16 September 2011 at 7:01 am #2437numptyParticipant
I will try to cut a long story short. My father is an addict and has had many addictions. He was an alcoholic for many years but gave that up when the Dr told him that he would die sometime soon if he didn’t stop.
Fast forward a few years and Mum found out that he had gambled a significant amount of money in poker machines. She confronted him. At first he denied it but then admitted that "it just got a little bit out of hand and he would stop". I got pretty stern with him and gave him information on counselling and gambling. He read it but insisted that he could stop in the same way he stopped drinking.
For a few weeks, I do think he stopped. The banking transactions all changed and the withdrawals were few and far between. Then slowly, the transactions started again and the secretative behaviour began. We now know he is gambling, but we feel that we can’t confront him without evidence. He is the type of person who gets very verbally agressive and turns it around on everyone else, even when he is in the wrong. So the only way to shut that down is to catch him doing it. That is prooving hard as he seems to be gambling at random pubs and clubs now. I contacted a private investigator who was very helpful and I do hope we can confront him soon.
He is just awful to my mother. He is rude to her and snaps at her and I cannot understand how someone who has wronged someone can show so much anger and lack of respect toward them.
I have a few questions. The first one is that I have read that you shouldn’t be angry toward the gambler when you confront them and you should show them support. How do you do this when all you can feel is anger rushing through your veins? In our situation the emotional issues are compounded by the years of alcoholism and emotional abuse.
The other question I have is assuming we can catch him, where to from there? Mum clearly doesn’t trust him (and rightly so) and I have no idea how he will react. I imagine it will be the same as last time "I will stop, not really a problem, just a hobby, I don’t drink or smoke so this is what I like to do, bla bla bla". What should Mum say to him? What should she insist on? What is the minimum amount of action she should ask of him?
I am very nervous to post this as this has been such a private matter. It feels so awful and lonely to be carrying this around pretending to the world that life is normal when it really isn’t.
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