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Mother of gambler

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 22:12

Emotional wreck

Joined:
2017-11-23

Have I joined the correct site? I’m the mother of a gambler. Going through emotional hell. If not this site, could you please direct me to support site for families of gamblers? Thank you.

 

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 22:32

Lisa-Bee

Joined:
2017-11-23

There is support here for those who have gambling addictions and the family and friends of someone suffering from gambling addiction so you are in the right place! :)

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 22:41

cg-rambler

Joined:
2017-11-21

Hey emotional wreck,

This is a good place to be. Perhaps you could share your situation with us in a little more detail. No one here will be judgemental of what's going on

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 00:24

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi EW, sorry to hear how much you are hurting & yes, this is one site for anyone affected by problem gambling.  

The helpline has advisors who can give you guidance but the best advice I have for you is to find a GamAnon meeting & get yourself there.  These are meetings for people affected by gambling & you will meet other people who have walked in your shoes & can not only give you advice but will offer you real life support as you learn how to cope with this.  Unfortunately, you can’t fix your gambler as is your want but you can learn the best ways to protect yourself & figure out some management strategies, especially if they are still under your roof. 

It will sound crazy but you need to look after you - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 09:13

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

Hi, I am the mother of a gambler and am at the end of my tether - I really don't know what to do, it easy for people on the outside to tell me to walk away and disown him but as his mother I can not do this but it is really making me ill now having to deal with all the fall out over all the things that he has done. Any other mothers on here going through this

 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 10:29

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi EW and Helpless. As Odaat says a gamanon meeting is the best place to really learn. I'm wife of compulsive gambler and there are more parents in my meeting than partners. You don't have to disown anyone, but you do have to learn how to deal with the gambler. Bailing them out, giving them money and lying for them won't help. Gambling feeds on secrets and lies. Clearing debts sets them free to start over again. You both don't say what is happening so I don't know what you need to help you. The main thing is safeguard your money. if you go to family & friends section, start new topics you will get more feedback. Tell your stories and we can answer your questions. Definitely call gamcare as well for advice. Please keep posting, it will help.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 10:43

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

I thought that my son had stopped few years back he stole lots of stuff from his brothers and myself his brothers have not gotten over it and have not spoke to him since, I helped it at the time and really thought it was all behind us, he had a girlfriend of 2 years and I have just found out that she gave him all her details for online banking and her bank account, he has wiped out all her account and taken a 5000 loan in her name - because she willing gave over all her details she cannot say it is fraud and let him take the consequences but her family have now been ringing me up constantly because they want her money back. I feel like I cannot not pay her her money because although our family has been wrecked I do not want her family wrecked they do not have money to replace and it will destroy theirs lives as well so I really dont know what to do as I do not want to make this easy for him I am not coping very well with all this. I have no one to turn to because everyone didnt want me to give him another chance after last time.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 11:06

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Helpless,

Not a helpful label for you. Indicates being a victim at the mercy of what everyone else does to you with no control of your own. The reality is that you do have choices as to what you do or don’t do, whether you do or don’t start regular meetings as advised, whether you do or don’t set boundaries about what behaviour you will or won’t accept. Because if there are no boundaries, as you are finding, anything goes. You’re powerless over what your son does and what everyone else does but not helpless at all over the question of how you live your life and who controls what you do. 

The starting point is to determine who is responsible for what. Because the result of all involved here taking ownership of each other’s issues is chaos. Your son gambled, tricked his gf (who undoubtedly has her own issues) and stole. Why do you have to make restitution for that? Surely your son’s an adult, let him bear adult responsibility. His gf handed over her bank details, not sensible, it’s not for her family to harass you.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. The starting point is to change you, to get the help and support that you need to deal with your situation. Try GamAnon and CoDA 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 11:12

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi helpless, this is not your fault. As you say she willingly gave her details. She needs help too. He has to pay it back not you. That's her mistake not yours. We have to take ownership of what we've done. Her parents are blaming you, not him. He is the cause, he is an addict. He needs to admit his problem. He needs to seek help for himself. It's hard but that's the reality. It's tough I am 18 years married to a compulsive gambler and I've found out all the lies and secrets at different times from his parents. It's tough to hear but it is not their fault he's a gambler. But they did lie. I would never expect them to repay anything. I chose this road. For things to change you have to stop paying his debt. I would talk to the girlfriend get her to call gamcare. You all need help and support and to learn about addiction. What is your son doing about all of this? He has to take responsibility for his theft. The best thing you can do is go to a meeting, call gamcare. Get some support but do not pay his debt. Yes it's all very sad and everyone wants someone to pay but that doesn't help. Stop taking on his problems, they're his. You can encourage him to get help but you can't fix him. Maybe help him manage his money, set up repayments to the girlfriend. There is a point in life where we become adults and stop expecting our parents to sort out our mistakes. Both your son and his girlfriend got into this mess. It's a hard lesson but if you help him it will continue.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 11:25

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Hi

It's all to easy for us to get consumed by the CG's problems but as every mess they make is cleared up for them they get further and further from connecting action and consequence. Your son stole the money and took out the fraudulent loan. It's for him to figure out a solution and her family need to be very clear on that. You are not responsible for his actions but you are responsible for your own response to them. Sometimes leaving a CG to get on with it is the kindest thing for them long term.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 11:40

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

I understand what everyone is saying but I am helping so he keeps his job so he can pay this amount back, he is promising that he wants help and has agreed that he will give me all his wages each month so I can pay back the money he has stolen from them but i was gulliable before in believing that this would never happen again and now it has can he really recover from being an addict. Last time this happened with family I told him to go and he was actually homeless for a while riding on night buses and sleeping in airport - he came back for help and I supported him last time but really don't know how to handle it this time. He is home tomorrow because he now has a job where he works abroad which he took after last time I really thought he was making something of himself now I am waiting in fear as if this is just the tip of the iceberg and maybe there is lots more to come that I dont know yet. I have spoken to gamcare advisors and they are sorting out some meetings for me just good it get on here and talk to people that dont know us and judge

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 11:49

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

The reason I feel guilty is because I didnt tell her anything about what happened with him in the past because I realy thought it was beind us he had a good job earning good money and then meet her years after the first incident. She had no idea he had previous problem. She loved him and thought they were saving for their future together and trusted him with her money maybe if I had said something in the first place this would not of happened

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 13:34

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

There’s a saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?

He awasn’t honest about his past. You can take responsibility for not telling her (or making sure that he did - he’s the one supposedly committed to her) but you didn’t steal from her.

It’s well established amongst friends and family with growing recovery that financial  help for a gambler or any means of cushioning the gambler from the financial or emotional consequences of the gambling simply perpetuate the cycle. Most F&F have bailed out and cushioned until reaching the point of not being able to stand it.

The best help for him is to encourage him to help himself, to go to GA, to contact his creditors himself, to arrange counselling for himself, to arrange blocks and barriers for himself. 

The help for you can be found via GamAnon or CoDA, via GamCare and these forums but it’s up to you to take it.

Look after you.

CW 

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 14:36

katy55

Joined:
2016-09-17

I'm the mum of a problem gambler and I know the hell you're going through. The fear of what might happen next is horrible. Our gambler - son in his twenties- has had two major "sprees" which have left us anxious, angry and every emotion in between.  I also understand the shame you're probably feeling too - although it's not your fault you feel as though it is somehow. I can't offer much advice as we're still finding our way too but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. Take care x

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 15:26

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi helpless an addict is always an addict. It will never go away. He has to take ownership and actively seek help, not just promise. See action, talk is cheap. If he sees you sorting the mess he's made he'll never learn how to do it for himself. You are enabling him. Being homeless didn't stop him. Set boundaries and stick to them. This is forever.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 15:44

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

You aren't Helpless... you are a mom that is doing what comes instinctively to all moms. Problem is,it is counter-productive when it comes to addicted children. I feel/have felt every single thing you have said. This is sooooo hard and there is no quick and easy fix. Your son has the addiction, not you. Nothing will change until his life becomes unmanageable for him. This usually comes when they have to face the consequences of their actions.

Like the others have said try getting to a Gam Anon or CoDA meeting. What I have learned is that even after 11 years(OMG has it been that long!!) I still struggle but I have my group behind me cheering me on when I make progress and giving me a hug when I struggle and revert back to "mom mode".

As for the girlfriend... forget about what you did or didn't do. I know it's hard but it isn't your problem to fix, it's your son's.

You will never be judged here. We are all just trying to make it through this hell and get to the other side with some sanity left.

Be selfish and put the focus on you. Learn the lessons you were given and please get some real life support!!

Cathyx

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 16:20

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

Thank you for all your messages, I know that I have to seek help for myself, my head is saying all the things that I am hearing its just my heart that is not listening. When (or if) he comes home tomorrow I will leave the help numbers out for him and then just hopes that he calls them and start getting help for himself as well.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/11/2017 - 21:59

gamparentanon

Joined:
2016-04-22

It is a horrible thing to go through as a parent and you can find yourself being intimidated by them and what trouble they can end up in.  Make sure you stick to taking over his wages and give him an ultimatum of working with you to help him recover or he will just have to face up to the reality of losing a potentially good life.  He has the advantage of being employed which is a good start.  If he has money coming in he can start working out how to pay people back and you can help him if you get advice on how he can manage his finances.  By all means leave the leaflets for him and leave the phone number for Gamcare but insist you sit down with him and look at them together.  It will not be easy for him to stop but it really is possible if he really wants to try.  You are basically trying to keep him in employment and on the right side of the law and you must try and be firm with him about this.  Try and get as much info on gambling addiction as possible and ways of tackling it so that you know more about what you are taking on.  Most of the parents on here would have been clueless about this addiction until it was dropped on us like a bombshell.  Many of us have now been on a learning curve about the problem and we know what a rollercoaster  ride it is before any sort of recovery kicks in.  I wish you luck.

Posted on:
Mon, 27/11/2017 - 21:29

Helpless

Joined:
2017-11-26

Anyone have any advise on the best way I should be reacting to my son. We have blocked gambling websites on his phone and laptop - I know only he can do it but at the moment i just feel numb I just don't know what to do I feel like I should be shouting and balling at him and I am feeling cross with myself that I am not doing that but then again I know this probably wont help and will only help myself. 

He is asking me to give up smoking as of tomorrow with him - I am willing to do anything to help but feel like he should not be telling me anything because although I smoke I am not hurting anyone else except myself unlike him who has hurt lots of people close to him.

Any advice ?

Posted on:
Mon, 27/11/2017 - 22:30

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Detach with love. 

Posted on:
Tue, 28/11/2017 - 09:10

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi helpless, no shouting that's good. Anger drives them back. Calm, structure, plan. Meetings, no excuses. He's not in a place to put demands on you.

Posted on:
Tue, 28/11/2017 - 09:30

The fun has stopped

Joined:
2017-11-03

I would not agree to that, if you fail at stopping smoking he'll use it as an excuse to gamble again, thinking he can then blame you. Let him know you love and care about him but this is his addiction not yours he has to take responsibility and deal with it himself. I think it's good if you can be there for him in his recovery, having someone close to speak to about how your feeling is a big help, but having someone take away your responsibility and always bailing you out would be very unhelpful. Take care of yourself first.

Posted on:
Tue, 28/11/2017 - 10:39

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

If you want to stop smoking for you, go for it but agreeing for him or anyone else isn't likely to succeed the same way him making all the right noises about giving up gambling won't mean anything unless and until he wants it for himself.

Setting blockers for him is a start. What else is he planning to do?  Alongside blockers and self exclusion the usual starting point is full transparency with his finances i.e. giving you or someone else unrestricted access to every agency's credit report on him and handing his finances to someone else to manage along with him researching counselling options and GA meetings.