Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Fed up, tired and not sure what to do next

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    Hi everyone, this is the first time I’ve posted on here although I’ve read quite a few posts before to try and get some ideas and insight into how to try and cope with the situation.
    Around three months ago I found out my mum is a compulsive gambler, I was left shocked, reeling and totally devastated at the amount of money she had lost. Well over £200,000 at that point.
    She only told me because she was penniless at that point and in dire straits. Turned out she had been problem gambling on and off for over eight years but when I thought about it, it had been going on as long as I can remember.
    Mum’s partner had been aware of it for a good few years and had already been through being deceived, lied to and given her loads of money.
    Its been an emotional roller coaster over the last few months as she is having counselling and was thinking about rehab but then found out she had cancer so that didn’t happen.
    Dropped another bomb shell today when she asked me for £1000 and not to tell her partner. I haven’t given her the money and have given her a day to tell her partner.
    I just feel so disappointed and resentful, we’re all worried sick about the cancer and all she can do is gamble, lie and deceive us all. The crazy thing is I spent years working with drug addicts and know how it all works but it’s so different when it’s personal. I feel incredibly childish but I just want my old mum back. The one who didn’t give me constant anxiety and worry.



    Hello Fed Up

    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!


    Hi Fed Up
    I am sorry you have not been responded to quicker, Unfortunately I have had a problem and I am not replying as quickly as would like to do.
    It would be great if you could join the F&F group this evening between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time as I guarantee I will be there to welcome you.
    If you don’t make it, I will reply properly to you soon but circumstances have rather thrown me at the moment.


    Hi Fed Up
    How do you get on with your mum’s partner? Did your mum tell her partner that she was trying to get more money from you?
    I am wondering if your mum wasn’t burying her head in the sand when she rejected the possibility of rehab – maybe she felt her cancer meant there was little point in taking on another life-changing course which she thought she couldn’t control. If this is so then maybe you could talk to her again about being gamble-free and the peace that comes with taking more control of ones life.
    I understand your disappointment and resentment but of course they don’t help ‘you’ move forward. Looking after you is so incredibly important; if your mother’s addiction brings you down with it then it has won and for her sake, as well as yours, that should not/must not happen.
    Your mother’s coping method is to lie and deceive in the hope you don’t see her addiction for what it is but you are stronger than she is and you can see so much more than she can.
    Well done not giving her the money she asked for – it often feels easier just to give in but it doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help her. Enabling an addiction by clearing gambling debts, or providing cash to gamble, mere feeds the addiction allowing it to grow quicker and stronger.
    It’s not at all crazy that your work with drug addicts would help you deal with your mother but it will have given you an insight into the way things will go unless somebody calls a halt. It is also far from childish that you want your old mum back – have you told her that?
    You are fighting on two fronts, each one so difficult. Is your mother getting treatment for her cancer? Is her partner supporting her? I suggest that, if it is possible, uniting with your mother’s partner against her addiction could be good for you all.
    I hope you will keep posting because I am aware that you have not had the responses you deserve. I am glad you have been reading a few posts to help you get some ideas about coping. In my opinion, doing something that pleases you every day will give you space for ‘you’ to breathe. It is easy to find oneself worrying about the addiction of another 24 hours a day, it is easy to forget oneself but you are important and your mental health is important.
    I hope to hear from you again soon

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