Dear Cathy
Taking so long for a parent to see what is in the best interest for their child could appear shocking to those who have not lived with the addiction to gamble but here we recognise that if your child owns that addiction he will do everything and anything to protect himself by hiding his torment and in doing so sadly protect his invasive and destructive addiction. As the long years pass and the child grows to be an adult, with the situation still hidden from view and unresolved, the parent can feel even more isolated and confused. I think you should be patting yourself on the back that you woke up in 11 years; it took me another 14.
I also found that it had to get unbearably hard before it got better. If I look back, however, I still cannot see what I could have done differently – which is exactly what my son told me when he left rehab and determined to live a gamble-free life.
I have found that working on me has been an interesting project and like you, I am still a work in progress. I do believe that the experience we have shared can be enormously productive in making all aspects of our lives better if we allow it. Successfully coming out the other side is surely a kick in the teeth for the addiction.
I wish your son well; I am aware that my son still commits himself every day to live in control of his addiction and I trust that he will always do so. I don’t think we can ask for more.
It was great to get an update. It is easy to keep you in my thoughts; we have a shared experience that means we understand each other regardless of distance and time.