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torn_apart
#1 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
torn_apart

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Joined: 3/06/2009(UTC)
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Hi all?

I thought I would just vent all the issues out there to you all as I'm very frustrated and upset?
I have recently moved home, given up my job, life, friends to be with my mother as her gambling is so out of control and this was the last resort! No-one else knows what to do in my family?
After 10 years of her gambling off and on and wasting over $100 000 at least in the last couple of years alone throwing her time, issues and cash at a slot machine.
I really don't know what to do, my dad works out of town and is only here on weekends, so I really hate the idea of babysitting my mother while he's not here taking her cards ect but there are always more I don't know about.

My parents argue all the time, as he's always paying her debt off and recently he has threatened to leave and split their assets, because he can't handle it any more.If that happens I don't know what will happen I guess she will have nothing because she will gamble anything and everything away.I really don't know what to do I love her but gambling is so destructive. She will lie and lie until I track her down and drag her out of whatever gambling venue I can find her at.
Any ideas I would really appreciate it? as I really don't know what to do?Anything worked for people out there.
Thanks
taysh
#2 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
taysh

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Hi Torn apart. Wow that is amazing that you gave up much of your life essentially to help with your mother. I wish I had some magic advice that could help you. I am a compulsive gambler who is struggling to quit. I guess what I have to say isn't great as I really believe that unless the person wants to quit, it just isn't going to happen. It's difficult enough for someone who is really trying to quit gambling, and who still occassionally slips but gets going and trying again. For someone who wants to gamble, well they will lie, steal, and cheat in order to do so. The behaviour just spirals out of control. The horrible thing is, it isn't your mother. I mean her whole personality will be different. Often it is only hitting rock bottom that causes a person to really look at the damage they are causing. Having your dad bail her out all the time, and stuff probably just hides for her the seriousness of the problem (keeping in mind that we don't want to admit it to ourselves, or we simply live in some sort of foggy no-where land where this information doens't get into our heads). I think you need to sit down with your Mum and really discuss it with her. Tell her the damage she is causing and what the consequences might be. Ask her if she genuinely wants to quit. Just face her with everything. If she doesn't want to quit, well there is nothing you can do until she does. The best thing you can do is try to limit the damage for your family, such as making sure the properties/homes/accounts require two signatures for changes, or aren't in her name anymore so that she can't get a loan against them. When she is ready to quit that's when you should give her all the support you can. That still probably means that you should control her money for a time as she may need that help stopping. I'm sorry I don't have more advice, but that's all I can think of. Someone coming in and trying to control it wouldn't have worked for me. I would simply have become very resentful of them and even gone down legal avenues (it's illegal to have control over someone's cards/bank accounts without their permission), or found other ways around it (like going directly to the bank to get money out instead of using cards).

Use this site as much as you can. It's not only your Mum that will need support if she decides to quit (or not quit). Family members need support as well, and I was really struck by that when I first entered and read posts on this site.
ostrich
#3 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ostrich

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Posts: 140

Hi Torn apart
I am the wife of a gambler and been down your road. It was the worst journey of my life.
I can only share what I learned the hard way. You cannot stop gambling for her. Taysh is absolutely right. This is a problem you cannot solve, you can only limit the damage until she decides to change.
What you you doing now by bailing her out is enabling her.
She knows she can gamble because you and your dad will be there to sort out the problems she creates. You are actually making it easier for her.
Controlling the $$ is good but only if they are trying to quit otherwise she will start to hate you as the barrier to her gambling.
You need to support your dad as he is probably an innocent bystander here.
Tough love is the best solution for you.
You have no choice over whether she gambles or not, the only choice you have is whether you accept it.
So you and your dad need to show her that what she is doing is not acceptable to you as a family and if that is her choice so be it.
When I put this on my husband it spun him out. We both love each other dearly and I think it wasn't until then he realised that I was prepared to divorce that he got the full implications of the choice.
We did separate and it forced him to have to stop on his own and for himself.
I have lived through 2 1/2 years of hell but we are still together and through the otherside.
I wish you well and am happy to talk if you need some support as I know this is so hard to push away someone you love.
survivor
#4 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
survivor

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Posts: 60

Torn_Apart

Because every situation is unique it is difficult to know what the best advice to give is...I totally agree with Taysh and Ostrich about the problem being your mum's to solve...you cannot be the emotional rescuer of your mum because she needs to face up to the problem and damage in order to change

My first suggestion is a simple one...print off the post you wrote here and show it to her...let her read in print how you feel and the need to reach out for help in desperation...gambling aside, if your mum loves and respects you, that is very difficult to ignore...and it can be the catalyst to begin talking

I also strongly urge anyone who has not been to counselling (the gambler or a loved one of a gambler)to do so...in New Zealand The Problem Gambling Foundation and Gamblers Annomonyous have free counselling for the parties involved and it is invaluable...I have been through the roughest time in my life so far to date and counselling has played a major part in helping me through it...just knowing I am meeting my counsellor each week is enough to sway me from gambling for a simple but very important reason

Gambling is only a small part of what we talk about in my sessions...I have covered so many other areas in my life as well as other issues that have needed to be addressed...this has given me closure on many things but also allowed me to gain some understanding as to why gambling had such a hold on me...I am now just over 4 1/2 months gamble free after 8+ years of serious gambling and I feel like my life has started afresh

Your mum will have her own reasons for not stopping and not wanting to...however, often it takes a shock for someone to really see the extent of their problem...unfortunatley for some it is too late and the damage is irreversable...on the other hand just because your mum has gambled for 10 years does not mean she cannot stop...it is a matter of finding the right intervention for her...you being there to baby sit her is only damaging your life and your relationship with her and it will not stop her from gambling...it is like bootcamp as soon as you go she will start gambling again...

You cannot live your life for her...each of us have our own mistakes to make and be accountable for...you need to be there in a supportive role rather than a rescuer one.

Love and light
Survivor
dally
#5 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
dally

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 3/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1

Hi there,
My Dad moved in with my husband and I in February this year. This allowed him to quit work (he's 72) and retire. We have come to realise that he has a really serious problem. He is spending 4-6 hours daily at the pokie machines. We understand from the local publican that he loses anywhere from $100 up per hour. We have tried to raise his problem with him, but he reacts really angrily and leaves the room. When he is home, he is miserable and vacant. HELP. This is affecting our household. Any advice PLEASE.
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