Dear Tilly
How glad I am that you felt strong enough to start a thread and talk about the things that are so painful to you.
Knowledge of your mother’s addiction will give you power over it and help you cope. There is much to tell you but in my first reply I am going to concentrate on the words that jumped out on at me and that is whether your mother loves her addiction more than her children.
I would not be writing to you Tilly if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic, useful lives lived as a result. As a result of my CG changing his life I am able to pass on to you what I have learned from him. After 25 years of living with his addiction, I would not have believed it possible that my CG loved me and I would not have been able to tell you what my feelings were for him – he seemed determined to destroy my personality, my self-esteem and confidence. I didn’t know anything about his addiction, I believed the problem was me and to that end I saw counsellors, a psychiatrist and I was even tested for Alzheimer’s disease Even though I listed everything I was experiencing, not one of them recognised the addiction that I was living with. Living with your mother’s addiction makes your sister’s anger and your depression completely understandable.
Following my CG’s decision and determination to change his life I have found a person that I can love and be proud of – and who loves and is proud of me. He has been able to talk about what was going on in his mind.. He explained that when I was pleading with him to tell the truth and live honestly, his addiction was distorting my words, convincing him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was an unlovable, worthless, failure – he was lost in a lonely world and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction to gamble is an addiction that courts failure and no amount of words from me could make him feel less of a loser.
I will leave it there for now but please keep posting because there is so much to learn that will help you. You have done a terrific thing coming here and your mother is very lucky to have you on her side, even if at the moment she doesn’t appreciate it. I have a Friends and Family group on Tuesdays between 20.00 – 21.00 hours UK time. It would be great to communicate with you in real time.
In the meantime, look after yourself, you are very important and although you cannot save your mother you can make a difference.