Because every woman has her own journey.
Growing up, we lived in a $50 million dollar NYC Townhouse. Yes, right in the middle of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I really had the life everyone around me wanted. Or so they thought they did. Money was never a thing; I wasn’t living in a crammed 700 sq foot space. I traveled the world; and with wealth, everything was right at my fingertips. Yachts, caviar, jewels, shopping, endless assistance. Mom and dad had a weird relationship. The type of relationship where the world had not the slightest idea about what is happening—ever. At the art openings, fashion shows, rooftop restaurants– Mom and dad are hugging, smiling, and life is perfect, like always.
Surprise, surprise. Life on the inside is very, very different. My dad is rich. He’s made a career as a real estate mogul, and one of the three go-to guys for commercial real estate in Manhattan and out east on Long Island. My mom is amazing. She doesn’t work; never has, but fabulous would be an understatement. I never understood my mom. She is the most selfless woman I know—though I cannot say in a good way. My dad would bring in 18-year-old models (basically my age) at 11pm into our home and have enthusiastic orgies when my mom was right downstairs with the home staff. He would host parties and receive oral sex from women competing for his attention. How did I know? Whispers: Alicja the baker. He would hit on every single one of my friends and offer to fund their breast implants. Embarrassing, much? One day I mustered the courage to ask why mom put up with this—and her response was: this is how it is, don’t ever ask me again.
That was it.
What does that mean?
How is this normal?
Is this really the end of our discussion?
Yes, it was.
I was on a journey to pursue an art career. I cannot say I’m extremely talented in the art realm, but I do love art. With capital, that was enough. Moved to Australia for art school and headed on a different path. My issue was that I didn’t know how to be ‘not rich’. I know people don’t feel bad for me, but I just didn’t know how. I don’t know how to be ‘normal’. I don’t know how to not be noticed. I don’t know how to fold my own laundry, let alone wash it. I simply do not know how. It was hard. It was hard not screaming at the waiter when my oyster order was incorrect, it was hard not losing my mind when coat check took longer than anticipated, it was hard when the driver would ask for my address – how did he not know?! Why would he interrupt my peaceful drive?! I’m busy on Instagram, obviously. It’s me! Daughter of you-know-who.
After Australia, I returned to New York City and of course, business per usual. Mingle with those in your circle, not those who aren’t. Mom is well, mom. I love her always. Dad is well, father. I do not talk to him, I do not associate with him, and I want no relationship with him. I couldn’t wait to get married to change my last name and take on a new identity—any identity was better than the one I was born with.
I moved away from home and have a beautiful dog, a beautiful home, and a semi-rich husband. Nobody knows me here and life is just fine. Being in Small-town Pennsylvania surely helps cure my version of a deep wound.
Nina, Easton, Pennsylvania