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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Recovery for the Children of wealth who often begin life with prescribed identities and a sense of social and financial superiority
Author: Fraser Trevor
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It is no social secret that having wealth can provide one with status and power.  It also opens the door to acquiring education and polish. ...

It is no social secret that having wealth can provide one with status and power.  It also opens the door to acquiring education and polish.  If a wealthy person also develops and maintains healthy moral and personal values, he or she will generally have a strong enough inner world to sustain his/her core needs for belonging, self esteem, contribution and love. In this case, wealth can be a great blessing. But, when wealth subsumes the self and substitutes for what we need on a deep, human level; it can become a Faustian bargain.

Children of wealth often begin life with prescribed identities and a sense of social and financial superiority; they can be easy targets for jealousy and are often seen as a success by their peers simply for being born where they are born.  This can make it difficult for them to form a personal identity. The world that their family likely inhabits comes with an already established set of rules and expectations that the child of wealth is tacitly expected to buy into. Also, having too much of everything can undermine their personal dreams as well.  They may reason that they do not deserve more and have no right to extended personal success.  They may give up their dreams before they get a chance to even formulate them in their minds. 

Who are they to want anything when they already have so much? On the other side, why should they go through the tedious and frustrating experience of being on the bottom when they’re already at the top?  But, it is often just this experience of mastering the many small challenges that are part of climbing the ladder of success that builds confidence and self esteem. However, while climbing that ladder, the child of wealth encounters the same fears of failure that any person trying to succeed does, though in their case, the stakes can feel much higher.  What if they try and fail?  What if their deep fear that they can’t create a success equal to what they have inherited is confirmed.  Then their guilt over being handed such a life and their shame at feeling they both don’t deserve it and couldn’t do it for themselves is justified? 

What if the shadow of the family founder is just too long and they never find their way into their own patch of sunlight? They may reason that it’s better not to try and opt to become professional rich person, where their entry level is already assured.  Additionally, the kinds of professions valued by the family founder may be the last ones the child of wealth might want to undertake.  They may have already seen and felt the loneliness of being unimportant in the eyes of the founder who may value money above all else.  They don’t wish to repeat this pattern so professions that seem to perpetuate this pain can become repelling. Furthermore, they have probably already experienced the dark side of wealth, the pain behind the publicly professed pleasure; the empty stage set after the curtain facing the audience has been drawn.

The no talk rules around money can make wealthy people feel that they’re carrying secrets.  Needless to say, this is an elephant in the living room since everyone clearly sees their wealth and all of its accoutrements. This sense of hiding an important part of themselves may add to a client’s feelings of not belonging.  The family who has kept addiction or wealth a “secret” while fostering the feeling of living outside of the norms and ordinary rules of much of society may set the child of wealth up for the lifestyle of an addict which tends to be secretive, outside the norm and rule breaking.

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