After 8 years and over $500k, thinking of hanging myself.
RE: In 8 years, I have lost over $400k on just Pokies (slots).
Ps: English is not my first language so please excuse any grammatical and structural errors in my journal.
Today was when everything finally fell apart when my massive secret got exposed. There are 2 parts to my journal:
1) Pokies (slot machines) when I lived in Australia
2) Online gambling when I came back to Malaysia
I JUST WANT TO DIE:
I could not stop thinking about hanging myself, cutting my wrist, or jumping off a building. I would have done so if it wasn't because of my truly amazing and supportive boyfriend who has stuck by me through thick and thin. He is the only reason why I haven't harmed myself yet.
Someone once told me that most gamblers have a complicated background, I am not sure about most people here, but I did grow up in an abusive (physical & emotional) and neglected environment, had multiple suicide attempts, a depressed & suicidal mother, an abusive father (who had sex and orgies with our house maids on my mom's bed), lived with my dad's first wive and her children etc etc. My dad had a history of compulsive gambling as well but he got back on his feet eventually and became a successful businessman (but remained a real jerk and womanizer). Perhaps compulsive gambling is genetic? Not trying to blame anyone here, I completely take responsibility for my own actions.
HOW IT STARTED:
It all started 8 years ago when the love of my life cheated on me and eventually left me. As you can see, there was an acute lack of love and healthy relationships in my earlier life and finding love from a partner was my whole world. I was studying and living in Australia (I'm from Singapore), and he was the only person I had there. He was pretty much my entire world. When he cheated on me and left me, my world crumbled. Seeing how depressed I was, my friends took me to a bar with Pokies Machines (Slots) and told me that it would make me feel better when I play it. As with many gamblers, I started off not very interested but my friends were playing, so I joined them. My bets were small but I kept getting big wins. These Pokies machines are designed to get you hooked, the sounds it make when you get a win, the colorful and beautiful graphics, the catchy background music etc. It was very easy to get me hooked.
PART 1: POWERFUL ADDICTION TO POKIES:
Eventually I became extremely addicted to the Pokies. Initiall I gambled to escape my pain. But this addiction persisted even after I found happiness again. During the early stage of my addiction, I always felt really happy and excited in the Pokies bar. I knew the people there, I get free food and wine, I talk to like minded sad people, great chimes and music of big wins etc. I belonged there! All the Pokies places that I went to always seem to have a very nice distinctive smell as well. The moment I walked into the bar, the smell... ahhhh... it was like drug to me. Everyday at work, I could not get my mind off pokies, I kept hearing the pokies music playing in my head, the ringing sound it makes when a free game was hit. Right after work, I would skip dinner and rush to the bar and play until they close at 4am. When I was playing, money does not seem to be money anymore but like plain paper that I kept feeding into the machine without any pinch. I felt tingling on my skin and fingertips while playing. I would play until I have lost every cent I have on me. I would come out of the bar penniless, feeling numb, emotionless, and no money for food. At 5'4", I weighed only 42 kilos at that time. I also suffered occassional memory loss during the peak of my addiction to the pokies. There's been episodes where I blew my entire fortnight's pay in 1 night, and the next day, I would go out thinking that I still have the money. I have totally forgotten that I have blew the money the night before. I heard the pokies music in my dreams, I dreamt about dramatic wins. I just could not function properly without Pokies. I lied to my friends about being late, or piking on them. I would tell them that I was caught up at work but in fact, I just couldn't remove my bum from the pokies seat.
During the course of my addiction, I had 2 boyfriends. The 1st one could not handle my addiction and eventually left me because I was constantly broke and lying to him.
THE HANDSOME KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR:
The second one was an angel sent by God to save me. We are still together today even after he's found out that I've been gambling behind his back. He went through the disheartening discovery about 5 times. The first few times he found out, he was so sad about the lies that he teared up. He perceived it as betrayal. He described his feeling as "sick in the gut" and "heart broken". When I heard that, I swore to NEVER ever touch those devil machines again. However, the devil machinese power over me was too strong. I kept going back until the day I had to leave Australia to come back to Malaysia to help my dad in his business (another dramatic episode that I was discuss below). Actually, I had a fantastic job that pays me well, I lead a team under me, was a hard worker and was good at what I was doing. However, even after 4 years of working, I had no savings and no assets under my name. Before I met this bf (lets call him Z), my angellic sister looked after me. Housed me, gave me food, bought me clothes and gave me emotional support. She also paid off my maxed out credit card bill of over $10k, and she had not much money left after that. She's only 1 year older than me but 10 times more stable and capable than me. After I met Z, all my basic needs have been provided by him. I would have become homeless and starved to death if it wasn't because of my sister and Z. I felt that God has somehow protected me all the way by sending angels to my side to look after me.
RETURNING TO MALAYSIA TO WORK FOR DAD:
I had to leave Australia to go back to my country where my entire family is. My dad's business was not doing well, and an old employee had told me that my dad's girlfriend (my dad is 70 and she's 1/2 his age), has been stealing company's & his money in the hundreds of thousands. She has also brainwashed him into making bad business decisions that lost him millions! I saw it as an opportunity to avoid Pokies, but of course, I also wanted to come back to kick her ass.
The life I had at my dad's company was something out of the movies - Super Dramatic. Coming back from a developed country for 7 years and having had worked in a highly professional environment for 4 years, I experienced an extreme cultural shock at my dad's company. His girlfriend was the general manager of his company. She's 4 feet 9 inches, sounds like a man, super rude and obnoxious, treats low rank workers like dogs etc.... Her daily work schedule was: comes to work at 11am, eats breakfast while stalking people on the CCTV, starts actual work at 12pm, goes out for lunch with my dad the boss at 1pm, comes back to the office at 3pm, sometimes she goes out again for a hairdo and manicure, comes back at 3-4pm, have a nap in my dad's office, wakes up at around 5pm and sit around the office gossiping about our clients for another 30 mins, then pack up and head home at 6pm. As a general manager, she never did lead or did much work at all. All the staff under her had not much work to do either. No wonder my dad's company was going down in pear shape. Long story short, I started my investigation on her misusing, stealing and defrauding company's funds, making double or false claims on expenses, and challenging every bad business decisions she made, and chasing her constantly on project timelines. This started a war between us in the office and my dad sided and protect her over me. He constantly scolded me for giving her a hard time. You guessed it right, that triggered me to gamble again.
PART 2: $400k ONLINE GAMBLING ADDICTION
There was no pokies whatsoever in Malaysia. The only casino was up in the mountain far far away. During my first 6 months in Malaysia, I was 100% clean from gambling. I had 20k in my account and I felt fantastic. However, my desire to gamble kicked in when I was overwhelmed by the stress. I started dreaming about Pokies again but I was in good hands because I had no avenue to gamble! One day, I was looking at Facebook and on my news feed, an old friend had a status update about playing poker online. That instantly gave me an idea! I googled for the best online Casino, picked on that appealed to me, registered an account and started playing online slots. It started real small but grow exponential. I savings went to 20k to negative in no time. Over the course of 2 years, I have lost about $300k. I had a company sub-account under my name and I stole money from it to fuel my online slots addiction. I've always paid back the money I took within a few days.
I have self excluded myself when things got out of hand, but some sites, particularly the ones operated by Asians, allow you to reopen your account by just an email. I've held numerous accounts with numerous online casinos. Bet365, 888 and EuroGrand have fantastic self exclusion system as you have absolutely no way of re-opening your account during the self exclusion period. However, Asian sites like M88 and Dafa88 does not care. You can re-open your account easily, or, you can open several user accounts and they will allow that.
ONLINE CASINOS ARE FATALLY DANGEROUS:
At the peak of my addiction, I experienced physical reaction to gambling similar to those of amphetamine (has street name of Speed) that was prescribed to me to treat depression. Tingling feeling on the skin, neck, heart race, unusual excitement and fidgety. With the Pokies Machines, the maximum bet you can place per spin was $10, so there's only so much you can loose at a given amount of time. However, with online casinos, the maximum bet per spin could go up to $2k. In Australia, I was playing at 1.5 per spin and I managed to lose everything I earned. With online gambling, I was spinning at $100 per spin and within 10 minutes, I would have lost $1000. Losing 20k a night was a frequent thing. To be fair, I had huge wins as well, I once pulled out 40k after a gambling marathon of 10 hours straight. I thought I'd be jumping with joy, but I actually felt depressed even after the win. I wanted to continue playing but I was so tired and exhausted that I could play no more, so I had no choice but to cash out $40k. I did a research on why I felt depressed even after winning $40k. It has something to do with "dopamine overdose" and the feeling of emptiness once the gambling stops. So, win or lose, I still felt depressed. WTF right? That was an awakening call.... I wanted to keep the 40K and stop gambling once and for all because it doesn't make me happy anyway. HOwever, I went straight back into it the next night.
THE SITUATION NOW:
I could not pay back the $18k I took from my company's sub-account (which is under my name). I have racked up a credit card bill of 99k (it's a infinite card with 100k limit). It's my dad's subcard and I am scared to death that he or anyone in my family or company will find out. I am owing my best friend, my sister and my boyfriend a total of 100k. I am heavily in debt and my emotionally unstable, fierce and harsh mother has been spreading her suspicion about me gambling around the family,behind my back. Today, she told my younger brother to snoop on my computer to check for traces of gambling and unexpectedly, he found evidence of me gambling.
Actually, 2 days ago, I have uninstalled 3 casinos from my computer and closed ALL my gambling accounts and planning to install GameBloc (a filter that blocks out gambling sites).
I felt extremely angry at my mom for exposing me when I am trying to recover. I don't agree with her method of doing shit behind my back without talking to me face to face first.
I felt I was being stripped naked and thrown onto a street full of people. I felt extremely shameful, vulnerable, disgraced, etc etc etc and I could see a mental image of me hanging myself.
To be continued.....