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    Jane 123

    my son is a CG we only found out recently and are at a loss as to what to do he has completely shut down and won’t talk to us. I’m sure he is taking out payday loans and we are desperately worried about him

    Jane 123

    My son is a CG he is not talking to us at all and is in a whole works of debt although we don’t know much as he gas completely shut down. He has stolen from us in the past and we just can’t trust anything he says anymore which breaks my heart. Where had my lovely boy gone and will he ever come back to us



    Hello Jane

    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 Jane
    well done on finding the forum. I can’t write too much tonight but I will bring up my thread entitled ‘the F&F cycle’ for you and maybe it will help you see that you are in the right place here. Our Helpline is open between 9am and 5pm – it is one-to-one and private and it is there for you and your son when he is ready.
    I will write to you asap

    Jane 123



    sorry I said I would bring the thread up and didn’t !

    I will do it now



    Hi Jane
    Talking to someone who doesn’t want to talk is very difficult and barriers get harder and harder to pull down the longer it goes on. Your son wants those barriers because the reason he doesn’t want to talk is probably because he feels ashamed, bewildered and a failure and probably, most of all, he doesn’t believe that anybody can understand him – least of all, sadly, those who care the most.
    The following is a coping method that is not recognised by professionals but I know has worked for many.
    I suggest that as texting is the only communication you keep it very, very short. Maybe just ‘I love you’ when you go to bed or ‘I had a bad/good day today how about you?’ When you see your son say ‘hi’ or similar and avoid conversation about gambling or what you think he should be doing.
    When you enter a room your son probably thinks ‘what’s coming now?’ So, as you enter to speak to him, or when he walks in from work or whenever you see him, imagine a beast called ‘addiction’ a few feet away from him crouching and waiting for you to speak one word out of place about his behaviour or what you expect or want from him or for him. You son may well feign sleep or bewilderment when you speak but this is to buy time for his addition to prepare its answers to get you to back off.
    Your need is for your son to stop gambling but he believes that his need is to ‘gamble’. Without treatment you will not stop him unless he wants to stop. The good news (such as it is) is that ‘you’ do not own his addition and you can gain knowledge and be one step ahead.
    When his addiction perceives it is being attacked it lies and deceive because that is it’s coping mechanism. His addiction will seek to blame you and demoralise you and in turn it will demoralise him destroying his self-confidence and self-esteem and that is why it so important that you look after yourself.
    I had it explained to me by a CG like this – when you say to your son, for instance, that you love him, he cannot believe you because why would you love someone so worthless (which is what ‘he believes)? If you can lie about such things then maybe you are lying about everything – remember that lies are his chosen tool to protect his addition. Believing himself to be a failure, a disappointment he distorts truth because at the moment he doesn’t have a coping mechanism. As I said above though about texting, I believe that saying ‘I love you’ without entering any further discussion is good because it confuses the addiction and can give your son hope that although he believes you cannot understand, maybe you are still on his side.
    I believe it is better not to believe your son’s words in these early days because in trying to see truth or change, when he is muddled by addiction, only makes you more receptive to an addiction that is the master of manipulation. It is better to avoid an argument that has no other purpose than to make you feel less in control.
    I know a lot (most) of this sounds negative and the opposite of what any mother should have to face but what it does, is it to remove you from the centre of the addiction giving you time to gain energy to do that which you can do to support your son.
    I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to look after yourself first and that by doing so, you will become stronger, you will reclaim your own life and be able to cope with his addiction. One of the best ways to win is not to play the game.
    I suggest that you talk to his siblings and ask that they unite against his addiction but to try and understand that he need help not judgement. It isn’t easy and I have a thread called ‘siblings’ which I have also brought up for you which will hopefully help you achieve a balance with those around him. Unity against an addiction is great for the CG even if they don’t say thank you for a long, long time.
    I really would not be here if I didn’t know that this addition can be controlled – it takes courage on the part of the CG and enormous understanding of those around them. Good support is precious, enablement is not.
    Please keep posting and I really hope to ‘meet’ you again on Thursday between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time.


    Hi Jane it was good to meet you in the group tonight. I thought I would take a look at your thread and I can see things have been very difficult for you. I hope you are finding time to care for yourself as well as your son.

    I see Velvet has written you a great reply and I have to confess I find it much more difficult to give advice to parents as I know it is a completely different situation to when a partner is a CG but I wanted to show you my support.

    It sounds like you have been working hard not to enable your son and it must be so hard when he won’t talk. I really hope that the tips velvet has given you will eventually help break the walls put up by the addiction down.

    Do keep posting, you will find this a great place for support and understanding as I have I am sure.

    Keep on keeping on and taking care of you and never give up hope, many do find a way out of this awful addiction. Lily x


    Hi my names lawrence im 28 yrs old and im currently waiting to go to a rehab centre. This is my 1st time on this website.. The reason i clicked this because it stood out the most with me being similar with my mum and reading the comment from velvet decribed the way i felt and how distant i am from everyone else and the barriers i put up. Gambling for me is one of the worst addiction because there is no limit and so many ways to gamble. With myself personally, i gamble prolific have stolen from my mum my brothers and sisters in the past and i just lock myself away because of the shame and the embarrassment but only now that ive thought harder about the situation im in and a change in my life is needed because the last 12 years havent done nothing for me then other make me depressed and miserable but for some reason now i feel like ive got a spark that i need to change my ways of life and tackle this addiction head on and just know that after this my rewards will be a lot more bigger than any win ive ever had. i pray your son gets the help he needs hes not alone with this addiction and i hope that more things are put in place to help more gambling addictions because it destroys so many peoples lives.


    That’s really good of you to post on this thread.

    Keep hold of that spark mate, believe me you can turn things around.

    Whilst you are waiting to go rehab you might find it beneficial to start your own thread in the “My Journal” forum. Not every one who posts there has been through rehab, but you will find many people in similar situations to yourself. You will also encounter many people who don’t gamble any more and have been in your position.

    I have been through the GMA programme myself, and if I were to give one piece of advice to anybody going there it would be to remember how far down gambling has dragged you, and to listen to the staff in order to never let yourself get dragged down again.

    Like any other form of support rehab wont cure you it isn’t a magic wand. However what you learn there can help you change your life around completely.

    Good luck with it Lozdean, all the best.



    Hi Lawrence, It is really lovely of you to post on Jane’s thread and give the perspective from the ‘other side’. It sounds like you have had a rough time and are keen to recover, it is good to see you reaching out. You might find it helpful to also post your own thread on the gamblers forum to get support for you if you haven’t already.

    My partner is in recovery now after 30+ years of gambling, he too started young like you and resorted to stealing and went to prison more than once. It took time and support from the residential program but he has been clean now for months and if he can do it anyone can so there is always hope. Take care and well done for looking at your own addiction and trying to change. Lily x


    Oh I have just seen you have already had a post from Geordie saying all I said while I was writing! Sorry for the repetition . Lily x


    Hi Lozdean
    I hope you will start your own thread in ‘My Journal because I would love to follow it.
    GMA is brilliant – they provide you with the tools to live a gamble-free life.
    Personally I think that support is of great benefit, both for family members and CGs, when a loved one goes in to the GMA programme. Maybe you could point your mum towards this site; it is good for a parent to realise they are not alone and that they have nothing to blame themselves for, all her worries will be understood here. If she doesn’t wasn’t to write in the forum then I have a Friends and Family only group on Thursdays between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time, nothing said in the group appears on the forum. It would be great to welcome her.

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