Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Back to square one, no actually what is worse than square one?

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    I don’t like this site cos it’s all about the horrible things associated with gambling, no positives so that’s why I am back to harp on about how ill I feel, how desperate I feel, how I feel so shattered. I have lost all hope for my son. We have had six terrible years, then suddenly we got hope from GM. But that’s gone, now I have really lost hope. I have lost my son, I just need to come to terms with it. I never give up, I have massive strength but this time I’m done in, I’m defeated



    Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

    Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

    Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

    And on that note….

    I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Dear Anni
    I get what you mean about hating the site but I don’t think you would be posting if you didn’t believe that for all the bad there must be good here too.
    I would love to hear more about you and your son and maybe I can give you some support during this seemingly hopeless situation. As the mother of a CG I know where you are coming from and the depths of misery you are finding yourself in following the ray of hope that was snuffed out after your son went to Gordon House.
    You have said ‘we’ so I am wondering if you have a husband/partner to support you at this time. I hope you don’t find me intrusive and I know I am generalising but often husbands, partners, families give up before mothers and their seeming disinterest adds to the overwhelming misery. I know I am surmising and I hope you will post again and put me straight.
    I can hear your strength and I am glad of it. I hope you will feel you can share with me because I know that my son will always a CG just like yours so I know how hard this post must have been for you to write.
    I have a group on Tuesdays 20.00-21.00 hours UK time where we communcate in real time – it is for Friends and Families only and nothing said in that group leaves the room. We are able to be very open and I believe it is a place of comfort from which members gain strength. Our helpline is one-to-one Anni and it is manned by at least one CG who has been through Gordon House and is living in control of the addiction to gamble – maybe it would help to talk there, I don’t think anybody could understand more than someone who has been in your son’s shoes – it is private and you can express your feelings safely.
    It probably is just a matter of coming to terms but my gosh I know the terms are terrible to contemplate. There are positives Anni and maybe between us we can find them – I hope so.
    I wish you well and hope you will post again


    Hi Anni, it might be worth your while reading some of the stories on the forum for those who gamble. You will find lots of really positive stories of how people have turned their lives around. I am one such person, and I don’t know your story, but I know there were times when I felt lost in this gambling disorder. However , I somehow found my way back.

    However, looking back I wasn’t lost, I was just overwhelmed by it. My greatest hope was to get past the awful compulsion, which seemed to take all my energy , feeding it or fighting it.
    I guess I also listened to people who defined me by this disorder. I don’t anymore .

    I got great help and support from most people on this site, although like you I found some of it horrible too.

    I actually also took a supplement which research has shown helps reduce gambling urges.. I am not in anyway medically qualified and can’t recommend any supplement or even a drug to anyone. However, I feel I can’t withhold what helped me. It is a supplement called NAC which you can get from a health food shop.

    I think (if you will please excuse me being presumptuous) that your son is not lost to you, he is simply overwhelmed by this gambling disorder at the moment . I can tell from your short post what a loving mother you are, and I wish I could help take your pain away.
    I too have a son and he is my life , and I understand how when we see our children struggle,the pain is magnified so many times for us parents.

    I will pray for your son Anni, and for you too, that you will both get freedom from this horrible, destructive disorder! You both deserve it!


    I really appreciated your post, especially as you are the mother of a CG. I am very fortunate as my husband is much like me, we seem to be in the same position, but, it’s impossible to know that completely,because our mind and its contents Are very much our own. We are both continuing to support our son, despite the traumas. I have been worried about my husband as he is usually so strong and positive, but this latest incident has floored both of us but my husband has been really emotional. He never takes sick leave, but on this occasion he did , his health is concerning me. He says he feels devastated that our CG son can’t talk to him about when he is down. We have two other children, and they are amazing. They are very much part of our strong family unit, and I know I am lucky in that they are great people, they are beautiful on the inside and out. Our son who is a CG was also beautiful on the inside, loving, smart, caring, family orientated. Our middle son is so angry with his brother as is our daughter. They can see what he is doing to himself. To me and my husband and to them. My son thinks we should just get our CG son to move out of our home. He says we have drawn a line too many times and given our CG son too may chances. On this last occasion our CG son once again stole a substantial amount of money from us. Again. How many times can we put up with this? The thing I really can’t get my head around is why do they steal from those who love him, it’s the deviousness, the clever ways they manipulate, the lies, the deceit. All this is worse than the money they take. I’m concerned co I think we haven’t been strict enough, that we have made things worse by looking after him. Our other tow children are disgusted with our CG son, they are so angry, and inside so am I. A few days ago I felt like accepting that he was not going to move on, and I felt like giving up on him, mainly because he treats us so badly and it’s all about him. I love him, and I don’t like saying this but I hate who he is at the moment. So I suppose I need to believe that our son can find himself and be who he was…. A loving caring person. He doesn’t like who he is but despite have an amazing experience at GM and coming away with his toolbox, he has so quickly put them in the attic gathering dust. He really annoys me. Because sometimes I think he thinks he is too good to start at the bottom, but he had every chance in life, full support T uni, a loving family support network, great friends , an amazing girlfriend. I am sick of the suicide threats, I am sick of the moods, I am sick of the delusion, I am sick of the lies, the deceit the refusal to talk, which is what he said was so important after leaving GM and I am tired of him abusing us. I am really trying to be positive with him, but I really am feeling close to the edge, and at the point where I want to ……………………….” The last incident felt so déjàvou been here, got the tee shirt, same old same old. I am angry, but I still want home to find himself. He doesn’t seem to have the staying power, to work through the difficult times he will have with very little money et . So where amI??????? Where am I?????? I pray to God that he will give me strength, and that my son will find his pathway to happiness Tired Nd exhausted


    thank you sad 69. I am going to use the site and hopefully find something. The fact that you have been in recovery for a long time gives me hope, but at the moment I am feeling so low about the position my son is in at the moment. You. Say you felt lost. I think my son feels the same, thing is he can’t really know how lost I feel , and even though he is sorry when he has made a if mess up, he goes on to do it again, I am weary, but thanks for praying for me… Even though I feel low, I have taken a positive approach with our son, when he was in bed after the recent relapse wallowing in self pity, I told him to man up accept what he had done wrong move on and get back on track and that we would support him. I can’t keep up this approach much longer so I hope I. Going to get support to manage this situation realistically. Honestly though I get so mad. I feel so angry with all th gambling shops and the government for not addressing the severity of the gambling problems in the UK. But clearly this is displaced anger. Thanks again


    Hi Anni
    I too am the mom of a compulsive gambler and feel sometimes I could die of a broken heart yet other times am so very angry that I don’t know what to do or where to turn with this anger.
    It is such a rollercoaster being at the mercy of their emotions. You try to be firm and not enable and you get the suicide threats which feels like you’ve been punched in the gut.
    I realize how badly they are hurting but the same song and dance doesn’t get us anywhere. I too am sick of the moods, the lies, the suicide threats , the hours spent in bed after a relapse… the list goes on. It’s exhausting and has affected all our family members so much.
    I have started attending Gam Anon and there is such support. People who understand your frustrations and your fears. It certainly won’t “cure” your son but will help you focus on the other parts of your life.
    ((Hugs)) from one mom to another!


    I can see we have been in the same place, I am going to go to a group, but will it ever end? Is there a point where you ask them to leave? Our son lives with us, but we are at the point now of telling him he has to move out if he financially abuses us again. We sound at a similar point, our son is 26 and has bee gambling sine he was at least 20 maybe earlier. Are u a UK resident and are you talking about gam on on in UK? Does your son live with you?


    When you said the same song and dance that resonates so much with me, yes it is the same song and dance we have been here so many times and I’m sick of it, I am weary and angry xxx thanks for your share but will they get sorted. It’s the loss of hope that worries me. I believe in him S I knew him, but I feel I don’t really know him. Clearly for me it’s the lies, deceit, the manipulatin, the devious cunning nature that is repulsive.


    Hi Anni,
    I’m so sorry to hear your son is causing such trauma for you and your family. I have a son who created havoc in our home to the point where he abused us verbally and acted out whenever things weren’t going HIS way or when he felt people (me , usually) “were pushing his buttons”. His behaviour was not related to gambling but the hurt was similar to your’s in many ways. As you described, it was “ALL ABOUT HIM”. It became so tiring, I just could not stick it any longer . It was affecting my health, family relationships and we were doing him no favour by condoning his nonsense. Eventually, I just had to “show him the door”. Nobody can tell you what action to take with your son Anni. I’m just writing, as a mother to empathize with you in this awful plight.
    I also have some insight into the workings of a gambler’s mind. In the aftermath of gambling Life becomes scary as HELL. After all the chaos and disaster, reality finally hits and take it from me it is VERY painful.
    As well as being a mother, I have the misfortune to be a Compulsive Gambler. Therefore I can see both sides of the problem.
    You say you “support” your son.
    Gamblers have a knack of abusing that support, Anni.
    Time for Tough Love, maybe?


    My son is 26 and has been gambling compulsively since he was about 19. It has taken both he and the rest of my family (husband, older son and younger daughter) to hell and back. It is a relentless addiction that can take anybody in its path down with it. I do feel devastated that the powers that be bestowed this addiction on my son but at the same time we soon realize that the sympathy route goes nowhere fast! The addiction is just waiting for that little opening to bury itself back in to his life. This really is up to them to sort out but it is so painful having to watch your child struggle. I too am like you … will this ever end?
    We are in Canada. I go to Gam Anon once a week. In our city there is only 1 Gam Anon. I would love to do the chats on here with Velvet et al but the time difference makes it impossible:(.
    My son has been going to GA for about 1 1/2 years and it really has helped I think. He is comfortable there and hopefully can be honest. He does still relapse and I feel like I am brought right back to Day 1 after this. Recovery – both ours and theirs – is a hell of a lot of work!
    He was living with a friend but this friend had to move for work and my son couldn’t afford the rent on his own so he has been back for 2 months. I can be his worst enabler (which is something I really work on ) by feeling sorry for him and while never giving him money let him live rent free to help him use his earnings to pay off debt. This never works!
    I could go on and on as I have been very frustrated lately (obviously by the ranting on my post!).
    Try a Gam Anon meeting and if the timing works for you a chat meeting… talking and writing help to give you the support you need!


    Thanks unity, but you say you are a CG and you say gamblers have the knack of abusing support, which clearly I am experiencing
    As a CG are you saying you continue to abuse support. I appreciate what you are saying about your son, The issues I have with mine are all around gambling, we had no issues as him as a person before the gambling, so I hope you don’t mind me saying, that I am not clear on the point you are making and I mean this in the nicest way


    Thanks Cathy, I thought you weren’t UK based by your term ‘mom’ Sound like we are in a similar position. And the ages are the same including the timeline of it starting at 18 to 19. I’m going to access velvety group on Tuesday. And think about a gam anon group. We have drawn, yet another line under this latest episode, and if he abuses us again or doesn’t stick to the rules, we will be asking him to leave. I have already got a list of bed sit accomm and given it to him because we have two other children, like you and we have our life, we are approaching retirement and it’s our time, so I do feel that I will really stick to our promise to him, that he must move out if he abuses us or does not stick to the rules, and I can’t be responsible for all his suicide threats. Thanks again,


    To clarify, Anni, I can empathize with your feelings as a mother towards a son. Because I am a CG, I can relate to your son’s situation and I feel HIS pain too. These are the two points to my post.
    Remember there is a huge difference between a CG who is “active” and a person “in recovery”.
    When I am gambling, I am very ashamed to say, I do abuse support. When I stop gambling, like your son, I become a different person.
    With the proper help , your son will reach his full potential, hopefully.
    Gambling has the capacity to destroy everyone who comes in contact with it.
    I wish you and your family well.


    Wow Anni, it was lovely to speak with you in group the other night.

    I just caught up on this. I am beyond impressed. I want to hug you and promise you all will be ok, but of course I can’t .

    I am beyond impressed because
    1. He trusts you enough for you to know when he has slipped (WOW!WOW!WOW)
    (Secrecy is the thing that allows the addiction to thrive and yet honesty is so hard. What an amazing mother you are. I hope as my son gets older he has the same trust in me)

    2. You told him to man up and move on.This is great for him. It is saying u have made mistakes but you can get past them. There is a better future . You have given him hope which is so important after gambling .

    3. You said you would support him. ( emotional support is invaluable and it is clear that you always have)

    4. You recognise that he is a lovely person when he is not up in the craziness of this addiction, and he will know that you see this.

    I think you handled it so well. Your son will have been very low coming down his latest “fix” , but as a mother I understand that when our children are in trouble there is no pain like that which a mother suffers. My prayers again !

    You also recognise the importance of the other members of you family and don’t allow it to be all about the person with a gambling disorder. This gives strength to the other member s of your family .

    I hope this is your son back in recovery Forever Anni.

    Would your son consider joining this site? The groups for people with a gambling disorder are excellent and the staff are incredibly supportive in these.

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