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    • #76200
      margie101
      مشارك

      Is there any place in the Forum or Group section for people who are adult children of CG’s.
      The parents are either dead or I have broken ties with them, but I would like to talk/ chat with other ‘survivors’.

      I am not now in contact with a gambler.

    • #76234
      Dunc
      مدير عام

      Hello
      Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
      Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page
      Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
      Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
      If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
      You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
      We look forward to hearing all about you!
      Take care
      The Gambling Therapy Team

      PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    • #76242
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Margie

      Anybody affected by the addiction to gamble is welcome in this forum and in our F&F groups.

      Over the many years that I have been moderating, I have heard from many children of gamblers who have moved on and lived healthy lives but I am not in a position to name them.

      I see that you are no longer in contact with the gambler in your life but you are still affected by your experience, in which case I would be delighted to support you.

      One of our members wrote a book about her life as the child of a gambler called ‘Please Girl’, published privately in America but I do not know if it still available. She wrote in our forums and joined out groups for years and very kindly credited this site with her recovery.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Velvet

    • #76243
      margie101
      مشارك

      Velvet,
      Thanks for the welcome.

      I am coming to terms with the fact that I did not know my father was a gambler until I was 16. When I found out it explained a lot of the massive chaos in the house, and laid the groundwork for adventures in dealing with fraud, arrest, and finally, federal prison.

      I “escaped” as soon as I could, and went on to lead my own life.

      However, I have quirks, one of which is the fact that the “parents” were so inept, uninterested, unaware, and had other problems with drugs, that I have developed a habit of making these episodes into “jokes” to ridicule these people.

      I get the point that these folks were sick and desperately needed help that they did not get or give, but ridicule, in jokes and short stories, makes me feel better. But I think it’s not a very healthy reaction. My younger sisters also do this, as does my SIL.

      Do other adult survivors who no longer have contact with the gambler do this, too?

      • تمّ تحرير هذا الرد قبل قبل 3 سنوات، 1 شهر بواسطة velvet.
    • #76257
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Margie

      I haven’t heard any of the survivors of the addiction to gamble dealing with their experience with humour but I understand what you are saying.

      You appear to be including your mother in these ‘jokes’ and I wonder what you feel she did, or did not do, that maybe you think she should have done. Was she passive, did she gamble too, do you think she was weak and ineffectual? What part did she play in the way you and your sisters feel.

      I tend to see the funny side in most things although gambling addiction is not one of them. However, I have spent many years studying the addiction and maybe it is that which makes the difference.

      I think there is nothing wrong with the way you are dealing with the chaos of your upbringing, per se, but the fact that you are still reacting to your father’s addiction, in any form, makes me think that you have not dealt with the sadness and possible rejection you have felt.

      A gambling addiction is real but trying to make sense of the senselessness of it does not help. Every gambler who has the addiction would give anything not to have it, they don’t ask for it, they don’t want it and they don’t deserve it.

      Your father’s addiction would have craved secrecy to prosper and it is, therefore, not surprising that you were unaware until you were 16.

      I have been dealing with the addiction one way and another for nearly 40 years and I don’t think anything will surprise me anymore. Your way of dealing with your experience is your way and if it works that is fine – provided you use it ‘reference only’ and it doesn’t keep you locked in a painful past.

      I believe it is important to always take good out of terrible experiences, or the bad wins. You will hopefully make better decisions in your life because of what has happened to you, you may have greater empathy. It seems you may have humorous and comedic possibilities that could make you a person that is great to be around – provided you are not keeping your own hurt alive.

      Many clowns are sad and wear the mask or humour to cover tragedy but I believe it is better to confront the sadness with someone who understands and can support you while you heal, rather than makimg it into a joke.

      I would like you to keep posting, I would love to ‘see’ you in a group where we can communicate privately, in real time. I would like to walk with you through this period and hopefully help you to a healthy reaction. Humour may be your way forward but I would like to determine it is the best, healthiest way for you.

      Are you still in touch with your mother? Is your father still in prison? Are you and your sisters totally committed to cutting them both out of your life?

      Keep posting Margie

      Velvet

      • تمّ تحرير هذا الرد قبل قبل 3 سنوات، 1 شهر بواسطة velvet.
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    • #76276
      margie101
      مشارك

      Velvet,
      Many thanks for the thoughtful response. I am so glad I found this site.

      One of the things I have a problem with, and I know it’s mine, is that I appreciate that, under different circumstances, my father might have had a wonderful and happy life.

      I have a chicken-and-egg situation, in many ways. My father’s father was a alcoholic, and their family life was quite disturbing. People left as soon as they could. If he had not married my mother, he might have been ok. She was very demanding and controlling, esp. about money, so I suspect that’s when his gambling started again after I was born. She abused prescription methanphetamines, and her main emotion was anger. At everyone, for ruining her life.

      So, as the oldest, I stepped in. Talked to the bank VP when my father wrote fraudulent checks, etc. always the adult. Frankly, I have anger when people tell me to have sympathy for either parent. I lived my life taking care of my sisters, covering my parents messes, including their jail time.

      In the meantime, I graduated from a top university in Canada, got a job, climbed the ladder, went to graduate school, honor society, and retired and am writing a children’s book. My first long-term partner (19 years) was an alcoholic. I felt bad about that, until I learned that this is not uncommon. My sisters have MBAs, PhDs, are married and appear ok, although on handfuls of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants.

      I just want to forget every minute in that place with my parents.

    • #76301
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Margie

      The chicken and egg situation goes back into the mists of time and I suspect that both your parents could have had very different lives if they had not met one another.

      However, they did meet and although they created chaos and misery they also seem to have produced capable and good-to-be-with daughters who are trying to break the mould and that surely is the answer – the chance to jump off the roller-coaster and wring the chicken’s neck.

      The positives in your life have been many since you reach adulthood and maybe it is has been your miserable upbringing that has made you so strong.

      I believe writing to be therapeutic and here you are writing a children’s book. I wonder if you will have a heroine who overcomes evil and having done that, I wonder how her story will proceed. Those who caused her misery will not deserve sympathy in my book – but I wonder if she will refuse to let their evil ruin any more of her life and I wonder how she will achieve this. You have control of her, you can show her the way.

      Maybe its time to say out loud ‘I am better than all the misery you heaped on me, I will write terrific books for children and I will use your unhappy lives to make my writing better.’

      I am sure you will understand that my remit is to support those who are living with the addiction to gamble and maybe I am not finding the right words for you but I sure hope you keep posting and maybe between us………………

      One final true story before I sign off for now. An 85 year old woman wrote that her husband had died after making her life a misery for years. She determined he was not going to ruin the time she had left and to that end she wrote the nasty things he had done on bits of paper, one nasty action or unkind thing he has said, on each piece. She then went to the top of a hill and threw the bits into the wind, one at a time while crying ‘I am released’. When they were all gone, she went home, got herself a passport (that he had never allowed her to have) and set off on a world cruise with his money. I am sorry I don’t know how the cruise went but I reckon she had a blast.

      As Ever

      Velvet

      • تمّ تحرير هذا الرد قبل قبل 3 سنوات، 1 شهر بواسطة velvet.
    • #76332
      margie101
      مشارك

      Velvet,
      Many thanks for the thoughtful postings. You have given me a lot to think about. I especially appreciate “Trying to make sense of the senselessness of it does not help”.

      If I could have 1 thing, it would be acknowledgement and validation from a respected source that my parents behavior, as parents, was unacceptable.

      My sisters and I all escaped the day we went away to college. I did not maintain contact with my parents. My sisters and their partners had limited contact for a while before they also broke contact.

      Aside from my father’s physical violence and his wife’s explosive anger, the thing that bothers me most was that my sisters and I were never good enough for my parents. Not surprisingly, the rules and standards for our judgement constantly changed. 5 A’s and 1 B: where is the 6th A? Bring home 6 A’s, and they say “you call that an A? Skin of your teeth”?

      This kind of constant “you’re just no good as a person” approach, combined with the fact that we had no other adults in our lives who could see and maybe stop my parents was a 20 year pattern.

      The hypocrisy of my parents is overwhelming. It made me want to run away or just give up, but I knew that I would be judged ‘a problem child’ and my parents would never say there were any problems at home.

      So, I fell 100% better after reading that there are people who understand what can go on inside houses. I am not alone. And, I am not an “inherently defective” person, with a “defective personality”, that I have been trying to fix for years. Knowing that these are not true is liberating.

      I really appreciate you taking time to write on this Forum. I do appreciate, in the abstract, the pain of gamblers. As many people do, I put some of my thoughts about my parents situation into short stories. I focused on my father as the hub, rather than his loud and in-your-face wife. The stories don’t have a title, but the sub-title is “the story of a tragic man whose life was ruined when he married the wrong woman”. I used short stories to explore what I lived with.

      Thank you again for responding. I think I have my GMT off set set up properly: there is a NewMembers meeting later today.

      Thank you again.

    • #76351
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Marge

      You have my little grey cells working overtime!

      The image of the universal mother with flour on her nose, a ready smile and the ability to love unconditionally is sadly not shared by all and often denied by children who feel that it is somehow their fault that they were not good enough.

      Parenting is not easy and some parents never seem to get the hang of it. Probably all the problems could be traced back to a father’s/mother’s father/mother and then his father/mother, etc. etc but I don’t think it helps an abused/neglected child to be interested in the whys and wherefores of the lives of those who went before, the ones who had their chance to get it right and blew it.

      I would imagine your fate was determined before you were born and it would not have mattered what you did or how wonderful you were, you were not going to get the love and care you deserved.

      I am sure I am thinking something that has crossed your mind many times, even though you have not expressed it in your posts. You and your sisters are not sons! Maybe I am wrong and I will stand corrected if that is the case but here in the UK we have had a king who divorced and beheaded his wives for not bearing the required son. If this has been your parent’s problem then there was nothing you could do about it but be the butt of their anger and disappointment and they should be ashamed.

      You are good enough Margie and I believe, that for you to feel as you do then your parents were very wrong. I would have been proud to have a daughter like you.

      I don’t know if I can be considered a respected source, my life experiences have included one divorce; a second incredibly happy marriage where I asked all the right questions in advance; an incredibly intelligent, patient father who taught me everything that I think is important; a mother who tried her best when I was almost certainly not the easiest and three children, one of whom is a compulsive gambler albeit happily in control of his addiction.

      How can I validate your belief that your parents behaved unacceptably?

      ‘If’ I can be considered a respected source Margie, based on all your posts, I would definitely validate your belief that your parent’s behaviour was unacceptable. We all deserve praise when we get it right and kind, constructive and forgiving censure when we get it wrong.

      I have been saddened by your posts but I also feel a great hope that you can and will put your childhood behind you because you have made the effort to reach out. Somewhere in your mind you knew you were right.

      I’m not sure your mother should get more condemnation than your father. ‘If’ having a son has been the cause of all this misery then the problem lay with him and not with her – if only British queens had know this! This conjecture only works, however, if the sex of their children was the root of all their anger.

      My groups are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 19.00-20.00 hours UK time. It would be great to ‘meet’ you.

      I await your reply with interest

      As Ever

      Velvet

    • #76370
      margie101
      مشارك

      Velvet,
      Thanks so much for your posts. You give me a lot of good thoughts, and I have to take time to ponder them.

      I really appreciate your post that I should recognize and appreciate my accomplishments, and myself. I have been thinking about that for days, and I realized I didn’t have an emotion to fit with that. In the “crazy people world” of my parents, you had to consider all of the reasons why you are just fooling yourself if you felt good about something. Two reasons: the old “you’re not good enough’, and the gambler thinking- a win isn’t really a win unless you balance it against losses, or mistakes. That realization is a real eye-opener for me. I really have not allowed myself to feel good about myself, without regard to what I’ve done, or the million ways I could have done it better.

      This is really a change in my thinking- to allow myself to trust that it’s OK to feel good. I don’t have to constantly validate that it’s good enough.

      Validation. I always wanted it, and was always looking for it. I think I am finding it now. I have tremendous respect for the fact that you’ve been involved with the whole gambling thing for 40 years. I feel that you understand the dual-world nature of living with a gambler. Not having to explain things to you and others in this Forum, means a lot. For some reason, I respect and trust insights and opinions from people who ‘get it’.

      I have been chewing on the idea that my parents were off on their doomed mission, and I was just born into it. Another layer of ‘guilt’ or ‘wrongness’ on my part is now gone.

      Boys vs girls. That was kind of a factor. As I wrote in my short story about these folks, neither was in any way prepared for adulthood, let alone parenting. He was the youngest of 7; father alcoholic, mother dies, his much older sisters rule the house, and literally throw his out of the house at age 15. He came home from school,and his belongings were packed into 2 boxes and put on the back porch and the doors were locked. She was an only child, who grew up in a family of 5 adults. She did not like children, she is a little on the brittle side. If a baby cries in a restaurant, she freezes, then explodes in anger. The rest of the meal is ruined as she lets her anger grow.(yes, they have been told to leave restaurants ). It’s embarrassing to admit that your parents are completely inept. I think a telling factor is that he was not aware of child-rearing theories.. he did not read or investigate much. She did not believe in getting help… it was a sign of weakness.. so, who in their right minds could ever expect this union to be a success? Maybe if they had time to grow up, and get some maturity before having children.

      So, I overheard my father say to a neighbor that he was glad he had girls, because you had to “do things” with boys. I think he meant that boys are active and get into trouble, whereas you can just give a girl a book and put her in her room. No muss, no fuss.
      Mrs. Brittle could not handle boys at all. She would have had a complete nervous breakdown. Her husband would have had to raise the kid. As it was, he was the one who got up at night for sick kids, asked you why you were crying. He at least had a heart, someplace under all of his own problems.

      This may read like I’ve thought about this a lot. I had a small episode 3 years ago, when I got some time to open the Box of Horrible Memories (actually, the lid on the box flew off), and began to see him in a new light. Not as the screaming ogre that she turned him into, but what he might have been able to make of himself. He was born into a bad situation, and always tried to be “good” and make something of himself. Unfortunately, he ran into her. She convinced him that she had all of the answers. She was looking for a way out of her life.

      Big thank you: growing up, and being told I was defective and inadequate, I have naturally been trying to “fix” myself. I used to be suicidal because I couldn’t fix myself. I kept looking for signs of inadequacy and signs that it was fixed. I no longer feel this way. All of those things that my parents told me are not true. I can write that my parents LIED and purposely mislead me. It was not my fault. I did not deserve that treatment. I really see and believe this.

      Hope this post isn’t too long or rambling. I went to the New Members meeting on Thursday. Very glad I went, much validation, and just nice to share with people who “get it”. I plan to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

      Thanks you so much. Your posts really help.

    • #76503
      margie101
      مشارك

      General Question on topic of therapy adult survivors/ escapees.

      Are there professionals who work with people who have experienced fallout from gambling?

      I have a Psychiatrist that I see for med mgt, and I don’t want to have to explain the environments of living with a gambler. I think I want short and focused.

      I am feeling really guilty about letting things loose on the Forum. It’s been massively helpful.

      Am I looking for something that doesn’t exist?

      • تمّ تحرير هذا الرد قبل قبل 3 سنوات بواسطة margie101.
    • #76518
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Again Margie

      I can only think of one adult child of a compulsive gambler, Twilight, who was a member here about 4 or 5 years ago and who stayed on to help others, even after she had moved on with her life. Most F&F members stop posting once they had found the answers they are looking for; they just want to leave all the bad memories behind and move on.

      Twilight’s whole life had been affected by her father’s addiction but talking in this forum and in the groups helped her get her life into perspective. Twilight went on to write the book ‘Please Girl’ and she has since written another book called Please Girls’ Secrets. Twilight did become part of some sort of action group and was giving public talks, in Florida, about living with the addiction. Sadly, I lost her email address and I have not heard from her recently.

      I remember another member who trained as a counsellor after being here with who set up her practice in New Zealand but I have no updates on her unfortunately.

      I went on to qualify as a therapist because I experienced the fallout from 25 years of gambling. After about 23 years, I had morphed into a blob with no self-esteem, or confidence, or strength to fight another battle and I still didn’t know anything about the addiction to gamble. I saw general counsellors and a psychiatrist but I only ended up being more confused and more convinced the problem was me – they did not understand the addiction to gamble. I finally joined Gam-Anon which is the sister group of GA where I met someone who understood what I was saying and I found, just as you said, I didn’t have to explain the environment of living with a gambler. The woman who saved me was married for many years to a compulsive gambler but she had studied and learned about the addiction and how it affected different people – not just a spouse. She had moved out of the shadow and was living in the light. She didn’t need to stay with Gam-Anon but she wanted to help others and I believe she also wanted to pass the baton because she was ready to retire.

      I didn’t know for a very long time that I was ready to take up the baton. I am sure I took me longer than most to come to terms with my experience and most of the time I just did not believe what I was hearing. I didn’t want to go into GA (which my Gam-Anon group did occasionally) but in the end I did and for the first time I heard other people talking about their experience as active gamblers – it was an eye-opener and I never looked back.

      I wanted to make a difference and with that in my mind I successfully completed an addiction to counselling course which eventually brought me here, first as a member and then as a moderator/ facilitator.

      Please don’t feel guilty about letting lose on the forum, it was me who misunderstood what it was that you really wanted to talk about. I do not dwell in my past but I am more than willing to use it for reference only.

      If you would like to talk to me more and/or if I am saying anything now that makes more sense to you, I hope you will post again and/or join me in another F&F group. Our Helpline is there for you too if you want more help on where to go with what is specifically worrying you.

      Never give up – there is always someone, somewhere who understands. I took me far too long to find that out but I got there in the end.

      As Ever

      Velvet
      .

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    • #149282
      velvet
      مشرف

      Hi Margie

      Thank you for coming back to help others.

      I believe that when we seek help and examine the reasons why we feel we have been affected by our parents in a bad way, we have the ability to choose what happens next; we can retake control of our own lives or we can allow the bad things to keep us from progressing.

      In answer to your general question regarding professionals who work with people who have experienced fallout from gambling, I approached a counsellor, a doctor and a psychiatrist when I needed understanding and I found none who offered any support, in fact the opposite was true – their ignorance drove me to even more unimaginable depths. Fortunately there are more dedicated addiction counsellors nowadays who have learned how to support families of gamblers. For me, however, it was one woman in Gam-Anon who changed my life and saved me; she had experienced the fall out you speak of and not only had she survived she had gone on to help others – I felt as though she had waited for me.

      You are now in that position, you have experienced living with the addiction to gamble affecting your life, you have survived and you are an author.

      Doing nothing, changes nothing – you are doing something, you have come back and told others where to find support and that is fantastic. Maybe, through your books you can do even more.

      I believe you have made the decision to live your own life on your own terms and that makes me immensely happy and I thank you for that.

      As Ever

      Velvet

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