28 May 2017 at 3:59 am #5708SomniParticipant
My mother is retired and working part time, but over the last 30+ years (that I know of) she has always had money problems and on many occassions gambled away her paycheck and tenant’s deposits and so on. Right now she is using up her pension payout, and for the last two weekends for example has spent the whole day at the casino.
She lies when I ask her why I couldn’t reach her on her mobile (I live abroad and phone at weekends), then when I tell her I know she’s been gambling then she says it’s because she’s very frustrated about her situation, and (right now and other times) she’s blamed it on my sister (who lives with her), and says that my sister’s behaviour drives her away and she goes to the casino to release the created tension.
I know not to give my mom any more money, and I can distance myself alright, even though I am still very concerned for her. On the other hand, it’s affecting my sisters extremely badly, constantly having to accept the blame and keeping up my mother’s distortions to other family members, not being able to say anything so as not to cause my mom shame in front of other close family members.
I’ve asked my mom directly if she would like help, but she says she’s fine and doesn’t have a problem, which is clearly not the case, and I suspect things will get worse as her money supply runs out.
Can you please help me with some guidance/insights for understanding her situation/options for helping her out?
Many thanks.28 May 2017 at 10:20 am #5709velvetModerator
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 Team28 May 2017 at 11:00 am #5710velvetModerator
It is so difficult when it is a parent that is not giving good guidance leaving children confused, not knowing where to go and struggling with shame.
We have a terrific member called Twilight and I am hoping she will pick up on your post soon – she is the adult daughter of a CG who was affected all her life by his gambling and denial of his gambling..
In the meantime – you are right not to give her money as she will almost certainly gamble with it or pay gambling debts both of which enables her addiction/problem to grow.
Your main thrust of concern appears to be that your sisters do not have a safe place to talk – they are feeling they cannot share their worries with other family members due to shame and embarrassment. The addiction to gamble thrives on secrecy – your mother ‘needs’ your sisters to keep her secret and yours sisters ‘need’ to talk. Is there an adult member of your family whom you could talk to on their behalf? Does your mother have siblings and would one of them be approachable?
Unfortunately the distortions she has created might have been believed by other family members but often/usually in my experience a lot more people are aware of the real problem (or at least a problem) than you think and they are possibly feeling much as you and your sisters are – if they don’t mention it then maybe it will go away because mentioning it opens a whole new can of worms.
Your mother’s denial of her problem isn’t helping her and is damaging her daughters – how old are your sisters? Maybe you could download the Gamblers Anonymous 20 questions and send them to her; you will find them on their website and let her see that you are seeking support even if she will not.
Your sisters would of course be welcome here and in the Friends and Family group which is private – they will be safe and nothing said in the group appears on the forums.
Keep posting Somni – you are understood here and I will do everything I can to support you.
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