Thank you, too Twilight. It was well after I made my decision to refuse to be put out of the house when he filed for the divorce that I found this site. I didn’t even know about the problem, then and that it had been affecting me and our children adversely for many or most of the years.

I must say, though, that your words are what really strengthened my resolve … your words about your parent’s divorce and your subsequent experiences. Since our daughters’ custody was granted to him in the last divorce (and he retained almost all of our assets) I certainly feared that if I got up and just left (the most sensible thing, in the circumstances), one or both of our daughters would pay the price. I’d come back (hoping for the best, of course) because I realized that adults should be the strong ones in their children’s lives. I have no concept of what would follow that first divorce; I thought he just didn’t love me and was at least half convinced then that I was crazy. It was horrible to learn that our daughters were steeped in a history that “mommy deserted you” and many other negative things as a result of my doing what I thought best in light of the fact he wanted a divorce back then and was threatening to have me involuntarily commited (especially knowing as I do now that I suffered shock, panic and exhaustion from a heavy load of responsibility for too long) to protect his status quo and access to resources.

Both you and Jenny have strengthened me, but I hear your words differently because of the fact that I know my daughters can’t “appreciate” a lot and hopefully, that is because of my being able to make contact with people here and some others who are either wise or understanding.

I’m glad that you made the point about CGs in denial. I have a great deal of admiration for those in recovery; this one (gambling) sucks because it is one of the few “problems” that is socially (and obviously politically) approved of to indulge in … it has to suck to walk into a store and have the clerk “suggest sell” a lottery ticket when you are trying/have quit and find such suggestions on the state sight to “maximize product”. And so on. But it becomes difficult to speak genuinely about my circumstances without sounding like I am condemning all/being negative about all CGs.

It’s not even them (CGs)… I figure people should be free to do as they like as long as they are not hurting others … all the destruction and malice has been largely or completely preventable … just that the powers who profit don’t want to acknowledge and deal with the collateral damage as you point out. I don’t like being under the control of a person or government that DOES NOT have my interests and well-being (and certainly not of children affected, mine and others) in their mind OR their practices; it is injustice and I will leave it at that.

I have a quite weird sense of humor/perspective and have been thinking … maybe I can make a perverse “loser” poster to place on my car, modeled after the pictures of winners on the state lottery site or the retailers, with a big check of costs … to at least raise awareness. When I walked through town in a sandwich board in the summer, people actually did stop me and ask questions and so I was able to discuss the issue, rationally. I could put together a one page tri-fold with information as well as resources to hand out, as well. For the time at least, it may help me and maybe it will help someone else as well. I have no thoughts of changing the world/system … I’m not sure where I want or hope my life to head (yet). With so many new perspectives and experiences, I realize life can never be “the same” as before and that demands difference in me. I can pretty much guarantee that if I were suddenly lifted out of this muck and was able to (truly) rest and merely live and work, I’d figure it out and make a constructive go of it, as well as a satisfying one :-).

“It’s just the situation”

I too hope for a better break and soon … will have to update soon … but it is not necessarily true that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Sometimes it merely prolongs the agony!

at least I can say that with a somewhat smile. And a heartfelt “thank you”. I am glad that I read of your experiences and “spoken” with you here; especially glad to hear the positives of future days through recovery. For my daughters, for me, for everyone who is dealing with this from the places we are, here on this forum.