior advertising salesmanship. I thought he had a chance of being successful. My father, on the other hand thought Ken was completely nuts. He said Ken had no chance of competing with such a well established publication as Yellow Pages. Deep down I suspected my father only wanted Ken to fail.

It had been several months since I'd heard anything about Ken's business plan when my father laid his "plan" on me. He said Pam had $80,000 in her trust fund and that he was going to sign off on Pam lending Ken the $80,000. He then said that Ken needed at least the $150,000 to get the venture off the ground, but that he knew Ken would try to do it with the $80,000 only. I was horrified at what he told me next, "Ken's business will fail and he will not be able to pay Pam back, Ken will go broke and they will then get a divorce."

I couldn't believe what I had just heard. Why did he want Ken to fail? Why did he want to bust up Pam's new, thriving family with 3 beautiful little girls, his grandchildren?

Pam and Ken's new home was foreclosed on in April of 1988. Pam and Ken were both forced to file personal bankruptcy soon thereafter. They had been married for almost 16 years when they were divorced in 1989. Pam's 3 girls were 12, 9 and 6 years old.


  1. Did you ever find out why he wanted him to fail? why he wanted is daughter to fail in life? I understand the competitive spirit as I own a company that's been in business for a long time and you really want your competitors to crumble. I also have 4 children and I couldn't be happier when my son breaks my High School rushing record or my daughter gets straight A's. It defies logic how a man could turn his back on the only piece of life that actually matters.
    Mike, I feel sorry for how you were raised and I am sure you have spent many hours in therapy and I am sure your father makes light of the therapy and he also says he had nothing to do with anything. He writes it off as "thats the way my father was" . It's a load of crap, he wasn't a good father simply because he didn't want to be a good father. It has nothing to do with you or your sister. He just didn't want to be bothered. So hopefully you have come to that conclusion and are at piece with it.

    When I read today that your father was trying to get this blog shut down I knew I had to read it. He doesn't want all of us to know who he really is, he's embarrassed. I think that must be some justice for you.

    Please keep venting......

  2. Find out why ? No, but what I have found out is we cannot make sense out of nonsense. He's just very sick and very dishonest - you'd have to inject him with sodium pentothal to discover any truths, if they exist.
    As another reader commented regarding narcissist parents recently, family has only been valued in "how we could make him look" - we have no other value, no individuality, other than that of being his offspring, and for that we have all paid dearly.
    He's been married and divorced 4 times - 4 ex-wives, numerous children, step-children/grandchildren - you cannot begin to imagine the wreckage, the ex's now gagged by payoffs/legal agreements, with the others keeping their mouths shut while kissing ass, waiting for the day the will is read, hoping to recoup something, anything, to be made whole, to fill a pit of loss no amount of money could ever fill. So very sad & certainly impossible for me to stomach, sober and healthy, living and loving a life of truth and integrity today.

  3. It makes sense to me. IF you father is as you say, then he wants to be superior than his children - in all aspects. He would rather see your sister's marriage fail because he can't succeed in marriage.

    But, he was right. Your ex-brother in law didn't have a good business plan. Yea, great salesman, but that doesn't make a great company by itself. And I suspect that your sister didn't tell you all the reasons she got divorced after 16 years. Money isn't the only reason people get divorced.

    I have found that even crazy people, at times, have bouts of sanity.