The first post is our welcoming message but this is a personal one from me.
I understand why you want to break free and I hope that when you have been with us for a little while you will see your way to denying the addiction to gamble the ability to control ‘your’ life, without guilt.
In this first reply I hope to help you with your concern about approaching your mother without her going bananas – and more importantly without you climbing the walls and pulling your hair out..
Although not recognized professionally, the following is a coping method that has been used by many of us at the beginning of our recovery and I hope it helps.
Never forget it is your mother who is controlled by her addiction – you are not and you do not have to allow it control of your life.
Imagine her addiction is a slavering beast, always watching from the corner of the room. As long as don’t threaten it, it will stay quiet. Your mother’s addiction is the master of threats and manipulation but you are not and nor do you want to be. When you threaten her addiction, the beast leaps between you and controls the conversation – you find yourself in the middle of argument without knowing how you got there. Once it is active and between you, you will only hear her addiction speak – it will use lies and deceit to make you feel blame and to demoralize you. When you speak to your mother, her addiction distorts your words and she won’t comprehend your meaning because it is distorting reality to fit her personal perception.
My CG (compulsive gambler) who lives in control of his addiction has explained to me that when I was pleading with him not to lie but to live honestly, his addiction distorted my meaning. He was convinced I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure. He was lost and fought back with everything and anything to make me back away, because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. Your mother’s addiction only offers her failure although she is not ready to accept that.
I believe F&F waste valuable energy ‘wanting’ to believe that this time they are hearing the truth, so I think it is good not to believe anything because in doing so you become receptive to the addiction. If you can stand back a bit and listen to what your mother is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
This all sounds a little negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time to recharge your batteries and look after you.
By looking after you first you will become stronger, you will be able to reclaim your own life and start to learn to cope. Ultimately this is the best thing for your mother too.
I cannot tell you what to do but giving money to a CG is the same as giving an alcoholic a drink. In my opinion clearing her gambling debts is wrong as that enables her to gamble without responsibility.
I will leave it there for a first post and wait for your reply. There is so much to say but I know it is hard to take everything in. Your mother never wanted or asked for her addiction any more than you which probably doesn’t make you feel any better although I hope it helps you realise that her behaviour towards you is not deliberate but is the behaviour of someone with an active addiction.
I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled but more importantly on this forum I know ‘you’ can come out of this and live away from the shadow of the addiction.