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Hi Shirley
I hope when you say that your son is not angry that it means he not is not behaving unacceptably towards you, apart from gambling.
Sadly many compulsive gamblers do not take on board all they hear when in counselling for the first time but hopefully your son will have taken on board some of what he heard, even if he is slipping and sliding about at the moment.
Your son is young and will not want to accept he has an addiction that he cannot control without support, he is maybe still thinking that he can win and that it is not his fault when he loses.
It seems to me from your post that your son is trying to push the boundaries a little at a time in the hope that you don’t see the bigger picture unfolding. He has a well paid job which he undoubtedly hopes will cover any slips but I am sure you are aware that his addiction will get worse without control.
If it was me, I would sit him down when he was in a good state of mind and tell him that I do not want to be his minder but I would like to give him the right support. I would tell him that he had led me to believe, following his counselling that it was better for him to hand over ‘all’ his finances until he could trust himself and I would ask him to willingly hand over his card. I know it feels like treating him as a child but it really isn’t – it is treating him as a man with a problem that deserves the right support. I know of many, many compulsive gamblers who have willingly handed over their finances because they have accepted the good intentions of those who are trying to help them – in my view it is important that your son trusts you which might sound odd but I know it to be true.
I think it would be good to tell him that you will not clear any more debts for him as these are his responsibility and are the consequences of his own actions. Clearing gambling debts is to enable an addiction just as giving a drink is to an alcoholic, even if it I just a little one. No judgement Shirley, just information, I did it myself.
Please post again and let me know how you are doing. I know how tough it is but I also know that your son can control his addiction or I wouldn’t be writing to you.
Well done writing your first post. It would be great to ‘meet’ you in a group on a Tuesday or Thursday evening between 10-11pm. We could ‘talk’ in real time – nothing we say will appear on the forum, it is private and safe.