Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family December 2010 and so it goes on ………………………………..

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    looby loo

    Where will this ever end? Today I am struggling and this could be long………………
    It’s nearly 3 years since my son entered the ‘Big Brother House’ that is Gordon House. Some of you may have followed my story a long long time before that. Yep, you have guessed it I have been here for what seems like years and years !!!!
    As parents, it is hard not to offer that ‘unconditional love’ I believe they call it. It means that so often we are tested and take from our kids, things we would not take from any other human being, we would have told them to get lost long ago !
    We have had to show ‘tough love’ to our son, and no, it’s not been an easy ride. One step forwards, two steps back you might say. Ups and downs (more downs than ups) I believe.
    However, we have always supported, or tried to, but perhaps not in the way he would of liked, in the form of money on many an occasion. We have tried to reason (we know the addiction doesn’t like reason) and often it therefore falls on deaf ears. things have been ‘okay’ for a while then suddenly it all goes txxts up again. An evil rollercoaster ride, that makes me sick every time I get on it. I so much want to believe, (and I think he does to) what he tells me, after all it is all so believable – why would one doubt what is being said – that is until you know the addiction and the power it has on someone who has fallen prey to its demands.
    I pick up the phone, I put it down again – where’s the point. Yes, there is a point, I write an email, I delete it, where’s the point. Yes there is a point, I compose a text, I delete it, where’s the point ?
    Today, I have written so much and deleted it, picked up the phone so many times and put it down again – there is NO POINT.
    I will bring you up to speed, quickly as I don’t want to bore the pants of you all again ….
    Son got job working in construction, renting room, met a girl a few months ago who was going to Oz in November, he lost his job in construction, (we still are unsure why, but are told work dried up and believed this), he moved in with her and her mum (who is going through a torrid divorce) as he could not afford his rent, landed another job, but had racked up more debt due to no work. We were introduced to the gf, who is a nice girl, head screwed on and all that. She due to fly to Oz on 11 Nov and before going put a photo in his wallet, found betting slip from only the Monday previous. So, **** hit the fan before she flew off to Oz, her mother told me my son was only down South, because we threw him out, to which I tried to explain that he was down South because he went to GH. She started ‘preaching’ about how her nephew who was a druggy had ripped the family apart and without being rude I said I really did not want to hear about someone else’s family issues. I also tried to explain that we had lived with this addiction for 9 years and I really did not want to get into conversation with her about it.
    Apparently son has since told me the gf is annoyed that I have not rung her mother to ‘apologise’ for the day she flew out of UK. It was a day charged with high emotions and I do not think (I could be wrong) I have anything to apologise for? I told it how it was, I was not rude, although telling someone you are not interested in their family could be construed as such.
    The gf text me just before she got on plane saying she hoped I could ‘forgive my son’ and pay his travel until he got paid, as she did not want him to lose his job as well. I did do that, I paid £25 which he paid me back as soon as he got paid at the end of November.
    He contacted OW at GH and met with him.
    On 17 Nov son asked for part of his promised xmas present, (he did not have anything for birthday either ) and asked could I pay the deposit for his flight to Oz to visit her in Feb, which had gone from a 3 week visit to a years visa !!! We paid the £100 deposit and the full balance was due by him- yep you guessed……………………….today.
    He rang at the end of November telling me he had this money paid into his account and that money in cash and we went through all he owed and what/how he was going to pay – and he would trsf me the money for the flight as I booked it – great you might think – what is wrong with this woman ?
    On the next day (Saturday), he ‘disappeared’ he did not answer a call/text or anything – I smelt a rat, but then he did answer in the evening saying he was out with mates, and ‘Trust me please’ – everything is okay.
    The next day, we receive a call from a taxi driver down South saying he has our sons phone and keys (her car key on them) all his bank details in phone as he did a runner from the taxi the night before ! the driver says he has enough info on him to take out a civil case. So, I call him at where he lives (with her mum) which I don’t like doing – its not his home and I feel is an intrusion! He answers and I tell him about the call’I will sort it mum ‘ He says he doesn’t know what happened on Sat night, thought someone spiked his drink ? He called me in the afternoon saying that her mum was still upset that I had not spoken with her about the day the gf flew to Oz and that he wants us all to get along as she is the girl he wants to be with. I try to explain that we don’t even know this person (her mum) and that things are not going to be’okay’ because of recent events and what happened and that all of it has nothing to do with us. Then his phone goes off as he cancels SIM. So, we are left wondering what happens. No contact for days, then the snow, he is off work cant get in. Few messages on FB regarding his visa etc and the flight (I know some of you don’t like that site, but as he added me as a ‘friend’ it has enabled some contact with him). Was asking him if he got visa, and his replies were ‘don’t know what the panic is it only takes 24 hrs’ – the delaying tactics we know !!!
    So, we are now at 7 Dec, I checked the bank for his money – nothing, flight had to be paid today. 10.00pm last night the phone rings, the pit in the stomach. Could we pay the flight as he has not been paid all he was due and he would have it by cheque on Friday and had a letter from the company accountant which he would scan and send to me ! Answer – NO – asked him why did you tell me what you had been paid, which I went through with him again quoting all the figures and – why did you lie ? I wanted to sort it myself mum. But you aren’t sorting it yourself, you are asking me to sort it.
    I tell him we will not pay it, we do not have a credit card or that sort of cash and even if we did we would not do it. He will have to ring travel company and ask for extension or he says he will have to ask her mum. To be fair at that point he did not get shirty, but did remind me that I had not spoken to gf’s mum to apologise!!!
    I reiterated that the only people who had committed anything to the trip at this point is us ! and that he needs to contact the travel company or get his money from work today !
    His FB status this morning said ‘F…. ing give up – had enough! to which I replied, why he said ‘you know why’ (referring to the non help with paying for the flight) and then underneath a message from the gf aimed at me which said – ‘Don’t you worry yourself !!
    I am incensed and upset, as usual he has turned it to make us out to be the bad guys.
    So………………………. I rang the gf’s mother, and left a message for her to ring me. She has just done so, I did not apologise, but said it was a highly emotionally charged day and that I merely explained I did not want to discuss anyone else’s family problems. I tried to explain that he is down South and we are here and don’t really know what goes on. She says his gf is her daughter and her main concern, but she is fed up with the arguments they are having on Skype !!! quite a lot was said, but again I reiterated that I did not think it fair that we talked about either of them. We did have a discussion, she is very bitter about her husband (who she is divorcing). She did mention sons lies and how it just escalates matters, and that she is not sure son is the guy for her daughter. She is fed up of them arguing on Skype morning and night and believes ‘what will be will be’. They are adults she is 26, he is 25 and they have to make their own decisions. Her daughter is the other side of the world, homesick and she cant make it right – who can ??? I told her as much as she cares for her daughter, I care for my son. It matters not what he has done to us, he is and always will be our son and I think about him 24/7 and can do nothing to help him – except walk away.
    She says she is glad he is coming home for Christmas, he should spend it with his family and if he goes to Oz wants his belongings removing before he goes ! as she will possibly have moved during the year. If they do come back together they will not be living at hers……………………………..
    That’s it really, I have cried all day, we know its not going to be the ‘happy ending’ he wants and we just have to sit on the sidelines, get on with our lives and watch it unfold. I will not give up HOPE though.
    Thanks for reading x been cathartic to do this.
    We must look forward and must never look back, we cannot change what has already happened. The future is brighter.Looby Loo

    looby loo

    Well we are home after our ‘break’, can’t really call it a holiday as our minds were really back here with recent events. It was very hot in Bulgaria, just how we like it and the hotel was lovely, food left something to be desired, but hey ho its and up and coming resort and feel sure they will get there in the end. Recent events have continued after taking him basic foods on the Weds we called Friday before we left for the airport. ‘Have a nice time – I am okay’ – yes right !! Spoke to him Sat to let him know we had arrived safe and asked how he was ‘okay – watching telly’ . Got a text from our close friends on the Monday to say son had text – no emergency payment due to tax code and no food – advice please. By the time I text back they had gone with daughter and bought £5.44 worth of basic food stuff and delivered it to him in the Tesco Car Park. Have found out today that they chatted with him in car and I will fill you in with that bit later. I spoke to him on Wed and he did not mention the text or the food shop and I did not mention it either (kept it up my sleeve and it is still there) !! I asked if he knew what his plans were re job etc and he said no and to ‘ stop stressing him’, also said he couldn’t get into his email account to retrieve his CV and had had to email hotmail to get his password as there was a copy on a sent email ! He was supposedly due to be paid on Friday 27th May – so I text on Friday saying hopefully he had been paid and phone topped up and could he text to let us know how he was and what his plans were – no reply ! I called – phone off !! Daughter text to say she had met him on Thurs with his niece, she bought him a drink of pop and they had a chat. She said he was still saying silly things, like I am going to get a laptop to use the internet, her saying well you really need to use your money to get a place to live etc, etc. She said they might have him to lunch on Sunday and he said ‘I will pay and treat you’, she said she didn’t expect him to pay and he would need to use this money wisely. He told her he was meeting an old school mate on Friday evening and I knew then the scenario which was to follow. I text her Sun to see if they had him over -she told me No as she had text him twice and called on Sat to make an arrangement – guess what – no response !! Our close friends, who he called to collect him from the station and went with daughter to take food, also tried to text and call from Friday to Monday – no responses and phone off most of the time other than 12.30am Mon morning when one of her texts delivered !!!! still no response though. Even friend sending a ‘can you text its urgent’ didn’t get a response, which lets face it could have been any number of things- accident, illness, death etc !! Daughter called hostel late Mon evening asking if he still resides there – told yes but she said she did not want to speak to him, just wanted to know if he was there. He told daughter he was not going back to his job in London (still don’t know if he really still had the job). I called last night and withheld my number but phone still off. Hubby and I have talked a lot during our break and have decided that we have to walk away. We want to tell him face to face that until he sorts himself out he is now no longer a welcome visitor here and not to contact us at all. If and when he decides that the time is right and he makes the choice to get support etc and comes out the other side then he will be welcomed again. However, with no responses we cannot even arrange to meet, we will not go to the hostel to ‘seek him out’ and I don’t want to do it by text, or are we just best leaving it – thoughts please ????? Spoke to friend this morning and she told me more about the meeting with the food (daughter has not said anything about it). She said they told him they had only gone for us ! They asked how he was with the gambling – he replied he thought about it every minute of every day and ‘my head is messed up’. They said it was not surprising and that when he got paid it was his opportunity to try and sort a few things, accommodation etc and he also told them he was not going back to London ‘they are all idiots at that workplace’. He said he might need help with someone looking after his money and they said there were plenty of us willing to do so, all he has to do is ask, but it would be a case of when he wanted money he could not throw a wobbly when there was none available !! Thank God they are now singing from our hymn book. Friend also said that he was looking out of the car window and thought he was only listening to the bits he wanted to hear. I said he was probably realising that their door was also closing to him too ! What do we think has happened: 1. He got paid and blew it all so now in hiding again. 2. There was no job, therefore no money so again, gone into hiding ? Neither of which we have concrete evidence but going on past events and patterns one or the other seem to fit. So that is my update, not brilliant really is it – never expected it to be really I suppose, always HOPED though. I have had really bad nightmares on holiday about him – so much so that hubby has had to wake me on various occasions as I have been shouting out – always with sons name !!!! Hubby is worried about my mental state too. Survival of the fittest now I am afraid and we have to be the fittest………………………………………………….and strongest………..stronger than ever. If walking 10 miles in a night then sleeping in a field, then on a mattress in someone’s drive is not enough to hit rock bottom – what is ???We must look forward and must never look back, we cannot change what has already happened. The future is brighter.Looby Loo– 01/06/2011 14:52:52: post edited by Looby Loo.


    Hi ya Looby, I would suggest that maybe you send an email or letter to OW at GH, to forward to your son. I dont know if they are still in contact but I would think after this disappearing act he is more likely to contact OW before you.
    Rock bottom is an awful place but for me it was a place I never arrived at until after I’d done all the desperate acts and pathetic behaviour. A place I went to in my head. Sleeping in a field, ******** and going to prison might be something that others percieve to be my rock bottom, or even what I done at New Year. What I know to by my rock bottom is when I had no where to turn and no means to escape by gambling, the solitude of a desperate man. I had to face my demons I had to think how I ended up in that position, always always the answer was the same gambling. To be frank Looby he wasnt at rock bottom when you went on holiday what with payday around the corner, he was in cloud cuckoo land. Maybe if he has no payday this month reality might bite. He might realise that he has arrived at rock bottom, with a payday looming he might think he has another chance to win things back to normal! However twisted and pathetic that sounds it is how we think at such *****.
    I dont know if you ever read the book No Big Deal by John Coats, I think now would be a great time for you and mr. looby loo to read it. He descirbes addiction with such clarity from the addicts side. It has been a valuable tool in my recovery and both my parents were gobsmacked by it, it has certainly helped them both.
    See you soon. Geordie.
     I dont gamble.


    I just wanted to say you are truly a strong and inspirational lady!! I can’t imagine for one moment what it must be like if it is one of your children with the addiction, as a mum myself love is unconditional!! All we want to do is help but as you and your husband have done there is only so much you can do!! I really admire you!! And hope that I will be as strong as you as a mum with whatever is thrown my way!!
    Take care xx


    Hi Looby
    I cannot tell you what to do but I feel that any more emails and texts to someone who is saying they want to be left alone is only going to aggravate that person and the situation and not help. As you have found in the past communications can be twisted and I am sure your son is quite aware that you love him but does not understand that love. 
    Your quiet, best ***** have been when you were separated by lack of communication. Communication, I think, can be enabling when it is being abused by the CG. Your son has turned his phone off – his choice. If your son is gambling it is his choice. All the texts, messages and talking seem to be achieving little and in my opinion, it is because he is determined to prove that he can keep his addiction in the face of all those who care, as long as he gets confirmation that you are all still there doing the soul-destroying for him. 
    I agree with Geordie that we cannot know rock bottom.  We would consider that sleeping rough, not even having our own clothes to stand up in, going to prison would be rock bottom but we are not CGs.  I believe it to be a mental state too and we cannot fathom it. 
    From all you say it is doubtful whether he still had a job when he turned up on your doorstep and maybe there was no payday and has been no further gamble – just a web of lies but it makes little difference.    
    Hubby is right to worry about ‘your’ metal state. Both of you, in my view, need to look after yourselves.  It is good that your friends are really trying to understand. Maybe the four of you can help each other build a life separate from the gambling that is causing so much distress and talk about other things and focus on other things whilst knowing the understanding is there. 
    Dear Looby – in my opinion, you, your friends and daughter are giving too much of yourselves to dealing your son’s addiction whilst your son is not bothering at all. He says he does not want communication and he is the only person who can change his life. Words written and said are rolling off him and causing you further distress. He is determined to have his addiction. I don’t think that telling him anything face to face or any other way is going to make a scrap of difference, although maybe it could alienate him further.  I stress that this is my opinion. For me, the more I gave the longer it went on.   Every action I took seemed to make things worse until I took no action.  Why it ended when it did is beyond me but it was not me that ended it. 
    Look after yourself Looby


    Hey Looby am pleased you have ordered that book, I think you will be glued to it after the first chapter. Thanks for trying it anyway, it is aimed at addicts but I think you will find a lot of comfort in it. If its not your thing somebody might well appreciate it as a valuable aid at some point in the future.
    You know Loobs your situation and Annies really do help people like me. Your thread in particular has moved me many *****, and, covertly you have shown me how my gambling has effected my Mam and Dad in a  way that they would never be able to. You are a superb Mum and my heart goes out to you.
    The fustration and confusion that gambling has caused you is evident, but you have a great understanding of it now and I think that is a blessing. I dont think anybody really knows the answer to it all, except to say all users of this website are better off without it. I can understand how very fustrating it is, because when the penny dropped for me I just had to laugh at how pathetic it all was.
    Velvet has hit the nail on the head in the reply above, I agree with every single word.  As cgs we think that is such a struggle to stop gambling well we would wouldnt we it makes it easier to carry on, however I KNOW it is not hard. That may sound contridicrorary after how I was at New Year.; "Its my lot in life" "I cant live without it"! What a load of rubbish. When the penny dropped for me on my first weekend gambling free I actually laughed out loud not a humorous laugh an ironic laugh, I’d been doing "cold turkey" pacing up and down, the sweats ect. Then I thought what is all the fuss about why am I behaving like this. I dont go fishing so I never go in the bait shop, I’m not a muslim so I dont go in the mosque, I dont gamble so I dont go in the bookies. So what its no big deal. Yes I did struggle for years and years but ultimatley because I wanted to there is not one attractive thing about gambling to me, I dont want to do it. This is the conclusion I have come to. I dont think anybody can endure life as a cg indeffinatley I really dont, however I know a lot of us are so tolerant of it it can stay with us a **** of a long time.
    We convince ourselves it is difficult, and its not.
    What is difficult I think is to live in your situation and see this stupidity year in year out knowing that it is really just a case of saying no, and that is what it boils down to.
    I will probably be shot down in flames for what I’m about to say, but I cant bite my tounge because its what I believe to be true (I literally cant bite my tounge, I’ve taken my teeth out). I believe that when a cg is struggling frequently with urges and regular slips then they are not really in recovery. I believe that recovery only really begins after an amount of clean time, we cant recover from something until we’ve seen it for what it is. In recovery we HAVE to change not just talk about changing. A lot of us after GH think we have it cracked but would never say this, but we think it, we wouldnt say this because others will say we are setting ourselves up for a fall. It is true therapy has to be ongoing, well for me certainley. If we all done the things we said we would do when we left GH I dont think any one of us would ever gamble again. It proves a lot of us still have a little denial still in us even after 9 very strange months. A little denial can very soon turn into a lot of misery. (We wont share our denial, but please have some of our misery so as we can get on with our gambling!).
    I’m not saying everyone who slips hasnt been living in recovery not at all, what I’m saying is those of us that have slipped one week, then the next then the next but change nothing are living in denial. The ones that slip and make changes to ensure they dont make the same mistakes again are starting to recover. I am in recovery I will never be recovered, I will always be in recovery, God willing. However this is the new life I’ve wanted and just never realised it.
    There is a new life for him Looby, one day he will know it.
    I feel I can say what I’ve said because I know how so very different the world is to me. I hope it dosnt come across as sanctomonious dribble.
    I myself get fustrated with some other cgs when they just cant seem to stop, but thats really unfair, I caused fustration by the bus load for thirty years.The stopping isnt the hard bit, whats hard is the realisation that it just a case of saying "no". 
    Easier said than done? ……Not when you’re in recovery.  Very difficult, if not impossible, when in denial. In denial when you make it through the day with out a gamble yes its great but along with the happiness is also a great sense of relief for getting over an urge or just for getting through the day. We dont live with urges if we deal with our feelings and our emotions in a practical way, and thats what we do in recovery. At the end of a day in recovery there is no relief just contentment, content because I have lead an honest a true life for that day.
    Cor Blimey sorry went off on a right tangent again sorry for hijacking your thread Looby, I just want you to know it is possible.
    My Mam and Dad seem in fine fettle today but it was really hard to get them to accept I dont need any help with my train fare next week. They will always be enablers as I have previously said, thankfully for them I no longer require enablement as I dont gamble.
    Tara for now.       Geordie.
    I dont gamble.– 02/06/2011 21:56:58: post edited by geordie18.


    Dear Lobby Loo,
    I was in a similar situation with my father as you know and I knew the ***** when I thought clearly and became strongest against my father ‘s gambling addiction was when I had no contact with him. I had to get myself together and let my father be. No contact PERIOD! No little talks, no texts.
    I learned this only gave the addiction false hope and would only torment me because I really didn’t just want a little chat here and there. Of course I had my moments where I wanted to have some contact but I told myself it was not an option and I would only being taking steps back in my recovery. I could not emotionally afford to do this to myself or my little girls.
    Yes, I am in contact with my father after two years of estrangement but it is very different. I am immune to the addiction still within him and unfortunately our relationship is not the same but I also realize it could never return to my long ago memories. However, the greatest joy from the craziness I endured with my father and his addiction is that now I am really free of it. I really have no tolerance for it. I know now it is OK for him to side with it but it will never have its grips on me. To me it really doesn’t exist. It has no power over me by using my father. I just laught at it.  
    Honestly, there is no reason for you to see him one last time and tell him what he already knows. In his state he doesn’t care he just wants to continue his life gambling. I don’t think my father reached rock bottom with all the hardships he had so waiting for it is not a good idea either.  
    Just know you are doing the best thing for YOU and your son now.
    Much love, Twilight

    (I believe we get our greatest strength from the hardest obstacles)– 6/3/2011 11:10:44 AM: post edited by Twilight16.


    My dear Loobs
    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I just tucked my 8 year old son in before i read your thread…and….. ‘there by the grace of god go all of us…’
    I hope my son is never affected by this dreadful disease in the way his father was, but if that is to be his/our journey I hope i can find find the strength and determination you are showing!!! I know this is agony for you – but all i can ‘hear’ in your posts is how much you love him. Thats why you are finding some way to stay strong!!!
    You are an amazing mother Looby. I hope you, and his dad, and all those around you who love your son continue to stick together and support each other. in doing so, you will help him when he’s ready to help himself.
    Hang in there dear lady! One day you will enjoy a sleep-filled and nightmare-free holiday!!! Keep the faith!
    Much love and light to you always!
    Meg *******************"We are each of us angels with only one wing…  we can only fly by embracing each other"

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