Financial Scam Causes Shame for This Senior
by Mary Lou Dobbs
I call my mother every day. One particular day was different. My 85-year-old mother let slip a comment: “Pretty soon I will be able to take care of all the grandkids in my will.” I asked, “What do you mean, Mom?”
“Oh,” she said, “I’m not ready to talk about it right now.” An alarm went off, and I was like a firefighter heading to a blaze.
My parents are on a small fixed income. They, like most loving grandparents, have spent years bailing out grandchildren, choosing to sacrifice their own needs.
I knew how precious little they had. I reminded my mother that I had provided her with an 800 number so her calls to me are always free and asked her to tell me more when she felt ready.
Two days later the bombshell exploded: “Hi, this is Mom. Now I feel ready to tell you that I won six million dollars, but I have to send money to some third-world country by Monday in order to claim my prize.”
I asked my mother if she felt comfortable sharing the information with me so I could research the authenticity of the award letter. Once I got all the information, I hung up and called the Indianapolis consumer protection and fraud division. They were useless.
I then called the local police station where the dispatcher said that it would be helpful if a family member accompanied the police officer to write up a report of fraud. He explained that they had received numerous complaints about a predator scamming seniors out of their hard-earned money. He went on to explain that embarrassment and shame stop many seniors from even reporting the crime.
I contacted my sister Sandy. As a precaution, she called their local bank, only to discover $7,000 had been drawn from my parents’ account, and, thankfully, an aware and thoughtful bank employee stopped another $20,000 check from being cashed.
This event would not have happened a year ago; it was the first inkling of my parents’ decline. I would have to intervene over the next few months, but the emotional trauma associated with the scam lingered on.
What I didn’t realize when I first learned of this was how emotionally devastated she was. When we talked on the phone, she cried and expressed how useless, foolish, and ashamed she felt. She made a comment to the effect that everyone would be better off if she wasn’t around anymore. She couldn’t sleep, and she agonized over the loss of family finances.
I flew to Indiana the following week to see her. “Mom,” I said, “How would you feel if we did some Thought Field Therapy to alleviate your distress?”
With her permission, I asked her, “Describe your distress level on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most distressed.” She said it was a definite 10. After we worked together for about ten minutes using the trauma sequence, her distress level dropped to a minimal level, surprising us both!
The next day, while sharing lunch, Mom leaned over and said, “I had such a good night’s sleep. I can’t conjure up any negative emotion around the perpetrator who stole my hard-earned money.”
Thankfully, we had introduced a degree of comfort and emotional balance back into her life.
Excerpted from Callahan Techniques’ latest book, The Tapping
Solution: Tapping the Body’s Energy Pathways