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Son relapsed again and in serious debt.

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 03/05/2018 - 02:41

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

just when I think we are finally in a better place with my son- aged 24 amd been cg for the last 5 years, thought he was sorted for almost a year until recently. Now he is back in debt (£10000) and bingeing again the minute he gets paid. Although I have leaned from past experience NOT to bail him out, I am totally exhausted from managing his debts. Constant letters and calls to StepChange - he has a debt management plan but has gambled away the money he had to pay it! He has also lost money he had set aside to pay his car loan. I have told him I will see them take the car rather than bail him out but apparently he has spoken to them and they are happy enough to wait until next month for payment. When will he learn? I am exhausted with this. Have been to GP who prescribed antidepressants ( him not me) but reluctant to take due to side affects and I agree as he has just started a new job). I am rambling and it is 2.30 am and as usual I am awake worrying about my son. He works long hours so cannot attend meetings- any suggestions re blocking software for iPhones as this seems to be the current problem- it was casinos but he self excluded a couple of years ago. Any help appreciated 

Posted on:
Thu, 03/05/2018 - 10:20

ITDamo

Joined:
2016-01-26

Hi CW22,

I will leave the F&F posters to give you some pratical advice but I just wanted to point you in the direction of https://www.gamstop.co.uk.

If its online gambling that you son is doing then this may help going forward.

I will say one thing...it feels as if you are taking way too much of the burden on here. Your son needs to be more accountable for what is his mess.
All the best
Damo

Posted on:
Thu, 03/05/2018 - 11:28

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hello CW22

How heartbreaking for you, to find your son is back gambling again. You asked about blocks for iPhone - as ITDamo says GAMSTOP will help with self-exclusion from online gambling sites. There are also apps which can block gambling sites on iPhones. Find out more at http://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-advice/what-can-you-do/blocking-software.

Yes he works long hours but it may still be possible for him to get treatment for his gambling. Our free counselling services can usually offer appointments outside normal working hours and we can also offer online counselling via webcam which might make it less taxing for him to access treatment. 

I see elsewhere on the forum you have mentioned your fear of bailiffs turning up at your home - don't take any decisions based on fears which may turn out to be unfounded. Please get some advice about what your rights are. Remember these are your sons debts not anyone else's. We've got details of several sources of free debt advice here: http://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-advice/what-can-you-do/finance-and-debt-ma...

This all sounds incredibly stressful for you - especially if you've been losing sleep. Remember you can call our Freephone Helpline on 0808 8020 133, and our counselling is there for you too. There's also GamAnon for local support from families who've been through similar situations to your own.

Keep posting,

Deirdre
Forum Admin
 

Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 02:26

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

Thank you so much for the advice Damo and Deidre . I will look at the websites. I totally agree that I am carrying too much burden for this (  total helicopter parent!). I have made an appointment for my son to see the GP in the morning as he is understandably depressed. He phoned gamcare the other day and asked about blocking software but not sure how he got on with this so I will forward the links you have given to him. I cannot tell you the stress I am currently under as I am also looking aftera terminally ill l family member. I am awake most nights! My son is normally a caring person but he is so consumed by this addiction that no one else matters to him. He has at least acknowledged he has a problem amd is desperate for help. I still cannot believe that this is happening to be honest. From the outside we look like a normal family and apart from the devastating time we are going through with my close family members illness no one knows anything of this torture of having a son who is an addict. My husband is aware but has no understanding on how or what to do amd the trouble this is caused in our marriage is immense. 

Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 08:22

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi CW22 I'm sorry to see you in this state. You are taking the burden for not only him but also caring for someone. That's your nature and not a bad thing. BUT doesn't help a cg. As Damo says this is his problem. He comes to you because you sort it out. He's 24 years old, old enough to gamble and get into debt, have a loan on a car. All things he can't afford. You can emotionally support him, help him manage his  money, go to a gamanon meeting. He has to start being honest. He can't continue relying on others to help him gamble or help him stop. You need to look after yourself. This isn't your fault. There are many ways to get help gp, antidepressants, GA meetings, call gamcare, online blocking software, self exclusion, gamstop. It's up to him. He will learn when you stop helping. Think of it like a drug, if he hasn't got money he can't buy it. 

Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 12:32

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

Thank you merry go round-I know that you are right. I saw the GP this morning and he was very understanding. He has said that he will try to help me by seeing my son on a regular basis ( if he agrees that is!). He has to help himself and to want to. I really have reached the point that I cannot do this by myself so feel at least that I have some support from the GP- it’s a start as I have been hiding this for so long. Am I a bad mum that I feel really ashamed about my son being in this state? Thank you for your kind words and support. I can reassure you that we are no longer bailing him out financially and feel strong about that. He is so lovely my heart breaks for him.

Posted on:
Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:49

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi CW22 no not a bad mum at all. Who knew what compulsive meant when we all started on this journey. They only tell when they're desperate. Don't be ashamed. It's good you care, just learn to stand back, look after yourself. You'll be exhausted worrying about him and caring for your relative. It could be a bumpy ride so be prepared.

Posted on:
Wed, 16/05/2018 - 18:01

facinguptoit

Joined:
2017-06-24

CW22, I feel for you too and like you have been helped and comforted by so many members on here. We are at similar stages I think, but I regret to say that I don't think my son has yet contacted Gamcare despite my pleas.

I admire your strength and practical approach. and hope that your son stays strong and accepts help. I will keep telling our boy he needs to seek help and not "stop it himself". He can't do that, he is gripped by the fever and in denial, saying he will do it alone is just the excuse he needs to keep him gambling....

Yes I am ashamed of his selfishness and his weakness and I fear I am becoming bitter and twisted over it!

Good luck to you and your son.

Posted on:
Wed, 16/05/2018 - 22:00

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

Im very sorry to see this CW22.

I know how much you care about him and how hard this is for you.

My view is that under the umbrella of knowing you wont abandon him , this gets stepped up and you agree to visit the doctor with him and somehow ensure that he has no access to more loans or overdrafts.

Easier said than done I know

It begs the question what is he working for but this is a nasty addiction that knows no boundaries. I detest what the addiction does to people including myself.

Some of the pain here is that you cant bail him and he needs further reality checks which will be painful. I know the gamblers mind and he wont have fully realised that its his car he has been betting and even more important things like relationships. In the back of his head he will have thought that the car is safe because he will get though somehow. Unfortunately he wont with that level of debt

Ive been depressed for forty years but put a brave face on it so is he depressed? 

I really dont know what to say about the debts other than there is life after bankruptcy as long as he comes clean to everyone and gets real help. Who is lending him all this money? You would need a pretty good job to sustain debts like that.

Ive been a credit controller and I would say dont fear the recovery process. Does he live with you though?

It gets to a stage where a marker is placed on his credit file that no more is to be lent. Im basing that on the fact that a gambling will ruin eligibility for a mortgage faster than anything so he needs to recover from this starting now

All I can say is when I was gambling I wanted my parents to step in an take control decades ago but they wouldnt. I know I was crying out for help but they didnt see it like that and tended to think it was me being greedy and silly.  I realise that I was giving up on life and that was a large part of it

There is hope and help fo him. He has good parents for a start.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

Posted on:
Thu, 17/05/2018 - 02:46

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

Hi- thank you for the responses facing up to it and joy divider. Latest update is that my son has finally opened up to a guy he knows who used to be affected by gambling and has offered to take him to a GA meeting this week. This is huge orogress and not least of all because he has told me about it so I feel as if we are getting somewhere ( this has taken years!). He does live with us and a condition of him living at home is that I have full control of his finances which he has agreed to. I also seem to have aquired full control of his washing and ironing too! I recognise that he is low so to be honest I am happy to support this for now. As for the debts he seems happy enough to continue with the debt management plan rather than go bankrupt so I have to support his choice in this. I am much stronger than in the past and realise that bailing him out is not an option amd he knows that his dad and I are standing firm on this ( so so hard though). I have so much going on right now amd as you can see from the time sleep evades me! I will keep you updated. Wishing you the best of luck with your sons and thank you to those who have experience personally for giving your view and another perspective it really helps.

Posted on:
Fri, 18/05/2018 - 23:14

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

Just when I think it is all out in the open ( payday loans and credit cards now on a debt management plan)- my son tells me today that he owes various friends £3000 from a while ago amd now he is under immense pressure to pay up. ! He is desperate and asking us to lend him the money to pay them as he can’t put this on a debt management plan. What do we do? In fairness he did pay us every penny back last time he was in this position and we lent him the money so at least we didn’t actually pay his debts off. I am torn because he has just started a new job which he likes but if he is under so much pressure about this then it will be difficult to sustain working. I know that the best advice is not to help but I am tempted to. He has already committed to attending a GA meeting and is happy for my husband or I to go with him. He says he is desperate to kick this addiction and will do whatever it takes. We have not bailed him out of any other debts and don’t intend to but I can’t have him being threatened or losing his job due to the stress this is causing him. Would any one else agree with me? 

Posted on:
Sat, 19/05/2018 - 08:16

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi CW22 it's a no from me! But how would you pay them? I most definitely would not give him the money. Recovery is about honesty. He should tell them he can't pay and will pay them back slowly. This is also their responsibility, they gave him the money. Until you stop giving him money this will continue. Yes of course he wants to stop but he also has to face the consequences. Borrowing from you and paying it back didn't stop him asking others for money. The key here is not to give him the money.

Posted on:
Sat, 19/05/2018 - 20:09

CW22

Joined:
2015-03-28

Hi merry go round- thank you for your reply. He has now come clean to all of his friends about his gambling addiction which was very hard for him to do. I have left the decision to my husband but he will only pay them after speaking to them first and by direct transfer certainly not via my sons bank account. It is a difficult one as he is finally ready for help and is at rock bottom. I have seen proof that he is being taken by a reformed gambler to a GA meeting on Monday and he has agreed his dad should go with him. He is also seeing his GP fortnightly amd we have full control of his finances. He has the chance to start a fresh in his new job which I am scared will be jeopardised if he is under this pressure. I have enough to deal with right now so I am absolving myself from this decision as I really can’t call it. When I am dealing with the sad reality of terminal illness of my very close relative I figure that this is just money after all.