27 January 2017 at 5:11 pm #5449dext3Participant
My mother has been gambling for about 5-6 years now. She goes through times of “sobriety” but always seems to find herself going back to the casino. She has lost everything. She has this delusion that she will win big and all of her money woes will be solved. She does not accept the fact that her money problems are largely due to the gambling. She has so many extra monthly payments to creditors, pay day loans, friends/family, other sources I’m probably not even aware of that make her monthly bills entirely unmanageable.
She started gambling again in late 2016. When I was alerted of this, I gave her money to clean it up, like I always have. She doesn’t have any money and whenever this occurs, is one month away from eviction. To understand why I do this I will give some background: I am 26, financially stable, have a great/lucrative career ahead of me (physician) and I have 2 very young siblings (12 and 14) that currently live with just her. She went back to the casino after i gave her the money and was right back in the same position. I told her to never ask me for money again. She ended up getting more money from my uncle, because he too was concerned about her welfare and the childrens.
Last night, she told me she had been gambling again and eventually asked me for 1k. I told her no, for the first time ever. While it provided me with a sense of relief (not being caught up in the mess of it all), I can’t help but feel worried about her and my siblings.
She has of course shut me out, which is hurtful, because I didn’t give in. I know this is all very unhealthy and I need to have solid, healthy boundaries to protect myself. (For a while I was drinking heavily due to it all. I have since sought help and am clean and know my boundaries and my sobriety are of utmost importance).
I just don’t know how to get through to her and make her get help. I know the first step is to stop enabling so that they are forced to be responsible for their own messes. I do also worry about her mental stability because of all this. (She feels like a loser, worthless, has mentioned suicide a couple times in the past).
Any advice/support would be great. Thanks.28 January 2017 at 2:04 pm #5450velvetModerator
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 Team17 February 2017 at 1:33 pm #5451velvetModerator
I am so sorry you have not had replies and I hope you are still reading the forum and that this post will be read by you.
I believe that by gaining knowledge of your mother’s addiction you will cope better and know what to do.
The addiction to gamble is not about money, it is solely about the ‘gamble’. Your mother wants money to gamble because money is a tool, a means to an end and not an end in itself.
It seems to me that your siblings are being used by her addiction as pawns – if you don’t enable then their mother they will suffer and if their mother suffers then so will they. Is there any other way these young children can be protected because giving their mother money is fueling her addiction which will increase without treatment. The suicide threat is similar, who can hear such a threat and not want to jump to the rescue?
I am wondering about an intervention – you have mentioned an uncle who is enabling and therefore unwittingly not giving your mother the support she needs. Would it be possible for you to get together and calmly discuss your mother’s problem, along with any other family members or friends who might enable her? With knowledge of her addiction, maybe as a family you could form a plan and then put it to her – not in the form of a threat (unless you are prepared to carry it out) but gently and with understanding. Your mother didn’t ask for or want her addiction anymore than you did; she is gambling to escape from life but her addiction is hurting her and all those who love her – maybe she could be taught gently to see that. Perhaps you could download the Gamblers anonymous 20 questions from their web site and ask her to answer the questions so that she can see the extent of the damage her addiction is doing to herself and those around her.
Don’t be afraid to talk about her addiction to those who can help because the addition thrives on secrecy to gain enablement – your mother won’t want you all to ‘know’ what she is doing but unity is good. There is a lot of support for active CGs – our Helpline and our CG groups are here for her as is GA which is very effective and which I am sure will have a branch local to your mother.
I hope you are still with the forum and that you will post again
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