1 August 2022 at 10:39 am #160330kathrynParticipant
I have been gamble free for well over 10 years; my son was young at the height of my addiction. He has now come to me, he has a gambling problem.
I have just spoken to him and asked him to make a list of all his monthly expenses (he lives at home). I am putting a plan in place, one I learned from this site, and here’s what I’m going to do.
We are going on Wednesday (my day off) to open a bank account.
We will transfer his pay into this account, he will have no control of it.
I will feed him money as he needs it. He will need to provide me with a receipt so I know he is spending it where he should.
I’m going to help him with a budget to get some savings (which he will not be able to access)
He will be accountable for all expenses.
No money = no gambling.
He works, gets a good wage and has nothing to show for it.
I am guilt ridden. Did I pass this on to him? I will never know but I’ll be damned if he ends up like I did, years of paying things back, years of lost time with my family. He is a good boy, kind and loving and would do anything for anyone. What I have learnt here has not only saved my life, but hopefully will ensure he doesn’t go down that rotten road. I believe boredom has led him here, he works nights and has the days off, he doesn’t have a lot of friends, never has. He spends way too much time in his room. I need to help him find a life that he loves, he has a girlfriend but she lives a fair distance away and they don’t see each other as much as they would like. More time alone.
The mumma bear is coming out and thank god I have GT to help him. I will direct him here, I have a thread in the journal section, and I think he may be able to get the help he needs.
In the meantime I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that this insidious addiction doesn’t get its claws into him any more than they already are.
Thanks for reading,
Love K xxx
- This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by kathryn.
1 August 2022 at 7:41 pm #160373velvetModerator
The ‘wow’ bit came when I saw your name in F&F – I am so pleased you knew you would get support here.
I have never heard any good evidence that the addiction to gamble is hereditary but even if it is, you are not to blame, so shove guilt out of the door as quickly as possible. I know that I have, not-too-distant, ancestors who gambled out of control but I have never felt the need to see (or worry about) this addiction as hereditary.
Your son could not be in better hands than with you; not only did you use My Journal for your own support but you also hopped on this forum and gave excellent advice to so many for which I was thankful many, many times.
Your son’s lack of interests and friends probably left him feeling bored – as you know, gambling can appear a good escape from reality. You cannot produce friends for him but what else has he done in his life that he did enjoy?
Ask him to help you understand rather than telling him that you do. This opened doors for me because I was saying that I no longer had any have any preconceived ideas about what was right for him. I wasted too many years telling him what ‘I’ thought he needed to do, until he explained to me that my needs were not his needs.
What can I say to someone who has so much information at her finger-tips? Knowledge of the addiction to gamble is to have power over it and you have that knowledge. Let the mumma bear work her magic but direct him to all the other people who are ready and willing to support him – sometimes mumma bears can be over-the-top but I know you will be there to hug him when he is ready.
I think one of the big differences for you, is the realisation that he has to learn to trust you and for you to understand that it isn’t easy for him to do so. In my opinion, mother’s expect their sons to know they can trust them but this is not the case when this addiction rears its ugly head. Mothers feel they should have all the answers and of course, they haven’t.
I hope our time difference doesn’t mean that you are unable to join me in an F&F group. If it isn’t possible, I will keep looking for you on here and as you know, I will answer all your queries with honesty. There is no point in pussy-footing around and I know you know that too.
This is not the way I wanted to become reacquainted but as a mumma bear who did everything wrong, for all the right reasons, until she gained knowledge, I hope I can support you and see you son take control and live a wonderful life.
I’m not sure that ‘welcome back’ is the right expression to use but I know you will know what I mean.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by velvet.
2 August 2022 at 10:13 am #160423kathrynParticipant
Oh Velvet, thank you so much. This bull at a gate needed reeling in a little but I’m sure you can understand my panic that my boy was going to end up like me!
I agree,he needs to find something to fill his time. He used to volunteer for the Salvation Army, he did it for years, spending his Friday nights helping the homeless, until his job took over and he was unable to continue. He loved it, really loved it! I’m not sure if there’s any day help he could do but I’m sure we can find out. He also has been lifting weights, maybe a little gym membership, he could also make some new friends? He has never been overly social, even as a little boy he wouldn’t have a ‘sleepover’, the best we could get was a ‘tea over’ and that was with mum who loved to dote on him as all her grandchildren.
I’m looking forward to talking with him tomorrow, he wants to stop, he told me that much. I won’t push him, small steps, I know.
He has written down what he pays per month and tomorrow we can discuss how it’s all going to work.
I’m sad that he’s going through this, but happy that he told me and felt he could reach out. I’ve told Dames, he agrees that boredom is a massive contributor, his isolation and covid lockdowns (out of the whole world my state had the most….almost 2 years in total!)
His girlfriend lives 1.5hrs away but they do see each other at least once a week.(mostly) She is From India, and has give him some wonderful new experiences that he would never had done without her, not to mention she is a cracking girl and we love her!
He has also told her about his addiction, and I know first hand just how difficult that is to do so massive kudos to him for that.
Velvet thank you for your always wise words, i knew you would answer because I have known you for so long, and I was thrilled to get your response.
As with my journal and all my conversations with Dunc and others who posted to me ,I will take all your advice. I’ve already read your post several times and will continue to do so. I will keep an eye out for and F & F group I can join, and I hope to chat soon.
Much love, K
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by kathryn.
2 August 2022 at 1:09 pm #160434velvetModerator
I do wonder whether I would have handled things differently if I had, had knowledge of the addiction to gamble. I believe that it is easier for it to get out of hand if loved ones are unaware. I don’t dwell in the past but if I had been aware then I would have done things differently and perhaps ended the ghastliness earlier. It’s why I keep going here – if I can stop anybody making my mistakes it’s worth it.
Having facilitated here for many years and having ‘met’ hundreds of family members who are bewildered, angry and frightened I know that it is possible to get things right. F&F do not tend to return to this forum once they are out of the shadow of addiction but I do believe that there has been more success than failure, simply by learning what the addiction means to the gambler and how to support the right way. You have the advantage on both these counts.
However, it is important to use knowledge wisely. It takes time for an addiction to really take hold and it takes time for it to be controlled – so patience (buckets of it) is required. It may be a well-hacked expression but ‘taking one day at a time’ is the best way forward for all of us.
I would imagine that your son will struggle to believe that you, even with your wealth of knowledge, can understand him. In my opinion he will believe that his problem is unique to him so how can you understand? Maybe I’m wrong but ………………
He sounds as though he is prepared to tackle his problem in a mature way which is great – there might be slips along the way but you know yourself, that even a slip can make a gambler more determined to succeed.
I hope that Dames is standing shoulder to shoulder with you over this – it makes such a difference when there is a united front.
Anyway, I will stop rabbiting and send this – I look forward to hearing from you.
10 years gamble-free – fantastic, I knew you could do it.
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