Note: This post contains mentions of domestic and family abuse, drug use, and suicide.
"More money, more problems" was all I could think about when many on the internet agreed that the recent winner of the $2 billion Powerball jackpot should stay anonymous. It's known that excess money comes with excess problems, and that's just the tip of the iceberg, as I learned when I wrote about wealthy folks confessing their "rich people problems."
And even more rich people, or those associated with them, came forward to add their own woes that came with wealth:
1. "My wife and I are fortunate to be comfortable financially. One of my closest long-time friends is struggling financially. I feel like I need to be careful about discussing financial issues, so I never talk about my financial situation with her. One time after lunch, we went to a shoe store. She just browsed while I ended up buying two pairs of shoes and a couple of other items. They were moderately expensive, though certainly not outlandish. As we walked out of the store, she said something like, 'Boy, I wish I could afford to splurge on shoes like that.' She didn’t say it in a hateful way, but the problem I had was how do I even respond to a comment like that?"
2. "Family expects you to pay for everything when you're rich. In my experience, even your own family will take sides with the wealthier partner of the couple if things go south. Money destroys families. It destroyed mine."
3. "I was raised in a wealthy family and grew up in an abusive home. Police and social services flat out refused to investigate, either because they were scared of my family’s money, or because they just couldn’t believe that rich, successful, highly educated people could be abusers."
"So, yes, there are genuine downsides."
4. "I went to high school with so many rich kids, and now work with some wealthy clients. I've had outrageously affluent women who never worked a day in their life break down in sessions about potentially losing their partners due to dementia, and not having a clue as to how to manage that size of finances on their own. I've had rich friends whose parents cheated on each other, in front of them."
5. "I worked for a tax lawyer who represented rich people. It is so much work managing the amount of money they have. I'm in awe of the amount a rich person can spend on a lawyer every month ($40,000 is not a problem) just to move their money from business to business so they don't have to pay taxes. It costs thousands of dollars to have their taxes done. I guess the multimillion dollar refund checks are worth it."
6. "One of the doctors I work with had his son die at 22 years old. It was horrible, and he was destroyed. Decent people were heartbroken for him, though some cruel people implied he was rich and it was about time he had something bad happen. He is a doctor that works 60-hour weeks and literally saves lives, but because he has money, he isn't allowed to be upset his son died? Yes, many rich peoples' problems are nonsense, but it is hard to rarely be able to trust people. It just doesn't sit right with me to diminish someone's loss."
7. "If you're generous, I've found that people eventually expect you to pay for things. A couple of years ago, I had a close friend who was going through a divorce and in need of some financial help. I took her to the grocery store and bought her a couple of hundred dollars worth of food so she and her son could eat. I gave her $1,500 for a deposit on an apartment and paid another $1,500 for her first month’s rent as well. A couple of days later, she called and asked if I could loan her another couple of thousand dollars — I gave her $3,000 in cash and told her not to worry about it. Later in the month, she complained about having debt she needed to pay off. When I didn’t volunteer to pay it off for her, she got mad at me and told me off. She basically cut off communications with me after that. I didn’t mind helping her initially, but our last interaction felt like she was just treating me like a cash machine."
8. "I’ve worked with a lot of wealthy people as a ghostwriter. Several of my clients died by suicide. They were overcome with stress, guilt, pressure, and a lack of basic human contact. Most people strive for wealth and think they have more of a right to it than those who do have it. That takes a toll. I grew up poor in a wealthy area and have seen firsthand how isolating wealth can be. I've seen how trying to give it up meant alienating family when they already had no friends because no one in their life actually cared about them. On top of that, their family was pissed at them for 'acting too good for them' and giving the money away."
9. "I used to work in a domestic violence shelter. We had so many women from wealthier homes who needed help escaping because the other spouse had all the money, and although everyone thought they had access to it, they didn’t. They didn’t even have enough for a cab ride out of there. If they tried to call the cops on their abusers, nine times out of 10, the cops apologized to the abuser and left. None of their 'friends' would help them because they didn’t want to lose status or risk getting sued. One told me how her staff was paid extra to make sure she didn’t leave without their abusers knowing about it. I remember one client told me her abuser would threaten to 'send her on a cruise around the world' and that it would take years for anyone to wonder what happened to her. It was shocking."
10. "My dad worked very hard to be where he is today, and our financial situation is much better than how my parents' were when they were growing up. He made a lot of money with the hope that he can donate a lot to charity, but now, he just sees whatever money he hoped to give to orphanages, schools, etc., be taken out as income tax interest. Since I still am in school and my sister is in college, he can't really give much money to places he is passionate about. He has a tremendous amount of guilt about it, and it's very valid."
"He still does what he can, like teaching underprivileged kids for free and other volunteering, but it isn't enough to quench his desire to be more charitable."
11. "Fair weather friends, literally. My family had a beach house, and people would make a big deal about coming to our home for the weekend. Then, if it starts to rain, they pack up. Take what you want with the metaphor."
12. "No one outside my house would help because I was in a rich family. And my home life was so bad. If I went to school counselors to try to get help, they didn’t call the authorities. They called my parents. I was referred and returned back to my abusers again and again. People just thought I was a spoiled pest. I wasn’t. I needed help."
"People assume your life must be just peachy if you have money, the kids included. That wasn't true for me. I walked away from it all with not even a cent.
It all took a toll on me. I ended up poor, though worked my way back to 'comfortable.'"
13. "My family was rich. I wasn’t. My parents grew up poor and became wealthy with only a high school education. The pressure to do the same was immense. Their famous line was, 'Just because I can afford it, doesn’t mean you’re getting it.' My father refused to pay for my education. I worked three jobs to pay for school because I couldn’t qualify for student loans, and definitely not financial aid. They expected so much out of me, and were more tyrants than parents."
14. "So many people like to say, 'Rich people problems aren't real problems' and even call themselves mental health advocates, then go on to totally dismiss wealthy people's very valid problems just because of their net worth. Issues with isolation, self-worth, and not being able to form honest connections because people are using you are very real."
If you're close with any wealthy folks, what are some of their "rich people problems" that they bring up? And if you're rich, what's an issue in your own life you feel isn't taken seriously? Let us know in the comments (or through this anonymous Google form if you wish to be discreet).
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.