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    defeated
    Participant

    My situation may be slightly different as the gambler in question is my brother.  He’s always been something of a dreamer, which together with some mental health problems means that he’s never been in a job for long.  He’s lived with our parents all his life (now 46) and never contributed to any aspect of the family budget.  When my dad died some years ago he asked me to keep an eye on him and my mum, and I’ve felt responsible ever since.  It was only a few years ago that we found he was £30,000+ in debt which naively I put down to his intermittent working, although with hindsight he had no expenses apart from clothes and odds and ends.  At this stage I raised a mortgage on the family home to pay off his debts and he promised to get a job to pay this back.  Two years later he’s had a further £20,000 from my mum and she has been meeting his monthly mortgage payment, despite the fact his income, whilst small, should have covered his payments.
    He has managed to baffle my mum with his explanations of where the money is going and I have had to resort to looking for his bank statements and checking his internet history.  These revealed that he is spending hundreds of pounds each month on Bingo sites and then acquiring short term loans at ridiculous interest rates.  He has even taken money from my mum’s account to cover these without her knowledge. (He knew her internet banking details) When I questioned him about what he was spending he became increasingly agressive and brought up incidents from 30 years ago in an attempt to deflect my questions.  I refused to guarantee a further loan and he went wild swearing and shouting, my mum has now ‘lent’ him a further £1000 but there is no change in his behaviour.  Whenever I bring up the problem he accuses me of being patronising and of plotting against him.  The rows are becoming increasingly bitter and it is having an impact on all of us; my mum is not young and suffering ill health and my teenage son knows there are problems and struggles to be civil to his uncle. 
    The situation is such that our home may now be at risk as all my parents hard earned money is disappearing; although I’ve altered the passwords on accounts my mum will always bail him out and he shows no sign of getting permanent work.  He lives in a complete fantasy world building up an image online that he is a successful journalist and claiming he can earn money by writing articles, he won’t consider any work that is ‘beneath him’ and accuses me of putting him down all the time.  He laughs at my worries and is not remotely appreciative of the help he’s been given.  He says he’s given up playing Bingo however I’m struggling to believe this as he still spends hours on the computer every day. I want to have a good relationship with my brother but I feel incredibly bitter and resentful at his behaviour, and there seems to be no way out. 
    Sorry for taking so much space but I really don’t know where to turn and where we will all end up; any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

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