4 November 2013 at 5:12 pm #1615
Hi San. So glad to hear you have had a better weekend, having been able to according to your own determination.
I wish you a very Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoy your ‘flying visit’ to your son (and daughter?)
Monique5 November 2013 at 1:49 am #1616veraParticipant
Happy Birthday San!
Turning off the phone is often the best medicine!
“What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t feel!”
(sometimes!)17 November 2013 at 8:17 am #1617
I’ve just returned from my trip to the UK to see my children and sort out ‘stuff’. I am returning with a HUGE sense of relief and freedom as my 3 year old divorce finally comes to an end woohoo.
My CG met me off the train and our hug was special. It was great to see where he is living and to meet his flatmates. They have taken him under their wing and are a bit older than he is. One of them said, ‘He’s not a bad lad, his only thing is the gambling but we got him to self exclude from the bookies.’ To which I replied, ‘Which one of you did that?’ They looked shocked but when I found out which one I gave him a kiss on the cheek and said Thankyou. My CG hated that place when he first arrived there but he said its beginning to feel like home and a family there now. We had a long talk about the future and living there. We went out for dinner with my daughter, she gave him a hug too. I read somewhere not to exclude CG from family things. My son and daughter are looking forward to joining me at Christmas and all being well I will now be in a position to return to the UK for visits more frequently. I didn’t give my CG any money but I did buy him some new shoes and left two food shopping cards which he can use for food. We visited the pound shops and he asked if I could treat him to some gloves. We also went into a ‘gaming shop’ and my heart sank when he was at the counter buying a game. Instantly I thought ‘Where did he get the money to buy that?’ When we came out of the shop he showed me the game and said guess how much that was. I guessed but was wrong, he showed me the receipt and he had bought it for 49p with the last pennies in his pocket. It is so hard to trust and jump to the wrong conclusion. The trust thing is going to be a long process I feel.
It was a flying visit but a much needed one. Looking forward to catching up with you all soon, right now I have washing up to do as the cleaning fairies didn’t quite make it to the sink! Happy sunday everyone. San xx17 November 2013 at 9:47 am #1618
That is a lovely ‘report’. I am glad you had such a good visit. I think you have been able to be both strong and in control of ‘boundaries’ as well as showing love and compassion. I know there will be difficulties still to face, but it sounds like you have a sense of direction and the skills to cope. And I am sure you just had joy in seeing your family and enjoying their company.
Monique, Gambling Therapy Team18 November 2013 at 5:06 pm #1619velvetModerator
I am so pleased it all went well and that you have met the flatmates and that the reality was as your son had said.
I think it is a shame when any family members is excluded deliberately from family occasions but it is important to realise, as I am sure you do, that family occasions can be fraught with sibling rivalry in the best regulated families. It is the addiction to gamble that is unwelcome and I’m afraid it can slip through when, Complacency, the underestimated guest leaves the door ajar. I think we will probably talk about this nearer to Christmas but following your excellent trip and with your daughter hugging her brother I think you have good reason to hope for a happy time.
Shoes, gloves and food were good things to give – I am glad you were in the pound shop and not Harrods.
Without judging and with the usual proviso that I cannot tell you what to do – if it was me I wouldn’t go into a gaming shop with a CG. What did happen in the shop was find fine and I agree it is easy to jump to the wrong conclusions but I think it is good to say ‘I cannot stop you going in to such a place but I chose not to go with you’. It could certainly be argued that it was better that you were with him and therefore able to see that what he was doing but gaming shops are not good for CGs.
The pathological gambler, while not technically gambling, (not using money) has a number of ways of ‘staying in action’. Pathological gamblers must continue to use money and while they stop gambling with it, uncertainly and risk continue to be part of their lives. Many games can keep the mind distorting addiction alive. If you feel the game could encourage ‘mind bets’ then maybe you could encourage him in other pursuits and hobbies
I admit I do want to hear that your son is seeking support as there is a minefield of danger around of which he will probably be unaware. We often get CGs in ‘My Journal’ who are hoping that their gaming is going to be passed as acceptable and it is always better when another CG tells them, it is not.
However I don’t mean to put a dampener on your smashing trip. Your son has progressed and is recognising his problem, he has friends who are not CG who are trying to help him and he has seen his mum, who has cuddled him.
I know we will talk again soon but in the meantime if you want to come back on anything I say, you know where I am.
V27 November 2013 at 6:33 am #1620
The Secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
I love this quote. We only have a certain amount of energy, use it wisely. One common thread I am picking up on our forum is people running out of energy and trying to fight the ‘beast’ (addiction).
With thanks to this site I think I am getting better at recognising when the beast is active and now try very hard not to give it the attention and energy I once did. Not to say I don’t slip up on occasion! but I’ve recognised it happens when I am either very busy with something else or not feeling very well.
Sending much love and strength to you all.
San x27 November 2013 at 8:40 am #1621
That is an excellent quote. It is interesting how some special quotes really sum something up for us and we then carry those words around in our head as a support.
Yes, indeed, so much energy is spent on fighting the old, including trying to save the cg in our lives – but it just seems to be the natural course of events that we have to go through that in order to discover how useless that battle is so then we can begin on the new task. Sounds like you have ‘seen the light’ and, although it is not always easy, you have a really good sense of how to go ahead now.
Your posts are so good to read.
Monique4 December 2013 at 6:11 am #1622
‘I admit I do want to hear that your son is seeking support as there is a minefield of danger around of which he will probably be unaware’.
He won’t accept support or professional help. He thinks he can do this on his own. I feel like a broken record urging him to seek help. He now says he has turned his gambling addiction into another addiction. I now don’t believe a word he says (not that he I don’t believe he is up to no good), I guess I don’t trust anything he says. Right now I don’t want him with me at Christmas, right now I don’t want anything to do with him! Need to get to a group but I’m off to the hospital for another top-up today. Feeling really fed up.4 December 2013 at 9:21 am #1623
I can see that things have taken a ‘down turn’ between you and your son. I looked back at your previous post as I remembered that quote about ‘building the new’. That rebuilding is about you and sometimes there are hitches in the reconstruction process – you know what it can be like with the builders in the ordinary physical sense.
But you will get back to your primary focus, I am sure, because you now already have a history of building yourself anew as well as the one of being worn down. It is so frustrating when the cg refuses to cooperate with what would be good for them – it’s back to the same theme as ever that only the cg can make the choices. It’s a shame you have to miss group and go to hospital, but I hope you feel all right after treatment and will do something really nice for yourself as soon as possible.
Christmas can be difficult for lots of people for lots of reasons, but it is not quite here yet and there may be other changes again before then. Look after yourself today.
Thinking of you.
Monique14 December 2013 at 7:27 am #1624
Hi Monique, You are so right in that “there may be other changes again before Christmas!” So many changes, however, I am taking them one step at a time and one day at a time. When I have something ‘big’ happening in my life, this is how I now chose to deal with things. I have wasted so much precious energy and time in worrying about things, that normally didn’t even happen, so my motto now is not to worry about things UNTIL they happen.
I wanted to share my thoughts on something Velvet wrote in another thread ” if your (cg) is going to gamble they will find a way and no amount of anxiety on our part will make an iota of difference – living your life in constant expectation of a disaster is soul destroying”. I think it takes a while for this old penny to drop and believe if you expect disaster all the time you will receive it. Life will always deliver what you desire/think. A good friend of mine has thought me to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and in this instance (not to give the addiction MY mental energy or time). It takes a while to adjust to think that way but you can stop those negative thoughts in a blink and turn around the situation for YOU. I would be constantly thinking about my cg and what he was up to and waiting for that next phone call and sure enough it would come and we would play out the enabler and cg roles to perfection. At the end of the conversation the only winner was the addiction. I would be left feeling sideblinded, used and of course financially worse off. Now I make an effort NOT to phone him so often to find out what he is up to, I turn my phone off at night and I chose the time when I want to deal with him. I am learning to take control of what I can control and trying hard not to let the addiction get the better of me. I believe I have turned a corner and would like to thank everyone on this site for your valued support and cyber hugs :). (At the moment I need to write these feelings down and its good to know I have a safe place to do this) Thank you. San x15 December 2013 at 1:54 pm #1625velvetModerator
That is one terrific post and one tremendous corner – well done
V20 December 2013 at 7:26 am #1626
but to me this is relevant and explains why working on yourself is so important. It’s written by Melanie Tonia Evans and although she primarily deals with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery and Relationships, she also explains why people turn to addictions of all sorts, why people abuse and why people let themselves be abused. However, if you can reach this state by working on yourself, you will be not be affected by people and their addictions/problems.
Why is it so important to enjoy being alone with ourselves.
1) If you are needy and lonely you are dependent on others to grant you good feelings.
2) If you feel empty you are at risk at tolerating abuse in order to try to receive love, attention or approval.
3) You will hold others responsible for not ‘giving you yourself’.
4) You may cling to others when they don’t ‘give you yourself’.
5) You are not free to interact healthily and lovingly with people from a mature, developed, stable adult centre.
The bottom line…it is impossible to be in a healthy relationship with anyone else until you have mastered a relationship with yourself.22 December 2013 at 7:05 pm #1627
Okay so here we go …. cg is in full swing gamble mode. Is running up large phone bills because of the gambling. Is not attending family meals because he doesn’t want to ‘answer’ annoying questions about his life. Is annoying family members with his rudeness. Tomorrow he is due to come to me, has to get up early to catch the plane.
In all this, I’m not reacting, just letting it flow. Not judging, not getting angry, nothing. Now if I had not been warned about these things I think I would be climbing the walls by now but I’m not. I am hoping my cg will be on that plane tomorrow but I can not worry about that now. Only time will tell what’s going to happen.
Hope everyone else is okay and has read Velvet’s article on Christmas/holiday times too. Thank you Velvet. Best wishes San x22 December 2013 at 9:56 pm #1628samantha7Participant
I have read your posts feeling your thoughts as my son is also a CG.I have found this forum the last few months and have after 10 years started to realise that I am enabling my son .I haves started my own recovery and am feeling empowered.Last year he was coming to see me then used his wage to go on a gamble so had no money to come and had a stomach bug so was on his own .I felt so bad and had a terrible emotional time.This year he has arranged for me to have his wage into my account.He is here and it has its difficulties but I am trying to put into place what I have learnt.Just wanted you to know was thinking of you and keep strong to what you have learnt.
Sam x.22 December 2013 at 10:18 pm #1629
San – I can see things are not easy for you right now, but it’s great that you are able to use such restraint and wisdom. Do continue to look after yourself and I hope your son will make wiser choices in the days to come. My good wishes are with you as always. I like your posts – they are so ‘real’ and so honest.
Sam – good to hear from you, too, and I hope you will find the support and help you need.
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