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    • #76222
      kel84
      Participant

      Hi All,
      I am new to this, so any help would be very appreciated.

      I am very worried with my brother as I know for a fact he is gambling, He is 35 years old and lives at home with my mum and dad. He works full time with a good job (he works really hard and very good at his job), he is respected by everyone whom he works with. He doesn’t pay any board towards his keep at my mum and Dads house. He only pays for his mobile and Sky bill. He earns around £600 a week!

      Below are just a few examples:-

      In the past my mum and dad have had money missing from their house, £10 missing then £20 missing every now and again (what we know of) they have challenged him and he has denied taking any money.
      My dad did a few days work for him and owed my dad £300 for 2 days work, but never paid my dad, My brother has said the customer never paid him the wages so my dad never got paid for the work he did.

      My brother has never got any money, he is borrowing money from myself, my mum and friends. It takes him ages to pay back and when myself and my mum ask for it back he gets quite verbally aggressive which isn’t nice!

      The most recent thing that has happened, myself and my mum save money in a secure tin from selling items on eBay (the tin you have to open with a tin opener), we managed to save around £500 – £700 in the tin, my mum hides it in a wardrobe in her bedroom. She discovered the tin was missing at the weekend. no-one else has been in my mum and dads house, my mum challenged him and he denied it and said “why would I take it”?? “if I needed money I would ask”..
      We checked his room and discovered a hat full of change that looked like it been emptied and the remaining change left the hat. We have contacted the police and they are coming to make get a statement from me and mum in a few days.

      My mum had her bank card took from her purse and my brother drew £100 out of her account, again he denied it and we called the police, they caught him on CCTV outside a CO-OP, my mum couldn’t press charges as she didn’t want to ruin his career and reputation, so the police offered him a informal chat at the police station which he never turned to!

      I have an mobile account which my brother is on, I always have a message from the mobile company stating my calls will be restricted as my brother hasn’t got the funds to pay with, I have this problems most months.

      The situation is making my mum and dad really upset and making my mum mum feel Ill.
      I dont know what to do as If I challenge him I’m scared he will be verbally aggressive with me and He seems to have an answer for everything or he will just walk away. We are desperate for help/advice from people experiencing the same problems with family members.

      Any advise will be greatly appreciated

      Thanks for reading and hope for some information

      From a worried sister x

    • #76233
      Dunc
      Keymaster

      Hello
      Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
      Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page
      Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
      Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
      If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
      You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
      We look forward to hearing all about 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!

    • #76244
      velvet
      Moderator

      Hi Kei

      Well done writing what must have been a really, difficult post – I recognised every detail of your brother’s behaviour.

      There is a lot to say and I may not get it all into this initial reply but please keep posting – and never give up.

      The addiction to gamble is not about money; it is all about the ‘gamble’. The excitement it engenders in your brother will be confusing and overwhelming, he will not understand it. He may have won money in the early days but sadly he would have lost himself. The nature of his addiction meant that once it had a grip on him, he couldn’t walk away. He will be living with constant failure, destroying his self-esteem and confidence because he will always lose. The only way your brother knows how to cope with his problem is to lie but his lies have got bigger and more extreme and he believes them. With this denial of truth comes the arrogance, the swagger and the anger that causes you to back away.

      I am sure you are already aware that living without paying anything towards his board is enabling your brother’s addiction but I am wondering if your parents are afraid to tackle this.
      It is so important that your parents know they are not to blame for their son’s problem and to know that they have done nothing wrong. Please tell them that their son can learn to control his addiction or I would not be here writing to you.

      If your mother loses her health, she will not be able to help herself or her son. Please tell her about this site which has a wonderful Helpline which is one-to-one and anonymous. We have the F&F groups where you will all be welcome and where we can communicate openly and privately with nothing appearing on the forum. We also have this forum.

      Do you have other siblings, or uncles that will stand united with you to protect your parents from what amounts to a form of bullying. The bullying is probably not deliberate but is the result of an unhappy man in a cycle of addiction that he doesn’t know how to control.

      If your brother will listen, we have brilliant ‘gambler only’ group facilitated by Charles where he will be supported and understood. Our Helpline is there for him too. If he is so sure of himself, it can be argued that he nothing to lose by trying.

      I suspect all of you feel alone but none of you are. Help is here. Help is in GA for your brother and Gam-Anon is there for you and your mum.

      Please keep purses, bank cards, cash and valuables hidden from your brother, his addiction will take you all the way down to the bottom with him if you allow it. I know just how scary this all sounds but it seems to me that your brother’s unacceptable behaviour demands some serious attention.

      35 is a good age to change one’s life, your brother has enough wreckage behind him but a whole lot of life ahead to him to happily live gamble-free.

      I am going to stop this first reply here and wait to hear from you.

      I know this only touches the edge of the problem but I want you to know I am listening, nothing is off limits and I really do understand.

      Velvet

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by velvet.
    • #76359
      kel84
      Participant

      Hi Velvet,
      Thank you for your reply last week, Since my last visit We have tried talking to my brother in a calm manner to try and help but he either lies or just walks off, we are not getting anywhere, there have been more lies.
      With regards to the board situation, this has been mentioned again to my brother, he agrees but nothing happens and doesn’t give my parents any money. My mum feels likes she’s banging her head against a brick wall, and I think bothy parents feel uncomfortable approaching the subject again incase he becomes verbally aggressive. My mums not sleeping properly and its causing her anxiety. Unfortunately my brothers not even recognises this.
      My mum feels ashamed and won’t talk to anyone about it, this is why I want to find out as much information and get any help I can to help my family sort this problem.
      I have no other siblings which can help me, and my mum dont want me mention any of this to family or friends as she feels ashamed and embarrassed.
      We have hidden all money and cash cards and all our Money from our sales is at my house as we cannot trust him.
      It was my mums birthday and she got some money and she immediately gave to me to look after at my house as she cant trust my brother.

      Since my last visit, my brother failed to pay his phone bill, which is on my account. His bill was £137.00 he get paid every Friday, the phone company tried to take the money by direct debit from his account but he didn’t have the funds in.
      I advised my brother to pay it asap on the Monday, on Tuesday I asked him if he had paid it and he said he had. Wednesday evening I got a text to inform me my calls have been restricted, I knew my brother had not paid the bill. I rang him and he stated he had paid it, he then rang the phone company and paid it but blamed them as he stated he paid beforehand which isn’t true as I previously spoke to the company and they advised no attempt had been made of my brother paying his bill.
      Yesterday I was informed he paid his bill via the company card, the boss is aware and is absolutely livid.

      I feel his lies and actions are getting worse.

      From here can I ask what the best way forward is? how do I approach my brother? what step do I take next?

      Looking forward to your reply

      Kelly

    • #76363
      Dark Energy
      Participant

      hi Kel84,
      I am not sure if I can really help but I could give you the other side perspective since I have this addiction and I am fighting it for 4 years.

      firstly it depends on his personality, I could be ashamed of my father or mother but I could expose myself to my sister if she will not tell my parent. it may be the same case with him. try to speak with him one to one, promise him you will not expose him to your parents.
      tell him you are worried about him and you need to help him whatever the issue is, indicate that you will not judge him and you just need to help him to find a solution for his issue. (and if he exposed himself to you then keep your promise and don’t expose him keep it between both of you. it is enough, you can handle it together, no need for everyone to know).

      the gambler feels a lot of guilt and shame and some will prefer to die and not to expose themselves. till now I didn’t expose myself to my family but if my sister approached me in this way I will.
      try more than one time the first open the subject in general without mentioning gambling, the next creat a story about a where the result was the person has a gambling addiction and you are doubting the same is going on with him. I guess maximum by the 3rd time he will expose himself (if this happened to me for sure I will).

      secondly are you sure it is gambling? it may be another type of addiction, either way, be supportive and don’t judge him. don’t discuss what has been lost discuss the way from now on, what has been lost will not be recovered by gambling, and keeping the regrets about what has been lost will trigger the gambling.

      thirdly, he may not know that he is a gambler, I have been day trading forex markets for two years before I knew I am a compulsive gambler, I was ashamed to ask anyone so I sent an email with what was going with me to an online therapist and the reply came that I have compulsive gambling, frankly, I was shocked I thought I was trading for two years and it turns out I was gambling.

      there is a lot of unknowns here, you need to try with him to know how to help him.

      now from the other perspective, you are doing well by hiding the money from him, he should not has access to extra money the money is the drug in gambling addiction.

      there is a lot of work to be done but firstly, you need to get him to expose himself to you.

    • #76371
      velvet
      Moderator

      Hi Kei

      Your brother’s lies and actions will get worse the longer he is protected by loved ones feeling embarrassed or ashamed and feeling that they need to protect him.

      Your mum probably feels guilty that her son has this addiction and possibly thinks it is something to do with what she has said and done or not said and done. She probably feels she is the only one who can save him and the only one who should suffer because in some way it must be her fault.

      I am the mother of a compulsive gambler and I know all that your mum is feeling and thinking because I thought and felt it too. My son did turn his life around after many years but in the end it was not me that saved him. All my loving and pleading changed nothing.

      My son went on the Gordon Moody programme, details of which can be found on our Helpline and/or from me.

      What I have learned from my son who has a been living a wonderful gamble-free life for many years now, in control of his addiction is, that as long as I enabled he had no incentive to stop gambling. I fed his addiction because I was full of guilt, embarrassment and shame. As he later said, I did all the wrong things for all the right reasons.

      The addiction to gamble is neither asked for, wanted, or deserved, by anybody and that includes your parents; you and your brother. Guilt stops loved ones doing the right thing and it is unnecessary. Embarrassment and shame stop loved ones doing the right thing and it is unnecessary. I would love for your mother to come and communicate with me in a group on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. She will be anonymous, I will not know her, so there is no need for her to be embarrassed but she would be ‘talking’ to someone who understands her and who has stood in her shoes.

      Would your brother’s boss be willing to talk to your brother about his behaviour and direct him to good support? Is he someone you can talk to about your concerns?

      I will leave you with these thoughts for now Kei

      Speak soon

      Velvet

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