Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Need help coping with son’s addiction

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    ‘Hope the “cruel and inaccurate words” weren’t written by me?
    Have I missed out on something?
    Sometimes, people who are hurt deflect or project feelings in the wrong direction.
    Nobody has the power to stop another member posting unless the Terms and Conditions of GT are breached. That’s my understanding of how the Site works.
    I stand open to correction.
    Surely a Recovery site should create unity not division.
    We all have suffered enough pain through this addiction.


    Hi Vera

    I am the bully (as well as numerous other not so nice things) that Sad has been referring to in her posts. I started following your thread since you started posting on the F & F side occasionally. I was hesitant for posting on your thread for fear that it would not be welcome but really wanted to offer my support to you. I know I am painted in a different light but I want for nobody to suffer with this addiction.

    Sorry for the s**tstorm that this has created.

    PS – You had written in one of your posts that “God loves a trier” – It’s become my new mantra.



    Sad I have no desire for you to leave this site. I had never read your thread before but when you chose a newcomer on the F&F side to pick a battle on what we refer to the gambler in our lives (CGs) I thought it was inappropriate… like you just my opinion.
    You had my post removed and then began a full on attack of F&F which again is your right. I do however, have a problem that when you put up controversial posts and cry “bully” when a response was made.
    I am not nor have I ever been a bully or any of the other derogatory names you have referred to me as. I am a mother of a son who has been a compulsive gambler for going on 9 years. We have been to hell and back with suicide attempts, depression , and a million other things that come with being a CG.
    So ya I don’t appreciate the passive/aggressive threads and posts you write.


    Thanks Sad… done. Today is officially Day 1.

    I truly wish you a life of recovery from this awful addiction.

    Best Wishes



    Dear Cathy
    I have just finished my group; said the Serenity prayer to myself and thought of you.
    I want us to get back to why ‘you’ are here. You are a wonderful support but you are still recovering your life. How is your son doing? I think he is still going to GA but how is he behaving towards you?
    What’s it like in Cathy’s world.
    Time for an update methinks
    As Ever


    I thought of you tonight Cathy, when I met 4 new young men in GA. First timers. They heard wise words from the older men. I hope it turns them off gambling forever and a day. I admire them for giving GA a shot (even if they were pushed in my their wives and girlfriends!) lol . You have to start somewhere.
    “What is said in the Room stays in the room ” so I have to be careful not to breach anonymity but I did observe that most of these guys were baled by my their mothers. A mother thinks we are showing love to our sons and all the time we help them to drink more and more from the poison chalice and it’s not only mums of CGs who do this. 90%of the mams I know give our sons far too much too easily, then wonder what went wrong.
    Not saying you ever did, Cathy but I sure did.
    Awareness is the key.


    Thanks for thinking of me!

    As you know Velvet being the mom of a CG has it’s own set of dynamics. We are used to “helping” and “fixing” the problems of our kids. Problem was that I didn’t realize that my son had become a young man. I didn’t to realize that he had grown up and all my wonderful advice and help was actually hurting him and frustrating the h**l out of me as time and time again it was ignored.
    We have been on this rollercoaster for going on 9 years. My son has been going to GA for going on 2 years. Though he has had multiple relapses I truly do feel he is making progress. He is happier and more honest. As long as he continues to make progress and accept responsibility for his addiction my husband and I continue to support him.
    I am so proud of his efforts… its not easy and would not wish it on anybody.
    Being here is like going to GA for the addict… it helps keep me grounded. It’s so much easier to see things more clearly when looking at others’ situations. I get a better perspective.
    I agree with you Vera we mom’s(as I know you know) are easily manipulated by are little babies- and particularly sons. I have had the wool pulled over my eyes more times than a care to admit. We no longer give him $$ for anything. I am lucky as I have a great Gam Anon group (albeit most members are spouses) that gives wonderful support. They are all just a text or call away when I am doubting myself- which thankfully is getting less.

    It’s not easy on either side of the fence but knowing there are people nearby and on the other side of the world that support and “get” you makes all the difference in the world.



    Hi Cathy
    I know you wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t thought a million times that your son’s problem was as a result of something you had done – however it was never your fault that your son became/is a compulsive gambler and you are doing everything possible to support him now which is all that matters today, what went before cannot be undone.
    Is your son still living with you? How is his behaviour towards you when he slips? Are you aware when it happens or does he tell you? Does he earn enough money to keep himself out of debt?
    When enough money is earned to avoid debt the CG often believes that they are handling their addiction because they believe they are not hurting anybody else or taking money from anybody else. However they are hurting themselves. I am glad that you are no longer giving him cash, I take it that he earns enough and doesn’t get it elsewhere either.
    Does he give any indication why he slips? Does the GA group ask him what he is going to do differently this time? Returning to your first post on this latest thread, is he still suffering very low self-esteem, cutting himself, threatening suicide? If so how are you coping and how is your husband and your son’s siblings dealing with him
    Oh boy! I have just seen a string of questions which was not my intent. However it would be good for me to know where ‘you’ are in the great scheme of things. Your health and happiness are so important. Laughter and joy can be absent from a home with the addiction to gamble in it – I hope that is not so for you.
    As Ever


    Wow those are a lot of questions V!!! I’m going to try to answer them.
    My son bottomed out about 2 years ago. He finally admitted he was a compulsive gambler after years of fighting with himself that he was “different” and could get this under control on his own.
    I had started attending Gam Anon about 6 months before this. I honestly could no longer cope. I don’t know if I thought it was my fault that he became a CG but I certainly felt that I was c**p as a mom because I couldn’t fix this for him. It was heart wrenching as each time the bottoms became so low and he was so destroyed, I would give him my best “mom” pep talk and all would be good for a bit then BAM back to square one.
    Even with him attending GA it has been hard. He is only now just starting to embrace recovery(I think). Previously I was pretty certain that he was just going and hoping that by sitting in the room that would be good enough.
    His slips all seem to revolve around feelings of worthlessness which anybody looking in from the outside would not get as he appears to have it all. I know with absolute certainty where these feelings originate from and I think he does too but not sure he has tackled them.
    He is still living with us and at his request I have complete control of all his finances. At least this gives him a fighting chance to get some “sober” time behind him whilst he works on the bigger issues. It’s funny his days of sobriety no longer seem important to me.
    On my end I am no longer angry. I am just so sad that this addiction gripped my son… it must be awful being so afraid of yourself all the time. We seem to be at a much better place as a family. It’s not the “dirty” secret it once was and it no longer holds power over us. The chaos seems to be gone (for the most part).

    As with everybody its ODAAT, some days not so good but all in all life most definitely is:)


    Thanks for your supportive posts, Cathy.
    Glad to hear things are going well for your son and that Gamanon is helping you. I think there is a gamanon meeting in the same building where I attended GA tonight , because the first time I went there I saw two women waiting in the queue outside the door, but they went into a different room. Lots of young men in that group. My sons’ age and the scary bit is that some of them are already separated fathers due to gambling. Strangely, I relate better to some of the men, than I did to the lady! I guess I’m getting to know one or two of them from the different venues. One man invited me to attend a meeting in my ******. He runs that meeting, he said. Another man asked what my son thought of the “Pinning Meeting” we attended a couple of Sunday nights ago. I feel secure when I see that man coming into a meeting. I don’t know why. Maybe because he is a granddad. Two newcomers were told to “stay back ” at the end of the meeting. I guess they give them phone numbers and literature. I was never given that list of numbers. I totally get it that men don’t hand out their phone numbers to women.
    Over and out!


    Thanks for posting to my thread, Cathy.
    How is your son doing?
    GA may not be the best place for him to meet a GF , unless of course she was well established in recovery.
    The only thing you can do is stay focused on your own recovery. It seems selfish but when we get caught up in outside chaos it takes our peace.
    Do you ever come to the GT Groups for All Members?
    Maybe we will meet up there soon. One on this pm if it suits you, time wise.


    Hi Cathy
    I said the Serenity Prayer last night following my group and I thought about you all those miles away.
    It is hard to remember our thoughts as we look back but I definitely did believe that the problem in my home was my fault entirely and that I was a rubbish human being. I too used to bite the bullet and try and broach the problem surrounding the home but of course the manipulative power of the addiction was something we didn’t have to tools to handle. A few confusing sentences and I was ready to believe anything again and so on and so on.
    This makes it hard to trust when recovery does actually kick in – and I found comfort in the words an old member wrote many years ago
    • Forgiveness isn’t condoning the behaviour.

    • Forgiveness isn’t forgetting what happened.

    • Forgiveness isn’t restoring trust.

    • Forgiveness isn’t synonymous with reconciliation.

    • Forgiveness doesn’t mean doing the other person a favour.

    • Forgiveness isn’t easy.
    I have had to scoot across to Vera’s thread to find out what her reference to a GF meant and I’m glad I did.
    I have known CGs whose early steps to recovery have included a new relationship because it was a supposed step towards ‘normality’ – unfortunately I have seen and heard of too many who have struggled and failed. Recovery has to be selfish, the CG has to put him/her first and often there can be no room for the responsibility and caring of another – certainly not a new relationship where the GF requires a lot of care and understanding.
    With a long time healthy recovery the CG will have freed up more space inside his/her mind giving space to consider and enjoy things that the non-CG takes for granted. Personally I think it is a blessing when GFs and BFs don’t figure in the life of a recovering CG too early. GFs want attention and understanding, both of which a CG can ill afford to give as it removes the focus from the recovery.
    One of the biggest problems for CGs at the beginning of a gamble-free life is the void – what to do when the urge to gamble arises – a girl-friend or boyfriend could be felt to be an answer but I would argue it is only the answer when the void has been filled with things the CG has forgotten about or put on one side because of the addiction. Unless the CG has become more rounded, in my opinion, they can hardly be ready to add to a relationship as an equal.
    Your family, in the main, seems to have reached the happier state of acceptance which is great. I believe that ups and downs must invariably continue for a time and chaos can erupt but you have the tools to cope now. Nothing can change what has gone before, we are altered by the experience but in my opinion once the coping mechanisms are in place and the addiction is accepted for what it is, then families can move on to great things.
    Is it possible to talk about your son’s feelings of worthlessness? I think the elephant in the room is one of the biggest causes of our lack of communication but unfortunately if it is left to fester it only gets bigger. I stand guilty myself of having an elephant in the room with another person, not my CG, so I do understand – maybe we need to find a way to resolve this.
    As Always


    Thanks for your ongoing support on my thread, WM!
    I hope your son is still G free and living a better life.
    I could write a book on my son’s “issues”. He is not a CG. Same age as your son. The most recent thing is , he moved a lot of his baggage back to this house, left his dog here (at my behest-I couldn’t bear the think of the little animal being caught up in my son’s irregular life.) All we can do as mothers is offer advice, and let our sons find their own way through life. Gambling was my way of escaping from his craziness and my own, but that is not an option these days.
    I hope your Gamanon Group is thriving and that you are learning/teaching each other new skills , one day at a time.


    Thanks for your on going support, Cathy
    Hope your son is doing well too?
    And yourself!
    3 hrs past my bed time
    Mind in overdrive….no gambling Thank God


    I too am a mum to a 23 _24 year old cg . I have read this thread and nodded my head . He is starting to get things in place to hopefully help him. I too naively thought his gambling I found out about 18 months ago was sorted, I now know it isn’t. You all know the feelings ,thoughts, so I’m not going to write those here. What I want to ask because it is what I worry do I know what he says is not a lie,a cover up. This to me is the hardest part of this journey,it is our natural reaction to trust and believe ,but when it’s been damaged like this ,how do we know .
    I hope all of you are doing well and healing

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