Well done joining our forum. Knowledge of your father’s addiction will hopefully help you to cope so that you can make informed decisions that are right for both you and your father.
The addiction to gamble is not about winning money to buy things, or for saving for a rainy day. The ‘gamble’ itself is all important and it is the gamble that disturbs the mind of the CG (compulsive gambler) and wrecks the lives of those who love them.
Your father did not want, (or ask for) his addiction, any more than you, or the rest of your family – but it has wrought considerable wreckage over the years and sadly has the ability to cause even more destruction unless treated. It is an addiction that brings failure to its owner because the CG cannot walk away until all is lost resulting in misery and depression.
Does your father acknowledge he has a problem?
I hear and understand that because of his age and health issues you are unwilling to come down hard on your father’s addiction but sadly, without treatment, it will worsen. Putting groceries into his kitchen and paying car repair bills direct to the garage mechanic is good but giving cash to a CG is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. By ‘lending’ money to your father, you have been unwittingly feeding his addiction which has a voracious appetite.
I don’t know if your father has ever sought help but if he hasn’t, maybe it would be a good idea to use your search engine to find ‘GA – 20 Questions’, perhaps you could print them off and suggest he reads them. Many CGs do not appreciate that their addiction is recognised and that there is help available for them but they do need to accept they have a problem if they want to change.
Your father is indeed lucky to have a caring son like you but it would be unwise to think that his addiction will not encroach further on your life – it has the capacity to bring down all those around it.
I will leave my first post to you there and await your reply. Please ask any questions you may have and I will answer you as best I can. I have a live group on Tuesdays between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time where we could communicate in real time, nothing that is said in that group appears on the forum and you would be very welcome.
I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived as a result – it is never too late.