- This topic has 9 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 6 months ago by Anonymous.
8 November 2016 at 8:59 pm #5107
Looking for advice on how to speak to someone who is a CG8 November 2016 at 9:04 pm #5108
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 care8 November 2016 at 9:07 pm #5109
well done on starting your thread. As you know I have just finished the group and I am going to go and relax now. I will write to you tomorrow.
sleep well tonight – you have done well sharing your concerns and you are not alone with your worries anymore.
Velvet8 November 2016 at 9:08 pm #5110RedareParticipant
Pointers?9 November 2016 at 2:09 pm #5111
I’m writing to you on the first thread that you started and suggest you stick to one thread or your journal will get lost by being split – as you can see Harry has replied to you because he thought it was your first post.
The following is a method of coping with a CG in the early stages when you are still reeling from finding out about the addiction in your home. It isn’t recommended by professionals but it has been successfully used by many members and was told to me by a CG who had changed their life.
Imagine your bf’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it stays quiet. When you threaten the addictive beast by asking the sort of questions it hates, such as “where were you”, “what have you done with that money” or “what on earth makes you gamble?” the addiction beast leaps between you and controls the conversation because it is the master of threats and manipulation. You are not addicted to gambling, therefore you can think logically and rationally but once the addiction is fired up between you logic and rationality fly out of the window leaving you confused and frightened. The addiction can then blame you for the argument and turn it into a reason to gamble – because in the mind of the CG you were asking unreasonable questions – because you don’t understand.
Your partner’s addiction drastically changes reality to suit his personal perception. He didn’t ask for or want his addiction any more than you did; he will not be the man he wants to be but when the addiction is triggered and is between you, it distorts what you are you are saying and your partner speaks to you with lies and deceit because without treatment that is his only coping mechanism.
Your partner’s addiction will cause him feel a failure, he can’t walk away from a gamble until there is nothing left, which will leave him feeling worthless. The addiction has nothing to do with money – it is all to do with ‘the gamble’ – money is only the means to the end.
I think it is good to stand back and listen rather than become involved in an argument you will never win and which the addictive behaviour has instigated – the argument has no purpose other than to make you feel less in control. Once you are in the argument then the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
The positive side of refusing to play the game with a CG is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction and gives your time and energy to look after yourself. By looking after yourself you become stronger, able to reclaim your own life, cope with your children and make the right decisions with your relationship- this helps your partner too.
I will leave this here for now P and await your thoughts. Did he tell you how he got on at GA?
Keep posting – you will find as your journal increases that you will be stronger and more able to cope – but above all please look after yourself at this very important time.
Velvet9 November 2016 at 5:32 pm #5112veraParticipant
In response to your query about ways to speak to a CG, Partner12, I would say, as a Compulsive Gambler myself, that words spoken to or by a CG, during the active phase mean little or nothing.
The words you speak to him/her will be filtered . The mind of a CG (while in the gambling mode) is like a broken network of electrical wires with flawed connections . Thoughts are masked by a thick fog. Words sound jumbled and responses are seldom accurate. We only hear what will enable us to stay in action with minimal effort on our part, but if necessary, we will step up the efforts and use a barrage of language which will leave the listener so confused , he or she will be lost for further words! This is a well known CG tactic. Bamboozle the listener with confused messages and while they are trying to decipher what has been said, the CG has given him/herself a getaway to gamble again. Trying to communicate by applying rational words to irrational thoughts will not succeed.
What you DO , not what you say is important at this stage.
In my experience and what would have helped me to “wake up” sooner would be if my “nearest and dearest” had LISTENED. CGs send out cries for help in unusual ways. In their efforts to stop us gambling F and Fs often say the very wrong things. For example. My husband would say “Why am I not surprised” when I would text him from the casino at three am to say I had lost yet another month’s salary. My (distorted) mind interpreted that to mean ” Keep gambling . I don’t care”. Or if I attempted to explain how I felt he would say “Don’t involve me; I’m not the person who gambled XXXXX amount”. Another excuse for me to carry on gambling.
There is a big difference between “ignoring” and “listening”. CGS are very sensitive to both.
There is also a fine line between “helping” and “enabling”. The wrong words at the wrong time can do a lot of damage.
What I needed to hear when I was at the stage when I really wanted to stop would have been. “You CAN do. I will be there to support you” Of course the words would have to be backed up with immediate action e g “Would you like me to take your Bank cards and cash NOW and keep them safe for you” versus “If you don’t stop this nonsense I will confiscate your cash and cards and you will have no money to gamble”. The first is an offer of help and a way to preserve a CG’s dignity . The second, a threat and a blow to an already deflated ego.
The words a CG wants to hear to allow the “action” to continue can be drawn from the person’s mouth by intimidation and manipulation . Being aware of when you are being “set up” is important . That is the time for silence .
I hope this helps. It is just my experience but I hear many CGs sharing similar thoughts. Sometimes, a CG will listen to outsiders and take advice from them rather than following a partner’s advice. Maybe that is why GA, GT and Residential Treatment work best. It leaves the CG with our dignity, privacy and pride intact and prevents undesirable “slap ups” when /should other difficulties surface later on .
Just my personal thoughts!
I wish you well in your own recovery.
You don’t have the “addiction” but you will have been affected by it and need support for you. Gamanon provides face to face support for people in your situation.
Keep the lines of communication open with your CG. and keep it simple.
Keep posting.9 November 2016 at 9:56 pm #5113
Thank you for your advice I have found it really helpful if have been trying to listen more and just let him speak when he wants to without prodding get him with questions, he did go to his GA meeting last night as came back with letters and handy books and also a lot of there numbers of which he has been texting today as he says it’s easier to talk to people that understand9 November 2016 at 9:59 pm #5114
Thank you for your advice I am trying to be supportive as much as possible but also very frustrated with the situation as we have 2 young kids one day at a time I guess he had his first GA meeting last night and seemed to get a lot from it so fingers crossed one day at a time but I am here for him 100%12 November 2016 at 11:40 pm #5115
I am pleased that your CG is at least showing you his letters and handy books, many CGs don’t want to share anything on their return from meetings.
You have reminded me a strange feeling I had when my CG changed his life. I felt I had bent over backwards and done everything I could to support him in his determination to live a gamble-free life – but he talked about a support worker all the time who had been the person who had given him the tools to change that I had not known how to give him. It wasn’t jealousy I felt because I would not have minded if a singing octopus with a pink wig and wearing a mini skirt with bells on had given him the tools to change, as long as he had found his salvation. I was more a feeling of loneliness and exclusion.
Your CG is texting other people, people you don’t know, and he says it is because they understand him. I want you to know that this is the right and natural progress for a CG who wants to live gamble-free but more importantly that ‘you’ and how ‘you’ feel is important too. I know how hard it is to live with a person with the addiction to gamble and who has made the decision not to walk away. It is why, I believe, that those who live with a CG who has changed his/her life need support just, as much, if not more, than they ever did before.
Keep posting, keep listening but gradually let him know that you want to try and understand more. It takes time and often quite a long time but I believe that those who control their addiction can use their experience to help others and you can understand so much more than ever seemed possible.
It is incredibly frustrating – but for me and for many that I know the effort has been worthwhile.
In the meantime look after yourself first. Your CG’s fight to control his addiction will probably seem a selfish fight so allow yourself to be a little selfish too especially at this important time. Make sure that every day you have some ‘me’ time because you deserve it.
Velvet15 November 2016 at 4:51 am #5116
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