13 February 2017 at 6:46 am #5511MimmyParticipant
Money kept going missing and yesterday my bank contacted me to tell me my bank card has been used on 2 gambling websites. My 18 year old son is stealing from me! I am a single parent and we as a family have always struggled for money. I don’t know where to start to get him help. He says he knows he has a problem and wants help but I don’t know if I believe him. It is still really raw. Does anyone know where I start?13 February 2017 at 10:08 am #5512DuncKeymaster
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!
The Gambling Therapy Team14 February 2017 at 12:30 pm #5513velvetModerator
You have started in the right place and I am glad that you have found this forum.
It is indeed unbelievably distressing to find out that you son has an addiction to gamble but being aware is better than unwittingly enabling an addiction, so believe me it is good that you know. With knowledge you will learn to cope and gain strength so that you will be able to give him the right support which is not the usual support a mother expects to give her son.
I suggest that you ensure that all your valuables and money are inaccessible to your son – at the moment he is struggling with an addiction that he didn’t want or ask for; he will probably try and find money or something to sell to gain money to gamble because that is his ‘need’ while his life is out of his control. I cannot tell you what to do but money to a CG is the same as a drink to an alcoholic so clearing his gambling debts or giving him cash is enabling his addiction.
I think you are right not to trust him at the moment but if he is saying he wants help then give him pointers to good support. Perhaps you could download the Gamblers Anonymous 20 question from their web site and give them to him so that he knows he is not alone and that there is help for him. Find the address of your local GA and maybe take him to his first meeting but don’t order him to go, or ask him to go for you – he has to want to go for himself.
This site has great support for CGs. Our Helpline is fantastic and we have CG only groups where he will be understood and supported.
There is also in the UK an amazing rehab called the Gordon Moody Association – details can be found on one of the forums below the Friends and Family forum entitled ‘GMA residential treatment Q & A’ – information on this is also available from our Helpline.
Your son is young and his addiction probably hasn’t hurt him much yet but if he seeks support he will learn how much his addiction can hurt him if he doesn’t seek to change his life – this is why contact with CGs who have learned to control their addictions and dedicated counsellors are the best support.
Looking after you is so important for your son. It sounds weak advice but it works because if you become so immersed in his addiction it will bring you down and you won’t be able to cope yourself making you another victim of his addiction. Perhaps most importantly he doesn’t want to hurt you but he undoubtedly will do so until he controls his addiction. Keep in touch with your friends and family, don’t give up on hobbies and interests – every day do something that pleases you and doesn’t involve gambling.
Perhaps you could inform your bank that your son has an addiction to gamble and that they must not honour gambling transactions. Your son’s addiction loves secrecy so that it can thrive but if those around him know the danger they can ensure they don’t enable him – it is not being disloyal to talk to those from whom you could get support or who might enable him – it is the right thing to do.
Does he have brothers and sisters and if so are they aware?
I hope you will come in to the F&F group on Thursday evening between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time so that we can communicate in real time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum.
Keep posting Mimmy, I know how hard the first post is to write but having now done it, please keep going because this forum is here for you.
Finally Mimmy, I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and that your son can have a wonderful gamble-free life.
Velvet16 February 2017 at 9:13 pm #5514RedareParticipant
Bult you will find help and support on this site and it will make it possible for YOU to undertand and equip yourself with the tools to protect yourself and your son from this addict.22 February 2017 at 1:18 pm #5515lilyParticipant
Hi Mimmy, what an awful shock this must of been for you! I have nothing more to add to velvet’s great advice but just wanted to let you know people are hear reading and listening. One silver lining is you have found out now, he has a chance of escaping the gambling trap before things get any worse. I do hope you are managing to keep yourself busy and having some time out for you, easier said than done I am sure when you have had such a shock. Take care of yourself and keep posting. Lily x
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