Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 34 total)
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  • #4775
    Jds1999
    Participant

    Hi everybody,

    A few months ago i found out that my dad is a gambling addict and has been for the last 6 years. He rang me up out of the blue admitting it to me and crying and saying how he is sorry how he hasnt been there for me and my younger brother. He said it took over him and for the last 6 years he has been struggling to cope with it. It has come out that he has stolen from family members and has gambled around £100,000 in the last 6 years. I knew he gambled but was shocked when it came out just how bad it is.

    I have lent him around £5,000 of my own money and in 2013 he made me take out £10,000 loan for him which he said was to help start up a business. He still owes me £2,000 of my money + there is £1,500 left of the loan to pay for and he hasnt helped towards that for the last 5 months now. It is adding more stress to a very stressful situation for me as i have been unemployed for 4 months now, i should be getting help but it has been me helping him the last 6 years.

    My parents are divorced and all this time he has told me not to tell my mum, i feel i have had this secret of lending him thousands and i am not getting any help from either parent because of this, my dad has made me skint and says he cannot give me any money and my mum has no idea how much i am struggling because my dad forever tells me not to mention anything to her.

    I am 25 and have had to pay for everything myself since i was 18, driving lessons, college course, holidays and have never been helped financially and to find out my dad has spent £100,000 gambling over the last 6 years i feel angry and let down.

    If anyone has any advice or can just add their thoughts on this would be appreciated thanks

    #4776
    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. 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!

    #4777
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi JDS
    This must have been a terrible and frightening eye-opener for you and I am glad that you have found this site where what has happened to you and how you feel is understood.
    The addiction to gamble is divisive and secretive. Your mother is possibly, probably, aware that her ex husband has a problem even if she has not, as yet, put a name to what the problem is. I am hoping you have a good relationship with your mother because, in my opinion, you could do with a lot of support emotionally and hopefully financially. The secrecy that your father demanded will have helped him get enablement for his addiction from family members and I believe it would be good if the family united to ensure your father stops borrowing and stealing. I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions must be yours but I hope that with knowledge of your father’s addiction you will be able to make informed decisions about whether, or not, to talk to your mother, your brother and other family members.
    Your father has let you down and your anger is understandable. I think it is important to know, however, that your father did not ask for or want his addiction – he was not to know when he placed his first bet that for him addiction was waiting.
    Now that you are aware, I believe you should tell your father that there will be no more bailing out of gambling debts or loans. I suggest you download from the Gamblers Anonymous web site the 20-questions and give them to your father so that he can see that his problem is recognised and he is not alone. I suggest that you tell him that without treatment his addiction will get worse but that treatment is available if he wants to stop wrecking his life. I believe it is important to let CGs (compulsive gamblers) know where support can be obtained and to this end maybe you could suggest to him that he goes to GA, or contacts the Helpline and/or CG groups on this site. In the UK we also have the Gordon Moody Association which is a marvelous, successful residential programme for CGs who want to live a gamble-free life.

    The best way to help your father and yourself is to put ‘you’ first from now on. You matter and it is important for you to never forget that your father’s addiction is his addiction, not yours – you do not have to be controlled by it. If it was me I would definitely talk to my mother but that is your decision.
    I will leave this first reply to you there and await a response from you. I hope it helps knowing that you are not alone. Well done starting your thread.
    Velvet

    #4778
    Jds1999
    Participant

    I havent lent my dad any money for around 2 years now and he has owed me the rest of my money since then. Him calling me up and admitting to me his problem came from him not paying me any of the loan he made me take out for him for 4 months in a row. Every month he didnt give me the monthly payment i kept hassling him for it and asking why he was in such a deep hole and now me and everyone on my dads side of the family know.

    Unfortnately i do no get on with my mum, i fell out with her when my parents divorced 8 years ago, i have not had the support of my dad because of his gambling and havent had it from my mum because i have never been close to her, neither parent have helped me since they divorced 8 years ago and am now 25 and feel lost myself. I want to now talk to my mum about it all, she wont be happy with me lending my dad thousands but at least she will see why i am struggling so much.

    I have also arranged to see a counsellor next week, i feel i have taken on my dads gambling all on my own the last 6 years and having no help from anyone has really effected me and i want to talk to somone to understand why i feel how i do.

    #4779
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi JDS
    I hope that you will find that you can talk here and know that what you are saying is understood. It would be really good to communicate with you in real time because I do know what it is like to live with the addiction to gamble and feel unable to talk to anyone so I hope you will join me in the Friends and Family group tomorrow (Tuesday) 20.00-21.00 hours UK time – nothing said in the group appears in the forum, it is private and safe.
    If you want to talk to your mum then in my opinion that is what you should do. Whether she is happy or not about you lending your father money should be immaterial – you are her child and you need and deserve support – I hope you get it.
    I am glad you have arranged to see a counsellor to talk to but in the meantime i hope you will keep posting and hopefully feel less alone.
    I will walk with you for as long as you want me to do so
    Velvet

    #4780
    Jds1999
    Participant

    Thanks Velvet,

    I have wrote my problem on a few sites now and not really getting much feedback so do appreciate any thoughts i receive.

    I keep putting off telling my mum in hope that the problem will go away but i realise it wont while i dont get help from anybody. I am not getting help from my dads side as his gambling has pushed us all apart and dont feel i can get help from my mum without explaining what has happened. I should be able to talk to her but my dad keeps telling me itl make everything worse but realised itl only make things worse for him and he has never thought about how his gambling has effected me.

    I will try and be online for the friends and family group tomorrow which sounds good.

    #4781
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi JDS
    I look forward to ‘meeting. you later. The group finishes very abruptly at 9 pm so I hope you get in early to give us time to talk.
    V

    #4782
    Jds1999
    Participant

    Where do I find this group?

    #4783
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hiya Jds
    I hope that you are feeling a little better having found this site.
    When you have contact with your father it is important to remember that the addiction is ‘his’ and you don’t have to let it control or wreck your life. The following coping method, although not professionally recognised has helped many people, in your situation, to communicate with an active CG.
    Try and imagine when you speak to your father that his addiction is a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you don’t lose your cool and threaten his addiction the beast will stay quiet but never forget that it is always awake and listening for enablement , an excuse to gamble or a chance to blame others for its existence.
    Your father is controlled by the beast in the corner but you do not have to be. When you tried to get your money back the beast, which is the master of threats and manipulation, would have left the corner and come between you taking control of what was said. It would have distorted your words to him and likewise it would have spoken to you with deceit. I suspect your father felt he could not get any more money from you at the moment which is why he is temporarily silent but the addiction beast never sleeps.
    If you are confused by anything you hear or read please come straight back at me. I know you are feeling very vulnerable at the moment and I want to help you to understand that there is nothing personal in your father’s misuse of your relationship. I sincerely hope that your mother is going to give you the physical support that you need.
    It might be that your mother has not dealt with her own issues with your father and maybe it will be difficult to break down the wall between you but whatever happens this site is here for you to push your thoughts around in safety – at least if she is aware of how you have suffered, your mother might be more ready to support you than you think.
    I hope the counselor you see will be able to direct you to possible ideas for work that you could do in your neighbourhood – maybe the CAB could help you too. You are at a crossroads and have not, as yet, managed to see a way to go but don’t ever give up looking and challenging yourself – you have had an horrible awakening to your father’s addiction but there is no need for you to allow this to define you.
    I hope you found the’ F&F Cycle and ‘Siblings’ useful and that they helped you to see how and maybe why people have acted as they have around you.
    Keep posting
    Velvet

    #4784
    Jds1999
    Participant

    I feel like I have been controlled by that beast all this time too, having to keep it all a secret from the rest of my family and dealing with it on my own the past 6 years I now realise has really made me the way I am, always feeling confused and that I can never ask for help from anyone else without worrying if I might bring up his addiction accidentally.

    I feel angry and let down by how he has been as a parent to me, I know he didn’t ask for his addiction but he has just totally let it take over him and just forgot about me and my two brothers, hes become almost a stranger to us. I see now that he has not asked for any money only because I have been unemployed the last 5 months, but he has still left me to pay off his loan and all he says is ‘sorry nothing I can do’. It’s not good enough and I know I need to speak up to my mother which will then hopefully lead to much needed help from her and other parts of my family.

    I have always just been used to covering for my dad and he knows that, he has used me for my money and to keep it a secret which has lead to me forgetting about myself, time to change that and am looking forward to going to my first counselling session tomorrow which will help me see and understand what is going on and how I can make things better for myself.

    #4785
    twilight16
    Participant

    Hi JDS,

    It’s so good that you are asking questions, trying to get knowledgeable about your father’s gambling addiction.

    I did the same about five years ago. To give you a little insight, and hopefully relief that things can change for the better. I want to express it was the support and help that I received here, through my threads and others, and attending virtual groups with Velvet and others that I was able to become stronger, with this also came self respect; finally standing up against my father’s ruthless and selfish addiction.

    Yet in the same breath, I will say it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I am now living a very happy life. It’s as normal as it can be, the one I imagined living when I was repeatedly taunted for over 20 years.

    Your father will say or do anything to get you on his side. His addiction will cuddle you, making you feel special, for the sake of getting what it wants. But watch out if you don’t help, if you don’t give in. Then the addiction changes tactics and demands and lays on the guilt, bringing in the but I am your father card, trying it’s harder to pull on your heart strings.

    When you wrote that your father said for you not to tell your mom about helping him financially, he did so because he knew your mother would be upset. But he twisted it to look otherwise. My father did the same thing asking me to co-sign a loan and because I trusted him I did. In the end he never paid it back and I was left with a $50.000 loan that I had to pay. I learned the hard way and hopefully you have learned to never give him money again. He is the adult, if he can gamble then he sure can afford what he needs. No parent should be asking their child for financial help, there may be a few instances. Gambling or anything other addiction is not a legit reason.

    I learned through my recovery that tough love was the only way I was going to get out of the mess I was in with my father. He would not listen to reason, or if he acted like he did he would go back to his old ways. I learned that he needed to take accountability and I was not his go to person for enablement. I’m sure you are thinking this must have all came naturally to me but it didn’t. I often felt like a little hopeless girl alone because I didn’t involve my mother because I didn’t want her to take matters in her own hands. In the end when I was finally free. I told her what I went through for many years
    and she said she wished I would have told her and that she wouldn’t have done what I thought. You write that you are not close to your mom and I feel your dad may be using this in his favor to pull you in and manipulate you, to use your kindness for his benefit. This addiction likes to isolate it’s enabler. I would talk to her. I’m sure she wouldn’t be surprised.

    Your recovery is what is important. Just remember every time you give in to your father you are giving to an addiction that is getting stronger by the day.

    Have you thought about putting some distance between you and him? If you want to change your life you must change it.

    Take care,

    Twilight

    #4786
    twilight16
    Participant

    Hi JDS,

    It’s so good that you are asking questions, trying to get knowledgeable about your father’s gambling addiction.

    I did the same about five years ago. To give you a little insight, and hopefully relief that things can change for the better. I want to express it was the support and help that I received here, through my threads and others, and attending virtual groups with Velvet and others that I was able to become stronger, with this also came self respect; finally standing up against my father’s ruthless and selfish addiction.

    Yet in the same breath, I will say it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I am now living a very happy life. It’s as normal as it can be, the one I imagined living when I was repeatedly taunted for over 20 years.

    Your father will say or do anything to get you on his side. His addiction will cuddle you, making you feel special, for the sake of getting what it wants. But watch out if you don’t help, if you don’t give in. Then the addiction changes tactics and demands and lays on the guilt, bringing in the but I am your father card, trying it’s harder to pull on your heart strings.

    When you wrote that your father said for you not to tell your mom about helping him financially, he did so because he knew your mother would be upset. But he twisted it to look otherwise. My father did the same thing asking me to co-sign a loan and because I trusted him I did. In the end he never paid it back and I was left with a $50.000 loan that I had to pay. I learned the hard way and hopefully you have learned to never give him money again. He is the adult, if he can gamble then he sure can afford what he needs. No parent should be asking their child for financial help, there may be a few instances. Gambling or anything other addiction is not a legit reason.

    I learned through my recovery that tough love was the only way I was going to get out of the mess I was in with my father. He would not listen to reason, or if he acted like he did he would go back to his old ways. I learned that he needed to take accountability and I was not his go to person for enablement. I’m sure you are thinking this must have all came naturally to me but it didn’t. I often felt like a little hopeless girl alone because I didn’t involve my mother because I didn’t want her to take matters in her own hands. In the end when I was finally free. I told her what I went through for many years
    and she said she wished I would have told her and that she wouldn’t have done what I thought. You write that you are not close to your mom and I feel your dad may be using this in his favor to pull you in and manipulate you, to use your kindness for his benefit. This addiction likes to isolate it’s enabler. I would talk to her. I’m sure she wouldn’t be surprised.

    Your recovery is what is important. Just remember every time you give in to your father you are giving to an addiction that is getting stronger by the day.

    Have you thought about putting some distance between you and him? If you want to change your life you must change it.

    Take care,

    Twilight

    #4787
    Jds1999
    Participant

    I have not given him any of my money for around 18 months now and now that i know he is a gambler and lied to me all these years i wont give him any more. I am just at the stage where he owes me £2,000 of my money which i lent him plus there is £1500 left to pay on the loan and he keeps promising me some money but i now know i most likely wont get it.

    I just spoke to my younger brother about telling my mum soon and he thinks its a bad move as he feels it wont change anything; only give my mum something to be mad at. But my younger brother hasnt been effected by this like i have, he hasnt lent my dad any money and had a secret to keep all this time plus he is getting support from my mum which i have never got.

    Have got my first counsellor meeting in the morning which would be good, first time have been able to talk to someone about this in person.

    #4788
    twilight16
    Participant

    I sense that you are well on your way to recovery. In tragtds to the money your dad owes you I would consider it lost money. I wouldn’t even bother trying to get him to pay it. It will only bring more unhappiness when he doesn’t, I suppose it will be a hard lesson but one you have learned.

    You are still very young to put this behind you. Seeing a counselor will help you sort your feelings out. Yet return to this site as often as you can for more support. Go back and read other thread as from years ago .

    Wishing you all the best.

    Twilight

    #4789
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Jds
    Siblings often have different reaction to the actions of the parents and it can depend on many things. Your brother has not got the same relationship with your mother and the difference in years means he will not have the same memories as you. Do what is right for ‘you’.
    It is what has happened to ‘you’ that matters as far as this forum is concerned – you have suffered from living with the addiction to gamble and you don’t deserve what has happened to you.
    I appreciate, as do you I think, that talking to your mother may not go as well as it should – there are barriers between you erected by tragic circumstances and secrecy – but that secrecy is hurting you and the pain is getting greater. Lack of communication can build unnecessary resentment, anger and hurt – unless the parent knows what is going on they cannot begin to try and make things right. It might be that the parent doesn’t know how to make things right but if they are in the dark they definitely can’t make things right.
    I will leave it there tonight with one of my favourite quotes from- Mahatma Gandi:- ‘You may never know what results come from your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results.
    I wish you well with your counsellor
    Speak soon
    Velvet

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