I am a former White Collar Wife writing about my experience of recovery.

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     I began blogging on the subject of white collar wives after experiencing the devastating consequences of my, (former), husband's financial crime.  My goal was to reach other women who are suffering or have suffered as I did so that they wouldn't have to walk this dark and uncertain path alone. The blog also serves to educate the public regarding the stigma wives and families face as a result of guilt by association.  The truth is that wives and children are the FIRST victims of many white collar crimes as a result of the acute breach of trust and ensuing financial ruin that is brought upon them by a man whose primary obligation is to protect his family.  As a result of the positive response to my blog essays I created a private on-line support group, The Secret Lives of White Collar Wives.  The purpose of the group is to provide a safe and private place of acceptance and empowerment. Our community continues to grow both nationally as well as internationally.  Please contact me at lawlerlisa1@gmail.com for a private screening into the group. (A request made directly to the group page will not be accepted). 

     In addition to my advocacy work on behalf of white collar wives and families I have developed a lecture on ethics in the workplace. I urge all who are serious about compliance and risk to contact me for a compelling hour of "Truth and Consequences: Easy Money Isn't Easy" from a new voice with a new perspective on enforcement. Humans are vulnerable to many temptations and too often fail to consider the dire consequences one bad decision can have on their and their families lives. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

An Open Letter to White Collar Criminals

When is Enough, Enough?

     Did you start out small, testing the waters to see if anyone would notice? Of course you did. It was easy except for that tinge of guilt you felt in passing. But that first taste of easy money got you hungry for more didn't it? With each transaction you felt the rush of panic and euphoria swirling together and it was good stuff. And it was worth it wasn't it?  Before you knew it, easy money was everywhere. You had figured out how to make it work. And why stop? You work hard and you've found a way to be compensated for it. You're getting the job done and that's what really matters. The C-Suite couldn't be happier with you.  They think you're superman! And besides, everybody's doing it. Right? So, when did it become business as usual for you? And I'm genuinely curious to know what was/is your favorite rationalization for performing in such an egregious manner? Maybe you needed to bump up your cash flow for your own business to make it to the next quarter and to save your employees from losing their jobs.  You gotta do what you gotta do, right? But what about all the other folks who may lose their jobs because you've taken advantage of someone else? I know, it's either them or you and it's not going to be you that goes under. Not if you can help it. I get it. And what about those bribes that come so easily in far away lands? Bringing home a hefty bonus sure would make the wife and kids proud.  Who'd ever find out about that? It's so easy that it hardly registers on your moral compass.  But don't worry. One more deal and you can toss that compass out the window. Who needs it anyway. You're doing just fine. And maybe that fool proof ponzi scheme you've got going won't ever fall apart.  Yeah...maybe. Those folks have enough money and you deserve to get yours. Right? And what about that god awful wife of yours who thinks she deserves more than what your salary can afford her. Buddy, not for nothing but I'd say it's time to get a new wife.  Have you been feeling some hefty mood swings lately? Maybe you're bipolar. That seems to be a leading cause of white collar crime. You might want to get that checked out. But you're so fabulous being you up there on your white horse that there's no way you could be mentally ill. Could you?? Has a loved one approached you about this? If they have you ought to take notice and seek help immediately. I'm just saying. Mental illness is a serious matter. 


     And so what I really want to know is exactly what is enough? Heck I know it's none of my business but it's just between you and me here. Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses or trying to keep up with the Rockerfellers? If it's the latter then I wish you all the best and you should probably step up your game because that's some serious cash you're reaching for and well...you should probably know that you'll likely never get Rockerfeller rich my dear. But gosh, nothing ventured nothing gained.  Can you imagine having "all the money in the world?" How fab would that be? And wouldn't you be the man then? I mean you could buy pretty much whatever you wanted. Wow! I'm getting giddy just thinking about all that stuff. I'm sure you are too. I wonder what your next purchase will be. A bigger boat? A second beach home right down there on the water this time? A bigger ski house to wine and dine all those friends you're trying to impress with your fake life? So impressive!!  Or will it be something really boring like giving to a charity in dire need. Or maybe a big chunk of change to a homeless family.  I tell ya, there are plenty of white collar wives and families like me out there who could really use a hot meal on the table once a week if you could swing it. Or maybe an hour of counseling a week for a young boy whose father is incarcerated for embezzlement. You see his dad was sent to prison for ten years so he's really upset about that. It makes him sad when he sees other boys with their dads doing stuff. He won't ever have that. Not because his father died but because his father chose to throw him under the bus. His father's greed ruined his family and he doesn't know how to get his mom to stop crying and stop worrying about where they're going to live next week and how they're going to eat. This poor kid shutters at the thought of being asked what his dad does or why he doesn't have a dad.  And he needs his teeth fixed because his mom can't find a job to pay for the painful holes in his mouth. Maybe you could help out a family like this? You know what they say about karma dont'cha? These are only suggestions so by all means pass them by if it's too tough to take. Go with the boat idea. That's probably better than that sad, depressing stuff. You steal, er....I mean work too hard to have to deal with any of that. 


      But really, the best thing you could do, and I mean right now, is to go take a look in the mirror and take a really hard look at yourself.  Look past what you think you see and REALLY take a look at yourself. Do you see you? Are you even there anymore? Now step away from the mirror and take a moment to think about yourself. I don't mean that fabulous self but rather the core of who you are. I'm asking you to take off your mask and peel it all the way back.  Who do you see? Take a good long look.  Can you see you now? If you can't then I pity you for the crash you are heading for.  But if you're one of the lucky ones, I want you to get down on your knees and pray to whatever god or entity that you identify with and ask for forgiveness.  Pray that you never do another illicit deal as long as you live.  You can stop now. Just stop. Stop. Your life is a sham. It's not real. It's not real.  YOU'RE not real!!  You have placed yourself and your family in a very, very dangerous position.  If you are caught you will lose everything and your family will be destitute. The career you have built, the colleagues who respect you and whom you respect will all go away. Forever. Your family may go away. You WILL go away.  Possibly for a very, very, very long time.  You will be poor and alone and ashamed for the rest of your life. I can promise you this.  


You really do have a choice to stop the madness.  There is no justification or rationalization that can ever be made that is worth throwing your family away for a blessed buck.  Stop trying to fill that gaping hole inside of you with things, money, people.  Fill it instead with healthy self love and family. Click those expensive shoes of yours and return from the Land Of Oz because there really is no place like home. End the sham now while you still can. And may god forgive you.