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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 16:52

busybee

Joined:
2017-09-24

My name is Sandra and my 21 year old son has been gambling for the past 3 years. I found out through my son blackmailing me for money by inventing a fake story that he had been kidnapped with a ransom. It turned out it was untrue and he just wanted money from me to pay back a debt. He was cautioned by the police for it. He has thrown away his university studies (no degree to show for it), is in debt, including with me (I wrongly helped him financially not knowing it was to feed his gambling addiction). He has lied to me again and again and has even stolen electronics from my house to pay people back. Since May this year he has been in and out of my home after being away for 3 years at uni (he won't tell me where he is staying when he is out). I recently found out that he is still gambling despite having told me that he had stopped (through his bank statement). After being away for 2 months, ignoring my calls, texts and emails, he came home last night at 2am wanting to come back home. I told him that I could not have him home until he got help with his gambling addiction and find a job (he is still denying he has a problem despite the bank statement showing he has been gambling). i told him that I could not emotionally cope with this anymore as it has been affecting my mental health and my family's. I cannot leave him alone at home while I am at work as I am sure he will steal from me again. I think I have to be cruel with him to be kind. I am in the dark as to where he is staying when he is not at home, whether or not he is looking for a job. He is still asking me for money, inviting lies as to what it is for. Have any of you dealt with this kind of situation and/or what would you advice me to do? I am trying to stay strong for my other children but this is so hard. Thank you in advance for your reply. Sandra.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 18:01

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi Sandra how awful for you. I'm wife of cg. I would call gamcare and talk to them. You are doing the right thing, cruel to be kind. Don't trust him. Unfortunately he is in the grip of it and desperate. I would also suggest a gamanon meeting. There are many parents at my meeting who have experienced what you are going through. Some unfortunately also end up in prison. I don't really know what else you can do. You have to safeguard yourself, your finances and your other kids, which you are doing. Someone will be along with more advice. I would definitely call the helpline. Good luck!

Posted on:
Mon, 25/09/2017 - 04:45

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

Hi Sandra

I am the mom to a 28 year old compulsive gambler. I am so sorry this addiction has found your family. 

You have seen first hand what the addiction will drive him to ... stealing, lying , manipulation. Currently he doesn't see it as a problem as it hasn't produced consequences that have really hurt him. The best thing you can do is let him hit that bottom and feel the consequences sooner rather than later. This unfortunately is the hard part as it is hard for us mom's (me anyways) to watch the self-destruction. I still struggle with it but find going to Gam Anon for support has been invaluable. I have gained so much strength and hope from the others in my group.

Also as Merry go round suggested you can call the helpline.

Take Care

Cathyx

 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:03

Joe-90

Joined:
2016-10-05

Hi busy bee, 

well done for seeking advice, although it's difficult it shows you still love your son. The reality is as you seem to know is he is a compulsive gambler like myself. In the grip of the addiction we become horrible people, not intentionally, but we must feed our habit regardless of who suffers as a consequence. Like you said it took me to reach rock bottom before I could really admit to myself that I had a problem, only then can we really get help and fight against our compulsions to gamble. Like quitting smoking or any other addiction, the addict has to first admit he does indeed have a problem and secondly they have to want to quit. No one can make them do it. 

Again you are wise not to allow him home unless it's on your terms. If he really wants to get help he will accept them. You should demand control and access of his finances and credit history (sites like Clear Score give free credit reports so you can see if they have any loans or credit cards). If he goes to a GA meeting this would be one of the first things he would be advised to do. 

 

 

Posted on:
Mon, 25/09/2017 - 18:23

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hi Sandra

I can hear that you are going through a very difficult time right now. Sometimes it can feel quite isloating if you do not have the support that you need to cope with such a stressful situation. Please call the free helpline on 0808 8020 133 and speak to an Adviser who can offer you some advice, support and information. We can also offer you free counselling if you feel it would help to speak to someone in a private and confidential setting. http://www.gamcare.org.uk/support-and-counselling/free-counselling

 

I hope this helps

Kind regards

Cade 

Forum admin

Posted on:
Thu, 28/09/2017 - 22:24

busybee

Joined:
2017-09-24

Thank you all so much for your advice. I will definitely try both gam anon and speak to a counsellor at gam care this weekend. Telling him to leave was so hard as I am scared of what is going to happen to him but I agree, it is the only way at present. I have tried so hard to help him but unless he wants to there is nothing else I can do for him now. I will keep you updated. Thank you and strength to you all too.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/09/2017 - 21:05

busybee

Joined:
2017-09-24

I have now kicked my son out of the house, only back for less than a week and he already disrespected the rule of coming home before 9pm (which is reasonable considering the situation he is in): coming home twice at 1am, waking us all up (he doesn't have a key since I can't trust him). He also disappeared one night, was very disrespectful when challenged (shouting at me). I can't deal with him anymore and as I said in my previous posts, I need to protect my family. I don't know where he has gone, it's so difficult and I do worry but I can't have him here at present. It's taken me time to find the courage to do it but I think it is for the best.