15 August 2016 at 8:57 am #4850
I’m back again after several months, our son has been to GM and been out for well over a year. At first things went well, but he has had well over five relapses, some worse than others. He still lives at home with us, his girlfriend has stuck with him. He has hurt us ( mum and dad) and his girlfriend during the process. We have stuck by him giving him support. He has even managed to get a good job with prospects. His last relapse was on pay day last month. We had an arrangement where all his salary would go into my bank and I would give him money on request. Despite agreeing to this ( because he felt that when he had large amounts of accessible cash he was tempted)’ he changed the arrangement and had the money put int his account. Bear in mind he has debt to pay off , he only went ang gambled a whole months salary in three days. He now has no money for the rest of the month, but seems to think we will pay his expenses. He said he wouldn’t be able to keep his job if he can’t get there. We have bought him a season train ticket to get to work, and provided sandwich making stuff to us for his lunches. Despite this he is still asking for money to go out with his colleagues stating its important for his self esteem. We have explained that he needs to take responsibility for his actions and that it’s not for us to work things out for him. Although he’s 26′ he’s behaving in an adolescent way, and I think he is manipulating us. My husband
feels bad because our son is not communicating with him , our son won’t talk things through with us. It’s so wearisome keep going back to the start, wondering what the next shock will be. I’m hoping velvet reads this, as you have been so helpful to me in the past. Very weary15 August 2016 at 8:42 pm #4851
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, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre 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 isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our15 August 2016 at 8:44 pm #4852
I read you post and I want you to know that I have understood everything you have said and I will reply but I want to give your concerns a lot of thought first.
I have a funeral to attend tomorrow at lunch time but between that and the evening group I write to you.
Just quick initial thoughts: – Gaining knowledge of the addiction to gamble gives F&F control over it and the same applies to CGs but of course knowledge can be abused. You write ‘Despite this he is still asking for money to go out with his colleagues stating its important for his self esteem’ which is manipulation and I can imagine how you feel when you hear it. Stand united with your husband on this, these words are carefully designed to make any parent suffer – he knows you would never want him to lack self-esteem. Giving him money, however, to go out and socialize will not give him self-esteem, controlling his behaviour will do that,
Please tell your husband not to feel bad that his son is choosing to not communicate with him, it isn’t his fault. Your son is being divisive and knows what he is doing.
It is time to take the gloves off – I will write to you tomorrow but in the meantime please know you are not alone.
V15 August 2016 at 10:29 pm #4853
Thank you velvet, I am hoping ,to join the group tomorrow. I hope you manage to get through your difficult day tomorrow. I look forward to your words which have helped me so much in the past, but the thing is I was hoping I didn’t need to seek help again. I just feel there is no end in site, and despite learning all the coping strategies, he is not using them,so is it he doesn’t want to move on? I so look forward to hearing from you16 August 2016 at 6:51 pm #4854
I hope you do get into the group tonight; it would be good to talk in real time when it is easier to be completely frank.
Unfortunately although the GM programme is fantastic and works for so many there will always be some that just do not listen either because they don’t want to do so or they are not ready yet.
I suspect there are a lot of egg-shells being walked on in your home which isn’t good for you or your husband and doesn’t help your son either. I assume that you are both very frightened by the way events have turned out but your son is not frightened, he is allowing his addiction to control him and distance him from responsibility. I would imagine you are talking over and over again about ways to help you son whereas he appears to be only concerned with no 1, oblivious to your concerns because they don’t suit him and not bothering about how to help himself
I believe the way forward for you is to be selfish about yourselves which I know will not come naturally but the alternative is that you keep putting his interests first while his addiction flourishes.
Your son can contact the GMA – they don’t wash their hands of residents when the programme is over – they want them to live gamble-free lives and to have self-esteem. In my opinion, I think you should tell him that there is no more money available. I understand why you want to provide with enough food to sustain him but cash when he is active is an absolute ‘no’ whatever the reason given.
I don’t think you will have gone back to the start; you are so much more aware now. I agree, wholeheartedly, that it is dreadful that you are in this position again but your son can get himself together more quickly than before because he has the tools, he has support from GMA, the GT Helpline, our CG groups and a terrific mum and dad who want to support him in the right way.
You are both stronger than your son’s addiction; you do not have to be controlled by it. Talk to each other and plan your defence and strategy so that you are united and he can see your unity, his addiction will do far more damage if it sees a chink in the armour or a division in the ranks.
Your husband may feel he is not protecting his wife when he should be defending her from being hurt. Your son may feel inadequate compared to his father. You may feel you have to defend the son, the child, in his father’s eyes. I am not saying that any of these relate to you but they are some of the things that cause families to act in a certain way and allow the addiction space to grow. I believe that unity is paramount – your son’s addiction needs to see a barrier so strong he cannot break it down.
This is not a time for either of you to feel bad; this is a time for you to enjoy your lives. You know I can’t tell you what to do and there is no crystal ball to tell me how long your son will hang on to his addiction but what I do know is that the only word the addiction should hear from you is ’no’.
Finally never give up hope – I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know that your son can control his addiction.
I hope we get to speak later
V16 August 2016 at 8:46 pm #4855
I hear you are trying to get in the group but for reason can’t connect.
The only time I have heard of people not connecting before is that they haven’t logged in – I did it once and the green light wouldn’t come on
V16 August 2016 at 9:09 pm #4856
Thank you so much Velvet. Your words give me strength, they shine light on a dArk path, it’s like looking at the moon and the stars, so thank you. I so love my son, I know he can be a wonderful person but when he keeps losing his way it makes me feel so low. My husband has been in touch through this forum, we are both close and share , so I know he will find this helpful, because he has been the one to give him money to ‘join in at work’ I know my husband will take what you say on board. I feel stronger to ensure a barrier is in place from our sons addiction, and I know me and my husband will be united. Your words have been a great help, I know I feel I can move forward . So sorry I couldn’t log on to the live chat, I’m going to go to the help line to make sure I’m sorted for next week. I have just had a brief word with our son, who still fails to communicate, he just goes to work then goes to his room. How can someone so intelligent not see what he is doing to himself and those who love him? I am remembering this word, ” No ” to addiction. I know I sound strong, but I m not, I feel a piece of my heart is broken. My lovely mum who so loved our son, and sadly died many years ago at the age of 63, would be heartbroken at these circumstances, it’s so hard. Thank you velvet for your ongoing support.17 August 2016 at 11:01 am #4857
It is common to feel weak and afraid when fighting the addiction to gamble. To win, the family must seem, in the eyes of the CG, to be the enemy and that is tough for any parent, child, spouse, loved one.
It doesn’t surprise me that your son is intelligent because the addiction to gamble is owned by people in every walk of life. However, it is important to know that he can control his addiction so hang on to that belief when everything seems hopeless.
You do sound strong and that s what matters – I know you are stronger than you feel.
V17 August 2016 at 11:04 pm #4858
The subject title doesn’t really convey what I am trying to say. Velvet, I am so appreciative of the hope you give me, and you really help me in my strategies. You are so articulate and so realistic, and informative, and amazing, I say this with such honesty. I guess you have so
Much experience of the problems of CG. You seem to have had a positive experience of having a loved one staying in recovery. The thing is, that on looking through the site there is so much of hopelessness , relapses etc. I am really struggling. Yes I get the being strong bit, the fo using of getting on with our life, but I see my son just going down this dead end with no future. I suppose I have to cut off if this is the route he takes, but my heart is breaking. I know he has no future if he continues to support his gambling demon. I am just so tired. We have a lovely family, with the ups and downs, but it would be nice to reap the rewards of Positive liFe experiences which I believe we have given to our kids. Obviously something has gone wrong somewhere. Tonight I have tried to talk with him, he just shuts off and goes to his room. I am being strong and will not give him any money. He has his train card paid for a month, food and a roof, he just needs to go to work. Where is this going to go? He can’t live with us forever with this set up, what. To do??????? Ahhhhhhhhhhh17 August 2016 at 11:14 pm #4859
No communication coming from my son/ CG. So should I just leave him to it. I have thought about writing him a letter of where I think he is, and letting him know where we are ? What do you think ? Also, I can’t see or want him to have a future with his girlfriend. Can you imagine responsibilities, potential children with the parent being a CG18 August 2016 at 3:01 pm #4860
I’m just back in from work, this is what happens, as soon as my mind is free from work I switch straight on to our son. I noticed in some of your support to others velvet, that you had 25 years of struggle with your son, we have had eight, I don’t think I can face the prospect of another 17 years!!!! I am wondering, do Gordon moody l
Do short term courses for a week or so for CG that are struggling? When our son went there I was so relieved, he seemed to really take everything on board. When he came home I felt I had my son back again. It was beautiful. I am sticking to the strategies and not given him any money. He’s going to work which is good. I really love him, but I don’t like him when the gambling monster is his friend, he is allowing his life to be ruined. At the moment he is being polite and saying thanks for his lunches and meals ( the only communication he engages us in) . It’s usually now that I say, ” come on, we can work this out , you can do it ..”. And start being the drive for him. This is where I think I have grown, cos it’s not up to me to be the drive, I can’t do it for him, I have got to stop trying to fix things and make everything good. But the big one for me is WHY. Why has this happened to him, what did we do wrong, why did we miss signs, were we too pre occupied. Our daughter feels he changed followingf the death of his grandmother which she feels affected him badly. He was the youngest, the baby and she doted on him. ( she did that with all three of our children). We know he has found it difficult to cope with difficult things like that, and when his dad was ill on holiday. So much, so much. I just wish everything was good for him. The thing is, I don’t think I can ever fully trust him again. At least this time there were no suicide threats, no disappearing and having to report him missing. The job appears to have grounded him. My husband has counselling services available through work, they asked a lot about our son, and mentioned autism, but I just think it’s another label, it’s the gambling that is the problem, but I do ask why are some people really susceptible to this addiction. Ah well, better go and put a wash on or something. Thanks so much for just being there hope xxx18 August 2016 at 6:43 pm #4861
I have just read your last post having written a long one to answer your penultimate post. Most of what I have written therefore, doesn’t deal with your latest post which seems a little more upbeat.
The problem with the site is that recent posts are the ones that are more likely to offer little or no hope because those who have found their way, either with or without their CG, move on and the last thing they want to do is dwell in this site.
Moving with or without their CG is, of course, more to do with spouses and partners whereas parents and children do not have those outcomes as options – whatever happens your son will always be your son just as a child will always have that parent no matter what or how good the relationship is.
One of the things I learned when my CG eventually was able to talk to me reasonably was that a CG will always find a way; we worry about where they will sleep and what they will eat but they never worry and somehow they survive. Your son is 26 and he will have a future whether you worry yourself into the ground or not. What his future will be is down to him but I fully appreciate you want to help him get a better future.
I know I cannot tell you what to do but writing to an active CG is a bit of a mine-field. I wrote such a letter full of hope and love and no recrimination. When my CG eventually entered recovery he told me that my letter had been read an hundred ways, and each time he saw it as judgemental. He told me he screwed it up, threw it away, retrieved it, read it, screwed it up etc. He said that after a while it was wet and torn and illegible but he could still decipher that I was disappointed. He believed himself to be a disappointment and worthless so that is what he perceived my words to mean. However bearing all this in mind, if you still want to write to your son please keep the message very, very short.
I believe you have a lovely family but sadly your son feels outside and it is absolutely nothing to do with anything you have done. When he gambled something changed within him. Neither you nor he, had any control over what happened; you could not have foreseen it and you could not have stopped it. Invisibly it built within him and it wasn’t until it altered his behaviour that anybody would have noticed anything untoward, by which time his addiction would have been in control of him.
I believe that the life experiences you have given to your son will make a difference in the end. I have now seen that a lot of what surrounded my CG when he was growing up is now visible in his life, not only is he using the skills he was given in GMA to control his addiction, he has added to them and is creating similar experiences such as the ones you have shared with your family.
I am fully aware of how desperate you feel and what you want. I suggest your son doesn’t get too many comforts in your home but I do believe it is best not to be confrontational because it doesn’t work and you get hurt.
Positives are hard when your son is behaving like an adolescent but they are always better than negatives. When he wants for something he will talk and maybe you could then tell him how good life was when he was controlling his addiction. His gamble-free time does count so let him know it was a happy time for you all, remind him of a time you laughed or you did something that you enjoyed – concentrate on those gamble-free months, even if they were not perfect, let him know what they meant to you and tell him that you know they can come again only better – it is probably best not to mention what he has to do to get the better times – he already knows.
I hope some of this helps. I really hope to be able to talk to you in the private group on Tuesday but until then keep posting and make sure you do something today that makes you happy, give your mind time every day when your son and his problems are not swirling around.
If someone had said to me after 8 years that I had another 17 years to go, the men in the little white coats would have carted me off, I would not have coped. I didn’t know what it was that was causing all the damage and I was side-tracked by counsellors and doctors who didn’t understand so I couldn’t protect myself or make informed decisions. When I knew after 23 years that it was gambling, I was able to start putting strategies into place that formed the basis or my recovery without it being dependent on him.
Counsellors who have not dealt with CGing can often come up with labels such as autism, bi-polar, etc, but for me they can be distractions that take the focus off the real problem. If your son wants more support than it should be dedicated addiction counselling.
Your son can certainly approach GMA and ask them for further support, all such decisions are obviously down to them. We have an ex-residents group on Monday evenings where he would be most welcome. GMA and GT do not give up lightly so never lost hope.
V25 August 2016 at 7:54 pm #4862
I have just had a conversation with our son and it didn’t go that well. I really know he’s not right because whilst he is being polite, if I raise any issues his voice gets raised and he becomes defensive and loud, something he talked about after re hab. I asked him if he had any strategies in place for when he gets paid this month, as he has told me this is a danger zone when he has access to a lot of money. He told me he had but wouldn’t tell me what they were. I told him if his g/ f asked me a direct question I would answer truthfully as it was wrong for him to control whether I spoke to her or not. He told me it was none of my business and I should just say speak to him. He said I was baiting him and realing him in and not listening, all of which I really believe to be untrue. I told him me and his dad needed our life to be more settled and whilst he lived with us he needed to be respectful and
that and that we can’t be on edge all the time about what’s coming next. I didn’t like his behaviour tonight and told him he wanted everything on his own terms. For example when g/ f is here he puts the happy act on. I told him tonight that if he didn’t want to communicate with us so be it, we will really leave it with him, but that I was not convinced he was in control of his addiction. He seems so angry when we try to ask him how things are. He said just because I was getting support I think I know it all. I really don’t like his tone or behaviour, I wish he would move out I have had enough of his lies and deceipt, I don’t like him at the moment, though I know I should say I don’t like his behaviour but I feel I don’t like him tonight. I have reminded him of his commitments with money, but after tonight, I really need to cut off from him. I told him that he will never do this without support. He tells me his in touch with previous GMA residents but not via the therapy lines. I can’t believe he is not in touch with the counsellors. Tonight I feel exasperated. He’s all take and no give. Well pay day is due next week, let’s see. Thanks velvet for the chat on Tuesday session. It was really helpful. I need to stop using my energy to make things right.25 August 2016 at 8:29 pm #4863
Oh and he says I think I know it all because I am having a bit of help. I told him I didn’t know it all, that’s why I needed help and that I was listening to the guidance fro GMA therapy line. He just seems full of himself but not in a good way. The only time we see him being nice is when the g/ f is g
Here. I really am leaving it to him. I have sent a text to him saying he needs to be respectful of me and his dad .25 August 2016 at 8:43 pm #4864
We have spoken about our sons stage and where he is after the GMA rehab, you mentioned that rehab works for some, but others are not ready. I definitely think he took the academic reasoning and the verbal stuff, rationales etc on board, but I have started thinking did his heart, soul and inner self really embrace it
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