18 September 2010 at 5:11 pm #2688still alive – justParticipant
You may remember some of my postings on this site about 5/6 months ago. My son had been in a car accident with his wife and baby daughter. At that point his gambling losses and fraud came out. He had fruadulently opened acounts in his wife’s name, taken out second and third mortgages without her knowledge and other misdemeanours to enable his gambling. He had lived a life in secrecy and his wife was totally shocked at the revelations (as were we all). His wife under the influence of her parents left him on that day. He has had neither seen nor been able to communicate with her since that date. She would simply not respond. Nor has he, or my wife and I been able to see his baby daughter.
Before he married my wife and I ensured that his wife was aware of his previous gambling problems, and suggested that if she still wanted to marry him that she should take control of their savings/money in order to protect them. At the time of the marriage he had been gambling free for about 3 years, and my wife and I thought that he had turned his life around. He remained gambling free for (I believe) a further 2 1/2 years, and then after the birth of his daughter his business started to go downhill and the gambling started. The net effect is that he managed to lose c£100,000 gambling, his house, his wife and daughter, and has been made bankrupt.
Devastated by what has happened to him, he found Gordon House and chose to enter. He has now been there for just over 5 months. Without doubt he is getting real help and benefit from Gordon House and (whilst never being certain that he will not gamble again) seems to be giving out the right signals for controlling his gambling urges. He clearly is anxious not to sink into the abyss again and I am confident that he will complete his course. Indeed, he currently anticipates remaining in Dudley for a while after his course has ended in a halfway house.
Unfortunately, at the beginning of last July he was arrested on a number of counts of fraud, GBH, and dangerous driving relating to the last bout of gambling before his wife left him, and the car accident.
Since the accident, as you may all remember, my wife and I had been under considerable presseure from his wife’s parents to provide her with a home and support her. We did pay off all her debts (at considerable expense) and give her some additional money. However, that is as far as we wished to go. They in return wish only revenge for what my son has done. In that respect his wife’s father informed the police of what he had done, and the various fraudulent activities he had carried out. He is a JP, has many contacts in the police and was able to bring pressure to bear to ensure that he was charged. Subsequently, the GBH charge has been dropped, and I would similarly expect one or two of the other charges to be dropped, because there is simply no evidence. The main trial is to be held on 4 January 2011.
So whilst on the one hand my son is making the right moves to turn his life around, at the same time we have the fear of what might happen at the trial. He is clearly guilty of a number of the charges, and has already pleaded accordingly.
So why I am writing all this. The honest answer is that I am going through a bad time at the moment and I feel I need to write about this for the sake of my own sanity. My main emotion at the moment is anger. Anger at the police for carging him – how can this be in the public interest when he is trying to turn his life around, and actually no one other than me will have lost any money. Anger at his vengeful in-laws for bringing all this about. Finally anger at me. Since my son has been in Gordon House, we have learnt from him that he started gambling at the age of 13. He partly funded this by stealing from the school lockers. I believed that I was a good parent who knew his son, and yet I did not pick any of this up. I had no inckling; maybe if I had been more vigilant I could have stopped this from happening and we would not be where we are today.
I also am suffering from the realisation that it will be difficult for me to ever completely trust him again, and therefore hard to imagine how I can ever achieve a proper relationship. Also, despite being told many times that it is no-one’s fault, it is simply the addiction taking control and using this as a justification for stealing (going back to the age of 13) I find very hard to accept.
Please excuse my ramblings, but I have found it theraputic to write this.
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