24 August 2019 at 2:03 pm #6892Nick02Participant
Hi I’m new here and I’m looking for a bit of support. It’s a very long story so I’ll make it as short as possible. My dad has been gambling for as long as I can remember. We’ve been evicted more time than I can count, he’s lied, manipulated people, and now he is homeless. Over the last few years, I’ve taken on the role as a parent I guess. I’ve tried to talk to him, offer my support, I’ve let him live with me when he had nowhere to go, and I’ve tried to be there for him. Two years ago, he attempted suicide because he had run out of money. Honestly, I was really angry and hurt especially as he made jokes about it in the hospital. I called his landlord and explained the situation (the rent would not be paid) because I couldn’t watch him destroy another persons finances again and the landlord has a family of his own. After that, he started sleeping in his car. I didn’t offer to let him stay with me because last time he spent months gambling while me and my partner were at work and I also didn’t think it was fair on my partner. But I’d still gone to see him, offer other help and offer to go to GA meetings with him. He didn’t want any of that, and eventually my dad stopped speaking to me. Soon he lost the car and was apparently on the streets. A few days ago, I saw him for the first time in 2 years because me and my family were concerned about his mental health. He blamed me for the fact we no longer have a relationship and he said he “doesn’t know” if he wants to have any sort of relationship with me now. Honestly, it broke my heart. It’s made me feel like I’ve not supported him or done enough to help him with his addiction. I feel so guilty and broken. He stills speaks to my brothers despite the fact they’ve never tried to help him or support him. I think he likes the fact they ignore the addiction and act like everything is normal even though he’s on the street. I just don’t know what to do.. should I be trying to have a relationship or trying to help?25 August 2019 at 4:24 pm #6893MomoftwogreatkidsParticipant
I have found a lot of positive support here in the forum. I am pretty new to this as well.
One thing I have learned is not to blame yourself. As hard as that may be, it isn’t your fault. You are the child and he is the parent, it was never your job to provide for him. You didn’t betray him and damage the relationship.
My husband is a gambling addict, and I have been blamed for all of it, By him and his family. I am learning that this is a part of the addiction. His family ignores issues like this as well. It’s a part of being an enabler. Looking the other way allows it to continue.
Talking to others that understand definitely helps.
My husband’s father was a gambler as well. And he has taken so much money from his children and plays on their sympathy just to get attention or money. Until I realized what was going on with my husband I didn’t see how manipulative his parents both are, and his brothers too. They all ignores his fathers gambling issues and think it’s just something others should tolerate. They don’t believe the extent to which my husband has damaged our own family financially. They all believe he is a victim, and I am to blame. I am no longer an enabler, so I am criticized and made to feel like I did something wrong. It’s so hard to keep it straight in your mind when that happens.
I know how painful it is when this person that was supposed to be a loving family member betrays, lies, and accuses you. It’s painful, and you grieve. Definitely keep reaching out until it’s better and you feel stronger. Believe in your sense of what’s “right”. You know inside that you didn’t cause this.
This is my biggest fear that my children will wind up dealing with my husband in the future and that he will take advantage of them or try, And make them feel they are to blame for a lost connection. I am trying to get a divorce and start over in life. We were ruined financially by my husband and it will be a long road for me to recover. But I know I have to protect myself and my kids future financially from him. You need to protect yourself as well. It seems like you know and that you’ve dealt with it for a long time. Sadly we can’t make them change and be a different person. But you can change yourself and how you react. I had so much anger in the beginning, and I just couldn’t even understand how a father and husband could do this to his own wife and kids. How can he blame me for his financial losses. But that’s how he was raised. That is the addiction in families.
Take care of yourself and stay strong. It’s not your fault that your dad wound up in this position. His addiction will manipulate you and make you believe it’s your fault, but it’s not. You still love him, but you don’t love his addiction. I hope you find answers and support.25 August 2019 at 6:46 pm #6894duncParticipant
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
Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
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 Team
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