30 December 2018 at 3:50 am #6538GabyO112Participant
Hello everyone, for a very long time now I have been going through this alone and would be so amazing for someone to relate to me and give me insight and some advice. I’m going to try and sum up shortly my story.
I am 22 years old, I am a student I have about a little less than 2 years to earn my bachelors, I work as a pre-K teacher and make enough money to support myself and my expenses and also a little more at times since I do live at home. I had an amazing childhood with my siblings and always had a very close family. In the last few years everything has spiraled downwards. As I grew older I started to realize things and hear things from family members about my moms financial problems and how she “used“ to gamble. Her and my dad got divorced years ago, for several reasons, now that I’m older I know what one of the reasons was, her gambling problem… or at least I’m assuming. I start to put the pieces together and realize why my dad kept a safe in his room where he would put his wallet and cash, and I remember catching my mom wandering around it and can’t believe I was so innocent and little to not wonder anything. I also remember my mom leaving randomly and not telling anyone where she went for HOURS. A few years ago when I was 20 my grandpa had a conversation with me and explained to me how my mom has been gambling her entire life and everyone has tried to help but no one has been successful at it, there has been many instances that honestly scare me becuse I realize how terrible this problem is. I am traumatized with lending my mom money because I know I won’t get it back. She has took hundreds of dollars from the little money I make, she has borrowed money from neighbors, friends who have confronted me pissed off about how my mom stole their money, it is humiliating and just terrifying because its so hard to understand an addiction so complex. My mom is a good hearted person who helps absolutely anyone she can, but has this gambling addiction. Several instances I have drove to the casino because my gut tells me she is, and shes there every single time. This Christmas my dad gave her 150$ to give me for Christmas, she didnt give it to me. The day after Christmas she disappeared, I drove to the casino and there she was right before my eyes, gambling my Christmas money. It’s hard to be mean when I know she’s depressed because of her addiction and financial situation. She is currently unemployed, has no savings, no money, no credit. We used to have the best mother and daughter relationship and now it’s just fighting all the time. its hard to stay positive, especially when this problem has been going on since I was little, how can I get her help? I know she would be willing to? She knows she has a problem she can’t control. I can not afford a good rehab place or center. Is there anything I can do besides obviously not give her any money. Also how can I help myself? It is absolutely heart wrenching to try and enjoy my life and keep going knowing my mom is in a shit hole, depressed, addicted to gambling, unemployed, and broke? It’s hard to stay positive and keep on going. If anyone took the time to read this, THANK YOU.30 December 2018 at 1:04 pm #6539
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.
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We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team30 December 2018 at 11:07 pm #6540
I will write again asap but I just wanted to let you know that you had been heard and understood.
There are many things that you can do to protect yourself and help you cope and there is a lot of support about for your mother that doesn’t cost anything although it does require her to admit she has a problem and to seek that help.
You cannot save your mum, only she can do that but I wouldn’t be here writing to you if I didn’t know she could control her addiction.
velvet2 January 2019 at 5:25 pm #6541
It is so hard when the person who one would have thought should have been the role model is found to have feet of clay.
For many people, however a parent, sibling or child has the sadness of finding a fundamental weakness in another family member. It is very important when it comes to the addiction to gamble that it is understood that nobody is to blame – there was nothing that you could have done to stop your mother gambling and nothing she could have done to stop herself owning this terrible addiction.
What you do today is what matters. ‘You’ matter, your education and future happiness matters and will make a difference to your mother. The addiction to gamble is riddled with feelings of guilt and shame – the less she can feel she has wrecked your life, the more hopeful she could feel about her own life.
This site is free Gaby, as is GA. Gamblers anonymous is an amazing changer of people’s lives ‘if they want to change’. Sadly you cannot make your mother stop gambling but you can direct her to those who would willingly support her in her quest to be gamble free. This site has a brilliant Helpline where your mother can communicate one-to–one anonymously. We have terrific facilitators for groups of gamblers where sharing and understanding is to be found. Your mother can stop gambling but she has to seek the support that is available.
I know it is hard but in my opinion, the neighbours and friends from whom she has taken money should be told that your mother has an addiction. Hopefully they can also be told that she is seeking help but that will be down to her. You should not pay her debts because it leaves her free to ‘borrow’ again and doesn’t help her or you. The addiction to gamble thrives on secrecy, if one person will not give money then another will unless they are aware. There should be no shame about admitting this problem, as I have said, nobody is to blame. Ideally it should be your mother that tells her relatives, friends and neighbours because that would be a big step towards acceptance of her problem but failing that it might be that someone could inform her that the relatives, friends and neighbours should be told for their protection and also for her sake.
Your mother is almost certainly depressed because of her addiction and not addicted because of depression. It is her addiction that should be addressed.
You are right when you say you will not get your money back and it is likely that the friends, relatives and neighbours will not get their money back either but that is not something you should worry about – you cannot balance the books and make it right. Sadly they may have to learn the hard way that a compulsive gambler needs support, not money.
Can you talk to your father?
Please post again Gaby. I know my message is tough but sadly you cannot ‘know’ that your mother wants to get help. People have not been successful in getting her to stop because they have not understood that it is your mother who has to want to stop. Keep communication open with her, tell her straight that you will not enable her; listen to her but do not place your trust in her because she cannot trust herself; direct her to free and wonderful support. Above all look after yourself because you are an achievement for her, something she can be proud of.
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