Hi! I am the mother of two daughters; my ex-husband is a CG who filed for divorce when our daughters were just about to go off into the adult world. I did not know about the gambling PROBLEM until after he filed. I just knew he bought “some” scratch tickets and lotto and very,very occasionally (or so I thought) he would go to casino.
I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to be the child, only that it must be harder than being the spouse, in several ways. One article I read put it well, as it explained how often children’s roles are reversed – they are “expected” to be the adult and the “parent”, or in some cases, sort of a “surrogate spouse” especially if divorce has occurred.
Anyone can tell you not to feel guilty, but in many cases, it is normal to take care of aging parents (who don’t have addiction problems). Obviously, there might be some ways in which if they do, some assistance is appropriate, but figuring out what is and isn’t might be very hard, I think.
Especially since you have responsibilities of your own and no unlimited funds to draw from, I hope that you get the information and support/encouragement to set appropriate limits. A lady in Gam-anon (phone conversation) made a good comment to me; she pointed out that if a person “did” $1,000 worth of cocaine, it would kill them – not so with gambling.
You might feel bad not to be able to help your mother, but AS a mother, I guarantee it sometimes was hard to say “no” or discipline my children even when I KNEW it was for their long-term good. Sometimes you have to act differently than your feelings tell you.
Anyway, I am living with our youngest (21) because neither of us can afford to live on our own. Her father wanted a divorce, but was not willing to follow through with the legal consequences of his “adult decision”.
As you can see with your mother, the same is occurring. There are consequences to the decisions she is making, and as an adult – she should be willing to take those. As an addict of course, she wants to continue on without those … and if she can talk you or anyone into accepting those consequences, she will. Who is going to bail you out, though, when you run up against a problem?
I hope you will find strength and encouragement, here and elsewhere, that will help you. I really love my daughters and was living life – not perfectly – to, as I thought, have some savings and assets for when their college or weddings came up, etc. I can’t even give them good suggestions, at this point, as to how to deal with the negative items on their credit that shouldn’t be there … and had to put my own student loans on forbearance the other day (and am grateful they were so understanding).
Please make sure that you can take care of yourself … one of the things people often don’t think of in budgeting are the “inevitable” emergencies … like car repairs … or economic trends beyond our control. I know an often quoted suggestion is that a person have about 6 months of living expenses banked for such things. If you don’t, I encourage you to seriously think of using that as a help to setting limits and if you help your mother, do it in ways that she can’t (easily) use it for gambling. It sounds like that is what you are aiming at, and I applaud you. I think you are definitely on the right track!
Please know too, I am glad you are here. My own daughters don’t like talking too much about their father or how they have been affected. Reading your and other posts from children affected helps me to understand some of the issues they are faced with.