17 May 2013 at 6:45 am #1540
I know I am enabling my son to continue with his gambling and I want to stop but can’t seem to do it.
My son has been gambling for over 8 years. He seems ‘lost’ now and wants things in life but has no money to do it because as soon as he gets any, its gone. He has a job but doesn’t like having money because he says the pull is too much. After he has lost it, he sinks into depression. It’s a vicious circle. I don’t know if he wants to stop or not. I’ve tried to guide him here and seek professional help.
I want to be strong but mentally I am not at the moment. I’ve just completed treatment for cancer and have had to put all my energy into fighting it and deal with side effects. Being faced with your own mortality has an enormous effect on you and money in the scheme of things does not seem important any more. I’ve lost my job and have no income anymore. When I don’t have the money it’s easier to say ‘no’ to him because I know I am not lying to him. His siblings need my help too. Any advice greatly received.8 June 2013 at 6:50 am #1541
Hi Velvet, thank you for your concern, thoughts and support. This week has been very interesting and I will try to get to another ‘friends and family’ group to update. I feel if I blurt out everything on here, he will one day see it, and the ‘beast’ is about at the moment.
I don’t think he likes how the gambling affects his life but I also don’t think he wants to do anything to stop it .. yet. I can see things coming to a head very soon and he may well reach his rock bottom.
I understand I can change the way I react to him and his situations. I have good days (when I am strong and will not/do not send him money) and what I will call ‘weak’ days (when I fall for his hard luck stories). I would love to get to the point of being strong all the time. I also realise this inconsistency is not good for either of us. When I am strong I am very strong but it takes alot of my energy, which is in short supply at the moment. We either talk on the phone, text or via facebook chat.
He has now left his sibling’s home and I can feel the relief on her part. It is like she has been set free. He has now been through all our relatives and there is no where else to go. If his recent venture falls through, I doubt any of them will house him again. It seems to me they have cut him out of their lives and I believe, this is at the cause of some of his problems, rejection.
Having my health problems has taught me to live in the present, what has gone, has gone, and to waste energy on what will be is just that a waste of energy I don’t have. I am trying to adopt this principal in this case too and trying to stay with the present. I’ve just read a thread about someone reaching rock bottom and some of the replies from others who had been there really helped. When I was in an abusive marriage I had to reach a rock bottom point to get out of it, but I did and with the help of someone was able to change some old belief systems running in me and replace them with positive ones. I am a completely different person now compared to then. However, the mother/son bond is so strong and when I am strong with him I feel a real sense of abandoning him/rejection but I have to be strong for both of us. I’m babbling now so will stop. I hope to get to a group soon. Thank you once again. x8 June 2013 at 3:13 pm #1542velvetModerator
I see you have made a reference to the ‘beast’ so I am hoping you have read the coping mechanism that I and many others have found helpful.
I think it is particularly good in your case where you talk of the mother/son bond – a bond that is fully exploited by a CG.
Your health concerns me because it will appear to you that it does not affect your son and I know that, that is hard to take. You cannot believe that he lacks all compassion.
I would have told anybody when the addiction was at its height that there was no way in a million years that my CG could love me. It has been one of the most wonderful things about him becoming gamble-free – his empathy is greater than most. I don’t know exactly how this can be apart from the energy and effort the CG has to go into to change their life – they become more special for the effort. I have even heard CGs in long term recovery thank their addiction for making them the people they are. I know the sentiment.
You can abandon/reject his addiction without abandoning or rejecting him. His addiction will tell him differently but his addiction drastically changes his reality to fit his personal perception and you cannot win against that. You can know you are on his side and one day he will understand but as an active addict the concept is beyond him.
There is not one member I would imagine who has not felt a pain in their heart when they have seen the tears, seen the hand wringing and heard the desperate plea for help. How could this person not be in ‘need’ of saving and surely as the parent and therefore responsible, not be the ‘only’ person who can really understand. Unfortunately to our cost the parent/spouse/child finds out to their own cost that they cannot save their loved one and the way to love them is not the way that comes naturally. You are not responsible – there is nothing you could have done to prevent your son’s addiction. To love him is stand against his addiction and not feed it.
Your attitude to living is great – to live in the present is all that we can or should worry about – what has gone has indeed gone.
Rejection is painful and many CGs have felt rejected in their early lives but as active CGs who have ‘used’ their relatives the feeling of rejection is different. The relative is no longer enabling and that is different to rejection. Don’t blame relatives when they don’t understand and have protected themselves against something they fear – the addiction is the only thing responsible for the rejection – not them. I would like to think that when your son changes they will welcome him back but I know from experience how hard this is for many – few people bother to actually learn that the addiction is an illness of the mind and not just a selfish act.
I understand the feeling of being concerned about rejection but I think that the non-CGs feels it more keenly.
We can of course talk easier in a group and I look forward to seeing you again. I understand completely why you don’t feel free to write everything here.
Keep telling him where to find support and that you know enabling him is wrong.
9 June 2013 at 9:04 am #1543
Thank you so much for your reply Velvet. I’ve read and re-read your reply several ***** and I am picking something up each time I read it. There is so much to take in and so much in my life that is crossing over/or has crossed over. I can’t help thinking someone somewhere is showing me/pulling me into making me stand up for myself more. This is so different to my natural ‘default’ setting. I try not to ‘think’ so much anymore and go with my gut feelings.
I will try to get into the next group or possibly the other after and thank you once again.9 June 2013 at 12:23 pm #1544kinParticipant
Originally posted by san250
I know I am enabling my son to continue with his gambling and I want to stop but can’t seem to do it. My son has been gambling for over 8 years. He seems ‘lost’ now and wants things in life but has no money to do it because as soon as he gets any, its gone. He has a job but doesn’t like having money because he says the pull is too much. After he has lost it, he sinks into depression. It’s a vicious circle. I don’t know if he wants to stop or not. I’ve tried to guide him here and seek professional help. I want to be strong but mentally I am not at the moment. I’ve just completed treatment for cancer and have had to put all my energy into fighting it and deal with side effects. Being faced with your own mortality has an enormous effect on you and money in the scheme of things does not seem important any more. I’ve lost my job and have no income anymore. When I don’t have the money it’s easier to say ‘no’ to him because I know I am not ***** to him. His siblings need my help too. Any advice greatly received.
this is sad. I hope you take care and I wish you a speedy recovery. Your son really need help10 June 2013 at 8:42 pm #1545
Just saying *****.
I am also the mother of a gambler although he is currently living quite a long way away and not getting very involved with me. It is difficult trying to get to grips with this horrible addiction and its effects on the cg and the family and not always easy to know how to cope. But ultimately, we do learn to look after ourselves and make our own separation from the addiction (whatever that means for each individual).
You have been coping with your own illness and facing mortality, so you certainly need self-care and hopefully others are also caring for you. I think you are right to go more with your ‘gut’ feelings rather than ‘thinking too hard’. Sometimes our bodies and intuition are very good teachers if we know how to listen to them.
Maybe we will meet in a group sometime.
I send you love and all good wishes,
Monique xxKeep hope alive.12 June 2013 at 8:09 am #1546
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. It’s means alot to me. Today and most mornings I wake up full of hope, full of joy and and happy feeling inside. With my partner we listen to great music, watch some old comedies and prepare for the day ahead, uplifted and ready for a good day. I want this to continue all day. It is normally broken by a text from my son asking for money or, and I think, I maybe, (just maybe) am starting to get this now, a text from ME to him, asking how he is and what’s is he up to. Am I inviting the ‘beast’ to come alive and spoil my day? Now a text from a mother to a son is okay and good, but really I am wanting contact from him to know he is still alive and until I get that contact my mind goes into overdrive. This cannot be ‘normal’ and I want it to stop. Have a good day everyone. xx12 June 2013 at 11:20 am #1547
I am so glad you can enjoy music and comedy and take joy in daily life. That is wonderful.
As a mother, I would say it is completely ‘normal’ to think about your son every day and to wish to know that he is alive and well. I can identify totally with that.
I have those feelings about my daughter, who does NOT have any addictions and who is living a good and full life – but her work can mean that she is travelling alone in countries of which I know very little, so I still await those precious messages that tell me all is well.
I believe that parenthood gives us a bond and strength of feeling like no other.
When there is no addiction or other major divisive problem, we can reach out, maintain those contacts and feel uncomplicated joy, when the adult ‘child’ reassures us that he/she is safe and well.
Sadly, I think that addiction drastically complicates this bonded relationship and it is very difficult working out how to remain a loving parent, whilst not becoming an enabler, nor making ourselves sick with anxiety.
It is always hard to explain, but you will know when you have found your way through this; you will feel lighter, less worried and able to ‘let your son be’, and you will even believe that he will be safe enough to survive. At ***** I have desperately wanted to do what was needed to make sure my son was housed, fed, clothed and safe. When he reached a stage of losing his job and home and still did not choose for himself to go into rehab, I think I really knew HE still felt he could continue his lifestyle and survive. Even then, I tried to ensure he could get a hostel place in his city (hundreds of miles from my home). For some time, I did not know where he was, but in time found out that he had managed to persuade someone to take him into her home as an unofficial lodger. I still do not know when he will reach HIS rock-bottom and truly know for himself that he ***** to enter recovery.
But I have truly found that I do not worry in that constant way I did in the past. I am not complacent and know that I might go backwards, if there is another ‘crisis’, but I am coping better for now. Also, I think that my son is less likely now to ask for my ‘help’ whilst still unwilling to seek recovery, because I did not rush to get him out of his difficulties last autumn.
I know this is MY story and you are not me, your son is not my son, but I offer you my experiences and will be pleased if they help you a little on your journey.
All good wishes, Monique xxKeep hope alive.12 June 2013 at 10:27 pm #1548alwaysthefishParticipant
Great posts San. Thank you! I’ve been reading a lot of posts since I joined this forum a few days ago and I’ve been enjoying them – if that’s the right word. Posts where things turn out well or seem on the right track, I was happy to read because they gave me hope that there’s a chance for all of us. And the posts where relapses and other predicaments were discussed I still liked reading because… well, because misery loves company…
But it wasn’t until I read your post that I had to stop and think. About my little boy, about wasting so much time gambling last several years, about how short life is and how vulnarable we all are.
I wish you all the best San.
If you dine with the devil, bring a long spoon1 July 2013 at 8:25 am #1549
I am not sure it is my belief it rears it’s head more in ***** of stress, I just know I have noticed that when he is stressed he comes to me more. This has certainly been true of his latest adventure. And the stress of it all is certainly now getting to me and I can feel my own health slipping. It’s when I don’t feel strong I give in, but the time is coming when I have no more money and he will have to sort himself out. I will tell more in group but it won’t be this week. Feeling low today after receiving a text from him asking for me to help him. San x1 July 2013 at 8:25 am #1550
I am not sure it is my belief it rears it’s head more in ***** of stress, I just know I have noticed that when he is stressed he comes to me more. This has certainly been true of his latest adventure. And the stress of it all is certainly now getting to me and I can feel my own health slipping. It’s when I don’t feel strong I give in, but the time is coming when I have no more money and he will have to sort himself out. I will tell more in group but it won’t be this week. Feeling low today after receiving a text from him asking for me to help him. San x1 July 2013 at 9:16 am #1551
I am sorry to hear that you are sensing your own health slipping and that your son’s latest request has made you feel low. The heart of the loving mother takes on stress and pressure that is not hers to bear, even though maybe it feels as if it is her responsibility. I just want you to be able to somehow release yourself from these burdens and take good care of yourself. I don’t know who/what is your Higher Power, but with you I give your son into the arms of that Higher Power until he is able/willing to seek the right help and I ask for peace and serenity for you. With best wishes, Monique.Keep hope alive.1 July 2013 at 11:06 am #1552velvetModerator
I’m sorry if I distracted discussing why CG’s stress. What I am hearing in your post is a woman in great distress that will shortly not have the money to enable her son or possibly the health to do it either.
What I feel strongly is that allowing your son to believe that ‘later has come ‘sooner’ is hopefully more beneficial for you and him.
Each and every time your son taps you for money you will, in my opinion, lose another bit of San that is important to her overall health. In the end with your mental health in shatters he will have to face the ‘fact’ that you are unable to enable him.
You have gone to Switzerland with the hope of a better life with your partner. Partnerships/marriages come under tremendous stress with this addiction in the mix and that to me is another big reason why it would be better to call a halt on enablement. We don’t always get another go at happiness and you deserve the happiness that has been denied you before. If you lose your relationship through this addiction, your son will have that stress to cope with as well.
Unfortunately the texts will keep coming; the stress will keep landing on your doorstep until someone calls a halt. He has no incentive to do so – he is indulging his addiction at your expense.
You won’t feel strong San – you are being battered and emotionally abused. I started off incredibly healthy and finished up a complete mess. Broken down San I was no good to anybody.
Turn ‘you’ round San. You can do it with your partner’s help. Your son can stop gambling – if it wasn’t so I wouldn’t be here. He has to want to stop gambling and as long as there is enablement it is a harder struggle to do so.
Are you fighting your partner over this too? I know that those who love those who love the CG feel helpless too. They feel they should protect their loved one but they are shut out and it leads to feelings of failure which affects the relationship. United with your partner you will be stronger.
If you think you don’t matter in the great scheme of things here you are wrong. As part of the wreckage your son’s addiction if causing you will be impotent. It is only in strength that this addiction is controlled.
Do something for you today that forces this addiction out of your head and allows a ray of sunshine in – it is what your son will have to do it when he determines to control his addiction. Has your other son gone home?
You can do it San. Your son can do it San. Do not let your health slip anymore. Believe in yourself and also believe that your son can overcome if he wants to enough.
3 July 2013 at 7:03 pm #1553
What a rollercoaster of a day! I understand that for things to be different it is easier for me to change than my cg son, who has to want to change. So today I’ve tried to stay strong and ‘do’ things differently to normal. I’ve had my answers ready, turned to the group therapy (thank you Velvet) and the advice line (thank you Harry) for support and advice to get me through a really tough day. I’ve been on the receiving end of blame shifting (ooo everything in his life is my fault today!), threats to kill himself, verbal abuse and worst mother in the world quotes and how useless I am. I’ve not sent him any money or paid for anything. So as far as I know he has no place to stay tonight, no money, no food, no nothing but it’s his choice. He chose to leave a roof over his head, job and food today. I’ve chosen to turn off my phone, involve my partner in everything and bat away his abuse. I’m taking each hour by hour so slowly a whole day will have disappeared. One day at a time.
I’ve just read this by Ryanlee on another forum and to ‘hear’ it from a different prespective I am finding very insightful and helps me to keep strong, so thank you for sharing…
‘Then there’s my family, also unaware and wouldn’t understand this awful disease. I have borrowed more money off my parents in previous years than I can remember. Both my parents don’t have amazingly well paid jobs but have always supported me in the best way they can. But, as ever, I took the **** and made them take out loans during my university days to cover my tuition fees or student accommodation fees which I had probably blown on fruit machines and online gambling.’
We will do anything to ‘help’ our children but we are not helping them. I have to keep reminding myself of this, so as the evening comes to an end, goodnight my son, keep safe and I love you xx3 July 2013 at 7:17 pm #1554berberParticipant
You’re doing very well San. This day is almost over, when your head hits your pillow I wish for you to have lovely dreams without worries! Big hugs. X
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