Stop, Thief! Family Stealing From Family
Sorrow, disbelief and anger contorted my husband’s face in misery. Sitting on his feet in the hallway, he frantically dug through the contents of the wooden box. My father-in-law had volunteered to store it at his house a year ago. That afternoon, we’d retrieved it. “Where is…?” Again and again, Michael clawed through the box, strewing items across the carpet.
All the expensive items were missing.
Family members stealing from each other doesn’t get talked about a lot. But it happens. Boy! How it happens!
When I asked my Facebook friends to contribute stories for this article, I was inundated with tales so sad, so warped they’ll make you want to scream. Let’s start with the only story that was vaguely humorous.
“My mom stole a bag of hand-me-downs given to me when I was 12 from a 14-year-old.
She wore them ALL even though they were way too small and she was overweight.
She picked me up from school wearing one of the skirts with both her muffin top
and butt cheeks hanging out.”
Damn! Quick! Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. Anything to erase that mental image!
What’s Mine is Mine, and What’s Yours is Mine
You and I will never understand why some people who suffer from Personality Disorders convince themselves that they have a right to our possessions and our money.
Through the years, whenever my husband would ask his father where such-and-such personal belonging had disappeared to, the answer was often the same: “Why do you need it?”. As if that matters!! Can you say “red herring”!?!
Here’s what one friend shared:
“My mom “managed” a settlement from an accident I got in at age 3. My parents sued on my behalf but I was never told about the money. My best friend told me about it when I was 19…and my mom was infuriated!!! I worked in mortgages so I sent out a verification of deposit on the account. It had over $32,000 in it. She took my money AND the accrued interest for over 15 years…She feels like ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.’ She can keep everything she stole from me, she has all my valuables and I don’t even care anymore. She can keep STUFF. It’s worth it to not have her toxicity and greed around me.”
Grooming the Kiddies
My husband’s first memory of being stolen from was when he was just seven. His father tricked him into playing, “Heads I Win. Tails You Lose.” Think about it. It’s semantics. Naturally, Michael lost his entire piggybank. With a nasty laugh, his father took every quarter Michael had found, scrounged and earned. And kept ’em. And he’s not the only “father” to do it!
A friend wrote…
“[He stole] the kids’ piggy banks and their savings bonds. [He’s] a diagnosed sociopath.”
Unfortunately, this was just the first theft. Time and time again, any possession his father invited him to leave in his “safe-keeping” disappeared. Even when Michael was serving his country in the military, he came home to find his car had been sold. And no! He didn’t see a dime from the proceeds.
That is beneath contempt.
You could say my husband was “groomed” to be stolen from time and again by family members, “friends” and strangers. “It’s like I’m a shit magnet,” he says. “You’re the only who hasn’t stolen from me, Lenora.”
Stealing From Your Spouse!?!
Why the hell would anyone steal from their own spouse!?! I just don’t get it. But it’s happened to many of my friends.
[My husband] used to deposit my work checks and steal money from every one of them.
He would also write checks to himself to steal money from our accounts…
He drained the kids’ college funds and even their $500 bank acounts.
He cashed out our 401k and had a $10000.00 penalty
which he covered up by forging my name on our tax documents.
I also had a bank account for my tax money which he drained.
All in all he stole about $100k. And spent it all on prostitutes.
He was always in charge of the money because he was a financial advisor
and I completely trusted him.
Like the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, some people with Personality Disorders have very sticky fingers.
“My ex…stole our heirloom gold wedding rings( my great-grandparents circa 1902). He knew how close I was to my grandmother & so he took them from my hiding place & sold them to a gold place.
“Mine stole my dog, ten gold coins, sentimental things, one shoe, all my belts and every coat-hanger.“
Uh-oh. Did you hear that, Joan Crawford? Let’s hope they weren’t wire coat-hangers!
Pawnbrokers Best Friend
Many of my friends shared how their personal belongings wound up on eBay or the local pawn shop. It’s a very familiar tale. Many of my husband’s belongings were stolen by an old roommate, probably winding up at the local pawn shop. And the cash? Well, it was speedily converted into a bottle of Jack Daniels. And that didn’t last long.
“I moved back in with my Narcissistic Mother while I went to technical school.
I came home one day to find her selling several of my possessions.
I was in such shock…. Naturally I didn’t see a cent of the money she received.”
Mom stole my piano and saxophone from me and sold it behind my back,
never did receive the money for it.
She sold them while I was running from my ex-narc
It was an old family heirloom that had belonged to my husband’s beloved grandfather. Grandpa had specifically stated Michael was to have it. But no! No, my husband’s father decided to skip his own son and give it to a grandson for whom it had no sentimental value. That night, I held my husband for hours while he grieved, shaking his head in disbelief.
My mum has taken things of mine over the years and given them to my sister and her family.
Alas, I gotta’ stop. But there’s much more to share. Because people like this don’t just steal money and tangible items. No! They also steal our personalities, our joy, our friendships, our relationships and our innocence. Sometimes, they even steal our children. And they have a way of manipulating, warping and twisting Last Wills and Testaments that’d put a con artist to shame. Beautiful! There are many more real-life stories coming in future articles.
Thompson, L. (2016). Stop, Thief! Family Stealing From Family. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/narcissism/2016/11/stop-thief-family-stealing-from-family/