Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Don’t know what to do about my son’s gambling

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #6972
    Worried Mum
    Participant
    #6973
    Worried Mum
    Participant

    Hi all. New to this forum as feel so lonely and fed up. My son has been a gambler along with other addictions for over 10 years now. Having read other stories my situation is not unusual but I feel so low. I haven’t got the strength to support him any more. He works so hard in his profession and hasn’t even got have enough money for food. He can be very verbally aggressive and knows I don’t understand this addiction and uses this against me. I am at the stage now where I don’t even want to hear from him.

    #6974
    dunc
    Participant

    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!

    #6975
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Worried Mum
    How much I admire the strength it took for you to write your post.
    There is so much I would like to say to you but I will keep my first reply short. You are right when you say that your son can use your unawareness of his addiction to manipulate you and in my opinion the more knowledge you can gain the easier it will be for you to cope.
    You have proved to me that you have amazing strength by writing that first post – now you need to use that strength to look after yourself. If you crumble because of his addiction you won’t be able to help him or yourself. Take time out every day for you, a time where you don’t think about his addiction but a time when you do something that you enjoy. Your son is controlled by his addiction but you are not – and nor do you have to be.
    An addiction will often bring those who are closest all the way down to the bottom, if they allow it. Does your son live with you?
    It is a tough message for any mother but you cannot make your son stop gambling, you cannot save him. However, I am writing to you because I know that your son can control his addictions; he might not be ready to change his life yet but it is within his power to do so.
    A good form of support is Gam-Anon, the sister group of GA – maybe you could find a group in your area. Physically sitting with others who understand you can give great comfort – I always think of my F&F groups as sitting together talking over a cup of tea. It doesn’t matter how many stories you read, your story is unique and you deserve to be heard and cared for.
    There is an F&F group tomorrow evening and another on Thursday, both between 10 and 11pm. I would love to ‘meet’ you there, when we can communicate in real time. It is private and safe. nothing said in the group appears on the forum.
    I hope to ‘speak’ to you tomorrow evening but in the meantime please write again and maybe let me know how old your son is.
    If you don’t want to hear your son then I suggest you don’t listen too closely to his words – words spoken by an addiction are often cruel and manipulative.
    Speak again soon. I know the loneliness you feel but I will walk beside you for as long as you want me to and hopefully you will feel less alone.
    Velvet

    #6976
    Worried Mum
    Participant

    Thank you so much Velvet for your lovely reply. You don’t know how much I appreiate your supportive words.

    Reading other stories mine does sound very familar. I know my son has an addiction (s) and we have treid together to get him to stop. I have control of his money so pay his bills (he doesn’t live with me) but I know he borrows from friends. Every couple of months he’ll beg me to pay debts with a detailed repayment plan which goes to pot a few weeks later. Probably at the moment he owes less before and for the first time has decided to go to therapy. This is great but paying £60 per session is going to be hard for him to maintain I fear but I am full of hope.

    No one else in the family knows about his issues and until now have felt I could cope but lately it’s been tough. We’ve argued more and said things that are hard to forget and I know he needs my support but feel he’s been really nasty.

    I will look up Gam-Anon…thanks for that.

    I would love to join the live chat one evening soon.

    Take care.

    #6977
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi WM
    I wrote you such a long reply last night but somehow I failed to either send it or save it!!!!
    I am hoping you will be able to pop into the group this evening as I am off line after this evening until late Sunday or possibly Monday.
    Your son is not nasty but his addiction is. It is an addiction of failure because a compulsive gambler can never walk away from a gamble – constant feelings of failure results in a gambler feeling worthless. Because your son believes himself to be no good, his addiction will cause him to lash out with distortion and deception because sadly, ‘at the moment’, he doesn’t have or know any other coping mechanism.
    It might be a good idea to communicate with out Helpline about dedicated addiction counselling and possibly look at GMA, details of which can be found in a Q&A forum on our forum’s page – our Helpline can give you details of this too.
    I hope to ‘speak’ to you again soon but in the meantime, you are in my thoughts
    Velvet

    #6978
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi WM
    I thought I had lost this post which I wrote late last night, with the intention of checking it this morning before posting. Unfortunately I don’t have time at present to edit it so I hope it makes sense. I am sure I have repeated some of what I have just posted. but here goes……..
    I sometimes feel I have two heads when it comes to the subject of sharing one’s son’s problem with the rest of the family. One head says that I think you are keeping his secret because of shame and wanting to protect him – but there is no shame to be had – your son did not ask for, or want, his addiction, nobody is to blame. Addictions thrive on secrecy and it is often better to share especially if the rest of the family might enable. Families and friends often know there is a problem but because nothing is said – they don’t tell you because they want to protect you!
    My other head is the one that I had on my shoulders for 25 years, the one that said I didn’t want anybody to know what was going on in my life because it was up to me to put things right and that if I could keep it all secret knew then maybe the problem would go away and nobody need ever know.
    Sharing with people who are willing to listen without judgement is a worthwhile, I think. A compulsive gambler is not a bad person although their behaviour because of the addiction, is often unacceptable. Your son probably gambled the first time, just like millions of others do, just for fun – he didn’t (and couldn’t) know that for him addiction would be the outcome. Nobody would choose to be a compulsive gambler.
    One way to cope with your son’s nasty words is to imagine his addiction as a beast in the corner of the room. When you speak to him, his addiction is awake, poised and ready to jump – but as long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten it, it will stay in the corner.
    Your son is controlled by his addiction but you are not; you can gain knowledge and be one step ahead. When you threaten his addiction with conditions, it can leap between you and control the conversation, probably turning it into an argument because it is the master of threats and manipulation. Once the addiction beast is roused, you will only hear his addiction speak – and because it knows only lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. His addiction will distort your words, drastically altering reality to fit his personal perception – he won’t understand what you are saying.
    The addiction to gamble is an addiction of constant failure and misery so your son almost certainly believes he is worthless. Because he believes he is no good, it follows that you must be lying when you tell him you love him, or that his life would be better if he stopped gambling because why would you love someone so worthless? Believing himself to be without worth your son fights back with nasty words, distortion and deception because sadly, at the moment, he doesn’t have, or know, any other coping mechanism.
    By standing back and just listening rather than trying to make him listen to you, it will hopefully become easier for you to stay out of an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side, his addiction has something to get its teeth into.
    I know this all sounds a bit negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you.
    I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to look after yourself first and that by doing so, you will become stronger. One of the best ways for you to win is not to play the game.
    £60 a session is a lot of money and there is support in the UK for gamblers who have nothing. Maybe, when your son is willing to listen you could show him the GMA programme which is wonderful – there is a Q&A section on this fantastic project in a forum further down the forum’s page. I would be happy to talk about it in an F&F group or you or your son can ask any questions about dedicated counselling on our Helpline.
    I hope I haven’t thrown too much at you and that you will post again. In an F&F group you can ask me anything and I will answer you to the best of my ability.
    Velvet

    #6979
    sattaking3499
    Participant

    I know its hard to get a conversation with an addict, but talking is one of the most effective steps to cope with this situation. If you feel he is not responding in a proper way to you then you should ask any close friends to him.

    #6980
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi WM
    You haven’t written for a while and I hope that means you are coping better. It would be great to get an update.
    I cannot tell you what to do as all decisions have to be yours. I cannot say and would not say, for instance, that you ‘should’ talk to his close friends. It might be that you know some of his friends and that you know them well enough to trust them with the knowledge you have but sadly, I have known such confidences backfire. You could end up with an angrier son and one less person you can talk to. Family can be different but once again only you can gauge who can be trusted and who will listen and understand what you are saying – it isn’t easy I know.
    Listening is my preferred, effective, step rather than talking. Asking a gambler to help you understand so that you can support him is often a great way forward – obviously if he uses this opening just to obtain more money then that is not helpful, however, I would imagine that your son is not happy and maybe he could be encouraged to talk about how he feels.
    Hoping to hear from you again
    As Ever
    Velvet

    #6981
    Worried Mum
    Participant

    Hi Velvet & all,

    Thank you again so much for all your kind words of encouragment. I really hope you are all doing well.

    Been a bit of a roller coaster for me as was made redundant and have tried to focus all my energy into getting a new job. Ironcially my son was doing really well and felt that after about 6 sessions of therapy he was going to manage without support. His business going well and he also met  a lovely lady. We were managing debts/money ok and then about 3 weeks ago its gone back to square one. He’s lying and now behind on bills again.

    I don’t want this post to be about me but I can’t do this anymore. It’s like we have gone back 10 years and those 10 years have been tough.

    Take care.

    #6982
    velvet
    Moderator

    HI WM
    Your posts should be about you; this forum is for people just like you.
    There is no shame in saying that you have had enough, the shame would be if you could not come and say it here. What do you want to do WM, do you want to walk away?
    Did you find a Gam-Anon group for you – what support have you got from family and friends?
    Gamblers who enter a gamble-free life do struggle with complacency – it pops up when they least expect it, unwanted and hard to resist. Maybe if your son had continued to get support, he could have talked such a common problem through – I firmly believe it is not too late for him. I don’t think that 6 sessions of therapy would have come close to changing the situation that I had in my life, it seems to me that your son, like mine, needed a lot more support than that. GA is always available, as is this site.
    I hope you find a new job soon but until you do, please concentrate your energies on you, your health and well-being.
    I really do understand what it is like to reach the end of your tether, it would be great to ‘see’ you in a Family group where we could talk in real time, there is so much I would like to ask you, so many thoughts I would like to push around with you.
    As Ever
    Velvet

    #6984
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Awesome post.
    Thanks for sharing
    Keep posting Satta fix jodi

    #69311
    Worried Mum
    Participant

    Hi all,
    nJust a quickie. Some is taking advantage of this site and seems to reply to my post with adverts. Very disappointing for sure.

    #69314
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi WM

    Thank you for pointing those posts out, I’m sorry I didn’t spot them – we do try hard to be vigilant.

    It has given me a nudge, however, to catch up with you and ask how things are – I know they were tough back in March and the world has changed quite a lot since then.  I hope that you are keeping healthy.  

    Please update

    As Ever

    Velvet 

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