Gambling Therapy logo

Concerned father, who is now playing detective to try to ascertain the full extent of my Sons Gambling habit. Single father of 2 Children, Son aged 24 and Daughter aged 22. I currently reside some 20 miles away from my Son with my long term partner, she is aware of the developing situation but all other family members have no idea including my Daughter, his Sister. They are all oblivious, but should they stay that way? He is renting the apartment from me although i have not received any for the past 8 months or so. He is flirting from one job to another, so i have been cutting him some slack until his financial situation improves. He told me 2 months ago that he has gained employment as a fitness consultant with a well known gym, but he has since told me that was all a tissue of lies and so he is not working at present . I found out about my Sons life through battering him with questions and demanding answers, providing the said bank statements as proof of his ever spiraling gambling patterns. This was on Wednesday 30th of May 2018. I found out there was a GA meeting local to him and so we went along last night Thursday 31st May 2018 . They were kind enough to let me sit in and contribute verbally about my worries and concerns. It was a very emotional night to say the least and the horror stories from the other people at the meeting was mind blowing. My Son has promised to attend these meeting every week from now on, i on the other hand have been told i need to take a step back and he has to go of his own accord. Will he go? he promises me he will, he has read the booklets and intends to treat them like a bible. But people with CG are also compulsive liars and good at the game of deceit, so i have to trust him but keep a close eye on future developments My Son has become a stranger to me and i kind of blame myself as i should have kept a closer eye on him, i guess in hindsight i was deluding myself that everything was going to be alright. How wrong have i been !!! He did say a while back that he has been in a dark place and considered ending it all. The only reason he is still here is because he had a friend he confided in so he told me but he wouldnt elaborate. He did lose his Mum at a young age, he was 11 his Mum was 36. He is a very popular person and has lots of friends he does though suffer from confidence issues. He is a bright young Man and on the outside he seems fine, inside i think he is full of torment? angst? He does seem to be bottling things up. He has become a person i don’t recognize to an extent. He did go to see a doctor on my recommendation and they told him to come back if things deteriorated. So no referral was put in place for possible depression/anxiety. I am at my wits end as to know how to proceed. I had a nosy round the other day and found 3 months worth of photocopied bank statements that revealed he has spent over 4k on bet365 in the main £20-£25 a time with £150-£250 some days. He has though won roughly the same amount, which obviously is no consolation. Am i being too soft and should i resort to tougher cruel to be kind tactics??? I hate saying and thinking it but i dont believe a word at the moment especially after seeing the statements. I dont have contact details for his friends so that is a closed avenue. When i have confronted him about The Job situation, lack of rent money in the past he is so convincing and comes up with good excuses/reasons that when i leave him i feel satisfied that all is ok. Is he just a good liar? is this a trait he has developed. Have i been too stupid and in denial to the full extent of his issues, thinking and hoping that all will be fine. Not really sure how to go about dealing with this, is it something he has to admit to and admit he has a problem and thus want help. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR HIM AND ALWAYS WILL, and i tell him this all the time, is he ashamed, embarrassed or feel he has let me down and so he keeps the truth from me to avoid me being disappointed in him. As a Father i have always been open and honest with him and have pleaded with him to TALK TO ME in confidence, its just a one way street and he promises “things” are ok. Is it something i have done?, said?, not done?, not said ? My Daughter also has issues but her situation seems to have calmed down somewhat, she is now Married, works in The RAF lives in Swindon and her Husband who is very supportive keeps me informed. Both my Son and Daughter had differing reactions upon the death of there Mum. Curtis was angry and Leanne upset. There Mum was a difficult person to navigate around and she had many issues but she did the best she could, we had split up a year before her death and i remained an ever constant in there lives. Curtis’ Mum used to put him down regularly and call him names, your stupid, i hate you, i wish i never had you etc etc but none of this was said to Leanne at least while i was around. I still talk to C and L about there Mum, in a good light and dont treat the subject as taboo, we have pictures and memories of the better times. Your Mum would be proud of you etc etc. Ok, i think ive got a few things off my chest but still the problem of how to proceed? Not be judgmental and offer my help and support, but i am going into the unknown. Sorry the above is a bit of a ramble and all over the place!! Parenting eh!!! its an enriching experience!!! Yours Chris aka terrified Father….. or is that terrible Father ?